Total Chimney Care's Blog

Are you ready to light your fireplace?

Lighting Your Fireplace Image - Fairfield & New Haven CT - Total Chimney Care LLCTemperatures are dipping, and the holidays are almost upon us. This time of year has many homeowners lighting their first fires of the season. Before you use your fireplace for the first time this fall, you need to follow this checklist to determine: Are you ready to light your fireplace?

Have your fireplace swept and inspected.

If your fireplace hasn’t been swept or inspected since your last fire of the spring, you aren’t ready to light your fireplace. Your annual chimney sweeping removes dangerous creosote deposits, which can ignite a chimney fire or block smoke from exiting your fireplace if left unchecked. Your annual chimney inspection checks for any weaknesses, damage or blockages in your chimney that could pose a hazard when your fireplace is lit. Don’t light your first fire if you haven’t had your chimney swept and inspected!

Perform any recommended repairs.

If your chimney inspection turned up any needed repairs, don’t ignore them, no matter how small they seem! Even the smallest chimney issue can put your fireplace or your home at risk. Small cracks in your firebox or chimney liner can allow heat and smoke to enter your home, causing damage or a fire or sickening your family with carbon monoxide. Cracks in the chimney crown or exterior masonry can allow water to penetrate your chimney and your home and do damage. As tempting as it is to ignore recommended repairs when it comes time for the first fire of the fall, make sure you take care of chimney repairs before you use your fireplace.

Make any improvements.

Did last winter have you thinking about fireplace improvements? Did you consider a new damper to replace one that no longer sealed out cold air? Would you like to install an efficient gas fireplace insert to your existing hearth? Could your hearth’s masonry use some cosmetic work? It’s not too late to make improvements to your fireplace or chimney! You could still have a new fireplace insert, fireplace or heating stove installed to enjoy all winter long, or you could replace dated or aged chimney or fireplace parts that are no longer working optimally to improve the function of your fireplace and chimney this winter.

Waterproof your chimney.

Water is your chimney’s greatest enemy. It erodes your chimney’s masonry and can compromise its structure. It can rust your damper, fireplace grate and fireplace doors. It can even seep into your home and cause structural or cosmetic damage. You can save your chimney from water damage this winter by having your chimney waterproofed!

Call Total Chimney Care to Schedule an appointment today!

If your fireplace and chimney aren’t quite ready for fall, call Total Chimney Care to schedule an appointment today! We can clean and inspect your chimney, perform any needed repairs or desired improvements, or waterproof your chimney to protect it from moisture this winter. With Total Chimney Care, you can be sure that your chimney and fireplace are ready for the first fire of the fall!

By Steve Sobczak on November 25th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Be sure your chimney is ready for winter

Chimney in Winter Image - Fairfield & New Haven CT - Total Chimney CareAs the summer rush slows down, it’s time to start thinking about fall maintenance. Of course, fall maintenance means preparing your chimney for its first fire. There are several steps you should take to be sure that your chimney is ready for winter.

Schedule your annual sweeping and inspection.

If your home has a chimney, the number one priority on your fall maintenance list should be having your chimney swept and inspected in preparation for winter. According to the National Fire Protection Association’s code, all fire-burning appliances and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected annually to help reduce the risk of a home fire. Each winter, your chimney develops a coating of creosote with every fire you burn. Creosote is highly flammable and, if left unchecked, it can ignite from the heat of your fireplace. Your annual chimney sweeping removes that creosote to reduce your fire risk.

Plan any repairs.

An important part of your annual chimney sweeping is the inspection, which looks for any damage or deficiencies in your chimney or fireplace that could compromise their function or make them unsafe for use. If your chimney inspection turns up the need for any repairs, or if you have noticed cracks or problems with your chimney, make sure you schedule your repairs now! Leaving repairs unattended throughout the winter could put your home at risk for a fire, or the damage could worsen over the course of the winter, leading to more extensive and more costly repairs next year.

Talk to your sweep about potential upgrades.

Did last winter have you considering upgrades to your fireplace? Were you thinking about a new fireplace insert to upgrade your hearth or new fireplace doors to enhance the look of your fireplace? As you prepare your fireplace and chimney for winter, be sure to talk to your chimney sweep about any upgrades you may have been considering. It’s best to have your chimney upgraded at the beginning of the fire-burning season so you can enjoy fireplace improvements all winter long.

Make sure your chimney is protected.

Winter is hard on your chimney. Snow, sleet, ice and freezing temperatures can cause damage to and lead to the breakdown of your chimney. As you prepare your chimney for the winter, you should make sure that your chimney is protected from water damage. The most important element in keeping your chimney safe from water damage is your chimney cap. Make sure that your chimney cap is firmly in place and free from damage. Your chimney crown also should be inspected from cracks or damage that could expose your chimney to water penetration. You also may consider a waterproofing treatment to prevent your chimney’s masonry from absorbing damaging moisture.

If you are preparing your chimney for the winter, call Total Chimney Care to schedule an appointment today! We can sweep and inspect your chimney and help you plan any repairs or upgrades to your chimney. The sooner you call, the sooner we can have your chimney ready for the winter!

By Steve Sobczak on September 13th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment