Our Company Blog

How to Build the Best Fires

You may be a pro at building fires. You build the best campfires, have a roaring fire pit in the back yard, and even have a reputation for the best steaks on the charcoal grill. When it comes to building a fire in a hearth, insert, or stove, however, many homeowners find themselves struggling. You don’t have to. We want our customers to have the best experience every winter when it’s time to light the fire and that’s why we offer the best tips and services to help you build the best fire possible.

fireProper Fuel

First thing’s first. If you’re trying to light the wrong type of fuel, your fire will not light. This doesn’t just mean making sure you only use wood in your fireplace. Burning the right fuel means to only burn properly seasoned firewood in your wood-burning fireplace, insert, or stove. Wood that has been freshly cut is considered wet or “green” and will be more difficult to light, burn, and will produce more creosote and smoke than seasoned firewood. In order to ensure your wood is ready to burn in your fire unit make sure it has been cut to length and stored for 3 to 6 months (more for hardwoods). When the wood is ready to burn it will begin to crack, will dull in color, and feel light. The bark will pull away from the wood, and two pieces of wood hit together will produce a hollow sound. When you’re sure your firewood is good for burning you’re ready to build your best fire.

Clean Chimney System

If your chimney hasn’t been cleaned or inspected in the last 12 months, it may not be safe for a fire. Not only that, but a dirty chimney will prevent proper ventilation of the fire which causes venting issues and fire failure. If your fireplace is difficult to light, maintain, and push smoke into your home, there is likely a problem with the chimney that needs to be diagnosed by a professional.

Prime the Flue

During this last part of winter, you may experience extremely low temperatures. Many homeowners don’t use their fireplace all the time, though, and the chimney may be very cold when you attempt to light your fire. When you’re lighting a fire with a cold chimney it can be nearly impossible. What’s more, a newly lit fire will not produce enough heat to properly vent up the chimney, resulting in a smoky house and a weak flame. Before you light a fire with a cold chimney, first light a roll of newspaper and hold it at the flue opening until it burns completely. This little flame will burn well, slowly warming the flue so that your new fire will vent properly.

Building the Fire

We all learned to build a fire upside-down. Don’t believe it? Pay attention here: the typical fire is built with the tinder and kindling on the bottom followed by larger wood on top of that, and then the largest logs go on the top of the pile. The reason why this method is a little “upside-down” is that the tinder and kindling often get smothered before lighting the rest of the pile. This method also forces the flame to rise up while the embers fall down. Professionals see this flaw in the science of the fire and recommend a better way.
For the best fire, we recommend our customers master the top-down burn. When you build a top-down fire your smoke will rise up out and out instead of smothering out your fire. Your embers will fall and ignite the rest of the fire, and the fuel burns more completely, producing less ash and smoke.

To build your top-down burn your wood should be cut to length and ready to burn. The first layer of wood is your largest logs. They should be lying side by side and laying back to front. Don’t press the ends of your logs completely against the back of your fireplace or appliance. Your fire needs airflow to burn properly. The second layer will be smaller logs than the first and laying opposite the first, crossing the first layer. Don’t cramp your wood in too tightly. Continue this in layers upward until you reach ½ the fireplace height. It should be 4 to 5 layers with kindling and tinder at the top. This method should allow you to light the tinder (wood shavings, lint, etc.) and then the fire burns on its own.

If it sounds too good to be true, you’ll have to try it for yourself! Our customers that have tried the top-down burn were not disappointed and experience a more complete burn and healthy fire than ever. The placement of the wood and the layers allow for great airflow in and around the fuel and improved efficiency.

Now that your chimney is properly maintained and your fire is built, make sure you practice fire safety precautions to keep your family safe and warm this winter.

Still having trouble with your fire? Residents of Suffolk County depend on Chief Chimney Services for comprehensive chimney care and you can too. Schedule an appointment online today.

By John Pilger on February 10th, 2020 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on How to Build the Best Fires

Start Your Year Off Right With an Inspection

So you’ve put all of your holiday decorations away. You’re in the thick of winter hibernation but not quite ready for spring cleaning. If you’re a home or business owner with a fireplace, it is worth your safety and investment to schedule an inspection now. Don’t wait until spring for necessary and life-saving maintenance. Chief Chimney Services offers inspections year-round, but if your system hasn’t been inspected in the last year, a winter appointment will keep your home and family safe.

chimney sweep climbing ladderChimney Inspections for Safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that chimney systems that are inspected annually and cleaned regularly are the safest and most efficient. We are in the business of chimney safety and that is why we offer NFPA level 1 and level 2 chimney and fireplace inspections. Your chimney exterior, fireplace or appliance, and interior flue should be inspected annually under the best of circumstances, but there are other reasons to schedule an inspection.

  • After a serious storm, earthquake, or tornado. Any situation that can affect the soundness of your chimney system is a reason to schedule an inspection. Even a situation that doesn’t seem to change anything noticeable can create hidden dangers.
  • After a fire. Whether you have experienced a flue fire that affected the rest of your house or a fire that went unnoticed, it likely caused damage. An inspection by a professional will catch cracks, gaps, voids, and other damage.
  • When a change has been made to the system, including repairs or installations. An inspection must be completed to determine the correct installation and proper chimney function.
  • Before the sale or transfer of property. Because a standard home inspection only includes a general overview of the chimney system, a chimney inspection by a certified professional is the only way to properly determine the state of the chimney system.

If your chimney hasn’t been inspected in the last twelve months, since last burn season, or ever, it’s time to schedule the basic level one inspection to determine safety before use. If you’re already using your fireplace this winter without an inspection, every time you light the fire it puts your home and family at risk. Schedule a basic level one inspection today.

Chimney Inspections in Suffolk County

If you reside in or around Suffolk County and need a chimney inspection, you can join the countless homeowners in Long Island who put their trust in Chief Chimney Services year after year. When your system has been used in the same way with no problems, a level one inspection should be scheduled. This basic level one inspection includes a thorough examination of the readily-accessible portions of the chimney and appliance. It determines basic structural soundness, checks for flue obstructions and creosote levels, and evaluates the condition and installation of the entire system. Scheduling your level one inspection annually prevents problems that lead to a level two inspection—requiring more money, more time, and possible repairs.
In the event of a necessary level two inspection, your technician will do everything included in a level one inspection in addition to all accessible parts of the system, inside and outside. Your technicians may need access to basements or attics and will use video equipment to get an up-close look at the interior of the flue.

Safer Homes in Suffolk County

Winter is made dangerous by dangerous chimneys. House fires are at their peak in January, and the majority of these fires are preventable. Don’t put your home or your property at risk by waiting. Start the New Year off on the right foot by ensuring your home is safe and sound with an annual chimney inspection.

Chief Chimney Services is a family-run company that strives to put families first. Chimney safety is so important to us and the families we serve that all of our technicians are CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps. That means that each of us undergoes training and testing outside of our ongoing work with our customers. In fact, we complete and pass a thorough examination over national fire safety codes and chimney science—a certification that we repeat every three years to stay up to date on the best technologies, advancements, and code changes in the industry.

Do you reside in Suffolk County and need an inspection this year? Once your system is inspected, it is good to go until next year. A clean report from your chimney expert will mean a safer fire this winter, less likelihood of winter damage during these months, and prevent chimney leaks and animal intrusions this spring. Don’t put it off any longer. Schedule your chimney inspection today and save money tomorrow.

While you’re making plans to complete chimney maintenance this winter and spring, don’t forget the other service we provide at Chief Chimney Services. Clean up the chimney after a winter of fires with a chimney sweep. Protect the masonry from water penetration by scheduling waterproofing services before the spring. Planning a spring or summer wedding? You can even schedule a lucky chimney sweep to attend!

Not sure exactly what you need? If you have a chimney system, call Chief Chimney Services and we can help.

By John Pilger on January 20th, 2020 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Start Your Year Off Right With an Inspection

“The Luck of the Chimney Sweep” History and Folklore

Disney’s Mary Poppins features an entire song based on the luck of the chimney sweep. “Good luck will rub off when I shake hands with you” as the song goes. The kisses, the handshakes, even the presence at your wedding will all give you good luck! If you’re in company with a sweep, you’re in lucky company indeed, but who says and why?

Theories and Myths

chimney sweep sitting on chimneyIt is said that royalty first declared chimney sweeps as lucky, but the idea likely goes as far back as comfortable warmth was appreciated. Wherever a chimney sweep left, the fireplace would burn bright, the chimney would be safe, and the family would be warm. However, the earliest believed instance in which the chimney sweep was declared to be lucky was in 1066. King William of Great Britain was pulled out of the way of a runaway carriage by a chimney sweep. Similarly, in the 1700s King George III traveled by carriage when his horses were spooked by a dog. It is said that a chimney sweep stopped the carriage before it could overturn, and thus the king declared chimney sweeps to be lucky. It turns out royals have some sway over luck, as chimney sweeps grew in popularity again when Prince Phillip dashed outside on the day of his marriage to the present Queen Elizabeth to shake the hand of a chimney sweep. As we know through history they have had a blessed marriage and many might attribute that all to luck—the luck of the chimney sweep.

Chimney Sweeps Today

Historically as well as today, the chimney sweep is associated with hearth and home around the world. People preferred warm homes to cold ones and as soon as a fireplace with vents were created in Medieval times, so was the need for a professional to maintain them. Then, as now, the chimney sweep is essential, but the luck of the chimney sweep has also lived on through the centuries.

Today you can hire a chimney sweep to attend your wedding to shake hands with the groom and to lay a kiss on the cheek of the bride. These traditions are fun and sweet and can be performed during the wedding ceremony or at your reception afterward. When you hire a chimney sweep you can expect they’ll attend with a unique sweep uniform, may carry a chimney brush on a rod, and even dust some ash on their nose. You may also prefer that your chimney sweep be dressed for the occasion and they may show up in a traditional American Sweep Uniform and Jacket like one of the collectibles on our website.

If you’re planning a wedding, parade, street fair, banquet, career day, or even health and safety event, consider hiring or inviting a chimney sweep for the occasion. Whatever the event, you could always use the good luck a chimney sweep will bring along!

Chimney Safety

Don’t depend on luck when it comes to your chimney safety. Depend on a chimney sweep! A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep has the knowledge, experience, and the right tools to keep your chimney safe year after year. Your chimney helps your fire to work properly and your fire helps to keep your home warm. The system is designed to last for years and to work safely and efficiently year after year, but it will only do so if used correctly and maintained regularly. Instead of leaving your chimney up to chance, hire a chimney sweep and rest assured that your fireplace is ready for your daily or weekly fire this winter. The well-maintained chimney will work more efficiently, burn less wood, and require less frequent service appointments in the future. Additionally, when you schedule a chimney sweep, the system also gets a thorough once-over by a certified professional who knows where to look and what to look for. A homeowner might overlook signs of chimney leaks or damages for months or even years, but a chimney expert will notice a hazard, big or small. When you schedule services regularly, many problems are caught and corrected before serious damage has occurred, cutting down on repair costs and prolonging the life of the chimney system.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both agree—the chimney sweep is lucky. Chimney systems that are frequented by sweeps are the safest and most efficient ones.

Lucky Chimney Sweeps in Suffolk County

At Chief Chimney Services we not only sell chimney sweep collectibles, but we’ve also been servicing chimneys and fire appliances on Long Island for decades, leading the charge in residential fire safety and community awareness.

Before you light your fire this season, schedule a sweep with one of our technicians. Schedule an appointment online or get your event on the books with one of our lucky sweeps today.

By John Pilger on December 10th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on “The Luck of the Chimney Sweep” History and Folklore

Is Your Chimney Ready for Burn Season?

Do you know for certain that when you light your fireplace this fall, it will burn safely? Are you sure your family will be safe from carbon monoxide danger and other hazards? If you haven’t had your fireplace and chimney system cleaned or inspected before the burn season, the answer is no. It is unsafe to light a fire in a system that has not been serviced in the last twelve months.

Inspections and Sweeps for Safety

snow on rooftopBoth the Nation Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) encourage homeowners to schedule routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections to insure the chimney system is at its safest and most efficient possible. These two organizations make it a mission to bring down the frequency of residential fires by preventing them. That’s right—most fires can be prevented, especially those caused by heat appliances like your fireplace and chimney system.

Your Chimney Sweep Explained

Your chimney sweep may be the most important service you schedule for your chimney system this year and every year. The sweep is the time that a professional gets a look at your system, cleaning it from top to bottom. During a standard chimney sweep, your technician will use drop cloths to protect your furniture and flooring and keep the mess contained with a high-powered industrial vacuuming system. We reach the flue interior with rods and brushes to clean away soot and creosote without damaging the liner.

Maintaining a clean fireplace and chimney system will keep the parts working correctly, air flowing optimally, and cut down on future problems and damages. Additionally, when you schedule a standard chimney sweep with Chief Chimney Services, a basic level one inspection is included!

Your Chimney Inspection Explained

For generations, homeowners have simply peered up the chimney flue with a mirror to check for obstructions. This is a fine way to look for obstructions, but it doesn’t check for anything else! The worst things that can happen to your chimney system are hidden from an untrained eye. When you schedule a chimney inspection with a licensed and certified company, such as Chief Chimney Services, you can rest assured that your entire system has been assessed and that any hazards present have been reported.

The average homeowner won’t recognize a hazard or other problem with the system until the signs are obvious—this means serious damage has likely occurred behind the scenes. For instance, you might not notice a chimney leak until there is water dripping down your masonry or a leak in the ceiling when the leak has been damaging your masonry from the inside out! A certified chimney sweep, by comparison, knows exactly where to look when inspecting a chimney. We check the whole system over from top to bottom, paying close attention to common culprits, and even use top-of-the-line video surveillance equipment to get an up-close look of interior parts.

Safe Chimneys in Suffolk County

For homeowners in and around Suffolk County, Long Island, there is no reason to light an unsafe fire this season. The team of CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps (CCS) offers comprehensive chimney care and maintenance to the area year-round. You can schedule a chimney sweep or level one, two, or three inspections before you light your fire this fall and ensure your system is safe and ready to use for the whole burn season.

What to Schedule Before Burn Season

  • If your chimney system hasn’t undergone any changes, problems, or storms that resulted in damage, you can get by with a level one inspection. This is a general assessment of all readily accessible portions of the system including the interior and the exterior masonry above the roof.
  • If you have changed anything about your fire appliance or chimney system, you need to schedule a level two inspection. This level of inspection is also necessary when the home has experienced significant seismic activity, fire, or tropical storms and tornados and before the sale or transfer of property.
  • A level three inspection is only recommended when a hazard is suspected during a lesser level inspection and will likely result in a repair. You won’t schedule this level of inspection unless your chimney sweep recommends it, but if they do, it is vital that it’s completed and repairs are made BEFORE lighting a fire in the fireplace, insert, or stove.
  • If you didn’t schedule a chimney sweep after the last burn season, it is a good idea to have it done before burning fire this fall. A chimney sweep will clear away in debris left behind from last winter, will check for obstructions and animals, identify damage and hazards, and cut down on odors and inefficiencies.

When you’re ready to schedule services for your fire appliance or chimney system, look no further than your friends at Chief Chimney Services. Call or make an appointment online today.

By John Pilger on November 7th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Is Your Chimney Ready for Burn Season?

How to Find the Best Firewood

When it’s time to light the fire for the fall and winter, it can be easy to get ahead of yourself. Chimney companies get calls every fall about smoky fireplaces which can be blamed on the wrong type of firewood. We get calls throughout winter about creosote buildup. We see unsafe chimneys too often due to unseasoned firewood. Like many other chimney problems, these can be prevented and avoided. Burn only properly seasoned firewood to ensure your fireplace and chimney system works safely and efficiently all season long.

How to Find the Best Firewood - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney ServicesSeasoned Firewood

Your wood-burning fireplace, insert, or stove should only burn properly seasoned firewood. Green or freshly cut wood has too much water content in it to burn well. In fact, when trees are cut, they might be made up of up to 90 percent water! Green firewood burns incompletely takes more wood to reach the desired temperature and creates more creosote, soot, and ash than dry wood. In order to ensure your wood is properly seasoned and dry enough to burn, it’s important to follow a few simple steps.

Preparing Your Firewood

Either you purchase firewood from a local source, or you cut and store it from your own property. If you purchase firewood locally, it’s important to check it for dryness and to make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Never purchase firewood that you haven’t personally seen. Purchasing firewood that isn’t seasoned and ready to burn is a waste of money.

If you cut and store your own firewood, it’s important to do so early enough for the wood to sit and dry for at least 3 to 6 months. Harder wood species can take up to 6 months to a year to dry enough for optimal burning. You can help the wood dry best by cutting and storing it properly.

  • Begin by cutting the wood to length and splitting it.
  • Stack the wood loosely in piles off the ground.
  • Store wood in an area where air can circulate.
  • Arrange stacks on a bed of gravel for water runoff.
  • Cover the top of your woodpile with a loose tarp OR arrange wood bark-side up so that water runs off.

Signs of Seasoned Firewood

Your firewood is ready to burn when it has less than 25 percent water content. You can usually tell when it is dry by the look of it. The wood will dull in color and will begin to crack along the edges. The bark will loosen and may fall away, and the wood pieces will feel light in weight. Finally, if you hit two pieces of the firewood together, it will make a hollow sound instead of a dull thud.

Once your firewood is ready to burn you can light your fire! Before you build a fire, though, make sure your chimney is clean and safe as well.

If you’re not sure that your chimney is ready for a fire, call Chief Chimney Services to schedule a chimney sweep today.

By John Pilger on October 20th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on How to Find the Best Firewood

Why Hire CSIA Certified Sweeps?

Now is the time to prepare your chimney system for winter. A properly maintained chimney will work safely and efficiently for you, last longer, and cost you less in repairs and heated air loss. When you schedule important appointments like your chimney sweep and inspection, you should be sure to hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep (CCS).CSIA certified

CSIA Certification and Training

It’s important to us that chimney and fire systems in our communities of Suffolk County, Long Island are maintained properly so that the frequency of accidental fires is less each year. We believe that one fire is too many, and we do our part by educating the public about chimney safety and offering important services that keep the fireplaces and chimneys in our area as safe as possible. Our professional training and CSIA certification help us to be the best and offer our customers the best chimney sweeps have to offer.

Our CSIA certification means that we spent hours in classroom and field training, completed and passed a 3-hour examination, and we are knowledgeable and experienced in diagnostics and fire safety standards nationwide. As CSIA certified sweeps we are part of a network of industry professionals that help each other and the public bring down the number of fires affecting our communities. We also adhere to a strict Code of Ethics designed to keep homeowners safe from potential scams. Any CSIA member found in violation of this code can have their credentials revoked. In addition to initial certification, we also re-certify as CSIA certified chimney sweeps every three years either by re-examination or continuing education credits. This means our education never stops because this industry never stops changing. Technologies and advancements in diagnostics, repairs, and products mean that we have to continuously learn our trade.

Choosing the Right Professional

When you’re searching for the right chimney professional to get your chimney in shape for fall, look no further than the experts at Chief Chimney Services. We service a wide swath of Long Island zip codes and if you’re not in our service area we will try our best to find someone to service your system. Our priority is safety and comfort this season, and maintenance now means safety later. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFP), the safest and most efficient chimney systems are those that are cleaned regularly and inspected annually. If your system hasn’t been serviced yet and you’re looking to use it this fall, call Chief Chimney Services today. We offer routine preventative services, inspections, repairs, installations, and general diagnostics.

If you own or rent in the Suffolk County area, you can reach a chimney and fire expert at 631-863-2460 or make an appointment online.

By John Pilger on October 10th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Why Hire CSIA Certified Sweeps?

Bellfire and Rumford Chimney Installations

Chief Chimney Services doesn’t stop at chimney care and maintenance. We also install chimneys with expert care and professionalism! Specifically, we specialize in installing the brands we sell and the brands we love—Rumford and Bellfire.

Expert Chimney InstallationChimney being serviced by man on roof

Not all chimneys are constructed of brick and mortar and not all stoves have a stovepipe like something you would imagine from a Little House on the Prairie episode. It’s important to hire only a certified professional to complete chimney installations. We at Chief Chimney Services take care to learn the ins and outs of installation, care, and maintenance, as well as federal, state, and community fire safety codes. When you hire Chief Chimney Services for your install, you can rest assured your system will be ready for use when you need it this fall.

  • Rumford Fireplace Installation – The fireplace is usually the focal point of any space, but the Rumford Fireplace is even more stately and beautiful than others. These units are specially designed with radiant heat in mind and should be installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications for long life and proper use. They fit nicely in modern homes due to their large, open-hearth designs. When you choose a Rumford fireplace, your fire will be less smoky because the deep firebox and streamlined throat design directs the smoke directly up the flue. A professional installation means a flue that is sized exactly for your fire’s capacity and drafting issues will be a thing of the past.
  • Bellfire Fireplace Installation – Designed in the same way as Rumford fireplaces, Bellfires are constructed in pre-cast pieces and allow for an easier, quicker, and less labor-intensive installation which means less money on the part of the homeowner. The Rumford design which utilizes angles to reflect heat into the room from the back of the fireplace is accomplished with ceramic, lined in foil. This protects combustibles in the home and helps the fire burn completely, raising efficiency and safety. These fireplaces are so efficient that the flue doesn’t have to be as large, so installation is easier and more cost-efficient.

These fireplaces are larger than life, but while the design itself uses a large fireplace opening for optimum heating, you can still have a Bellfire fireplace no matter the size of your space. We can even install a Bellfire fireplace into an existing masonry or metal firebox. If you’re looking to upgrade your old fireplace for efficiency, ask one of our professionals about a Bellfire fireplace today.

Chief Chimney Services specializes in historic homes and chimneys, and Rumford and Bellfire fireplaces are beautiful in any historic home in our area. Not only that but if your historic fireplace is not in great shape, we can install a Bellfire in your damaged fireplace, restoring it to safe and proper function. Our technicians are CSIA certified and ready to take your call.

As summer turns to fall, we love to bring fire into the homes of our customers and friends. Call us today at 631-863-2460 or contact us online.

By John Pilger on September 26th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Bellfire and Rumford Chimney Installations

Fire Investigation Services

It isn’t just old chimneys that need routine care! In our historic region of New England, we specialize in historic chimneys for good reason. In order to provide the best services for all of our customers, we offer chimney and fireplace consultation services in addition to a full selection of chimney care and maintenance.

Chief Chimney, Service for Decades fire

With over 30 years of experience, our team at Chief Chimney Services continues to be the choice for our friends and neighbors in and around Suffolk County New York. Our collective experience combined with our thorough training, examinations, and credentials make us the best. Our team can help troubleshoot and diagnose problems with your chimney and fireplace system that have been present but overlooked for years. We take care of chimneys from top to bottom and can sweep and inspect your chimney system year-round.

Fire Investigation When Disaster Strikes

Having a professional investigate the cause of your fire may be the furthest thing from your mind when you have a chimney-related fire. However, this is an important service that we provide for our existing customers and new ones alike. Scheduling fire investigation services after a chimney fire can help you better handle your insurance company and attorney and offer advice when a very stressful situation can often cloud judgment. During a fire investigation, our technician will determine the definitive cause of the fire. This type of service is often called an origin and cause investigation. It takes place after a fire is extinguished, and can’t be completed by just anyone.

The Process of Fire Investigation

First, a fire occurs. Many flue fires may go out on their own due to lack of fuel or oxygen. About 15 percent of reported house fires are a result of heating appliances, and these are the types of fires we want to help you understand better. After a fire is extinguished, an investigator determines first if the fire is the result of a crime. Then, the investigator looks at the remains after a fire to reconstruct the events which led up to the fire. Through this process, a fire investigator can determine the origin of the fire (location, appliance, etc.) and the cause (damage, misuse, etc.). In most cases, house fires are preventable.

NFPA’s Top Ten Preventable Causes of U.S. House Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are ten preventable causes of most U.S. house fires. While we can’t help you with all of these, we want you to be aware!

  • Cooking
  • Kids playing with fire
  • Smoking
  • Heating
  • Electrical
  • Candles
  • Fireplace
  • Dryers
  • Flammable products
  • Christmas trees

When it comes to house fires, you can prevent them and we want to help. While we offer fire investigation services, we would much rather meet you—and your chimney—before an accidental fire occurs!

If you reside in the Suffolk County area and own or rent a home with a chimney system, we can help to prevent devastating accidental fires by completing routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections. These important appointments keep chimney and fireplace systems efficient, safe, and long-lasting.

Schedule a chimney sweep or inspection today. Call our office at 631-863-2460 to meet one of our experts and plan a consultation or investigation today.

By John Pilger on September 12th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Fire Investigation Services

Common Causes of Chimney Leaks

So you think you have a chimney leak? You may see a leak—in your fireplace itself or in another part of the house. You may hear dripping in an unseen portion of your chimney. Perhaps you haven’t found any evidence of a leak at all but smell musty odors coming from your fireplace this summer. You’re right! These are all indications that you have a chimney leak, but what has caused it? Where is the water coming from?

You may be tempted to call a roofer or general contractor when you suspect a leak in the house, but when you own a home with a chimney system, call the chimney expert first. Your chimney leak is more than likely the cause of your house leak. We’ll help you figure out what’s causing the chimney leak.

Diagnosing a Chimney Leak

chimneys on roofsWe get calls about chimney leaks year-round, but none more than the spring and summer. During this time of year, when the fireplace is out of use, homeowners notice things they usually don’t. When you notice something is “off” about your chimney and suspect a leak, it’s time to call in the chimney professionals. At Chief Chimney Services, we can diagnose a leaky chimney in one appointment, usually without tools and without fuss.

Flashing

The first thing we check when diagnosing a leaky chimney is the flashing because it is the most common cause of chimney leaks. The flashing is made up of many thin sheets of metal that are placed strategically around the base of the chimney. The intersection of the roof and chimney is the most vulnerable part of the system. If the flashing isn’t installed properly, there is no way to prevent a chimney leak.

It’s important to have your flashing installed by a chimney professional. Can a general contractor or roofer install flashing properly? We hope so, but we can’t guarantee it. Chimney experts are extensively trained and experienced in flashing installation. We install flashing properly and leave no exposed nails. It requires no sealant or roofing tar of any kind.

Crown

The chimney crown can become damaged over time due to weather and sun exposure. Unfortunately, crowns often become damaged prematurely when they aren’t constructed properly. Our team at Chief Chimney Services can repair a damaged crown with a special industrial product designed to close gaps and cracks and restore the surface of the crown completely. For severe crown damage, we can construct a new crown to proper specifications for the best protection.

Chimney Cap

Another common cause of chimney leaks is the chimney cap. It could be damaged or missing, and water is allowed directly into the flue opening. We sell and install quality caps to protect your chimney system from water and animal intrusion. If you want complete protection, especially during the offseason, you can opt for a top-sealing damper instead of a cap. This damper closes with an airtight seal and protects your flue like nothing before.

If you have a chimney leak, it’s one of three things: the flashing, the crown, or the cap. In some cases, masonry damage may lead to a leak, and we can help determine if that is the case when you schedule with us.

By John Pilger on August 29th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Common Causes of Chimney Leaks

Save Energy & Money with an Energy Top Damper

Every year, homeowners look for ways to cut costs, save money, and improve the look of the bottom line. You might look to improve the value of your property, maybe refinance for a lower interest rate. Maybe all you want is a cheaper electricity bill. No matter what your goal is, we can help. Your chimney and fireplace system can save you money, and the solution is simpler than you could guess.

Throat Dampers

diagram of a homeMost masonry chimneys have a throat damper installed at the base of the flue. These dampers control airflow while a fire is burning in the firebox, but they do nothing against drafts. Because of the material, it’s made of (metal) and its location (the throat of the chimney), the throat damper is susceptible to damage including rust and corrosion over time. Instead of replacing your damaged throat damper with another one like it, consider a top seal damper—one that lasts longer and saves you money!

Top Seal Damper

The top seal damper is also called an energy top damper because of the incredible money it saves for homeowners. We recommend it to everyone because of the many benefits it offers.

  • Airtight seal – The top seal damper closes with an airtight seal, which prevents water from entering the flue at all. This is the most protection that you can possibly give your chimney. The airtight seal not only prevents water damage, but it also stops air loss that wastes energy and money. As soon as you install an energy top damper, you will start to save up to 75 percent on your utilities year-round. Your conditioned air will not escape during the summer and your heated air will not be wasted during the winter.
  • Chimney cap – Your energy top damper doubles as a chimney cap, with a metal mesh that prevents animal intrusion and extinguishes sparks. Acting as a chimney cap, the energy top damper will also keep all types of precipitation out of the chimney flue.
  • Easy installation and use – The energy top damper is as easy to install as a standard chimney cap and just as easy to use as a throat damper. The damper is engaged by a cord that reaches from the damper to the hearth opening. When the fire is completely out, the damper can be closed to protect the chimney completely. Closing the damper while a fire is still smoldering can be very dangerous. Make sure to follow fire safety precautions at all times.

Invest in Energy Top Damper

When it’s time to replace your old, worn-out throat damper, call Chief Chimney Services for the best products and services. We recommend an energy top dampers for the best care of your chimneys. They save you money and help your chimney to last a lifetime. Invest in an energy top damper now and you can save money in repairs and services later. Call 631-863-2460 to schedule an appointment with Chief Chimney Services. Ask one of our experts about energy top dampers today!

By John Pilger on August 14th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Save Energy & Money with an Energy Top Damper