This is Your Chimney on Dookie!…

August 20, 2018 | Information

At Chimney Champions®, we frequently get calls about things not working properly.  During one of our recent calls, a client indicated that for some reason, they couldn’t get their damper to open.⊗ WARNING! ⊗ The pictures below are not for the faint-of-heart!During the course of our inspection, we found that our client’s damper was wedged shut due to the amount of “debris” left behind by Chimney Swifts.  That’s right, folks!  “POOP.”  “DOOKIE.”  “NUMBER TWO.”Call it whatever you want – either way, it’s nasty stuff!The picture on the bottom-right shows some of the chunks that came out from the client’s smoke chamber and damper area.  A total of THREE trash bags and SIX vacuum bags were used to clean up after the little guys.This excrement is extremely hazardous to your home AND your health!Birds aren’t the only things that can make their way into your chimney; Raccoons, Rodents, Bees, and plenty more environmental elements … Continued

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What is a Chimney Chase Cover and Why Do You Need One?

August 1, 2018 | Inspections

You may already know what a chimney cap is and why it’s so important to have one that is functioning properly…But what what about the chase cover? The chase cover — or “chase pan,” as some people call it — is the square or rectangular piece of metal that is fitted to sit securely on top of your chimney chase, helping to keep water and other environmental elements out. These parts are exposed to the sun, wind, and all kinds of weather year-round, and it is extremely important that they be checked regularly to make sure they are still doing their job.Be careful who you hire!  You should only allow your chimney to be worked on by a knowledgeable CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep who can provide you with the proper service and suitable parts for your system.Not all chase covers are created equal! For instance, “cross-breaks” create a dome effect, allowing rain, debris, etc. to … Continued

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CHOP and SHOP: Tips for Choosing the Best Firewood, Tinder & Kindling for The Most Efficient Fire

July 18, 2018 | Efficiency

DIFFERENT TYPES OF FIREWOOD:  Does it Really Matter? Yes, it really does.  Choosing the right type of wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove involves many factors.  When the firewood was cut, for instance, can play a role in whether or not it is the right wood for you.  The more recently the wood has been cut, the more water it contains.  Well-seasoned wood is dryer and is therefore easier to get started, and produces a hotter, cleaner burn.  Firewood should always be stored outdoors, off the ground, and with some type of overhead covering to prevent direct contact with rain or snow.  This area should be well-ventilated to allow the air to circulate and dry the wood out.  Firewood that has been stored properly and cut at least six months before burning will produce a much better burn.Many think the most important factor to consider when selecting firewood is what … Continued

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It’s Breeding Season for Federally-Protected Chimney Swifts!

July 5, 2018 | Inspections

Thinking of Removing Birds from Your Chimney?  …Not So Fast!!Every year, the appropriately-named Chimney Swifts migrate to North America from Peru during springtime, and commonly build their nests inside of chimneys.  Their glue-like saliva allows them to attach their nests onto the inside wall of your chimney.  This species of birds (Chaetura pelagica) is federally-protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, therefore it is against federal law to remove or disturb them – or their active nests – during their breeding season without a Federal Migratory Bird Depredation Permit.  Breeding season typically lasts until around the end of the summer, but you can check out this interactive migration map to learn more about their migration habits!Though their chirping can be loud and bothersome, Chimney Swift hatchlings typically leave their nests around 30 days after hatching.  To help prevent the youngsters from falling down your chimney shaft, you should make sure your … Continued

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July 1, 2018 | Inspections

Ho Ho… HOT!   You have most likely noticed by now that retailers everywhere are advertising “CHRISTMAS IN JULY” specials.  Though it may seem crazy to start thinking about Christmas while it’s still summertime – especially for those of us in hot states like Florida – it is the optimal time to begin prepping for winter holidays!  Popular gift items are abundant in quantity… prices haven’t yet been inflated… and you still have the luxury of time on your side.That’s why consumers everywhere are choosing to use their time wisely by getting their seasonal tasks out of the way!  Chimney Champions® wants to help you check one more item off of your ‘To-Do’ List so you can relax this holiday season!  Be sure that your fireplace is CLEAN, SAFE, and SANTA-READY in time for the holidays this year!  When you schedule your Level 1 or Level 2 Inspection and Sweep and mention the … Continued

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Chimney Hurricane Season Prep

June 18, 2018 | Inspections

What would you do if you knew you had a hole in your roof that was big enough for a watermelon to fit through?You would no doubt get your roof repaired without delay!

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Old systems are safe…. right? Why you should get a Level 2 service!

June 7, 2018 | Inspections

This week we cleaned and inspected the chimney system of an older home from 1945.  Beautiful home!  The owner of the home wasn’t sure they wanted a Level 2 service (which includes a scan of the flue with a video camera).  The general thought was, ‘Since the system is so old and has been in place so long, there’s probably nothing to see.’  We always recommend a Level 2 service because… well, you just never know.And wow!  We found some very exciting things!  And by exciting, I mean… very dangerous problems!  As our Chimney Champions® technician was scanning the flue with his video camera, he discovered the dark area you see in the image below.  I’ll explain…What you’re seeing here is an entire section of the clay flue liner that is MISSING.  You see the orange clay liner, then you see a definitive line where it transitions to a dark … Continued

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Old wood burning system incorrectly converted to gas – dangerous!

May 29, 2018 | Inspections

Check out the nice fireplace below.  Looks good, right?  Unfortunately, this system is a problem waiting to happen, and a very dangerous situation.  See below for further explanation…This is an older wood burning factory built fireplace, commonly called a Pre-Fab fireplace.  At some point, the system was converted from wood burning to gas.  However, check out the next photo below:The data plate above clearly states “for use with solid wood fuel only.”  ONLY!  This pre-fab firebox was designed to only handle wood, not gas.  The problem is the gas will likely overhead the system beyond what it was designed for.  This is a problem for any surrounding combustibles (all the wood framing around the fireplace), and the additional radiant heat could break down the components of the chimney system.  But since you can’t see those internal components, you won’t know they’re breaking down until one day – a fire breaks … Continued

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How do birds make a nest in your chimney?

May 22, 2018 | Inspections

We’ll never understand why birds choose to make a nest in your chimney!  This week, our Chimney Champions® technician found a nest, complete with eggs, waaay waaay down the flue – the next was located about halfway.  The only way we found it was through our video camera scanner, which we use during our Level 2 Cleaning & Inspection service.  Birds nests pose serious issues in your chimney – not only can they catch fire themselves, which could cause serious damage to your system, but they can also create a blockage such that smoke fills your home instead of going up through the chimney!  That’s never good.  Check out our photos below!First you’ll see the video image on the Chim-Scan showing the nest and eggs.  The next photo is the location of the nest…. see that little brush looking thing hanging down the flue?  That’s our video camera hanging down.  … Continued

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