How to Prevent Snow and Ice From Damaging Your Chimney

Jan 22, 2018

Winter has arrived and with it comes the tasks that make homeowners cheer when Spring finally comes. Aside from weatherizing your home, you have snow removal and salt that has to get spread. But there is a task that is terribly important and many homeowners rarely think about it. That task is protecting your chimney.

Right now, you’re probably wondering what we’re talking about. How can you protect your chimney and why should you even have to? It’s up there and really there isn’t much you can do about it. Well, that’s actually not true.

Snow and Ice

When you let snow build up on your roof, it eventually can block the chimney and the vents. If this happens, you may have a huge problem on your hands. Blocked vents can cause carbon monoxide to seep into your home and it is colorless and odorless. It is a silent killer.

If your chimney is blocked, and you light your fireplace, you could end up with not only a carbon monoxide problem but you could possibly cause a fire. Snow should not be allowed to accumulate on your roof to any depth.

One more problem you could have is the damage that can be done when the snow melts. This is not as big an issue if your chimney is in the center of your house, but if it is on the low side of your house you could end up with leaks in your home if there are any cracks in the mortar or the flashing is deteriorated.

What Do I Do?

If you have a pitched roof you should use a snow rake to get the snow from your roof. Keep in mind, however, that this is a labor-intensive job and if you don’t know what you’re doing you could end up damaging your roof which will cause you more problems. It’s better to get a professional to take care of any mounds of snow you may have.

To protect your chimney from potential leaks from runoff, you should install a chimney cricket. This is a plywood piece, covered with roofing material, specifically designed for your roof, that sits in front of your chimney and diverts the water as it rolls down.