What Happens During The Freeze & Thaw Cycle?

Winter is in full swing now here in the Chicagoland suburbs, and it’s only going to get colder. Winter can be the worst time for masonry chimneys, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, masonry chimneys can incur more damage during the winter months than any other time of the year, due to the freezing weather and thawing out, leading to bigger problems like structural issues and safety hazards for a chimney.

With masonry chimneys, they’re very porous and naturally absorb water, and because your chimney is always exposed to the Earth elements, the bricks and mortar joints on your chimney can contain water from rain, snow and melted ice. However, until temperatures drop below freezing, the chimney is unaffected by the water in it. When the temperatures drop, the moisture inside of the chimney will freeze and expand, causing damage to occur.

When the weather warms back up, the water will thawing, which can be strong enough to cause the bricks and mortar joints to crack, crumble and break. This process will occur a few times during the winter and can lead to damages to the masonry chimney and structure overall.

How Valley Chimney Can Help

Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration has been servicing the DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties for over forty years with inspecting, cleaning, and waterproofing chimneys. While our team can’t stop the rain or snow, we can help protect your chimney from those elements, with chimney waterproofing. There are a few great ways to prevent or minimize damage to your chimney from the Illinois weather, and help prolong the life of it.

Chimney waterproofing is a great option to think about to prevent water from damaging your chimney, however, it’s not the best option when there is already significant damage and deterioration to the chimney exterior. Our chimney experts recommend having the chimney repaired before you waterproof it. Essentially, waterproofing can only ‘save’ your chimney in its current state or condition. It’s a great preventative measure to maintain the interior chimney’s ability to protect the exterior from letting water in, and still working effectively.

We recommend scheduling an inspection, cleaning and waterproofing appointment with our team today for the spring, as we book up fast. Valley Chimney can help you fix your chimney and prevent the freezing and thawing cycle from happening. Contact us today to schedule your inspection and waterproofing appointment.

Back To Blog

“Great service and great quality workmanship.  Have used them for the last 10 years and have always been pleased.  Never been up sold or told that my chimney requires extensive repair.  Utilized another chimney service provider and by the end of the appointment they made me feel that I needed a completely new fireplace after only having the house built for two years.  Valley Chimney has never done that and has always taken care of my fire place.  Would highly recommend.”

‐ Johnathan P.

Chicago, IL

8940 B Route 34
Yorkville, IL 60560

(630) 553-5995


Service over 30,000 clients across the western suburbs of Chicago