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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.

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“Fantastic service by Terry and his team. I have a wood burning/gas fireplace that needed cleaning and to check for animals that I had heard near the chimney. They did a thorough cleaning (and kept the house clean while doing it!) and found no evidence of animal activity. Terry showed me that the previous owners had tapped into the gas line incorrectly and had used copper pipe for the gas to the fireplace. They removed (at my request) all gas components and the fireplace is now safe and set for wood burning (I can have it changed back to gas in a safe manner later). I'm very grateful that they found and fixed the possibly dangerous situation and did a wonderful job on everything else. I highly recommend Valley Chimney!”

‐ Diane R.

Geneva, IL

8940 B Route 34
Yorkville, IL 60560

(630) 553-5995


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