Month: June 2021

Chimney Contractor: Fireplace Tips To Consider As A New Home Owner

Have you just moved to a new house? Here are fireplace tips that you should consider:

Give high priority to fireplace safety

To have peace of mind that everything is in perfect order it’s recommended that you hire a chimney contractor to inspect the fireplace and fix even the most minor problem that might be there. Modern contractors are advanced in technology where they use videos to inspect the chimney lining. The video cameras come with high resolutions that enable the contractors pick even the smallest problems in the chimney.

In addition to the contractors picking the problems, they should also clean your chimney to ensure your safety.

Install a chimney cap

Most modern chimneys have chimney caps, but the older ones don’t have them. If you look up your chimney and all you can see is a round pipe or clay flue, you need to install a chimney cap. The chimney cap has many functions including:

  • Preventing rain from pouring straight into the house thus damaging the flue and causing rust on the dampers
  • Preventing unwanted critters from entering your home
  • Preventing odor from dead animals that die in the chimney. The cap also prevents odors resulting from animal droppings that are unable to escape the chimney
  • When installed with a wire mesh, the chimney functions as a spark guard where it prevents loose sparks from starting fire on your roof.

If your chimney doesn’t have the chimney cap, hire a chimney masonry repair professional to install it for you. The professional may recommend other renovations that might be necessary in keeping your chimney safe.

Fix loose chimney bricks and mortar

If you ask a good number of homeowners they will tell you that their chimneys are permanent. Due to this misconception, most homeowners rarely go up their chimneys. If you are buying an old house, your chimney is also old and you need to take a look at it. Common problems with old chimneys are: loose mortar and bricks. If this is the case with your chimney, hire a chimney repair professional to fix it for you.

During repair, also ask the professional to take a look at the chimney flashing and ensure that it hasn’t rusted. The flashing also shouldn’t let moisture seep through causing structural damage to your room.


These are chimney tips that you should put into consideration as a new home owner. For ideal results, work with a certified and experienced chimney company.

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3 Signs That It’s Time To Undertake Chimney Repair

The fireplace serves as a great place to relax with friends and family. While the fireplace is such an integral part of a home, studies show that the fireplace is one of the most overlooked places in a home as few homeowners undertake fireplace repair.

Since few people pay attention to the fireplace, it tends to deteriorate to a point where it becomes a risk to you and family members. To protect yourself, you need to be wary of warning signs. To help you out, here are signs that your fireplace needs a makeover:

White staining on the chimney

Also known as efflorescence, white staining occurs when salt particles combine with moisture. Excess water in the chimney structure evaporates on the other side of the chimney resulting in a deposit of salt residue. Over time, the salt becomes a powdery substance that is unsightly.

Although, the staining is usually white, compounds in the chimney sometimes cause the salt deposits to turn yellow, green or even brown. Regardless of the color of stain on your fireplace, you need to undertake chimney repair to fix the problem and prevent it from recurring in future. To repair the chimney you need to fix the chimney cap in order to allow rainwater to pour between chimney flue and chimney.

Black staining on the chimney

When you put on fire, smoke is supposed to go up the chimney, but this is not always the case. When there are chimney obstructions or other imperfections, smoke tends to come back to your home. When this happens over a long period of time, the area above the heath gets a black staining which is unsightly to look at.

To avoid this problem hire a chimney sweeping professional that will not only clean the fireplace, but one who will also get rid of obstructions. Sometimes the problem comes about when the chimney is at the wrong height. In such a scenario hire a chimney masonry repair professional to rectify the height problem.

Crumbling chimney mortar

Due to environmental factors such as ice, wind, snow and rain, it’s common for the chimney mortar to weaken and start coming off. It’s recommended that you undertake chimney inspection where you inspect all areas of your fireplace. If you notice that the mortar is coming off, ask a chimney contractor to fix it as a weak chimney is a ticking time bomb.

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Things You Should Know About Fireplaces

There is nothing cozier than relaxing beside a warm fireplace on those cold and dreary days. Fireplace home heating in the winter is an economical source of heating, but they also continue to provide a warm and inviting ambiance throughout the year.  It’s why fireplaces continue to be one of the most preferred home features. However, there are a few things homeowners should know about fireplaces to keep their homes and family safe.

fireplace cleaning, mission hills ksHire a Chimney Sweep to Clean the Fireplace and Chimney.

One of the most important things a homeowner can do to protect their home is to hire a chimney sweep to clean the chimney and fireplace. Creosote, a natural by-product of combustion, adheres to the interior masonry, flue liner, and other components. It hardens into a dark, tarry material that is very flammable.  Although gas fireplaces burn cleaner with significantly less creosote, they still need cleaning. The gases created during combustion are corrosive and can damage the ceramic logs and masonry without regular cleaning. The chimney sweep will also remove any small animals, pests, and debris that may be blocking the flue so that smoke, soot, and fumes aren’t forced out of the fireplace and into the living space.

Make Sure the Chimney Cap is Secure.

Homeowners should also check to ensure the chimney cap is secure. The chimney cap is an accessory that is installed on top of a masonry chimney. In addition to preventing moisture intrusion, it helps keep small animals, pests, leaves, and twigs from getting into the chimney and blocking the flue. However, strong winds and heavy rains can damage the chimney cap causing it to separate from the chimney allowing rainwater to leak in the fireplace.

Repair or Replace Damaged Flashing.

Damaged flashing is one of the most common causes of chimney leaks. The flashing is the sheet metal that seals the seam where the chimney meets the roof. If it is improperly installed, warped, or deteriorating, water will leak through the gaps and damage the attic, roof deck, and ceiling. Water stains around the walls or ceiling near the fireplace signify that the chimney flashing may be damaged.

Look for Damaged Bricks and Mortar.

Bricks and mortar are porous materials that absorb moisture, accelerating its deterioration. The constant freezing and thawing during the winter can take its toll on the masonry, causing cracks in the bricks and mortar. As the water damage progresses, bricks begin to chip, flake, and crumble, and the decaying mortar leaves gaps in the mortar joints. Moisture can leak through these gaps in the masonry and cause significant damage to the chimney, fireplace, and home. When caught early, tuckpointing can repair damaged bricks and mortar. However, severe damage may require a complete or partial chimney rebuild.

Only Burn Seasoned Wood.

Homeowners should only burn wood that has been seasoned or dried for at least six months. Seasoned wood has a much lower moisture content than freshly cut wood. As a result, it will burn cleaner with less creosote. Seasoned wood will also burn hotter and last longer.

Don’t Toss Your Christmas Tree in the Fireplace.

Homeowners should never dispose of a Christmas tree in the fireplace. The pine needles contain sap that is very flammable and can spark a fire, especially when there is already creosote in the chimney. A chimney fire can cause severe damage to your chimney, fireplace, and your home. Check with your local municipality for proper Christmas tree disposal.

Chimney Inspection, olathe ksGet an Annual Chimney and Fireplace Inspection.

Whether you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual chimney inspections. Yearly chimney inspections are necessary to ensure your chimney, vents, and attached heating appliances are not a fire or safety hazard. A professional chimney sweep will also let you know if your chimney and fireplace need cleaning.

The post Things You Should Know About Fireplaces appeared first on Fluesbrothers Chimney Service.

Chimney Inspection: 3 Reasons You Should Prioritize It

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you hire a chimney professional to undertake chimney inspection once a year. Data has shown that less than 1/3 of homeowners do it.

If you are a homeowner and you rarely inspect your chimney, you should know that you put yourself, your property and loved ones at great danger.

Here are some of the reasons why you should religiously inspect your chimney annually:

Prevent fire

According to NFPA, 55% of fires result due to chimney problems. Most of the chimney fires result due to excessive creosote buildup. When you light fire in the chimney, excessive heat increases the temperature of creosote which damages the chimney lining.

If creosote isn’t removed, the chimney lining continues getting damaged until fire gets to combustible materials in the chimney.

Since the chimney fire burns at high temperatures, it sometimes gets impossible to put it out. In some cases, home occupants are unable to leave in time.

To avoid putting your property and family members at risk, hire a chimney contractor to inspect the chimney for problems including creosote levels. In addition to inspecting the fireplace, the professional will also clean it and fix any problems that might be there.

Avoid expensive chimney repairs

Just like any other part of your house that is in constant use, the chimney also deteriorates overtime. Common chimney problems include:

  • Damaged flue lining
  • Broken bricks
  • Damaged chimney flashing resulting to leaking
  • Cracked mortar
  • Damaged chimney cap

These damages don’t happen overnight—they happen slowly over the life of the chimney. When you hire a chimney professional to inspect your chimney, the professional identifies the problematic areas soon enough before the condition gets worse.

