Our Company Blog

The Benefits of Energy Saving Dampers

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

The Top-Sealing Damper

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

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

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

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

When to Make the Switch

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

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

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

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

Schedule an Early Chimney Inspection

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

Summer Service Appointments

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

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

CSIA Inspections Explained

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule Your Sweep Before the Rush!

Just as you’d leave for a trip before rush hour, or get holiday shopping finished before the week-of, you should plan ahead to have your chimney system cleaned.

Avoid the Fall Rush

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

Scheduling a Spring Chimney Sweep

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

Scheduling a Fall Chimney Sweep

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

Put Your Trust in Chief Chimney Services

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

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

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

The Importance of Dryer Vent Cleaning

During the summer, many homeowners stop using their dryers because they tend to heat up the house, add to the utility bill, and is also a headache. If your dryer is causing problems, then it may actually have problems. It is time to call the professionals for a cleaning.

Take Proper Care of Your Dryer

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

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

Schedule Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Service

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

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

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

Other Ways to Prevent Dryer Vent Hazard

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

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

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

Schedule an Early Chimney Cleaning

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

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

Other Reasons to Sweep the Chimney

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

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

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

Chief Chimney Services Cleans Chimneys

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

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

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

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

Chimney Relining and Repair Services

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

Waiting for Repairs

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

Chimney Relining

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

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

Chimney Repairs

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

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

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

Waterproofing and Chimney Leaks

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

Waterproofing Explained

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

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

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

The Unprotected Chimney

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

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

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

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

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

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”.

The 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

Water 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