Our Company Blog

Chimney Masonry Damage and Repair

Your chimney may be the most important system in your home or business. While the fireplace creates a welcoming ambiance to family, guests, and customers, it is the job of the chimney to keep the building safe, the air unpolluted, and allowing the fire to burn effectively. Your chimney is not only a working system, but it can also be a great cosmetic asset to your property. A long winter can bring lots of damages to the masonry, which will affect the working condition of the chimney and how it looks! If you have masonry damage, it’s time to schedule repairs.

Common Masonry Damage

Chimney Masonry Damage and Repair - Smithtown NY - Chief Chimney Services, Inc.At Chief Chimney Services, we’ve spent the last three decades serving a large area of Suffolk County, Long Island, and New York. Our customers endure long, harsh winters – mineral corrosion due to proximity to the ocean and more. When spring arrives, we receive multitudes of calls about chimney inspections and visual damages that need to be addressed. We always make these repairs promptly, because a small amount of damage today can develop into a devastating structural damage rather quickly.

  • Spalling Masonry – When the mortar of a chimney becomes cracked, it gives space for water to enter and damage the masonry from the inside out. Our solution for spalling masonry is a process called tuckpointing or repointing, in which we remove the affected mortar and bricks, replacing them with new mortar of equal strength, consistency, and color as the existing mortar. This will ensure the repaired masonry is strong and long-lasting. And you will end up with not only a safe but a beautiful chimney!
  • Chimney Leaks – Oftentimes, a chimney leak isn’t noticeable until spring when temperatures begin to rise, which causes the water in the chimney to thaw and move through the masonry. A chimney leak can damage more than just the chimney, but it can also cause ruined walls, floors, furniture, and more! At Chief Chimney Services, we are capable of  diagnose your chimney leaks, repair the damage, and stop the leak! Many chimney sweeping companies, general contractors, and handymen will repair the damage, failing to fix the root of the problems. We repair your leak and then waterproof the chimney for good measures.
  • Flue Fire, Animal Intrusion, Liner Damage – You may have liner damage if you’ve had a flue fire, if an animal has occupied your chimney, or if you’ve noticed pieces of clay tile in your fireplace. If your masonry feels hot to the touch, you may also have a problem with the liner. At Chief Chimney Services, we specialize in chimney relining. We can either replace your liner completely or reline the flue with HeatShield Cerfractory Flue Sealant, the most innovative method to restore or repair your chimney flue.

Whether your chimney damage is a result of a fire, a storm, an earthquake, or merely wear-and-tear over time, Chief Chimney Services can get it back into top shape this spring. Scheduling in the spring means you’ll have plenty of time for an inspection and necessary repairs to get it ready to go for fall. Don’t let spring showers or summer humidity do further damage to your masonry – call Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460 or make an appointment online!

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

How Your Chimney Cap Should Function

The cap may be the most important part of the chimney system-especially in springtime. It essentially protects the chimney flue from the top-down. Chimney caps come in varying styles depending on the climate, wind, and more. They also may double as a damper (top-sealing damper) and may even allow bird habitation. Your cap is the hat that protects the flue opening, and it seems, the cap itself wears many “hats”.

How Your Chimney Cap Should Function Image - Suffolk NY - Chief ChimneyThe Cap Keeps the Weather Out

No matter what kind of chimney cap you have on your chimney, it should keep the weather out. The primary job of the chimney cap is to prevent precipitation from going into the flue. Most caps are designed to let the water run directly off the cap, and onto the crown where it runs off and onto the flashing and roof. These parts of the chimney system work together to prevent water damage that can devastate a chimney.
If you live in an area with high winds such as in a hurricane area, or near the Great Lakes you may find that most chimney caps have wind deflectors. These not only keep water out, but also wind that may carry water, may affect the draft, and more.

The Cap Keeps Animals Out

If a critter can climb onto your roof, you can bet it can also get into your chimney flue if it isn’t capped. Your chimney cap should prevent animal intrusion, including small types of birds, chipmunks, and even larger ones like raccoons. Chimney caps keep even the smallest animals from sheltering in your chimney, bringing their nesting materials, and leaving behind flammable debris and droppings. If you have an animal in your flue, you may need to call a professional for a humane removal. Even if the animal gets out of the flue on its own, it likely left behind claw marks, droppings, feathers, fur, and other materials that do not belong. You’ll need a chimney sweep to clean this material away-and you’ll need a chimney cap installed!

In some cases, like when a chimney swift is allowed into your chimney, there isn’t a thing you can do to remove them. Chimney swifts are federally protected, and they nest in chimneys (the next best thing to hollow trees, which is their natural habitat). These tiny birds will nest in an uncapped chimney and cannot be removed or harmed until they leave on their own, which can take up to 90 days! It’s best to prevent them from arriving in the first place.

The Cap Keeps the Fire In

Finally, your chimney cap will prevent stray sparks from escaping the flue and igniting other materials. Most roofs have dried leaves and branches, and shrubs and grasses are dry from a long winter and may be flammable. The chimney cap sends these sparks right back down to the fire, preventing a possible devastating fire.

Does your chimney have a cap? You’d be surprised how many new homeowners find their chimney without a cap. Others may not have noticed the cap blown off or damaged during winter. Make sure your chimney is capped by looking it over regularly.

Call Chief Chimney Services for more information about repairs and installations of caps and more.

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

The Importance of Good Chimney Flashing

Good Chimney Flashing is ImportantWater can be a serious problem for your chimney system, and as such, many parts of the chimney system are specifically designed to prevent water infiltration. If these parts are damaged, installed incorrectly, or missing, it WILL result in a chimney leak. Chimney professionals are so sure about this that most will check the chimney first, no matter where the leak occurs in the house. At Chief Chimney Services, if there is evidence of a chimney leak, we will check the flashing first.

Flashing

Flashing is the shiny metal you may see along the intersection of the chimney and roof. It is composed of many overlapping layers of thin metal and protects against water by directing it away from the chimney/roof intersection. The flashing should be professionally installed because it is a tedious job that only an experienced professional can understand or do properly. The flashing should be placed according to the roof slant and material, as well as hide any nails that are used during installation. Additionally, high-quality flashing will not require sealant of any kind and will lay flat against both the roof and the chimney. If the flashing is improperly installed, it can let water seep directly into the chimney and home, can be easily affected or shifted by winds and animals and may cost dearly in the long run.

Flashing Damage

When a chimney leak is caused by faulty flashing, there are a few reasons this can occur:

  • Improper installation. It may not seem like a big deal, but improper installation can lead to serious issues with your chimney system. Do not allow an amateur to install your flashing. Instead, hire a licensed, certified, and experienced chimney sweep company for all of your installations and services.
  • Animal tampering. Animals may scratch at your flashing, causing it to bend or shift. Once flashing is moved or separated at all from the installation point, it will continue to shift until it leaves the entire space vulnerable.
  • Strong winds and storms. Even properly installed flashing may shift due to high winds, especially during a storm. Extreme winds can blow your entire flashing from your roof if the conditions are right. Again, this leaves the entire area vulnerable.
  • House shifting/settling. Over time, structures shift and settle. This can cause flashing to separate from the roof even when it’s installed correctly. This settlement can occur over long periods of time, or quickly due to earthquakes. If your home experiences an earthquake or similar occurrences such as a tornado or hurricane, you should schedule an inspection to ensure all the parts of your system are working together to protect the system.

Preventing Water Damage with Flashing

While the chimney cap is the chimney’s first defense against water damage, the flashing is the last. Even when the cap and crown are in place and in good shape, if the flashing is faulty, there will be a leak. Many homeowners won’t notice a leak until it has already caused extensive damage behind the scenes.

Don’t hesitate. Spring is coming, and with it will come April showers that can lead to May chimney repairs if you can’t count on your flashing. Make an appointment with Chief Chimney Services today and get your flashing checked out before spring.

Ask about our other waterproofing services as well.

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

Resolving Chimney Smoke and Drafting Problems

Your chimney should work for you. Like other systems in your home, you may take it for granted until it doesn’t work. Your chimney will work fine for a long time, venting your fire as it should, smoke escaping out the top of the flue. As long as it’s working, many homeowners don’t worry about scheduling routine services. The biggest thing to remember about the chimney system, however, is that when it works, it’s good. When it doesn’t work, it’s very bad.

