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Is a Storm Collar Right for You?

As a home or business owner you want to take all reasonable measures to prevent damage to your chimney system. If your home or business has a pre-fabricated chimney, you will need a storm collar, sometimes called a chimney collar.

Is a storm collar right for you - Smithtown NY - Chief Chimney

Courtesy Jerry Isenhour

What Is It?

A masonry chimney will have a chimney cap on top of the masonry that keeps the outside OUT. The chimney cap is designed to allow smoke and gas to vent out, but keep moisture, weather, debris, and animals from entering the chimney opening. The chimney cap fits specifically onto a masonry chimney.

Similarly, the storm collar, or chimney collar, is specifically designed to fit over a pre-fabricated chimney. Unlike the chimney caps which fit to the top of the masonry chimney, the storm collar fits over the chimney piping of a pre-fabricated chimney. It should be professionally installed, and works with the flashing to keep the water running away from the chimney and roof intersection as well as to keep it out of the chimney opening.

Do You Need a Collar?

The short answer is YES. If you have a pre-fabricated chimney you need a storm collar. This is not an area where home owners should cut corners. Without the collar, weather and debris can fall into your chimney, allowing for accumulation of soot and debris that eventually restrict air flow. This will slow the ventilation of hot gases and can cause chimney fires. It can also cause a smoky fireplace as well as make it harder to start and keep a fire burning hot. When you depend on your fireplace of stove for home-heating, it is important to make sure it is efficient.


Our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps at Chief Chimney Services have experience in the Long Island, New York area since the 1980s. We are familiar with the climate, seasonal patterns and risk factors of having a chimney system in the area. We recommend storm collars to our customers with pre-fabricated chimneys and provide expert installations, repairs, and replacements of these products. Long Island can have heavy snow and strong gusts of wind, especially during fire-burning season. Providing the same function as a chimney cap, a storm collar:

  • Prevents animal inhabitation, so that animals aren’t nesting (or dying) in the chimney, causing obstruction.
  • Prevents water damage that wreaks havoc on a masonry chimney, and can cause creosote buildup in pre-fabricated chimneys.
  • Prevents wind gusts and draftiness that keep the smoke and gas from rising up the chimney as it should.
  • Prevent flue blockages. Covering the chimney can prevent flue blockages for all the reasons mentioned above, and more. When the chimney is unprotected, debris can also fall into the chimney opening, causing blockages.If you’re ready for your annual chimney inspection and have questions or concerns about your chimney and storm collar, a Chief Chimney Services expert is standing by. Call or schedule an appointment today.
By John Pilger on March 25th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Is a Storm Collar Right for You?

Reasons to Reline Your Chimney with Stainless Steel

The seasons have officially changed, and fall has arrived in full swing. Vibrant leaves decorate the ground as they fall from the trees, and the chilly wind has everyone dusting off their light jackets. In addition, the colder temperatures have homeowners looking ahead to heating their homes throughout the upcoming bitter New York winter. Many homeowners utilize heating appliances such as stoves and fireplaces, and because these units have chimneys, they require special care and maintenance. While your chimney sweep is out to clean and inspect the chimney, ask him or her to check for a flue liner in the chimney. If your chimney does not have one or if the current liner is damaged, you may want to consider making the investment before winter.


A damaged or missing flue liner comes with a wide variety of problems. If water finds a way inside the chimney, a flue liner prevents it from going on further. Without a liner or with a liner full of cracks, the water can cause damage. A masonry chimney interior absorbs the water, and during the freeze and thaw cycle of winter, the structure becomes damaged. Cracks and holes will form, and eventually, the structure may collapse.

Additionally, the gases from the fire that are meant to flow out of the home through the chimney may actually seep through the unlined chimney back into the house. Dangerous chemicals like carbon monoxide and creosote create numerous health hazards, so keeping them out of the house is crucial.

You may also be losing money on fuel by leaving your chimney unlined or with a damaged liner. Newer heating appliances have a higher efficiency than older appliances, meaning they burn at lower temperatures. Due to the physics of hot air, these highly efficient units need a narrower flue to function properly. If the chimney is too wide, the heat will dissipate too quickly, causing more fuel to be burned and even resulting in some toxic gases settling back into the home. You can save costs on fuel and keep your home safer by having a chimney sweep install a stainless steel flue liner with a size that fits the efficiency of your particular unit.

Another frightening issue associated with unlined chimneys is unintentional house fires. A study done by the National Bureau of Standards showed that when a fire was burned under an unlined chimney, the adjacent woodwork took just 3 ½ hours to catch fire itself. In just one evening with a lit fire, your home could burn to the ground.

If you live in the Suffolk County area of New York and you need your chimney relined with a high quality stainless steel flue liner, contact Chief Chimney Services, Inc. for a professional consultation. The experts at Chief Chimney Services, Inc. can help save you money and keep your home and family safe.

By John Pilger on October 15th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Reasons to Reline Your Chimney with Stainless Steel

Common Chimney Parts Replacement

Is your chimney not working the way it should? Perhaps a part or two needs to be replaced. Get an inspection now.

Is your chimney not working the way it should? Perhaps a part or two needs to be replaced. Get an inspection now.

It may look simple from the outside, but your masonry chimney system is a lot more than a tall stack of bricks. And your prefabricated chimney system is a lot more than a long pipe.

Inside and out, a chimney system is a complex collection of parts designed to hold in combustion byproducts, encourage draft, protect against heat, protect against water intrusion or some combination of several of those. And like any complex collection of parts — from a car engine to a kitchen appliance — from time to time, a part will need replacing. That’s where Chief Chimney Services comes in.

Our CSIA-certified technicians have been serving homeowners in Suffolk County for decades — there isn’t a chimney repair we haven’t tackled a dozen times over, and we take pride providing our clients with the kind of top-notch care that comes with extensive training and extensive experience.

Whatever needs replacing in your system, we’re here to help. But if you’re curious about some of the more common chimney part replacement jobs we perform, here’s a quick rundown:

Chimney Caps

Chimney caps need to be made out of strong and durable material (stainless steel and copper are exceptional choices), and they need to be properly sized and installed to do their important job effectively. That job is multi-pronged: First, chimney caps help to keep moisture out of the chimney by closing off the top of the flue. Second, a strong, properly sized cap helps keep animals, including birds and many mammals, from moving into your chimney to nest, causing damage and a host of annoying problems. Beyond that, some specialized caps can help with performance issues, like downdrafts. If you have a damaged galvanized cap, or you’ve lost a chimney cap in a bad storm, our technicians can help you find the perfect replacement, and install it to last.

Chimney Flashing

Chimney flashing plays a hugely important role in your system, and its installation is meticulous work, custom-designed and -fitted for every individual chimney. It needs to be custom-installed to be effective — flashing is tightly fitted, in layers, around your chimney where it meets the roofline, to keep water from making its way into that seam. So the installation needs to be free of gaps and snug to be watertight and durable. Sometimes serious windstorms can tear pieces of flashing off, which makes replacement necessary. And when flashing is improperly installed to start off with, leaks and the need for replacement flashing generally follow.

Energy Top Chimney Dampers

Many older chimneys have what’s called a throat damper installed deep in the chimney, and it closes off the flue down above the firebox when you’re not having a fire. These use a metal plate to cover up the flue opening, and that doesn’t provide a particularly effective seal to start off with. Over time, those dampers can also corrode, crack, get stuck or the plate can get dislodged from the track that it sits on. Throat dampers can sometimes be repaired, but replacing that damper with an energy top damper– installed up at the top of the flue — can make a much better choice. These completely close off the flue with a silicone gasket, keeping air transference to a minimum and helping you save money and fuel by increasing your system’s energy efficiency.

Those are just a few of the more common replacement parts we install. Chief Chimney techs can handle any and all chimney repair or replacement jobs that you might need — just give us a call!


By John Pilger on February 25th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Common Chimney Parts Replacement