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Different Types Of Chimney Flues

Chimney flue is the vertical passageway in a chimney through which smoke, toxic gases and other by-products of the burning fuel pass and expelled into the open air. Are you constructing a house and wondering the best chimney flue to install? Here are the different types that you should consider:


Clay flues are the most common and preferred by many people as they are both beautiful and inexpensive. When you maintain them properly, the flues have the ability of lasting up to 75 years.

While these flues are great to have, they are susceptible to cracking in the event of chimney fire. The flues are also not ideal for gas fireplaces due to their inability to contain the combustion byproducts produced by gas fires.


Also known as cast-in-place flues, you make them by placing a tube down the center of the original chimney walls and then pouring concrete around the chimney walls and allowing it to dry.

The cool thing with these flues is that they are resilient and very long lasting. Their main flaw is that they are expensive. You should note that once you install them you can’t remove them without replacing the entire chimney.


Most of the metal chimney flues are made from stainless steel; however, there are some that are made from copper and aluminum. The flues are thin and made in the form of a cylindrical tube which you can easily shift around when necessary.

Due to their thinness, you should insulate them to enhance performance and increase safety. Stainless steel chimney flues are ideal for different fireplaces which include: gas, oil and wood. Aluminum fireplaces are less sturdy thus recommended for gas fireplaces.

Although, metal chimney flues are great, you should be cautious when using them in open fireplaces. The flues are usually too small to properly vent the fireplaces.

Multi flues

They consist of more than one flue that travels up the same chimney. These flues are recommended for homes that have more than one fireplace. The flues are made from different materials such as metal, clay and concrete.


These are some of the most popular chimney flues that you can go for. For ideal results you should ensure that the chimney flue installation is done by a certified chimney contractor.

The post Blog first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

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Take on 2021 with Southern Chimneys

While much of the economy shut down over the last year, Southern Chimneys kept providing excellent service to the Atlanta community.

Well, 2020 was…quite a year, huh? By April, all Georgia residents were ordered to stay at home and this meant the closing of all nonessential businesses. This only lasted a few weeks, but things still haven’t gone back to normal as the virus continues to rage on and people continue to mostly stay put. Luckily for us, Southern Chimneys, LLC falls within the definition of essential business as defined in the Executive Order, and we remained open all year.

At Southern Chimneys we pride ourselves on maintaining the highest safety standards even during the best times, so we will continue to practice safety as long as the COVID-19 pandemic remains. We’ll perform our chimney and fireplace inspections, cleanings, and repairs while maintaining social distancing and safety protocols. 

With the number of Coronavirus cases in the area growing rapidly, it’s best that all non-essential employees stay home and stay healthy to stop the spread. Now that a vaccine is on the horizon, hopefully, we can get our economy back to “roaring” as it was just a year ago. Remember, wearing a mask in public, washing your hands regularly, and covering your face when you sneeze or cough is the best way to prevent spreading the disease. 

For any questions, give our office a call from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, at 678-744-4046. 

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What You Need To Know About Wood Burning Fireplace Inserts

Wood burning fireplace inserts are made from plate steel or cast iron. The cool thing with them is that they come with glass doors that allow you to view the fire while it’s burning. There are some inserts that sit flush with the fireplace while others protrude onto the hearth.

To increase efficiency, there are some inserts that come with built in blowers. These blowers increase efficiency by increasing circulation of heat throughout the room. You can mount the blowers at the front or sides of the insert. Depending on the model that you have bought, you can go for an insert that is manually or automatically controlled.

Factors to consider when making the purchase

There are many factors that you should consider when buying fireplace inserts. These factors include:

Amount of heat needed: the amount of heat that you need is of great importance. If you need a lot of heat you should go for a large unit. The same thing applies when you need just small amount of heat. It’s usually challenging to know the right size of wood inserts that you should go for. Heat output is usually measured in BTUs (British thermal units) per hour.

To avoid making mistakes you should work with an insert expert who will not only recommend the right size of inserts to go for, but also the right type to buy.

Venting system: the other factor that you should consider is whether you want to install a venting system. If you will install the system, you should ensure that the insert you buy is compatible with the venting system.

Design: the fireplace insert becomes part of your house once you install it; therefore, you should ensure that you install an insert that compliments the look of your home.

