Our Company Blog

Correcting Draft Issues

A draft in a literal sense means to “draw” or to “pull”, which is why the selective service is called a draft. When your chimney is having a drafting issue, it means the chimney system is not able to properly and effectively pull air through the chimney and out of the house. The chimney should be working constantly when a fire is burning in the fireplace. That means there is constant airflow pulling the heat, smoke, and other gases out of the chimney and home. A smoky chimney is the first indication of a draft issue. Unfortunately, there are many reasons for a draft issue–some may be simple, quick fixes, and others may be more serious.Correcting Draft Issues - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

The Wrong Wood

The number one cause of simple draft problems is that you’re burning the wrong firewood. Good wood is properly seasoned, meaning it has been cut and stored to dry before it is burned. “Green” or wet wood has too much water inside and has to work harder to burn. It will be more difficult to light, will burn with less heat, require more wood to reach a desired temperature, burn incompletely, produce more ashes, and be smokier. A great way to check to see if this is the problem with your chimney is to build and light a fire with properly seasoned firewood.

A Competing Draft

Other large systems in the home, such as the central air and heating system, can interfere with your fireplace. Your home may also be so tight that it is impossible for the chimney to pull air from the house. In order for the chimney to pull air out of the house, more air must be pulled into the house to keep airflow going. Otherwise your home becomes a vacuum, and the air will not flow. This problem can be quickly checked and remedied by cracking a window in the house to allow air in.

A Dirty Chimney

When the chimney system is coated in soot and creosote, the efficiency drops because airflow slows down. If the air cannot travel up and out of the chimney, the result will be a smoky fireplace. You can solve this problem by scheduling a chimney sweep. Schedule now, and you can avoid the fall rush. You may also find that the smoky problems from last season aren’t present this year!

Chimney Sizing

Believe it or not, the size of the chimney matters–a lot. If the chimney is too tall or short, the smoke will not rise up and out. Instead, it will fall into the living room the next time you open your damper. If the flue isn’t sized correctly, if the smoke chamber isn’t the right size, or if the smoke shelf isn’t large enough, then you will have a smoke problem.

Chimney Damage

Damage to the liner can slow air flow and cause a draft issue. You should have annual chimney inspections to insure you that all the seen and unseen portions of the chimney system are in proper working order. This means that your smoky chimney does not have a complicated solution. If your chimney is in ship-shape, then the problem is simple and can likely be resolved through troubleshooting.

Still unsure what to do with your chimney? Call Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460.

By John Pilger on September 14th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Eliminating Smoke Chamber Draft Problems

When your chimney isn’t working properly, there could be a hundred reasons why! Many of the problems with a chimney are hidden, so they’re not only hard to catch, but impossible to diagnose. If your system has a draft problem and you’ve troubleshooted on your own, a professional should be your next call. An experienced technician may start by checking your smoke chamber–a common site for draft problems.Eliminating Smoke Chamber Draft Problems - Suffolk, NY - Chief Chimney Services

What is the Smoke Chamber?

The space above the firebox and at the base of the flue is called the smoke chamber. It is the area where the smoke and heat mix so it can rise up the flue and leave the home. The smoke chamber has a very specific shape and size for efficiency. It should have a smoke shelf which prevents the smoke from falling back into the fireplace and into the home. It also has a slanted wall which funnels the smoke into the flue.

Common Smoke Chamber Problems

The smoke chamber endures high temperatures and corrosive chemicals on a constant basis while a fire burns in the fireplace. The walls and smoke shelf can become coated in soot and creosote. Soot can deteriorate the masonry inside the smoke chamber and can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaks and draft issues that drop efficiency and raise fire risk.

As the draft slows and the air stalls in the smoke chamber, more creosote and soot will build up in the system, particularly in the smoke chamber. As the buildup occurs, it will only worsen over time. A damaged smoke chamber should be repaired as soon as damage is apparent in order to avoid serious danger and costly damage.

Choose the Professionals

When it’s time to have your chimney system inspected, cleaned, or repaired, you should trust the professionals. All the technicians at Chief Chimney Services are CSIA-certified, having completed classroom and field training to offer the best services to our customers in and around Suffolk County, New York.

A Chief Chimney Services sweep can inspect your smoke chamber, paying close attention to the shape of the space as well as the smoothness of the walls. If the refractory mortar has become damaged, the bricks may be exposed, and their corners catching creosote and soot, slowing airflow and leading to a buildup. Your chimney sweep may recommend a smoke chamber parge in which the walls are smoothed, masonry is properly insulated, and space is properly sized for optimal efficiency.

Scheduling your chimney inspection today will ensure there is time to make the necessary repairs before the fall. The first fire of the season is just around the corner, and you don’t want to use a smoky or dangerous fireplace. Call Chief Chimney Services today and schedule an assessment or repair with a professional today. Call 631-863-2460 or schedule online.

By John Pilger on August 30th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Checking Your Heating & Venting System Before the Cold Season

Summer is coming to an end, and fall is just around the corner. With the start of a new school year and new season, people can find themselves staying fairly busy. Fall is busy season for our chimney professionals too. It’s important to schedule heating and venting services now to avoid the fall rush, as our chimney professionals are busy with installations, repairs, and emergency calls.

Routine Maintenance

Checking Your Heating & Venting System Before the Cold Season - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney ServicesRoutine maintenance is preventative maintenance. Having your heating and venting system inspected and cleaned regularly prevents damage, waste, and health risk. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections keep your chimney system working safely and efficiently.

You should get your chimney serviced regularly to prolongs its life. A clean and properly-functioning chimney is easier to light, the flame is easier to control, and less heat is wasted. A clean chimney does not stink of soot and creosote when the fireplace isn’t in use. Keeping your chimney regularly cleaned and inspected also means less drafting issues, leaks, and other hazards! Hiring a chimney professional for your comprehensive chimney care ensure the optimal health of your chimney.

Chief Chimney is here for you!

It’s our goal at Chief Chimney Services to ensure all of our customers and friends in the Suffolk County area are safe and comfortable this winter season. As members of CSIA, the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and the New York State Chimney Sweep Guild, our goal is to decrease the occurrence of residential chimney fires.

By continuously educating ourselves on new techniques and technologies to improve chimney function, we strive to serve you with the best chimney tips and care. The best way to prevent chimney malfunctions and hazards is to schedule preventive maintenance. If you haven’t had a chimney inspection in the last 12 months, then it’s time to schedule one now. Call Chief Chimney Services today at 631-863-2460.

By John Pilger on August 17th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Benefits of Energy Saving Dampers

Your chimney worked for you all winter, but it may be working against you this summer. As temperatures rise and air conditioners are switched on, there may be a draft that’s stealing your conditioned air right out of your chimney! This occurrence is more common than many homeowners think, and it’s completely preventable. By making one small change to your chimney system, you can have an efficient, money-saving chimney in no time.Energy Saving Dampers - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

The Top-Sealing Damper

Top-sealing dampers double as chimney caps, and save homeowners money upon installation. This damper, also called the energy saving damper, is fairly easy to install, protects your chimney from the top down, and closes it completely during the offseason. Some benefits include:

Airtight Seal – Energy saving dampers close with a rubber gasket seal that prevents any water or moisture from getting in. It’s tamper-proof, so animals cannot open it, and it will not open until you disengage it. Throat dampers usually close loosely and can allow drafts and animals into the home.

Easy Use – The cord which engages and disengages the top-sealing damper runs down to the hearth, so you’ll be able to use it from the comfort of your living room, just as you would a regular throat damper.

Multi-Purpose – The top-sealing damper works as a damper when it’s closed, and a chimney cap when it’s open. It keeps animals and weather out of the flue and prevents hot embers from escaping. It even looks like a chimney cap, so you can choose a design that suits your liking.

When to Make the Switch

You don’t have to do all of your chimney work during the winter. In fact, we do chimney work year-round, and if you schedule during the summer, you won’t have to stop using the fireplace prior to the service appointment. Schedule now, and we can discuss chimney services that will enhance your experience and make your chimney work better as well! If we find that you need a new damper or cap, we suggest a top-sealing damper right away. It saves you money right away. Protecting your chimney from the top down is important. It keeps humidity from mingling with soot and creosote in the flue, which creates unwelcome odors and corrosive chemicals. A top-sealing damper prevents wind gusts and drafts throughout the off-season, saving you money, and will prevent debris from falling in and creating blockages, saving you in services.

When it comes to chimney dampers and caps, you can’t go wrong with an energy-saving one. All of the models we carry at Chief Chimney Services will enhance the look of your chimney and improve the way it works–guaranteed.

When you’re ready for a chimney sweep or inspection call on Chief Chimney Services. We can install your new energy saving damper now, so schedule an appointment today!

By John Pilger on July 25th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule an Early Chimney Inspection

Your chimney may be the last thing on your mind this summer. However, it may be a great idea to schedule chimney maintenance now! When you schedule now, you will avoid the “fall rush.” Chimney professionals are busiest between October and January with installations, repairs, and emergency calls. Schedule now, and get your appointment on our books. Waiting to schedule means you may not get your preferred technician, appointment time, or an appointment at all. There are other perks to scheduling early, and an early inspection prepares your chimney for theScheduling Early Chimney Inspections - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney upcoming winter.

Summer Service Appointments

We encourage homeowners to schedule fall services now, but we also offer chimney services year-round. You can schedule a chimney sweep this summer and rest assured knowing it is clean of soot, creosote, and ashes that will make it stink all summer. You won’t have to have it cleaned this fall, and it will be ready when you need it. If you haven’t had your chimney inspected in the last 12 months, you should schedule one this summer and give yourself several weeks to complete any necessary repairs before fall.

Schedule with Chief Chimney Services and trust a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep to assess the system and identify hazards. We offer Level 1, 2, and 3 CSIA inspections in the Suffolk County area.

CSIA Inspections Explained

Your annual level 1 inspection is performed during a routine sweep. They are required if the fuel source remained constant, the system underwent no new installations or repairs, or there has been no severe damage. The level one inspection is an assessment of all readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior. The technician looks for basic structural soundness and checks installations, connections, and airflow. In addition, they check the system for obstruction or debris.

Hazards or prior concerns require a level two inspection. A level two is also required before the sale or transfer of a property, after changes have been made to the system, or if the home has been affected by fire, earthquake, or severe storm. It includes everything in a level one in addition to the accessible portions of the interior and exterior. This includes the attics and crawl spaces.

Hidden hazards in your chimney require level three inspections. Tools are used to remove components of the building or chimney to gain access to the hazard.

We will handle any necessary repairs following a level three inspection. Call 631-863-2460 today or make an appointment online!

By John Pilger on July 11th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule Your Sweep Before the Rush!

Just as you’d leave for a trip before rush hour, or get holiday shopping finished before the week-of, you should plan ahead to have your chimney system cleaned.Schedule Your Sweep Before the Rush - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

Avoid the Fall Rush

At Chief Chimney Services we clean and service chimneys year-round. We’re just much busier from October through January, a time we call the “fall rush.” During this time you may not get the desired appointment time, you may have to schedule several days or weeks in advance, and you may be cold while you wait. We don’t want our customers to be cold or unsafe this winter, so we suggest scheduling your chimney sweep early. Avoid the wait, the hassle, and the cold. Schedule now, and you can be on the books this fall, or get it done this spring or summer.

Scheduling a Spring Chimney Sweep

Many homeowners decide to schedule a chimney sweep in the spring so that the system is ready for fall, and there is plenty of time for necessary repairs before the first fire of the season. Scheduling in the spring will also ensure your chimney is waterproof, animal-proof, and won’t stink when summer humidity mingles with the soot and creosote-covered walls. They’ll be clean after a Chief Chimney Services professional completes this hassle-free chimney sweep.

Scheduling a Fall Chimney Sweep

Do not wait until the weather turns cool before scheduling your chimney sweep! You can schedule now for your service in the fall and avoid the fall rush. Scheduling now also means your chimney is not forgotten. When you neglect to schedule routine sweeps and annual inspections, your chimney and your home may suffer. In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that routine chimney maintenance means a safer and more efficient chimney system.

Put Your Trust in Chief Chimney Services

The technicians that make up our team at Chief Chimney Services will not disappoint. We treat your home with the utmost professionalism and clean your chimney system from top to bottom, paying attention to the smallest detail. When you schedule with us, you can also rest assured that your chimney will get a thorough once-over, and we won’t miss a thing. This is the best way to ensure that damage is detected before it becomes unsafe and before it affects the rest of your system and your house. After our technician presents you with a detailed report of the findings, we can help you work out a repair plan that will get your chimney back to work before cold weather strikes in the fall! When you work closely with your chimney sweep, you can work around the fall rush.

Get started today. Call Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460 or contact us online!

By John Pilger on June 26th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Importance of Dryer Vent Cleaning

During the summer, many homeowners stop using their dryers because they tend to heat up the house, add to the utility bill, and is also a headache. If your dryer is causing problems, then it may actually have problems. It is time to call the professionals for a cleaning.The Importance of Dryer Vent Cleaning - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

Take Proper Care of Your Dryer

Your clothes dryer is expensive. According to manufacturers, they should last ten years. However, most dryers do not last that long.  In order for them to last their lifetime and work safely and properly for you, you must properly maintain them. Here are some ways to ensure they last a long time.

  • Have your dryer vent professionally installed so it is up to code and safe for daily use.
  • Clean the lint trap after every load and periodically check the vent discharge flap.
  • Schedule routine dryer vent cleaning to prevent from a dangerous fire.

Schedule Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Service

Call the professionals at Chief Chimney Services to schedule a dryer vent cleaning to keep your family safe this summer while also keeping your electric bill low. Our technicians are certified exhaust technicians, and they come into your house with professionalism and care. When they come, they will thoroughly clean and check the entire dryer vent system.

We recommend getting your dryer vent cleaned at least once a year. However, there are definitely signs requiring your dryer vent to get cleaned more often. Here are some of the signs to get your dryer vent cleaned immediately.

  • If your dryer takes more than one cycle to dry a moderate-sized load of laundry, then you have a clogged dryer vent. Many homeowners assume that it’s just worn out, but a dryer less than three years old should do the job properly with one cycle.
  • If your dryer makes the house warm, puts moisture into the air, or accumulate moisture on surfaces of the home, then it is likely you have a clogged dryer vent. The excess heat and moisture should be carried out of the home by your vent. If it isn’t, then there is a clog or a leak in your dryer vent.
  • If your dryer is using more electricity than usual, then it has an issue.

Other Ways to Prevent Dryer Vent Hazard

In addition, make sure you take preventative measures to protect your home against dryer vent fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are nearly 3,000 home clothes dryer fires reported each year. These fires are absolutely preventable by having your dryer vent cleaned.

Was your dryer vent professionally installed? Has it been cleaned in the last year? Is it performing poorly? Call Chief Chimney Services to find out about our dryer vent services today.

By John Pilger on June 12th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule an Early Chimney Cleaning

Spring is the perfect time for your annual chimney sweep because the system has been working for you all winter! Therefore, it is full of creosote, soot, grime, and ashes. As humidity rises, the moisture in the air will mingle with the soot and creosote in the chimney system, and the result is not pleasant. You may be enjoying some family time in your living room or game night with friends, and suddenly the aroma of barbecue is overwhelming. It’s not a barbecue grill in the living room. It’s your fireplace!The Importance of Dryer Vent Cleaning - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

The same moisture that causes these foul odors when a chimney is dirty will also corrode your chimney flue. Moisture mixed with soot and creosote creates a corrosive material that must be cleaned away.

Other Reasons to Sweep the Chimney

Preventative Care – Scheduling routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections is the best way to have the safest and most efficient chimney system, according to both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Preparation – Once your chimney sweep is completed, you can rest assured that your system is ready for this fall. Your chimney sweep includes a level one chimney inspection which includes an examination of the readily accessible portions of the chimney system. If your chimney professional sees an issue with your system, you’ll have time to schedule a more thorough assessment and have necessary repairs before fall.

Animal Removal – Schedule a chimney sweep if you have had an animal in your flue this spring. We will remove nesting materials, droppings, and fur or feathers from the system. These things are flammable and will lead to a flue fire. Once the chimney system is cleaned, ask your sweep about a cap to keep out critters, birds, and water.

Chief Chimney Services Cleans Chimneys

At Chief Chimney Services, we clean chimneys year-round. We can sweep your wood-burning appliance and chimney, as well as oil and gas appliances and chimneys. The two differ slightly, but our techs are certified, trained, and experienced sweeping all types of chimneys.

Don’t waste another moment. Scheduling your chimney sweep now will give you time for necessary repairs before burn season. It also gets your chimney taken care of before the “fall rush”–the time between October and January in which chimney professionals are busy with emergency calls, installations, and repairs.

Call Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460 or contact us online!

By John Pilger on May 29th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Chimney Relining and Repair Services

You may be finished with your fireplace for the season, but now is no time to forget it. In fact, completing necessary chimney work during the spring and summer is a smart idea. Once it’s finished, you will be ready for the first fire this fall and can spend the rest of your summer hassle free. At Chief Chimney Services, we frequently see masonry damage this time of year, and we cannot stress enough the importance of getting repairs completed sooner rather than later.Chimney Relining and Repair Services - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

Waiting for Repairs

If your chimney masonry has damage, even minor damage, It will get worse with every day that passes. Water penetration damages chimneys from the inside out. Damaged masonry allows water in, causing spalling, deterioration, rust, stains, and eventually malfunction of the system. The liner will become damaged, and the next time you use your fireplace, the liner will not offer the proper protection to the masonry. It can lead to a house fire that puts your property and your family at risk. Don’t wait to make repairs. Schedule your chimney inspection, so we can start planning for repairs now. Start now, and you won’t have to wonder if the chimney is ready for fall. Start now, and you’ll avoid more costly repairs later.

Chimney Relining

One of the most common repairs we see this time of year at Chief Chimney Services includes the largest part of the system, and one the homeowner can’t reach — the liner. A flue liner may become damaged over time due to neglect and water damage, or suddenly because of animal intrusion or a natural disaster. This is why it’s important to call a professional if you’ve had an animal in your chimney, even if it left on its own. Before it left, its claws could have left scratches in your liner. Likewise, if the area you live has experienced an earthquake or storm with strong winds, you should call a professional for a chimney check-up. It is also necessary to call a professional and have your liner checked out if you suspect you had a flue fire — even if it extinguished on its own!

Once we get a look at your chimney, we may determine that the liner can be repaired using HeatShield Cerfractory Flue Sealant products or you may need a complete new liner. If you need a new liner, you can choose from aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum liners are less expensive, but stainless steel is stronger and longer-lasting. If you’re burning wood, it’s important to use stainless steel or HeatShield for a safe chimney.

Chimney Repairs

Other chimney repairs we see at Chief Chimney Services are masonry and firebox repairs, crown repair, and leak repairs. Our chimney sweeps are master masons with the expertise and professionalism required to not only fix your chimney but do it to your liking. Don’t put your trust in any other company when you can choose from Chief Chimney Services and our staff of CSIA-certified chimney sweeps.

Call us today at 631-863-2460 or schedule online.

By John Pilger on May 10th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Waterproofing and Chimney Leaks

Spring weather usually brings us lots of rain. We all know April showers bring May flowers, so we must all do our best to prepare the chimney system from the rain. If rain gets into your chimney, it can do a great amount of damage to your fireplace and structural integrity of your home as well. You can prevent a chimney leak this season by scheduling our waterproofing services right now.Waterproofing and Chimney Leaks - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

Waterproofing Explained

As soon as you schedule a waterproofing appointment, we will begin a thorough inspection of your entire chimney system. We must first do necessary repairs for your chimney, and then your technician can proceed with our waterproofing service. Gaps and cracks will be repaired and necessary parts will be replaced, such as chimney cap and flashing. All of these components of the chimney helps to prevent leaks.

At Chief Chimney Services, we not only offer the best services to the Suffolk County area, but we also offer the best products. We trust in the saving power of ChimneySaver products for all of our waterproofing. ChimneySaver water-repellant products are vapor-permeable, meaning that the masonry is protected from moisture getting in, but the vapors are also able to get out.

This is vital to the proper function of your chimney. Silicone-based sealants and those used by homeowners and handymen, are actually working against your masonry. ChimneySaver water-repellant works FOR your chimney’s masonry to protect it completely, and it also comes with a ten-year warranty!  Schedule your chimney to get waterproofed this spring, and your masonry will be protected for years to come!

The Unprotected Chimney

An unprotected chimney not only inefficient and unsafe, but it will cost you lots of money later on if the issues are neglected. Water penetration is one of the worst things that can happen to your masonry and your home. Chimney leaks can cause the following issues.

  • Rusted parts (accessories, doors, and hinges)
  • Deteriorated parts (wood, walls, ceilings, and floors)
  • Water-stained (ruined walls, floors, furniture)
  • Dirty, clogged, chimney and clean-out area.
  • Damaged heating system
  • Decayed and spalling mortar
  • Collapsed hearth support and chimney structure

The damages caused by a chimney leak will cost you lots of money and give you plenty of headache. You may have a leak in your guest bathroom three rooms away because of your chimney! If you experience a water leak in your house, then you need to call a chimney sweep. A handyman or contractor can repair your damage, but the root issue from the leak won’t be fixed unless you call a chimney sweep. Make sure your chimney system is ready for spring so you don’t get a leak. Call us at 631-863-2460 to get started.

By John Pilger on April 26th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment