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A Detailed Guide On Chimney Sweeping And Repair

For your safety and to ensure that your chimney retains its efficiency for long you should regularly sweep it. Sweeping removes creosote which is a thick coating that is very flammable.

The chimney sweep company you hire should clean both the inside and outside of the chimney. The cleaning frequency varies depending on the use of the chimney and the fuel that you use. The national fire protection association recommends that you follow these guidelines:

  • Wood burning fireplace-4 times a year
  • Coal and smokeless fuel-2 times a year
  • Gas-once a year

To have ideal results you should hire a company with the right cleaning tools. Before you hire the chimney sweep you should look at the cleaning tools and ensure that they are of high quality and in good working condition.

If you have stayed for a long time without cleaning the chimney and there is a lot of creosote build-up, the company should have the necessary chemicals to loosen the deposits.

In addition to the company having the right tools, it should also be certified to work in your local area. If your state doesn’t certify chimney sweeps, the professionals should be certified by the Chimney Safety Institute Of America.

Best time to clean the chimney

Even if your chimney may be dirty you shouldn’t rush to hire a chimney contractor—you should wait for the right time. The best time to clean the fireplace is at the beginning of autumn. During this time the soot will have dried during summer thus hard and brittle.

If a lot of creosote has built up and you can’t wait for the season, you should wait until you have lit fire for a number of days. The fire will harden the creosote making it easy for the chimney cleaning contractors to undertake chimney cleaning.

Chimney repair

During the cleaning process the chimney contractor should inspect the chimney and identify any areas that might need repair. Common repair areas are: loose bricks and mortar, chimney cap, damper and chimney liner.

To save money and time you should hire a professional with both chimney cleaning and chimney repair skills. If you have a brick chimney, the professional should have chimney brick repair skills.


Chimney cleaning not only keeps your fireplace looking great, it also gets rid of dangerous products such as carbon monoxide. By hiring an experienced professional you are guaranteed of getting perfect results.

The post Blog first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

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Signs That You Need Chimney Masonry Repair

Common Issues Addressed During Chimney Masonry Repair

do you need chimney masonry repair?In addition to regular  chimney maintenance, we at Boston’s Best Chimney offer Chimney Masonry Repair Services. The warm weather months are the perfect time to turn your attention to any repairs that your chimney might need because during the cold winter months, it is more of a challenge to work with mortar outdoors. Click here to read more about masonry work and weather. Our Boston area Chimney Masonry Repair Services include Chimney Rebuilds, Chimney Pointing, and Waterproofing.

For chimney rebuilds, we remove and dispose of old and decayed brick, replacing it with new brick and mortar. This makes your chimney strong again, while giving you the opportunity to give it a fresh new look. When repointing chimneys, the mortar between the brick is ground out and replaced with new mortar.  This is a great option when the bricks are still in good condition and can prevent water leaks and save you thousands. Finally, when waterproofing chimneys, we coat your chimney in a professional-grade waterproofing product that allows water vapors to escape, preventing spalling, scaling, deterioration, and freeze-thaw damage.

Are you interested in having Chimney Masonry Repair work done to your Boston area chimney? Our team at Boston’s Best Chimney has been serving the Boston, Waltham, and Greater Boston community since 1989. Our team of skilled professionals is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and we are here to serve you. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to contact us.

Now, we’ll discuss some signs that your chimney needs masonry repair.

Do You Need Chimney Masonry Repair?

The bricks of your chimney are the first line of defense to the elements and a main part of what protects your chimney. To ensure that your chimney is secure, we recommend getting it inspected annually and swept as needed. It is also important to be alert and aware as a homeowner. Here are some warning signs to look out for:

Signs that You Need Chimney Masonry Repair

Bricks That Are White

The white staining on your bricks is also known as efflorescence. It is a sign that there is too much moisture in the masonry.   The white that you see is when water is absorbed into the bricks causing salt and minerals to rise to the surface. Since moisture is the main culprit of many chimney issues,  you should call a professional to address the issue before it leads to bigger more expensive repairs.

missing mortar on chimney

Missing Mortar

If the mortar between the bricks of your chimney is starting to chip and recede, chimney pointing might be the solution for you.  The mortar is normally where you’ll first start to notice chimney decay and deterioration can be slowed by promptly remedying the condition.   The compromised mortar joints will allow moisture into your chimney and expedite the breakdown.  Get in touch with us to discuss chimney repointing if you notice missing mortar in your chimney.

