Pozzi Chimney Sweep Blog

Chase Cover Problems On Your Chimney

We talk about chimney maintenance a lot, because it is truly the most important part of keeping your wood-burning fireplace or stove in top working order. As many chimney professionals will tell you, the chimney does most of the work when it comes to lighting fires and heating your home. It is important to understand all components of your chimney, how they work and what they do. If you don’t understand how your chimney and fireplace work it can be easy to use them incorrectly.

Rusty Chimney Chase Cover - Aurora IL

Chase Cover Versus Chimney Cap

Many people confuse the chase chimney cover with the chimney cap. To be clear, the chimney cap is the installed piece that is placed directly on top of the chimney opening in order to prevent moisture, debris and small animals from entering the chimney and wreaking havoc on the masonry inside. On the other hand, the chase cover of the chimney is placed around the entire chimney and serves to seal the flue system as well as the chimney. Chase covers are popularly used on fireplaces that are pre-fabricated and were installed in the 1970s and 1980s.

Why Is My Chase Cover Rusting?

Chase covers are typically made of galvanized steel and installed on chimneys surrounded by wood, metal or vinyl siding. Galvanized steel is prone to rust – more frequently during harsh winter months or in any regions where a lot of rain and snow is typical. In other cases, the chase cover can rust because it wasn’t installed properly in the first place. If not sealed properly, or installed carefully you could run the risk of having water pool on your chase cover, which can lead to rusting more quickly.

You want to replace a rusted chimney chase cover because further erosion could lead to chimney damage including:

  • Cracked or crumbled masonry in the chimney
  • Collapsed chimney
  • Moisture inside the chimney
  • Creosote build-up inside the chimney
  • Inability to light fires and/or keep fireplace and woodstove fires burning hot enough

In other words, chase cover rusting is like any other type of chimney damage; preventing further damage is the best way to avoid costly repairs and dangerous damage. You can help maintain the integrity of your chimney by keeping an eye on the exterior, as well as the chase cover. Additionally, hiring a professional company like Pozzi Chimney Sweep in Aurora IL can help you avoid any repairs. Your professional chimney sweep will safely inspect the chimney to make sure the chase cover isn’t rusting. If your chimney sweep notices any rust, they can recommend an appropriate replacement as well as execute the repairs safely and efficiently.

Don’t wait until it is too late to replace your chase cover, and don’t try to make any repairs on your own. Chimney maintenance is dangerous, and if not done correctly can be costly. Safe removal of the chimney cap, seal and the chase cover are all specific repairs that are best left to the professionals. Have an experienced chimney sweeping company inspect your chimney and make the necessary improvements to keep your chimney in top shape after a long winter season.

The Benefits Of Waterproofing Your Chimney

Make sure your chimney is waterproof by calling Pozzi Chimney Sweep today!

Make sure your chimney is waterproof by calling Pozzi Chimney Sweep today!

Another year and another long winter almost behind us. As spring starts to roll in, it’s time to consider some chimney maintenance. Typical chimneys are made of bricks (usually clay or cement) and these materials are very porous. After prolonged exposure to moisture from harsh winter weather, your bricks can start to absorb the moisture, causing damage in a variety of ways.

If your chimney is exposed to the elements without waterproofing, this can lead to a variety of problems. Firstly, several components of your chimney such as the flue, damper and firebox could start to rust. Additionally, the actual bricks of your chimney could start to crack, crumble and eventually cause your chimney to shift or collapse. Lastly, if your chimney is exposed to the elements without protection, it could leave the interior of your home susceptible to water damage. If you notice peeling paint or wallpaper around where your chimney is located you may be experiencing some water damage.

Preventing Creosote Build-Up

A capped, dry chimney is able to burn hot, which prevents the build-up of creosote, a harmful chemical left behind when a fire isn’t burning hot enough. When your chimney is properly capped and/or lined, the fires in your fireplace or wood-burning stove will burn as hot as possible, making it difficult for creosote to build-up and damage your chimney.

Waterproofing Products For Your Chimney

Luckily for homeowners, there are a variety of ways you can waterproof your chimney and protect it from the elements. These products are easily installed by a professional chimney company such as Pozzi Chimney Sweep in Illinois so there’s no reason not to invest in the benefits of waterproofing your chimney.

Lining Your Chimney

Chimney liners are widely used as a means of protecting the masonry from corrosion and water damage. Chimney liners come in three main forms: metal, clay and cast-in place. Your professional chimney experts can recommend a chimney liner that’s right for your home.

Capping Or Sealing Your Chimney

There are also many add-ons or inserts that can be used to prevent rain and snow from entering your chimney. A chimney cap is placed on top of your chimney and seals the hole shut when your chimney isn’t in use. A top-sealing chimney damper has the same affect and can be reopened when you are ready to light a fire. Other benefits of chimney caps and sealers include:

Sealing your chimney from the top prevents debris like sticks and leaves from falling in your chimney and causing hazardous chimney fires.
Small animals and birds won’t be able to fall in a capped chimney, which can be dangerous for both the animals and you.

Contact us about the best ways you can prevent water from entering your chimney and causing damage. Prevention is the best way to avoid dangerous damage and expensive repairs. When the snow melts and spring rolls in have your chimney professionally inspected by one of our certified technicians and ask about the benefits of waterproofing your chimney for efficient and safe chimney use all year long!

Mold in Your Chimney?

The Danger of Molds in your Chimney

Water is, in more ways than one, beneficial to each individual. As a matter of fact, it’s a person’s source of life. There are thousands of ways to acknowledge the importance of water and how it has supplemented the lives of many, but this article tells a different story.

Water in your chimney is something to look out for. Actually, water should not be allowed in your chimney area at all. A simple leak can allow numerous problems to arise because it can serve as a breeding ground for deadly molds to accumulate, grow and multiply.

Moisture not diverted away by a chimney cap encourages the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Moisture not diverted away by a chimney cap encourages the perfect breeding ground for mold.

The FYIs about Molds

If you ever notice unusual looking spots of either green, white or black with a particularly disturbing earthy odor on the walls of your fireplace, that could be a sign of molds that have infested your chimney and are slowly making their way into your home. They can attach themselves to areas where they can feed of moisture. This usually happens in your chimney because water and debris left after combustion in the fireplace make a very scrumptious snack for molds.

Outside the home, this fungus can be of great help; breaking down decomposed organic substances and the like. This is complemented by a combination of humidity and moisture in a particular area. However, molds in the home do the complete opposite of helping and they pose a health threat to those living inside.

The Symptoms

If you think that molds are just there to destroy your chimney structure, you’re dead wrong. It affects your health as well. Exposure to it can cause allergic reactions and symptoms like irritation on the skin and to other areas like the eyes, the throat or the nose.

Other symptoms like cough and headache are sometimes dealt with lightly or completely ignored until it passes because they are common and can be caused by many factors. But in the case of mold exposure, these are not to be taken for granted. Once this is starting to happen to you, be sure to see a doctor immediately. High level exposure to molds can cause permanent damage to your health.

Prevention is Better than Cure

But don’t panic just yet! Do not fear or be dismayed because there is always a solution. There are two things experts would highly recommend:

First, the use of dehumidifiers to regularly check the humidity level in the home and make sure that it is at 40-60%. This will prevent excess moisture from accumulating in any area in the home. This should be strictly monitored most especially during sunny summer days.

Most importantly, regular chimney inspections and sweeping should be done. This will prevent water leaks, moisture and humidity from interfering with the overall functions of the chimney. To solve your problem of chimney molds, call the certified experts of Pozzi Chimney Sweep, Incorporated. They will be able to take out the mold and waterproof your chimney in no time.

 

Why Does My Fireplace Stink?

Everyone wants their home to be appealing to their visitors.  Many have the living room as a common gathering place, and during the holidays the fireplace is a symbol of the warm feeling in the home.  However, you may notice a foul smell coming from your fireplace. A certified sweep can help you identify the cause of the smell and help craft a solution. Your annual cleaning and inspection gives the sweep critical information to assist in making your living room pleasant again.

Enjoy your fireplace odor-free! Call a certified sweep today to make sure you don't have a dangerous build up of creosote.

Enjoy your fireplace odor-free! Call a certified sweep today to make sure you don’t have a dangerous build up of creosote.

Smells in fireplaces are formed from creosote deposits in the chimney.  These odors are usually worse in the summer when the humidity rises, when it begins to rain, or when the air conditioner is running in the home.  While a chimney sweep will help reduce some of the built up odors, it will not eliminate them.  Creosotes will absorb into the construction of your chimney, going beyond the surface.  The chimney sweep is designed more to remove buildup that can cause fires.

The problem with smells is the amount of air and pressure sending the air through the chimney, flushing the various odors down as well.  There are many reasons for pressure change, some caused by problems with old parts such as damper closure and exhaust vents.  New equipment, such as a new furnace or water heater, or new windows, being added can also change airflow.

There are ways to fix the negative air being brought in by your chimney, and most are simple steps.  If one method does not work, it is recommended that you try more than one way to remove the smell.  The first thing to do is to close your fire damper when it is not in use.  This usually stops all problems, unless there is a problem with the seal.  Also, some people have a glass screen installed so that the air cannot pass through.  Also, you can change the airflow in the other appliances that are helping create the negative air.

Ask your sweep to confirm at your cleaning and inspection that there are no critters or birds that have taken up residence in your chimney. Chimney Swifts are a federally protected bird and cannot just be removed. The sweep will help you narrow down the probable cause of the smell. The sweep will also be able to help you make decisions about a chimney cap that can help keep curious animals and birds out of your chimney.