Checking a chimney

Chimney safety should be a concern for every homeowner. Each year, lives and property are lost due to improper care and maintenance of chimneys. You can check some parts of the chimney yourself.

Hiring a chimney professional

In checking your chimney, a chimney professional can check all of the visible components of the chimney for damage, needed maintenance, and fire safety. A chimney professional is trained to look for dangerous or questionable conditions that a homeowner could easily miss.

Chimney liners overview

Contributing Author

Some homeowners have asked to provide some basic information about their chimney liner.  With all the different types of chimney liners, the strength and weakness of each and their different applications, one can understand the need for clarification.  This article will attempt to provide answers.

Should I have my fireplace and woodstove cleaned now?

Marge Padgitt

All flues should be swept in the early spring at the end of the wood-burning season in order to remove smelly, flammable creosote that can cause damage to chimneys during months the chimney is not used.

End of burning season, what should I do?

Contributing Author

It is not too early to start thinking about what to do at the end of the wood burning season.  Your stove and fireplace system have been in service since the early fall and there are several reasons to develop your plan for chimney service at the end of the burning season.

Gas Company Told Me my Flue is Blocked

Marge Padgitt

A blocked utility flue serving a gas water heater, furnace, or boiler can mean serious problems.  A blocked flue can cause deadly Carbon Monoxide back up into the home, and is the primary reason for shutting down the system when this occurs.

Hire a Chimney Sweep or Do It Myself

Marge Padgitt

After seeing so many do-it-yourself projects on the DIY network, many homeowners believe that sweeping a chimney is easy, and attempt to do the work themselves to save money. That way of thinking usually ends in disaster.

Holiday Safety

Contributing Author

As the season turns colder, our fireplaces and woodstoves will be supplementing our heat and providing our homes a warm and inviting ambiance for our gatherings.  But the burning fireplace and hot woodstove can become dangerous places for young children and pets running around our homes.

Chimney Cleaning

Marge Padgitt

Black soot covering everyone and everything in its path as it falls out of the chimney and into the parlor is what many homeowners imagine when they think about having their chimney cleaned.  Fortunately, today’s modern chimney sweeps take precautions and use equipment that prevents this type of disaster.

Odors: woodstove, fireplace, chimney

Todd Woofenden

There are several types of odors that could detract from your enjoyment of the wood stove. Creosote has a very strong, acrid odor, generally much worse in wet weather or in the summertime when the chimney is less effective in drawing the odor up the chimney.

Chimney whisperer embraces sooty destiny

Oliver Beauchemin

“Looking at chimneys, in a sense, is like a mystery. I’m like the chimney whisperer. I try to be a detective and figure out why things aren’t working.”

Chimney fires frighteningly common in Maine

Oliver Beauchemin

Homeowners should consider a twice-per-season chimney cleaning, say firefighters in Franklin, Kennebec and Somerset counties of Maine who have responded to more than 40 chimney fires during the month of January 2013. By Ben McCanna and reprinted with permission from the Portland Press Herald.

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Smoke Signals: Have a question about your chimney?