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How Summer Storms Can Affect Your Chimney

While the summer season brings warmer temperatures and longer days, it also brings summer storms. Ranging in intensity from mild to severe, summer weather can affect a number of things outside your home – including the chimney.

The rains, high winds, lightning, hail, and other elements brought by summer storms can all have a damaging effect on your chimney system. While some damage is up to Mother Nature, it is possible to protect your chimney through regular maintenance and upkeep.

How Storms Cause Chimney DamageHow Summer Storms Can Affect Your Chimney Image - Memphis TN - Coopertown Services

Summer storms can be as mild as a light rain shower or as destructive as a tornado. No matter how intense, the weather caused by Mother Nature in the summer can damage your chimney system. The following are five ways that summer storms cause damage throughout the chimney and fireplace.

  1. Chimney crown damage
    The chimney crown is the concrete slab that covers and seals the top of the chimney structure. The crown helps protect the chimney from moisture, debris, and animal entry into the chimney and flue. The if the crown is improperly constructed, was built using subpar materials, or has been previously damaged it is more prone to leaks and damage during severe weather.
  2. Flashing damage
    Flashing seals the joint between the roofline and the chimney, preventing water from entering and damaging the surrounding masonry, roof, and building materials. The flashing can become damaged over time through regular wear and tear; high winds and flying debris can also cause flashing to lose its watertight seal.
  3. Chimney cap damage
    The chimney cap sits on top of the chimney crown and covers the top of the flue. Designed to let smoke and hot air vent while preventing moisture, debris, and animals from getting into the chimney, chimney caps can be damaged – if not blown away entirely – during strong summer storms. Damage from high winds can cause the chimney cap to loosen; likewise, repeated heavy rains can cause areas of rust to form on the metal.
  4. Masonry leaks
    Water can be one of the most damaging forces to your masonry chimney. Long-term exposure to moisture can cause decay and deterioration of the masonry; during the winter, damage caused by water absorbed during the summer worsens due to the freeze-thaw process. Having the chimney waterproofed with a special masonry sealer is one way to help prevent masonry leaks and water damage.

Preventing Summer Storm Damage

The best way to prevent damage to your fireplace and chimney during the summer – and throughout the rest of the year – is with regular maintenance. An annual chimney sweep keeps the flue clean and free from blockages while a regular chimney inspections ensures all chimney components are in good condition and have not been damaged.

Because it can be difficult to see most chimney components without climbing onto the roof itself, it is recommended to have a chimney inspection done after particularly severe storms. If a storm was bad enough that you are having the roof inspected, it is probably a good idea to have the chimney inspected as well. Doing this lowers the chance of long term damage to the chimney system and can get you back to enjoying your fireplace faster.

Don’t let summer storms affect your chimney this season. Call Coopertown Services today for more information on protecting your chimney from summer storms or to schedule your next chimney inspection.

By Joyce Robinson on July 7th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Summer Is A Great Time For Fireplace Installation And Repair

Year after year, fireplaces are one of the most sought after features in a home. According to the National Association of Home Builders, fireplaces continue to be the second most requested feature for potential buyers.

If your home’s fireplace has begun to show its age, now is the perfect time to have it renovated or repaired. You may even want to have a new fireplace installed. Take advantage of the summer slow season by getting a new fireplace today!Summer Installation and Repair Image - Memphis TN - Cooperstown Services

Get Repairs Done This Summer

Summer may seem like an unusual time to be thinking about your fireplace, but it is actually the perfect season to have chimney repairs made! Whether its annual maintenance, minor masonry repairs, or a major chimney rebuild, summer is the time to have your chimney repaired.

The following are three reasons to consider having your chimney repairs done this summer.

  1. No interruptions in fireplace use.
    While waiting for repairs to be made it may be unsafe to use the fireplace; likewise, the fireplace may also be unusable during the duration of a major masonry repair. Being unable to use the fireplace in the summer is typically not a problem, whereas in winter it can affect your ability to heat your home.
  2. Get the best appointment times.
    Fall and winter are extremely busy seasons for chimney sweeps; because of this, it may be difficult to get an appointment at a convenient time. There may also be long waiting times. Avoid this by scheduling chimney maintenance and repairs during the slower months of summer, allowing you to get an appointment that works with your schedule.
  3. The fireplace is ready for fall.
    There is no worse feeling than eagerly awaiting using the fireplace in the fall – only to realize it is damaged, dirty, or still needs to be repaired. Ensure your fireplace system is ready for the first cold snap of fall by having it repaired during the summer. When the temperatures start to drop, your fireplace will be ready to burn safely and efficiently all winter long.

Thinking About a New Fireplace?

Whether your old fireplace is outdated, out of service, unserviceable, or no longer matches your heating needs, a new fireplace may be able to solve many of your fireplace complaints. Installing a new fireplace insert into your existing hearth allows you to have a heating appliance that burns safely and efficiently, as well as meets your design style.

If you love your fireplace but aren’t crazy about how it looks, a fireplace facelift can be performed. Our expert masons work with homeowners to design new hearths made of brick, stone, and tile. Refacing an existing fireplace is a way to save on a complete fireplace rebuild while still getting the look of a brand new fireplace system.

This summer, don’t let your fireplace sit idle; instead, have chimney repair or restoration done so the fireplace system is ready to use again in the fall. For more information on summer chimney repairs or to learn about our modular fireplace options, contact Coopertown Services today!

By Christina Robinson on June 22nd, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

We Do Animal Removal

An odor that won’t go away, scurrying or scratching noises, and the sounds of animal cries from behind the walls all mean one thing – you may have animals in your chimney.

The presence of animals in the chimney is more than a minor annoyance and should not be ignored; not only can the animals be harmed or become trapped, but it often results in damage to the chimney. To protect the animals, your family, and your fireplace, it is important to have wildlife removed as soon as animal entry is suspected.

We Do Animal Removal img - Memphis TN - Coopertown ServicesHow animals get in

Racoons, birds, and small mammals such as squirrels are the wildlife most commonly found in chimney systems. To these animals, chimneys are viewed as a safe and protected place to nest, escape the elements, or seek refuge from predators.

Small animals can enter the chimney by squeezing through even tiny gaps and holes. Racoons are known for clawing and biting at holes or gaps in order to make them big enough for entry. Chimney caps with damaged or missing mesh sides and cracked masonry on the chimney crown are two ways that animals can get into the flue.

Humane animal removal

While many animals can find their way into a chimney, few have the ability to find their way out again. Because of this, many animals become trapped and need to be professionally removed. At Coopertown Services, we have more than 35 years of experience removing middle Tennessee wildlife. We are licensed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency and are National Wildlife Control Operators Association members. We safely and humanely remove animals – and can keep them from returning.

Under no circumstances should homeowners attempt to remove animals themselves; this can not only cause harm to the animals, but can also put you and your family at risk. Many wild animals carry disease; exposure to their nesting materials, droppings, or even bites can transmit illnesses. Likewise, homeowners should never attempt to “smoke out” a trapped animal. Doing this causes animal death before they can escape. It can also cause dried materials in the chimney to ignite.

Preventing animal entry

If you’ve had animals in your chimney in the past, it is important to identify – and repair – how they got in; doing so is the best way to prevent animal reentry in the future. At Coopertown Services, our staff takes the time to thoroughly inspect your fireplace, chimney, roof, and attic for signs of animal entry.

Technicians take an average of 10-12 hours to inspect and secure your home against wildlife entry. Points of potential animal entry are secured using steel mesh and screws; these materials are virtually indestructible, and even the craftiest raccoon will have serious trouble getting through them. We are so confident that we can prevent animal reentry that we offer our customers an one-year money back guarantee that can be renewed with an annual inspection each year.

The animals that find their way into your chimney system may be small, but they can cause major damage. Protect your fireplace and the animals by having them safely removed by the trained staff at Coopertown Services. Contact us today for more information about humane animal removal or animal entry prevention.

By Christina Robinson on June 7th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Chimney Cap Repair And Replacement

One of the most important components of your fireplace system is a chimney cap. Sitting on the top of the chimney structure, they protect and cover the top of the flue. A damaged chimney cap, however, can cause damage throughout the fireplace system.

Chimney Cap Repair And Replacement Image - Memphis TN - Coopertown ServicesThe importance of chimney caps.

Chimney caps are more than just a decorative feature; they play an important role in protecting your fireplace and chimney system. The following are just a few of the ways chimney caps protect your fireplace system.

  • Shields the roof, nearby trees, and other outbuildings from stray sparks and embers.
  • Keeps rain and other water out of the chimney and flue.
  • Prevents animals from entering and nesting in the chimney.
  • Protects the chimney from blockages caused by leaves, branches, and other debris.

Chimney cap repair and replacement.

Because of the location of the chimney cap, identifying damage may be difficult. A chimney inspection is often needed in order to diagnose a damaged chimney cap. There are a number of signs that your chimney cap may be damaged; chimney leaks, animal entry, persistent odors, or drafting issues can all be signs of a damaged chimney cap.

If your chimney cap has been damaged, it is important to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Repairing or replacing the damaged chimney cap prevents additional damage to the fireplace system and can help extend the life of your chimney system.

Choosing the right chimney cap.

Not all chimney caps are created equal. With a variety of sizes and styles available it is important to get a chimney cap that fits correctly – as well as complements your home’s exterior design. The type of chimney cap your home needs will depend on the size and style of your chimney; the following are three of the most common kinds of chimney caps.

  • Single flue chimney cap. Single flue chimney caps are the standard for most homes. With a solid top and mesh sides, chimney caps can be made of metals such as galvanized steel, stainless steel, or copper. Chimney caps come in several standard sizes in order to best fit your chimney.
  • Multi-flue chimney cap. If you have multiple flues, a multi-flue chimney cap can attractively cover them under a single hood; many homeowners prefer a multi-flue chimney cap to several smaller caps. Like other chimney caps, multi-flue chimney caps are available in several metals and finishes.
  • Custom chimney cap. Can’t find something you like? A custom chimney cap can be specifically designed and built for your home. A custom chimney cap is a unique chimney feature that can be made with your choice of materials to exactly fit your chimney.

Don’t let a damaged chimney cap affect the rest of your fireplace system. Instead, have it repaired as soon as possible to prevent potential damage this spring. For more information on the importance of the chimney cap or to schedule maintenance for your fireplace system, contact Coopertown Services today!

By Christina Robinson on April 17th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Closing Out Your Fireplace and Chimney for the Season

Closing Out Your Fireplace and Chimney Photo - Memphis TN - Coopertown ServicesSpring has finally arrived, and after a cold winter many homeowners are looking forward to enjoying longer days and warmer temperatures. If you are done using your fireplace for the season, however, there are a few things you want to do to ensure your fireplace will be ready to use again next fall.

Closing out your fireplace and chimney for the season is a good way to ensure your entire fireplace system is in working order for the next burning season. The following are four ways you can help close out your fireplace system this spring.

Clean and sweep the fireplace

Cleaning out the firebox is a chore that few homeowners look forward to. However, it is especially important that the fireplace is completely cleaned out at the end of the burning season. In addition to removing any remaining soot and ashes from the firebox, consider using a Shop Vac to get into the nooks, corners, and crannies of the fireplace. Fireplace log racks, ash containers, and other fireplace tools can also benefit from a thorough spring cleaning.

The chimney can also benefit from a thorough spring cleaning. Having your chimney swept at the end of the season can remove any buildup that occurred over the course of the winter and leave your fireplace system ready for next fall.

Inspect the chimney

Freezing temperatures combined with moisture from ice and snow can do serious damage to your chimney system. Water damage from the freeze-thaw cycle can cause masonry to crack and spall in as little as one season; a chimney inspection at the end of the season can identify any new areas of damage that occurred over the winter. Likewise, a chimney inspection can be a useful tool in identifying the cause of ongoing chimney issues such as odors, drafts, leaks, and more.

Turn off the pilot light

While the heat production on gas fireplace can be adjusted for year round use, many homeowners discontinue using their gas fireplaces during the warmer months of spring and summer. If you do not plan on using your gas fireplace for several months, you may want to consider turning off the pilot light. When the pilot is lit it continuously burns gas; while the amount of energy it uses is small, you may be able to save money in turning it off when the fireplace is not in use for several months.

Close the damper

Leaving the damper open when the fireplace is not in use can affect the air temperature in your home and raise your cooling costs during the summer. To avoid losing conditioned air up the chimney – or having unconditioned air come into your home – ensure the damper is closed completely with an air tight seal. If you can still feel air passing through the flue when the damper is completely closed, the damper may need to be replaced.

The burning season may be drawing to a close, but by taking the time to close up your fireplace system it will be ready to use again in the fall. For more information on how to close your system for the season or to schedule chimney services contact Coopertown Services today!

By Christina Robinson on March 31st, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment