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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

The Importance Of Reviewing Your Chimney Sweep

Did you recently hire Coopertown Services to sweep, inspect, rebuild, or repair your fireplace system? Did we humanely remove animals or repair a chimney leak? If so, did you review your experience?

While reviewing a chimney sweep might not be high on your list of priorities, it is the best way to end your chimney service! Reviewing your chimney sweep not only helps us recognize and improve our business, but also helps your friends and neighbors find the best chimney services for their needs.

The Importance of Reviewing Your Chimney SweepThe Importance of Reviewing Your Chimney Sweep Image - Memphis, TN - Coopertown Services

When your chimney sweep has finished his services, we ask that our customers take a few minutes to sit down and write a review. Below are three reasons why reviewing your chimney sweep is important.

  1. Help others find the right services. Phonebooks are a thing of the past; most of us now search for information online. By leaving a detailed review of the chimney services you received, you help others find the right sweep for them – as well as avoid scams.
  2. Help businesses improve. Reviewing your services can help businesses improve their own services. If you had an excellent experience, a five star review can help your sweep get the recognition they deserve. Likewise, if there was a way service could have been better a detailed review can help them improve in the future.
  3. Help local businesses grow. Small businesses grow and thrive on word of mouth between friends and family; by writing a review for a small business you can help others get more information about a local business.

Writing Constructive Reviews

While all reviews are appreciated, detailed, constructive reviews are the best way to ensure your voice and opinion gets heard. By leaving a constructive review, you can not only help others find the best chimney services but also help the business improve for future customers. These three tips can help you leave a constructive review of your chimney services.

  1. Avoid errors. Before hitting publish on your review, take a few moments to review it for errors. By ensuring there are no typos or other grammatical errors, you can help ensure other swill take your review seriously instead of skimming over it. Typing your review in a word processing program first is a good way to avoid mistakes.
  2. Avoid writing when upset. If you had bad service, your first thought might be to head to the computer. However, instead of writing when angry try contacting the company themselves first; many businesses will do what they can to correct or resolve the problem. After doing this, write a review that covers both the original problem as well as how the company responded. Include specific details.
  3. Include details in your review can help future customers find the best services for their homes. Who was your chimney sweep? What time of year was your appointment? Were they on time and courteous? Was the estimate close to the final cost? Was the reason for your appointment resolved? Specific examples to questions such as these create a thorough picture of the service you received.
By Christina Robinson on March 23rd, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

How Cold Weather Can Damage Your Masonry

While your fireplace is keeping you warm from the cold temperatures outside, winter weather may be damaging your masonry. Freezing temperatures combined with snow, freezing rain, and harsh winds can cause damage to your chimney. However, there are several ways that homeowners can protect their fireplaces during the winter season.

The Freeze Thaw Cycle and Masonry DamageCold Weather Can Damage Your Masonry - Memphis TN - Coopertown Services

During the winter, masonry damage is primarily caused by the freeze thaw cycle. The freeze thaw cycle occurs when trapped moisture in the bricks and mortar freezes and expands. Because masonry is naturally porous, any chips or holes can allow moisture to be absorbed by the bricks; water from rain, snow, ice, and even sprinklers and hoses can seep into even minimally damaged masonry.

When weather gets colder in the winter, freezing temperatures can cause this absorbed water to freeze and expand. The frozen water expands, it further breaks down the masonry and creates progressively larger and larger holes and cracks. As the water thaws, the larger holes left behind allow even more water to be absorbed. The freeze thaw cycle can cause significant damage and deterioration in as little as one winter.

Signs of Masonry Damage

The most classic signs of masonry damage are chipped or cracked bricks, missing pieces of mortar, or crumbling and spalling bricks. This kind of damage is most often caused by the freeze thaw cycle and can affect not just the looks of your chimney, but also its ability to draft correctly – or even its structural stability.

Other signs of masonry damage may be more difficult to spot. Damage to the chimney crown or chimney cap, for example, may be difficult to see because of their location on top of the chimney. This kind of damage is often noticed due to water entry in the fireplace; the presence of water in the chimney or firebox may indicate damage to the chimney crown or cap.

Preventing Winter Masonry Damage

While we may not be able to control the temperature and weather outside, we can help protect your masonry during the cold months of winter. One of the best and most effective ways to keep your chimney system in good condition year round is by having an annual chimney inspection. During a chimney inspection, our certified sweeps will check the interior and exterior of the fireplace and chimney for signs of damage or deterioration. Chimney inspections are also useful tools in diagnosing the underlying causes of ongoing chimney issues such as leaks or draft problems.

In addition to annual inspections and maintenance, waterproofing can help protect your chimney against water entry. Waterproofing masonry sealers prevent water from getting into your chimney while allowing the brick to remain semi-porous; this allows gas to safely pass through the bricks while keeping moisture out.

Don’t let freezing temperatures this winter cause masonry damage to your home’s chimney! Contact Coopertown Services today for more information on preventing masonry damage or to schedule your next chimney inspection.

By Christina Robinson on February 27th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Reduce Fire Hazards This Winter

In freezing temperatures, many of us use fireplaces to keep our homes warm inside during cold months. Because winter is the heaviest use period for our fireplaces, it’s important to ensure safety all season.

The following tips can help you and your family safely enjoy your fireplace this winter:

  1. Reduce Fire Hazards This Winter Image - Memphis TN - Coopertown ServicesSafely dispose of ashes. What you do when a fire has gone out is almost as important as what you do while it’s burning. Properly disposing of fireplace ashes can keep your firebox clean – as well as reduce the risk of accidental fire. First, allow indoor fires to naturally extinguish; using water to put out a fire can cause ashes to spread and dirty surrounding furnishings. This can also damage the masonry of the firebox. Spread out the ashes periodically, ensuring there are no pockets of embers. Next, remove ashes to a metal ash container. Ashes should never be put into combustible containers such as cardboard boxes or paper bags, and should not be mixed in with trash in dumpsters or trash cans. Check with your sanitation department for specific rules for disposing of ashes in your area.
  2. Keep décor away from the fireplace. Stray sparks and embers from a roaring fire can jump out of the firebox; to keep them from burning any of your possessions – or starting an accidental fire – keep décor away from the fireplace when it is in use. Chairs, cushions, carpets, blankets, and other furnishings should be kept at least three feet away from the fireplace when it is in use; this includes removing any hanging décor on the mantle before using the fireplace. Sturdy grates, mesh or wire curtains, or glass doors can all be used to reduce the risk of sparks spreading.
  3. Have your chimney swept. Regular chimney maintenance is an important part of keeping your fireplace burning safely during the winter. Annual chimney sweepings and inspections ensure that there are no blockages in the flue, damage to the chimney, or other performance problems.

All fireplaces should be swept and inspected at least once per year!

Having said that, using your fireplace as a primary heat source may mean you need to have it cleaned more than once per year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, chimneys need to be swept any time 1/8th of an inch of soot buildup occurs; in normal burning conditions, this amount of buildup is present after burning one full cord of wood. Homes where more than this amount of wood is burned during the winter may want to consider having their chimney swept for a second time mid-season.

Enjoy using your fireplace all winter long by following these safety tips. For more information on reducing fire hazards or to schedule your next chimney inspection, contact Coopertown Services today!

By Christina Robinson on February 10th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment