Chimney Blog August 2017

AAC Does It All - Liner, Tile Knocking & Repointing

Posted On: August 21, 2017

Even the most modern chimneys require maintenance from time to time.  Check out the video below to see our Always Affordable Chimney technician on the job.

Chimney Liner Replacement is necessary to ensure quality air circulation as well as the safety of those inside of the structure on which the chimney is supported.  The stainless steel liners are used in replacing terracotta clay chimney liners most commonly found in residential areas.  Chimneys should be inspected annually for safety precautions.  For your convenience, Always Affordable Chimney offers a Free Chimney Inspection Service.

Chimney Tile Knocking is the process of breaking up terracotta chimney lining.  Over time the terracotta lining can break or crack.  This often occurs in older homes with older chimneys. When this occurs, it is most often replaced with a stainless steel chimney liner.  Tile-Knocking is a tough and dirty job and should only be performed by an experienced chimney professional.  

Repointing a chimney is a very important part of masonry maintenance.  Although the bricks surrounding the chimney may last for over 100 years, even high quality mortar decays over time, usually within the first 25 years of installation.  Weather is a huge indicator in how long the mortar holding the bricks in place will last.  Chimneys built in areas of higher temperatures and humidity may require more attention and maintenance as a result of moisture being absorbed into the brick and mortar.     

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Critters, Wildlife, Chimney Information

Posted On: August 09, 2017

Keeping Critters Out Of Your Chimney

Having your chimney cleaned is an excellent way to ensure its longevity and peak performance. However, even if you have your chimney cleaned regularly, there are still some outside factors that are hard to control. One of the most common sources of headaches for Long Island, New York, and Westchester homeowners is keeping local wildlife from getting stuck or even nesting inside of their chimney's flue.

Most Long Island and Westchester neighborhood critters such as squirrels, skunks, raccoons, and even birds and bats can find ways to make your chimney their new homes. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to help prevent them from taking over your chimney.

Fill All Openings

One precaution to take when keeping animals out is to look out for any openings, holes or cracks inside your house. These exposed areas let moisture enter and can damage any wood and walls in your house, as well as the mortar joints on your chimney. They also let warmer air escape, especially on Long Island, resulting in higher energy bills. Most of all, these openings easily allow animals to enter your living space and take residence in your chimney.

The next time you perform your spring and fall cleaning tasks like weatherizing, gutter cleaning, and limb trimming, keep in mind how animals could take advantage of these areas and enter your home.

Make Sure All Wildlife Are Out

Despite your efforts to keep animals out of your chimney, some may have been sneaky enough to get in already. For this reason, it is important to make sure all animals are out before you place a chimney cap on top of it.  

First use a flashlight to inspect the flue from ground level for any animal traces such as droppings, fur or hair. Look closely for these traces especially on your chimney's smoke shelf and damper.

Next, from your rooftop, look down your chimney with a flashlight for the same traces.  Frequently, birds make their nests near the top of chimneys. Check the chimney flue from the roof (or have a chimney sweep do it) to make sure no animals are present.

Cap Your Chimney

Finally, perform one more general inspection. After confirming your clear chimney, install your animal-proof chimney cap.

Need a professional? Call Always Affordable Chimney for any chimney cap installation! 

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Getting Your Chimney Ready for Winter

Posted On: August 04, 2017

Easier Appointments & Minimal Repair Wait

A common time to have your chimney repaired and inspected is the fall and there is nothing wrong with that, but getting a timely visit and subsequent repairs will not be easy. By scheduling a chimney inspection for the end of the summer, you will be presented with an array of available times and the flexibility around your schedule for this inspection will be a breath of fresh air. You won’t have to worry about getting the inspection done last minute or waiting over a month for some repair work to be addressed. Another added benefit is the ability to use your fireplace if there is a brisk night in September or October without the risk of fire.

The weather during the summer also makes it easier for expedited chimney repairs. The drier weather allows for our chimney experts to get the job done quicker. The masonry materials that are used during chimney repairs need optimal time and weather to cure, which is why summer chimney repairs are ideal.

Perhaps you have been discussing whether or not to upgrade your fireplace with an insert, changing your fireplace fuel type or repairing your hearth or chimney structure. Perhaps your chimney needs a new liner, a new chimney cap or a new damper. Does your chimney need to be waterproofed? With the winter months coming, a properly waterproofed chimney will protect your family from the cold, wet winter weather.

Call Always Affordable Chimney to set-up your annual sweeping and inspection or for any repairs you may need!

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