A Chimney Flashing Could Keep Snow Out of Your Chimney This Winter
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Keep Snow Out of Your Chimney This Winter

Snuggling up near warm fires is something to look forward to when it’s snowing this winter. But, as a purely practical matter, it’s important to know how to keep snow out of your chimney. Snow signifies freezing temperatures and, eventually, slushy conditions as the snow melts. These freezing and thawing cycles can have a devastating effect on chimney masonry. Chimney maintenance and prevention measures can help protect it from all forms of precipitation that fall from the sky, the most treacherous of which is snow.

Chimney Services Southwest, WIHow Can Snow Damage Chimneys?

As the snow falls and piles up on your rooftop, the freezing conditions damage any masonry that contains moisture. That’s because the moisture inside bricks expands when it freezes, causing destructive movement.

When the water thaws out, the bricks contract, resulting in a collapsing effect. Another problem with thawing snow is that the melting precipitation can enter the masonry system through any cracks and other openings, old or new, that leave the bricks vulnerable.

How to Keep Snow Out of Your Chimney This Winter

Masonry tends to soak up moisture like a sponge. Though measures are taken during construction to prevent this from happening, the barriers against moisture require ongoing maintenance. Various components of the exterior chimney that contribute to the matter of keeping water out eventually fall into disrepair, including the chimney crown, the flashing, and mortar. You can help keep snow out of your chimney by keeping the chimney in good repair and by installing a cricket, if needed, to protect against slush as it is melting. More details follow.

Chimney Crown

The chimney crown is the white portion at the top of the chimney. The job of the crown is to prevent moisture from seeping between the flue and the chimney exterior. Unfortunately, chimney crowns are prone to crack and deteriorate from constant exposure to harsh outdoor elements. Identifying this type of damage usually requires climbing on top of the roof, which is a hazardous undertaking. For this and other reasons, annual chimney inspections are highly recommended by fire safety experts. Chimney sweep professionals have the training and the protective equipment needed to safely inspect the condition of the chimney exterior.

Chimney Flashing

The metal part of the chimney is intended as a waterproof seal between the roof and the chimney. Installation is difficult to get right, though. It’s not unusual for a chimney leak to be the direct result of damaged or improperly installed chimney flashing. Ensuring the effectiveness of the chimney flashing is another reason to schedule annual chimney inspections as recommended.


Mortar creates a waterproof seal between bricks in the chimney. The lifespan of mortar, however, is only about 25 years, at best, whereas masonry can last more than a century when well-maintained. Once mortar begins to flake and break off, moisture can easily enter into the masonry system. A procedure known as tuckpointing involves the removal of old mortar and replacing it with fresh mortar. Tuckpointing provides like-new structural integrity and costs far less than a partial or complete masonry rebuild needed because of moisture intrusion.


If the slope of your roof results in the vulnerability of the chimney to frequent deluges of water or melting snow, installing a cricket is a good solution. A cricket is a ridge structure that channels water away from the chimney.

Chimney Cap Install North IllinoisWaterproofing is another way to keep snow out of your chimney, and the installation of a chimney cap is crucial.

For waterproofing services, chimney cap installation, a chimney inspection, chimney repair, and more, contact Chimney Specialists Inc.

We serve the tri-state area that encompasses southwest Wisconsin, northwest Illinois, and northeast Iowa.

Contact us online or call us today at (608)-929-4887

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