Total Chimney Care's Blog

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

What Is HeatShield?

A properly lined chimney plays a significant role in helping your fireplace operate more smoothly, and it will keep your home and family better protected, as well. If your liner is cracked, damaged, or missing, getting a certified technician on the job as soon as possible is a must! Operating a fireplace without a well-fitted liner in place will increase your risk of fires and gas exposure, and your chimney will face a lot of deterioration, as well.

All in all, lighting a fire when you need some relining work completed isn’t a good idea, and you’ll only wind up paying more for hospital bills and property damage if you avoid it. Fortunately, we have an affordable alternative option for those who qualify – HeatShield! Learn more about this product below.

red brick ranch house with chimney

Is Your Flue Made From Clay Or Mortar?

If you have a clay or mortar flue, then there’s a good chance we can use HeatShield to resolve your liner issues. For metal liners, stainless steel will always be your best bet, but it is typically more expensive, and our HeatShield option provides effective results with an impressive 20 year warranty.

So, what is it exactly? Heatshield is a sealant that can be used to fill any cracks, holes, or gaps throughout your structure. This ensures flames and hazardous fumes, like smoke or carbon monoxide, cannot escape into your home.

Is It Effective?

Sometimes homeowners are skeptical about a product that claims to be cheaper, yet highly durable. Does it really stand the test of time? You bet! We are trained with the CSIA and members of the NCSG. You can bet we know our stuff when it comes to the ins and outs of your system.

We’ve been serving this area for over 20 years now, so our long list of satisfied customers can vouch for our knowledge and expertise. When it comes to your fireplace, we know how to tackle it all! We always put your needs and safety before everything else. When you invest in HeatShield, you will get years of protection and safe fires.

Schedule An Inspection With Us Today

We suggest scheduling your inspection now before the busy fall season is officially upon us. We can look things over and make recommendations based on the level of damage you are experiencing. If you’re looking for a safe fireplace throughout the holidays, schedule an appointment!

Don’t put it off any longer. Give our crew a call today, and we can set something up!

By Steve Sobczak on August 25th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Common Flashing Problems

Flashing is the metal piece that seals the area where your roof meets the chimney. As you can imagine, it plays an integral role in keeping this vulnerable space better protected. Unfortunately, sometimes homeowners find themselves experiencing issues with their flashing, which leads to leaks and water damage in their home and fireplace.

If you’re facing problems with excess moisture in your home, and you think that your flashing is to blame, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Total Chimney Care. We can check things over and provide you with the solutions you are looking for. In the meantime, learn more below on some of the common flashing-related problems.

Rusting or Corrosion

Flashing is a part of your home’s construction that takes on a lot of wear and tear. It’s not uncommon for it to have some rust or corrosion over time. Between bad storms, your roof and chimney contracting at different rates, deterioration, and more, it’s not surprising that you may experience a problem or two down the line.

Nothing lasts forever, so if your old flashing is starting to fail you, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll be happy repair or restore your flashing before the burning season kicks off this fall.

Animal Tampering

Woodland critters are curious beasts. While your chimney cap is keeping them out of your flue, that won’t stop them from trying to get in through your flashing. The more they mess with the flashing, the looser and more bent it becomes, forcing you to call a trusted chimney sweep for back up.

Loose Caulk & Gaps

Cracks and gaps throughout your flashing and caulking kind of defeat the purpose of having it installed in the first place. Because of this, addressing these openings in a timely manner is a must. It doesn’t take much for a small hole to turn into a sizable gap. Save yourself the stress of water stains, rotting wood, crumbling brickwork, and more. Invest in the care you deserve by calling our trusted team!

Are You Missing Your Flashing?

If you are missing flashing, then don’t wait to give our crew of CSIA certified experts a call. We will do a thorough overview of your system, and we’ll approach the project with the care and precision you deserve. A chimney without flashing won’t stay in good condition for long, so invest in affordable preventative maintenance to avoid expensive repairs later.

Our busy fall season is only a couple of months away. Reach out to us now to schedule an appointment, so that your fireplace will be ready for use on that first chilly evening. Give us a call at 203-874-6772 to get started!

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

Why You Need A Chimney Cap

As a fireplace owner, making sure your chimney has adequate protection is a must for ensuring everything runs safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, without certain parts, like the chimney cap, your structure will suffer significantly. Learn more about this integral piece of chimney anatomy below, then count on our team to ensure yours is in good shape!

What Is A Chimney Cap?

The chimney cap has become an integral part of chimney safety. In fact, the Underwriters Laboratories has stated that a liner won’t meet their standards unless there is a chimney cap in place to protect it. So, what is it exactly? It is a device that simply covers your flue opening so that no water or excess debris can enter your system. It’s thought of as one of the most affordable pieces of preventable maintenance a homeowner can invest in!

Keeping Out Water, Debris, Animals & More

When it comes to your masonry, water can take its toll on your brickwork and mortar in a hurry. Along with this, a chimney liner that is exposed to the elements will suffer immensely, putting your home and family at risk every time you light a fire. A chimney cap offers a simple solution for avoiding lots of expensive and time-consuming repairs.

Along with this, chimney caps are very effective at keeping out animals such as birds, raccoons, squirrels, and more. These creatures along with their nesting materials can cause damage, clogs, and bring on some unpleasant odors. Not to mention, the removal process can be a hassle. Don’t put yourself through this – have our team install a chimney cap!

Finally, it’s not uncommon for dirt and debris from the outdoors to work its way into your flue and cause clogs. This affects your draft significantly, which is why you need something to keep out all this stuff. The chimney cap can block it all.

They Stop Sparks, Too!

Chimney caps are clearly known for their ability to keep things out, but did you know that they can also keep things from escaping, as well? You are familiar with the fact that stray sparks and embers sometimes fly up your chimney, where they could land on your roof, overhanging tree branches, or nearby flammable structures. This is a hazard, and it could potentially start a fire.

A chimney cap will stop these dangerous sparks from escaping, ensuring you stay as safe as possible, no matter what your fire is doing.

Call Today

If your chimney cap is missing or damaged, don’t put off maintenance any longer. All it takes is one rainy day to mess up your structure for the long haul. However, with a cap in place, you won’t have to stress. Get the protection you deserve. Call on Total Chimney Care today!

By Steve Sobczak on July 26th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Stinky Chimney Problems? Call On Us

Fireplaces are designed to ensure smoke, fumes, and potentially harmful gases are always sent up and out of the home through the chimney. This gives homeowners the ability to easily maintain a pleasant aesthetic, and it minimizes the risk of health issues related to smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation.

Unfortunately, the heat and humidity of summer can sometimes cause your draft to reverse. This means the unpleasant smells that creosote produces will enter your home and stink everything up. It could also mean that you have dangerous levels of buildup in your flue, as well. Fortunately, the Total Chimney Care team has solutions for you.

Removing Creosote

One of the most obvious and effective solutions to get rid of bad smells from your chimney is to remove the creosote deposits inside it. This plays a big part in keeping your home smelling fresh, and it makes it a lot safer to light fires too. Too much creosote in your chimney increases your risk of experiencing a chimney fire significantly too. You should play it smart and have our experts do a thorough sweeping before burning season begins.

Addressing Any Construction Issues

Sometimes your chimney itself is not to drafting properly. If this is the case, we may need to do some reconstruction work. Whether the height of your chimney is not ideal, the opening is too small, or there is simply a lot of damages, finding the problem and figuring out a way to resolve it is essential for getting your chimney and fireplace back to working condition.

Installing A Chimney Cap

Keeping moisture out of your flue can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding bad odors. When water enters and settles in your chimney, it won’t be too long before bad smells start to form. Excess moisture also leads to rotting, clogs, mold accumulation, and other problems that can trigger unfortunate smells too!

All in all, water is terrible for the health of your structure, so a chimney cap is vital for keeping your system in good shape. It will also keep out excess debris that could stink things up and animals that are known to bring objectionable odors.

Get Your Inspection On The Books Today!

Summertime is a great time for inspections because we will have ample time to address any issues we come across before fall and cooler weather comes back around. Along with this, it’s typically easier to schedule an appointment because our busy season is still a couple of months away.

If you want to work with a crew that is CSIA certified, committed to excellence, and always puts your needs first, reach out to us today!

By Steve Sobczak on July 10th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment