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Do You Need Your Dryer Vents Cleaned?

Most homeowners don’t think about their dryer vents a whole lot. They’re typically not very visible in the home, and we tend to pay them little regard. That is, until your dryer starts working inefficiently! When drying times start taking longer than normal and you’re forced to run multiple loads, it can get frustrating in a hurry!

If your clothes are coming out damp, you may think a new dryer is in order. This is often not the case! A professional dryer vent cleaning returns your dryer to full strength. Count on the CSIA certified dryer exhaust technicians at A-1 Chimney Specialist to help you out!

Dirty Dryer Vents Are Dangerous

Do You Need Your Dryer Vents Cleaned - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney SpecialistAs we’ve said, a clean dryer vent helps your appliance run much smoother. You won’t be forced to run load after load, wasting valuable time and costing you money in energy bills month after month. This is an obvious benefit of investing in this yearly maintenance, and it’s a big reason why people call us in!

Yet, more importantly, cleaning out your dryer vents makes your home safer on multiple fronts. For one thing, it decreases your risk of experiencing a house fire. When the appliance overheats, fires can occur easier than you might think! Fires, combined with the flammable lint the dryer produces, can cause flames to spread in a hurry. Thousands of fires occur every year due to dryer vent neglect. Why take any chances? Get on the phone with our team today!

Unfortunately, fires aren’t the only thing you need to be concerned about when it comes to dirty dryer vents. When pathways clog up, the fumes your appliances produce cannot escape. This means they will turn around and enter your home, putting loved ones and pets at risk of illness or worse. In fact, many homeowners with clogged vents have been exposed to carbon monoxide, which can be fatal and is nearly impossible to detect!

Signs You Need A Cleaning

If you are unsure whether or not your vents need attention, look for these common signs that clogs and obstructions are present: longer dryer times, musty odors, excess lint in and around the dryer, higher temperatures in the laundry room, and clothes being extra hot after the cycle is complete.

Also, if it’s been over a year since your last cleaning, it’s always best to get one in. Like fireplace inspections, dryer vents should be cleaned once a year to ensure maximum efficiency and safer functioning.

Trust In Our Professional Team

Cleaning out your dryer vents may be something you feel you can take on yourself, but we strongly advise against this. Even the smallest slip up can lead to big issues for you and your household, all of which end up costing you more time, money, and stress. Make your home safer by setting up an appointment with us today!

Different Uses For Fireplace Ash

How to Reuse Fireplace Ash With spring and warm weather upon us, many homeowners are shutting down their fireplaces until fall and cooler temperatures come back around. If you’re among them, you can’t wait to get out and start enjoying the sunshine! Just make sure your fireplace is properly cleaned out before you kickstart any of your plans!

While you may have been leaving a small pile of ash behind all winter to help you build fires, ash should never be left on the fireplace floor during periods of disuse. This could draw moisture and lead to corrosion, water damage, and rust, all of which will lower your chimney’s lifespan significantly. The good new is, this leftover ash can be used for plenty of things you encounter in your day-to-day life!

First Off – Remove It Safely!

Before using your fireplace ash for anything, it’s important that you give it time to properly cool off. Embers can stay alive in ash for days, so improper removal and storage can lead to injuries or fire. To begin, use a metal scoop to remove the ash from the fireplace, then place it in a metal container with a slightly raised bottom, a handle for carrying, and a secure lid. Once you have your ash cleared out, place the bucket on a non-flammable surface, such as concrete, brick, or cement.

The ash should be kept in the sealed bucket for a few days (at least) to ensure every possible ember or spark has been extinguished. Once the waiting period is up, you’re free to put your ash to good use around the house!

Put It In Your Garden

Wood ash is great to use in your garden! It enriches the soil and helps a wide range of flowers, vegetables, and fruits grow better and stronger. Just be sure to do your research first! Acid-loving plants, like blueberries and peppers, will not benefit from the addition of wood ash and should not be exposed to it. Tomatoes on the other hand – along with carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and plenty more – will love the extra calcium!

You could also throw it in your compost pile for later use in the garden, or sprinkle it around the edges of your plot to repel snails and slugs. The slimy creatures find it less than appealing! Just be sure to reapply it after every rainfall.

Use It To Clean Around The Home

If you have anything made of silver, metal, or glass, add a bit of water to your ash to form a paste, then apply it to the object. Let it sit for a bit, then scrub it down. You’ll be amazed at how well it shines afterwards! You could also leave a bowl of it in the fridge or in stinky areas of the home to help reduce odors.

Have an unsightly oil stain in your driveway? Use ash to remove that, too, as well as sprinkle some on ice patches in the wintertime to increase traction and lower your risk of falls.

Call Us In For Your Inspection!

Many choose to wait until fall for their annual inspection, but why not knock it out right now? Come fall, you’ll be all set and ready to go, and we can tackle any repairs, waterproofing needs, and sweepings before the busy season kicks off. Give the team at A-1 Chimney Specialist a call today. We’ll set you up right!

Spring Is The Perfect Time For Chimney Repairs

Have Your Chimney Repaired in the SpringHas your chimney sustained some wear and tear over these last winter months? Between the holidays and lots of freezing cold evenings, we’re sure you put it to a lot of use! Now that temperatures are rising, most homeowners find themselves building fires less and less, and soon, your chimney likely won’t see any more action until fall comes back around.

Many put little thought into ending their burning season. They simply stop using their fireplace, then wait until fall to schedule their annual maintenance. We know this because, once cold weather starts to come back, we get plenty of phone calls and other inquiries! We love that so many homeowners in the area invest in maintenance before their burning season begins again, but why wait until fall?

If you’re done with your fireplace for the season, call us now to schedule your inspection so you can get it done early. There are countless benefits to scheduling your maintenance in the springtime, so why waste any more time? Count on the CSIA-certified crew at A-1 Chimney Specialist today!

Working In Warmer Weather

Warmer weather is ideal for patching up cracks, holes, and crumbling masonry. The materials we use for this type of work need time to properly cure in a certain temperature range that allows this to occur with no other hiccups. Your repair jobs are guaranteed to look better and last longer, should you have our techs come out to your house this spring.

Along with this, warmer weather is perfect for certain services, such as waterproofing. If you know anything about water and your masonry, then you know the two don’t make a good pair! When water gets absorbed into your brickwork, it causes rust, clogs, decay, and a variety of other problems. Those issues, combined with the freeze-thaw process, can really take a toll on your entire system.

Avoid water damage and other deterioration by investing in waterproofing from the very start. Our team of experts can get the job done right, using products that both protect your masonry and allow it the opportunity to breathe and vent out vapors. Give us a call today, so we can help you out!

Making Your Life Easier

On top of it all, scheduling now makes life less stressful down the line. Fall can be a busy time of year for both our chimney company and the community members we serve, making scheduling a bit of a struggle at times. We want to visit your home as soon as possible in the event that you need immediate repairs, but when slots fill up fast, this can be a challenge.

Let’s say we fit you in easily for your annual inspection, then notice repairs are needed before your burning season can begin. You’re forced to go through the scheduling process once again, and if we aren’t able to meet with you right away, you won’t be using your fireplace for quite some time!

Don’t put it off. Once fall comes around, you’ll be happy this maintenance is off your to-do list! Call us in now!

How To Spot Chimney Leaks

Are you concerned about your chimney’s structural soundness? One of the biggest reasons masonry breaks down is due to leaks and water damage. Spotting these issues as soon as possible saves you a ton of money and stress down the line. Call us in right away if you note anything suspicious. A-1 Chimney Specialist is here for you, no matter what!

Check Your Chimney Cap & Chimney CrownHow To Spot Chimney Leaks Image - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney Specialist

One reason you may be having leaks is due to a faulty cap or crown. These are the pieces at the very top of your chimney and they are typically your fireplace’s first line of defense against excess moisture. Let’s start with the chimney crown. Crowns are typically cement-based, slanted structures that sit on your chimney and slightly overhang past the edges. They are known for being super durable, easily casting water away from your brickwork, mortar, and flue opening.

The chimney cap is the piece that covers the flue opening so that water cannot go down into it. The cap is inexpensive and durable, and it keeps your flue from experiencing the harmful effects that come with too much water exposure. Without a well-functioning chimney cap in place, your liner will likely deteriorate quite quickly, making your system unsuitable for regular use.

If either the cap or crown is missing or damaged, you’ll be facing leaks throughout your chimney. Check these areas right away if you notice any signs of water damage, then have an expert take a look to see what can be done. A CSIA certified professional, like the staff at A-1 Chimney, can fix up your crown or cap in a hurry! Or, should a replacement be in order, we can handle that, too. Count on us for it all!

Other Things To Look For

If your cap and crown are both in good shape, there are other areas you can check for leaks. For example, your flashing could be rusted and cracked, thus allowing water to enter and damage your structure. When your flashing is in good shape, it provides an excellent seal for the area where your roof and chimney meet. Unfortunately, improper installation can eventually lead to big issues. Count on us to get the job done right the first time!

Your brickwork may also be in bad shape, thus allowing excess water easy access to your other chimney parts. Luckily, we can fix it up! And once we’re through, we can apply waterproofing agents, so that you won’t have to deal with leaks and water damage again anytime soon. Give our sweeps a call today!

Schedule An Inspection Today!

The best way to stop leaks before they turn into a bigger issue, is to schedule inspections at least once per year. This way, a professional can assess your situation on a regular basis, then let you know of any necessary repairs or build up. For the best chimney care in Tullahoma and all of its surrounding areas, count on the team at A-1 Chimney Specialist!

What The Freeze-Thaw Cycle Does To Your Chimney

Are you concerned about the effects of winter weather on your chimney? There are a lot of legitimate things to worry about when temperatures drop and snow and slush start filling your roads and sidewalks, and your chimney may need some extra attention. A lot of times the problems we see in masonry are a direct result of the freeze-thaw cycle. Learn more about this process below, then call us in, so that we can help you do something about it! At A-1 Chimney Specialist, we’re here for you no matter what!

What Is The Freeze-Thaw Cycle?The Freeze-Thaw Cycle And Your Chimney Image - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney

First things first, let’s explain just what this process looks like. The brickwork and masonry that make up your chimney are both very absorbent. They easily soak up water, if not adequately protected, and this can cause a lot of damage down the line. All of this excess water in your chimney causes rot, rust, mold, deterioration, and (as stated above) the harmful freeze-thaw cycle.

The freeze-thaw cycle is what happens when the water inside of your masonry freezes. When water freezes, it expands, and it forces your brickwork to expand right along with it. That’s a lot of extra stress and strain on your system! This creates more room for water to enter and, as the water freezes and thaws multiple times throughout a winter, your chimney undergoes a lot of shifting. In the long run, this process could cause your brick to crumble, break down, and eventually collapse.

How To Stop This Cycle

If you’re concerned about the effects of the freeze-thaw cycle on your masonry, count on the staff at A-1 Chimney to fix things up! Before moving forward with any preventative maintenance, you’ll want to address any current damages. This will ensure your chimney is in the best shape possible before we apply the necessary protection to keep it healthy year after year.

Our CSIA certified experts will repair and restore your fireplace and chimney, so that it looks like new again. We can replace flashing, fix up your chimney crown, install a chimney cap, and take care of anything else you need done, too! Whether your damage is major or minor, we’re certain we can assist!

Once your brickwork and mortar are patched up and restored, we can apply waterproofing to ensure you don’t have to face this problem again. Waterproofing is a surefire way to keep moisture out for good, and we can guarantee that our products won’t let you down! They provide a tough shield for your system, so that water can’t easily enter and, unlike paints or similar products, they allow your system to breathe out vapors at the same time.

If you’re looking for a stronger chimney, we believe waterproofing is the way to go! Also, if you haven’t scheduled your annual inspection, book a spot with one of our qualified and professional sweeps today. We’ll look things over, so you can move forward with the peace of mind you deserve this winter – and for many more winters to come!

The time to call is now…. Pick up the phone today!

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