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Common Problems for Homeowners with A Chimney

A warm hearth along with the chimney are an asset to any home. They provide ambiance and add to the architecture of a home. However, sometimes chimneys can cause problems for homeowners to feel that the fireplace is a detriment, rather than a blessing. Here are some common problems for homeowners with a chimney.

A Smoking Chimney

A smoking chimney — one that causes the smoke of your fire to invade your home rather than rising up and out of your house — can cause your fireplace to not be functional. If you’re experiencing with this particular issue; there are several causes to blame. Your chimney could either be obstructed by a buildup of creosote and debris, or your flue could be improperly sized for your fireplace. Regardless, if your chimney is smoking, you will need a professional chimney sweep to help discover and resolve the problem.

Chimney Leaks

Chimney leaks can be a major pain, especially if they go unnoticed. A leaking chimney can cause plenty of issues to the structure of your home, which may also question the integrity of your home and put the safety of your household in danger. Any sign of a chimney leak including water in the fireplace, discoloration of the exterior masonry, or water stains on the walls and ceiling around your chimney should prompt an immediate call to your professional chimney sweep.

Deteriorating Masonry

Chimney masonry is built to endure all the elements, but over time it will deteriorate, because of the constant exposure to water and freezing temperatures. The problem with deteriorating masonry is twofold. On one hand, it looks unattractive and can decrease the curb appeal of your home. On the other hand, the deterioration of your chimney’s masonry can compromise the entire chimney structure, causing it to lean, which cause stress on your home’s structure or even a collapse. Deteriorating masonry can be repaired with services like tuckpointing, and it can be prevented with a waterproofing treatment.

Smelly Chimney

Chimneys can fill your home with terrible smells, especially during warm summer months when the warm air in the chimney can cause unpleasant smells. We’re not talking about the mild, pleasant smell of a burning wood fire here. A smelly chimney can influence the entire atmosphere of your home. Whether it’s a barbecue-like smell caused by a buildup of creosote or the smell of decomposition caused by a trapped animal, call in a certified chimney sweep to clean your chimney and eliminate the awful stench. Your sweep will also be sure to evaluate your chimney’s draft while inspecting and cleaning.

Don’t let your chimney be such a pain! If you’re experiencing one of these common chimney problems, give our team of experts a call at Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment! They can evaluate your problem and turn your hearth back to its former glory.

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Benefits to Maintaining Your Fireplace

Pretty much every homeowner with a fireplace or hearth appliance knows that the industry standards call for having their chimneys swept and inspected at least once per year. Your annual sweeping and inspection ensure that your chimney is clean and your fireplace is prepared for safe operation, reducing your risk of a home fire. Going beyond safety, however, there are other benefits to maintaining your fireplace.

Keep your fireplace operating efficiently. Benefits to Maintaining Your Fireplace Image - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care Co

A poorly maintained fireplace, fireplace insert or heating stove won’t operate as efficiently as it could. Rust and dust can block blowers, fans and pilot lights. By properly maintaining your fireplace, you can increase its efficiency and lower your home energy bills.

Reduce smoke in your home.

If creosote or other debris is blocking your chimney, it’s going to have an impact on the way smoke travels up and out of your home. A dirty chimney can negatively impact your chimney’s draft, forcing smoke back into your home. By keeping your chimney cleaned and well-maintained, you will reduce the amount of smoke that enters your home.

Avoid unpleasant odors.

Dirty chimneys can be horribly smelly. Moisture mixing with creosote can smell like hot asphalt. Natural debris in your chimney can smell like rotten compost. Trapped animals or left-behind animal droppings can smell even worse. By keeping your chimney cleaned and maintained, you can avoid unpleasant odors filling your home by way of your chimney.

Keep your hearth looking attractive.

In most homes with fireplaces, the hearth serves as an anchor point. It’s often located in a central living space and placed to serve as a focal point. So naturally, a beautiful, well-maintained fireplace can add to the décor and ambiance of your home, while a poorly maintained, dirty or damaged fireplace can drag down the appearance of your home. Keeping your fireplace maintained can help you maintain your hearth as a beautiful, beneficial feature in your home.

Extend the lifespan of your hearth appliance.

Just like any hearth appliance or home structure, regular maintenance keeps it working well and can expand its lifespan. For a hearth appliance, regular maintenance ensures that all of the working components are in good repair so that the appliance will run properly. Regular cleaning clears away dust, debris, soot and creosote that can degrade both the working and static components of the chimney and fireplace systems. When you maintain your fireplace, you ensure that your that your hearth appliance will last as long as possible.

Good fireplace and chimney maintenance begin with an annual sweeping and inspection. If your fireplace and chimney are overdue for their regular maintenance, call the Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today! We’ll help you maintain your fireplace and chimney so you can realize all of the benefits of a well-maintained hearth system.

How to avoid a stinky chimney

As winter’s chill gives way to warm spring days, we tend to forget about our fireplaces and chimneys. But warmer days, especially mixed with spring’s rains or summer’s humidity, can bring on an unpleasant problem: A stinky chimney that can draft odors into your home. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent a smelly chimney.

How to avoid a stinky chimney - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care CoSchedule a spring chimney cleaning.

While most people schedule their annual chimney sweepings for the fall, a spring chimney sweeping can be one of the most effective ways to prevent a stinky chimney. Creosote, the primary target of chimney sweepings, can emit a foul, burnt-asphalt odor on hot and humid days, especially if any moisture has leaked into the chimney and come into contact with the creosote. Other common causes of bad chimney odors include animal nests, trapped or dead animals, and rotting leaves or organic debris. A spring chimney cleaning removes the root cause of chimney odors before they can be exacerbated by summer’s hot temperatures.

A spring chimney sweeping brings other advantages. It is easier to schedule appointments during the spring, when sweeps’ schedules are less busy; a spring inspection gives you time to schedule any needed repairs before you are ready to light your first fall fire; and a spring cleaning removes acidic creosote, soot and ash from your fireplace and chimney before it can do harm.

Install a top-sealing damper.

You are probably familiar with your chimney’s damper; you open it each time a you light a fire to allow smoke to exit the firebox, and you close it when the fireplace isn’t in use to block drafts. You might not be familiar with a superior damper option, the top-sealing damper. As the name implies, top-sealing dampers are installed at your chimney’s crown, and form a perfect seal around your chimney top when the damper is closed. Top-sealing dampers prevent animals, debris and moisture from entering your chimney, and when those odor-causing materials can’t get in, you drastically cut your risk of dealing with a stinky chimney each summer.

Consider a chimney exhaust fan.

Another reason unpleasant smells could be entering your home through your chimney is a faulty draft. Typically, warm air flows up your chimney and out of your house. However, negative pressure can draw air downward through the chimney and into the home, bringing with it any unpleasant smells that might otherwise stay contained within the chimney. Improper drafting can be caused by a variety of factors, but it can be solved with a chimney exhaust fan. Chimney exhaust fans are motorized fans installed atop the chimney to help pull air upward and out of the chimney. They can be used to keep smoke from flowing backward into your home, or they can be used as a vent to pull unpleasant smells, whether from your chimney or from your home, out of your home’s living spaces.

Call The Chimney Care Co!

If spring’s warmer temperatures are bringing unpleasant odors from your chimney into your home, or if you’ve dealt with a stinky chimney in the past, call The Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today. We can help prevent the frustration and embarrassment of a stinky chimney!

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