Admiralty Chimney
Admiralty Chimney Service, LLC, Chimney Sweeper, Nashua, NH
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Admiralty Chimney
CMCT Logo
Admiralty Chimney Service, LLC, Chimney Sweeper, Nashua, NH

Admiralty Chimney News & Blog


Get it While it’s Hot: Summer is the Best Time for Masonry Repair
June 2019
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Summer is the perfect time to check your chimney’s masonry and take care of any needed repairs. Why? Because in order to cure properly, masonry work needs to take place while the weather is warm and dry. In this month’s blog, the CCP-Certified chimney professional at Admiralty Chimney discuss what causes masonry damage and signs that your chimney may need repair.

What Causes Masonry Damage?

Despite masonry’s durability, nature’s elements can compromise your chimney. Masonry can succumb to a number of different factors including:

  • Time and Moisture - When exposed to prolonged contact with water, masonry can deteriorate. In particular, the freeze/thaw process is masonry’s biggest threat. When moisture freezes, expands, and thaws, it causes undue stress and weakens the chimney.
  • Improper Construction - All bricks are not created equal. Interior bricks aren’t designed to perform to the same standards as exterior bricks. Problems arise when DIY-ers try to determine which bricks were meant for interior and exterior use. Using interior bricks for your chimney’s exterior will accelerate deterioration.
  • Power Tools - An unexpected source of damage comes from sandblasters and high pressure sprayers. Sandblasting and high pressure sprayers can remove the hardened exterior and allow water into your bricks.

4 Signs your Masonry Needs Repair:

No matter the age of your chimney, you’ll eventually have masonry issues that require maintenance or repairs. Here are four signs to watch for:

  1. Mortar Joint Deterioration - Mortar joints hold your chimney bricks together and keep moisture from getting inside. Compromised joints can accelerate damage to the chimney by exposing the bricks to moisture. When water gets into small cracks in the masonry, the freeze/thaw cycle can turn them into larger cracks.
  2. Chimney Crown Cracks - The crown prevents water from seeping into your chimney. However, a cracked crown won’t offer the same level of protection, as it allows water to seep in. As the water freezes and thaws, larger cracks will form.
  3. Spalling - Spalling occurs when water freezes and thaws, causing the surface of your chimney masonry to peel or flake off. If chunks of brick and mortar have been falling off your chimney, you’ll want to contact a CCP-Certified chimney professional as soon as possible. This type of damage weakens the structure of your chimney. 
  4. Efflorescence - Efflorescence is a clear indication of excess moisture in the masonry. When water-soluble salts are deposited on bricks, it causes a white chalky film on your chimney called efflorescence. While it’s fairly simple to remove the staining, cleaning doesn’t solve the moisture problem.  

Protect your Home from a Chimney Fire.

If you notice any spalled bricks, cracks, crumbling mortar, or signs of deterioration on your chimney, call us right away. Masonry problems can’t be overlooked. A damaged chimney is a serious fire hazard. If it’s been awhile since your last chimney inspection, schedule an appointment.

Chimney Masonry Repair in NH and MA

If you’re unsure if your masonry checks all the boxes, or are concerned about its structural integrity, contact our CCP-certified chimney professionals. We’re your local expert for chimney inspections, cleaning, and repair.

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Signs your Chimney Liner Needs Replacing
May 2019

As homeowners, we tend to forget about our home systems that are hidden from view. A chimney liner is one of those components that is always working behind the scenes to keep us safe. So how do you know when your liner needs to be replaced? In this month’s blog, the CCP-certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney discuss the role of your chimney liner, what puts it at risk, and how you can detect when your liner is failing.

Why is a Chimney Liner Important?

A liner is a vital piece of your chimney. It stops toxic gases from entering your home and withstands high temperatures and harsh chemicals that can cause serious structural damage to your chimney.

What can Damage my Liner?

Any small cracks or breeches can affect the liner’s performance leading to hazardous safety issues. Improper construction and deterioration from corrosive byproducts can cause damage to your liner. An incorrect liner size can create excess creosote buildup, and compromise your liner.

How do I Know if I need a New Liner?

You may need a new liner if you notice:

  • Your chimney isn’t pulling smoke up and out of your home
  • A strange unpleasant odor coming from your chimney
  • Pieces or chips from your clay tile liner lying at the bottom of the firebox

If you don’t see any suspicious signs but are concerned about the functionality and safety of your liner, a chimney inspection is the most comprehensive method of assessing the condition of your liner. Annual inspections ensure the liner is performing safely and properly, giving you peace of mind.

What Happens after an Inspection?

After your inspection, the technician will offer recommendations based on their findings. A new liner is recommended when:

  • The liner is damaged or deteriorating
  • The chimney has a condensation problem
  • The fireplace has been converted to burn a different fuel
  • The chimney is unsafe

When it comes to choosing a new liner, there are different materials available to you, including stainless steel and clay. Admiralty Chimney’s CCP-certified chimney specialists can help you select one that works best for you.

Chimney Service, Inspections and Cleanings in NH and MA

If your chimney does not have a liner or the liner is warped, corroded or deteriorating, a new liner should be installed to protect your home. Contact our CSIA-certified and CCP-certified chimney professionals today to schedule an inspection, or an appointment to repair or replace your liner.

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End of Season Chimney Maintenance:  5 Benefits
April 2019


As you tackle your spring cleaning list, don’t forget to include your fireplace and chimney. While it can be tempting to just close up your fireplace for the season, there are several valuable benefits to scheduling a professional chimney cleaning and inspection. In this month’s blog, the CSIA and CCP-certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney discuss five benefits of cleaning and inspecting your chimney this spring.

The Benefits of a Spring Chimney Cleaning & Inspection

Spring is the time to take care of any needed chimney repairs before they become more serious problems. In addition to being proactive, scheduling your cleaning now enables you to:

  1. Identify any issues caused by winter weather: Ice, snow and rain can find ways to enter your chimney. The moisture that builds up from these elements can lead to corrosion and water damage in your chimney and liner.
  2. Ensure your system is ready for the next burning season: Waiting until the fall to schedule your chimney sweep could impact the readiness of your fireplace. Any problems or damage discovered may lead to a long lead-time for repairs and delay enjoyment of your fireplace during the cold season.
  3. Avoid the chimney cleaning and inspection rush next fall: Fall is the busiest time for chimney sweeps. By delaying your appointment you run the risk of booked schedules. Schedule your cleaning now to guarantee your fireplace is ready in time for that first cold fall morning.
  4. Prevent sour summer odors: Creosote build-up can produce a distinct odor that is noticeable in your home, especially in the warmer temperatures. A chimney sweep can remove the creosote and keep your chimney safe and odor-free.
  5. Ensure critters stay out of your chimney: Chimneys are a natural draw for small animals. During your cleaning, we’ll sweep and inspect to make sure that there are no nests, debris or damage. Additionally, we may recommend a chimney cap to prevent animals from getting into your chimney before the spring breezes lure them in.

Chimney Cleanings and Inspections in NH and MA

As you’re planning your spring cleaning, make a note to schedule a chimney sweep and inspection with Admiralty Chimney’s CSIA and CCP-certified professionals. We inspect, clean, and repair chimneys, keeping your family safe, and ensuring your fireplace system is ready for when you need it most.

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Protecting Your Chimney From Water Damage
March 2019
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It’s been a persistent cycle this winter: snow, ice, melt, rain, repeat. With so much precipitation, you may have noticed water in or around your chimney. If you have, it’s important to take action as water and moisture can cause extensive damage to your chimney. In this month’s blog, the CCP-certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney discuss how water can damage your chimney and steps you can take to protect it from future exposure.

Water’s Path of Destruction

Very simply, water and chimneys don’t mix. When moisture penetrates a chimney:

  • Masonry and metal firebox assemblies can deteriorate.
  • The clean-out area can become clogged.
  • Damper assemblies can rust and fail to function properly.
  • Central cooling and heating systems can be damage.
  • The chimney structure can tilt or collapse.
  • The flue lining can crack or deteriorate.

It is unsafe to use a chimney that is in a weakened state. If you see water around your chimney or you think your chimney may be deteriorating, contact a certified chimney professional immediately.

Preventing Water from Damaging Your Chimney

As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Taking a proactive approach to safeguard your chimney’s stability will save you from expensive repairs and protect your home and family.

2 steps you can take to prevent moisture damage:

  1. Scheduling an annual inspection. Regularly scheduled chimney inspections and cleanings are essential to preventing deterioration and costly repairs. An annual inspection enables your chimney sweep to monitor the structural integrity of your chimney, and recommend and implement repairs before small concerns become big problems.
  2. Installing a chimney cap. A chimney cap is one of the most effective ways to prevent water and moisture from entering your chimney.  

Chimney Service, Inspections and Cleanings in NH and MA

If you’re concerned about the condition of your chimney, contact the CSIA-certified and CCP-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney to schedule an appointment. We can clean, inspect, and repair your chimney, protecting your home and family.

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Schedule Your Summer Masonry Repair Now
February 2019
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When it comes to maintaining your home, timing is everything. There are certain home maintenance jobs that simply must take place during the right season, and chimney masonry repair is one of them. If you live in New England, summer is the best time to take care of any needed repairs and believe it or not, now is the time to schedule an appointment.

Summer Masonry Repairs in NH, MA

In order to cure properly, masonry work needs to be done when temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees. Summer’s temperate climate guarantees your scheduled repairs will go through a proper curing cycle. And completing your masonry repairs in the summer guarantees your chimney will be ready in time for the next burning season.

How do I know if my Masonry needs Repair?

Your masonry is your chimney’s first line of defense, guarding its internal operations. Overtime, nature’s elements can compromise your brick and mortar, causing your masonry to deteriorate, and leading to costly damage, fire and flue hazards, and even chimney collapse.

An annual cleaning and inspection is the best way to identify any needed masonry work and ensure your chimney is safe for use. During your scheduled visit, the CCP-certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney will look for:

  • Mortar Joint Deterioration - Mortar joints hold your chimney bricks together and keep moisture from getting inside. If they are deteriorating, they should be repaired by a certified chimney professional as soon as possible.
  • Chimney Crown Cracks - A cracked chimney crown allows water to seep in. As the water freezes and thaws, larger cracks will form and compromise your chimney.
  • Spalling - Spalling takes place when water repeatedly freezes and thaws, causing the surface of your masonry to pop out, peel off, or flake off–weakening the structure of your chimney.
  • Efflorescence - When water-soluble salts are deposited on bricks, it causes a white discoloration on your chimney. Although it can easily be cleaned off from your masonry, it is a sign of a serious moisture problem.

If you see any of these warning signs before your next scheduled inspection, contact Admiralty Chimney to schedule your summer masonry repair appointment.

Masonry Repair in NH and MA

Scheduling your masonry repairs during the warm weather months will set you up for a safe and successful burning season. If you have questions about your chimney masonry or would like to schedule an inspection, contact us today.

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12 Do’s and Don’ts of Fireplace Safety
January 2019
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Now more than any other time of year, you’re relying on your fireplace to keep you warm and cozy. But without proper use and care, your fireplace can create a hazardous situation–from toxic gases to house fires. In this month’s blog article, the certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney offer fireplace use and care recommendations to keep you and your family safe and warm all winter long.

  1. Do use fireplace tools, as they’ll protect you from accidental burns, keep your fireplace area clean, and ensure your fire is under control.
  2. Do use a fireplace screen to prevent embers from landing on your rug or furniture.
  3. Do clean glass and bricks with a formula specifically made for fireplaces. Other cleaners may contain toxic chemicals that release volatile gases or cause a flammable reaction.
  4. Do heat with hardwoods like maple, birch, and oak, as they burn hotter and produce less creosote than softwoods.
  5. Do use seasoned wood when building your fire, as dry wood burns better and leaves less creosote residue.
  6. Do allow your fireplace to cool 24 hours before sweeping. Sweeping and disposing of warm embers before they’ve had time to cool can be a fire hazard.
  7. Do clean and inspect your chimney annually using a certified chimney professional. Cleaning your chimney eliminates soot and creosote buildup, which can catch fire.
  8. Don’t burn garbage or paper products. These contain materials and chemicals that when heated, can produce toxic pollutants.
  9. Don’t close your damper until the fire stops expelling smoke. Closing your damper too soon can cause excess smoke, which can be a health hazard.
  10. Don’t dismiss cracked bricks inside the firebox as they pose a fire hazard. If you see cracks in your bricks, have them replaced by a certified mason.
  11. Don’t ignore a cracked chimney liner. Liners need to be in perfect condition for safe operation. If your liner is cracked, contact Admiralty Chimney to replace it immediately.
  12. Don’t use gasoline or any other type of accelerant to start your fire. Dry wood, kindling, and fireplace-specific ignition logs are sufficient fire starters.

Chimney Cleanings and Inspections in Greater Nashua, NH

Help ensure the safety and longevity of your fireplace by following these care and use recommendations. If you’re due for a chimney cleaning and inspection, or are concerned about the structure of your fireplace or chimney, contact the CSIA-certified and CCP-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney to schedule an appointment.

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Fireplace Smoke: 5 Troubleshooting Tips
December 2018
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If you have a fireplace, you know that winter is one of the coziest times of the year. But if your fireplace isn’t functioning properly, all that coziness may be replaced with excessive smoke—stinking up your home and causing your eyes to itch and tear up. Occasionally, things like high winds or extreme cold can cause smoke to backup and come out of your fireplace. But if fireplace smoke is a consistent problem for you, follow these tips:

1. Check Your Damper.
Make sure your damper is open. A closed damper will restrict airflow, forcing smoke to backup into your home.

2. Build a healthy fire.
To encourage smoke to filter out of your chimney, build your fires on a raised grate, as far back into the fireplace as possible.

3. Burn seasoned wood.
Only burn wood that has been seasoned for at least six months.  Burning “green” or “wet” wood will cause a smoky fire.

4. Crack a window.
The air your fireplace exhausts into your home needs to be replaced. Newly installed fireplaces and new or renovated homes typically have a “tight” seal that keeps air out. Open a window or two to allow additional air to enter your home.

5. Look for chimney obstructions. 
Creosote buildup, debris, and critter nests can prevent air from exiting outside of your chimney. If you find an obstruction, get it removed by a chimney professional. To help prevent obstructions, get an annual chimney cleaning and inspection and consider installing a chimney cap.

When fireplace smoke suggests a structural problem.

If you’re still seeing smoke after following these troubleshooting tips, contact the certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney. You may have a structural problem with your fireplace or chimney, including:

  • An improperly installed damper
  • A shortened chimney
  • A shallow fireplace
  • An incorrect ratio between the opening of your fireplace and the size of your flue

Chimney Cleaning and Inspections

If it’s been awhile since your last chimney cleaning and inspection, contact the CSIA-certified and CCP-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney to schedule your appointment. We’re here to help you stay cozy and safe all season long.

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Ideas for Decorating your Fireplace this Holiday Season
November 2018
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When it comes to the holidays, a decorated fireplace makes your home look inviting and festive. Beautiful mantel decor turns your fireplace into an eye-catching focal point. In this month’s blog, we share some inspiring ways to beautifully and safely decorate your fireplace this season.

Safety First

As you begin to plan your mantel decor, now is also a good time to get your fireplace ready for the burning season. A cleaning and inspection are critical to ensuring your fireplace is safe and ready for the months ahead.

Decorating Staples

When creating a festive mantel, there are several holiday decorations that serve as a staple design element. Garlands, wreaths, lights, and stockings create a good foundation when decorating your mantel.

  • Garlands:  Whether fresh, artificial, gilded in metallics, or lit, nothing spruces up a fireplace for the holidays like a beautiful garland.

Safety Tip: Securely affix garland at a safe distance to prevent small children from tugging at and potentially getting hit by falling objects.

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  • Wreaths: Display an eye-catching wreath above your mantel that complements the rest of your holiday decor.

  • Stockings:  Stockings are a cherished tradition, even in homes without little ones.

Safety Tip: Remove stockings each time you plan to burn a fire. Return them to the hearth when the embers die off.

Add Your Own Personal Style

Incorporate one or more of these design ideas to make your home uniquely yours this holiday season:

  • Silver and Gold:  Silver and gold metallics can make a big impact and a celebratory style on your mantel. Contrast your metallic choice with hearty evergreens.
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  • Creative Colors: Think outside the traditional color palette and experiment with pastels. These lighter colors offer a soft and cozy element to your mantel. Consider garlands and trees in pinks, aquas and more.

Safety Tip: Holiday decorations are made of flammable materials, so it’s important to keep them more than 3 feet away from your wood or gas fireplace, or wood-burning stove.

  • Winter Villages:  Create a tiny holiday village on your mantel. Use battery-operated tea lights to illuminate the houses. For an added winter dimension, lay down fake snow first.
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Chimney Cleanings and Inspections in NH & MA

Contact Admiralty Chimney today to schedule your cleaning and inspection; and rest easy this holiday season knowing your fireplace has been cleared for use by our CSIA-certified and CCP-certified professionals. We inspect, clean, and repair chimneys throughout New Hampshire, including the towns of Amherst, Atkinson, Derry, Londonderry, Merrimack, Nashua, and Windham. We also service Massachusetts, including the towns of Chelmsford, Dracut, Groton, Pepperell, Townsend, and Westford.

*PHOTO CREDITS: 

Featured Mantel: 50-christmas-mantle-decoration-ideas-entertaining-chimney-decorations-harmonious-10/

Cardinal Wreath: midwestliving.com

Metallic Mantel: themeadowbrookblog.blogspot.com

Fruit Garland Mantel: betterdecoratingbible.com

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Important Tips to Prevent a Chimney Fire
October 2018
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Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, aptly falls at the beginning of our coldest weather months, when our fireplaces are used most frequently. This week is a reminder to take notice of the steps we can take to prevent chimney fires. Thousands of chimney fires occur every year, resulting in costly property damage or worse, injury to loved ones. In this month’s blog, the chimney experts at Admiralty Chimney offer important tips on keeping your home and family safe from chimney fires.

Creosote - The Dirty Truth

The number one culprit of chimney fires is creosote build-up. Creosote is a dirty mixture of soot and tar that coats the inside of your chimney when burning wood. Fortunately, creosote can be removed during your annual chimney cleaning and inspection. Otherwise, it can catch fire in your chimney and escape to the combustible areas in your walls, roof, or attic.

Tips on Preventing Chimney Fires:

Get an inspection. Annual chimney inspections and cleanings are critical in preventing chimney fires. While chimney fires are mainly caused by creosote build-up, they can also be caused by defective chimney liners or structures. During your annual inspection and cleaning, a chimney technician not only removes excess creosote, but they identify and repair hidden problems, such as a cracked flue liner. 

Install a chimney cap. Leaves and animal nests inside a chimney can easily fuel a fire when loose embers fly up from your fire. A chimney cap on the crown around the outside opening of your flue will keep debris and critters out. 

Burn dry wood. If your wood has small splits or cracks, it’s dry enough to burn. Wet wood has a smooth texture. Wet wood will smoke more and not burn as hot as dry wood. Burning at lower temperatures leads to faster creosote buildup in your chimney. 

Start fires with clean newspaper or dry kindling. Gasoline or kerosene should never be used to start a fire.

Don’t burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, or regular trash. Burning paper products will cause the creation of excess creosote, putting your home and family in danger of a chimney fire. It can also give off toxic fumes.

Burn a few large logs, instead of several smaller ones. It is better to burn less wood with more air. A smaller, hotter fire will create less smoke and creosote buildup.

If you experience a chimney fire–even a small one–call a chimney professional. If a chimney fire has happened once, it can likely happen again. A CSIA and CCP-certified chimney expert will determine the cause and outline measures to prevent another chimney fire. 

Chimney Cleaning and Inspections in NH & MA

To help safeguard your home from a chimney fire, contact the CSIA-certified and CCP-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney to schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection. We inspect, clean, and repair chimneys throughout New Hampshire, including the towns of Amherst, Atkinson, Derry, Londonderry, Merrimack, Nashua, and Windham. We also service Massachusetts, including the towns of Chelmsford, Dracut, Groton, Pepperell, Townsend, and Westford.

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Tips for Selecting, Storing, and Burning Firewood
September 2018
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The early days of fall are here and so begins the season of colder nights spent in front of a warm fireplace. In this month’s blog, Admiralty Chimney shares tips on collecting, storing and burning firewood to get you ready for the burning season.

Selecting Firewood

If you’re buying firewood for the upcoming winter, be sure it’s seasoned, so you can burn it right away.

When looking for a firewood supplier, ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. As you narrow down your search, ask potential wood suppliers:

  • When was the wood split?
  • What is the size of the logs?
  • Is delivery available? Is there an extra charge?
  • Will they stack the wood where you want it, or will they leave it in a pile on your property?

Make it a practice to buy and burn local firewood. Wood that is not native to your community can harbor invasive pests that can spread and harm uninfested trees. The results can cause plants and trees on your property to die off. Many states, including New Hampshire, prohibit transporting out-of-state firewood.

If you are just cutting your own firewood now, don’t plan to use it until the next heating season, as it needs at least six months to dry before burning. When cutting wood, wear protective gear and follow chainsaw safety guidelines:

  • Cut the ends of the logs flat and square so they stand solidly for splitting.
  • If the wood has branches, cut in the opposite direction they are pointing.
  • To make splitting easier, keep the length of the logs short and avoid cutting through knots or branches as they alter the log’s wood grain.

How much and what type of firewood do you need?
Whether you buy or cut your firewood, you’ll need to consider the amount you’ll need for the season, and the type that’s best for your fireplace.

How Much? The size of your home and how often you use your fireplace are key factors in determining how much firewood you’ll need for the season. As a general rule of thumb, a 1,000 square foot house uses three cords of firewood over a winter season. If your primary heat source is firewood, it’s best to have too much firewood than too little. Remember you’ll use more wood on the coldest days and months during the heart of the winter season.

What Type? Softwoods, like poplar, burn faster and quickly deplete your wood inventory. Hardwoods, including maple and oak, are more dense and burn more slowly than softwoods, keeping your woodpile from dwindling too quickly.

Storing and Stacking Firewood

The best place to store your firewood is at least 25 feet away from your home, off the ground, in a sheltered location. Doing so reduces the risk of insect infestation in your home and promotes good air-flow, which aids in drying your wood.

When you are stacking your firewood, follow these guidelines:

  • Stack the wood as soon as possible so that the logs can dry out.
  • Use an ordering system to make sure you’re burning the most seasoned wood first.
  • Stack wood loosely so air can flow through.

Burning Firewood

Make sure your firewood is well-seasoned before your first burn. For an efficient and safe fire, all wood should dry for at least six months. If you buy plastic bundles of wood at a gas station or supermarket, let the wood dry before you use it. When green wood is burned prematurely, its energy is wasted in evaporating moisture.

Don’t Forget your Annual Cleaning and Inspection

No matter how seasoned your wood is, burning it causes creosote buildup in your chimney over time, increasing your risk of fire. To keep your home and family safe during the burning season, be sure to get your chimney cleaned and inspected.

Chimney and Fireplace Services in Southern NH & Northern MA

If you have questions about your firewood or the function of your chimney, contact the CSIA and CCP-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney. We can help you get your fireplace ready for the burning  season. We inspect, clean, and repair chimneys throughout New Hampshire, including the towns of Amherst, Atkinson, Derry, Londonderry, Merrimack, Nashua, and Windham. We also service Massachusetts, including the towns of Chelmsford, Dracut, Groton, Pepperell, Townsend, and Westford.

