Total Chimney Care's Blog

What Can Happen If You Neglect Your Chimney

The holidays always swing back around quicker than expected and that often leads to a busy fall and winter for us as sweeps! Here at Total Chimney Care, we’ve been inspecting, repairing, and sweeping countless chimneys over the last few months, and we would love to get yours all set and ready for the weeks of festivities that are soon approaching.

Unfortunately, because most chimney companies get extra busy this time of year, many customers are forced to wait a bit longer than normal to get their system looked over. This scenario leaves many considering just how important this maintenance actually is and if they can put it off until spring or summer.

damaged chimney

Well, we encourage all of our customers to please be patient and get their annual chimney services completed before lighting any fires. The CSIA recommends yearly inspections because there are countless issues that can arise if you neglect to give your system the care and attention it needs, and we would hate to see families in the area get in harm’s way over a problem that is so easily avoided.

GIve us a call today to get the help you need from a team that is certified, trained, and eager to excel!

The Impacts Of Water Damage

One reason your chimney should be inspected regularly is so your sweep can look for any signs of water damage. Water and your masonry don’t mix well, and you could find yourself with a lot of decay if you don’t invest in preventative measures early on. One thing we encourage homeowners to look into is our waterproofing services.

By having our chimney techs waterproof your brickwork, you guarantee no moisture can penetrate the bricks or mortar and cause damage. These materials are very absorbent, and when water works its way in, it breaks things down significantly. Along with this, the freezing temperatures we so often face in Fairfield and its surrounding cities can lead to the freeze/thaw process.

What’s the freeze/thaw process? Well, when this preabsorbed moisture freezes and expands it puts a lot of strain on your masonry. Once it thaws and settles, your structure feels a lot of pressure, too, and if this happens multiple times of year (which is typically the case), you’re looking at a lot of extra stress on your chimney, as a whole. All of this wear and tear will lead to significant damage or, in some cases, a chimney collapse or settlement.

Along with all this, water throughout your flue and chimney can cause your metal components to rust, your crown to crumble, and your liner to deteriorate, all of which leaves you vulnerable to even more problems. The more your structure breaks down, the higher your chances are smoke, flames, and carbon monoxide entering your home. Why take the risk? Call on our team today – we would be happy to set you up right.

The Dangers Of Excess Creosote

Another major reason why inspections are needed before the start of every burning season is so that the sweeps are able to detect and remove any creosote that is building up. Creosote is especially harmful due to its flammable nature, and if it ignites it could send flames up your chimney. Your masonry isn’t designed to withstand these high temperatures, so your brickwork and mortar will crack, crumble, and deteriorate, and your flashing, chimney cap, and liner will likely face some serious problems, as well.

As you can imagine, the aftermath of a chimney fire can take quite a bit of time and money to address, and you’ll be left without a usable appliance until all damages can be appropriately repaired. In the end, you’re a lot better off investing in an affordable cleaning now, rather than expensive repair and restoration work down the line.

On top of everything, chimney fires are really threatening to the well-being of your home. More often than not, they occur slowly and quietly, leaving most homeowners unaware that they have a problem at all. This means countless families will light fires in a fireplace that is really unsafe, and it increases the odds of gas leaks, fires, and chimney collapses significantly. This is another big reason why investing in annual inspections is important!

Spotting Wear & Tear Early

All in all, by getting an expert’s eye on your fireplace and chimney, you ensure any early signs of damage or wear and tear is spotted right away and can be taken care of before your family experiences any risks. Detecting problems early on is always the preferred route, and it will put less strain on your budget and schedule in the end. Most importantly, your loved ones will stay as safe as possible.

We’re Here To Inspect, Sweep, Repair & More

At Total Chimney Care, we care about making you feel comfortable and totally satisfied with any and all of the services we offer. We put our sweeps through extensive training, and we work with reputable organizations like the CSIA and the NCSG to ensure we stay knowledgeable and up-to-date on it all. Your needs will always come first, and we are proud to offer mess-free, on-time care every single time.

So, what are you waiting for? The time to reach out to our reliable team is now. Call today!

Keep Your Air Cleaner With Air Duct Cleanings

Temperatures are already starting to drop, and before long we’ll be hit with snow, ice, and sleet. Throughout these weeks, families tend to stay indoors as much as possible, either cozied up by the fire, baking something sweet to eat, or simply curled up on the couch with a good movie or book. If this sounds all too familiar, then perhaps it’s time to ensure the air ducts in your home are free of contaminants and running as efficiently as possible!

air duct

Dust, Mold & Other Potential Threats

It’s inevitable that foreign substances will accumulate in your air duct system. Dust, dirt, and other debris can work their way in easily, then continue spreading throughout your home until someone eventually removes them. While their presence cannot be altogether avoided, what can be controlled is how much of it there is.

By regularly investing in cleanings (at least one per year), you minimize the number of contaminants that are regularly in your air. This will do a lot for the health of you and your family members, and it is especially beneficial for those with allergies, asthma, or a weakened immune system.

If you have a pet, you also risk pet dander floating through your home on a constant basis. This could leave guests and loved ones sick in a hurry and, if anyone has been down the flu or some other illness in the recent past, those viruses will be shuffling through your air system, too. All in all, a regular cleaning can play a big part in keeping everyone happier, healthier, and more comfortable.

The Impact On Your Bank Account

Another thing many fail to consider is the impact of poor circulation on one’s monthly energy bills. As your vents get dirtier and dirtier, they have to work a lot harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. In a time where you’ll likely be running the heat a lot more, this is the last thing you need, and higher bills could make holiday shopping and meal planning more of a struggle, as well.

In the long run, paying for a cleaning now will be a lot more beneficial than paying more for energy usage month-to-month. Not to mention, you’ll avoid costly doctor bills, too, since family members will be less likely to get sick! It’s a win all around.

Do My Ducts Need Attention?

Not sure when you had your last cleaning or if your ducts are in poor shape? Here are a few signs to watch for:

  • You’ve been sweeping and wiping up more dust than usual.
  • Higher than normal energy bills.
  • You’ve undergone reconstruction work. (This tends to bring a lot of dust and other particles into your home.)
  • You notice a constant layer of dust throughout your home.

Our Team Is The Best

We use EPA-approved equipment on every cleaning job we tackle, and our certified and experienced team is sure to get the job done right every time. We don’t cut corners, and you can bet we won’t miss a thing! If you’re ready to work with a reliable crew, we’re it. Call today to set up your appointment.

By Steve Sobczak on October 20th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Are You Ready For Your Burning Season?

Are the dropping temperatures putting you in the mood to light a fire? When the chilly winds of fall arrive, there’s no better spot to be than curled up inside next to a warm, crackling flame. Guarantee yourself peace of mind and comfort by ensuring your fireplace and chimney are all set and ready for use. Our team is here to help with it all!

Schedule An Inspection

First things first, get that annual inspection on the calendar. Our team of CSIA certified technicians are able to perform all three levels of chimney inspections, so we can help you out, no matter what. We have the tools, know-how, and equipment necessary to get a thorough and in-depth look, and we can suggest further maintenance based upon our findings. If you want to know where your chimney stands, this is the way to learn.

Address Damages & Build-Up

If our inspection reveals obstructions, creosote build-up, crumbling masonry, damaged chimney parts, or anything else of concern, then it is important to resolve all issues before lighting any fires. While this may mean putting off the start of your burning season for a bit, it is really the only option. Operating a damaged or clogged chimney would put your home and family at serious risk of gas exposure and fires.

Check Your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Once you have the go-ahead to put your appliance to use, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working appropriately before getting a fire going. These devices have saved countless lives over the years, alarming people of potential threats all throughout the night and day. If there’s smoke or poisonous gas in your home, your detectors will be sure to let you know.

Fuel Up

Do you have a wood-burning fireplace, stove, or insert? Then, finding the right fuel is essential! Never use unseasoned wood or garbage as this encourages the accumulation of creosote, and it makes your fires a lot more smokey, too. Rather, invest in well-seasoned logs that have been drying out for at least six months. These pieces should be lightweight, split and dark at the ends, shorter in length, and will make a hollow, “clunking” noise when smacked against each other.

Rely On Us

If you want to guarantee a successful burning period this fall and winter, the best way to do so is to rely on our experienced and qualified team. We’ve been serving the area for over 20 years now, and it’s clear that we are passionate about keeping homes and families as safe and as comfortable as possible.

Ready to work with a team that you can trust in for many years to come? Reach out today. Total Chimney Care is ready to have your back through it all!

By Steve Sobczak on October 6th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Benefits Of Regular Cleanings & Inspections

One thing that the CSIA, as well as countless reputable chimney companies, promote is the importance of annual chimney inspections. These, along with regular cleanings and sweepings, can make an enormous impact on the safety and efficiency of your appliance and, here at Total Chimney Care, we can help you out with it all. We’ve been in business for over twenty years now, so there isn’t a lot we haven’t seen! Give us a call today to get your inspection on the books.

man with bucket on ladder looking into chimney

Spotting Excess Creosote

There are lots of benefits of investing in regular inspections, and spotting creosote is one of them. Creosote is extremely harmful to your chimney, and its flammable nature could easily cause a chimney fire to occur. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent it from forming, but by hiring a sweep to regularly clear things out, you can reduce your risk of experiencing problems significantly.

Chimney fires cause serious damage, and they will make you more prone to experience house fires and gas leaks. Play it safe by calling on our team today!

Addressing Masonry Damage

If your brickwork and mortar is cracked, crumbling, or broken down, then investing in repair work as soon as possible is the right route to take, and an inspection will reveal any problems in a hurry. Open pathways throughout your structure give smoke, flames, and carbon monoxide ample opportunity to escape into your home, and they will keep your fireplace from functioning as efficiently as possible. The longer you put off necessary services, the worse things will get, so make the call today and get our team on the job!

Removing Obstructions

As your chimney goes through months of disuse throughout the spring and summer months, animals, nesting materials, and other outside debris could easily enter and clog things up. Having these items removed before lighting any fires is vital, as obstructions could send smoke and other harmful fumes back into your living space. Our team can remove any build-up, then ensure you have a chimney cap installed to prevent these issues from occurring again down the line.

Preventative Maintenance

As you may have realized by now, preventative maintenance is key when it comes to keeping your structure stronger for the long haul. An inspection can reveal weak points in your set-up, allowing us the opportunity to recommend effective measures to keep you better protected down the line. For example, your chimney cap may be broken or your flashing may be missing – both of these scenarios will trigger leaks and water damage.

Whether you need new parts installed, waterproofing services completed, your crown repaired, or something else, our team can get the job done.

Book Now & Beat The Rush

Fall weather is finally upon us, and soon the holidays will be here in full swing. Ensure you are all set and ready to enjoy the festivities by counting on us for all of your chimney-related services. Our busy season is just about here, so call today to set up your appointment early and guarantee a time slot that works well for your schedule. We’d love to work with you soon!

By Steve Sobczak on September 22nd, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Firebox Repairs & Rebuilds

Do you know the area of your fireplace where the fires actually burn? That place is called the firebox and, whether you have a wood-burning unit or a gas-fueled appliance, keeping your firebox in tip-top shape is a must.

Firebox Rebuild and repairs

This piece of chimney anatomy takes on a big role by hosting your cozy fireplace fires, and it faces a lot of heat and wear-and-tear throughout the burning process. Because of this, addressing damages or structural concerns in a prompt fashion is essential. Failing to do so will keep your fireplace from operating as efficiently as possible, and it could quickly lead to some dangerous situations for your home and family, as well.

Learn more about the threats of a damaged firebox below, then count on our team to assist with any necessary repairs or rebuilds. We would love to set you up right before the fall season officially arrives!

Carbon Monoxide Exposure

A major risk involved with a faulty firebox is the increased chances of experiencing carbon monoxide exposure. Gaps, cracks, and broken down areas offer open pathways for dangerous fumes, like this one, to enter your home. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless making it nearly impossible to detect, and it has proven to be deadly when not addressed quickly.

By investing in regular maintenance for your heating devices, air duct system, and more, and by placing carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, you could make all the difference in keeping your family better protected this upcoming holiday season.

House Fires

Another big risk that comes with operating a broken down firebox is the increased risk of house fires. The same openings that poisonous gases can escape through could also provide a place for flames to escape into your household, causing any adjacent woodwork to eventually catch on fire. As you can imagine, this could result in quite a bit of property damage, which is a lot more costly to address than simply investing in an affordable fireplace repair.

Minimize your family’s risk of injury by counting on our crew to help you out with every step of this process. We’ll have you all set and ready to use your fireplace in no time!

Schedule An Inspection Today

If you are at all concerned about the condition your structure is in, then don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. As CSIA certified sweeps, we urge all homeowners to invest in an annual inspection to ensure their chimney and fireplace stay in the best shape possible year after year. If you’re ready to get yours scheduled, give us a call today. We’d love to hear from you!

By Steve Sobczak on September 8th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment