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Operating Your Fireplace this Autumn

October for many simply means new decorations, Halloween parties, and pumpkin spice treats. For some, though, it is time to think about your fireplace. When you’re ready to light your first fire of the season, you want to know your chimney is ready, and that your fire will be safe and warm.Using Your Fireplace this Fall - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

A Fire-Ready Fireplace

Both the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends routine maintenance for a safe and efficient fire. You may schedule annual chimney inspections and base your chimney sweeps on your inspector’s recommendations. You may schedule your sweep for spring, and your inspection for fall. Maybe you just want to do them both together, and that is fine, too. The important thing is that your chimney is safe and has been assessed by a certified chimney sweep before burn season.

Preparing for Winter

Your chimney may be in good shape, but you’d like some added protection. You can schedule waterproofing services with Chief Chimney Services before winter. This vapor-soluble sealant keeps water molecules out, while allowing gases to escape.

Proper Fuel Store

When you have a wood-burning fireplace, insert, or stove, you should have a supply of properly seasoned wood to burn in your fire. Burning green/fresh wood or any other material including trash and cloth, it can burn incompletely, increasing the smoke, creosote, and pollution produced by your fire. Burning seasoned wood will decrease the amount of wood you have to burn during one season, saving you in resources and utilities. You will also need chimney sweep services less often when you have an efficient fire, saving you money in maintenance and repairs.

Fireplace Safety

Burn season is long, and during cold weather, families often spend an increased time indoors. Additionally, through fall and winter there are many reasons to have guests and host get-togethers, and it’s important that everyone stays safe.

  • Never leave children unattended with a fire. You can add a barrier by installing a screen or custom glass doors.
  • Keep the damper open while the fire is burning to allow the smoke, gas, and particulate pollution up the flue.
  • Keep decorations, furniture, and drapes away from the hearth.
  • Use only proper fireplace tools and accessories when stirring the fire or adjusting logs. For added protection, use leather gloves to prevent burns.
  • Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you do not have these installed, do so before lighting a fire.
  • Plan a fire escape with your family and make sure to practice at least monthly so that everyone knows how to best leave the house during a fire.
  • Keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher in the house. First aid kits should only be used for minor injuries, not to replace emergency care. A fire extinguisher should be used only to escape or to put out a small fire, not to attempt to put out a house fire.

When Autumn arrives in full swing, you won’t want to wait to light your fire. Make sure it’s safe so it’s ready when you are.

By John Pilger on October 8th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Identifying Chimney Discoloration

What do your fingernails and chimney have in common? A trained professional can gain insight as to your health and that of your chimney by looking at their appearance. Changes in color and texture indicate the need for further attention. Look at your fingernails, if you see any of these symptoms, be sure to consult your physician. When it comes to discoloration of your chimney it may not be so easy to inspect. That’s why homeowners in the Long Island area call chimney professional Chief Chimney Services to look for any chimney discoloration and identify the cause and solution to prevent damage.

Chimney Discoloration Image - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services 1You may not be able to see the discoloration on your chimney from the ground and the last thing an untrained homeowner needs to do is start climbing around on their roof. (Ladder accidents are one of the major causes injuries especially from folks who swore they’d be careful. Maintaining your safety and the health of your chimney are two of the reasons you call a chimney professional once a year for a thorough inspection and cleaning.) Simply washing the stains away without tending to the underlying causes puts you and your home at risk.

 

Discoloration on chimneys can be white, black, brown, green, or red depending on the cause.

White stains are caused by evaporated water. When you see the white powder or crystals it is an alert that further investigation is needed. The white substance, efflorescence, can be just simple evaporation from rain, snow, and ice. However, efflorescence can also be a sign that water is running inside your chimney or flue and you have a problem. The website InspectAPedia cautions, “Although efflorescence is not mold, it often indicates wet conditions that cause problem mold growth elsewhere in the same building. You’ll need to identify the sources of moisture or leaks and correct them, and depending on other building air quality complaints or health concerns it may be appropriate to inspect and screen the building for problem mold or other moisture or water-related problems. Efflorescence is always a cause for professional attention.”

Green, blueish, and black stains send out a loud SOS to have your chimney professional check for algae growth and or mold. Both thrive on moisture and cause serious health and infestation issues which are expensive to correct. It is imperative that water leaks are caught early, identified, and cured to prevent mold.

Rust colored stains are also the result of water leaks and the source must be identified and corrected.

Black and brown stains can appear on your chimney, roof, and on sides of your home; dark stains have a variety of root causes. These stains can be caused by clogged gutters, leaks and cracks in your masonry or actual chimney flue, or a missing, dislodged or no rain cap. None of which can be diagnosed from a ground level inspection. Black and brown stains can also mean you have a very serious health and safety issue that require immediate attention if the dark stains are the result of creosote and soot. Creosote and soot are highly combustible and may be the result of malfunctioning heating appliances. Dark stains can also indicate a fire occurred that you weren’t aware happened.

Take Away: No matter what color they are, stains on your home are not simply a cosmetic issue. Stains send a message that something needs the attention of a trained chimney professional before you jeopardize your health, safety, the integrity of your structure. Like most things in life, the longer the problem is left unattended, the more complicated and costly the cure becomes. If you live in Long Island, call Chief Chimney Services for help. If not, be sure you contact a chimney professional with strong credentials ASAP.

Starting a cold fireplace

As the cold weather approaches, Chief Chimney Services in Long Island, New York wants to make sure that you are using your fireplace in an efficient and safe manner. We know there is nothing better than the sound, ambiance, and warmth from a crackling fire in your fireplace. And, there is nothing worse than a house full of smoke and toxic fumes caused by improperly starting a cold fireplace.

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There are very specific considerations you need to know and specific techniques to successfully light a fire in a cold fireplace:

Before the cold weather approaches, a thorough inspection and cleaning by a CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified chimney technician is a must to ensure your chimney, fireplace, and their components are fully operational and clean. If you avoid this step, you are putting your house and family at risk for a fire, explosion, and toxic gas poisoning. CSIA, in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), urges homeowners to have a yearly inspection and cleaning of their fireplaces and chimneys before using the fireplace for the first time each season. Your skilled CSIA certified chimney technician will identify and repair any potential hazards and remove any blockages from debris or critters so you will be ready for that first fire of the year.

Once you have done your due diligence and had the cleaning and inspection performed and repaired any problems then it’s time to prepare to light your first fire of the season. The first thing to do (and many times overlooked) is OPEN THE DAMPER. The setting for many romantic and utilitarian fires have been ruined as the room filled up with smoke because the damper was not opened before the wood was lit.

The next step is to prime the flue. Here’s why that is so important. Consider that your chimney is located on the outside of your home and surrounded by the cold fall or winter temperatures. Remember, hot air rises and cold air sinks. So when you open the damper, cold air from outside is drawn down your chimney. The cold air forms a barrier as the warm air from inside your home begins to rise. This is called “air sink”. When air sink occurs and the smoke cannot escape out the chimney your house fills up with smoke. The way to avoid air sink is to prime the flue by lighting a rolled up newspaper or piece of seasoned wood and holding it to the damper for 3-4 minutes. You will actually be able to feel the warm and cold air exchange. Once that happens you can proceed to the next step in lighting your fire.

Place your wood atop a bed a couple inches thick of ashes.The ash bed will provide additional insulation to keep your fire burning hotter. Remember the hotter the fire, the more safe and efficient it is.

As the final step is to build what is known as an “upside down” fire:

Stack large or split logs next to one another tightly to form your bottom layer. Place slightly smaller logs/split logs perpendicular to the bottom layer to form the 2nd layer.
Repeat this process using smaller and smaller pieces to a reasonable height – usually 2-5 layers depending on:

  • The size of your fireplace
  • How much wood you have on hand
  • How long you want the fire to burn

At the top add strips or crumpled newspaper and dry kindling.
Light the newspaper/kindling at the top and watch that baby burn itself down.

By following these recommendations when you initially start your cold fireplace, you will be able to truly appreciate and enjoy romantic and utilitarian fires all season long.

By John Pilger on September 27th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Why Ivy Is Damaging Your Chimney

Rarely does fantasy live up to the facts associated with reality. One of the strongest fantasy verses reality buzz-kills is associated with picturesque ivy covered stone and brick buildings. From an aesthetic point of view, nothing is more quaint and dignified as ivy covered buildings and fences. However, ask property owners who battle this invasive predatory, albeit beautiful, vine and its beauty becomes insignificant. Chief Chimney Services, Inc. in Long Island know that growing ivy is a wakeup call that structural damage is being done.

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Ivy spreads quickly and homeowners need to have the ivy removed from your chimneys and other stone and brick structures before its roots and vines can work their way into your masonry and be the catalyst for a whole host of problems. Once the ivy is removed it is important to have a thorough inspection done to find and repair any cracks, crevices, and gaps in the masonry caused by the invading green leafy pest. The roots are so invasive and embedded that damage can even be done to masonry and shingles during the ivy removal process.

Your chimney is built from masonry. Masonry is a naturally porous material and holds water. Bricks are held together with mortar that can become damaged over time due to weather exposure, freezing and thawing, age, and pressure. Once masonry starts leaking, water starts seeping in to your chimney, down your fireplace, between your gutters and roof, and along the foundation of your home. Water damage rots wood, erodes masonry and soil, causes mold, and can be a breeding ground for unwanted germs, insects, animals, birds, and rodents. Introduce a robust and resilient vine like ivy that works its way into the nooks and crannies of masonry and the water and vine damage begins a downward spiral of maintenance and repairs.

It is important that during your annual inspection, your CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified chimney inspector and technician look for the early signs of ivy growth and remove it before it takes root. Ivy growing on one part of your home or in your trees will quickly invade everything around it.

On the website Ask Metafilter.com readers gave their responses to a potential homeowner who asked about the ivy growing on a house he was interested in purchasing:

  • Ivy is the devil’s plant. I have spent the summer helping my mom removed it from a neglected house she bought. It was choking out and killing BIG trees. Any vegetation growing against a house will hold moisture and decaying matter (against) the building a (drastically) shorten the lifespan of the exterior of the house if not the whole structure.
  • It will destroy chimneys, trim, and woodwork; it will weasel its way into your home through your windows, if you let it; it will vex you by sprouting from every corner of your garden no matter how many sprigs you pull; it will turn neighbor against neighbor. (Truly. Just ask anyone who has lived next to a house with ivy.)

Don’t put yourself and your neighbors through the aggravation of dealing with ivy. Make sure you have a professional immediately eradicate any existing ivy growth and do a complete inspection of your chimney, fire box, and their surrounding area to identify, repair (and prevent any future) damage. There are plenty of ways to improve the curb appeal of your home without ivy…Don’t get tangled in the illusion of its beauty. Be pro-active in your efforts to work closely with a chimney professional to avoid ivy’s potential damage.

By John Pilger on September 8th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

NFPA Chimney Inspections

Chimney inspections are important to identify any potential fire, health, and structure damage risks that may be present in your home. The certified chimney professionals from Chief Chimney Services in Long Island know how important annual inspections are for homeowners to receive. Unfortunately, Chief has also witnessed the consequences when homeowners rationalized that they don’t need an inspection or procrastinated at having the repair recommendations performed.

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Whether you live in Long Island or anywhere else, it is for your own protection that you follow the recommendations from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and have a professional inspect your chimney. The key word is “professional”. The worst case scenario is you to pay someone who just claims to be able to inspect your chimney and you think you are safe, and then experience the unthinkable because the person you did business with was not qualified to perform the inspection. How does a homeowner know what should be included in a proper inspection? The NFPA instituted guidelines for homeowners and inspectors.

When it came to determining what components were to be inspected and the appropriate inspection for the homeowner’s circumstances, prior to 2000, homeowners we left at the mercy and judgement of the person conducting their inspection. In January of 2000, the National Fire Protection Association defined and standardized what inspections should include. These standards can be found in code NFPA 211 (Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances). There are three levels of inspection and each has a very clear definition for the inspector and homeowner, alike.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has included a detail explanation of each of the three levels of inspections along with guidelines when each is appropriate on their website. Click here to view those videos.

Both the CSIA and NFPA are very clear that homeowners have an annual chimney inspection by a CSIA certified technician performed every year before you begin to use your heating system. Inspections can be best performed in the summertime when the chimney and furnace are not in use and weather conditions make a visual inspection easier. However, inspections can be performed throughout the year weather permitting.

If your inspector does find an issue or issues that need to be addressed, it is important to take care of the repairs promptly. Inadequately functioning chimneys and their components can lead to fire hazards, toxic gas poisoning, as well as water damage to the interior and exterior of your home. And if there were ever a time to be proactive, it is when your family’s health and safety are at stake.

It is our recommendation to you that you review the three levels of inspections and discuss your need for a proper inspection with your CSIA certified chimney professional. If you live in Long Island, Chief Chimney Service is available to answer all your questions and perform the proper inspection following NFPA standards. If you don’t live in Chief’s service area consult the CSIA website, Angie’s List, and the BBB to find a qualified inspector.

Chimneys 101: All About Chimney Caps

Are you familiar with the multiple threats to your chimney and fireplace? From creosote to the deposit of moisture, invasion from animals and other issues, staying informed about what poses a threat to your investment is always a good idea.
A chimney cap is an easy way to minimize threats to your fireplace, chimney and the structure of your home, and offers many benefits for homeowners that you might not be aware of. Check out the information below to learn all about chimney caps.

What is a Chimney Cap?

A chimney cap is a stainless steel, mesh or copper cap that fits to the top of your chimney, allowing the smoke and vapors from burning fires to escape through its vents, but preventing other elements from entering your chimney and making their way into your home.
Despite the necessity of a chimney cap in maintaining the safety and efficiency of your fireplace and chimney, many homeowners are unaware of the issues they face by letting their chimney remain uncapped. In short, a chimney cap is an essential and necessary part of protecting your chimney, fireplace and home from unwanted critters, moisture and weather elements.

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Why Do You Need a Chimney Cap?

In addition to its protective properties against wild animals, debris, the elements and excess moisture, a chimney cap serves as a protective barrier between your roof and any floating embers or ashes that might come out through your chimney as you enjoy a fire. Many home fires have been caused as a result of uncapped chimneys sending burning embers onto a home’s roof, causing combustion, structural damage and even home loss.

  • Similarly, moisture build-ups in your chimney can cause both structural damage and general deterioration, threating your investment and prompting costly repairs. In addition to inhibiting the amount of moisture that enters your chimney, caps are designed to help route rainwater away from your chimney and off of your roof.
  • Chimney caps also prevent non-animal or creosote-based blockages, such as those that result from a build-up of leaves, sticks and wind-borne debris, from creating havoc in your chimney.
  • Another benefit you can expect from your chimney cap is a reduction in drafts and excess air flow. During the wintertime, especially in New York, cold gusts of wind and downdrafts can travel through an uncapped chimney, causing heat loss and even blowing smoke and soot into your home. A chimney cap essentially eliminates the occurrence of drafts and gusts of wind coming in through your fireplace.

An uncapped-chimney allows all manner of debris into your home and could potentially cause blockages, damage to your chimney’s structure or issues with venting, any of which can lead to costly, dangerous issues with your investment.

Choosing the Right Chimney Cap for Your Home

So you know you need to invest in a chimney cap, but how can you find the right cap for your chimney and tastes? No matter what you’re looking for, a professional chimney and fireplace company can provide consultation and installation that can put your mind at ease and help you find the right cap for your home. Chief Chimney Services of Suffolk County has been providing superior chimney cap education and installation to satisfied customers for years. Check out our website to browse our services and set up an appointment.

What To Do About a Smelly Chimney

When you have a smelly chimney it’s easy to know what to do…CALL A PROFESSIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEP. Chief Chimney Services has been serving residents of Long Island and curing smelly chimney issues in Suffolk County since 1983.

On those oh so familiar hot humid summer days, when your nose connects with that foul pungent odor from your fireplace and chimney, hear warning bells in your mind alerting you that something needs attention. Just like the warning tone your ears hear when your fire and carbon monoxide alarms go off, when your nose detects that putrid smell it’s time to call your chimney professional.

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Stinking chimneys can be caused by a single problem or a combination of several. Most likely the cause of your smelly chimney won’t be apparent to the naked eye, and even if you forsook your own safety and climbed on the roof, you wouldn’t be able to see far enough into your chimney to locate the problem. Smelly chimneys occur when there is mold growing or water seeping in your chimney, a build-up of creosote, nesting and decaying animals and birds, all of which are complicated by negative air pressure in your home.

Mold remains one of the top health hazards and special care must be given not only to remove it, but also to prevent its re-occurrence. A common misconception is that bleach is a mold inhibitor, which it is not. Mold can exacerbate breathing and pulmonary issues and cause severe health issues. It spreads quickly and needs prompt attention. Seeping moisture breeds mold. A professional chimney sweep will locate the source of the moisture and correct the problem and remove the existing accumulation; both are necessary to solve mold issues and their subsequent odors.

Your chimney presents an attractive living space for birds and rodents as it is warm, dry, and protected from predators. The troubles occur for when the animal droppings build in the chimney and/or they die inside. Both the decaying bodies and parasites the carcasses attract linger inside your chimney. It is not only unhealthy, but it also blocks proper airflow and causes an awful stench. Adding further to the problem is the fact that in many communities, nesting birds cannot be disturbed. Part of the training professional and certified chimney sweeps receive is how to prevent wildlife from turning your chimney into public housing in the first place and what to do if they have while conforming to wildlife protection laws.

Downdrafts present their own issues and causes of smelly chimneys. The Professional Home Inspection Service wants homeowners to recognize, “While a mild smoke odor is a minor problem, the issue can be very serious if the same thing occurs with naturally drafting gas appliances. The same negative pressure could be drawing combustion gases including carbon monoxide back down the utility chimney, posing a very unhealthy situation. If this problem is a possibility in your house, make sure your carbon monoxide detector is in good working order, and call in a professional for further assessment.”

Professional chimney technicians will pro-actively troubleshoot the potential causes of a smelly chimney and remedy them during their annual inspections. Built up creosote, along with all of these causes of smelly chimneys can be identified and corrected by following the guidelines recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) for annual chimney inspections and cleaning.

Remember a smelly chimney is a warning for you to call your chimney professional! Chief Chimney Services is here for homeowners on Long Island.

We Serve Suffolk County

There is no better place in the county for us to provide comprehensive chimney services than in Suffolk County, New York. Chief Chimney Services has been part of the Suffolk Country business community for over 30 years. Over that time we have seen a lot of changes to our area; however, nothing can offset the rich history and the spirit of past and current residents.

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For those who have never been to Suffolk County, let us introduce you. Long Island is in Suffolk County. The peninsula extends into the Atlantic Ocean. The world renowned Hamptons is also part of Suffolk County. The area is characterized by its beaches, wharfs, farmlands, seaside villages, rolling hills, and farmlands. Long Island was named one of the Top Ten Wine Regions in the World by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Dr. Beach, a noted, beach expert, named Main Beach in East Hampton the Best Beach in America.

The first inhabitants of Long Island were the Algonquin Indians. The Algonquins and others who came to settle in the area were attracted by the waterways, local game, rich farmland, and native nuts, berries, and grains. Those interested in the development and chronological history of Suffolk County can click here.

There are almost 300 places in Suffolk County currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places which preserve the area’s rich history. Click here for a complete list.

The Vanderbilt name is synonymous with Suffolk County. Visitors and residents enjoy visiting the mansion, museum, and planetarium on the Vanderbilt estate. For more information click here.

It’s the local nuances of an area that gives it its character. Here are a few bits of information to enlighten and amuse you.

  • You can never get really lost on Long Island.All you have to do is drive until you come to water and then turn around, “re-routing re-routing”.Suffolk County is described as an “epicurean’s dream”.
  • “The word “fresh” takes on a different meaning. Here, the menu’s ‘catch of the day’ was likely hauled in that morning from the waters off our Island shores, prepared and served with vegetables – picked from a nearby farm – seasoned with herbs from the garden then paired with a Pinot Grigio from a vineyard just down the road.” Click here for more information on great dining experiences.

Suffolk County has several aviation museums and places to explore science, mathematics, history, energy, astronomy, and technology. To learn more click here.

Those interested in live entertainment will not be disappointed. The theatres and auditoriums in the North Shore area have performances for all entertainment genres and audiences. Click here for more information.

New York City is close enough to visit when you want to participate in all that one of the world’s most dynamic cities offer, yet far enough away not to interfere with the tranquility and charm and quaintness this historic county offers.

Quality of life is important to residents visiting in Suffolk County. Chief Chimney Services is proud to maintain chimneys and fireplaces and offer comprehensive and related service to new residents of Suffolk County as well as those whose ancestors are part of the area’s history.

What Is Creosote?

What Is Creosote? The term creosote in relation to fireplaces and chimney occurs when the by-products of wood are not totally burned off and the residue travels in the smoke as a vapor. When it is cooled to a liquid it coats whatever it encounters. The wood-tar substance is a blackish brown sticky gooey oil mixture that builds up on the interior surfaces of your chimney and fireplace. It is extremely combustible. Due to the hazardous nature of creosote and its offensive odor, Chief Chimney Services takes special care to remove it and protect homeowners from fire and toxic gas risks associated with creosote.

The Hearth.com website explains, “Creosote buildup is pretty sneaky. You may not notice it at first but it tends to feed on itself. As it builds up, it restricts the flow in the chimney and/or stove pipes. This slows the smoke on its way out, allowing more time for it to cool and for the creosote to condense and deposit on itself thus further restricting the flow.”.

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The fire hazard occurs when it is ignited by a hot fire. Pieces of the built up creosote can also become loose and flake and travel upwards to your roof, or down your chimney into your fireplace and into your home. No matter the direction, the result of burning creosote is no good. A traveling piece of burning creosote can bring on a dangerous and expansive fire.

The inspectapedia website lists these considerations about creosote build up:

  • The temperature of the chimney. Consider long low smoldering fires make more creosote that hotter roaring fires
  • The wood to sap ratio of the wood you burn, the greener the wood the more moisture and the more creosote
  • The moisture content of the wood, wet wood burns more slowly and produces more creosote
  • The chimney size, height, location, and construction materials also influence the buildup of creosote.

There are important things for homeowners to understand about creosote that you need to know if you are even considering to attempt to remove creosote buildup yourself. First, without the professional equipment and cameras a chimney professional uses, you are not able to view the entire length of your chimney and therefore you may not be aware of the buildup that occurs out of sight which still puts you at risk. There are two other considerations as well as access. Dislodging the creosote is extremely dangerous for several reasons. First, as you chip away at the creosote you may do damage to the underlying chimney structure. Worse you will be breathing the extremely toxic materials even if you wear a mask. Worst yet, if you dislodge the creosote it may travel in the smoke and downdrafts of future fires and ignite whatever it lands upon.

Creosote inspection and removal is critical to the safety and security of your home and best done by a technician certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. CSIA certified technicians know the proper methods, cleaning agent, and tools to keep your chimney unblocked. Chief Chimney Services, Inc.wants to be your chimney professional. Contact us today!

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.