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Get Your Chimney Ready for the Burning Season
August 2018
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Brrrrrr. The crisp, cool nights of early fall are upon us. Now is the perfect time to schedule your annual chimney cleaning and inspection so you’ll be ready for the burning season.

Keeping your family warm and safe

There’s nothing like snuggling by a warm and cozy fire during the cold weather months. But without proper installation, use, and care, your chimney can create a hazardous situation in your home–from toxic gases and smoke, to fires. For this reason, both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend annual chimney cleanings and inspections.

Removing creosote build-up

Overtime, wood burning leads to a buildup of creosote in your chimney. Depending upon your burning conditions, this highly-flammable and combustible substance can look black, brown, gummy, hard, shiny, or even flaky. Excessive creosote buildup puts your chimney at risk of catching on fire.

Ensuring proper chimney operation

An annual chimney cleaning and inspection also ensures your chimney is operating properly and doesn’t have any structural problems, which can allow toxic fumes to enter your home. As part of your annual inspection, your chimney sweep will:

  • Look inside your chimney for obstructions.
  • Examine your flue for any cracks.
  • Check the outside of your chimney for brickwork, crown, and cap problems.

Inspecting your chimney now will allow you to address any needed repairs before the cold weather arrives.

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Chimney Cleanings & Inspections in NH, MA

Before you start using your fireplace this fall, contact the CSIA and CCP-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney to schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection. We inspect, clean, and repair chimneys throughout New Hampshire, including the towns of Amherst, Atkinson, Derry, Londonderry, Merrimack, Nashua, and Windham. We also service Massachusetts, including the towns of Chelmsford, Dracut, Groton, Pepperell, Townsend, and Westford.

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The Importance of Chimney Inspections When Buying or Selling a Home
July 2018
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There are a lot of details involved in buying or selling a home. And of course, a thorough home inspection is an important part of this process. While standard home inspectors can provide a broad assessment of a home’s overall condition, they typically lack the training and experience required to properly inspect your chimney and fireplace.

CSIA and CCP-Certified Chimney Sweeps

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, be sure to hire a CSIA and CCP-certified chimney sweep to inspect your chimney and fireplace. These nationally-recognized credentials ensure your chimney inspector has met rigorous testing standards around the evaluation, installation, and maintenance of chimney and venting systems.

Protection for Home Buyers and Sellers

A proper chimney and fireplace inspection protects buyers by ruling out any serious damage or safety issues. Documenting a system’s condition at the time of sale also protects sellers from future claims and problems.

All CSIA and CCP-certified chimney sweeps are fully trained in conducting chimney and fireplace inspections in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)  guidelines and procedures. There are three code levels (NFPA Levels 1, 2, and 3) with varying requirements. Anytime a home is bought or sold, it must meet NFPA Level 2 requirements:

  • A complete inspection of a chimney or venting system’s interior and exterior, including parts otherwise hidden from view.
  • An assessment of the structure and flue, along with basic appliance connections.
  • Assurance that the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.

Don’t make assumptions about your chimney inspection.

Many people assume a standard home inspection includes a detailed assessment of their chimney and fireplace. Unfortunately, not all chimney inspections are performed properly. Without a well-documented inspection, you could face costly (and potentially dangerous) problems with your chimney and fireplace.

NFPA Level 2 Chimney Inspections in Southern NH and Northern MA

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, Admiralty’s CSIA and CCP-certified professionals will make sure your chimney and fireplace are in safe, working order. To schedule a chimney inspection, call us at 603.594.0400 or visit us online.

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The Best Time for Masonry Repair
June 2018
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As the old proverb says, timing is everything. And when it comes to masonry repair, you couldn’t pick a better time to get it done than during the warm weather months.

“In order to cure properly, masonry work needs to be done when temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees. This makes summer the best time to schedule your repairs,” explains CSIA-certified chimney sweep John Butler, owner of Admiralty Chimney.

Benefits of scheduling your masonry work this summer:

There are other benefits to scheduling your masonry repairs during the warm weather months, including:

1. Convenience

Summer marks the slow season for most chimney sweeps, so you can generally schedule an appointment that fits your busy schedule.

2. Timely Completion

Weather delays aren’t very common during the summer months, so you can expect your masonry repairs to be completed on schedule.

3. Peace of Mind

If you take care of your masonry work now, you can avoid the fall rush, and be confident your chimney will be ready to use in the burning season.

How do you know if you need masonry work?

An annual cleaning and inspection is the best way to identify any needed masonry work and ensure your chimney is safe for ongoing use. Admiralty Chimney provides timely and affordable chimney cleanings and inspections to keep your chimney clean, safe, and operating efficiently.

Environmental elements, including snow, water, and ice can cause your chimney masonry to deteriorate, leading to costly damage, fire and flue gas hazards, and even chimney collapse.

Here are four signs you need masonry work:

1. Mortar Joint Deterioration

Your mortar joints hold your chimney bricks together and keep moisture from getting inside. If they are deteriorating, they should be repaired by a certified chimney professional as soon as possible.

2. Chimney Crown Cracks

A cracked chimney crown allows water to seep in. As the water freezes and thaws, larger cracks will form.

3. Spalling

Spalling takes place when water freezes and thaws, causing the surface of your chimney masonry to pop out, peel off, or flake off. This type of damage can be dangerous because it weakens the structure of your chimney. 

4. Efflorescence

When water-soluble salts are deposited on bricks, it causes a white discoloration on your chimney called efflorescence. Although it can easily be cleaned off from your masonry, it is a sign of a serious moisture problem.

Masonry Repair in NH and MA

Left unattended to, masonry damage can lead to dangerous structural problems and costly repairs. If you have signs of wear and tear on your chimney masonry, contact the  CSIA-certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney while time is on your side.

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Closing Your Fireplace and Chimney for the Season
May 2018
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It’s finally feeling like spring in New England! As the days get warmer and longer, it’s time to prepare your fireplace and chimney for the end of the burning season. Here are three important things you should do to close up your fireplace and chimney:

1. Get it cleaned.

Spring is a great time to give our homes a cleaning overhaul and your fireplace and chimney are no exception. Take some time to sweep out your fireplace and remove any soot or ash deposits around the base of your unit. To remove creosote build-up in your chimney and avoid unpleasant odors from getting into your home during the warmer months, schedule a professional chimney cleaning

2. Get it inspected.

During your cleaning, the Admiralty team will do a thorough inspection of your chimney, making sure all of its components are intact and in safe working condition. “Since chimney masonry repairs need to be completed during warmer weather, spring is an optimal time to schedule a chimney inspection,” explains John Butler, owner at Admiralty Chimney. As part of your cleaning and inspection, the Admiralty team will do the following:

  • Check for cracks, leaks, or structural problems.
  • Identify hidden damage before it becomes more serious.
  • Inspect your flue liner and chimney cap.
  • Remove creosote buildup, critters, nests, and other debris.
  • Ensure your system is properly ventilated and operating smoothly.
  • Identify any safety risks.
  • Make any needed repair recommendations.

3. Close your damper.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you should close your damper at the end of the season to prevent air and odors from coming into your home. For an even tighter seal, consider installing glass doors. Note: if you have a gas fireplace, close your pilot light to save on energy costs, but always keep your damper open.

The Importance of Annual Chimney Maintenance

At least one third of all chimneys are in need of repair—commonly caused by water intrusion and a lack of proper maintenance. By scheduling an annual inspection and cleaning, you will ensure your chimney is working safely and efficiently, and take care of any needed repairs before they become more serious (and costly) problems. And scheduling your annual cleaning and inspection now means you’ll have one less thing to worry about in the fall!

Chimney Cleaning, Inspection, & Repair in NH, MA

The certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney inspect, clean, and repair chimneys throughout New Hampshire, including the towns of Amherst, Atkinson, Derry, Londonderry, Merrimack, Nashua, and Windham. We also service Massachusetts, including the towns of Chelmsford, Dracut, Groton, Pepperell, Townsend, and Westford. Contact us today!


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4 Good Reasons to Repair Your Chimney Masonry this Spring
April 2018

Spring is here and as a homeowner, you’re probably eager to pack up any signs of winter and close down your fireplace until the next cold season. But before you shut the flue and put your fireplace tools away, take a minute to inspect your chimney masonry. Why? Because if you need repairs, spring is the best time to make them. In this month’s blog, Admiralty Chimney shares four good reasons to repair your chimney masonry this spring.

How do I know if my masonry needs repair?

Your chimney masonry is the outer layer of bricks and mortar that protects the internal operation of your chimney. It constantly bears the brunt of Mother Nature’s forces, including water, sun, and hot and cold temperatures. Over time, these varying weather conditions weaken your brick and mortar. When you see signs of wear and tear on your chimney masonry, contact a CSIA-certified chimney professional as soon as possible to repair the damage. Damage that is not tended to can lead to serious structural problems and costly repairs.



“More often than not, chimney damage begins with a single crack, usually in the masonry crown at the very top. Once cracked, it is only a matter of time before the entire chimney is in need of restoration or complete rebuilding,”

—John Butler, owner of Admiralty Chimney



Scheduling Your Masonry Repairs

If you live in New England, here are four good reasons you should schedule your masonry repairs this spring:

1. Milder Temperatures

Masonry work needs to be done when the temperature is consistently above 40° both day and night. Otherwise, it will not properly cure. Since spring temperatures typically remain above 40 degrees, it’s an ideal time to fix your masonry.

2. Moderate Weather Conditions

The spring climate provides moderate weather conditions, keeping weather-related delays at bay and ensuring repairs are on track for a timely completion.

3. Flexible Scheduling

Because spring is traditionally an “off-season” for chimney sweeps, you can schedule an appointment without delay at a time that is convenient for your busy schedule. 

4. Peace of Mind

Attending to your masonry repairs in the spring gives you ample time to complete any needed work, and grants you peace of mind, knowing your chimney will be ready to use when you need it most.

Chimney Masonry Repair in NH and MA

Masonry repair and restoration is vital to the safe and efficient operation of your chimney. If your chimney is in need of service or repair, contact the CSIA-certified chimney technicians at Admiralty Chimney. We’re here to serve you.


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Negative House Pressure:  Problems & Solutions
March 2018
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We’ve all heard meteorologists forecast various pressure systems in our atmosphere, but did you know that your home also contains its own pressure system? Your home is a breathing entity, with air moving in and out. However, if not enough air moves into your home it can lead to negative house pressure problems. In this month’s blog, the professionals at Admiralty Chimney discuss the signs of negative house pressure problems and what to do about it.

What is Negative House Pressure?

Negative house pressure occurs when the amount of air being exhausted from your home is greater than the amount of air being pulled into your home. There are several appliances—including range hoods, clothes dryers, heating furnaces, and fireplaces—that push air out of your home without adding new air. This scenario creates a negative house pressure problem.

Negative House Pressure Problems

Negative house pressure makes it difficult for your fireplace to exhaust smoke, causing unwanted flue gases to draft back into your home. This situation impacts your indoor air quality and can lead to health issues including: 

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Watery eyes
  • Breathing difficulties (especially for asthma patients or those with allergies)

Who’s at Risk?

Any house can have a negative pressure problem; however due to the improved energy efficiency of buildings, newer homes are at a greater risk. These well-insulated structures lack the drafts and other ventilation means to pull air into the house.

Diagnosing Negative House Pressure

When your home is experiencing a negative pressure problem, it will send out warning signals. If you suspect a problem, be on the lookout for:

Help for Your Negative House Pressure Problem

Negative house pressure is a common issue. If you’re noticing excess smoke coming from your fireplace, the certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney can help. During an inspection, our technicians will check your chimney construction and test for negative house pressure. If there is inadequate air pressure in your home, bringing in additional fresh air from the outside can solve this problem. The technician can advise you on possible solutions. When you add new air, you bring balance to the pressure system within your home.

Chimney Cleaning, Inspection, and Repair in NH & MA

If you suspect a problem with your fireplace or chimney, contact the certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney. We inspect, clean, and repair chimneys in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In NH, we serve the towns of Amherst, Milford, Mason, Salem, Derry, Londonderry, Merrimack, Nashua, and Windham. In MA, we serve the towns of Townsend, Pepperell, Dunstable, Groton, Chelmsford, Lowell, Tyngsboro, and Dracut.

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6 Common Chimney Problems and How to Avoid Them
January 2018
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Raccoons in your chimney? This situation isn’t as wild and outlandish as you might think! In fact, critter nests are a common chimney problem. In this month’s blog, the CSIA-certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney share 6 common chimney problems and what you can do to avoid them.

Chimney Checklist

Like most homeowners, you might not know where to begin when looking for potential chimney concerns. Use this checklist to get started:

  • Look inside your chimney for obstructions and creosote.
  • Examine your flue for any cracks.
  • Look at the outside of your chimney for brickwork, crown and cap problems.

1. Chimney Obstructions

Chimney obstructions–from animal nests to tree debris–block your chimney’s airflow. Any blockage, partial or full, can allow toxic fumes to enter your home or cause a chimney fire. If you suspect your chimney is blocked, check your flue before your next fire. If you see blockage, contact Admiralty Chimney to remove the obstruction and to install a chimney cap to prevent future obstructions.

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2. Creosote Build-Up

Creosote is a combustible material that builds up in your chimney. If left unattended, creosote can cause a chimney fire in your home. To check your chimney’s creosote level, use a flashlight to look inside your flue. Moderate amounts of creosote will have a crusty black or brown appearance. Significant creosote will look tar-like. Any amount of creosote needs to be cleaned and removed annually by a chimney professional.  Smart burning techniques can help reduce the amount of creosote build-up in your chimney.

3. Cracks in Your Flue

The daily stress of high temperatures and flammable residue can cause your clay tile chimney liner to develop cracks, allowing moisture to get in. Moisture combined with creosote can deteriorate your liner. A cracked liner needs to be replaced before any further use to prevent fire from escaping through your chimney and into your home. Contact the certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney for a thorough inspection of your liner. Regular inspections enable the chimney professional to monitor your liner’s deterioration.

4. Brickwork Problems

Large cracks and missing bricks allow water and moisture to enter your chimney system, threatening its structure. If you see damaged bricks or cracks, a chimney professional can replace the bricks or tuckpoint the chimney, a process where damaged mortar is removed and new mortar is inserted to give your chimney stability and protection.

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5. Cracked Chimney Crown

Your chimney crown protects your chimney from the effects of inclement weather. Unfortunately chimney crowns can crack because they bare the brunt of repetitive freezing and thawing that happens with regular fireplace use during the winter. A cracked crown needs to be repaired so moisture can’t get inside and wreak havoc on your chimney system. To protect the crown from cracks, your chimney professional will install a chimney cap or apply a concrete chimney sealer.

6. Damaged Chimney Caps

Your chimney cap protects your chimney from moisture and keeps out critters and debris. But sometimes caps can be damaged in a windstorm or extreme weather. Broken or damaged caps need to be replaced to protect your chimney.

Chimney Cleaning, Inspection, and Repair in NH & MA

If you suspect a problem with your chimney, contact the certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney to help you diagnose your problem and implement a solution. Prevent future chimney concerns with an annual chimney cleaning and inspection from Admiralty Chimney. We inspect, clean, and repair chimneys in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In NH, we serve the towns of Amherst, Milford, Mason, Salem, Derry, Londonderry, Merrimack, Nashua, and Windham. In MA, we serve the towns of Townsend, Pepperell, Dunstable, Groton, Chelmsford, Lowell, Tyngsboro, and Dracut.

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Fireplace Tips to Keep your Family Safe all Winter Long
January 2018
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Your fireplace provides you with a warm and cozy reprieve from the cold winter weather. But without proper use and care, it can create a hazardous situation–from toxic gases and smoke, to house fires. In this month’s blog, the certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney offer tips to keep your family warm and safe all winter long.

1. Invest in some fireplace tools, including a broom, shovel, tongs, and an iron poker. These tools will protect you from accidental burns, keep your fireplace area clean, and ensure your fire is under control.

2. Use a fireplace screen to prevent embers from landing on your rug or furniture.

3. Use the right cleaners when cleaning the glass or bricks around your fireplace. Choose a cleaner specifically formulated for fireplaces. Other cleaners may contain toxic chemicals that release volatile gases or cause a flammable reaction.

4. Test your carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke alarms. These devices, which protect you and your family from toxic fumes and smoke, are especially important during the winter months when windows are closed. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that you test your smoke and CO alarms monthly and replace your batteries annually.  Smoke alarms should be on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom. CO alarms should be installed on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas. To save money and space, consider purchasing combination CO and smoke alarms.

5. Keep a fire extinguisher in the house in case of emergency. Make sure all family members know where it is and how to use it.

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6. Practice safe burning.

  • Don’t burn garbage or paper products. These contain materials and chemicals that when heated, can produce toxic pollutants, including dioxins.
  • Don’t use gasoline or any other type of accelerant to start your fire. Dry wood, kindling, and fireplace-specific ignition logs are sufficient fire starters.
  • Heat with hardwoods like maple, birch, and oak, as they burn hotter and produce less creosote than softwoods.
  • Use seasoned wood when building your fire, as dry wood burns better and leaves less creosote residue.
  • Allow your fireplace to cool 24 hours before sweeping. Embers can smolder underneath, and sweeping and disposing of them before they’ve had time to cool can be a fire hazard.
  • Do not close your damper until the fire stops expelling smoke. Prematurely closing your damper can cause excess smoke, which can be a health hazard.
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7. Keep a watchful eye on your fireplace and chimney structure.

To ensure the safe and efficient operation of your fireplace, be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year by a certified chimney professional. If you have a chimney cap, it should be checked as part of your annual chimney cleaning and inspection. Contact Admiral Chimney to schedule your appointment. Even small cracks can channel water, which will spall bricks and cause structural damage to your entire chimney.

  • Don’t dismiss cracked bricks inside the firebox as they pose a fire hazard. If you see cracks in your bricks, have them replaced by a certified mason.
  • Don’t ignore a cracked chimney liner. Liners need to be in perfect condition for safe operation. If your liner is cracked, contact Admiralty Chimney to replace it immediately.
  • Clean your chimney more often in the winter and after frequent use. Cleaning your chimney eliminates soot and creosote buildup, which can catch fire.

8. Be mindful of your home and family.

  • Always keep children or pets away from the fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. If you need to leave the house, be sure the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Keep flammable objects or furniture two to three feet away from the fireplace.

Chimney Cleaning, Inspection, and Repair in Southern NH

When you properly care for and use your fireplace, you will keep your home and family safe all season long.  If you notice something amiss with your chimney, or have questions on how to safely use it, contact the certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney. We inspect, clean, and repair chimneys throughout New Hampshire, including the towns of Amherst, Atkinson, Derry, Londonderry, Merrimack, Nashua, and Windham.

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Fireplace Smoke: How to Troubleshoot Draft Problems and When to Ask for Help
November 2017
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Brrrrr. Nothing can take away the chill in the air like a warm and cozy fireplace. But what if your fire is spilling smoke into your home instead of up the chimney? In this month’s blog, the CSIA-certified chimney specialists at Admiralty Chimney offer draft troubleshooting tips to eliminate excessive fireplace smoke.

What is Drafting?  

Drafting is when your fireplace eliminates gaseous byproducts up the chimney and into the atmosphere. When there is a disruption in your fireplace draft, these byproducts, in the form of smoke, back up and enter your home.

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Why do I have Fireplace Smoke?

Occasional smoking can occur when wind gusts are high or blowing from a certain direction. Hillsides, trees, or water located near your house can impact wind conditions. Installing a chimney cap can be helpful in tempering these weather forces.

If your fire is smoking right at the start, your chimney and flue are probably cold. In cool weather, exposed bricks create a cold air mass within the chimney. To eliminate that air, preheat your chimney by lighting one end of a rolled newspaper and hold it up to the damper area. Once the flow of hot air warms the chimney, you can start your fire.

What to do if Fireplace Smoke is Constant:

  • Make sure your damper is fully open. A closed damper will restrict the airflow, forcing the smoke to escape inside your home. Using a flashlight to guide you, look up toward the back of the fireplace and push the lever that opens the damper. Once opened, you can adjust the lever to control the airflow.
  • Build your fires on a raised grate, and far back into the fireplace. This will produce airflow for a healthy fire, and encourage smoke to filter up the chimney and not fill your room.
  • Burn wood that has been seasoned for at least 6 months. Unseasoned (“green” or wet) wood will produce a smoky fire.
  • Open a few windows while the fire is burning. Fireplaces exhaust air from your home. That air needs to be replaced in order for your fireplace to exhaust properly. Newly installed fireplaces, new homes and renovations create a “tight” seal, keeping air out. Cracking a window allows additional air to enter the room.
  • Check for chimney obstructions, like creosote buildup or an animal’s nest. Any blockage prohibits the airflow out of your chimney. If there is an obstruction, call a chimney professional to remove it. To help prevent obstructions, your chimney should be cleaned and inspected yearly by a certified chimney sweep.

Fireplace Smoke Could Indicate a Structural Problem

If you’ve followed these troubleshooting tips and still see smoke, contact the professionals at Admiralty Chimney. You may have a structural problem with your fireplace or chimney, such as:

  • An incorrect ratio between the opening of your fireplace and the size of your flue
  • A shallow fireplace
  • A damper installed in the wrong location
  • A shortened chimney

Chimney Cleaning and Inspections in Southern NH

Make sure your fireplace is ready for the long winter season with an annual chimney cleaning and inspection. Contact the CSIA-certified and Certified Master Chimney Technicians at Admiralty Chimney to schedule your appointment.

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Tips for Collecting, Storing, and Burning Firewood
November 2017
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Let’s face it, heating your home is not cheap. The cost of fuel, including cordwood, continues to rise. To get the most bang for your heating buck, the chimney experts at Admiralty Chimney offer a few tips on collecting, storing, and burning your firewood, so you can get the most from your fuel investment.

Collecting Firewood

Before hiring a wood supplier, or cutting the wood yourself, do your research and plan ahead so you’ll have it when you need it most.

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If you’re cutting your wood:

  • For maximum drying time, cut your firewood at least six months ahead of the burning season; ideally in the late winter or early spring.
  • Cut the ends of the logs flat and square so they stand solidly for splitting. If the wood has branches, cut in the opposite direction they are pointing.
  • To make splitting easier, keep the length of the logs short and avoid cutting through knots or branches as they alter the log’s wood grain.

If you’re buying your wood:

  • Buy in the late spring or summer months for the best rates. Wood vendors tend to charge more during the colder months when demand is higher.   
  • Order wood based on your heating needs. Firewood is sold by the “cord” and “face cord.” A stacked cord of firewood is 128 cubic feet, while a face cord is a third of a cord.
  • Select the right wood type for your fire to save money. Softwoods quickly deplete your wood inventory, which may require you to order more. Hardwoods burn slower than softwoods, keeping your woodpile from dwindling too quickly.
  • Buy your wood locally. Many states prohibit transporting firewood across borders. Wood that is not native to your community can harbor invasive pests that could spread and harm uninfested trees in your backyard.

Storing Firewood

Storing your firewood away from the weather elements will help protect your fuel investment.  Firewood should be stored in a sheltered location, such as an overhang, and sit slightly off the ground. To protect from direct precipitation, the stacks should be covered with plastic or other waterproof material.

Be sure the ground is level and has good drainage so any water doesn’t puddle up. To help prevent rotting, elevate your wood pile on a pre-built wood rack or treated two-by-fours.

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Stacking Firewood

How you stack your wood can speed up the seasoning process. There are several firewood stacking structures you can choose from.

