Our Company Blog

Build the Best Fire

Once you have a chimney and fireplace installed, it seems lighting the fire should be the easy part. Cave men did it, but there is definitely a learning curve involved, and many factors come to play that can make it extremely difficult to build the best fire.

Build the Best Fire - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney ServicesThe Most Efficient Fire

If you depend upon a fireplace, stove, or appliance to heat or supplement heat to your home, you want the fire to start almost as easily as flipping a switch. This convenience is only possible in gas appliances, so if you depend on wood heat, you should learn to build and start the best fire possible.

Most of us learned to build a fire from small to big—kindling on the bottom, logs on the top. While this works fine, there is a better way!

The top-down burn is basically a fire built upside-down, with the logs on bottom, and kindling on top. This allows for the flame and cinders to fall as they burn, igniting the rest of the fuel. Once you have mastered the top-down burn you will better be able to light a fire in a cold fireplace/chimney. You will also be able to start the fire quickly, and with less kindling.

The kind of fire you decide to build is only the start.

Consider these tips to help you build your best fire:

  1. Proper fuel
    You should only burn properly seasoned wood in your wood fireplace or stove. Using wood that is seasoned raises the efficiency of your fire and chimney system. Using the proper wood also cuts down on smoke issues, creosote buildup, air pollution, and fire risk.
  2.  Never use starter fuel
    Starter fuels like kerosene, gasoline, and lighter fluid are dangerous and should NEVER be used to ignite your fireplace fire. Use of these fuels can be unpredictable and can cause injury, fire, and death.
  3. Use the system
    The chimney system is made up of many parts that work together. The damper, for instance, can assist while you light the fire, allowing oxygen to flow through the system. Making sure that these parts work properly is important to building the best fire.
  4. Choose proper kindling
    When choosing kindling for your best fire you should avoid using light branches with pine needles or leaves to light your fire. Not only do they create thick smoke, but they’re also very light, so they often rise up the chimney while ignited. When debris rises up the chimney flame, the creosote in the flue can easily ignite.
  5. Remember to schedule routine maintenance
    It’s important for homeowners to keep up with routine maintenance in order to build the best fire. It doesn’t matter how well you are at building a top-down burn if your chimney system is damaged. Your fire will lose efficiency, and flue fire risk will increase.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  recommends annual chimney inspections and regular chimney sweeps. These service appointments are the best safety measures you can take for your chimney system. Schedule today, and get it done before the holidays.

Call Chief Chimney Services today at 631-863-2460 or schedule an appointment online for your convenience.

By John Pilger on December 9th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Build the Best Fire

Is Your Dryer Vent Putting Your Home at Risk?

Everyone knows the importance of cleaning the lint trap of your dryer before each load of laundry, but what about the importance of dryer vent cleaning? It’s easy to see the lint and hair that builds up in your lint trap, but what you may not see so easily is the same lint, hair, and debris that builds up inside the dryer vent. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, you should “Have a qualified service person clean the interior of the dryer chassis periodically to minimize the amount of lint accumulation.” Keeping your dryer vent clean and clear of this debris is vitally important for your dryer’s efficiency as well as your home’s safety. Neglecting to do so is not only a threat to your wallet but to your life as well. Is Your Dryer Vent Putting Your Home at Risk - Smithtown, NY - Chief Chimney Services

Beyond just cleaning your dryer vent, a professional can also help identify and prevent:

Animal Nests

Especially during colder months, some animals will try to seek shelter in your dryer vent system. This causes air flow issues, as animals such as birds leave behind flammable debris that can be ignited by the dryer’s heat. Animal nesting can also damage dryer ducts, which can lead to overheating and inefficiency.

Leaky Ducts

During a dryer vent cleaning and inspection, it’s important to check for damage or leaks in the ducts. Especially if your ducts are only sealed with duct tape, which can easily wear with the presence of heat and moisture.

Carbon Monoxide

According to the CSIA, the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “If a gas clothes dryer is improperly vented or the exhaust duct itself is blocked by lint or debris, carbon monoxide can be forced back into your living space.” If your dryer vent is not clear, then your dryer and home are not receiving proper air ventilation. Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect without equipment, and can cause serious health problems such as brain damage, organ damage, or even death before it is discovered. By annually checking your dryer vent system and installing a carbon monoxide detector nearby, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home is greatly reduced.
Although the issues above are serious, regular cleanings and inspections can help prevent them before becoming fire hazards. Without an annual professional cleaning and inspection, though, these issues can go unnoticed and cause inefficiency and fire risks to your home.
Chief Chimney Services, Inc. technicians use high-quality brushes and an incredibly-high-powered vacuum to clean your dryer vent system from start to finish. Lint and debris is loosened and immediately vacuumed up by a high-intake vacuum cleaner, guaranteeing a dust- and mess-free job. We will also check for any damages, leaks, obstructions, or air flow problems. With a Chief Chimney Services, Inc. technician, you will have a safe and efficient dryer vent system in no time!

 

To schedule your dryer vent system cleaning, call Chief Chimney Services, Inc. today!

 

By John Pilger on December 23rd, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Is Your Dryer Vent Putting Your Home at Risk?

Now Is The Time For Masonry Repairs

Spring has sprung! At Chief Chimney Services in Suffolk County we are so excited to gear up for great season of chimney sweeping and inspection. We are sure that every homeowner has a long list of items on their spring cleaning checklist and we are grateful to be able to serve the area for another year.

While you are scheduling your professional chimney sweeping and inspection, consider tackling those chimney masonry repairs you have been putting off. Spring is the perfect time to take care of some basic chimney repairs and it is important to stay on top of any fireplace or chimney damage before they escalate into costly rebuilding. Hiring a professional chimney sweeping and repair company can save you money on costly repairs in the long run.

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Winter Chimney Damage

Winter is tough on chimneys. Firstly, the weather is wet and cold, and the harsh elements of winter can wreak havoc on the masonry of your chimney. Bricks can last a long time, but mortar (the cement holding each brick together) is not as durable. Moisture from severe winter weather can seep into the mortar and cause it to crack, break and crumble. If you do not take proper precautions to repair this it can result in the bricks in your chimney shifting and crumbling, which can jeopardize the overall integrity of the structure of your chimney.

Another common chimney danger is when pests make their home in your chimney. Chimneys are typically warm and dry so pests like rats, mice and birds often make their homes in this environment. Some birds build nests right into the mortar of the chimney, which can cause it to crack and break and cause subsequent damage to the bricks. These common winter problems can be held at bay with some simple masonry repair work during spring.

Tuckpointing

Tuckpointing is probably the most common form of masonry repair. Tuckpointing is when mortar is “tucked” into the damaged mortar joints of your fireplace and chimney. The result is an easy repair that reinforces the bricks to avoid potential damage to the overall integrity of your chimney.

We have had a severe winter with a lot of wet weather and this can be particularly damaging to the mortar and masonry work of your chimney. Be a proactive homeowner by schedule a routine masonry repair to keep your chimney intact and your home looking beautiful.

Additional Benefits Of Tuckpointing

  • Provides structural security to the chimney
  • Restores beauty to the structure
  • Waterproofs your chimney
  • A simple, cost-effective repair
  • Prolongs the integrity of your chimney while preventing major repairs

Tuckpointing and other types of simple chimney masonry repair are the best ways to prevent costly modifications to your chimney. Because the weather is so mild during spring, this truly is the best time to schedule a chimney inspection and masonry repair. A professional technician like those at Chief Chimney Services, Inc will come to your home, thoroughly inspect your chimney and answer any questions you may have about basic repairs. Schedule your chimney inspection and masonry repair today.

By John Pilger on April 19th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Now Is The Time For Masonry Repairs

Troubleshooting Fireplace Draft Problems

When you need your heating appliances, you expect them to work and it can be frustrating when things aren’t operating properly. If you notice your fireplace is drafty, it could be a simple fix, or it could mean you need to make some repairs. Troubleshooting fireplace draft problems involves understanding how your fireplace and chimney work, and how to prevent your warm air from escaping. No matter what the issue may be, it is best to start with a professional chimney sweeping and inspection.

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Has Your Fireplace Been Swept?

Make sure your chimney has been properly swept and inspected. A certified and reputable chimney sweeping company like Chief Chimney Services, Inc in Suffolk can help make sure your chimney is cleaned and inspected before troubleshooting additional problems. Once your chimney has been properly inspected and swept you can move on to troubleshooting additional causes for a draft.

A thorough chimney cleaning can also remove excess build-up of creosote, which can coat the flue. When the flue can’t open and close effectively, it can lead to a draft in your fireplace. Again, a regular sweeping of your chimney and fireplace can remove creosote and other debris to make sure all the moving parts of your chimney are working.

Using Your Fireplace Correctly

Many fireplace issues are corrected with some simple knowledge on how to operate your wood-burning appliance. Make sure your damper is closed when not in use to prevent cold air from pushing down your chimney. During the colder winter months, it may be necessary to prime the flue by lighting some newspaper and holding it up to the damper to warm it up before you start your fire. In other cases, you may need to clean and replace any connectors that go from the fireplace or woodstove to the chimney. Once you seal all the leaks, you can move on to other possible causes of your chimney draft.

Preventing Downdrafting

During colder weather, the most common cause of a drafty fireplace is a downdraft. A downdraft occurs when cold air blows across your chimney and eventually down your chimney and through your fireplace. Counteract the downdraft by replacing your chimney cap and making sure it is installed properly. Similarly, a chimney cap and proper damper use can prevent The Stack Effect, when the warm air from inside your home battles with the cold external air, which can cause a draft.

A professional chimney inspection company will help determine other causes of drafts including whether or not your chimney is leaky, which may mean you need some masonry repair. Your certified chimney inspection company can also inspect your damper and any stovepipe connectors that may need to be replaced. Many newer homes are built airtight, which makes fixing a drafty fireplace as easy as installing a chimney cap or closing the damper. However, in older homes masonry repair may be required. In either case, hiring a professional chimney inspector can alleviate your worries and fix your draft problem in on easy step. Contact Chief Chimney Services to fix your drafty fireplace today.

Advantages of a Top Sealing Damper

Around this time of year, the cost of the heating bills always spike wildly. No one wants to be cold during the winter, so sacrificing a few extra dollars to kick up the thermostat often seems worth it at the time. Yet when the bills come, a blanket suddenly sounds like a better choice. For those who rely on a fireplace to provide heat for the home, there are some options for cutting costs. One way to save some money is to utilize a top sealing damper.

top-mounted-damper-chimney-suffolk-ny-chief-chimney

This clip is courtesy of Richie Baxley at Environmental Chimney Service in Asheville NC.

The damper in the fireplace is a mechanism that controls the flow of air through the chimney. It is generally made of steel or ceramic to stand up to the heat of the fire and it opens and closes with a handle, pull chain or lever. Most fireplaces utilize the damper in order to vent the toxic fumes from the fire. Therefore, the damper should be open while the fire is burning and until the fireplace has cooled once the fire has been extinguished. Any other time, keep the damper closed to keep the warm air inside the house.

One common type of damper is known as the throat damper, which is located just above the firebox at the bottom of the chimney. These install very easily, so they are very commonly found in many homes. The other type, known as the top sealing damper, sits high in the chimney, and is less frequently seen. However, the top sealing damper does have its benefits.

The way these two dampers differ is based on the draft, or how the air flows through the chimney. Warm air rises, so when the fire starts, the warm air moves up through the chimney. This draws out the smoke and other toxic fumes while also pulling fresh, oxygenated air into the fire from the home, creating a steady flow of air. In a throat damper, the chimney is primarily filled with heavy, cold outdoor air, so the hot air moves more slowly up through the chimney at first. If the initial fire is too large, it could end up filling the house with smoke. On the other hand, the top sealing damper allows the chimney to fill with the warm air from the house prior to lighting the fire. Thus, when the fire starts, the hot air and smoke can move quickly up the chimney. This saves time and fuel when first lighting the fire, making the top sealing damper an easy choice.

For more information on a top sealing damper, contact the professionals at Chief Chimney Services, Inc. If you live in the area of Suffolk County, the experts at Chief Chimney can even install a top sealing damper in your chimney to help you save money right away.

By John Pilger on January 28th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Advantages of a Top Sealing Damper

Oil Furnace Flue Cleaning

With the start of the New Year have come bitterly cold temperatures, especially in the Long Island area. Most have rightfully taken shelter indoors, huddling under blankets with the furnace running on high. In order to keep that furnace functioning at its best, it requires some regular maintenance. Experts recommend having a technician service it yearly, but these service calls do not always include cleaning the flue for oil furnaces. If a flue cleaning is not performed, it is important to have it done anyway, even if that means a separate appointment.

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When the furnace runs, the burned oil produces a variety of substances, not the least of which is soot. This soot is black and messy, and it is meant to be expelled out of the furnace through the flue. However, as the soot travels through the flue, it often clings to the interior of the flue. Over time, it builds up and can even close off the air flow through the flue. In turn, the toxic flue gases produced by burning oil are forced back into the unit and sometimes into the house. Breathing in these poisons can lead to long term effects like cancer from soot or short term issues like an irritated respiratory tract from carbon monoxide.

Another issue that arises from soot in the flue is the degradation of the flue lining. The carbon and sulfur mixture in the soot mixes with water vapor produced by the fire to form a highly acidic compound. If the flue lining is exposed to this compound for an extended period, it can cause damage. Ceramic flue tiles show damage by splitting, cracking or spalling, and stainless steel flue lining becomes riddled with holes after being eaten away by the acid. Damaged flue lining, no matter the material, can lead to flue gases leaking into the house or even structural damage to the flue. Fortunately, any issues related to soot in the flue can be avoided by having regular cleanings performed.

Not all of the soot vents from the furnace or clings to the flue lining. What does not ends up falling back into the furnace, sitting on vent. As soot is allowed to build up on the vent, the furnace must work harder to force air through the vent. In general, a clogged vent will cost the homeowner more money. It lowers the efficiency of the furnace, costing more in fuel consumption, and it shortens the life of the appliance, which has a significant replacement cost.

If your oil furnace flue has not been cleaned within the past year, or if it appears to need some extra servicing, contact a flue expert to schedule an appointment. For service in the Suffolk County area, contact Chief Chimney Services, Inc..

Wood or Gas Fireplace?

Wood vs. Gas

If you find yourself always choosing the bed and breakfast room ‘with a fireplace’ and wishing you could take that experience home with you, don’t let not having a chimney stand in your way. Or, if you prefer pushing a button over hauling wood, building a fire, poking the fire, and then having a huge mess to clean up the next day—a gas fireplace insert may just be a consideration.

A gas fireplace is extremely convenient and energy efficient.

A gas fireplace is extremely convenient and energy efficient.

Choosing between a gas or wood fireplace can be a challenge—some homeowners prefer the authenticity and experience of the real thing—but considering some of the benefits of gas may help homeowners who are considering it as an option.

Gas fireplace inserts come in many varieties and options, and can be fitted into almost any fireplace, with or without an intact, working chimney. Advanced technology in the design of gas logs has resulted in better designs that can often be mistaken for the real thing, and without you ever having to lift a poker, sweep the hearth, or dump ashes.

Dangerous chemicals are released into the air when burning fuels, so both wood burning and vented gas inserts require a working chimney or other ventilation.  Direct-vent or B-vent inserts are an intermediate option that vent through horizontal flues. Ventless inserts, however, are self-contained and do not need any external exhaust since they regulate themselves, reduce carbon emissions, and monitor oxygen levels.

Here are a few of the benefits of having a gas insert:

  • Gas is less expensive and more efficient than wood or electricity
  • Gas is less messy and burns more predictably than wood
  • Easier
  • No collecting firewood in the cold

It’s important to remember that with a vented gas insert, you will still need to have an annual chimney cleaning to remove debris that could catch fire in the chimney, as well as soot, carbon and dust.

By John Pilger on August 28th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Wood or Gas Fireplace?

Service Area

Our Service Area

Service Map Image - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

Click to enlarge.

Chief Chimney Services, Inc. is dedicated to serving the following cities and zip codes in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York:

Amityville, North Amityville, Babylon, North Babylon, West Babylon, Copiague, Deer Park, East Farmingdale, Lindenhurst, Bohemia, North Lindenhurst, Cold Spring Harbor, Halesite, Huntington, Huntington Manor, Setauket, Melville, Strongs Neck, Centerport, Poquot, Greenlawn, Dix Hills, Oldfield, Northport, East Northport, East Setauket, Commack, Eatons Neck, Bay Shore, Holtsville, Brentwood, East Brentwood, Islip, East Islip, Central Islip, West Islip, Islip Terrace, Hauppauge, Great River, Sayville, West Sayville, Lakeland, Medford, Miller Place, Mount Sinai, Bayport, East Patchogue, Patchogue, Holbrook, Kings Park, North Patchogue,  Shoreham, Smithtown, Nesconset, Saint James, Stony Brook, Nissequogue, Ridge , Head of the Harbor, Rocky Point, Wading River, Bellport, Blue Point, Ronkonkoma, Selden, Port Jefferson, Port Jefferson Station, Brookhaven, Center Moriches, Sound Beach, Centereach, Coram, East Moriches, Eastport, Manorville, Mastic, Mastic Beach, Middle Island, Shirley, Yaphank

11701, 11702, 11703, 11704, 11705, 11706, 11707, 11713, 11715, 11716, 11717, 11719, 11720, 11721, 11722, 11724, 11725, 11726, 11727, 11729, 11730, 11731, 11733, 11735, 11739, 11740, 11741, 11743, 11746, 11747, 11749, 11751, 11752, 11754, 11757, 11761, 11763, 11764, 11766, 11767, 11768, 11772, 11775, 11776, 11777, 11779, 11780, 11782, 11784, 11786, 11787, 11788, 11789, 11790, 11792, 11795, 11796, 11934, 11940, 11941, 11949, 11950, 11951, 11953, 11967, 11980

If you do not see your city, town, or zip code listed, but you believe that you are located in our service area, please do not hesitate to contact us. Click here to schedule an appointment online.

 

We provide complete consultation services to diagnose problems or to help you select the best fireplace option for you and your budget. When you get to know us, we hope you’ll give us a try.

By John Pilger on May 14th, 2013 | Tagged with: | Comments Off on Service Area

FAQ’s

Fireplace Information & Operation Tips & FAQs

Why do chimneys need to be regularly inspected and cleaned?
When wood burns, it creates a substance called “creosote”. Creosote builds up on the walls of the chimney over time. Creosote is flammable and must be removed to avoid a chimney fire. Rainwater penetration damage is also a major cause of chimney deterioration. Regular inspections are as important for your chimney as regular physical examinations by your physician or regular visits to your dentist. It’s vitally important to catch potentially hazardous conditions early! The National Fire Protection Association recommends an annual inspection and cleaning when necessary. As CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps, we can accurately advise you of any recommendations for servicing, usage and/or repair.

What causes creosote buildup?
The degree and severity of creosote varies from a fine powder to a non-removable tar-like substance. Creosote is created by the incomplete combustion of firewood. Low fire temperatures cause incomplete combustion. Low fire temperatures can be the result of unseasoned firewood, wet or soft firewood, intentional burning of firewood at a low temperature, or closing the combustion air supply to the fireplace before all of the wood is consumed

What is “unseasoned”, “wet”, and “soft” firewood?
Unseasoned firewood is wood that has not had the opportunity for the natural moisture in the log to evaporate. In order for this process to occur, the log needs to be split into halves or quarters and allowed to sit for six months to one year. Wet wood is firewood that has been stored outside and absorbed moisture from outside elements such as humidity, rain and snowfall. The ideal moisture content for firewood is between 15% and 25% moisture content. “Softwood” is a term used to describe certain types of wood that are “less dense” than other types of firewood.

How can I tell when firewood is properly “seasoned”?
Properly seasoned firewood will have a few easy-to-detect characteristics such as:

  • The wood will appear discolored or gray.
  • The wood will have natural cracks coming from the center to the outside of the log.
  • The wood will not have a “freshly-cut” look.

What Kind Of Wood Is Good To Burn?
Wood such as Oak, Cherry, Ash, Mulberry, Hackberry and other types of hardwoods are good to burn in your fireplace. All wood has the same Btu potential per pound. Hardwoods are more dense (they have less airspace in between the wood cells) than softwoods, therefore, there is more wood to burn in a piece of hardwood as opposed to a piece of softwood. A good rule of thumb is that if the tree produces a berry or a fruit, it is considered “hardwood”. NEVER burn driftwood in a fireplace or a wood-burning stove as it has a high salt content that may cause damage and corrosion to your system!

What about the logs I see for sale at the supermarkets, convenience stores and hardware stores?
Logs such as Duraflame, etc. can be burned in a fireplace. They have been tested to burn cleaner than regular firewood. The logs are usually made from compressed sawdust, copper sulfate and paraffin wax. Although they burn cleaner, some fireplace users dislike the odor that the wax creates. NEVER burn more than one of these logs at a time in a fireplace and NEVER burn these logs in a wood burning stove.

Is my chimney clogged if it smokes into my home?
Generally speaking, no. Some of the most common causes for smoke backing up into the home are:

  • The damper is not locked in the fully open position.
  • The wood is unseasoned, wet or soft and cannot create enough heat to cause the smoke to rise properly into the chimney.
  • The walls of the chimney are cold, not allowing the smoke to rise properly.
  • The house has a negative pressure problem.

How can I keep this from happening?

  • Make sure the damper is locked open before starting the fire.
  • Make sure that you are using seasoned firewood.
  • If the chimney walls are cold, light a piece of loosely rolled newspaper and place it near the damper. This will push heat into the chimney, creating the proper draft.
  • Make sure you start your fire with kindling (small pieces of woods and twigs) before you add the big logs to your fire.
  • Have an annual inspection conducted by a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep!

Is there anything else I can do to burn wood more safely?
Yes. There is much more to burning wood than just throwing anything into the fireplace and striking a match. Many household items, when burned, can create toxic fumes. NEVER burn garbage, trash, painted lumber, treated lumber, construction scraps, your Christmas Tree or large amounts of paper in your fireplace. It is always best to burn only wood in your fireplace. You may wish to go to your local library and obtain information on the proper wood burning procedures. Always wear protective gloves when around the fireplace and never set anything on the hearth area – it may catch fire from radiated heat. When removing ashes from your fireplace, store them OUTSIDE in a metal container on a non-combustible (metal or concrete) surface and away from a combustible wall. Ashes can remain hot and can cause a fire for SEVERAL DAYS after they are removed.

What does a chimney cleaning consist of?
As CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps, we follow a Six-Step Cleaning Process, in which we clean the entire system from the fireplace up. This includes the firebox, smoke chamber, smoke shelf, and flue. We then check the system for any visible problems. If necessary, we use our closed circuit video inspection camera to evaluate the interior of the system.

Do you clean out ash pits?
No. Cleaning ash pits is considered homeowner’s maintenance.

Will cleaning my chimney get dust all over my house?
Absolutely Not! We use a professional, heavy-duty vacuum system designed specifically for dust control, and we guarantee no dust. You have our personal guarantee that we will not leave a mess in your home.

How often do I need to have my chimney cleaned?
The chimney should be checked after 1/2 cord (a “rick”) to 1 cord of wood has been burned in your system. A “cord” of wood is 4′ high x 4′ wide x 8′ long. A “rick” of wood is 1/2 that amount. The National Fire Protection Association recommends having your system inspected and cleaned annually, and as necessary.

