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.

Mechanical troubles with fireplaces: dampers

Corrosion and debris are the most common causes of stuck dampers. Your chimney professional can lubricate the moving parts and make adjustments, or recommend a new damper if yours is damaged beyond repair.

Smoky woodstove: smoky endings

Todd Woofenden

If your stove seems to work okay once you get it going, but smokes when you are done using it, as the fire is going out, here are some possibilities.

Tips for wood stove users: 4 - 7

Todd Woofenden

Since there are countless different stove models in the field, each with its unique characteristics, it is beyond the scope of this book to cover the fine points of wood stove operation. But here are some general tips for all wood burners. A continuation of the Tips: 4 - 7

Tips for wood stove users: 1 - 3

Todd Woofenden

Since there are countless different stove models in the field, each with its unique characteristics, it is beyond the scope of this book to cover the fine points of wood stove operation. But here are some general tips for all wood burners. Tips #1 - 3

Fireplace odors

Todd Woofenden

As a general rule, in any case of fireplace odors, a chimney cleaning is in order if you haven’t had it done recently (and certainly, if it has been over a year and you use the fireplace). A buildup of soot in the chimney will increase odor problems significantly.

Negative House Pressure Can Cause Multiple Problems

Marge Padgitt

Negative house pressure is a common problem that can cause fireplaces and wood-burning appliances to smoke, and gas appliances to backdraft deadly Carbon Monoxide gas. This is probably the least understood house issue, but one that usually can be corrected.

How chimneys work: draft

Todd Woofenden

The purpose of a chimney is to take the combustion products (smoke and gasses) from the appliance to the atmosphere outside your home, and at the same time, to draw air for combustion into the appliance. This movement of combustion air and exhaust is called draft.

Chimney Height Critical to Fireplace or Wood Stove Performance

Marge Padgitt

Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves only work right when everything is built or installed correctly, and that includes the height of the chimney. There are several factors to take into consideration when planning for the termination height of a masonry or factory built chimney system.

Best time for chimney repairs

Contributing Author

Homeowners are told that the fall and winter months are not suitable for some chimney repairs and they should have this work done in the summer when the weather is better.  There are several good reasons for homeowners to act right now to get those chimney services performed before the good weather goes away!

Chimney Repair - Storm Damage

Marge Padgitt

Have your masonry or manufactured chimney inspected by a professional chimney sweep after storm damage by tornado, lightning, hail, microburst, hurricane, or high wind.  Signs of storm damage to a masonry chimney may include brick pieces or full bricks lying on the ground or on the roof, fresh cracks in the chimney, or blown out sections of the chimney.

Fix my fireplace so that it works again

Contributing Author

One of the most common questions I’m asked when on a service call comes from a homeowner who would just like to his fireplace without any problems.
Many homeowners have fireplaces that have never worked or that have been made inoperable over the years due to chimney fires, wood stove installations or changes in the interior or exterior of their homes.

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Smoke Signals: Have a question about your chimney?