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Archive for long island chimney companies

Autumn is the Ideal Time for a Chimney Inspection

How Do I keep My Fireplace CleanAutumn is the Ideal Time for a Chimney Inspection

After Labor Day on Long Island, when we start to put away all the outdoor furniture and cover our swimming pools, we think about preparing for the colder months to come. We may winterize our cars, put the storm windows in the house and make sure our heating system is working properly; but how about the chimney? As the leaves begin to change color and the crisp season of autumn approaches, it’s a good time to schedule your annual chimney inspection.

Homeowners are strongly advised to have their chimney inspected at least once a year. If you have a fireplace or wood burning appliance that you use frequently, it is recommended that you schedule at least two inspections per year. If you have neglected to do this – a good time to prepare is before the weather gets colder and you begin to use your fireplace and furnace for heat.

Even if you think that your chimney is in excellent condition, you need to be sure that there is no creosote buildup. Keep in mind that creosite is formed every time you use your fireplace. Creosote is highly flammable and becomes more difficult and expensive to clean, the longer it builds up inside the flue lining of the chimney. You also must make sure that all of your venting systems (including your chimney) are working properly. If vents are blocked or not functioning properly, carbon monoxide may build up in your home. And while carbon monoxide detectors are effective in alarming homeowners to unsafe levels of this odorless, colorless gas – make sure that your venting systems are inspected and working safely and efficiently at all times.

Both the National Fire Protection Association and the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommend an annual chimney cleaning and inspection. These highly credible organizations back up their recommendations with research that shows annual chimney inspections are important safety measures. The National Fire Protection Association explains that during the inspection, “Your chimney service technician should examine the readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. The technician should be looking for the basic soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. The technician should also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.”

Your chimney should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year. A proper chimney inspection and annual cleaning service can ensure the soundness of your home and the safety of your family.
Hire a reputable and experienced chimney sweep to properly maintain your chimney and ensure the safety of your home.

Pro-Tech Chimney Sweeps offer comprehensive chimney cleaning services that include high powered vacuuming of your entire system, removing hazardous or combustible creosote, eliminating any accumulation of soot from coal and oil systems and thorough fire prevention inspections and maintenance services. Call Protech Chimney Sweeps today at 631-806-8550 or 516-284-1295 to schedule a chimney inspection and ensure the safety of your home.

Do I need a Chimney Cap?

How Do I keep My Fireplace CleanDo I Need a Chimney Cap?

When we moved into our new home, I was elated to have a fire place. Just the thought of having a warm fire on a cold winter day, made me happy. While I thought about things like collecting fire wood, making popcorn over the fire and all the memories and good times that that this fireplace would bring to our family, I didn’t think about much else regarding the fireplace or the chimney.

A few months after we moved into the house, I was standing in the front yard talking to my neighbor when he asked, “Why don’t you have a cap on your chimney?” I looked puzzled and asked what he meant. He explained that most houses have a chimney cap, which is a small metal or wire mesh box that is installed on the top of a chimney. While he explained that a chimney cap is a minor and relatively inexpensive installation, I questioned whether it was necessary or not.

After doing a little research and asking some friends (all of whom have a chimney cap on their chimneys), I found out that this small piece of metal installed on the top of your chimney can prevent numerous mishaps from taking place and definitely save you money in unnecessary chimney repair or damage expenses. I decided that while you may not need a chimney cap in place for functional purposes, a properly installed chimney cap is a good idea. A chimney cap can prevent animals from entering your home, keep the moisture out, and protect the roof from burning embers starting a house fire.

Some of the best reasons to install a chimney cap include:

Keeping Animals Out

During the colder months, small animals such as birds, squirrels or even raccoons, will feel the warmth around the chimney from the fire below. They often make their nests close to or inside of the chimney flue. It won’t take long for an unwelcomed family of critters to move into your chimney. Installing a simple chimney cap with mesh siding will prevent these animals from climbing in.

Preventing Moisture

The weather can create problems for your chimney. If rain, snow or ice enter the chimney flue, the moisture can cause deterioration problems and when mixed with certain types of soot it can become even more harmful to the inside structure of your chimney. Moisture, and intermittent freezing and thawing can cause problems such as cracks in the structure which can lead to costly repairs. A chimney cap can block the moisture from harsh weather conditions from entering your chimney.

Protect Against Fire.

Burning embers from the fire in the fireplace get sent up and exit the chimney along with the burning gases. These embers are still lit and escape out of the top of the chimney and can cause chimney fires and damage to your roof. These problems are entirely avoidable with the addition of a chimney cap and spark guard to prevent the burning particles from escaping.
Once I realized the importance of having a chimney cap in place, I immediately contacted the experts at Pro-Tech Chimney Sweeps. They installed a chimney cap and my home was protected. If you are interested in a quality chimney cap installation, contact Pro-Tech Chimney Sweeps at 631-806-8550 or 516-284-1295.

How Do I Keep My Fireplace Clean?

How Do I keep My Fireplace CleanHow Do I keep My Fireplace Clean!
When we recently moved into our new house, one of the features that we were the most excited about was the fireplace! Since we moved in during the summer months, I didn’t fuss much with the fireplace except to comment on how nice it looked every time I walked by!

Fast forward to the colder months in autumn and winter. Our family enjoyed so much time around the warm fire on many cold nights. It really became the center of our household and it brought our family together. As the colder nights turned into warmer spring days and then hot summer weeks, we have ventured outdoors and left the fireplace behind for a while. The other thing that has been left behind is a bit of a mess!
While we were very good at always having a supply of wood and burning materials handy to light a roaring fire, we were not very good at keeping our fireplace clean! As I think about the cooler months that are just around the corner, I must address my filthy fireplace if I want to ensure the safety and effectiveness of this much beloved area of our home!
As a lucky new homeowner of a house with a fireplace, I have learned that in order for a fireplace to be both safe and effective, it requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Based on my experience and a little help from HowStuffWorks.com, I have compiled a list of some tips to keep your fireplace clean and safe:

• Sweep, vacuum or dust the hearth of the fireplace after each use to prevent dust and soot buildup. Do not sweep or vacuum until all the embers have been extinguished for at least 12 hours.
• Inspect the firebox, flue, and chimney annually for creosote accumulation. Creosite is a black residue (or tar) that builds up in the chimney after wood burning. Creosote is highly combustible and if it builds up in sufficient quantities and the internal flue temperature is high enough, it could cause a fire.
• Burn only seasoned and well-dried wood which can minimize dangerous creosote buildup.
• Never use an abrasive or chemical based cleanser inside the fireplace – it may leave a flammable residue which can start a fire.
• Let a fire burn out on its own, or if necessary, put a little sand on the fire to put it out. Never use water to drown a fire unless there is an emergency. It will make a paste of the ashes, which is very difficult to remove.
• Never leave the fireplace or your home unattended if the embers are not fully extinguished.
In addition to the regular maintenance of your fireplace, you should always have your chimney and fireplace checked and cleaned at least once a year by a professional. Have a reputable and experienced chimney sweep properly inspect your chimney to ensure the safety of your home and most importantly, your family.
Pro-Tech Chimney Sweeps offer complete chimney cleaning services that include high powered vacuuming of your entire system, removing hazardous or combustible creosote, eliminating any accumulation of soot from coal and oil systems and thorough fire prevention inspections and maintenance services. Contact Protech Chimney Sweeps at 631-806-8550 or 516-284-1295 to schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning service today.

There’s a Squirrel in My Chimney!

Chimney CleaningThere’s a Squirrel in My Chimney!
I was very lucky to grow up in a house with a fireplace. I have many fond memories of coming in after a cold winter day playing in the snow and sipping hot cocoa by the fire. After a brisk autumn day raking leaves in the backyard, my family would come in and have apple cider and roast popcorn in wire popcorn basket over the fire! While I have many heartwarming memories of our time around the fire place there is another funny memory from my childhood that that stands out – the day a squirrel got into our home!

One fall morning, my mother was cleaning up the kitchen and heard some strange noises coming from our den, the room that had the fireplace. She said it sounded like chirping and scratching. She walked into the den and saw a squirrel perched on the hearth of the fireplace! It had obviously entered the house through the chimney. This really startled her and since she was home alone she was not quite sure what to do! The story goes that she eventually opened the back door and chased it out with a broom – thus ridding the house of this fidgety rodent. While this is a funny memory that I have of my childhood – it got me to thinking about what I would do if there was an animal stuck in my chimney as well as asking myself how do I prevent animals from using my chimney and fireplace as easy access to my home?

The easiest way to prevent animals from entering your home through the chimney is to keep the flue to the fireplace closed any time that you are not lighting a fire. (This is obviously something that my parents forgot to do!) In addition, a chimney cap with attached wire netting also makes it difficult for animals to get inside a chimney. However, sometimes critters may make it into your chimney and either like it so much that they decide to build a nest and call it home, or they may have possibly gotten stuck. In addition to squirrels, rodents and the occasional bird, raccoons may often take shelter in the winter months in your chimney. In the spring and summer months, mother raccoons often take advantage of chimneys and build nests to use as denning sites for raising cubs.

If an animal has made it into your chimney but hopefully not into your home – what can you do? You should definitely not attempt to remove the animal yourself. The ASPCA recommends that you hire an experienced professional to have the animal humanely removed from your chimney. The experienced staff at Pro-Tech Chimney Sweeps can safely remove any unwanted animals or critters from your chimney. They can also remove any nest or animal debris and install a chimney cap to prevent any animals from entering your chimney in the future.
If you have a squirrel (or any animal) stuck in your chimney – call the animal removal experts at Pro-Tech Chimney Sweeps at 631-806-8550 or 516-284-1295.

FAQs for Chimney Cleaning and Repair

Chimney CleaningIf you are a new homeowner you probably have questions and concerns about so many things. For many people, it is their first time dealing with a fireplace or a chimney – especially if they lived in an apartment prior to owning a house! To help to explain a few things to new homeowners, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers that you may find helpful.
Why do I need my chimney cleaned?
A chimney helps to keep the air in your home, clean and breathable. To keep your chimney running safely and effectively – it needs special care. If you do not keep your chimney clean and well maintained, it can be very dangerous.
How often do I need to have my chimney cleaned?
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you clean your chimney at least once a year or even more frequently if you have a fireplace or wood burning appliance that you use frequently. They also recommend that all chimneys, fireplaces and vents be inspected at least once a year. It is a fact that a chimney that is properly maintained and cleaned regularly – will work safely, effectively and efficiently.
What is chimney inspection?
A chimney inspection ensures that all parts of your fireplace and/or chimney are running safely and effectively. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (http://www.csia.org/) explains that there are several levels of chimney inspections. A Level 1 inspection is recommended for a chimney if your appliance or your venting system has not changed and you plan for the same continued use of the appliance. A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system and it is more in-depth than a level 1 inspection. A Level 3 inspection includes all the areas and items checked in a Level 1 and a Level 2 inspection, as well as the removal of certain components of the building or chimney where necessary.
Can a dirty chimney really cause a fire?
Yes. If you have a fireplace or a wood burning stove, your chimney is designed to expel the by-products of combustion – the substances produced when wood burns. These include smoke, water vapor, gases, unburned wood particles, hydrocarbon, tar fog and assorted minerals. As these substances exit the fireplace or wood stove and flow up into the chimney, a residue known as creosote sticks to the inner walls of the chimney. Creosote is highly combustible. If it builds up in sufficient quantities and the internal flue temperature is high enough, the unfortunate result could be a chimney fire.
Should I be concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is produced whenever gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned and levels can increase if your chimney is not functioning properly. This odorless gas can accumulate to dangerous levels when a blocked chimney or flue prevents the gases from properly venting out and away from the home. Many people die every year because of undetected problems with fuel burning appliances, stoves or fireplaces. While carbon monoxide detectors are effective in alarming homeowners to unsafe levels of this odorless, colorless gas – make sure that your venting systems are inspected and working safely and efficiently at all times.
Where can I find a reputable company to inspect and clean my chimney?
A chimney that is properly maintained and cleaned regularly – will work safely, effectively and efficiently. Pro-Tech Chimney Sweeps offer complete chimney cleaning services that include high powered vacuuming of your entire system, removing hazardous or combustible creosote, eliminating any accumulation of soot from coal and oil systems and thorough fire prevention inspections and maintenance services. Contact Protech Chimney Sweeps today at 631-806-8550 or 516-284-1295 to schedule a chimney cleaning service and ensure the safety of your home.

How Often Should I Clean My Chimney?

Chimney CleaningI was recently talking to a friend and mentioned that I was having my chimney cleaned the next day. She looked at me with a puzzled face and asked why? She told me she had lived in her house for almost five years and never had her chimney cleaned. It wasn’t even something that she thought about because she said they never use their fireplace. I explained to her that even if you never use your fire place (or don’t have one for that matter) – that you still need to have your chimney cleaned or at the very least – inspected once a year.
A chimney helps to keep the air in your home, clean and breathable. To keep your chimney running safely and effectively – it needs special care. If you do not keep your chimney clean and well maintained, it can be very dangerous. I explained that neglected chimneys can cause chimney fires, which can damage structures, destroy homes and injure or kill people. I then gave her the number of a reputable chimney sweep. Guess what? She called them the very next day.
While most of us may not wait five years to have our chimneys cleaned, it is quite often not something that we think about very much, especially if you don’t have a fire place. However, in addition to fireplaces or wood burning stoves, kitchen stoves, furnaces and heating appliance systems are all connected to venting systems such as chimneys. Even without frequent use, over time dirt, grime, creosote and soot can build up in these venting systems, causing blockages and becoming fire hazards. In other cases, small animals and pests may begin building nests inside your chimney. You would never find this out unless you have your chimney inspected – or if they make their way into your home first!
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you clean your chimney at least once a year or even more frequently if you have a fireplace or wood burning appliance that you use frequently. They also recommend that all chimneys, fireplaces and vents be inspected at least once a year. It is a fact that a chimney that is properly maintained and cleaned regularly – will work safely, effectively and efficiently.
If you are a homeowner, make sure to have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year and possibly more often if you use your fireplace frequently. You should hire a reputable and experienced chimney sweep to properly maintain your chimney to ensure the safety of your home and most importantly, your family.
Pro-Tech Chimney Sweeps offer complete chimney cleaning services that include high powered vacuuming of your entire system, removing hazardous or combustible creosote, eliminating any accumulation of soot from coal and oil systems and thorough fire prevention inspections and maintenance services. Contact Protech Chimney Sweeps today at 631-806-8550 or 516-284-1295 to schedule a chimney cleaning service to ensure that your chimney is working efficiently to protect the safety of your home.