Chimneys make an attractive feature for any property, whether you have an active fireplace or not, but they also provide another entrance to your home. With the cold weather upon us, the harsh elements and freezing temperatures can contribute to the erosion of your chimney stack, including the expansion of existing cracks. While there may be visible signs of damage, not many homeowners spend the festive season peering up at their chimney. One of the first alerts many receive to tell them something’s wrong is an unexpected visitor coming down their chimney – and it isn’t Santa!

Here are a few of the most common issues with chimneys at this time of year.

Winter roofing guides - have you had any of these coming down your chimney?Rain

Although they’ve been manufactured to withstand all types of weather, when a chimney is subjected to harsh elements such as wind and rain, it can sustain damage and deterioration over the years. If any cracks and holes form or the chimney pot becomes displaced, it can provide water with an inlet to enter your home, causing issues such as rot, leaks and damp to occur.


While we can all snuggle up in the warm this season, animals and birds aren’t so lucky when it comes to the cold. They’ll often look for somewhere warm to stay, so if they can find a way into your roof or down your chimney, they will, often bringing in sticks to form their nest which can be dangerous if they block your chimney completely. Unfortunately, if animals become trapped, they may even die inside your flue which can cause you to start smelling a distasteful odour in your living areas.


Alongside the rain, you’ll also find windy weather provides its own set of debris which can make its way down your chimney. This includes twigs, leaves, stones and anything else caught up in the gusts of wind.


If you’re feeling a bit chilly in your home this Winter, check it’s not caused by a downdraught coming in through your fireplace. This occurs when strong, pressurised winds force escaping air to reverse its direction. If you have a working fire, you may also notice that your room is suddenly becoming smoky as blasts of cold air push air back down the flue.

Find Chimney Solutions

The easiest way to prevent all of these issues is to ask a professional roofer to inspect your roof and chimney stack, fitting a cowl or capping if you haven’t done so already. These handy features are placed at the top of your chimney pot, and it’s easy to find a style and colour to blend in with the rest of your roof. You can select various designs depending on what you want to protect against. Some cowls come with special bird guards, for example, but most types will stop rains and debris getting into your flue while allowing normal ventilation and reducing downdraughts. For disused chimneys, you can cap off the pot, keeping out everything other than Father Christmas this December.

Need a chimney cowl fitting or chimney capping?

Here at South Thames Roofing, we provide a wide range of chimney repair services throughout Surrey and South London, including Norwood, Walton on Thames and Hampton. Call now on 0208 397 2900 to have a chat about your needs.