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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!How To Spot Chimney Leaks - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney Specialist

Check Your Chimney Cap & Chimney Crown

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!The Freeze-Thaw Cycle And Your Chimney - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney

What Is The Freeze-Thaw Cycle?

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!

Every Chimney Deserves A Cap

If you’ve made it a goal to take better care of your chimney this year, then A-1 Chimney Specialist is here to help you out with some great services and helpful advice. If you know anything about the anatomy of your fireplace, then you know it takes multiple well-working parts to ensure everything functions normally every time you light a fire.Every Chimney Deserves A Cap - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney Specialist

Our CSIA certified staff can check your system over during one of our inspections, then let you know which areas need some work. And we’ll make sure you have every piece necessary for ensuring your system stays protected and runs efficiently night after night! One thing we’ll look into is the condition of your chimney cap. If you don’t have a chimney cap or if your current cap is in rough condition, we can set you up right!

Why Are Chimney Caps Necessary?

If you’re one of the ones without a chimney cap in place, then purchasing one for your home is essential for ensuring optimal chimney health. In fact, Underwriters Laboratories won’t list a liner as meeting their safety standards unless there is a chimney cap in place! The best part is, they’re very affordable and don’t take long for your sweep to install. There’s no reason not to get one right away!

So, what do chimney caps do, exactly?

Well, for one thing, they play a big role in keeping water away from the inside of your chimney. Water is one of the more harmful things your masonry can come into contact with and, if your brickwork absorbs a lot of it, you’ll face some serious issues down the line. Along with this, excess moisture triggers rust, rot, stains, mold accumulation, and tons of other similar problems all of which threaten the strength and integrity of your system.

With a chimney cap in place, rainwater and snow won’t be given easy access to your system. Chimney caps seal the top of the chimney, so that nothing can leak through and cause damage. It’s a worthwhile investment for any home, and we guarantee it will save you time, money, and stress down the line!

Other Benefits

Along with this, chimney caps keep animals out of your system, so that they can’t sneak in and build nests. Chimneys offer a warm and cozy place for critters to camp out. These creatures aren’t in a safe or convenient spot once fires start getting lit in your fireplace. Along with this, extra debris in your system will cause clogs and drafting issues. Both of which threaten the safety and efficiency of your fireplace. Keep pests out for good by calling on our expert staff today!

And that’s not all! Chimney caps are also known for preventing downdrafts, stopping stray sparks from landing on your roof, and keeping random debris from blowing into your system. There are lots of different materials to choose from, based on your specific needs. When you count on our team of experts, you can rest easy knowing your chimney cap will work hard and keep your system safer for years to come! Why wait? Give A-1 Chimney Specialist call 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…Why Does My Chimney Smell - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney Specialist

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 Pressure

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!

Waterproofing Your Chimney

Nothing beats the cozy atmosphere gained when a fireplace is added to a home. Sitting around a crackling fire with loved ones is one of the best feelings, especially when the weather outside is cold and dreary. Yet, owning a fireplace requires a lot of responsibility, and it is important to stay educated on what type of regular maintenance is required. Ensuring that all parts of the chimney and fireplace are up to code and working properly will allow it to run longer and more efficiently. It will also help you rest easy knowing that your family will remain safe when the fireplace is in use.

Potential Water DamagePrevent Chimney Mositure - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney

Your chimney is going to face a lot of wear and tear, so it is up to you to ensure that it can outlast any type of bad weather or outside threat. One of the best things you can do for your chimney is have it waterproofed. There are many negative effects when your chimney is exposed to excess water. Check out just a few of these below.

  • Freeze/Thaw Process: Many people are unaware of how absorbent brick is. When heavy rains fall on your chimney, the brick sucks in a lot of water, which then freezes and expands in the wintertime. Once temperatures rise again in the spring, the water in the brick melts, putting a lot of extra pressure on the chimney as a whole. This could eventually lead to a chimney settlement or, even worse, an entire chimney collapse.
  • Rust And Decay: One of the fastest ways to cause deterioration on a chimney is by exposing it to too much moisture. The various parts that make up a chimney and help it function suffer immensely when they are not properly protected. If the metal components rust, the mortar becomes weak, and cracks start to form, your chimney health will sink dramatically and it will quickly become unable to function efficiently for your home.
  • Stains and Cracks: As mentioned previously, cracks in a chimney are never a good sign. If you see a crack starting to form, getting it fixed as quickly as possible is vital in maintaining proper chimney care. Cracks and stains are unsightly and are a sign that more issues are on the way. If you see either of these throughout your chimney, then be sure to schedule an inspection right away so that preventative measures can be taken to avoid further damage.

At A-1 Chimney Specialist we care about you and your home, and we work hard to ensure that all of our customers feel protected. We have a variety of options when it comes to waterproofing and we are more than willing to work with whatever your chimney needs are. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment, then rest easy knowing your chimney and fireplace are in the best hands possible. We look forward to working with you!