Total Chimney Care's Blog

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

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