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Addressing Your Leaky Chimney

Concerned about the state of your chimney? With all the rain lately (and with more spring rains on the way), ensuring your system is adequately protected is a must! Fortunately for homeowners throughout Tullahoma, Huntsville, and their surrounding areas, A-1 Chimney Specialist is here to address water damage, find the source of your leaks, and provide the preventative maintenance you need to stay safer year after year.

Water & Your Chimney

Water and chimney systems never mix well, and if you do not invest in waterproofing, flashing, chimney caps, and more, your system will undergo a lot of excess stress. Water is known to easily penetrate your brickwork and mortar, triggering all kinds of decay and deterioration, and once it starts wearing on your masonry it is only downhill from there.

The more your masonry crumbles, the higher your risk is for a settlement or collapse and the more expensive any repair work will be. Addressing repairs right away is essential, as is investing in waterproofing services from a professional team of sweeps.

Another problem homeowners can face is leaks coming in through the roof or chimney. If you have noticed stained walls or ceilings, this is a clear sign that you have a problem. Water can easily enter through the area where your roof and chimney meet because these two things are made from different materials, and they expand and contract at different rates. One way to prevent this from occurring is to have flashing installed.

Flashing is the metal sheet that seals this area, keeping water out and ensuring your home stays safer and drier. Unfortunately, incorrectly installed flashing is prone to rust, and other times curious animals or bad weather can cause it to falter. In these cases, a professional can come out and fix it up, so you are good to go in no time.

Missing a chimney cap? We can install a new one, so water will not enter your fireplace through the flue and wreak havoc on your liner. You may want to consider a top-end damper, as well, as these work well alongside the chimney cap to keep out water, animals, downdrafts, and more.

Finally, let us check your chimney crown over to ensure it is not cracking or crumbling. The crown sits on the top of your chimney and sends water out and away from the sides of your brickwork. Without it, your structure would suffer immensely, and water would work its way into your masonry in no time!

How We Can Help

We have the tools, training, and technology to restore your system back to where it needs to be. We can replace and repair parts, as necessary, and our waterproofing services are top-notch, as well. Once our crew is through with your chimney, water and excess moisture will not stand a chance.

Don’t put it off. Invest in the care you deserve today to avoid bigger problems down the line. Our team is waiting for your call!

What Do Chimney Caps Do For Your Chimney?

Every piece of your chimney’s anatomy plays an important role in its overall functioning. Well-working and correctly installed parts ensure efficiency and safer fireplace place use year round, giving you peace of mind going into every burning season. At A-1 Chimney Specialist, our CSIA certified team of experts work hard to make sure chimneys in the area are well-inspected and swept and that any necessary repair work is promptly addressed.What Do Chimney Caps Do - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney Specialist

Throughout these processes, we always like to ensure homes are set-up with a proper-working chimney cap. Chimney caps are affordable, quick to install, and they make a big difference when it comes to protecting your fireplace and chimney. Learn more about these products below. Contact us today so that we can get yours installed as soon as possible. It’s the right choice to make!

Keeping Water Out

As you likely know, water can do a lot of damage to a chimney in a short amount of time. If water gets inside of your flue, you’ll notices leaks throughout your fireplace and your liner will start to break down, too. It’s important that there is something in place that covers the flue and blocks this moisture from entering. That’s where chimney caps come in!

Installation of the chimney cap over the flue guarantees protection for years to come. In fact, the Underwriters Laboratory states that in order for a lining system to meet their safety standards, the chimney must have a chimney cap protecting it. If you don’t have a chimney cap on your chimney, there’s no time to lose. Give us a call now!

Preventing Animal Entry

Chimney caps are also known for preventing animal entry. It’s not uncommon for bats and other critters to make themselves at home in your flue, and birds are notorious for building their nests there. These animals and the materials they bring in with them can cause clogs and other deterioration in a hurry.

Chimney caps keep both your home and these creatures safer. Not to mention, some animals, like chimney swifts, are endangered, meaning once they’re in the flue, they can’t be removed. In these cases, you won’t be able to use your fireplace until the animals leave on their own. After their departure, we remove their nesting materials.

Avoiding Downdrafts & More

It seems as though the list of benefits chimney caps provide goes on and on. Along with preventing animal entry and keeping water out, chimney caps also help reduce downdrafts, keep out excess debris, and stop stray sparks from going onto your roof. All of these things work to make your home safer and more comfortable. We provide you with peace of mind before entering your next burning season.

There’s no reason not to have your new chimney cap installed right away. Ask our experts about how we can help you out soon!

Is Smoke Backing Up Into Your Home?

The cold weather is officially here! There is no doubt that freezing temperatures make everyday activities a bit more of a challenge. Fortunately, all the fireplace owners out there have an easy way to warm up in a jiffy after a long day out and about. Just light up a fire, then spend your evening relaxing by the warm hearth.Is Smoke Backing Up Into Your Home - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney

Sounds simple enough, right? Not if you deal with smoke back-up on a regular basis!

If you find yourself struggling time and time again with a smoke-filled living room, now is the time to find a permanent solution to your problem. Here are some options you can consider to say good-bye to that nasty smoke for good!

Check Your Damper

Your damper plays a big role in helping you maintain proper air flow in your chimney. It is meant to stay closed while your chimney is not in use, so you need to be sure to open it again when you go to light a fire. Start out by opening it all the way. Once your fire gets going, you can close it a bit, then simply adjust it as needed while the fire burns.

If you are taking the appropriate steps with your damper, yet still face smoking issues, it may be time to schedule an inspection. A certified chimney technician can take a look to see if your damper is blocked or corroded. Both of these things keep it from functioning as efficiently as possible. If things are really bad, you may need a new damper all together.

Burn Appropriately

What are you using as fuel in your fire? Another time you may see excess smoke is when you burn unseasoned wood. Unseasoned wood contains more water, so a lot of energy is spent burning out the extra moisture. As it burns out, toxins are sent into the air, thus causing you to experience more smoke than necessary.

When looking for wood, look for pieces that are split at the ends, lighter weight, and darker in color. You could also give it a whiff to see how fresh it smells. The fresher it is, the worse it will burn, so go for logs that give off a bit of a musty odor. Lastly, hit the logs together and listen for a hollow, clunking noise, as opposed to a dull, thud. All of these are clear signs that your fuel is ready for use!

Heat The Flue

Another solution to drafting problems is to take control of your air flow before lighting your fire. When you open your damper, you likely notice a draft of cold air entering your home. This draft will continue until the flue has heated enough to reverse the air flow. Yet, if the cold air keeps pushing smoke out into your living room, this can be a difficult task to accomplish!

Next time you decide to light a fire, start things off by taking a rolled up newspaper, lighting it up, then holding it to the opening of your damper. After a few minutes, you should feel the draft reverse!

Still Facing Issues?

If you have tried everything and you are still having problems, call the experts at A-1 Chimney today! We look forward to helping you out!

Is Your Damper Working Efficiently?

Efficiently Operating Dampers Image - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney SpecialistEnsuring that your damper remains in great shape throughout the year is vital in maintaining chimney health. It keeps air flow circulating so that smoke does not back up into your home, and it gives you more control over how intensely your fire burns. There’s no doubt that a good damper is a great investment when it comes to maintaining strong fires.

If your damper allows for good ventilation when fires are lit, you may think you are all set. But what about after the fire is out? When your chimney is not being used, dampers play a big role for your home, as well! These products work hard to seal your chimney and keep your heating bills low throughout the cold, winter weather. Learn more below!

Preventing Heat Loss

Dampers are one of the best ways to prevent the heat in your home from escaping through your chimney. We know budgets can get tight around the holiday season. Save money on energy bills by keeping your damper sealed tight whenever your fireplace is not in use. This is a surefire way to keep the heat high, while the bills stay low.

If you are diligent about shutting your damper, but still notice heat loss throughout your home, have a professional come in and check things out. There is a good chance your damper is damaged or not sealed properly, and they will have the proper equipment to make adjustments, as needed. If a repair or replacement is needed, they will advise accordingly, so you can heat your home as efficiently as possible.

Invest In A Top-End Damper

Traditionally, fireplaces were installed with throat dampers. While these can do a decent job in keeping heat out, they are no longer the most efficient option out there. We recommend having a top-end damper installed. These products seal tight, ensuring your home stays cozy and warm all throughout the winter. Don’t let snow, wind, and low temperatures ruin your holiday season, and invest in a top-end damper today!

The professionals at A-1 Chimney Specialist are more than qualified to inspect your chimney and make repairs to your damper, as necessary. If things look too bad, and a replacement is needed, we can help with that, too! Our technicians are trained and certified to install a wide variety of products for keeping your chimney in great shape. We want to set you up right so that you can save money during the cold months fast approaching.

We feel that top-end dampers are the best choice for your home, and we would be happy to find a unit that works for your specific chimney. Give us a call today to set up your appointment. We look forward to working with you and making your home the best it can be!

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