Dangers of a Smoky Fireplace Resolving Chimney Smoke & Drafting Image - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

If you find that your fireplace smokes when you’re lighting the fire, especially in a cold chimney, it’s not a huge deal. If a little smoke escapes your stove when you open it to load in more wood, that isn’t a huge deal. When you have a persistent smoke issue and the damper is in the open position, it’s a problem. When the smoke pushes into your room consistently, and visibly, you have a problem. Your inefficient chimney isn’t just a fire hazard at this point. It’s also a hazard to your health.

Troubleshooting

Sometimes a smoky fireplace is a simple problem with a simple solution. If the chimney is cold, it can be difficult for the smoke to rise up the chimney. If the fire is hot and has been burning for an hour or more, this is likely not the issue. It may be that you have a draft problem, meaning your house is too tightly sealed and cannot draw air from it to create a draft. If this is the issue, it can be resolved simply by cracking a window or opening a door on an opposite side of the house. Other appliances may also interfere with the chimney’s draft. You may also try shutting these off to see if there is a difference in the chimney’s performance.

If you have tried troubleshooting with no luck, are burning dry, seasoned wood, and your damper is in the correct position, and you still have a smoky fireplace, it’s time to call a professional.

Chief Chimney Services Offers Diagnostic Inspections

At Chief Chimney Services, the safety and comfort of our customers in Suffolk County is our #1 priority. Fire is not the only safety concern when it comes to fireplaces. Smoke inhalation can cause respiratory issues over time, sudden respiratory distress in asthmatics, and carbon monoxide poisoning in people of all ages. If you think you or a family member has inhaled too much smoke, seek medical attention.

If you haven’t resolved your smoky chimney/fireplace yourself, you can count on Chief Chimney Services. One of our technicians will come in and assess the entire chimney system for failing parts. It may be a simple issue that was overlooked during construction or something that occurred over time. If it’s a chimney sizing issue, it can be resolved with a new, appropriately-sized liner. We can replace it if it’s a faulty damper. If there is a solution to your chimney problem, the Chief can resolve it.

Contact Us

Call Chief Chimney Services to handle your smoky fireplace in Suffolk County. Call 631-863-2460, or schedule online.

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

The Importance of a Clean Fireplace for Valentine’s Day

We are halfway through the cold season, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s still important to maintain the chimney properly, however—even if you’re using it less, and even if it is working fine. If your chimney system is broken or damaged, you may not notice it until it’s too late, and serious damage has occurred. Besides the obvious safety perks of a clean chimney, you may also find that a clean chimney is just what you need to make your Valentine’s Day warm, comfortable, and romantic.

Why Sweep Your Chimney A Clean Fireplace for Valentine’s Day Image - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

In order to keep your family and property safe, it’s important to keep up with routine maintenance. Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend routine sweeps and annual inspections for the most efficient and safe chimney system possible—year-round. When your chimney is cleaned, there isn’t anything in the flue to obstruct airflow, so the smoke rises out as it should. The alternative is that the air slows, and smoke stalls, depositing soot and creosote on the flue walls and even pushing smoke back into the house. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous. Carbon monoxide poisoning often goes unnoticed. If you have a smoky chimney, and you’re troubleshooting to no avail, contact a chimney professional and schedule a chimney sweep today.

Most chimney sweeps include a level 1 inspection that assesses the readily accessible portions of your chimney system. This inspection will identify any hazards that may put your family and home at risk. A level 1 inspection is recommended annually and may be required by your homeowner’s insurance. Kill two birds with one stone, and have your chimney sweep completed now.

The Danger of an Unclean Chimney

If your chimney continues to work while dirty, there are many things that can occur.

You may experience:

  • a smoky fireplace while the fire is lit,
  • a drafty or stinky fireplace while it’s not lit,
  • or may even have a fire that devastates your household with injuries and loss of property or life.

A dangerous chimney is no laughing matter, but it can also cramp your style for your big Valentine’s date.

Dirty Chimneys Stink

When the chimney is dirty, it can stink—actually smell! If you notice your chimney has an odor, you may have a dirty chimney or a bigger problem. The best solution is to schedule a chimney sweep with a professional. If the chimney isn’t cleaned, you may also have difficulty lighting or keeping a fire burning, reaching the desired temperature, or burning too much wood. All of these issues can be avoided completely with a chimney sweep, and there’s still time.

You can schedule a chimney sweep with Chief Chimney Services now, and we’ll have your system cleaned before Valentine’s Day!

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

The Freeze/Thaw Cycle and Your Chimney

Your chimney is built to last, but it will only last if it’s properly used and maintained. In fact, one of the worst things that can happen to your chimney is 100 percent preventable—water damage. Your chimney may be the largest system in your home, but it still goes forgotten in many cases because a large portion of it is hidden from view. Your chimney may continue to work while neglected or abused, but it will work less efficiently, and maybe even work with hazardous damage. A damaged chimney may work for a while, but will eventually lead to serious loss of property or even loss of life.

The Working Chimney The Freeze-Thaw Cycle and Your Chimney - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

The thing that makes your chimney work so well (even while neglected and abused) is the very thing that makes it susceptible to serious damage. Your masonry is porous, allowing gases to escape and remaining unaffected by temperature fluctuations of the chimney structure. However, if you don’t take precautions, this porous material can be seriously damaged in one winter season.

Water and Your Chimney

All of the materials that make up masonry are adversely affected by water. If the chimney cap, flashing, or crown are damaged and not repaired, water will penetrate the system, damaging it from the inside-out. Water can rust damper assemblies, door handles, hinges, and attachments. It can leak into and cause leaks in ceilings, walls, and floors, can weaken structural beams, and even deteriorate the foundation.

Water and Winter Weather

A leaky chimney doesn’t have to start from the inside. Masonry can become chipped or cracked over time. Water can seep into these spaces as rain falls or snow melts, and when temperatures drop, this water freezes. When the water freezes, it expands, breaking apart the masonry (causing more damage). When a fire is lit and the chimney warms up, the water melts and moves further into the damaged masonry. This freeze/thaw cycle may continue throughout the season. The results may be:

  • spalling masonry,
  • damaged liner,
  • unsound chimney structure.

Chimney Maintenance and Damage Prevention

In order to prevent chimney damage and ensure your system is safe for another season of burning, schedule an inspection with a professional. During a NFPA chimney inspection, you can expect a full assessment of your system top-to-bottom. If there is a problem with your flashing, cap, crown, or masonry, it can stop there. Many chimney issues can be dealt with inexpensively when they’re caught in time.

If your chimney system is in good shape, we can add further protection with waterproofing services. ChimneySaver water-repellent is a watertight, vapor-permeable chemical that doesn’t change the look of the masonry, but keeps water out. Schedule waterproofing services now, and avoid water damage later. The freeze/thaw cycle that can damage your chimney will not be possible if water can’t penetrate the masonry.

Call Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460 or schedule an appointment online to make sure your chimney is ready for freezing weather.

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

Schedule a New Year’s Chimney Inspection

Although the Bomb Cyclone is bringing freezing temperatures now and throughout January, you have likely been using your fireplace for several weeks. In fact, your fireplace and chimney may be in need of a little maintenance before you spend the rest of the season burning fires. Don’t wait until spring to schedule a chimney sweep or inspection. Schedule services now so that you can prevent damage, carbon monoxide intrusion, fire, and more. Schedule a New Year’s Chimney Inspection - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

Why Schedule an Inspection?

Both the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections for a safe and efficient chimney and fireplace. Neglecting this type of maintenance is exactly what causes a chimney to fall into disrepair, become unsafe, and can lead to leaks, fire, and damage to the home, but also to the family’s health. Schedule an inspection now and rest assured that your chimney is ready for the second half of winter. When your certified chimney sweep gives you the A-okay, it means all the parts of your chimney are installed and working properly, there are no visible hazards, and it’s safe for regular use.

When Do You Need an Inspection?

Homeowners have some freedom to decide when to schedule a chimney inspection. They are recommended annually, but if you haven’t had yours inspected this fall or winter, do it now. Don’t wait! Every fire you light in your fireplace puts your family at risk when you haven’t had it inspected in the last 12 months.
Other reasons to schedule an inspection include:

  • Before selling or transferring property ownership
  • After a change is made to the system (repair, installation, change in fuel-type)
  • After a natural disaster such as tornado, hurricane, or earthquake
  • After a flue fire

Who Can Do Your Inspection?

Only a certified chimney sweep should complete a chimney inspection. The home inspector before a real estate sale does not know how to properly assess a chimney system, nor does a general contractor. A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep can complete a CSIA inspection, offer a professional report, and sign it with authority. Your realtor, lawyer, and homeowners insurance provider will look for the CSIA signature, which is the industry standard for chimney care. If you hire an amateur, their work will not be insured, their business may not be licensed, and your homeowner’s insurance may not pay-out if you have to file a claim.

Choose the best chimney sweep company to work on your chimney so that you know the work is done correctly. When you choose Chief Chimney Services, you can depend on us for all of your comprehensive chimney needs. We offer chimney sweeps, inspections, repairs, installations, and more. Schedule with Chief

By John Pilger on January 15th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Fireplace Smoking Problems

The last thing you want to experience on a cold winter’s night is a smoky fireplace. A smoky chimney doesn’t have to be wafting clouds of smoke out into your room. It can also smell strongly of smoke, cause respiratory distress, and produce excessive smoke inside the fireplace that hides the flames. A smoky fireplace can take on different forms, but one thing is for certain—it shouldn’t occur at all.

Reasons Your Chimney Smokes

Draft ProblemsFireplace Smoking Problems Image - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

  • Your chimney should vent the smoke from your fireplace, but to do so requires an updraft to carry smoke and gases up and out of the house. The heat from the fireplace should create the push the air needs to rise, but if the chimney system is competing with other draft-producing appliances in the house, it may not vent properly.
  • Troubleshoot: Crack a window or door in another part of the house. Do not run large appliances or ceiling fans while the fireplace is going or when fireplace doors are open.

Airflow Problems

  • It may be that you have an obstruction in your flue. Your chimney may have a creosote buildup that has become a dangerous obstruction. It may be filled with debris, or the damper may be stuck in an engaged position, closing off the flue opening and preventing airflow.
  • Troubleshoot: Look into your chimney with a mirror to check for obvious obstructions. If the flue is closed to airflow, DO NOT ATTEMPT A FIRE until it has been assessed by a certified chimney sweep.

Incorrect Fuel

  • Burning the wrong type of fuel in your fireplace can cause smoke problems. You should only burn properly seasoned wood in your fireplace. It should be cut and dried so that it burns cleanly. Green/fresh wood will smoke more, as well as leaves, pine cones, pine needles, clothes, and trash.
  • Troubleshoot: Plan ahead and cut or buy wood with adequate time for it to season. Check the wood’s dryness by inspecting it visually before burning.

Cold Chimney

  • If your chimney is cold, your fire is battling a great deal of cold air. The cold air in your chimney will fall as the warm air from your fire attempts to rise. The cold air will win, push smoke into your house, and make it difficult to light the fire and keep it lit.

Troubleshoot

  • Prime your chimney by lighting a rolled newspaper and burning it completely while holding it at the mouth of the chimney. This small amount of heat slowly warms the air in the chimney. By the time the newspaper is burned completely, your chimney should be ready to vent your fire.

Contact Us

There are other reasons that your chimney may not be venting properly. If you’ve attempted to troubleshoot and still get the same results, it’s a good idea to stop using your fireplace until a professional can assess it. There may be unseen problems with your chimney system that can put your family and home at risk if not addressed. Schedule a chimney inspection with Chief Chimney Services, and you won’t be waiting long. Chief Chimney Services offers the best services in the Suffolk County Area—and in a timely manner. Call us today at 631-863-2460 or schedule an appointment online now.

By John Pilger on December 29th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Keep a Clean Chimney for Santa

Your fireplace may be the most popular aspect of your home this season. The adults can relax by the fire after the kids go to bed, use it as a backdrop for countless festivities and photographs, and even save on utility costs by lighting a fire for zone heating. The real moment for the fireplace to shine is Christmas morning, though. Stocking stuffers, gift exchanges, and family photos are just the beginning. The Jolly Elf himself makes his entrance by way of the fireplace! If you have a fireplace, you are one step ahead of everyone else, but it’s more important than ever to make the experience great for everyone (including Santa Clause), by keeping the chimney clean.

Routine Maintenance Keep a Clean Chimney for Santa - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

You might have your dream fireplace, but the best way for it to work like a dream is to keep it well-maintained. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) both recommend regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections to keep your chimney system working safely and efficiently. Keeping up with this maintenance will make your chimney system work well year after year. The damaged, broken, and forgotten chimney is one that has been neglected. Make sure your fireplace is in tip-top shape for Christmas and all year-round by scheduling your chimney sweep now. Chief Chimney Services offers chimney sweeps and inspections year-round, to best serve our customers in Suffolk County area.

