Chimney Blog February 2018

Chimney Flashing

Posted On: February 26, 2018

In the wake of the recent Northeast snowstorm, now is the perfect time to have a professional inspection of your chimney flashing. Water seeping through this location is fairly common in the chimney industry.

As we all know, water that leaks into your home can cause considerable and costly damage. In the winter, the snow will eventually melt and if there is poor sealing around the area of the chimney above the roof, leaks through the roof and into the ceilings of your house will occur.

The area around the chimney at the rooftop is protected with metal strips called the “flashing.” Without context, this word may suggest something entirely different, but in this case the flashing is sheet metal that wraps around the chimney at the base of the rooftop. There are two layers: the step flashing and the counter flashing. The step pieces are L-shape metal segments, while the counter layer is put into mortar joints and folds over the step layer.

Even if all of the flashing appears to be already in place, a perfect seal is not guaranteed. Over time, small entry points for water can form. This is when caulk is required to fill in the cracks. Ask your chimney expert about the flashing when it’s time for an inspection.


Chimney Cleaning Business On Long Island

Posted On: February 11, 2018

I will never make a living as a writer, but please take a moment to read this blog post as I truly believe it contains some important information regarding the chimney cleaning business here on Long Island.  I've been in the chimney business for many years. The truth is that I am not the only honest and legitimate chimney sweep on Long Island.  When you are in this business you get to meet other business owners and often become friendly competitors. In fact when it comes to emergencies and all my crews are booked, I often recommend other chimney companies that I know and trust.

So Why The Bad Press?

The chimney business is wide ranging, there are many different types of jobs that we perform. In most cases it takes years to learn and become proficient at getting the job done right. However, it is possible that someone can learn the basics of cleaning a chimney and then hang a shingle claiming to perform cleanings at below market costs. Not much equipment would be needed and in most cases these fly-by-night operators don't even have business licenses and/or business insurance.  They can take advantage of the homeowner who can't get on the roof and then report back to them incorrect information regarding the condition of their chimney and make an unscrupulous sale.  These people are in the business for a short time before they are found out. But, even a short time is too late for the homeowner who was taken advantage of.

How to Avoid Being Taken Advantage of...

I have a few recommendations to help!

Make sure you are using a company that has been around for years.  Bad reputation spreads quickly.  If the company you choose has been in the business for at least 5 years you will be able to search for information online about the company and if there are many bad reviews you will find them.

Make sure they are licensed and insured. If they are like my company we disclose that information on every page of our website.  We are legitimate and we want everyone to know and be able to check us out.

Take a look at the equipment. Vans and Trucks are a good reflection of the business. At Always Affordable we have our vehicles professionally painted with our logos. We invest the money to spread the news.  We are not hiding behind a rock, when we are doing a job we are proud of our work and we want everyone to know who we are.

Make sure your chimney cleaning company is full service.  Anyone can learn to clean a chimney.... but if the company you choose also provides other types of chimney services, you can feel more assured that they have the experience and the business sense to do a good job at a fair price.  Gaining a loyal customer leads to future work. Chimney repairs, masonry, liner replacement and other more involved and specialized work.

In closing, I am proud of my occupation.  I am proud that I am responsible for keeping families healthy.  It pains me when I hear about others taking advantage of homeowners under the guise of cleaning chimneys. However,  I know that these are just a painful few and it is my job as well as the job of all the other reputable chimney men to educate the public so that we can clean up our ranks.  It's an important job, I am proud of my profession and I treat it as such.   

Tommy Reek
Always Affordable Chimney Inc.