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Summer Is The Best Time For Annual Inspections

Are you in the habit of putting off your chimney inspection until fall? Homeowners with fireplaces know the importance of yearly inspections, but many opt to have this service done closer to winter time. At A-1 Chimney Specialist, we are urging you to give us a call now and get this service out of the way. Why? Learn more below!

Keeping It ConvenientSummer Is The Best Time For Annual Inspections Image - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney

One of the biggest benefits for early chimney inspections is the flexibility you’ll gain in scheduling. Most of our customers have specific time frames in mind when it comes to making an appointment. Between work, family, and other engagements, there may only be a handful of slots that work for you. We want to accommodate as best as we can, but when we get busy, this isn’t always an option.

Throughout fall and winter, our books fill up fast. If you want to ensure you get a specific time slot, we suggest booking an appointment with us this summer. We have a lot less going on, and you’ll beat the rush, giving you a wider range of dates and times to choose from. Not to mention, it’ll be one less thing on your to-do list this fall!

Getting Repairs Done Fast

As we’ve mentioned, scheduling anything in the fall can be a challenge. If we get your inspection done, then discover some necessary repairs, you’re left trying to arrange another appointment in an already hectic season. This may mean putting off fireplace use for quite some time, despite dropping temperatures and upcoming holidays.

We don’t want you to miss out on the warmth and welcoming aesthetic that a fireplace has to offer. Make sure your system is ready and safer for regular use by getting that inspection done early! This will give us adequate time to come back later and get repairs done during a time where your fireplace is typically out of use, anyway. Then, when cooler weather comes, you will be ready to go – much less stressful!

Safer And More Efficient Work

On top of everything, working with chimneys in the summertime often yields better results, and it keeps our staff safer, too. The temperature range is ideal for allowing certain materials to cure, and there will be a lower chance of new mishaps in the near future. When we provide a service, we aren’t looking to give you a temporary fix… we want to leave you with results that will last!

And our staff appreciates summertime work, too! As the weather gets cold and ice forms, roofs become a dangerous spot to be. We do everything to keep our sweeps as safe as possible, but that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen! By scheduling your appointment now, you’re helping us keep our workers injury-free and able to help you out all year long. And we appreciate that!

Pick Up The Phone

Why waste any more time? There are countless advantages to getting your inspection done now, and you’ll be happy it’s completed when fall and winter roll around. Give us a call today, so we can get your chimney ready for regular use!

Are Those Birds Or Bats In My Chimney?

When critters get stuck in your chimney, it isn’t always easy to tell what kind of animal (or animals) may be present. Depending on what it is, you will have to approach the situation differently! The two animals you’ll most likely discover are bats and birds. Check out some differences between these two creatures below.

Chimney Swifts Vs. BatsAre Those Birds or Bats in my Chimney Image - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney

The most common type of bird you’ll find in your chimney is a chimney swift. When you discover chimney swifts in your system, there are certain rules and regulations that need to be followed. They are protected by law, and you’ll likely have to wait until they leave for the season before their nest can be removed.

When it comes to differentiating between swifts and bats, one difference you’ll notice is that chimney swifts make a lot more noise than bats. Bats won’t typically make a lot of noise unless there is quite a few of them.

Another difference you will notice is that chimney swifts fly into the chimney at night, while bats fly out of it at night. If you notice something coming in during the evening hours, then it’s likely a bird settling down before it gets dark. If you see something fly out, it’s a bat, ready to prowl and look for food.

Importance Of Chimney Caps

Whether it’s a bird or a bat, you certainly don’t want it in your chimney. The best way to prevent these things from entering at all is by having a chimney cap installed. Chimney caps are located on the top of your chimney or flue, so that no animals can enter whatsoever. It’s an easy and affordable way to protect your system from clogs, bad odors, deterioration, and all of the other things caused by nesting materials or decaying animals.

Chimney caps also help in preventing dirt and debris from entering your system, and they have many other benefits, as well.

Chimney benefits are:

  • They keep your chimney free from excess moisture (which can be extremely damaging),
  • They help in preventing downdrafts from entering your home,
  • And they serve as spark arrestors, which helps keep your roof safe from catching fire.

Schedule Your Inspection

Another way to help prevent animal entry is to schedule your annual inspection. A certified sweep can ensure that no animals have entered and, if they have, they can find their sources of entry. If you have a cap installed, then they may have found another crack, hole, or opening to get in through. In this case, your sweep can advise you on the next steps for repairs and get you back to where you need to be.

On top of this, inspections are important for ensuring your entire system is functioning efficiently. The CSIA recommends scheduling at least one per year so, if you’re overdue, get yours on the books today!

Count on the staff at A-1 Chimney Specialist today. We are excited to help you out!

Types Of Masonry Repairs

If you have a masonry chimney, you’ve likely received countless compliments on it. The look is desired by many homeowners, but it’s no secret that it can be difficult to maintain. That’s why A-1 Chimney Specialist is here to help you out! We offer a wide variety of chimney repairs, all of which fix up damage caused by deterioration, water exposure, and more.

If you have noticed any cracking, crumbling, or other types of decay throughout your system, call us in now so we can get repairs done fast! Learn more below.

Crown Repair & InstallationTypes of Masonry Repairs Image- Tullahoma TN - A1 Chimney Specialist

Chimney crowns play a huge role in directing water away from your brickwork. But they only work when they are correctly designed and placed, and any type of damage will decrease efficiency significantly. If your crown has seen a lot of wear and tear, then it may be time for you call us in to take a look at it.

Whether your crown needs fixing up or needs to be replaced entirely, we can offer our services and expertise. Our products are strong, durable, and long-lasting, so you can rest easy knowing your chimney crown will stand the test of time.


Another common issue is crumbling mortar. This issue is solved through tuckpointing, which typically turns out to be a very detail-oriented job. It involves removing the damaged mortar and replacing it with new products. Getting the new stuff to match the old isn’t always an easy process, but it’s never a problem for our CSIA trained and certified staff.

Flashing Repair & Installation

In the spot where your roof and chimney meet, water damage often occurs. This is due to the different materials expanding and contracting at different rates. Fortunately, flashing can be put in to protect this area, while still giving the materials the flexibility they need.

Whether you need your current flashing repaired or new flashing installed, we can help you out! We accommodate and adjust our techniques as needed so that the finished product works perfectly with your specific set-up. We handle this problem a lot, so you can trust us when we say we’ve got you covered!


When your repairs are completed and your chimney looks like new again, it’s time to take the next step by implementing an extra layer of protection. Waterproofing is a surefire way to prevent moisture from re-entering and wreaking havoc on your entire system. The best part about waterproofing is that it offers a breathable shield, so your fireplace can still run as efficiently as possible.

Ask us about our waterproofing services today!

Scheduling your next appointment is as easy as picking up the phone and dialing our number. Please reach out to us today!

Why Does My Chimney Smell?

Are you ready for the warm summer months coming up? When temperatures rise, families gear up for outdoor fun, family vacations, and maybe even some home renovations – very exciting! Yet, as homeowners spend more time outside, their fireplaces face less use and some notice drafts coming down their chimney. Unfortunately, with these drafts come some pretty nasty smells…

We’re here to explain this in more depth and let you know how to best prevent these odors from stinking up your home. Learn more below!

Adjusting Your Home’s PressureWhy Does My Chimney Smell Image - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney Specialist

The biggest reason why homeowners get these nasty smells is due to negative air pressure. Negative air pressure pushes the odors from the chimney into your living area. Newer, tighter homes tend to face this problem a lot.  This is especially true in the warm months after your home has been weatherized or your venting set-up has changed. You can try introducing make-up air into your home by opening a window or two, but this doesn’t always solve the problem either.

A good solution would be to install a top-sealing damper to ensure no air can enter your chimney and push the smells downward. Top-sealing dampers provide an airtight seal at the top of your chimney so that downdrafts are never something you have to deal with. On top this, they help keep out birds and other animals, and they keep your chimney warmer in the winter, so your energy bills are lower – all in all, they’re a great investment for your home and wallet!

Cleaning Your Chimney

Another way to help with chimney odors is to schedule your annual cleaning. This is important to do at least once per year to ensure your home stays free of creosote buildup, which can cause some serious stink in your fireplace. You can remove debris to keep your home safe, as creosote is known for being highly flammable.

Fixing Moisture Issues

As temperatures rise and the spring rains begin to fall, you may notice some leaks and moisture accumulating throughout your system. This is another reason why odors may start to occur, especially once temperatures increase. You will notice musty smells if water pools and sits for a long time.  Also, if dirt, leaves, and other debris gets wet and forms clogs, you’ll notice odors from that, as well.

This is another reason that annual cleaning is so important! Have an expert get in and remove any clogs or buildup, so that you can safely use your fireplace all year long. You will also want to repair any leaks, holes, or cracks then have your chimney sweep apply waterproofing products so that water damage won’t be an issue any longer.

We Want To Help

If you are ever worried about the health of your chimney, please give us a call so that we can check things over. We’d love to help you out with anything you may need! Count on A-1 Chimney Specialist today!

Benefits Of Dryer Vent Cleaning

Homeowners throughout the Tullahoma and Winchester area have been trusting A-1 Chimney Specialist with all of their chimney and fireplace needs for 17 years and counting. We love what we do, and we pride ourselves on having so many loyal customers that put their trust in us! We are excited to provide top quality chimney care for many more years to come, but did you know that’s not all we do?

Benefits Of Dryer Vent Cleaning img - Tullahoma TN img - A1 Chimney SpecialistThat’s right – A-1 Chimney Specialist is also CDET trained and certified. This means that we can handle any and all of your dryer vent cleaning needs! Learn more about the importance of dryer vent cleaning below.

Keeping Your Home Safer

Dryers have been known to cause thousands of fires per year in the United States, and the majority of these are due to clogged up dryer vents. Homeowners also face health issues when they are forced to inhale toxins and poisonous gases that cannot escape into the outdoor air. These fumes need somewhere to go and, when their pathway is blocked, they simply turn around and enter the home.

Saving You Money

Having your vents cleaned now will also save you money in the long run. When these units are plugged, your dryer runs less efficiently. You may start noticing your laundry needs to be run through multiple times before it gets fully dry… This adds to your energy bill and puts a lot of extra wear and tear on your appliance, too!

Also, all too often we see homeowners buying dryer after dryer, trying to figure out why each one they purchase doesn’t seem to do the job right. Turns out all they needed was a good vent cleaning! If you are having problems, we strongly encourage you to call us in. We can check things over and assess your personal situation before you make any costly (and unnecessary) purchases.

Signs You Need A Cleaning

If you can’t remember the last time you had a cleaning, there are signs that indicate you’re overdue. The CSIA recommends at least one cleaning per year. If it’s been longer than that, schedule an appointment with us today!

Other signs to look for? Longer than normal drying times, excessive heat coming from the appliance, lint showing up in/around the dryer, warm/musty odors coming from the laundry room, and clothing coming out feeling extra hot. All of these are clear warnings that you need a professional’s assistance as soon as possible!

We Are Certified To Help!

We want all of your appliances to run efficiently and remain safer for everyday use. Please contact us today to learn more about all that we can offer you! Our technicians are trained and certified by the CSIA in dryer vent cleaning, chimney sweeping, chimney inspections, and more! Depend on us for service you won’t find anywhere else.

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