How long does it take to sweep a chimney?
A typical sweeping can take anywhere from forty minutes to over an hour, depending on the type of chimney and the construction of the system.

Can Repairs Be Completed At The Time Of Sweeping?
It depends on the type of repair needed and our schedule for that day.

What is the difference between a factory-built fireplace and a masonry fireplace?
factoryFactory-built fireplaces are built in a factory and installed on-site from UL-listed components, while a masonry chimney is constructed on-site by brick masons. A factory-built chimney has a metal flue pipe system to vent smoke out of the house. Factory-built fireplaces are smaller and some have blowers built in to push heated air into the room. All factory-built fireplaces are UL-listed for safety and efficiency. The factory-built chimney is typically enclosed in a wooden chase covered by a metal cap to prevent water penetration. A termination cap is also typically provided on top. A benefit of factory-built fireplaces is that a damaged, factory-built fireplace can be removed and replaced with a new unit at a lower cost than a masonry system.

masonryA masonry chimney is built on site using brick, mortar and clay flue tiles for liners. It is typically more expensive to build and to maintain. Most masonry chimneys do not have chimney caps installed, which means water, leaves and animals can get inside of the structure and sometimes inside of your home. However, we can easily install a chimney cap on your masonry chimney.

Factory-built fireplaces are not any safer than masonry fireplaces – they are just different. Both types of fireplaces can provide years of warmth and enjoyment for you and your family.

Diagrams courtesy and copyright of CSIA

Click here to schedule an appointment online.

 

Learn more about us and our extensive service area, then give us a call.

By John Pilger on May 14th, 2013 | Tagged with: | Comments Off on FAQ’s

Waterproofing

Why Waterproof?

The chimney of the home is exposed to the elements all day, all night, and all year. Because it is virtually unguarded from raging winds and rains and is unprotected from intense cold and heat, it is susceptible to all types of environmental damage. Although all extreme weather can wear on a chimney over time, the most damaging of the elements is water. Water can drastically shorten the lifespan of your masonry, and cause detrimental damage to your chimney system. For the longevity and safety of your chimney system, it is strongly recommended that you take the appropriate steps to safeguard it from the water.

How Do You Waterproof A Chimney?

When a Chief Chimney Services, Inc. sweep waterproofs a chimney, he will first check the entire system for any cracks or damages. If cracks, gaps, holes, or masonry disrepair is found, the appropriate repairs must be made before waterproofing the chimney. This will protect the longevity of the chimney and guarantee that the waterproofing will be effective. These repairs may include tuckpointing, chimney cap replacement, chimney crown rebuild or reseal, and the repair or installation of flashing.

Once the appropriate repairs are made and the entire system is watertight, a Chief Chimney Services, Inc. professional will apply a ChimneySaver water-repellent product. ChimneySaver water-repellent products were designed and tested specifically for chimneys and the often intense weather they face year after year. The reason why we choose to work exclusively with ChimneySaver is that it is vapor-permeable and allows the brick in the masonry to breathe while still protecting it from water.

In order to maintain its structural integrity, brick needs to breathe. When you buy waterproofing products at your local hardware store, you are most likely buying a silicone-based sealant product that not only guards the brick from water penetration, it completely suffocates the brick. These products also trap all of the heat, smoke, and vapor produced by your fire inside of the masonry of the chimney. By applying these types of waterproofing products, you aren’t prolonging the life of your chimney – you are shortening it!

Unlike other waterproofing products, ChimneySaver is chemically designed to allow small vapor and air molecules to easily pass through the product, but not larger molecules like water. This product is protected by a ten-year warranty and offers unprecedented protection without compromising the integrity of the masonry. For more information on ChimneySaver products, go to chimneysaver.com.

To have your chimney professionally waterproofed, call Chief Chimney Services, Inc. today or click here to schedule an appointment online!

Water leaks may be caused by problems with the flashing. If your chimney is leaking, hire a professional like Chief Chimney Services to investigate all possible sources of unwanted water.

By John Pilger on May 14th, 2013 | Tagged with: | Comments Off on Waterproofing