Why Clean Your Chimney

A clean chimney is a chimney that works well. When you schedule a chimney sweep with Chief Chimney Services, a certified technician will come into your home, and clean your chimney from top to bottom, removing all creosote, ash, and soot from the fireplace and flue.
While we’re there, we’ll also:

  • Check the flue for cracks or obstructions that can affect airflow and cause a drop in efficiency
  • Check the cap and crown for damage that can cause water damage and allow animals into the flue
  • Check that the damper is functioning properly so that drafts don’t affect your chimney, waste your central heat, or cause smoke to push into your house
  • Check the masonry for water damage, cracks, or gaps that can cause a drop in efficiency, raise the risk of fire, and put your family at risk for carbon monoxide intrusion
  • Check the firebox for damage

Besides checking traditional wood-burning masonry fireplaces and appliances, we also specialize in gas and oil-burning appliances.

Contact Us

It’s not that Santa needs the cleanest chimneys possible. It’s that he, like Chief Chimney Services, wants every boy and girl and family to be safe and warm this holiday season. When you hire a professional to clean your chimney system, you will be your safest. You will have less issues with your fireplace, and you will need less services in general. Give yourself a Christmas gift this year, and hire Chief Chimney Services to clean your chimney.

Call 631-863-2460 or schedule online.

By John Pilger on December 7th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Avoiding Holiday Chimney Fires

During the holidays, homeowners take pride in their homes more than ever. Decorating, hosting parties, and relaxing in a clean, beautiful home is the best way to spend the holidays. If you have a fireplace, you are a step ahead of many who wish they had a crackling fire to open gifts by and to hang stockings above. Your fireplace is a great asset, and a coveted one, so make sure it stays that way and does not become a liability.

Chimney Fires

Avoiding Holiday Chimney Fires - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney ServicesChimney fires go undetected quite a bit, igniting and burning off the available fuel, running out of air, and burning out. However, in some cases, a chimney fire can go from being a minor mishap to a devastating disaster in a matter of moments. What makes the difference?

A Dirty Chimney

When your fire is burning, byproducts are released that need venting. Your chimney vents smoke, soot, particles, and tar fog up the flue and out of the house. As these materials rise up the chimney, some amount of it is left on the flue walls—this is called creosote. Creosote is not a major issue if your chimney system is cleaned regularly. It’s easily cleaned away, but can become a problem if allowed to buildup into what’s called “glazed creosote”. Creosote consists of mostly tar, making it flammable. When left in the flue it heats and melts, and moisture evaporates out of it leaving behind a concentrated mass of fuel. Glazed creosote is not only highly flammable, but also more difficult to remove than a regular layer of soot and creosote.

What You Can Do

The easiest way to avoid chimney fires, malfunction, and damage in general is to take care of the chimney.

–Schedule Routine Sweeps
During a chimney sweep, the flammable creosote is cleared away before it can ignite. Soot and debris is also cleared away before it can buildup and obstruct airflow. When the flue is dirty, airflow slows and the smoke, hot gases, and sparks can slow down in the flue, raising risk of fire as well as lowering efficiency of the system.

–Schedule Annual Inspections
CSIA inspections may be the only time a professional gets a look at your chimney from top to bottom. Recommended annually and required by many homeowners insurance policies, the inspection is the most important measure you can take to prevent a chimney fire. Most homeowners don’t know what to look for and will not notice damage until it is too late. During an inspection, a chimney expert assesses the entire system, and reports their findings, big or small. When you schedule your annual inspection in the fall, rest assured that your chimney is ready for fires all winter. If you haven’t scheduled yet, there is still time.

–Practice Fire Safety
You should always practice fire safety and teach your family to do likewise. Never burn trash, clothes, or paper in your fireplace. Many man-made materials will burn incompletely, bringing down efficiency and raising fire risk. Even some organic materials are not appropriate for burning. Paper and leaves are so light, they can rise up the flue while ignited! It’s best to only burn properly seasoned firewood in your fireplace for a safe and efficient fire.

For all of your questions about chimney maintenance, fire safety, and preventing chimney damage this winter, call Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460!

By John Pilger on November 23rd, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment