Chimney Doctors of Colorado

Serving Bailey, Conifer, Morrison, Evergreen, Golden, Pine, Fairplay Areas

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Masonry Chimney Waterproofing and Flashing

It’s been a long, cold winter in Colorado, and if you’ve kept up with your annual chimney and fireplace inspections, you’ve enjoyed every minute of using your fireplace. Keeping up with those yearly sweepings helps Masonry Chimney Waterproofing and Flashing - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors of Coloradoyou feel secure in knowing that you won’t be having any accidental chimney fires. Your annual inspections also help you to make sure that there is no damage to your fireplace and chimney system, the damage that might be letting smoke and chemicals back into your home. Now that spring is just around the corner, you need to start to think about getting that inspection and cleaning on the schedule. Scheduling early offers several advantages, including having the opportunity to schedule according to your convenience rather than having to fit it in at the end of the summer. It can also keep your chimney from transmitting a nasty odor into your house all winter long. And if we discover areas that need repair, summer is the best time to get those repairs fixed.

Water Damage

One of the big things that the pros at Chimney Doctors of Colorado will be looking for when we come in and do an inspection is water damage. We’ll look over the structure of your chimney, making sure that the bricks and mortar are in great shape. If the mortar seems weak or crumbly, we might suggest that we tuckpoint, which means taking out the old, deteriorating mortar and replacing it with fresh, new mortar that matches the existing mortar of your chimney. We’ll also be looking for areas that might be causing leaks, such as a cracked chimney crown or a rusted, twisted chimney cap. If either of these things is in bad shape, you may be experiencing leaks. If you have chimney leaks, it can cause your mortar to decay. It can also cause rusted damper assembly, rusted fireplace accessories, water-stained walls and ceilings in the room by your fireplace.

How To Prevent Water Damage

If we find areas in your chimney that are causing leaks to occur, we’ll do whatever it takes to fix those spots. Because our professionals are Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified, and also certified through the National Fireplace Institute (NFI), we have the latest in all the technology and techniques which we can use in order to make sure everything is repaired correctly so that you don’t have to worry about leaks anymore. After we get the leaks fixed, though, we might recommend that you have your chimney waterproofed. Although this might sound like a simple project, it is one best left to the professionals.

It’s not too difficult to coat your chimney with a waterproofing solution. The problem is, though, that although keeping water out of the bricks and mortar isn’t too tough, there is moisture that is left on the inside of the bricks and mortar, hidden in the pores, can’t be allowed to remain in. If you use the wrong product, that moisture will be trapped inside. That’s why at Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we use ChimneySaver. This water repellent not only keeps water out of your bricks and mortar, but it also allows the water that’s already trapped inside the bricks to evaporate out. Many other products keep the moisture trapped inside, and it can cause damage and deterioration to occur. This will help protect your chimney from the freeze/thaw cycle, and will also protect your chimney from efflorescence and spalling, staining and discoloration. Not only that, ChimneySaver won’t leave a glossy shine on the surface of your chimney but instead will leave your chimney looking natural and beautiful. Our expert crew can take care of the application process, saving you the time and mess of doing the job right.

Another thing that we’ll be looking at is the condition of your flashing. If you look up at your chimney, you’ll see that there are metal strips around the base of it. It makes sense that the joint where the chimney meets the roof is particularly susceptible to leakage. The flashing, those metal strips, are layered in a way that redirects the water away from the juncture, onto the roof, and down to the gutters, where it can be directed onto the lawn. If that flashing is torn or rusted, it isn’t doing the job it is designed to do. We’ll make sure that your flashing is secure or replace it as is necessary.

We’ll Take Care Of Your Leaks

If you live in Colorado, you know how to enjoy a cold, snowy winter. It’s important that you keep your fireplace in great shape through annual cleanings and inspections so that next winter you can snuggle up in front of a snapping, crackling fire after a long day of working or playing in the snow. All it takes is a call to Chimney Doctors of Colorado to set up an appointment. We’ll make sure that any leaks are repaired and then waterproof your chimney so that you can enjoy those times worry-free!

Interior Design Trends for 2020

Now that the holidays are in the past, it’s time to start thinking about spring and summer. Even though a Colorado winter can get long, there comes a point when you know it will be done and spring flowers will start to bloom. If you’re looking forward to warmer weather and lots of outdoor activities, you can start the ball rolling earlier by looking into some of the top interior design trends for 2020. Some of these even include fireplace facelifts. If you think your home needs some help to bring it into the new decade, then read on for what’s going to be hot in 2020.

A Fireplace Faceliftunique living room with fireplace

If you’re looking for a way to really change up an area, to make a room look really different, then go right for the focal point of the room: the fireplace! If you love your fireplace but think it’s starting to look tired and outdated, then we’ve got you covered. There are so many different things that you can do that will spark up your room. First, if your fireplace is really outdated, that means you are probably experiencing a drafty, inefficient burn. You might want to consider converting your fireplace into a more efficient wood burner, or a more convenient gas-burning appliance. Gas burning logs make a realistic-looking fire with the convenience of flipping a switch. Or maybe you’d prefer a pellet burner, which is also something the experts at Chimney Doctors of Colorado can take care of for you in not much time at all!

Fresh Looks With Facelifts and Mantels

If you want to change the look of your fireplace but don’t really need to do an entire conversion, then you might want to consider just giving your fireplace a facelift! There are many ways to add a fresh ambiance to your room by updating the front of your fireplace. One great way that isn’t too expensive is to update your mantelpiece. This might mean buying a new mantel or maybe even making one of your own. If you can find a piece of wood that means something to you, or if you need to take down a tree from your yard, you might be able to make or have a mantel made for you. There are many ready-made styles to choose from as well.

Whether your style is modern or traditional, you can find it at Chimney Doctors of Colorado. You can also use your fireplace to create a beautiful display using a beautiful vase filled with flowers, some candles, and a display of family photos. An added benefit of a beautiful new mantel is that you can change it up to fit the different seasons or to change the mood of the room just by changing the decorations on top!

Decorative Screens

Another way to give your fireplace a facelift is to add a decorative screen. There are many different styles to choose from, and this has the added benefit of keeping stray sparks and embers from jumping out of the fire and onto your hearth.

Of course, sometimes all it takes to make a big difference in your living area is to clean up your fireplace. At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we specialize in cleaning up the face of your fireplace. We’ll remove stains, fix up any cracks in your fireplace facing, and rebuild your firebox if it needs it. Just fixing up the look of the exterior of your fireplace can go a long way to making it look more homey and welcoming, and as an added bonus, your fireplace will work better as well.

Other Interior Design Trends

After you get your fireplace looking spiffy, you might want to consider doing other interior work as well. One of the big trends this year is making your room look uniquely you! Look for eco-friendly options to match the trend towards ecological consciousness. Using materials that are sustainably harvested, like rattan, will be in vogue. Look for warm colors in jewel tones to replace the more neutral beiges and off whites. Above all, though, keep in mind that doing you is the best way to go when it comes to decorating your home.

Give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a Call

If you’re excited about the idea of updating your living area and you know that your fireplace is a great place to start, then Chimney Doctors of Colorado should be the first place you call. We can give you great service when it comes to cleaning up or fixing up your fireplace, and we have a wide range of appliances for you to choose from if that’s the route you choose. After we have your fireplace looking exactly the way you want, it’ll be easy to fix up the rest of the room to fit the exact feel you’re going for! Give us a call soon and you’ll have your living space looking stylish and trendy just in time for the happy days of spring!

Efflorescence and Other Signs of Chimney Leaks

Chimneys are sturdy structures, built to last the test of time. They are made of brick and mortar and can stand strong and true through wind, rain, lightning, hail, or snow. However, the winters can get cold and snowy, and that’s why it’s so important that your chimney continues to be in tip-top shape. After spending a day out in the cold and snow, there’s nothing that’s better than settling down in front of a warm, crackling fire, so a Colorado fireplace gets used a lot. That’s why it’s so important that you have your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned regularly. You should also keep an eye out for any areas that might be trouble spots.

In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that you have your chimney inspected on at least a yearly basis. When you hire the crew at Chimney Doctors of Colorado to come in and clean your fireplace, we’ll take care of all the creosote that has built up. We’ll make sure your chimney is cleaned and ready to go for the next time you want to build a fire and get all cozied up! But there are other things that we’ll be looking for as well.

Leaksold chimney

If there’s one thing that you really need to look out for, it’s chimney leaks. This is important because leaks can cause serious damage if left undetected and unrepaired. When we come in to do a chimney inspection and cleaning, we pay special attention to vulnerable areas. These areas include your chimney cap, chimney crown, the flashing, and the interior of your chimney. At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we do three levels of chimney inspection.

Level 1:

A Level One inspection means we’ll just take a look at all the easily accessible areas of your chimney. If you have your chimney maintained on a regular basis, this level is all you’ll need.

Level 2:

A Level two inspection involves a more in-depth look into the chimney with a video camera. This will occur if:

  • we suspect that there is more damage,
  • you haven’t had your chimney inspected in a while
  • you’re selling your home or buying a home with a chimney
  • you suspect that a chimney fire may have taken place.

Level 3:

If we find damaged areas, we’ll do a Level Three, where we actually take apart parts of your chimney to get to these areas.

There are things you can look for as well that might indicate that you have a leaky chimney. For one, if you notice rusty streaks down the inside of your chimney, you could very well have a leak. An obvious sign of a leak is water that has pooled in the firebox. This type of leak might mean that your chimney crown is cracked and that precipitation isn’t being directed away from going down the chimney. It might also mean that your chimney cap is rusted through and needs to be replaced, or that the flashing at the base of the chimney is torn, rusted, or loose.

Efflorescence and Spalling

Another area that might be causing leaks is the actual mortar and bricks that make up your chimney. Efflorescence is one of those signs. If you look closely at the exterior of your chimney, you may notice spots of sparkly, almost salty-looking, grainy areas on the bricks. This is called efflorescence, and it is an indication that salt and water that are on the interior of your bricks and mortar are seeping out. This is a troublesome sign because it means that your chimney structure is weakened.

Another sign of this is spalling. Take a close look around the base of your chimney. If you see white specks or flakes it could also indicate that the mortar or the brick is flaking off because of water that is stored inside. These weakened areas could be causing leaks on the interior of your chimney. These leaks let water in and impede the flow of smoke on the way out of your chimney.

One way to take care of this problem is to seal the surface of the chimney itself. At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we have the proper equipment to do this job so that water can’t penetrate the surface of the brick and mortar. More importantly, we use ChimneySaver as a sealant. This special product keeps precipitation from getting in while allowing any moisture that is already in the brick or mortar to escape, ensuring that your chimney will stay in great shape for many years to come.

Call Today

At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we are dedicated to making sure that your chimney stays just as strong and sturdy as the day it was built. If you suspect that your chimney is leaking, we can take care of sealing it right up. Give us a call today and your chimney will be back up to snuff in no time at all!

The Purpose of a Flue Liner

When you think of a chimney system, you probably think it’s pretty simple. You can see the fireplace, you can see the chimney, and you use the dampers to keep the fire and smoke in control. But there is more to your chimney than meets the eye. If you look at the top of the chimney, you should see a chimney cap. Chimney caps keep animals and debris out of the chimney ad house. Where the roof meets the chimney, you should notice metal flashing. This protects the weakest area of your chimney from water leaks.

Inside you’ll the firebox which is where you build the fire. You may also tile extending on the floor in front of the fireplace. this is the hearth pad. This protects your floors from sparks and popping embers. Although there are many aspects of the system you can see, there are some that only your chimney sweep will see. Flue liners play an important role but are often forgotten about by homeowners because they cannot be seen.

What is the Flue Liner?wood fireplace with hearth

The answer to the question “what is the flue liner?’” is simple. It lines the flue. The first thing to understand is what a flue is. Right above the firebox, where you build your fire, is the smoke chamber. This is where the smoke enters, and it is generally funnel-shaped so that smoke is funneled up the chimney. The smoke is compacted as it moves through this chamber and then is pushed up the chimney, through the flue. From there it passes the chimney crown and the chimney cap, if you have one, and outside. The flue is usually made of clay tiles or if you have a prefabricated chimney, metal.

Early chimneys were often built without a flue liner, but if your home was built in the 1940s or later, it very likely does have a flue liner. In fact, because this is such an important part of your chimney’s anatomy, many states’ fire codes began to require that all chimneys have flue liners. The flue liner serves three very important purposes.

Purposes of a Flue Liner

First, it protects the combustible items inside your home that sit near your fireplace, stopping them from igniting and starting a house fire.

Second, if your chimney liner is properly sized, it can give you a more efficiently burning fire, which means you’ll be saving money in the long run.

The third thing your flue liner does is protect the brick and mortar of your chimney from the corrosive effects that smoke can have. When the moisture leaves the wood in the form of smoke, it contains chemicals that can actually eat away at the bricks and mortar of the chimney, and this leaves cracks and even holes in your chimney which can allow harmful gases to leak back into your home rather than being directed out of the chimney. If you burn with gas, vapors are released that can have the same effect.

Dangers of Smoke

Although smoke contains several chemicals that can cause harm to your family’s health, the most deadly is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause headaches, nausea and flu-like symptoms, dizziness, and chest pain to occur. If left undetected, it can cause you to pass out and if you are not removed from the gas soon enough, death can occur. A properly fitted, properly maintained flue liner can stop carbon monoxide from entering your home with its devastating consequences.

Types of Flue Liners

A common type of chimney liner is made out clay tiles, the same type of tile that your clay flowerpots are made of. Clay chimney liners are effective and long-lasting and offer solid protection from the effects of the deteriorating effects caused by the chemicals in smoke. Over time, however, clay tiles will deteriorate and crack and need to be replaced. Also, if creosote or other debris has built up in your chimney and a chimney fire occurs, your clay tile will likely crack from the heat.

A great option for lining your chimney is to add a stainless steel liner. Stainless steel chimney liners offer great protection from heat and smoke, and most have a lifetime warranty of 20 years. These will not crack or break, and corrosive material will not get through as long as you have your chimney inspected and maintained on a regular, annual basis.

Give Us A Call

With Christmas just around the corner, why not give yourself and your family the best present of all: safety all winter long. A chimney liner gives you an additional layer of protection when burning a fire in your fireplace or heating appliance, and a stainless steel liner will offer lasting protection for years to come. Give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call today and let us come in and give you an estimate of the cost involved and set up a time frame for us to come in and give the gift of safety in the form of a new, stainless steel chimney liner.

Safety Tips for Putting out at Fire

Everyone knows how amazing it is to sit in front of a crackling fire on those cold Colorado nights. Being safe and cozy with family makes winter an exceptional time of year. But at the end of the night, when it’s time to extinguish the fire, do you know the safest way? Do you know how to put that fire out so that there are no worries of a stray spark or ember popping out and putting your home in jeopardy? There is a right and a wrong way to putting out the fire. Read on to find out some tips on making sure your fire is put to bed before you put yourself to bed.

Safety tips for putting out a fire - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors of ColoradoDos and Don’ts

First of all, don’t throw water on that fire. This will result in a couple of things. First, it could cause a whole lot of smoke, and that’s one thing that all homeowners want to avoid. A smoke-filled room can cause scratchy throats and watery eyes, coughing and lung problems. Another problem created by throwing water on the fire would be ease of clean-up. Wet ashes are harder to clean up than dry ashes, so adding water to your fire will only make clean-up more complicated.

Smother your fire in ashes, then put baking soda over the ashes. This will effectively smother the fire. You may wonder why you should use baking soda. Baking soda, when heated, creates carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide does a great job of extinguishing fires. This is a much cleaner way to smother your fire.

This is a great way to put out a fire before you turn in for the evening. But sometimes a fire will catch you off guard. This is the case if there’s a chimney fire. Even though we usually think of a chimney fire as a major event, in most cases, it is not. Generally, there’s not enough oxygen in the chimney for a full-fledged roaring fire to take place. Even so, if you do have a chimney fire, there are some things that you should do. First, get your family and pets out of the house as quickly as possible. Then call the fire department. After this, you should close off any openings into your chimney. This will deprive the fire of an oxygen source that could keep the fire burning. You can also put some baking soda or sand onto the fire in the firebox. As a last resort, use your fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

Preventative Measures

If you’re worried about the possibility of a chimney fire, make sure to schedule yearly inspections. One of the big things we’ll be looking for is creosote buildup. Creosote buildup occurs when smoke from your fire rises up and hits the cooler interior of your chimney. Because smoke is made up of the moisture that’s left in the wood you’re burning plus chemicals that are released during the combustion process, when it hits that cool surface, it condenses and forms a layer of gunk and grit called creosote. This is a highly flammable material that, even at as little of an eighth of an inch, can ignite and cause a chimney fire. When we do your chimney inspection and sweeping, we’ll make sure that the creosote is cleared out, thus eliminating this cause of chimney fire.

Keep Your Family Safe

When it comes to fire, you can’t be too careful. Make sure that your fire is out before you turn in for the evening, and know what to do in case of a chimney fire. But remember, the best thing to do is to prevent this from happening in the first place. The expert professionals at Chimney Doctors of Colorado can help you out by making sure that your chimney is clean and clear of obstructions that could cause a chimney fire, but we also have other suggestions on how to keep your family safe from any dangers that burning a fire might produce. We care about the people in the Central Colorado region and will do whatever we can to make sure that our customers are safe and sound all winter long.

Tips for Building a Safe Fire

Winter in Colorado is right around the corner, and that means it’s soon going to be cold and snowy! Colorado is so beautiful, whether you live in the mountains or not. As the winter weather gets closer and the days get shorter and cooler, you know you’re going to be using your fireplace more and more often. There’s nothing quite as relaxing and comforting as cozying up in front of a crackling, snapping fire, so if you haven’t had your chimney cleaned and inspected yet, it’s time to get to it! Chimney Doctors of Colorado is ready to get you scheduled, give us a call at 303-838-3009. We’ll be there to do a complete inspection and cleaning as soon as we can get you on our calendar. But that’s not the only thing you can do to keep your family safe all winter long. It’s also important to know how to build a proper, safe fire!

Tips for Building a Safe Firefire built in firebox

Safety comes first when it comes it comes to building a fire in your fireplace. After you’ve had your chimney cleaned, make sure that the damper is open. The purpose of the damper is twofold first, to keep the warm air in your house when you’re not burning a fire, and second, to let the smoke out when you are burning a fire. So make sure that the damper is open all the way when you start your fire to make sure that there’s adequate airflow to get the fire going well and to get the smoke directed out of the house.

Although it’s a good idea to keep your hearth clean, you do want to keep an ash bed of around 1 or 2 inches in the box in order to insulate the fire. This will make your fire burn hotter. If it’s the first burn of the season, you might want to use ashes from the outdoor grill. You don’t have too many ashes, however, so it is a good idea to make sure to clean your fireplace from time to time. One or two inches is ideal.

There are several different methods of building a fire. One way is to use the log cabin method. Take two thin, barkless logs and place them parallel to the back of the fireplace around six inches apart. Using newspaper or small twigs as kindling, place a pile between the logs. Place two more logs perpendicular to the first two, making a log-cabin looking structure. You can add another layer if you’d like to, and then light the kindling.

Call Chimney Doctors of Colorado

Knowing how to lay a safe fire is very important, and it’s also important to make sure that your chimney is clean and clear of obstructions. That’s why it’s so important to call Chimney Doctors of Colorado and set up an appointment to have your chimney inspected and cleaned soon.

How Lint Builds Up and Gets Trapped in your Dryer Vent

Knowing how your appliances work, can benefit you in the long run. Strange sounds, smells, and longer cycles are all hints that something may be amiss in your appliance.  This is especailly true when it comes to your clothes dryer! Don’t just assume everything is working properly, learn more about it yourself so you can decide if there is a problem. When you put your clothes in the dryer and turn it on, the drum of the dryer turns. The arms on the drum carry the clothes to the top, and then they drop to the bottom. The process is repeated again and again. As they fall, the warm air that is circulating through the dryer blows through the clothes, and this is how they become soft and dry.

The Danger of Linthand holding lint

As your clothes get washed, tiny particles of cloth get agitated off of the clothing. While the drying process is taking place, those particles get blown off the clothes and have to go somewhere. The air blows them through the vent, and they get caught in the lint screen. This forms that blanket of lint in your lint screen that needs to be cleaned out after every load or two. Unfortunately, not all is caught, and some of that lint goes through to the vent. From there it floats through the vent on the way to the great outdoors. But this lint is damp, and that makes it stick more easily to the sides of the vent tubing.

Flammable and Blocking

As more and more lint goes down your vent, the layer that gets stuck gets thicker and thicker, and this is negative for a couple of reasons. First, it is highly flammable. If the electrical equipment strikes a spark or if your clothes have too much static, it can cause this lint to break into flames, causing a dangerous house fire. Another less serious problem is that, as the layer thickens, the space for air to blow through gets smaller. This means that it takes more work for the motor to push that air through, and your energy bills will be higher as a result.

If you notice that it’s taking longer and longer for your clothes to dry, and you’re running clothes through the dry cycle two or three times to make sure that they’re really dry, chances are that your dryer vent is becoming clogged with lint. In order to protect your pocketbook and your home, it’s time to call in the professionals at Chimney Doctors of Colorado. Although many people don’t realize it, having your dryer vents cleaned is a job that should be done at least once a year. At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we have the tools and the experience to make sure that the job is done properly. Give us a call today, before the weather gets too much colder, and you’ll be sure that your family is kept safe from a dryer fire all winter long.

Fall Fireplace and Chimney Decor Ideas

Now that autumn is here, it’s nice to start thinking about all those lovely things that fall brings, like falling leaves and autumn colors of orange and gold and red. It also brings thoughts of pumpkins and gourds, of raking leaves and burning those piles and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the flames.

Fall decor can be beautiful and easy with fall colors and pumpkins. You can add some of the beautiful colors to your home by adding pumpkins and leaves to your decor, or putting a pretty fall tablecloth or table runner on your dining room table and topping it with a centerpiece of fall flowers, such as mums or sunflowers. Plug in a scent warmer and add some pumpkin or apple spiced wax scents to really add to the fall feel. How good will it feel to walk into your home and enjoy the outdoor fall beauty indoors! If you’re really looking to decorate for the fall, you don’t want to neglect your fireplace!

Ideas for Decorating Your Fireplacefall decorated mantel

One of the easiest ways to change up the look of your fireplace is to start with the mantel. Adding fall flowers or leaves is an easy way to decorate. If you head to your local craft store, you can get some lovely silk flowers that look like the real thing. Sunflowers add a bright, sunny touch, and mums bring those lovely fall colors into the room in a natural way. Deep purples look so pretty, and go great with the deep golds and oranges. Candles always add a sense of warmth, so add some tall wide-based candle holders in varying heights and top them with neutral colored candles, then sprinkle some silk leaves to bring that color scheme together. You can even add a string of little white lights to add a soft glimmer above the glow of a crackling fire.

After you get your mantel looking just right, think about the hearth. If you haven’t started using your fireplace yet, there are some lovely candle holders that fit right inside your fireplace. These fill an empty space so well and adds a warm glow to the room on a cool fall day.

Another way to bring fall indoors is to add some tall vases or baskets to the sides of the fireplace, right on the hearth. Fill those vases with tall filmy ferns in a neutral color, then add some pumpkins to fill in and add a spark of color to the room. To finish the look, bring in an eye catching wall hanging above the mantel to tie your look together..

Come On In!

Whether you add vases or baskets, flower or candles, or a mix of different things, the place to turn for all your fireplace needs is Chimney Doctors of Colorado. If you’re looking for fireplace accessories or even just ideas, our helpful staff is there to help you. We love all things fireplace, and nothing makes us happier than making your home look good. Stop in anytime and let us help you with all your fireplace needs!

Four Signs Your Chimney Needs to be Cleaned

Some things are easy to detect. If your car is knocking or jerking, those are signs that you need to find a mechanic. When your clothes aren’t drying, there’s a problem with your dryer. If the food in your freezer isn’t frozen, it needs to be fixed ASAP. But how about if your chimney needs a good cleaning? There are ways to tell if your chimney needs a cleaning if you’re aware of what to look for.

Four Reasons that Your Chimney Needs to be Cleanedchimney sweep carrying a ladder

Creosote Buildup

Have you noticed that your home doesn’t smell as fresh and clean as you think it should, even after you’ve cleaned? It could be that your chimney is the problem area. Creosote is a natural by-product of burning a fire in your fireplace, one that you can’t stop from happening. Even cured wood has moisture that lingers, and as the wood burns, that moisture is released, along with many chemicals that are in the wood. This mixture rises up your chimney in the form of smoke, and when it hits the cooler interior surface of the chimney, it condenses and forms a layer of creosote. This is a highly flammable material, and it is also very smelly. If you smell something rank, it probably means that your chimney needs a good cleaning.

Bird or Animal Entry

Another reason that you may be smelling something in your chimney is that a bird or animal may have gotten in. If your chimney cap is in a state of disrepair, or if you don’t have a chimney cap, it’s easy for critters to get in but not always so easy for them to get back out. Your chimney is a perfect spot for animals and birds to raise a family, warm, dark, and free from the elements and predators. This means there will be droppings, feathers, or, unfortunately, sometimes even a dead animal inside your chimney. These are bound to smell, and need to be removed from your chimney as soon as possible.

Soot Forming

Another sign that you need a chimney cleaning is the look of the chimney and fireplace. Have you noticed black material in the firebox or on the hearth? This could be soot, which is a precursor to creosote. Generally soot is easier to clean out, but it does still need to be cleared out before a more serious creosote layer is formed.

Excess Smoke

A more serious sign that your chimney needs to be cleaned is an excess of smoke when you burn a fire. This probably means that there is a blockage somewhere, or that the chimney opening is being clogged by an excess of soot, grime, and creosote. If this is happening, your chimney isn’t as efficient or effective as it should be, and your family’s health and safety is in danger.

Give Chimney Doctors of Colorado A Call

If you are noticing signs that your chimney or fireplace need a good cleaning, it’s time to give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call. We’ll have all your chimney needs taken care of before the snow falls!

Leaks and Water Damage

Some things you just expect to start leaking, like a bike tire, for example. It doesn’t take long for an air mattress to spring a leak, either. But there are some things that just seem too durable to ever have a leaking problem, like your chimney. Such a sturdy structure seems made to last forever. Unfortunately, it can develop leaking problems over time, and if it does, it can cause serious damage to your living area and to some key components of the chimney and fireplace system. That’s why it’s so important to have your chimney inspected on a regular basis, or at least annually as recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

How Do You Know Your Chimney Is Leaking?old brick chimney against rainy sky

If you’ve been noticing that your wallboard or trim around the fireplace is soft, stained, or peeling, there’s a good chance that your chimney is leaking. The same is true of the ceiling. Brown water spots indicate that there is a leak somewhere, and it’s highly likely that the leak is coming from your chimney or from a component of your chimney, like the chimney cap or the flashing. Another reason for concern is rusty chimney parts, such as the dampers or even your chimney accessories or fireplace door. You may even notice that the metal firebox is rusting or deteriorating, which indicates that the leak has been there for awhile.

If you take a look at the exterior of your chimney, there are signs of leaking there that can also be observed. You may notice that there is a grainy, sparkling layer on the bricks and mortar. This is efflorescence, which means that water that is coming through the pores of the brick and mortar is carrying salt through, which is then forming a layer on the exterior of your chimney. Efflorescence is a good indication that there is water present, and this can cause damage to your chimney system. Another indication that there is a problem is spalling. If there are white specks or flakes on the ground by the chimney, spalling is occurring. Water in the bricks and mortar is causing the surface to flake off, which can cause structural damage if left untreated.

What Damage Can Leaks Cause?

If you’re noticing brown, weak spots on your walls or ceilings, you’ll have some interior damage to correct before this weakening spreads. Leaks can cause other problems, such as cracks in the flue lining. If this occurs, dangerous chemicals from smoke might be finding their way back into your home. When leaks mix with creosote that is in your chimney, you may be getting a nasty odor that permeates your home. More seriously, however, you may notice that the structure of your chimney is being compromised, and your chimney may even begin to tilt.

Who To Call?

If you notice any of these things, it’s time to give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call to inspect your chimney and determine the source of the leak. It’s best to catch and repair these leaks before they cause bigger problems with a more expensive price tag, and more importantly, affect your family’s health and safety!