Total Chimney Care's Blog

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

The early bird gets the worm — Schedule your chimney appointment now!

Fall is just around the corner. As soon as the leaves turn and the temperatures begin to drop, homeowners throughout the northeast will call their chimney sweeps to schedule their annual chimney sweepings and inspections. When it comes to having your chimney swept in a timely manner and fully prepared for fall, the early bird really does get the worm.

Get the appointment you want, faster

The early bird gets the worm — Schedule your chimney appointment now - Fairfield & New Haven CT - Total Chimney Care In the fall, our schedules fill up fast. You may have to wait weeks for a chimney sweeping and inspection, which can delay the enjoyment of your fireplace. To get an appointment in the fall, you might even have to rearrange your schedule for when your sweep is available. By calling to schedule before the fall rush, you can get an appointment faster! Schedule an appointment with us right now, and your chimney will be swept, inspected and ready for all the fires to come.

Leave time for repairs

Most chimney sweepings and inspections are routine maintenance. Your sweep clears away creosote and performs a quick inspection to make sure your chimney is damage free and safe to use. Unfortunately, chimney inspections sometimes reveals needed repairs. When repairs are necessary, they should be addressed immediately. Having your chimney swept early leave plenty of time for needed repairs, and then your chimney will be ready for fall.

Make the improvements you’ve been thinking about

Have you been thinking about making improvements to your hearth or chimney? Fireplace and chimney improvements are often put off, until homeowners are ready to use their fireplaces again in the fall. By then, it’s often too late as our schedule is usually filled up. When you schedule your annual chimney service early, you can consult with our chimney sweep about the improvements you’ve been considering. By scheduling your sweeping early, you can spend this winter enjoying the fireplace of your dreams.

When it comes to annual chimney sweepings and inspections, the early bird really does get the worm! Don’t wait! Call Total Chimney Care today at 203-874-6772 to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection now!

By Steve Sobczak on August 30th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

What causes chimney odors?

Summer’s heat and humidity have set in. Unfortunately, when temperatures and moisture rise, something else can set into your home: Chimney odors. Chimney odors that are absent in the winter can become obvious and strong in the summer. These odors can be distressing and embarrassing. No one wants a stinky home!

So what exactly is causing your chimney odor? It could be one of several things.

Creosote

Most people know creosote — the sticky, tar-like substance that forms in your chimney each time you burn a fire — as a fire risk. Creosote buildup is the primary reason we have our chimney’s swept each year. It is a way to reduce the risk of a chimney fire. Creosote buildup can have another effect, however. When humidity and high temperatures reach creosote in your chimney, it can fill your home with an acrid, burning smell.

Chimney leaks

A damp, musty smell can be an indicator that your chimney is leaking. Water making its way into your chimney over time can bring mold and mildew, and it can fill your home with an unpleasant, musty smell.

Animals

Animals and birds can make their way into your chimney, and they can bring foul smells with them. Some animals come into your chimney accidentally and can become trapped. Should they die within your chimney, you’ll be left with a horrible rotting smell. Meanwhile, animals that come and go can leave behind rotting nests and food or fecal waste that can cause your chimney and home to smell.

Debris

If you’re chimney isn’t properly covered with a caged-in chimney cap or a top-sealing damper, leaves and other debris could be making its way down your flue. If debris has built up in your chimney, it can begin to rot, filling your home with a moldy or compost-like smell.

Downdraft

In the end, if your chimney stinks and that odor is filling your home, you have a problem with your chimney draft. Chimney structures are meant to draw air up and out of your home. A smell being pulled into your home through your chimney indicates that air is flowing in the opposite direction. This can be caused by improper chimney construction or size, other appliances causing negative pressure in your home or the air-tight construction of your home.

We’re the chimney experts

If chimney odors are filling your home this summer, call the chimney experts at Total Chimney Care. We can sweep your chimney to clear away any odor-causing creosote, animals or debris. Also, we can inspect your chimney for any odor-causing leaks. Our certified chimney sweeps also can evaluate your chimney drafts and help make recommendations on fixing your chimney draft to ensure that air is flowing in the right direction and that future chimney odors won’t foul up the air within your home.

By Steve Sobczak on July 20th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule Your Chimney Inspection and Repairs Now!

Too many homeowners wait until the last few days of summer, or the early days of fall, to schedule their chimney inspection and repairs. For the easiest scheduling of cleaning and repairs, schedule your chimney services now!

Avoid the Fall Rush

As soon as Labor Day strikes and temperatures show signs of cooling off, nearly every homeowner with a fireplace calls to schedule their annual sweeping and inspection, along with any repairs they may have planned. While that’s certainly fine, waiting until the late summer or early fall can have you struggling to get on a chimney’s sweep’s schedule. By calling to schedule your chimney sweeping and inspection now, you can avoid the fall rush. You will be able to schedule your appointment more easily, have a wider range of dates and times available to you, and you won’t risk delaying lighting your first fire while you wait to have your fireplace and chimney serviced.

Leave Ample Time for Repairs

The other major problem with waiting until fall to have your chimney swept and inspected is that if your sweep finds the need for repairs, you might not have time to have the repairs completed before cold, wet weather sets in. Most masonry materials require warmer, dry weather to properly set. To make sure you can have your chimney repaired while the weather is optimal, call now to schedule your chimney sweeping and inspection. Or, if you see cracks or damaged masonry on your chimney and expect that repairs are needed, call now to get those repairs scheduled!

Stop Further Chimney Damage

Most chimney damage occurs in the winter, as the result of winter precipitation, freezing temperatures, and vicious winter winds. And with most chimney damage, the longer the damage goes unchecked, the more severe the problem becomes and the more expensive it can become to fix. That’s why it’s wise to have your chimney inspected in the spring or early summer. That allows you to catch and repair any damage incurred over the winter before it can worsen.

Make Upgrades

Most people think of upgrading their fireplace or chimney when it’s in use for the season. They put off the improvements because they don’t want to interrupt the usage of their hearth. Then summer rolls around, and the improvements go forgotten until it’s time to light the fire again. If you want to improve your hearth with a new insert, new fuel type, new damper or hearth rebuild, summer is the time to make your upgrades! By planning for upgrades in the summer, your improved hearth will be ready for your first fire come fall.

Don’t wait to have your chimney swept and inspected, your fireplace repaired or your hearth upgraded! Call Total Chimney Care now to schedule your chimney service or to speak to one of our fireplace and chimney experts about the possibility of upgrades or repairs!

By Steve Sobczak on June 19th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Start 2017 Off With A Chimney Inspection!

A new year brings new beginnings. With that in mind, many people start the new year with a traditional deep cleaning of their homes. If you are trying to get your home in order, due to your new year’s resolution, start your with a chimney inspection!

A New Year Means a Fresh Start

You probably know that your chimney should be swept and inspected at least once per year to keep your home safe. A chimney sweeping inspection removes creosote buildups and other deposits within your chimney. It provides an opportunity to detect any cracks, deterioration, damage or malfunctioning in your chimney and fireplace system. While fall is the traditional time of year for a chimney sweeping and inspection, many people slide past their annual inspection date, past Christmas and into the new year.  The new year is the perfect time to have your chimney inspected. If your chimney is swept now, you still have plenty of the fire-burning season left to enjoy your freshly swept chimney.

A Clean Chimney Means a Cleaner Home

If you like to give your home a deep cleaning every new year, a chimney sweeping is a must. A dirty chimney can fill your home with unpleasant odors from creosote deposits, an animal nest or organic matter. If you have a stinky chimney filling your home with foul odors, your home won’t truly seem clean. A chimney sweeping will clear away the debris in your chimney that can cause unpleasant smells in your home.

Cleaning Your Chimney Now Means Less Work Later

By having your chimney swept as part of your new year’s resolution, you will cross one more thing off of your home to-do list! That means you will be able to enjoy your fireplace safely for the rest of the season, and you won’t have to worry about your chimney again until you light a fire next year. When the fall fire-burning season hits, you will already have a well-prepped fireplace.

A Chimney Inspection Now Let’s You Plan For Repairs

The best time for chimney repairs is in the spring and summer, when you’re not planning to use your fireplace. If you have your chimney swept now to prepare your home for the new year, you will have ample time to schedule your chimney repairs or improvements. This will prepare you chimney for good use next fall.

If you are ready to start 2017 off with a chimney cleaning and inspection, call Total Chimney Care to schedule your appointment today!

By Steve Sobczak on February 6th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment