THIS is why your fireplace is smoking

THIS is why your fireplace is smoking

We get hundreds of calls about smoke smells in homes coming from a fireplace. Sometimes it’s in the room where the fireplace is, sometimes the basement, sometimes the floor above… There are lots of reasons that this is happening: There may be a blockage like an animal or a nest or a lot of buildup in the chimney. There may be a problem with the chimney damper. The chimney may be damaged on the inside. These are all concerns and all things that should be checked, but these are NOT the main reasons for a smoky smell from the fireplace […]

A Holiday Christmas Story – from a loyal customer…

Happy Holidays to all of our loyal customers! And to get you in the holiday cheer, we recently found out that one of our customers was inspired and wrote a short story about one of our sweeps that won a short story contest in the Guelph Mercury! Full text is below along with link:…/4284886-preparing-the-chimn…/ ‪ Preparing the Chimney for Christmas By Pauline Lachman “He’s here. The chimney sweep is here,” Uncle Ted called out. A puzzled frown appeared on Tayo’s face. “Why do you want to sweep the chimney?” she asked. Before anyone could give her an answer, she […]

Kids’ story about a chimney sweep

Hi all, Found this on the interwebs. Thought it was neat. The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep by Hans Christian Andersen (from Hans Andersen Forty-Two Stories [1930], translated by M. R. James)   Have you ever seen a real old-fashioned cupboard, quite black with age, carved with flourishes and foliage? Just such a one stood in a sitting-room; it had been inherited from a grandmother, and was all carved with roses and tulips from top to bottom: there were most elaborate flourishes on it, and among them little deer stuck out their heads with lots of antlers. But in the […]

Why you should never seal your chimney at the top

Recently, one of our customers asked us to investigate a chimney that was rebuilt just a few years prior by another company. Two of the three chimney flues are no longer used, so the contractor elected to seal both of these flues at the top of the chimney. Because a chimney is not insulated like your house walls, it needs to breathe. Otherwise, air expands and contracts on the inside of the chimney and builds up moisture. This causes frost which, over time, cracks the bricks and creates mineral deposits on the outside of the chimney, called efflorescence. This customer […]

What to burn….?

A lot of our customers have been wondering what they should be burning in their fireplace. The answer to this is that you want to burn a wood that will burn nice and hot, but will not create that much buildup in the chimney (called creosote) which can cause a chimney fire. So the short answer is that you should be burning a well-cured hardwood. Your wood should be dry – so wood that you get in the spring, chop and keep dry should probably be fine for use in the following fall/winter. Longer curing is even better. Hardwood is […]

Do I need a chimney liner?

I am writing this, not to give a blanket statement, but to let homeowners know the facts about steel liners. Last year, we received hundreds of calls from people requesting quotes to install a steel liner in their chimney. In many cases, these customers were told that a steel liner was required for their site-built, brick fireplace. Let me be clear; steel liners are expensive. And in this case, most of the time, are NOT needed. Brick fireplaces are, 99% of the time, part of the original construction of a home. They would, theoretically, have been constructed in compliance with […]