Total Chimney Care's Blog

Why We Recommend Stainless Steel Chimney Liners

A chimney liner is your home’s main protection from the heat, smoke, and sparks from your fireplace. Over time, chimney liners often need replacing, whether it’s due to water damage, fire damage or just overall deterioration. When this happens, we at Total Chimney Care strongly recommend choosing a stainless steel chimney liner. Here’s why.

Stainless steel chimney liners can handle the heat from your fireplace.

When it comes to resilience, it’s hard to beat a stainless steel chimney liner. In the event of a chimney fire, a  stainless steel chimney liner can easily handle the heat of the fire. In contrast, the clay tiles of a masonry chimney expand and crack, often rendering the liner ineffective. Many chimney fires go undetected. Therefore, a stainless steel liner might keep your home safe from a chimney fire or from a previously weakened chimney.

Stainless steel chimney liners are durable.

Stainless steel chimney liners are less likely to deteriorate than their clay tile or aluminum counterpart over time. In fact, many stainless steel chimney liners come with warranties because they are manufactured to last a lifetime.

Stainless steel chimney liners are suitable for nearly any type of fireplace.

There are so many different types of fireplaces that it’s hard to find a one-size-fits-all option for chimney liners. Stainless steel chimney liners often offer that option. They’re suitable for wood-burning, gas or pellet-burning appliances. They come in several lengths and circumferences, so you can find one to fit your existing chimney. Additionally, they can help you resize your chimney to improve an improper draft.
Stainless steel chimney liners are easy to install in an existing chimney.

Your masonry chimney liner needing replaced can present a problem. Replacing a masonry chimney liner with new flue tiles involves disassembling and reconstructing the entire chimney. The process is time consuming, messy, expensive and impractical. However, a stainless steel chimney liner can save the hassle and the expense! Stainless steel chimney liners are simply inserted from the top of your chimney. They fit into place to provide perfect ventilation for your fireplace or heating stove.

Needing a new chimney liner can be a terrifying thing! It means not relining your chimney may put your home and your family in danger. Total Chimney Care can solve the problem effectively. A safe, durable, and suitable stainless steel chimney liner immediately allows you to enjoy your fireplace or heating stove. If your chimney needs relining, call Total Chimney Care to hear more about stainless steel chimney liners today!

By Steve Sobczak on December 15th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Common Problems Found During Chimney Inspections

Your chimney inspection can be nerve wracking, especially if it’s been awhile since the chimney has last been looked at by a professional. You don’t know what problems the inspection could turn up or how much those problems could cost to repair. To help you anticipate potential problems, here are some common issues that come up during chimney inspections.

Cracked Chimney Crown

Chimney crowns, the exterior portion of the chimney that surrounds the chimney flue opening, are particularly susceptible to damage. That’s because chimney crowns are exposed to the elements and will crack or crumble due to moisture and freezing temperatures. On top of that, chimney crowns are often constructed from the wrong materials, which leads to faster breakdown and deterioration. It’s crucial to repair a cracked or damaged chimney crown because a failing chimney crown can allow water to seep into your home around the chimney flue, leading to further chimney damage or damage to your home’s structure.

Missing Chimney Caps

Chimney caps are metal tops that keep out water, wind gust, animals, and debris. Chimney caps should top off all chimneys, but sometimes they are not included during construction. Other times, wind or other elements damage the cap. A missing or damage chimney cap must be replaced, as a chimney cap is your chimney’s best defense against water damage.

Damaged Chimney Liner

Your chimney liner deals with the extreme temperatures from your fireplace, as well as moisture and soot. Sometimes the liner contains small chimney fires which go undetected until an inspection. All of these factors can cause cracks or weakening in the chimney liner. Repairing your chimney liner restores its function so it can continue to protect your home from the extreme temperatures, sparks and smoke from your fireplace.

Water Damage

Extending beyond your roofline, your chimney faces the brunt of the elements. It also provides and opening to your home’s structure. That makes your chimney extremely vulnerable to water damage. Chimney inspections often will turn up masonry water damage on your chimney’s exterior, top or interior. Inspections also can turn up leaks around the chimney base or through the structure. It’s especially important to address water damage in your chimney, as unaddressed water damage worsens over time. It weakens your chimney’s structure and potentially damages your surrounding home structure.


Particularly if a chimney goes unused for an extended period of time, chimney inspections turn up obstructions. Natural debris, animals or even uncleared creosote can obstruct your chimney. An obstructed chimney puts your home in danger of a chimney fire or can force dangerous carbon monoxide back into your home.

If you’re due for a chimney inspection, call the experts at Total Chimney Care! Trust our certified chimney technicians to perform a thorough inspection of your chimney. We clearly explain any problems discovered and propose the best solution to restoring your chimney’s appearance, structure and function.

By Steve Sobczak on December 1st, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Your Oil Flue Needs Cleaning and Maintenance

Weather experts have forecasted another brutal winter this year, which has everyone prepping for the upcoming chilly months. Some homeowners rely on their trusty oil furnace to keep the house heated throughout winter. To ensure the oil furnace runs smoothly, the appliance should be serviced prior to every new season of use, and that includes have the flue swept out and inspected. Not every oil furnace technician cleans the flue, so make sure your furnace flue gets cleaned before winter really gets going.

Maintain Oil Flue - Milford CT - Total Chimney CareThe furnace flue has the primary job of venting toxic materials produced by the oil combustion process out of the house. Every time the furnace runs, soot forms and settles on chimney liner. Mostly comprised of carbon and sulfur, this black and messy material can build up to the point of blocking the proper ventilation of toxic fumes. This forces byproducts of the burning process to backup into the house, polluting the air you breathe. Some of this pollution can be very dangerous, like carbon monoxide. This invisible gas has no smell or taste to alert you of its presence, which means you could suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning without even realizing it.

On the other hand, the soot may also fall back onto the appliance, making it difficult to properly expel the resulting gases. This can hinder the efficiency of the furnace, which will cost you money in wasted fuel, and it can even shorten the life span of the furnace, which will cost you in buying a new furnace earlier than expected.

The soot that does not block the flow of gases through the flue or fall back onto the appliance simply clings to the walls of the flue. While it seems harmless enough just sitting there, it is actually causing damage right before your eyes. When the carbon and sulfur mixture combines with water vapors or rain water, it seeps into the clay tiles of the flue liner and deteriorates them by cracking, flaking and spalling. In the case of a stainless steel flue liner, the sulfur undergoes an acidic reaction that burns tiny holes into the liner. Whether the clay tiles start flaking or the stainless steel fills with holes, the flue liner can no longer do its job of protecting the house from dangerous flue gases.

Fortunately, all of this can be prevented by regularly cleaning and maintaining the flue of the oil furnace. If it seems the appliance technician has not cleaned the flue during the regular servicing appointment, do not hesitate to ask. Schedule a separate cleaning if you have any uncertainty about the condition of the flue. Your health and the longevity of your furnace depend on this regular care. To schedule a flue cleaning in the area of New Haven and Fairfield, Connecticut, contact Total Chimney Care.

By Steve Sobczak on December 5th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

All About Liners

Your chimney’s liner serves a critical purpose: it protects the exterior masonry from the direct impact of heat. Over time, your liner may develop cracks and need to be replaced or repaired.