How to install a wood burning fireplace insert

The installation process requires expert skills; therefore, you shouldn’t attempt installing the insert if you don’t have the right skills. For ideal results you should ensure that the work is done by a qualified wood burning fireplace insert professional.

During installation you should ensure that the insert is connected to the chimney liner that runs from the stove to the top of the chimney. This is to ensure that no smoke goes up the chimney directly. Doing so also minimizes combustible deposits that end up condensing in the fireplace.

The post Blog first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

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Why Ice Dams are Dangerous for Your Chimney

At Boston’s Best Chimney, our priority is to keep our customers safe by ensuring that their chimneys are in working order. Do you need roof snow removal, chimney repairs, or a chimney inspection? Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to contact us today.

Now, we’ll discuss ice dams, why they are dangerous and ice dam prevention tips.

What Are Ice Dams?

ice dam prevention

Ice dams are a build up of ice on sloped roofs. They occur when snow that’s under a snowpack melts and then refreezes – usually caused by warm attic air. This creates a layer of ice that can wreak havoc on the roof and chimney system.

Why Ice Dams are Dangerous

Damage to Your Chimney

There are multiple reasons why ice dams are dangerous for your home. First, they can cause damage to your chimney. If your chimney is on the ridge of your home, it will most likely be safe from ice dams. Chimneys that are located on other parts of a roof can actually cause ice dams to form, however.  Be on the lookout for ice dams if your chimney is located on one of the corners of your roof or on a sloped section of your roof.  Ice dams can also damage the masonry or flashing of your chimney, causing it to pull away and crack.

Damage to Your Roof and Gutters

In addition to damaging your chimney, ice dams can cause roofing and gutter issues. They often cause roof flashing to bend, which can allow water to penetrate your attic. Ice dams can also warp  your gutters as the ice expands and contracts. Sometimes gutters even fall off of homes because of this!

What to Do if You Have Ice Dams

If you see an ice dam on your roof, it is best to address the issue right away. We recommend calling snow removal professionals to get rid of any snow that might stay throughout the winter. Our team of experts does snow removal every winter. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 if you would like to take advantage of our snow removal service!ice dams

Ice Dam Prevention

There are some steps that you can take to avoid ice dams. First you can have a chimney professional check the flashing that is around your chimney. If there are cracks in your chimney flashing, it can separate from your chimney structure and allow water to enter your home.

We also recommend adding more insulation to your attic floor to keep warm air inside of your home and out of your attic, which should be the same temperature as outside.

Get Your Boston Area Chimney Inspected

During a chimney inspection, we can assess the state of your chimney’s masonry, flashing, and more to assess if it has been damaged by ice dams or if it is vulnerable to being damaged by ice dams or winter weather in the future. Boston’s Best Chimney has been serving the Boston area since 1989 and we look forward to helping to make sure that your chimney is equipped to take on New England winter weather. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch for an estimate or inspection.

The post Why Ice Dams are Dangerous for Your Chimney appeared first on Boston's Best Chimney.

Thank you for a great 2020 and Happy Times Around the Fireplace

thank you fireplace customers

As 2020 comes to a close, we wanted to thank all the fans of the fireplace for keeping your chimney and fireplace clean, safe and fun with Superior Chimney.

We appreciate your comments and responses to our numerous articles including:

Being positive in 2020 was certainly a challenge. But these fantastic customers kept their chins high and commented on our technicians and service received.

  • 92 on Facebook
  • 54 on Houzz

“I had a chimney cleaning and a rebuilt on a 60+ year old house just recently. The chimney was not properly maintained by previous owners. Used this company in the past for a cleaning and inspection and they impressed me. Hired them again without hesitation. The guys who came out at every phase were very nice and they took the time to explain everything. The did a great job with the rebuild and left my roof clean. You can’t go wrong”. Facebook May 17

“Chris and Nick were amazing! They had a cancelation and I was fortunate enough to have them come out in one day. They kept me well informed the whole Way and we’re very professional! Thanks so much. great company!” Houzz December 5

“We recently purchased a new home and it had a fireplace (which we have never had before) and it needed a good cleaning. The service guys were great, professional, and willing to take the time to not only service the fireplace/chimney, but also to explain to us how to use it and what options there were for gas and wood. They provided info on future service recommendations, as well. They seemed trustworthy and did a great job with the initial cleaning. We will use again!” Facebook June 3

“Our experience with Superior was very positive. Lexi who scheduled our appt was very pleasant. We were given a 8 to noon window and received a call at 8 letting us know fhey would arrive about 8:30. Upon arrival Chris and Mike introduced themselves and verified what they were doing. They took before pictures, showed them to us, and explained what repairs were needed. After the work was complete, we were shown pictures of the completed job. Highly recommend this company.” Facebook Aug 12

“My husband and I just bought a house and wanted to ensure our fireplace and chimney were usable and water tight for the winter. We called this company and they took great care of us. Both employees were super friendly, helpful, and courteous. We are planning to schedule them again for the summer. Would definitely recommend!” Houzz October 16

We can’t forget about those who continuously follow us on other social media.

  • 500+ Connections on LinkedIn
  • 99,732 Tweet Impressions

From all of us at Superior Chimney, thank you for a great 2020 and happy times around the Fireplace with family and friends. 877.244.6349

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Guide On How To Re-Point The Chimney

Chimney re-pointing is the process of removing old mortar and applying a new ones. The process is necessary when your mortar joints crumble, crack or fail. The major factors that bring about the cracks are aging and exposure of the chimney to freeze-thaw weather patterns.

How to re-point the chimney

You should start by determining the type of mortar that you need for your work. There are two main types of mortar that you can go with: lime-based and Portland. If you aren’t sure of the right one to go for, you should send a small portion of the mortar to a reputable chimney contractor who will tell you the exact mix that you need. He/she will also recommend for you the right sand that you should go for.

You should remove the old mortar using a hand-held power masonry grinder. For ideal results you should set the blade to a depth of ¾ inch. You should move it along the mortar joints and begin on the damaged or loose joints.

You should remove the debris using a stiff-bristled brush and use a garden hose to wet the area that you will be working on. For the mortar to cure at the right speed you should allow the water to soak into the bricks overnight.

The following morning you should mix the mortar according to the given instructions. You should ensure that you achieve a consistency of peanut butter and should cling to the trowel. Once you achieve the consistency that you want you should let the mortar set for about 15 minutes or until it gets skin on it. You should stir it one more time and it will be ready for use.

When ready you should put the mortar on a tuck point trowel and insert it into the horizontal joints that you are repairing. You should keep adding mortar until all the joints are full. To have ideal results you should scrape the excess mortar off the brick.

For the mortar to stick you should mist the wall daily for three days. To prevent the mortar from drying too quickly you should cover it with a tarp.


These are tips on how to re-point the chimney. If you have chimney masonry skills you can go ahead and re-point your chimney; however, if you don’t have the skills you should hire the services of a chimney masonry expert to do the work for you.

The post Blog first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

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Season’s Greetings

Is My Chimney Cap Still There and Why Do I Need It?

Our New England weather and Nor’easters seem to be bringing high winds lately, so much so, that we have been receiving many calls about blown off chimney caps!  The chimney cap’s job is to keep moisture, debris, and animals from entering the flue. Chimney caps also provide spark prevention that helps to contain burning particles or embers, which could otherwise land on your roof and cause a fire. A properly fitted chimney cap will slow down the wear and tear on your chimney and lining, potentially saving you from large repair costs later.  It is important to check that your chimney cap is secured properly and that it is still there! It is also important to understand the need for chimney caps.

Chimney Caps Keep Out Water & Moisture

Moisture is the number one enemy of a healthy fireplace and chimney flue. Metal fireboxes, liners, and dampers can all suffer from rust and deterioration due to this commonly overlooked chimney problem. Chimney liners, flue tiles and mortar can crumble & crack, leading to serious structural damage to the chimney. A chimney cap deflects most rain and helps keep moisture out of your chimney system. Water will wear down mortar; soak into the porous bricks, causing the masonry surface to break off (known as spalling); causes deterioration of the chimney liner, chimney damper, and metal fireboxes; and more.

Chimney Caps Keep Out Animals & Debris

Blockages can cause fire hazards and smoke back, drafting into the home. Even just falling leaves can build up without a proper chimney cap in place. Chimney caps with a wire mesh surround can prevent animals’ from getting into your chimney. Raccoons, squirrels, bats, and birds are common animals that regularly attempt to make their way into chimneys that do not have a chimney cap. The problems associated with animals & debris in your chimney are not only frustrating, but they are dangerous, too. Chimney Caps also prevent bird & wildlife nesting that carries airborne fungal diseases and can cause a blockage, quickly turning into smelly hazard.  Blockages can also send smoke and toxic fumes, i.e., Carbon Monoxide drafting back into your living space instead of exiting out the top of your chimney.

Chimney Caps Offer Other Benefits

Spark guards prevent hot, burning particles from escaping out of your chimney and possibly landing on your roof or nearby flammable objects. When it’s especially windy outside, chimney caps will also prevent downdrafts by blocking the crosswinds from entering your chimney.  Some chimney tops even facilitate an improved updraft function of your chimney, keeping smoke and soot out of your living space.

Contact us today at 1-781-893-6611 if you would like to schedule a cleaning or inspection to help determine the condition of your chimney cap or if you need one!

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Does Your Chimney Smell? Winter Chimney Odor Issues.

Does your chimney smell bad? During the winter, we all want our fireplaces to be warm and cozy gathering places. The last thing that anyone wants is to smell a bad odor when gathering around their fireplace. Today, we’ll explore reasons that chimneys begin to smell during the winter and solutions.

Boston’s Best Chimney is a full-service chimney company serving the Greater Boston area. If you need your chimney inspected, cleaned, or serviced, click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch with us. does your chimney smell? schedule an inspection

Causes of Chimney Smells During the Winter

Though many chimney smell issues arise during the summer, there are some issues that are as common or even more common in the winter.

During the winter, there is an abundance of precipitation due to snow and rain. Often, snow will mix with the creosote that is in your chimney, which will create an odor. Creosote consists mostly of tar and is a byproduct of wood combustion. We recommend having your chimney cleaned at least once a year to remove creosote, which can also cause safety issues. Getting your chimney cleaned annually will help prevent odors during the winter.

Another common cause of chimney odors during the winter is negative air pressure.  Negative pressure is such a common problem and is becoming more difficult to solve as our homes become more energy efficient.  Negative pressure in a fireplace occurs when the home doesn’t have sufficient air within the space and therefore draws it down the fireplace flue.  Unless your chimney has nevwhat to do if your chimney smellser been used, it will also pull down odor from the residue inside.  We now also have other mechanical influences to contend with.  A big fancy kitchen range hood sounds like a great idea, but you might be in for a smokey surprise if you run it when you’re having a fire.  This also happens to fireplaces that may never have had an issue with draft before.  It’s usually a combination of upgrades throughout the home that can contribute to a reverse draft. Luckily, there are solutions available for those who experience this pesky problem.

Finally, if your chimney is smelling during the winter, it may be due to critters being inside of your chimney. As animals search for places to hibernate during the winter, many will find shelter in open chimneys. You may also be smelling dead animals that entered your chimney during the fall or summer. Chimney caps are also helpful in preventing animals from entering your chimney. If you suspect that there are already animals in your chimney, contact Boston’s Best Chimney. We will be happy to address this issue for you.

This winter we will all be spending more time at home than ever. Our goal is for you to be able to enjoy using your fireplace. If your fireplace smells, or if you have any other chimney concerns, do not hesitate to contact us. With over thirty years of experience, we are committed to excellence and personalized service. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to contact us about your chimney needs.

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Common Winter Chimney Problems

Harsh New England winters are known to take a toll on chimneys. As you gear up for the rain, snow, and below freezing temperatures that the winter months will bring, take some time to learn about common winter chimney problems. From cold air coming in through your fireplace to animal intruders, there are a host of issues that you should be prepared for, should they occur.

Boston’s Best Chimney is a full service chimney company serving Boston and the Greater Boston area. With over thirty years of experience, our team of knowledgeable service technicians are committed to keeping your chimney safe and properly functioning. If you are looking to have your chimney inspected or serviced, click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch with us.

We will now explain some common winter chimney problems to help you to recognize if your chimney has these issues now or in the future.

chimney damper

Cold Air Coming Through a Fireplace

This is a common complaint that we hear during the winter. Cold air entering a fireplace can drive up your energy bills and make your home drafty. Moreover, cold air entering your home through the fireplace defeats the purpose of having a fireplace. This issue is often related to the chimney’s damper not working properly. The damper is designed to close tightly and prevent air from entering from above. If a chimney has not been recently cleaned, creosote build up can keep it from closing all of the way. Dampers can also be prevented from closing if they have become warped or rusty over time. Check out our blog post on causes of losing heat from your fireplace to learn more about this issue.

Smoke Transfer

Do you see or smell smoke in other parts of your home when you’re having a fire? This might be caused by openings or gaps within the flue.  Gaps in or in between the tiles allow smoke to seep out of the flue instead of up and out into the atmosphere.  Not only is this a nuisance, but it is also dangerous because sparks can also transfer and ignite nearby combustibles.  An often overlooked indicator of gaps present is poor draft. It is difficult to establish an updraft when there is outside air entering the flue.  Think of it like a straw with a hole in it – it’s tough!

Water Damage and Leaks

The freeze-thaw cycle can cause problems for your chimney system. Your chimney’s bricks and mortar have pores that absorb precipitation throughout the year. This can become an issue in the winter, when snow and rain are absorbed by the pores and then cause the pores to expand within the bricks and mortar when the temperature is cold enough for the water to freeze. The continual expansion of these pores over time can cause structural damage to your chimney.  Luckily, chimney leaks often don’t occur during the winter months but usually pick right back up again when the weather warms.  If you suspect that your chimney has structural damage or if you have noticed leaks inside of your home near your fireplace, click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch withavoid cold air coming through your fireplace us. Calling now can get you in queue with an early Spring repair as soon as the weather allows.

Animal Intruders

Though animals can enter your home at any point throughout the year, many animals seek warmth and a place to sleep during the long winter months. At Boston’s Best Chimney, we recommend installing a chimney cap on your chimney to help keep critters out. If you see signs of nesting in your chimney from your home’s exterior or if you hear noises and/or scratching from inside of your home, contact us and we can come to assess the situation.

Get Prepared for this Winter

At Boston’s Best Chimney, we are here to serve our customers in the Boston and Greater Boston area by taking care of all of your chimney needs. If you suspect that your chimney has an issue this winter, click here or call (781) 893-6611 to contact us. It is important to address chimney problems as soon as they are detected, so do not hesitate to get in touch. We wish you a safe and cozy winter!

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Chimney Repair Options

Chimneys are known to last for long periods of time. When they develop problems, they pose great health risk to the people living in the house. To avert any danger you should undertake chimney repair as soon as possible. There are two main chimney repair options that you can go with:


Rebuilding depends on the extent of the damage. If the outer brick facade is faulty you should remove the bricks and replace them while leaving the chimney liner in place. In some cases you may need to tuck the outer bricks and repair the crumbling mortar.

When doing the rebuilding work you should ensure that you follow the local building codes. You should also ensure that the work is done by a qualified chimney repair professional.

To be sure that you are doing the right thing, you should ensure that chimney inspection is done on every step. For example, you should ensure that the inspection is done when you demolish the old chimney, when the chimney is ready for framing and bracing, and when the entire project is complete. As rule of thumb you should ensure that the inspection is done by a certified chimney inspector.


Liners prevent gases from leaking from the chimney into the living space. Although, liners are durable, they are susceptible to leaking and dangerous cracking. One of the ways of relining the chimney is replacing the tiles and resealing them.

Another way is relining the chimney with heatproof concrete. Here you should ensure that the original tiles remain in place. You should apply a layer of concrete on them in order to seal them. You should note that relining with concrete requires special handling; therefore, you should ensure that the chimney contractor you hire is experienced enough.

Stainless steel chimney liner is one of the most popular liners used in relining a faulty chimney. You should note that the steel liner isn’t designed to reinforce a broken chimney as the metal is too thin. You should only use stainless steel liners when your structure is in good shape. If the flue has any jogs, you should install flexible liners.

After installing the steel liners you should rebuild the chimney with stucco or brick finish. To add extra warmth, you should pour heatproof concrete between the stainless steel liner and the outer brick facade.


These are the chimney repair options that you should go with. As mentioned above, you should ensure that the chimney repair work is handled by an experienced chimney repair professional.

The post Blog first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

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