Company Blog

Cap Your Chimney to Keep Your Home Safe

Usually made of copper or stainless steel, a chimney cap is a small metal apparatus that connects to the top of a chimney. Chimney caps are reasonably priced and any professional chimney sweep company can install one for at low cost. Even though chimney caps cost relatively little money and are easy to install, not all homes have them. Some homeowners do not know they need a chimney cap. Others simple do not realize how very vital a chimney cap can be for the home and fireplace. In fact, chimney caps offer protection from all types of dangers. However, the most common issue chimney caps fight is the infestation of small animals and pests.

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Chimney Caps and Pests

During bitter New York winters, everyone wants to keep warm, particularly small animals that have few options in the dangerously cold weather. In an effort to see it through to the spring, birds and squirrels find the warmth of the chimney very appealing. In addition, the confines of the chimney make the animals feel safe, and it protects them from direct contact with the elements. For these reasons, birds and squirrels will not hesitate to make a cozy winter home out of your uncapped flue.

While the animals may enjoy the advantages offered by hiding away in the chimney, eventually this arrangement will have serious consequences. The only reason homes have chimneys is to prevent toxic gases in the fireplace from permeating the home by expelling them outside. Particularly with wood burning fireplaces, the chemical process of burning wood produces dangerous materials. Messy soot floats around in the smoke, burnt wood produces creosote, and combustion produces carbon dioxide. While soot only results in a messy fireplace and house, creosote and carbon monoxide can cause negative health effects and even death. It is essential for the health of everyone in the home that these gases have a way to escape. When an animal makes a nest in the chimney, the exit for the toxic gases has become obstructed. This creates a back-up in which the smoke and all the toxins in it are forced back into the home with potentially fatal consequences. Because a chimney cap is an affordable option that prevents all of this risk, the decision to install or update a chimney cap is an easy one.

Installing a Chimney Cap

Many big box retailers offer chimney caps at very low prices. Beware, however, that these chimney caps are low quality and not guaranteed to fit your chimney. They will deteriorate quickly and require replacement often. Additionally, installing a chimney cap on your own can be very dangerous. In order to avoid investing in a low quality chimney cap and putting your safety in danger by installing one yourself, contact a chimney sweep company. If you live in the Hudson Valley area, contact All Seasons Chimney for a professional consultation. Along with your next annual chimney sweep and inspection, the serviceperson will inspect your chimney and provide you with expert advice on choosing a chimney cap. All Seasons Chimney will supply you with a high quality cap with a long life span, and they will install the chimney cap safely and precisely for an affordable price.

Dealing With a Stinky Fireplace

Help! My Fireplace Stinks!

When the weather gets warmer, you may notice a stinky odor coming from your fireplace and wonder what in the world has caused this unpleasant smell. Several things could be the culprit, and in these situations, you should call a professional chimney company like All Seasons Chimney. Our trained and certified chimney sweeps know exactly what to look for, and sometimes the source of the stinky odor can be hazardous, so it is best to allow the professionals to check out your smelly fireplace. To give you an idea of what the possible causes of what is making your fireplace stink, we would like to share with you the top three causes.

Are you wondering why there is a foul smell coming from your fireplace? We have a good idea where to start.

Are you wondering why there is a foul smell coming from your fireplace? We have a good idea where to start.

  • CREOSOTE The top cause of a smelly chimney, creosote is a naturally-formed compound that sticks to the walls of your chimney as a result of the condensation that occurs when the by-products of combustion like smoke, gases, water vapors, tar fog, and other minerals exit the cooler, upper walls of your chimney. Differing in appearance, creosote can be brown or black, and it can be shiny and hard, sticky and tar-like, or crusty and flaky. Over the fireplace season, creosote deposits can build up and become hazardous, becoming the top cause of chimney fires, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Additionally, when the temperatures outside rise, the creosote deposits also begin to emit a foul odor, so strongly it reaches inside your house. The solution to this problem is simple: have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually by a CSIA-certified company like All Seasons Chimney. We remove all creosote deposits from your chimney during our sweeping, and we can help you to prevent the creosote-friendly atmosphere a chimney that needs repairing has.
  • DRAFTING PROBLEMS If your fireplace smells smoky, you may have a problem with your drafting system. These problems can be caused by blockages in your chimney, including creosote deposits. What occurs when you have drafting issues is the smoky air trying to be pushed out of your fireplace cannot fully escape, and the smoky and stinky air is pushed back into your house. You will know for sure if your stinky fireplace problem has to do with drafting because if you light a fire in it, your room will fill with smoke. Again, an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from All Seasons Chimney can solve this problem as well.
  • MOLD If you have a leaky chimney, chances are mold could be the cause of your stinky chimney, and you will know by the distinctive musty smell of mold if this is your problem. Other signs of chimney mold include stains on the exterior of your hearth or the ceilings and walls around your fireplace. If mold is the suspected cause, call All Seasons Chimney immediately to schedule a consultation. Mold can be a serious issue and affect the health of you and your family, so it is urgent you seek the help of our experienced chimney sweeps.

If your fireplace stinks, contact All Seasons Chimney today to schedule a chimney sweeping and inspection. A smelly chimney is never a good sign.