Total Chimney Care's Blog

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

Throat vs top-sealing chimney dampers

Did you know that you have an alternative to a traditional chimney damper? Most homeowners are familiar with throat dampers, which are located just above their fireboxes. While most fireplaces and chimneys have this type of damper, throat dampers actually aren’t the best option for sealing your chimney. If your chimney throat damper isn’t performing the way it should, you should consider installing a top-sealing damper.

The problem with traditional throat dampers

Just because chimney throat dampers are the most common dampers doesn’t mean they are ideal. Throat chimney dampers feature a metal-on-metal closure. The dampers are a metal disc or flap that sits inside a metal ring or frame. When the damper closes, the flap sits in place to block off the chimney opening. Because these dampers are metal on metal, air can seep around the edges of the damper flap. On chilly winter days, that can allow warm air from your home to escape around the edges of the chimney flap, which means you waste energy. When cold winds blow, they can blow down your chimney and around the edges of the damper, chilling your home and making it feel drafty.

Over time, throat chimney dampers tend to get worse in terms of performance. The extreme heat from your fireplace can cause the damper to warp. Any moisture that finds its way down the chimney can cause the damper to rust. Warping and rusting can cause gaps around the chimney damper to become more severe. They can even cause the damper to get stuck in place so it won’t open or close at all.

Top-sealing chimney dampers

Top-sealing chimney dampers are the superior choice when it comes to efficiency, durability, and function. They are installed at the top of the chimney flue opening, on the exterior of your home. It has a rubber gasket around the edge that seals completely when the damper is closed. This prevents warm air from rising out of the chimney and cold blasts from finding their way down your chimney and home. The tight seal also prevents moisture from finding its way into your chimney. It will seal out any animals or debris that might accidentally find their way into your chimney. Top-sealing chimney dampers operate as simply as throat dampers, so you won’t notice much of a difference. However, you will see rewards as you lose less heat from your chimney and your chimney securely blocks out cold air, moisture, animals, and debris.

Top-sealing dampers are far superior compared to traditional throat dampers in every way. If you are ready to make your home more efficient, you should seal off your chimney with a top-sealing damper, call Total Chimney Care! We can install a top-sealing damper to make your home more efficient and protect your home and chimney from water damage!

By Steve Sobczak on June 28th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The dangers of clogged clothing dryer vents

Keeping your clothes dryer running safely and efficiently depends on your care and maintenance of it. When your dryer is in use, lint from clothes and linens escapes and gets sucked into the dryer vent. Some of it is captured by the lint screen, but some of the lint gets into the vents. In the vents, the lint sticks to the vent walls.

Over time, that lint builds up and can severely restrict or completely block the dryer vents. Clogged dryer vents create several dangers for your home. Those dangers include:

  • Clothes dryer fires
  • Carbon monoxide buildup
  • Inefficient dryer operation
  • Shortened dryer lifespan

Dangers of clogged dryer vents

Clothes dryers do have heating elements that can catch fire, and clogged dryer vents are the leading cause of dryer fires. Clogged vents prevent hot air from escaping the dryer. That hot air builds up, and the heating element begins working overtime to compensate and cause the heating element to burst into flames. 

There is more than hot air exhausts through your clothes dryer vents. If you have a gas dryer, the carbon monoxide generated by the combustion in the dryer exhausts through the dryer vents. If the vents are clogged, carbon monoxide can’t escape through the vent. Instead, it builds up within your home. If it goes unchecked, it can build up to sicken your family and there is even a risk of death.

At a minimum, clogged dryer vents prevent your dryer from operating properly and efficiently. It will take longer for you to dry each load of laundry. You’ll run your dryer multiple times, which cost you more time and money. Because clogged dryer vents cause your dryer to work overtime to compensate for inefficient exhausting, it can shorten the lifespan of it.

Keeping your home safe from the dangers of clogged dryer vents

The best way to keep your home safe from the dangers of clogged dryer vents is to prevent a buildup of lint in your dryer vents. To keep your dryer vents clear of lint and keep your dryer operating safely and efficiently, there are some things you can do.

You can clean the lint trap between each load of laundry. If the lint trap is full of lint, there is nowhere for the lint to go but into your dryer vents. You should never run your dryer without the lint trap in place. It’s also a great idea to schedule a professional dryer vent inspection and cleaning with us at least once a year. Professional dryer vent cleaning employs rotating brushes and high-powered vacuums to fully clear all the lint from your dryer vents.

Reach out to our professional for a dryer vent cleaning or inspection

You need to know the signs of clogged dryer vents. When you know the warning signs of clogged dryer vents, this gives you time to get a much-needed dryer vent cleaning before it is a major hazard. When vents are restricted, dryer cycles will take longer to dry your laundry, clothes may smell musty. You may also smell a burning smell when the dryer is running, or laundry room may become unusually warm when the dryer is operating.

If your clothes dryer is showing signs of clogged vents or if you’re overdue for a professional dryer vent cleaning, call Total Chimney Care! Our certified technicians can clean your dryer vents to keep your home safe from the dangers of clogged dryer vents!

By Steve Sobczak on June 14th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment