It’s important to us that our customers feel fully informed and confident when working with us. That’s why we’ve made a list of these common questions. Browse through the information below, and if you have a question that isn’t included here, feel free to reach out to us today.
Why should I have my chimney inspected?
The National Fire Protection Association says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” Even if you don't regularly use your fireplace, small animals and birds can leave nesting material behind that could make your fireplace unsafe if not removed.
How often should I have my fireplace cleaned?
The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) recommends your chimney should be cleaned when 1/8"of sooty buildup is evident inside the chimney and flue system. If any glaze is appearing in the flue, cleaning should be done even if there is less than 1/8″ of build up. Any time an appreciable accumulation of soot and creosote occurs it can be enough to fuel a chimney fire that may damage the chimney and even spread to the roof and home.
What is Creosote?
Creosote is a corrosive, gummy and enormously combustible substance that forms when the volatile gases, which are products of burning wood or coal tar combine and condense below 250° F
What if I am not satisfied with Whempys Chimney Services?
If you are not satisfied for any reason, please don't hesitate to reach out. Our goal is not only to keep your fireplace clean and safe but also to educate our customers on what they can do to get the most out their fireplace or stove.
Fixing Chimney Leaks
Water leaking in a chimney structure can very quickly lead to very costly repairs and diminish your chimneys life. There are several places a water problem can start from which can make diagnosing very difficult without the help of a professional. Whempys has been helping stop leaking chimneys for 41 years and these are what we have found to be the most common causes:
Water leaking in a chimney structure can very quickly lead to costly repairs, while diminishing the life of the chimney. There are several places a water problem can start, which often makes proper diagnosis difficult for many homeowners, requiring a professional to identify the root cause. Whempys has been helping homeowners for 41 years to identify the issue and stop their chimney from leaking. Here are the most common causes our experienced technicians have found:
A chimney cap is one of the most important things that can be installed on a chimney but is often overlooked until a problem starts. A chimney cap helps keep water and animals from getting inside your chimney. Without a chimney cap water can come down the flue system and deteriorate the masonry potentially causing costly repairs.
The flashing is a thin piece of metal that keeps water from getting between the masonry of the chimney structure and the roof. Over time the sealant can dry out and the metal pulls away from the masonry, letting water in.
The crown is a concrete pad at the top of the chimney structure that is meant to keep water from getting between the brick and the clay flue tiles. The chimney crown should be a precise thickness and slope to wash water away from the flue tiles. An improperly installed or deteriorated crown provides access for water to enter between the masonry and clay tiles. The intrusion of water has the ability to cause many problems for homeowners.
Masonry chimney liners for furnaces and hot water tanks break down over time due to the amount of moisture the appliances produce in their exhaust. When the flue liner for a furnace or hot water tank goes bad, it allows the moisture and carbon monoxide to slowly seep through the masonry and into your house. The solution for this problem is to install an aluminum liner that runs from your appliance to the top of the chimney.
Masonry that is not maintained will deteriorate over time. Due to the constant freeze-thaw effect in central Ohio over the winter, masonry that is above the roof line will receive the most damage. Over time, the masonry may become loose and shift allowing water to seep in between. The best way to protect against this type of deterioration is to water seal the chimney structure.
Pre-fabricated (pre-fab) fireplaces are fireplaces that come as a kit and have a metal double wall flue liner. The exterior is framed with wood and typically has vinyl siding or stucco. The top of the chimney is covered with a metal pan (chase pan) to keep water out of the interior of the structure. These metal pans can rust or be pulled loose from heavy winds. The pan can be replaced with a new one to prevent damage to the internal structure.
Heavy Wind and Rain
Some areas in central Ohio have more extreme weather than others. In areas that are prone to high winds, sometimes a standard chimney cap won't stop rain from going down the flue system. When this is the case a top seal damper is needed. A top seal damper is a closeable cap that is controlled by a stainless steel braided wire that runs down the chimney flue into the firebox. Top seal dampers are also great for stopping a drafty fireplace.