Total Chimney Care's Blog

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.


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 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.


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.


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

Total Chimney Care celebrates 20 years

This May marks a major celebration for us at Total Chimney Care. We now have been providing top notch chimney services throughout the greater New Haven area for 20 years.20 Years of Total Chimney Care - New Haven - Fairfield CT- Total Chimney Care-w800-h800

Our story

Total Chimney Care founder Steve Sobczak moved to Milford, CT, following his retirement from the U.S. Navy and begin sweeping chimneys. As his business grew, thanks to his glowing reputation, Steve took the business full time in 1996, incorporated Total Chimney Care and opened an office at Total Chimney Care’s current location. As our business has grown, we’ve focused on selecting the right people to serve our clients. We train the most trustworthy applicants in our in-house training facility so our clients can rest assured that the technicians who clean, inspect and service their chimneys are qualified industry experts.

Over the years, as our staff and our expertise has grown, we’ve continued to expand our services and our service areas. In addition to providing sweeping and inspections in accordance with Chimney Safety Institute of America guidelines, we repair leaking chimneys, fireboxes and crumbling mortar; we replace fireboxes, dampers, chimney caps and chimney liners; we perform chimney waterproofing services; we clean and inspect clothing dryer vents to keep your dryer operating safely; and we clean air vents to ensure that the air circulating through your home is dust and allergen free.

Celebrate our anniversary with savings!

We know we wouldn’t be celebrating our 20th anniversary without the support of our loyal customers. With that in mind, we’re inviting our customers to help us celebrate our 20th anniversary with savings! Call the Total Chimney Care office nearest to you to hear about our 20th anniversary savings and discounts. Our office staff will help you determine how you can address needed chimney repairs and have regular chimney maintenance performed at Total Chimney Care’s anniversary prices!

And remember: This is the best time of year to celebrate your early bird chimney cleaning. When you schedule a chimney sweeping during the spring months, you can realize off-season discounts, enjoy faster scheduling times and can provide yourself with plenty of time to have any chimney repairs performed before the next fire-burning season. A spring cleaning removes creosote and ash from your fireplace and chimney, saving it from the damaging qualities of these acidic fire byproducts. Leaving creosote in your chimney over the summer can have other detrimental effects: When creosote mixes with moisture, humidity and high temperatures, it can emit a foul smell that can fill your home all summer long. An early bird chimney sweeping can help you avoid that!

At Total Chimney Care, we’re excited to be celebrating our 20th anniversary, and we hope you’re excited to celebrate with us. Call today to schedule your annual chimney servicing and to find out what anniversary discounts are available to you!

By Steve Sobczak on May 5th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment