Our Company Blog

Fix Your Leaky Chimney Now

It doesn’t matter what is making your chimney leak. It may be from winter damage, or it may be from a minor issue such as a worn out chimney cap, but whatever is amiss, it needs to be corrected before serious damage occurs.

Water and Your Chimney

Nothing destroys a chimney quite like water. Because of the materials that make up masonry, it is highly susceptible to moisture damage and can actually be destroyed from the inside out due to one small problem allowing the water into the system. These leaks, minor or major, go unnoticed because much of the system is hidden from view. By the time a homeowner notices signs of a chimney leak, there may be substantial damage behind the scenes. A professional will catch issues before the average homeowner, saving money and time, and keeping your system safe and ready for use again in the fall. A professional will notice issues and small damage that may allow water in, such as a damaged or missing cap, deteriorated crown, damaged masonry, and dislodged or missing flashing.

Chimney Leakswater damaged white ceiling

Your chimney leak may be as obvious as water running down your masonry or dripping near your chimney. However, it may create a leak in another part of your house entirely! When you have a leak in your home, it’s important to call a chimney professional. A general contractor may fix the damage, but a chimney expert will check the chimney first. It’s likely this type of leak is caused by damaged flashing that allows water into the home, where it runs inside walls and ceilings until it pools at the lowest point, and then forms a leak.

Your leak may be inside the chimney, only detected by the sound of dripping and the smell of mildew. This leak still needs attention, as it deteriorates the liner and masonry, rusts the damper assembly, and more. Make sure that when you have a chimney leak you call the chimney professionals who can fix the damage and prevent recurrence before more damage occurs.

Professional Prevention and Care

When you call on Chief Chimney Services to repair your leaky chimney, you can expect the best care and attention in the area. At Chief, we install chimney caps to keep water, weather, and animals out of the chimney. Our expert masons repair and restore masonry, no matter the stone or brick, size, or design. Our experienced techs also replace and install flashing to protect the intersection of the roof and chimney. We do it all, and then we offer waterproofing services for good measure.

After we repair your leaky chimney, we protect your masonry for years to come with ChimneySaver water repellent products. These environmentally friendly and vapor-permeable products are the best on the market and allow the chimney to continue working properly. Unlike other products and sealants, ChimneySaver water-repellent allows the chimney to breathe as it should and vent the fire properly.

Have you noticed moisture in your chimney this spring? If you suspect a leak, call the professionals at Chief Chimney Services or schedule online today.

By John Pilger on April 11th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Wood Stove and Fireplace Cleanings for the Spring

Spring is in the air! Trees are finally flowering, and birds are chirping. Depending on where you live, you might even hear whippoorwills in the evenings. Our service area of Suffolk County, Long Island may have slow-rising temperatures, but spring is welcome after a long winter! Spring is a great time to complete projects around your house. Projects such as yard maintenance, car washing, and home cleaning. Have you considered your stove or fireplace this spring? Having it cleaned in the spring can prevent problems this summer, and have it ready and waiting for another fire this fall.

Spring Cleaningroad sign stating that spring cleaning is near

Periodically through the year, your fireplace and chimney system will need to be cleaned. Your chimney sweep company can help you determine how often your chimney and appliance will need service. However, having the work done in spring is always a great option, since it offers great benefits.

Cleaning Prevents Odors

If you leave the soot and creosote in your fireplace and flue system, the humidity from summer weather will mingle with the deposits there, causing foul odors. As this seeps into your home, it may smell as if the oven was left open or a barbecue grill was left smoldering right outside your door or window. Cleaning now will prevent odors.

Cleaning Includes an Inspection

Not only will we clean out your fireplace or wood-burning stove, but we’ll check the connections, assess the chimney system, and report any problems right away so that they can be corrected before burn season returns.

Cleaning Raises Efficiency

You may not need it to now, but this fall, your fire will burn more efficiently if you have the system swept now. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about scheduling services in the fall, when companies are at their busiest.

Cleaning Maintains Safety

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that fire systems that are cleaned and maintained properly are the safest. Clean your system now so that your fireplace will be safer this fall.

Wood is a popular option, especially in New England, where winters can be quite harsh. Wood stoves and fireplaces produce great amounts of heat and more efficient than ever–but they only work if they are maintained. Cleaning them is so important that your factory warranty may require it! Talk to an expert at Chief Chimney Services about your wood-burning fireplace or appliance today. We service fireplaces and chimney systems that are factory-built, historic masonry, and more.

Schedule today with Chief Chimney Services by filling out our online scheduling tool.

By John Pilger on March 31st, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Protect Masonry with Water Repellent This Spring!

Your masonry chimney might have worked great for you all winter long, but a wet spring after a long winter can be disastrous for the chimney! At Chief Chimney Services, we recommend our customers, friends, and neighbors avoid expensive repairs and problems by protecting the chimney system against water penetration. To prevent chimney leaks when the weather turns wet, make sure you schedule professionals services with a certified company today. 

First, schedule a chimney sweep and inspection to close out the season. This will ensure your system is clean and free of odors that can ruin your summer when summer humidity hits. It will also be given a clean bill of “health” so that you know it’s safe and obstruction-free when it’s time to burn again this fall. During your NFPA inspection, a technician may catch weaknesses in your system that will allow water in this spring. Because homeowners often don’t know what to look for, this is the best way to stop preventable leaks! Schedule with Chief Chimney Services, and we can get your entire system up to snuff before the first big showers of the spring. 

Chimney Waterproofing Services

One of our most popular services we continue to offer to home and business owners throughout Suffolk County is our waterproofing services. When all the other parts of a chimney system are properly installed, such as the cap, crown, and flashing, we take protection one step further by protecting the masonry. By using ChimneySaver products specifically designed for chimney function, we can prevent water from penetrating the masonry while still allowing heat and gases to escape. Other waterproofing agents or water repellents on the market can prevent water penetration while trapping heat, moisture, and gases inside the masonry. This is unsafe and will actually cause damage from the inside out. ChimneySaver’s vapor-permeable water repellent is the only one that will allow your chimney to ‘breathe” and the only one we trust for our customers. 

When you schedule waterproofing services with Chief Chimney Services, a technician will treat your masonry with the best products available to chimney professionals. We are certified and trained in its application, and it comes with a 10-year warranty. This product will also not change the look of the masonry whatsoever. It only protects, and it protects well. If there are minor cracks in your masonry, this product will not allow water in. It keeps water molecules out and repels them. This treatment prevents dangerous and destructive water damage that can be costly and time-consuming to repair. 

If you haven’t had your chimney waterproofed by a certified chimney professional, now is the time. The appointment is quick and easy, doesn’t alter your chimney in any way, and lasts year after year. There’s no real reason not to waterproof your chimney! Schedule now, and use your tax refund for important chimney services. Schedule waterproofing services with Chief Chimney Services by calling 631-863-2460 or schedule online.

By John Pilger on March 13th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: | Leave a Comment

Prepare for April Showers – ChimneySaver

Winter is almost over, and the wet and raining, spring days are around the corner. In Suffolk County, you can expect “April showers” to begin in March and last until May. Any chimney damage that has occur this winter will put your chimney at risk for water damage in the spring. Protect your masonry from spring rains by getting a chimney waterproofing with ChimneySaver.

ChimneySaver Saves Chimneys

ChimneySaver is the leader in chimney protection. It has been the chosen company for water-based water repellents for over 20 years. At Chief Chimney Services, we trust ChimneySaver products for their amazing results. This water-based repellent we use for the chimneys of our customers can reduce water penetration by 99.9 percent.

Unlike similar products you find in your local home improvement stores, this repellent is 100 percent vapor permeable. Instead of trapping moisture and gases inside the masonry with a rubbery seal, ChimneySaver water repellent covers the masonry in a vapor permeable membrane. This allows gas and heat to escape, but it also keeps water molecules from getting in. This keeps water from entering your chimney to cause all kinds of damages, cracks, and gaps.

Water-Base V. Solvent-Base

The most popular and oldest solution from ChimneySaver is the water-based solution. However, when other water repellents have been previously used on your chimney, we recommend solvent-based products for your chimney. This works to reverse the rubbery-like seal the previous repellent has created. Using a vapor-permeable product means your chimney can continue to work properly while water is kept out.

ChimneySaver water repellent comes with a 10-year warranty, and it is 100 percent vapor permeable. It won’t change the look of your masonry at all either, while protecting it from efflorescence and stains, mildew and fungus. It also protects your masonry from the freeze/thaw damage, and it is also environmentally friendly.

Get a Chimney Waterproofing from Chief

This product takes two hours to dry, and it needs six hours to dry before rainfall. It’s best to look at the forecast before making your appointment. You will also have to discontinue use of your chimney 24 hours before an appointment. If you’re unsure about when to schedule a waterproofing services, contact Chief Chimney Services. We can help you find the best time and determine the actions that need to be taken for your system.

At Chief Chimney Services, we can fix it all. We do whatever it takes to keep water out of your chimney and to keep your chimney working safely and efficiently. If your chimney is showing signs of water damage, contact our professionals at 631-863-2460 or schedule online before the wet season!

By John Pilger on February 27th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Plan for Masonry Repairs This Spring

Winter is not yet over, but the weather will become milder in the next few weeks, and it’s the perfect time to schedule necessary masonry repairs. You might schedule masonry repairs if you’ve noticed damage to the masonry, if a professional made a recommended repair, or if you’re looking to raise value for a refinancing. Repairing the masonry will help your chimney work better, will make it safer, and will improve the exterior look of your chimney.

Plan For Spring Masonry Repairs with Chief Chimney Services

Planning Spring Repairs

First, you need to know what your masonry needs. Schedule a chimney inspection with a certified professional so that you will have a complete report and repair recommendations. Your masonry problems may be minor or major, and need to be assesed as soon as possible. Your chimney professional can help you determine which repairs need to be first.
Second, get ready for your repair. Schedule an appointment with Chief Chimney Services. On the day of your appointment, discontinue use of the fireplace and clear out the area in front of the fireplace opening. Your chimney professional will make the repairs without leaving a mess or damage behind.
Lastly, it’s important to have the financing for your masonry repairs in order before the work begins. If your masonry damage is from a natural occurrence or a fire, your homeowners insurance may cover repairs. Otherwise, you might use your tax refund, savings, or financing from a bank. The repairs we do will be according to code, guaranteed and will be an investment in your property.

Common Masonry Repairs

At Chief Chimney Services, Inc. we see masonry damage during spring for a variety of reasons.

  • Water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to your chimney system. During winter, it is even worse. The water that enters damaged portions of the masonry freezes and expands, breaking apart the mortar. Then it melts and runs further into the damaged masonry. This process, called the freeze/thaw cycle, repeats through winter and leads to serious damage within the masonry. Tuckpointing, a tedious process of removing damaged mortar and replacing it with new mortar, is used to repair the damage.
  • Poor design or incorrect installation can lead to necessary repairs. This problem is most common when a firebox becomes damaged. Have the firebox repaired before using the fireplace to ensure your safety. Chief Chimney can repair the firebox properly by using fire bricks and refractory mortar to keep the fire in its place.
  • Wear and tear causes masonry damage over time. When the masonry becomes cracked, this minor damage can be repaired through simple methods.

Other factors that can lead to masonry damage include, environmental changes such as extreme temperatures and natural disasters. Let Chief Chimney Services maintain your masonry throughout the year, and complete your masonry repairs this spring.

Call Chief Chimney Services today at 631-863-2460 or schedule online.

By John Pilger on February 15th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned with Chief Chimney Services

Did you know your clothes dryer may be the most dangerous thing in your house? Most homeowners don’t give the clothes dryer a second thought after the purchase, delivery, and installation. The dryer should be serviced annually in order to work properly and to run without threatening a fire. Many homeowners don’t even realize that the dryer should also be professionally installed in order to comply with municipal safety codes and to vent properly. Improper ventilation can cause your dryer to work harder and need to be replaced and serviced more often. The best thing you can do is to have it professionally installed, and have it cleaned at the first sign of a problem.

Signs of a Dirty Dryer Vent
Your dryer will give you signs of a problem before you experience a fire or other malfunction. The most noticeable sign, and possibly the most overlooked, is the dryer that requires more than one cycle to complete the job. Many homeowners chock up the multiple cycles to a worn out unit, but manufacturers say this problem in a dryer that is less than five years old has a clog.
Other signs include:
-The dryer is too hot to the touch
-Moisture and lint fills your laundry room and covers surfaces
-Very little lint is left on the lint trap
-There is no lint or air moving out of the outlet

If you see signs of a dirty dryer vent, it’s important to have it taken care of quickly. The clean and efficient dryer vent will begin saving you money immediately. When you run two to three cycles to dry one load of clothes, you use two to three times more electricity AND shorten the life of your unit by two to three times! These costs add up quickly, but can be stopped in their tracks.

Call Chief Chimney Services
At Chief Chimney Services we strive for excellence and safety with all of our services and all of our calls. That’s why we continue to offer dryer vent services when many homeowners view this task as a DIY weekend job. In our 30 years serving the Suffolk County area, we’ve cleaned countless clothes dryer vents because we know the most important thing–the safest clothes dryers are those that are professionally installed and professionally serviced. We know that in order to be safe, your dryer vent must have the following:
Ducts less than 4” in diameter
Total length of ductwork less than 25 feet
Independent of all other systems
A termination hood that prevents backdrafts
Transitional ducts and flexible ducts

Did you know that your dryer can cause your home to be outside of code compliance? Did you know that you can schedule a dryer vent installation with a Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician (C-DET) from Chief Chimney Services, and your dryer will work properly and efficiently from the get-go.

Call Chief Chimney Services for your dryer vent cleaning and we’ll bring to your home all of the professionalism and expertise we’ve gained over more than three decades of work in our community.

Contact us online [https://chiefchimney.com/contact-us/] or call 631-863-2460.

By John Pilger on January 30th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: | Leave a Comment

The Importance of a Clean Chimney in the New Year

Every twelve months your chimney system needs a good diagnostic appointment. Scheduling annual chimney inspections will keep your chimney at the highest efficiency and safety possible. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that annual inspections and routine sweeps prevent fires and help your chimney last longer. Scheduling in January means a safer chimney for the coldest weeks of winter and a waterproof chimney this spring.

Chief Chimney InspectionsThe importance of a clean chimney in the new year.

At Chief Chimney Services we see chimneys that may be multiple stories high, may be historical, and even very basic. No matter the age or the size, these chimneys need to be inspected annually and brought up to code compliance. Your municipal authorities require it, your homeowners insurance insists upon it, and your safety depends on it. We specialize in thorough inspections of all chimney types, and we utilize NFPA inspections in order to best serve every home and every customer.
Level One – This basic inspection is required annually when there are no changes made to the system or the use of the system. It includes all readily accessible portions of the system, including a visual inspection of the masonry exterior. This inspection assesses basic structural soundness, obstruction, creosote levels, and evaluates the condition and installation of the overall system.
Level Two – When there have been changes made to the system, including new installations or repairs, suspected damage, or natural occurrence which may affect the chimney, a more thorough inspection is required. A level two includes all that in a level one, in addition to a video scan of the interior of the system and accessible portions by attics, crawlspaces, and basements. Special attention is paid in a level two inspection to ensure clearance of combustible materials. Following your level two inspection, you’ll receive a written report and video footage for your records and to reinforce any recommendations from your chimney professional.

Schedule Now

When you schedule now, your chimney can be inspected before your fireplace usage is at its peak. January is the coldest time in many regions, especially here in our service area, and the fireplace is used the most. This means fire risk is higher, but it doesn’t have to be. Schedule a chimney inspection with Chief Chimney Services today. We’ll let you know if there is a problem with any part, component, or a portion of your chimney. We’ll make sure it is in good shape so you’re safe and warm this winter. We’ll determine if your system is properly safe from water penetration and animal intrusion, and we’ll offer a repair plan onsite if it isn’t.

Don’t let your chimney system up to chance. Start the new year with a new inspection that gives you peace of mind and saves you money in accidents and damage.

Call Chief Chimney Services today at 631-863-2460 or request an appointment online.

By John Pilger on January 16th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

The Benefits of Using Wood Burning Appliances

Homeowners across the nation and around the world prefer to have a fireplace, whether they’re renting, owning, or putting in a business. Installing a fireplace brings warmth and comfort to any space, and the magic of a fireplace is only made better when the fire is fueled by wood.

 

Why Choose WoodBenefits of Wood Burning - Suffolk, NY - Chief Chimney Services

Wood fires burn hotter than other fuel types while offering the beautiful yellow flame and crackling fire that every homeowner wants in a fire. A wood fire appliance is especially convenient for homeowners who own their own property with trees to cut themselves. When the wood is easily accessible, it’s an easy decision to make. What about those who don’t have trees to cut? Can they still burn wood? We say yes! Many of our customers who burn firewood do so by purchasing from a local supplier. It is possible to find properly seasoned firewood no matter where you live. You can pay to have it delivered, or can pick it up yourself. Just make sure you check out the wood before you make the purchase and that you’re getting what you pay for.

 

How Much Wood

In today’s economy, it’s rare to find a household which is solely heated with wood. It is more economical to use central heating. Many homeowners keep a fireplace and wood on hand for emergencies, for supplemental or zone heating, and for the ambiance of it. If you burn wood every day throughout winter, you might burn a cord every two weeks. If you burn sparingly, a cord may last all winter. Just be sure you budget appropriately and stay safe and warm, burning only seasoned firewood. Burning green or “wet” wood will lead to more creosote output and cause buildup and more frequent service appointments.

 

Wood-Burning Appliances and Services

Despite being one of the oldest methods of heating, wood fireplaces still require professional maintenance. They are not low-maintenance by any means, and only an experienced chimney professional should make installations, repairs, and routine and necessary maintenance.

Chief Chimney Services services wood fire appliances and fireplaces. If you live in our area and have a fireplace, look no further than Long Island’s #1 choice for comprehensive chimney care. Our staff of master masons, CSIA certified chimney sweeps, and fire experts are code compliant and field-trained. We specialize in historic chimneys, which are mostly wood-burning fireplaces, and can remodel, update, reface, and repair them with precision and ease.

Now is the time to have your wood-burning appliance serviced if you haven’t already. Most house fires occur during winter months. If you have a fire this year, don’t let it be from your chimney. Most chimney fires are 100% preventable and these routine services can save lives.

Schedule a chimney sweep to sweep away dangerous creosote and soot that can drop your efficiency and raise fire risk.
Schedule an inspection to have the chimney system inspected. Our certified sweeps will spot damage and hazards before your home is in danger, and make recommendations and repairs before your minor damage turns to winter damage.

Call and get on the books today at 631-863-2460

By John Pilger on December 28th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule a Holiday Chimney Cleaning for Santa!

Your holiday spirit may be dampened by only one thing: a dirty chimney. Not only can it be ugly, stinky, and unsafe, but it can also ruin the night of the Jolly Elf himself–Santa! Making sure that you get a chimney sweep scheduled now will mean a clean chimney for Christmas.

Why Clean the Chimney
A dirty chimney is a dangerous chimney. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  recommend routine chimney maintenance for the safest and most efficient chimneys. A chimney works all winter long to vent your fires, and the fireplace is most popular during the holiday season. Don’t neglect yours! Schedule a chimney sweep to help your chimney work properly, to have the best and most beautiful fire possible, and the warmth you most want.
Soot and Creosote – If not cleaned away, soot and creosote can build up in the chimney interior, resulting in a dangerous mass that can ignite at any time. A chimney professional can clean these materials away before they become a problem, and can even remove glazed creosote without damaging the liner at all.
Unwelcome Odors – A dirty chimney will undoubtedly produce some unwelcome smells that may ruin your holiday gatherings and festivities. It may start with just the smell, but you soon may have a smoky fireplace that pushes smoke into your home more than heat.
Ashes, Stains, and Difficult Fires – Your hearth is the focal point of your home year-round, but during the holidays it is brought to new life! Your fireplace will be the backdrop to all of your holiday festivities, gatherings, and photo-ops. A good cleaning will remove ashes, prevent stains, and help your fireplace produce a beautiful, vibrant, and warm fire.

Call the Professionals
If you’re ready to invest in your home and your holidays by scheduling a chimney sweep, make sure you hire a certified professional who can get the job done right. At Chief Chimney Services, you can count on the best experience possible. We keep your home clean by using drop clothes, tarps, and a high-powered vacuuming system. We’ll clean your chimney system with brushes and tools that do the job while protecting your system from damage. We’ll also make sure you’re notified of any damages–minor or major–and recommended repairs or services.

It might be Santa in coming weeks, but it’s your family that depends on a well-working fireplace all winter long. Your chimney will only work as well as it’s treated, and we treat chimneys with the best at Chief Chimney Services.

Call and schedule a sweep with one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps today. Call 631-863-2460 or request an appointment online.

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

Chimney Draft and Smoking Problems

The last thing you want this winter is a drafty chimney. It can waste heated air and fuel, cost you dearly in heating bills, and even lead to health issues that can affect your family. If your chimney is smoky or drafty, there is usually a reason why–a problem to be solved–and we can help. Calling a chimney professional is your first step to a well-working chimney system, a warm hearth, and a safe fire. Chief Chimney Services is the #1 choice for comprehensive chimney care in Suffolk County and beyond. We can help diagnose your chimney problems and even help you troubleshoot by phone.

How the Chimney WorksWe can help with chimney drafting and smoking issues

Constant airflow keeps your chimney working correctly. For a fire to burn it must have fuel and oxygen. The fuel is the wood, pellets, or gas and the oxygen is drawn from the home. Some appliances draw air and vent air through a wall. These units will not have smoke or drafting issues because they’re closed units.A traditional fireplace with a draft issues will be difficult to light, keep lit, or will be very smoky. Oftentimes, homeowners can troubleshoot a smoky fireplace themselves, but when it can’t be fixed, it’s time to call a professional.

Common Causes for a Smoky Chimney

1. A Faulty Damper
It may be that your damper is just in the wrong position. However, if you’re using the damper correctly and your fireplace is still smoky, it may be damaged. The damper is made of metal and will rust and deteriorate over time. It can also become clogged with creosote and soot that keeps it from working properly. If the damper is engaged and the fire is burning, the smoke and carbon monoxide is not able to vent properly and can lead to serious health concerns and even death. Let the damper be the first thing you check and schedule a repair right away!
2. Green or “Wet” Firewood
Your firewood should be properly seasoned before burning. Properly seasoned firewood is wood that has been cut and stored for 3 to 6 months before being burned. It is easier to light, burns more completely, and burns warmer than wet wood. If you burn wood that isn’t properly seasoned, it will undoubtedly produce more smoke than heat. That means the heat is not enough to carry the smoke up the chimney.
3. A Neglected Flue
Your chimney will not work as well when it isn’t cleaned on a regular basis. Failing to schedule regular sweeps will allow soot and creosote to build-up in the flue system, slowing airflow, and causing smoke to stall in the system where it cools and falls back into the fireplace. If your chimney isn’t cleaned before burn season, it may also have debris in it that can slow airflow and even ignite a fire in the system.

The problem that causes your fireplace to smoke may be a serious construction issue. The flue may be sized incorrectly, the chimney may be too tall, and there may be serious damage that prevents the draft from working properly. Don’t assume you know the problem. Call the professionals who have seen it all.

Call on Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460.

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