381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am to 5pm / Sat. By Appointment / Sun. Closed

Our Company Blog

Keeping Water out of Your Chimney and Fireplace

Perhaps the best thing you can do to extend the life of your fireplace, wood stove, and chimney is to keep water out of it. As you can imagine, because of its location, there is no part of your home that is as subject to driving rains and wind pressure as your chimney. Of course, condensation may also cause water to collect within your chimney, and chimneys are especially vulnerable to condensation because water vapor is a component of flue gases.

Water is one of the most important substances on earth. All plants and animals must have water to live. Your chimney, on the other hand, can be destroyed by water intrusion.

Water is one of the most important substances on earth. All plants and animals must have water to live. Your chimney, on the other hand, can be destroyed by water intrusion.

Water can get into even the tiniest cracks and go on to wreak the worst havoc on your chimney—damaging everything from the top of your chimney (cap or damper) on down (mortar crown, flashing), and into your chimney’s interior (liner) and finally reaching your heating appliance. This is why your chimney requires an annual inspection. Each year a professional needs to check it for leaks, blockages, and damaged components.

Help—There’s Water in My Fireplace!

If you find water in your fireplace or stove, something is wrong. Likewise, if you hear the sound of rainwater dripping down your chimney, your chimney and heating system need attention. Never attempt use a fireplace or stove that appears to be collecting water. It is no longer safe for use.

Both gas and wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, as well as outdoor hearths, will show signs of premature age because of water exposure. Water has also been shown to greatly compromise the efficiency and safety of these appliances.

There are a number of ways to keep water out of your fireplace and to prevent it from entering in the future, including:

  • Installation of a chimney cap or top-sealing damper
  • Repair of faulty chimney crown or chimney flashing
  • Masonry repair to remedy hairline cracks, incompletely filled mortar joints, and other flaws
  • Professional masonry waterproofing

Located in Westhampton Beach, New York, Beach Stove and Fireplace can be counted on to install your fireplace or stove correctly so that you can enjoy it with complete confidence. We’ll also make sure that you have all the needed components to keep water out of your appliance so that it will perform well for you for the long haul and be eligible for any applicable warranties. Contact us today.

Maximizing the Heat

Enjoy the warmth your fireplace has to offer by maximizing it's heating potential and increasing energy efficiency.

Enjoy the warmth your fireplace has to offer by maximizing it’s heating potential and increasing energy efficiency.

Our fireplaces create a comforting ambiance on a cold winter day, but the warmth, unfortunately, is usually more show than substance. The explanation is firmly entrenched in the realm of science. We’re all aware that hot air rises; as such, the majority of the heat produced by your fire attempts to escape through your chimney. Not only that, this fleeing hot air creates an updraft that sucks even more warm air up and out of the room. The goal here, then, is finding ways to keep the hot air from fleeing and, instead, coaxing it to remain in your living space.

The Benefits of Burning Seasoned Wood

An easy first step to increasing the performance and heating efficiency of your fireplace is to burn seasoned firewood. Freshly cut wood—also referred to as green firewood—burns inefficiently and produces large amounts of smoke with little to no real heat to speak of. The majority of the heat energy produced from burning the wood is used to evaporate the excess moisture in the wood rather than going into actually heating your home; this excess moisture also attempts to put the fire out as it’s burning. Seasoned wood, on the other hand, has had ample time to dry and burns much more efficiently than its green counterparts.

Adjusting your Damper to Maximize Heat Output

Once you’ve got your seasoned firewood arranged in the fireplace, you can open the damper as wide as possible to increase the amount of air to the fire. This will improve the combustion and increase the amount of heat produced by the fire. It’s important to note here, however, that one drawback to this increased combustion is that your wood will ultimately burn faster, which will cause you to have to add seasoned wood more often to get a nice continuous flow of heat.

Annual Chimney Inspection and Sweeping

Having your chimney inspected and cleaned by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep yearly can also make it possible to boost your heating performance, as the process removes creosote buildup inside that can significantly restrict air flow. Once your fireplace and chimney have been cleaned, you can replace the screen in front of the fireplace with tempered glass doors, and keep the doors closed while the fire is burning. Doing this will increase the temperature of the fire in your fireplace and reduce the amount of warm air that the fire draws from the room.

Following the steps mentioned above will enable your fireplace to provide your home with more heat than it might have otherwise produced. Beach Stove & Fireplace takes pride in the services provided to each and every one of our customers. We encourage you to take a minute to call or ask one of our technicians what is available for your particular unit that can help it last longer and/or perform better. You won’t be disappointed that you called!

What’s Blocking Your Chimney?

A chimney’s job is to safely transport the toxic byproducts of combustion up from your fireplace or stove through the flue and into the atmosphere. When your chimney is clogged by debris, nests, or any other form of blockages, you may be facing several problems including:

  • Your chimney won’t be able to draft correctly
  • Your fireplace/stove and chimney will become less efficient
  • The blockage can become a fire hazard
  • The blockage can cause carbon monoxide or other toxic fumes to vent into your home
  • The blockage can create unpleasant odors (as in the case of a dead animal) or sounds (as in the case of nesting animals)

Whats Blocking Your Chimney - Westhampton Beach NY - Beach Stove & FireIf you have a chimney that’s been properly maintained, cleaned annually, and outfitted with the necessary components to keep debris and Mother Nature out and sparks inside, then you shouldn’t have to be concerned with anything getting inside your chimney. However, if you’re unsure if your chimney has a cap or top-sealing damper or if you’ve been hearing the twittering of birds inside your chimney or smell a dead animal, then there’s a very good chance that your chimney has become a home to unwelcome guests and needs a professional inspection and sweeping.

Those of us at Beach Stove and Fireplace will be able to quickly and completely remove your chimney blockage so that you can feel confident that your fireplace and chimney are once again safe for your enjoyment. Our sweeps are all certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. You will even be able to see for yourself that your chimney blockage is gone via one of our closed circuit cameras. We’ll also be able to suggest ways to keep blockages out of your chimney for good. (See our suggestions below.)

6 Things That May Be Clogging Your Chimney

The truth is that we never quite know what we’ll find inside an uncapped chimney. We’ve found some interesting and sometimes perplexing things—petrified animals, stray toys, etc. Here are our most common discoveries:

  1. Birds’ Nests: Because birds are always searching for someplace warm, dry, and away from predators, the chimney is often an ideal home for them. Believe it or not, we are not able to clear any and all nests out of your chimney. If we determine that the nests belong to a type of bird called a “chimney swift,” then the Migratory Bird Treaty Act prevents us from removing them. The law exists to protect these birds, which got their name specifically because they nest almost exclusively in chimneys, as they want to nest on vertical walls in dark, enclosed areas such as inside chimneys, hollow trees, or caves. Believe it or not, the chimney swift has become far less common since fewer people use their chimneys than once did.
  2. Vermin: We commonly find insect infestations inside chimneys, as well as opossums, squirrels, raccoons, and mice who use the chimney as their den. As you can imagine, animals can create quite a big stink and plenty of noise. And because they multiply, this problem only tends to worsen if not dealt with.
  3. Foliage: An uncapped chimney, especially one that’s near one or more trees, may quickly collect leaves, branches, flying seed pods, and other tree debris.
  4. Debris and Trash: In addition to Mother Nature’s debris, we sometimes find bits of paper and plastic that have ended up inside the chimney.
  5. Creosote and Soot: The byproducts of combustion can build up so profoundly that they impede the flow of air inside your chimney. A good cleaning by one of our C.S.I.A. certified professionals  can clear this issue up for you.
  6. Assorted flying objects: This may sound like a joke, but we’ve been known to find golf balls, Frisbees, kickballs, Christmas decorations, and other surprises inside chimneys.

How to Prevent Chimney Blockages

Following a professional cleaning, the very best way to keep animals, debris, and trash out of your chimney is to have a chimney cap or top-sealing damper installed. These components have additional advantages, too, and can add years to the life of your chimney by keeping damaging rainwater out.

If you suspect something is blocking your chimney, call Beach Stove and Fireplace today. We can be reached at 631-998-0780.

Levels of Chimney Inspection

Chimney sweeping is one of the most important parts of chimney maintenance, along with your yearly inspection. Without a chimney sweep, creosotes can begin to block your chimney, which can cause draft problems. So what does this mean for you and your family? Blockages can cause chimney fires, and back draft can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Stay safe and call Beach Stove and Fireplace to schedule your appointment today!Levels of Chimney Inspection - Westhampton Beach NY - Beach Stove and Fireplace

Inspection Level 1

There is more than just one level of chimney sweeping. The first of three is the most common and most basic level of inspection. This is what your technician will do every year if nothing has changed within your chimney and fireplace structure. This is when you get a sweep and inspection of any visible parts of the chimney. They will also test your flue to make sure that it is working properly.

Inspection Level 2

The other two levels of inspection go more in-depth than a Level 1 inspection. Your technician will typically suggest a Level 2 inspection if they notice anything that could become a problem in the original checkup. If they find a problem inside of your chimney, do not use it because it could become hazardous. A Level 2 inspection is also for anyone who wants to change the way they use their chimney. For example, if you are switching how you fuel your fire, experience relining, or have just added or replaced part of the appliance, you need a thorough check. New homeowners are also ones who fall into this category because you should always have a fireplace and chimney inspected before its first use.

Inspection Level 3

A Level 3 inspection is the most in-depth form of inspection. This is usually what a technician will conduct if you have had fairly serious damage to your home or chimney. An example would be if you have mold growing in your home and the technician having to take out part of your chimney so it doesn’t spread to your foundation. If you feel like your home is in danger you can always call for help in understanding the situation. It is important that whatever company does your chimney inspection is Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified.

 

By Julie Dismore on January 16th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Our Location

Beach Stove and Fireplace is located on Old Riverhead Road between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. From Sunrise Highway take exit 63 south, travel 1.2 miles and turn right at the 381 complex (just north of Gabreski Airport)