If the flue lining is damaged, the professional undertakes chimney relining.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is fatal if you inhale high levels of it. If you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, you should be cautious of it. Some of the things that can bring about carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Deteriorating chimney
  • Blocked chimney
  • Broken connector pipe
  • Rusted heat exchanger

When you hire a chimney repair professional to inspect your fireplace, he/she is able to identify the problems and fix them before they become catastrophic.

One way of protecting yourself from the poisonous gas is installing carbon monoxide detectors. The professional will help you identify the best places to install the detectors. He/she will also help you install them.



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How Long Do Chimneys Last? When to Have Your Chimney Rebuilt.

How Long Do Chimneys Last? When to Have Your Chimney Rebuilt.

How long do chimneys lastThe Real Estate market is booming in New England and most are looking at homes with chimneys. Fireplaces add a charming look to any house and they provide warmth and a place to gather during the long winter months. Many homebuyers want to know, “how long do chimneys last” in order to decide if negotiating chimney repair during the purchasing process is warranted. Homeowners wonder the same thing as they try to keep up with regular chimney maintenance. Today, we will dive into how long the typical chimney lasts, along with how to know when to have your chimney rebuilt.

At Boston’s Best Chimney, we are a full-service chimney company. We are experts in chimney masonry repairs and rebuilds and we also perform chimney sweeps and chimney inspections. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Now, we’ll explore how long chimneys last and when to have your chimney rebuilt.

 How Long Do Chimneys Last?

If a chimney has been correctly built and cared for, it can be expected to last for 50 to 100 years! But here’s the thing, many chimneys have not been properly cared for throughout their lifetime, however. It is therefore essential to have your chimney inspected before you move into a new home and annually afterwards. A good chimney company will help you evaluate the state of your chimney to see if it has any damage and to explain the steps needed to keep your chimney safe and working well.

Some factors that can impact the duration of your chimney’s life include:

  • Waterproofing: If your chimney has been waterproofed over time, it will last longer. Brick is a strong and long-lasting material, but moisture will break it down. Waterproofing your chimney will ensure that it is kept safe from water.
  • Location: If your chimney is located in the middle of the house it will likely last longer than a chimney that runs up the side of the house which is exposed to the elements.
  • Chimney cap: Whether or not you have a chimney cap will affect the life of your chimney. Chimney caps keep out debris and rain, which will prevent the bricks from decaying. Check out our Ultimate Chimney Cap guide for more information on this important chimney feature.

 When to Have Your Chimney Rebuiltold chimney

Though many issues can be solved with chimney masonry repair, chimneys need to be completely rebuilt in certain circumstances. Some signs that your chimney is beyond the point of repair include:

  • Large cracks in the bricks: This is a sign that your chimney is no longer structurally sound.
  • Efflorescence (white streaks on your chimney’s bricks): If this is addressed quickly, it won’t necessarily ruin your chimney. If efflorescence is ignored, the underlying cause will break down your chimney over time.
  • Spalling bricks: When bricks or pieces of bricks begin to fall from your chimney, this is a major red flag that your chimney’s bricks are filled with water and deteriorating, which will threaten the integrity of your chimney’s structure.
  • Tilted chimney: If your chimney appears to be leaning, this clearly indicates that there is structural damage that should be addressed immediately.

 Call Boston’s Best Chimney with Your Chimney Rebuilding Questions

As we mentioned, it is best to have your chimney inspected annually and swept annually or as needed. If we find that your chimney has a masonry issue, we can then help to see whether you need your chimney rebuilt or repointed. If you would like to schedule a chimney inspection, click here or call (781) 893-6611 to contact us.

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The Importance of Waterproofing Your Chimney

Should I Waterproof My Chimney?

should i waterproof my chimneyOur customers often ask us “Should I waterproof my chimney?” The short answer to this question is “absolutely!” Waterproofing your chimney is a preventative measure that prolongs the life of the chimney’s masonry. As strong and sturdy as your chimney may be, it must withstand year-round precipitation. From rain to snow, your chimney takes on the elements and needs an extra layer of protection. That is where waterproofing comes in.

Do you suspect that your chimney currently has masonry damage? Check out our blog on Signs That You Need Chimney Masonry Repair to learn about common issues that can be addressed during chimney  masonry repair.

At Boston’s Best Chimney, we are a one stop chimney service company located in the Boston, Massachusetts area. We perform chimney waterproofing, masonry work, chimney sweeps, and more. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch with us.

Waterproofing Agents on Masonry Chimneys

Our team of chimney experts uses ChimneySaver Water-Base Water Repellent to waterproof chimneys. Unlike products that you may find at the hardware store, ChimneySaver is 100% vapor permeable. This means that it prevents water vapors from being trapped and causing internal damage.

It also offers protection from efflorescence (those white streaks that you often see on chimneys) and damage that comes from freezing and thawing by not allowing water to become trapped within the brick structure and expanding/contracting.

To dive into the science of how this works, according to ChimneySaver, this is how their water-base repellent works:

waterproofing agents on masonry chimneys The repellent “reacts with the minerals in masonry in the presence of ultraviolet light and atmospheric moisture. This reaction forms strong permanent bonds beneath the surface and creates a hydrophobic zone that prevents water molecules from penetrating, while allowing free migration of water vapors. The chemical bonds formed in this process allow ChimneySaver Water-Base Water Repellent to become an integral part of the substrate and provide long term water repellent protection.”

As a waterproofing agent for masonry chimneys, ChimneySaver Water-Base Water Repellent stands out among other products in the market and we are confident and proud to use it when waterproofing chimneys.

Have You Waterproofed Your Boston, MA Area Chimney?

If you have not yet waterproofed your chimney, we highly encourage you to do so. This preventative measure will make your chimney last longer and save you time and money on masonry repairs down the road. We are located in Dedham, MA and we serve the Boston and Greater Boston, MA areas. Don’t hesitate to click here or call (781) 893-6611 to ask us questions or schedule an appointment.

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What is Chimney Flashing? How Do I Know When to Repair It?

The configuration of metal parts are cut, shaped and installed in the mortar joints of the chimney and sit between the roofing material and the chimney. Then caulk is used to seal the edge of the flashing to the chimney material. This provides a tight seal so water can’t get behind the flashing.

However, with weather conditions and time, the sealant will dry out and crack. Another reason why it’s important to have your chimney inspected each year by Superior Chimney.

Repair or Replace the Chimney Flashing

As we all know, living in our weather conditions can definitely take a toll on everything, including the flashing. It’s important to get the exterior of the chimney and the flashing checked each year. Weather has a way of eroding the flashing seal which can miraculously disappear in areas.

Well, now you know all about chimney flashing. That metal configuration that has a very important job. Be sure to take care of it with a yearly 14-point inspection by Superior Chimney.

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Do Gas Fireplaces Have A Flue?

Many homeowners are ready for a change and oftentimes this means a fireplace makeover.  They enjoy the ambiance of a fire.  However, the annoyance of continually replenishing wood reserves, cleaning up the ash, and calling in a chimney sweep every year is too much work.

gas fireplace install, granby ct

Gas Fireplaces

An alternative to the wood-burning fireplace is a gas fireplace.   These fireplaces are clean burning and will light up at the flip of a switch.  There are lots of models to accent many different home decors.  These fireplaces are convenient and quiet and they are an excellent addition to any home.

When the subject of converting from a conventional fireplace to gas, one of the first questions is, ‘Does a gas fireplace need a flue.’

The answer to that is a little complicated.  It depends on what type of gas fireplace you purchase. There are three types of gas fireplaces on the market today.

Natural Vent Gas Fireplace

The first choice is a natural vent gas fireplace.   This fireplace option needs a flue or vent somewhere for the small amount of exhaust product to exit the home.  For homes with an existing chimney, this is a practical choice.

Direct Vent Gas Fireplace

Another choice is a direct vent gas fireplace.  This type of fireplace creates exhaust and needs a place to vent.  It doesn’t have a fireplace/chimney, but it requires a place for the exhaust to leave the home.  The installer will have to construct a small pipe or vent leading out of the house’s interior for the exhaust exit.

Ventless Gas Fireplace

The third option is a ventless fireplace.  As the name indicates these fireplaces do not need a vent; there is no significant exhaust from the fire itself to make a vent or flue necessary.  These types of fireplaces are the ones you see built into walls of more modern homes.

Gas Fireplace Overview

All these fireplaces have codes or regional regulations a builder or installer needs to follow.

Another similarity of these gas fireplaces is they all need yearly inspections.  Some homeowners scratch their heads, wondering why.  Every fireplace vented or not requires a professional to troubleshoot or correct any problems.

Some of the problems that could exist are clogged and blocked flues or vents, obstructed burners, or burn bars.

Manufacturers recommend a yearly inspection of the fireplace and its functional components for safety and proper functions.

Call Northeastern Chimney

gas fireplace cleaning, bloomfield ctNortheastern Chimney has been installing and servicing fireplaces for nearly four decades.  We provide continuing education for our technicians and provide them with the most up-to-date equipment on the market.

All our techs are fully certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.  This means you are getting the best in the business for chimney cleaning and inspection.  Also, our field staff is fully insured, professional & polite.  Each one of our service members will be happy to answer any questions before, during, or after our visit.

We serve all homes and businesses in and around central Connecticut.  If you have a chimney, we can service it.  Call us for an appointment.

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Chimney Contractor: Taking A Look At The Main Parts Of A Chimney

For you take care of your chimney you need to know how it works. To help you out, here are the main parts of your chimney:


This is where combustion takes place and fire burns. If you have children, it’s recommended that you protect the area to protect the little ones from getting burned. Fireboxes come in different designs. If you are constructing a new house and have a unique design in mind, discuss it with your chimney contractor and find out if it can work on your chimney.

If you burn wood in the firebox, you need to undertake regular cleaning for the fireplace to continue working efficiently. Major problems with the firebox include: heat damage and water damage. To avoid surprises, hire a professional at least once a year to undertake firebox inspection.


This is a movable metal door located at the throat of the chimney. Its main role is to close off the fireplace from the outdoors. To allow smoke and gases to leave the fireplace, always keep the damper open when the fireplace is in use. To prevent draft from entering the house, close the damper when the fireplace isn’t in use.

To have an easy time opening and closing the damper, keep door in good condition. To avoid fires, ensure that the door is free of creosote. Also ensure that the hinges are in good working condition. You should regularly inspect the damper for problems. For ideal results, hire a chimney professional to help you out with inspection.

Ash dump

This is where ash collects when the ash dump door opens. The door is located in the middle of the firebox and makes it easy for you to remove ash from the firebox.

Below the ash dump is the ash pit. This is the area where dumped ash collets. To avoid accumulation of ash and other flammable substances, regularly empty the ash pit. If you don’t have time, hire a chimney cleaning professional to empty it for you.


It’s the foundation of your chimney and is made from heavy duty brick or cinder block. It should be constructed from tough materials in order to withstand heat. Since it’s always exposed to high temperatures, it’s prone to heat damage.

You should regularly check on it to ensure that there are no severe damages that compromise the stability of the chimney. When you notice serious damage, immediately contact a chimney masonry repair professional.

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Step-by-Step Guide On How To Undertake Chimney Cleaning

Crackles and pops of a wood burning fireplace give life to any home. While a wood burning fireplace has an allure that few homeowners can resist, it comes with soot, ash and creosote. These substances not only give your home an ugly appeal, they also put your home at the risk of fire. To protect your property you need to undertake chimney cleaning on a regular basis. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Prepare yourself for chimney cleaning

Chimney cleaning is a dirty affair; therefore, you need to prepare yourself for it. Wear rubber gloves, dust mask and clear goggle to avoid direct contact with the chimney waste. Also lay a plastic tarp around the hearth. The plastic will protect the surrounding carpet thus reducing after-work cleanup.

Sweep the chimney interior

The best appliance to use in cleaning the interior of the chimney is a brush attachment or vacuum. When buying the chimney brush, buy a circular one that is 8-10 inches in diameter. You should attach the brush to a flexible pole and move it up and down the chimney’s length. You should repeat the process until you have no soot or creosote.

Get rid of outside chimney obstruction

In addition to cleaning the inside of the chimney, you also need to address the outside. Remove any debris that might be attached to the sides of the mesh around the chimney cap. Also get rid of tree branches hanging too close to the chimney.

Clean the chimney with water

You don’t have to clean the entire chimney with water—clean only the visible areas. Use a hard scrubbing brush and cleaning solution. Great cleaning solutions to go with are: vinegar and water, cream of tartar and detergent and baking soda. You should scrub the chimney until there is no visible creosote.

Inspect and replace chimney parts

Once the chimney is clean and dry, take one final look at all parts of the chimney and ensure that they are in perfect condition. After confirming that everything is fine, replace the chimney parts.


For your fireplace to look great and have peace of mind that your property isn’t at the risk of fire, clean the chimney on a regular basis. While you can inspect the chimney by yourself, it’s always recommended that you hire a chimney contractor to help you out. In addition to undertaking chimney inspection, the professional will also repair any areas that need fixing.

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