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Winter means snowfall here in Frederick, Maryland. And snowfall can, unfortunately, lead to roof ice dams.

What are ice dams?

Well, ice dams can form on the roof of a home as snow melts and refreezes. Throughout the day, snow can melt on your roof, then refreeze at night, creating a layer of ice that can build up and cause pooling at the base or in the corners of your roof. Now, these ice dams are rather hazardous for your home, and they should be carefully removed as soon as they’re noticed, since they can create a variety of problems. Here are some examples of the problems that winter’s ice dams can cause, as well as some information on what you can do to keep your roof free from this hazard.

Leaks

Even with a roof that is in perfectly good shape, ice dams can create leaks that infiltrate your home. Since ice dams hold water against the roof and flashing of your home, that pooled water can work its way into the cracks between your roofing materials. Eventually, this water can seep through the underlayment of your roof...

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If you have a fireplace in your house, it can serve as an invaluable source of warmth and entertainment for you and your family. Yet unfortunately, your chimney can prove to be a weak point for your home, since it is vulnerable to wear and tear from the elements. Fortunately, you can protect your chimney with regular maintenance of its components. Now, you may be wondering, what exactly protects my fireplace and chimney from precipitation and damage? Well, there are several components to every chimney and fireplace, many of which are designed to protect your chimney from damage that can be caused by Mother Nature. We’ve a list of all of the various protective components of your fireplace, and additional information about how they operate and provide protection for your home. As always, you can count on us if you need chimney repair services — we provide service throughout Western Maryland, including Frederick, Mt. Airy, Hagerstown, Myersville, and the surrounding areas.

Chimney Damper

Your chimney damper is a component that enables you to control the...

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A fireplace is an asset to any household for many good reasons. Of course, a fireplace and chimney add warmth and monetary value to a home. However, with all the cozy benefits that fireplaces and chimneys bring, they require a lot of care and maintenance. Additionally, both your fireplace and chimney can experience problems over time. Luckily, there are experienced chimney repair services available to help when these problems occur.

At Chimney Care Plus, our chimney sweep company provides homeowners with professional chimney flashing and chimney inspection services in Frederick and the surrounding areas. With years of experience providing chimney repair services, one of the most devastating problems that happen to a homeowner’s chimney is a water leak. Masonry chimneys are made up of various materials, all of which are affected by water.

In this blog, we are going to look at a few of the most common causes of chimney leaks.

A Faulty Chimney Cap

A chimney cap is an accessory, but it performs a vital function. The chimney cap prevents rain...

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Fireplaces and chimneys, although they add warmth and monetary value to your home, sometimes they just flat out smell. Chimney odors become more common during this time of year when the moisture inside a chimney heats up on hot and humid days during the summertime. While smelly chimneys can be frustrating for homeowners, you certainly do not have to live with them! When it comes to odors coming from your chimney, the first step in addressing the issue is diagnosing the cause.

In this blog, we are going to review some of the most common culprits of chimney odors — after all, as Maryland’s source for chimney cleaning services, we’ve seen it all!

Creosote

Creosote in the chimney is a normal result of burning wood in your fireplace. Typically, creosote doesn’t cause a problem for homeowners as long as it is swept away between each fire-burning season. Creosote odor is hard to miss, as it smells strong and acrid, kind of like hot asphalt.

Debris

Just like the gutters on your home, your chimney can collect natural debris...

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When looking for a new home, there are many features and amenities that people tend to look for. An open kitchen space, an outdoor patio, and garage are a few of things homebuyers will look out for. Additionally, some home buyers will have a fireplace at the top of their list for desired amenities. Fireplaces and chimneys can be very beneficial, especially during the colder months of the year. However, before you purchase a home with a fireplace and chimney there are some essential things you should first know.

You Will Need a Chimney and Fireplace Inspector

Of course, before purchasing a home, a home inspection is a part of the standard operating procedure. However, most home inspectors do not have extensive knowledge or experience when it comes to properly evaluating a chimney system. That’s why the Chimney Safety Institute of America calls for a Level-Two chimney inspection during the sale of a home. During this inspection, chimney sweeps will inspect the fireplace and portions of the chimney system that are accessible via the roof, attic, and...

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When you have a fireplace in your home and you also have children in the home, you need to place an added emphasis on fire safety. While fireplaces are not dangerous when used properly and well-maintained, they can be hazardous in the hands of small children. Make sure your kids have a deep understanding of the importance of fire safety from the time they are very young.

As Western Maryland’s source for chimney maintenance, cleaning, and repair services, we know a thing or two about fire safety. Check out these fire safety tips for kids and schedule chimney repairs with our team right away to ensure you have a safe home for you and your family.

Teach Your Kids How to Safely Use Your Fireplace

As your kids grow older, it is important that they understand how to properly operate your fireplace. While you won’t be handing them the matches and leaving the house anytime soon, teaching them how to safely use a fireplace is still wise. When they understand and respect the importance of fire safety, they will be less likely to meddle with your fireplace...

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If you’re considering performing a chimney inspection or repair yourself, we urge you to reconsider. While some inspections and repairs are doable (like checking to see if the chimney damper is open), we recommend that you hire a professional for most issues. After all, your chimney is full of dangerous soot and creosote, and if you have to do any work on the roof of your home, the height alone can prove hazardous. Fortunately if you live here in Frederick or the surrounding area, you can count on your neighbors here at Chimney Care Plus for expert inspections, repairs, and cleanings. Again, we urge you to use a professional company for all of the following reasons:

Safety First

As we just mentioned, safety is our first concern when it comes to working on your chimney. We know how to properly handle chimney care, from cleaning out hazardous soot and creosote, to navigating your roof for chimney repairs. We have years of experience and the training necessary to perform chimney services. In addition, we have the proper tools to safely inspect, repair,...

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Now that winter is in full swing, lots of folks are using their chimneys for the first time. And most of the time, your chimney will perform as well as it did last year. That said, chimney components can fail, and they require proper maintenance to ensure that your chimney remains safe and free from leaks. That’s why it’s crucial to have regular inspections and maintenance performed on your roof, and it’s why we recommend that homeowners understand some of the signs that their chimney isn’t up to snuff. If you’re concerned about your chimney, don’t start a fire just yet. Be sure to have a licensed chimney expert inspect your chimney and its components, and be especially wary of any and all of the following signs of a damaged chimney:

Leaks

If your chimney is leaking into your home (either through the flue or along the sides of your chimney), then you have an issue that requires immediate attention. Leaks can occur for all sorts of reasons, so it’s best to have a professional take a look to assess the situation. What’s worse is that the source of a...

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If you’re like we are here at Chimney Care Plus, then you probably spend most of your free time fireside. We love our fires, and dedicate ourselves to maintaining chimneys here in Maryland so that our neighbors can enjoy their hearths as much as we do. Now, if your fireplace and firepit prove to be a focal point in your day to day, then you may be spending plenty of time walking back and forth between the fire and the woodpile. But how do you store your firewood? Do you just have a pile out back that barely keeps rainfall from penetrating the wood? Or maybe you have a woodshed that’s a quarter-mile from the property — which is fairly inconvenient when you just need a log or two. It’s time to create convenient, accessible storage for your firewood. We’ve cataloged a few ideas and guidelines that you can employ to make a creative storage solution for your firewood.

Indoor Storage

While some homes have firewood storage shelves built into the home, most homeowners are in charge of making their own apparatus to store a few dozen logs for convenience’s...

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There’s nothing greater than an evening spent in front of the fireplace as storms pass through. And it’s nights like that which make it worthwhile to take care of your home’s hearth. For the most part, taking care of your chimney and fireplace is simple, especially once you’ve lit a few fires. But in case this is your first time owning a home with a fireplace, we’ve cataloged some “best practices” that you can utilize to ensure that your fires are safe. Grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, pull your laptop over to the rocking chair by the fire, and follow these tips as you light a fire the right way, so that you get the most out of your fireplace.

Safety Precautions

First thing’s first, you should make sure that you have all of the tools that you’ll need within arm’s reach, so that you can manage your fire easily. Here are a few safety tools that you should invest in:

  • Fireplace tools and holder: You can find fireplace tool sets that have all of the basic tools that you’ll need to move wood and ash, without making a mess or a hazard. Find a...
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