Crumbled Brick and Mortar

If you see that the brick and mortar of your chimney are crumbling and that the bricks are cracked, most likely spalling is taking place. Another common sign of spalling is when the front face of the brick pops off. Spalling happens for a variety of reasons including, water damage, subpar building materials, old age, and even damage caused by extreme weather. We recommend having your chimney replaced when its brick and mortar are beyond repair.


Regardless of which solution is best for your chimney, waterproofing the masonry after the repair is a good idea.  Here at Boston’s Best Chimney we use a commercial grade waterproofing that when applied, prevents water molecules from penetrating while still allowing water vapors to evaporate.  Meaning, it will not trap water in the masonry and cause internal damage.  It’s VOC compliant, non-glossy and a no brainer to protect your investment.

Get Your Boston Area Chimney Repaired

Is your Boston area chimney in need of masonry repair? Boston’s Best Chimney is a full service chimney company and we are here to serve you. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch with us today!

The post Signs That You Need Chimney Masonry Repair appeared first on Boston's Best Chimney.

Fight, Flight or Freeze: Mid-Season Care for your Chimney

Oh, New England! It’s that time of year again: One minute we are cold and the next hot. While we alternate turning up the heat and opening windows, it’s a good time to think about the past few months and the effect of the freeze-thaw cycle.

As the last snow and ice melt and warmer temperatures emerge, we begin to assess winter damage. We notice cracks in sidewalks, the gravel that was dug up, and the potholes. This time of year, it is important to evaluate winter’s effects on your chimney. The same freeze-thaw cycle that damages the roadways and sidewalks can also damage chimneys and other home masonry work.

Masonry materials, especially brick, are extremely porous. That means that when they come in contact with water, whether it’s from rain, ice, or snow, they soak up that water like a sponge. When the temperature drops, the water inside your chimney’s masonry will freeze and expand. That damages the masonry. Bricks can crack and crumble, or “spall,” just as roads and sidewalks do. That damage to your chimney can compromise its structure and its ability to contain the heat and smoke from your fires.

How To Address Freeze-Thaw Damage

Each spring, it is important to look at your chimney and examine it for signs of freeze-thaw or water damage, including cracked bricks, crumbling mortar, and discoloration. Spring is an excellent time for your annual chimney sweeping and inspection because it gives chimney professionals a chance to examine your chimney for freeze-thaw damage and provides ample time to repair the damage over the warm spring or summer months. The good news is that most freeze-thaw damage can be repaired easily if it is caught early enough. Ignoring freeze-thaw damage can lead to more severe, harder-to-fix, and more expensive repairs down the road.

How To Prevent Freeze-Thaw Damage

There are ways to help prevent freeze-thaw damage and avoid the need for future masonry repairs. First, we make sure you have a chimney cap securely installed atop your flue. That prevents water from pouring down the inner walls of your chimney and causing damage to inner flue tiles. The chimney crown must be kept in good condition, as it is designed to direct water away from the insides of your chimney. Waterproofing is the most effective way to protect your chimney from water and freeze-thaw damage. Our commercial grade waterproofing prevents water molecules from penetrating while still  allowing the masonry to “breathe” and expel moisture from your chimney.

If you notice signs of freeze-thaw damage on your chimney, please schedule your annual chimney inspection, or call us at Boston Best Chimney.

We will inspect your chimney, perform necessary repairs, and help you protect your chimney and home.

A Day In The Life At Boston Best….You can’t make this up

Turkeys Fly!

Did you know that turkeys can fly?  Not everyone did – we received a call from a client about being attacked by a flying turkey!  She saw a turkey perched on her chimney and just when they made eye contact, the turkey dive bombed toward her and when she started to run away, she broke her foot!  She was calling for a chimney cap. We don’t recommend going without a chimney cap or running shoes.


The Team at Boston’s Best Chimney

Schedule your annual chimney inspection or cleaning or feel free to call us at (781) 893-6611.




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Getting the Fireplace Cleaned After the Long, Cold Winter Weather

Getting the Fireplace Cleaned After the Long, Cold Winter Weather by Superior Chimney, Lombard, IL

Spring is here and it’s trying really hard to bring in the warm weather. As the temperatures steadily climb, it’s a perfect time to think about sweeping the chimney and fireplace. Most people have the tendency to push it off until the Fall, right before fireplace season begins again. But there are good reasons for getting the chimney and fireplace, gas fireplaces too, swept now, ahead of the Fall cool temperatures.

#1  Outside Chimney: Part of the chimney inspection is for the certified technician to go on the rooftop and inspect the chimney up close. A few of the items he’s inspecting are:

  • Mortar: this is the cement in between the bricks. It’s important that the mortar is free from hairline cracks to large cracks as well as deterioration. These cracks and deterioration are perfect places for rain to enter and make its way into your home.
  • Chimney crown: this is the slab on top of the bricks and under the metal chimney cap. This slab of concrete has similar issues as the mortar with deterioration and cracks. Once this occurs, water can begin to find creative ways to enter your chimney & home.
  • Chimney flashing: flashing is located where the chimney and the roofline meet. This is a critical piece of protection as the outside elements can make their way nside and cause plenty of damage.

#2  Fireplace Can Cause Irritation: We never really think about what happens once we turn the fireplace off. Dust, creosote (for woodburning lovers) and debris sit in the fireplace waiting for it to be removed sometime between now and the Fall. Doors on the fireplace can certainly help, but if you only have a decorative gate or nothing in front of the fireplace, sneezing, coughing and eye irritation can occur. Removing the dust, creosote and any leaves or debris will help keep allergies or any irritation at bay.

#3  Discover Water Leaks Before They Find Your Walls & Ceiling: Water seems to have it’s own agenda. Water never goes straight down…it curves and winds around corners until it decides to make its way down tens of feet from its original intrusion point. That’s why it’s best to have the outside and inside checked and inspected.

These are 3 great reasons for scheduling a fireplace inspection done today. Give us a call to schedule your appointment at 877-244-6349.

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Common Chimney Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Chimney Cleaning, mission hills ksChimney cleaning is a commonly misunderstood necessity. As a result, many homeowners make costly mistakes, putting both home and family at risk. Chimney safety is important enough that fire safety experts recommend annual chimney inspections. When you avoid making chimney cleaning mistakes, you are safer and, in the long run, you save money. Have you made any of the following common chimney cleaning mistakes?

Bad Timing

You may have figured out already that hiring a certified chimney sweep to clean your chimney is essential, but your timing may have been off. The reality is that homeowners typically procrastinate and wait until cold weather is on the doorstep before calling chimney sweeps. This being a popular concept, qualified chimney sweeps’ schedules get very tight and services come at a premium. The best deals for chimney cleaning services are usually available in spring and summer.

Hiring the Wrong Chimney Sweep

The chimney sweep industry is unregulated. Scammers are aware of this and take advantage of homeowners who simply want to cut home maintenance costs. Saving money is smart but cutting corners on an issue as important as chimney safety can be highly dangerous. To avoid spending money for chimney cleaning services and repairs not rendered or for services provided by unqualified individuals, hire a chimney sweep only after doing some research. Check for evidence of longevity in the community, real reviews of customers, and CSIA-certification, which is obtained from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

Making Wrong Assumptions

Many facts get muddled when it comes to the need for chimney sweep services, especially chimney cleaning. One of those facts is that seasoned hardwoods and softwoods create less creosote than burning unseasoned wood. No matter what your wood fuel is, the fires leave creosote deposits every time. Cleaning is needed routinely. Otherwise, the chimney flue can even become obstructed because of layer upon layer of creosote. Chimney fires are much greater risks when the creosote buildup is excessive. In addition, an obstructed chimney is a danger to occupants of the home because toxic gases are unable to escape to the out-of-doors. Deadly carbon monoxide fumes are among the gases released by wood fires.

Trying Ineffective DIY Methods

In the spirit of saving money, countless homeowners try to avoid the costs of chimney cleaning services from qualified chimney sweeps. Those costs, by the way, are reasonable, especially considering the impact on home safety provided by qualified chimney technicians. Among the DIY methods popular with frugal homeowners is to burn creosote logs aka chimney sweep logs. Experts all agree that the logs, bottom line, cannot take the place of chimney cleaning performed by chimney sweeps that have the right equipment for the job.

chimney cleaning, olathe ksA homeowner using his own chimney sweep brush is also usually a mistake. First, it is dangerous for anyone to climb on a roof and work from that height. Chimney sweeps have training and experience for that, but that’s only one part of it. A simple chimney sweep brush in the hands of a homeowner will not necessarily clear out the creosote because there are three forms of creosote. Only the easy-to-remove variety will come off with a chimney brush. The other two are far more difficult to remove and require the use of special equipment that only a chimney sweep company would typically own.

Contact Chimney Sweep Experts at Fluesbrothers

At Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace in Kansas City, KS, all of our chimney sweeps are CSIA-certified. We care about your safety. For chimney cleaning services from experienced professionals you can trust and to avoid making common chimney cleaning mistakes, call us at (913) 236-7141 today.

The post Common Chimney Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on Fluesbrothers Chimney Service.

Guide To Gas And Wood Chimney Cleaning

Wood and gas fireplaces are the most common fireplaces in most homes. To retain them in good working condition and protect your home from fire you need to clean them regularly. Here are tips on how to clean them:

Wood burning fireplace

The major problem with wood burning fireplaces is creosote buildup. You can clean the creosote on your own by hiring or buying cleaning brushes. Even if you undertake chimney cleaning on your own its highly recommended that you hire a chimney contractor once a year to inspect the fireplace and repair it if need be.

To reduce the frequency at which you clean the chimney you should reduce creosote buildup by being choosy of the wood you burn. As rule of thumb you should only burn seasoned hardwood. If you have to burn softwood, you should ensure that it’s fully dry.

Ashes: since you will be using wood, you will definitely have ash remains that you have to clean. To remove the ashes from the firebox you need to have a shovel or similar device. To avoid causing fire, you shouldn’t dump the ashes directly into the trash—you should wait about 72 hours after which you should now dump it in the trash can.

Surrounding: if the chimney is clogged or the damper isn’t open you will have a buildup of soot and smoke on the surrounding areas. It’s recommended that you hire a chimney cleaning contractor to do the cleaning and also unblock the chimney if blocked.

Gas fireplace

Although, you won’t be burning wood in a gas fireplace, you have to clean it regularly. A gas fireplace doesn’t have as much debris as a wood burning fireplace, but you should clean it. To clean the debris you should vacuum the firebox while paying close attention to the area surrounding the heat exchanger.

Maintenance: in addition to removing the debris you also need to undertake general chimney maintenance. You should check the pilot light and ensure that it’s burning correctly. If the light sputters or doesn’t burn, it’s a sign of a clog. You should contact a fireplace repair professional to come and take a look at it.

You should take a look at the gas logs and ensure that they are stacked correctly in a way that they give a good impression and at the same time allow efficient heating.


These are tips on how to clean two of the most popular fireplaces: wood and gas. For ideal results always ensure that chimney cleaning company you hire is certified and insured.

The post Blog first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

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Is Chimney Cleaning Always Necessary?

Many homeowners often wonder if chimney cleaning is always necessary. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a build-up of 1/8″ or more of creosote is dangerous and should be removed. Since it can be difficult to discern how much creosote is actually present in the chimney, an annual chimney inspection is always necessary.

Chimney Inspection

chimney inspection, liberty moThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends homeowners with solid fuel and liquid fuel appliances have an annual chimney inspection even if the chimney doesn’t need cleaning. A comprehensive interior and exterior visual inspection of the chimney, fireplace, and vents are the best way to determine whether the chimney and attached heating appliances are safe to operate. During the inspection, the chimney technician checks for creosote, obstructions, damages, and structural issues. After the inspection is complete, the technician will provide a full written assessment that will include recommended repairs and replacements to ensure the safe operation of your heating appliances. The technician will also advise if chimney cleaning is necessary.

Chimney Fires

Creosote is a natural by-product of combustion, and it sticks to the interior walls and components as smoke and gases are venting up the chimney. Creosote becomes increasingly flammable the longer it lingers in the chimney. Each year, fire departments across the country respond to nearly 50,000 residential structural fires involving home heating equipment resulting in over 500 deaths, 1,300 injuries, and more than $1.1B in property damage.

Failure to clean the chimney was the primary cause in most incidents. However, most chimney fires are small and go unnoticed by the homeowner until the resulting damage is discovered during a chimney inspection.

Although masonry chimneys and fireplaces are built to withstand a gas or wood-burning fireplace’s temperature, the intense heat of a chimney fire can exceed its limits. Even a small chimney fire can cause the clay tiles lining the flue to crack or burst under pressure. It can also damage the masonry and other internal components, increasing the risk of fire spreading to combustible building materials.

chimney cleaning, leawood ksChimney Cleaning

Chimney cleaning is the best way to prevent a chimney fire and reduce the risk of exposure to dangerous carbon monoxide fumes.  A certified chimney tech will thoroughly clean the chimney removing any creosote, soot, ash, and corrosive residues. The technician will also remove any small animals, nests, and debris that may be obstructing the flue vent. Many professional chimney sweeps will perform a chimney inspection and cleaning during the same appointment.

Gas Fireplaces

Although gas fireplaces are cleaner burning appliances, they still require annual safety inspections and periodic cleaning to reduce the risk of fire, explosion, or exposure to carbon monoxide gas. The technician will inspect the appliance, vents, fittings, burner, and ceramic logs for signs of wear or damage. The technician will also perform any necessary cleaning of the fireplace and chimney.


The post Is Chimney Cleaning Always Necessary? appeared first on Fluesbrothers Chimney Service.

Ahh! We Have Chimney Leaks!

Neglecting chimney maintenance can result in exasperation and a call to trusted chimney sweeps, crying, “Help! We have chimney leaks!” A good way to avoid water spots on your ceilings and walls, peeling wallpaper, roof damage, and leaks on your floors is to schedule annual chimney inspections. Chimney leaks have various causes that can be difficult to pinpoint. The following are reasons chimney leaks could have you screaming, “Ahhh!”

chimney crown repair, new britain ctDamaged Chimney Crown

The white part at the very top of the chimney is the chimney crown, and it is constantly exposed to the elements. Homes built between the 1970s and 1990s were often rushed construction projects. Many times, leftover mortar for bricks was used to construct chimney crowns. Unfortunately, the material is softer than the appropriate material, which is a harder type of concrete that more reliably helps keep moisture out of the chimney system.

Although the chimney crowns built with mortar materials are even more vulnerable, correctly constructed chimney crowns also tend to crack and deteriorate. If moisture gets into the chimney crown, it can work its way throughout the chimney system. The real trouble comes during winter when freezing and thawing cycles cause the moisture to expand and contract. The movement opens up even bigger pathways for moisture to travel and causes the destruction of bricks.

Deteriorating Mortar

The chimney crown is not the only place where mortar can result in a chimney leak. Brick chimneys can last a century or more, but the mortar between the bricks lasts only up to about 25 years. If the mortar wears away, moisture gets into the masonry system and can ultimately leak into your home. The best solution for deteriorating mortar is to catch the problem early and schedule tuckpointing. Instead of having to rebuild your chimney because of moisture intrusion, tuckpointing is a procedure whereby old mortar is removed and replaced with new mortar. The process is far less expensive than a chimney rebuild and, yet, results in a like-new chimney structure.

No Chimney Cap

If there is not a chimney cap at the top of the chimney flue, the natural result is that rain, snow, sleet, and debris will go directly into your chimney. Although chimney caps are referred to as accessories, they are essential. You can have a standard flue cap installed or opt for an outside-mount custom chimney cap that will also provide additional protection to the chimney crown. Outside-mount chimney caps are more aesthetically pleasing and protect the entire top of the chimney from moisture.

Condensation from Gas Furnaces

If your gas furnace is attached to your masonry chimney, you can end up with a chimney leak caused by excess condensation. Low-temperature gas fumes contain a lot of moisture. If there is no chimney flue, if the flue liner is too large, and/or if the chimney is too cold, the moisture can result in a chimney leak. This issue is usually resolved with the installation of a correctly sized chimney liner.

Chimney Flashing Leaks

chimney flashing repair, farmington ct

The number one cause of chimney leaks is the chimney flashing. The metal portion of the chimney is there to create a watertight seal between the chimney and the roof. It is difficult to install flashing correctly. A fairly large gap is often left between the bricks and the roof, resulting in significant water leaks that cause roof damage. If the flashing does not seal properly against the bricks, water intrusion into the chimney system can also occur. These types of leaks can go on for some time before they are detected. Scheduling annual chimney inspections, as recommended by fire safety experts, can help you avoid costly chimney and roof leaks caused by leaky flashing.

Contact Northeastern Chimney Today

At Northeastern Chimney, we care about our customers and helping them avoid chimney leaks, not to mention addressing issues related to the safety of home and family. If you need to schedule a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, chimney repairs, masonry repairs, a masonry rebuild, or any other chimney services, give us a call today at 860-233-5770. Have a chimney leak? We offer friendly customer service and specialize in fixing chimney leaks, too, even the kind that might have you crying, “Ahhh!”

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How to Remove Glazed Creosote from Your Chimney

What is Creosote?

How to remove glazed creosote from chimneyCreosote is a combination of wood particles and vapors that have dried to become semi-solid. It forms in chimneys as a result of incomplete combustion or because of too much moisture in the wood used for burning.

Creosote is dangerous to breathe in and can cause chimney fires. If you begin to smell a campfire-like smell in your home, this is a sign that there is creosote in your chimney. Other signs include  black soot staining around your fireplace, poor draft, or dark smoke exiting your chimney.

If you suspect that there is creosote build up in your fireplace, call a professional immediately. We are a full service chimney company that has been serving the Boston and Greater Boston area since 1989. Click here to schedule an appointment with us today!

About Level 3 Creosote

There are three levels of creosote. The first two levels of creosote are easier to remove than level 3 creosote. As the phases progress, creosote becomes a more serious problem. Check out our creosote buildup guide for more details on each of the phases of creosote.

Level 3 creosote, also called glazed creosote, is an extremely dense and sometimes sticky layer that is similar to tar. It is made up of layers of creosote that have formed and hardened over one another. It is considered a serious fire hazard and is challenging to remove.

How to remove glazed creosote from chimneyHow to Remove Glazed Creosote from Your Chimney

Though level 1 creosote can be removed using a chimney brush, it is essential to call a professional to remove level 3 creosote from your chimney.

At Boston’s Best Chimney, we spray an industrial grade creosote remover into the flue saturating the area. This product remains in the chimney for 3-5 days to allow the chemical reaction to happen  breaking down the creosote compound into a flaky and brushable substance.

Prevent Creosote Build Up

There are several steps that you can take to prevent creosote buildup. The most important step is to have your chimney inspected and swept annually.  First you must find a chimney sweep and service company that you can trust with your home’s safety. At Boston’s Best chimney, all of our technicians are trained and certified.   We recommend ensuring that whichever chimney company that you go with has a certification and are local.

Boston Area Creosote Removal

If you live in the Boston or Greater Boston area and would like help with your creosote problem, or are looking for another chimney service, we are here to serve you! Click here or call us at (781) 893-6611 to schedule a free estimate or an inspection.

The post How to Remove Glazed Creosote from Your Chimney appeared first on Boston's Best Chimney.

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