Green or “wet” wood that is stacked in a criss-crossed, open-spaced pattern seasons faster than wood piled close together. Stack wood loosely so that air can flow through; yet make sure that all pieces are secured within the pile so they can allow for shifting that occurs when wood shrinks and moves during the drying process. Wood should be stacked in the spring so that it’s dry for the next heating season.

Burning Firewood

Be sure your firewood is well-seasoned before your first burn. For an efficient fire, all firewood should dry for six months. If you buy plastic bundles of wood at a gas station or supermarket, let the wood dry before you use it. When green wood is burned prematurely, the wood’s energy is wasted in evaporating moisture and won’t burn effectively.

Burning firewood, no matter how seasoned it is, creates by-products, like creosote, that build up in your fireplace and increase your risk of chimney fires. Always keep your fireplace chimney ventilated and have it cleaned and inspected annually.

Chimney and Fireplace Services in Southern NH

If you have questions about your firewood or the function of your chimney, contact the experts at Admiralty Chimney. We can answer your questions and help you get your fireplace ready for the heating season. Need an annual chimney cleaning or inspection? Contact the CSIA-certified chimney specialists at Admiralty Chimney to schedule your appointment today.

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5 Tips for Preventing a Chimney Fire
October 2017
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Thousands of chimney fires occur every year, resulting in costly property damage or worse, injury to families and loved ones. With Fire Prevention Week approaching on October 8-14, the chimney experts at Admiralty Chimney offer timely tips on keeping your home and family safe from chimney fires.

What Causes Chimney Fires?

While chimney fires can be caused by defective or improperly installed chimney liners or structures, the most common cause of a chimney fire is creosote build-up.  Creosote, a mixture of soot and tar that coats the inside of your chimney when burning wood, should be removed during your annual chimney cleaning and inspection. Otherwise, the creosote can catch fire in your chimney and escape to the combustible areas in your walls, roof, or attic.

There are two types of chimney fires:
A free burning fire is loud and thunderous; it may sound like you have a freight train or airplane in your chimney. Dramatic flames or billowing smoke may accompany the noise, and spill out from your chimney top.

A slow burning fire is a quieter chimney fire, but equally dangerous. You may not even know it has taken place. These undetected fires burn slowly and at high temperatures that can cause structural damage to your chimney and can easily catch flammable parts of your home on fire.

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Tips on Preventing Chimney Fires:

  • Only burn dry wood. If your wood is wet, or not fully cured, it will smoke more and not burn as hot as dry wood. Burning wet wood or unseasoned wood (which burns at a lower temperatures) leads to faster creosote buildup in your chimney.
  • Don’t burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, or regular trash. Burning paper products will cause the creation of excess creosote, and put your home and family in danger of a chimney fire.
  • Burn large logs, rather than many smaller logs. It is better to burn less wood with more air to get the most out of your fireplace. A smaller, hotter fire will cause less smoke and creosote buildup than a cold, smoldering one.
  • Unfortunately, a chimney fire can still occur even with these precautionary measures in place. This is why annual chimney inspections and cleanings are critical in preventing chimney fires. Regular chimney inspections and cleanings remove the excess creosote from the chimney walls and promote safe burning.
  • If a chimney fire has happened once, it will most likely happen again. For this reason, it is important to call a chimney professional right after a fire has taken place, to determine the cause of the fire and prevent another fire from occurring in the future.

Chimney Cleaning and Inspections in Southern NH

Fortunately, with regular cleanings and inspections, chimney fires can be prevented. So before you start using  your fireplace this fall, contact the CSIA-certified and Certified Master Chimney Technicians at Admiralty Chimney to schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection.

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Keeping out the Critters: The Importance of Chimney Caps
September 2017
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Fall and winter in New England is the time of year when we hunker down and stay inside from the abrasive seasonal climate. Unfortunately for homeowners, chipmunks, squirrels, and mice are no different, and look for warm spots, like your chimney, to hibernate. How do you keep these unwanted guests out of your chimney and your home? The experts at Admiralty Chimney discuss the importance of chimney caps in keeping out the critters.

What is a Chimney Cap?

A chimney cap is a stainless steel “hat” or cap that sits on top of your chimney. This finishing element may seem like a frivolous feature, but the benefits of chimney caps can help save you from unnecessary and expensive chimney damage and repairs.

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Keeping out the Critters

A chimney cap restricts animals from entering your chimney. Wild critters are drawn to the chimney for its warmth and privacy. In many cases, they’ll build a nest in the chimney, which can lead to blockage. This makes for a dangerous situation as airflow is restricted, and embers can’t freely escape. Animals that inhabit your chimney may also eventually perish, leaving unpleasant odors behind in your home.

Other Benefits of Chimney Caps

  • If a chimney cap is not in place, any blockage would disrupt proper airflow, and stop embers from exiting the chimney, leaving your home at increased risk of a chimney fire. Like animal nests, debris, such as leaves, twigs, and pine needles, can also fall into your chimney, causing a blockage. Chimney caps prevent debris from entering and building up in your chimney.
  • A chimney cap keeps unwanted water from coming down your chimney. If rainwater gets inside your brickwork, it can damage the chimney’s stainless steel liner, chimney dampers, and mortar joints. In addition to the damage from the water itself, moisture from rain water can produce mold and mildew, which can cause health and breathing issues.
  • The chimney cap is designed to help prevent wind-induced downdrafts. If the wind is blowing in a certain direction, it can introduce a downdraft. The cap prevents this cold air from entering your home.
  • The wire mesh on the chimney caps prevents sparks from creating a fire on your roof. Fires can start when burning embers rise up out of the uncapped chimney and land on your home’s roof or yard. The cap will deflect sparks keeping your home safe from fires.

Chimney Cap Installation in Southern NH

The importance of chimney caps are far-reaching. A professionally-installed chimney cap from Admiralty Chimney will help ensure the safety of, and preserve the longevity of, your chimney. Contact the CSIA-certified and Certified Master Chimney Technicians at Admiralty Chimney to schedule your chimney cap installation.

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Clay Tile Versus Stainless Steel Chimney Liners
August 2017
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When it comes to home maintenance, most of us probably don’t give much thought about our chimney liner. However, a chimney liner is a critical part of the safe functioning of your chimney. Without one, your chimney walls, ceiling, and roof can overheat and catch fire.  In this month’s blog, the experts at Admiralty Chimney discuss which option is best for you: clay tile versus stainless steel chimney liners.

Chimney Liners - Clay Tile or Stainless Steel

If you need a new chimney liner, or need to replace an existing one, a number of materials and choices are available to you. Whether selecting a chimney liner for a new construction, or replacing one in an existing chimney, you have two choices:  clay tile or stainless steel.

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Clay Chimney Liners

Clay chimney liners have been around since the early 1900s, and continue to be a strong contender when choosing a liner for a new chimney construction. Clay tiles can withstand extremely high temperatures without damaging or hindering the performance of the liner. Clay tiles also hold up against the corrosive materials that are burned in and pass through the flue to leave the chimney. In addition, clay tiles are relatively inexpensive to purchase and once installed, these tile liners can last for 50 years.

However, using clay tiles has some drawbacks. While the materials are inexpensive, installation is labor intensive and can be rather costly. This makes clay tiles an excellent choice for new constructions, where you have easy access to the interior of the chimney during assembly.

Relining with clay tile is difficult, as the old liner is removed by chipping it out with specialized tools  removing damaged tiles. Installing new ones requires breaking portions of the chimney every few vertical feet.  For this reason, relining your chimney with clay tiles is usually not recommended. If your chimney expert presents it as an option, be sure to ask:

  • How they are going to do the installation?
  • What equipment is used?
  • How much masonry will be removed from your chimney to access the liner?
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Stainless Steel Chimney Liners

Stainless Steel chimney liners are more expensive than clay, but because stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, you can expect this liner to last for years—virtually problem-free. The complete seal applied to the liner keeps emissions away from your masonry, allowing them to last longer and reducing required repairs. Although the stainless steel liner itself is more expensive than clay, it is easier to install, so the installation costs are less, making it the best choice for chimney liner replacement.

Because stainless steel chimney liners come in different shapes and sizes, you can choose a liner that fits your chimney. Metal liners are also available in a rigid or flexible format.

  • Rigid liners are suitable for straight chimneys.
  • Flexible liners are optimal for chimneys that are unique in shape. Flexible liners allow less creosote and other combustion materials to build up.

Chimney liner installations and relining projects run more smoothly with time and fair weather conditions; making these summer months the right season to get your chimney liner fireplace-ready before the cool fall weather sets in.

Chimney Liner Installation and Replacement in Southern NH and Northern MA

If you’re looking to install a new chimney liner or reline an existing one, the CSIA-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney can inspect your chimney and make a liner recommendation to fit your needs. Contact us today to schedule an evaluation and inspection of your chimney liner.

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July 2017

this is an endangered bird species, can fly vertical and builds their nests in chimneys. When we find these during inspection, we cannot disturb the nest.

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4 Signs Your Chimney Masonry Needs Repair
July 2017
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Chimneys are often overlooked when it comes to the routine maintenance and upkeep of the home. But environmental elements, such as snow, water and ice can cause your chimney masonry to deteriorate, leading to costly damage, fire and flue gas hazards, and even chimney collapse.  How do you know if your chimney masonry needs repair? In this month’s blog, our chimney masonry repair experts share 4 telltale signs:

1. Deteriorating Mortar Joints

Mortar joints hold the bricks on your chimney together and keep moisture from getting inside. However, with repeated exposure to snow, ice, and water, the mortar can become saturated with moisture. As this moisture freezes and thaws in bricks, rocks, and cement, the mortar joints deteriorate. Overtime, they may not be able to support the weight of the bricks, which can put your home and safety at risk.  Damaged mortar joints should be repaired as soon as possible. Fortunately, the warm weather and fair conditions of the summer season make it an optimal time for chimney masonry repair.

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2. Cracked Chimney Crown

When a chimney crown is cracked, water is able to seep in. Any freezing and thawing will cause larger cracks. A damaged chimney crown allows moisture to seep between the chimney and the chimney liner, as well as into the chimney, which can cause spalling (described below). Cracked chimney crowns can be detected during your annual chimney inspection.

3. Efflorescence

White discoloration on a chimney is called efflorescence and is caused when water-soluble salts are deposited on bricks. Efflorescence is a clear indication of excess moisture in the chimney masonry. While the staining is easily removed, cleaning it doesn’t solve the underlying moisture problem. If efflorescence isn’t addressed and remedied, other potential problems related to moisture can occur.

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4. Spalling

Spalling occurs when water enters brick, natural stone, or concrete and forces the surface of your chimney masonry to pop out, peel off, or flake off, and land at the base of your chimney or in your yard. If you notice any of these signs, your chimney masonry has serious damage. Spalling is more prevalent in colder climates, where a freeze-thaw cycle can cause frost to actually break and push off masonry fragments. Spalling bricks also weaken the structure of your chimney, which can be dangerous.

Chimney Masonry Repair in Southern NH and Northern MA

Chimney masonry problems are serious and must be dealt with immediately. If you’re unsure about the condition of your chimney masonry, contact the CSIA-certified chimney technicians at Admiralty Chimney. A chimney inspection can help identify any issues and needed masonry repairs and ensure that your chimney is at peak performance before burning season arrives.

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Summer is a Great Time to Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning and Inspection
June 2017
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The warmer weather is finally upon us and it’s probably safe to say that your fireplace will be taking a break for the next few months. Summer is a great time to schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection, offering several advantages to caring for and maintaining your fireplace before the cool weather returns in the fall. 

Annual chimney inspections are an important part of your fireplace maintenance, and can help identify damage or deterioration before minor issues turn into major problems. As summer is considered an “off-peak” season for chimney care, scheduling your chimney cleaning and inspection during the summer offers several advantages including:

Increased Appointment Availability

During the warmer weather seasons, it’s easier to schedule an inspection with greater availability.

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Expedited Chimney Repairs 

If your inspection uncovers any repairs that are needed, service appointments can be scheduled and repairs made without delay, well before the weather turns chilly and before your chimney further deteriorates.

Discount Chimney Inspections

In these quieter months, many chimney companies will offer reduced rates and discount incentives on inspections. Schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection with Admiralty Chimney before August 31, and receive our summer rates.

Optimal Weather Conditions for Chimney Repairs

Many chimney repairs, such as replacing flashing and crown repair, require warm, fair or dry weather for best results. Additionally, major chimney work such as complete rebuilding of the chimney and chimney relining, require more time, making it more feasible to do in the summer months.

Summer is a Great Time for Masonry Work 

Masonry repairs are best made during the summer, when the temperatures are well above 40 degrees. The warmer temperature enables materials to cure. Once the masonry is properly cured, waterproofing can also be applied to protect that new masonry for years to come.

Identifying and Removing Chimney Odors 

In the warmer weather you may begin to notice a bad smell coming from the fireplace. An inspection enables the technician to investigate the cause of the smell, whether it’s from creosote and ash build-up from a long winter of fireplace use, or a critter that got inside the chimney. Once identified, the technician can offer a solution.

Chimney Cleaning and Inspections in Southern NH and Northern MA

By inspecting and tending to your chimney needs, you’re improving the safety, performance, and efficiency of your chimney, which will extend the life of your fireplace. The CSIA-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney use the best tools and industry-leading knowledge in their chimney inspections. To avoid the fall rush, schedule your chimney inspection with the chimney care experts at Admiralty Chimney today.


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The Importance of Chimney Liners
May 2017
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Your chimney may look good on the outside, but when it comes to the safety of your home and family, it’s the inside that matters most. In this month’s blog, we’ll discuss the importance of chimney liners and what you need to know to protect the health and safety of your family.

The Purpose of a Chimney Liner

Chimney liners are vital to the safe operation of your chimney.  In fireplaces that burn gas, oil, or wood, a liner helps guide the combustion by-products out and away from your chimney. Without a properly installed and maintained chimney liner, gases and particles can be released into the home, putting your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Signs You May Need a New Chimney Liner

If your chimney liner is worn or damaged, it can affect your health and leave telltale signs in your home. Here are some signs that you may need to replace your chimney liner:

  • You suffer from chronic headaches or sinus problems.
  • You are ill throughout the winter months.
  • There are reappearing brown spots on your walls, even after repeated cleanings.
  • Your masonry chimney is white with efflorescence.
  • There are gaps in the mortar between your chimney’s bricks.

Every chimney needs a working liner and during your annual chimney inspection and cleaning, your chimney professional can tell you if you need to repair or replace it.

5 Reasons Why You Should Reline Your Chimney

  1. You need to properly size your chimney for a new appliance.
  2. Your liner is worn or deteriorated, allowing smoke, creosote, or condensation to seep through the chimney walls.
  3. Your chimney has been damaged by a fire, lightning strike, settling, etc.
  4. Your chimney was constructed without a chimney liner (often the case with older homes).
  5. You are venting a wood stove through an existing fireplace. A chimney liner will prevent excessive creosote buildup (and risk of a chimney fire).

Obtaining a Chimney Liner Quote

If your chimney liner isn’t properly installed or maintained, it can become damaged and dangerous. Be sure to have it installed and maintained by a chimney professional who is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

Because there are many types of chimney liners for different conditions, you should be leery of any company that provides you with a quote over the phone. To properly quote the costs involved in relining a chimney, a certified professional needs to go to your home, thoroughly inspect your chimney, take measurements, assess the conditions of your chimney, and discuss your overall usage.

Chimney Liner Installation and Replacement in Nashua and Merrimack, NH

Chimney liners are vital to the safe operation of any chimney. If you’re looking to install a new chimney liner or repair an existing one, the CSIA-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation quote!


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5 Common Chimney Myths and Misconceptions
April 2017
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Most people know that keeping their chimney clean is essential to the safe and efficient operation of their fireplace. But there are many myths and misconceptions about chimneys and how to keep them in proper, working order. In this month’s Admiralty Chimney blog, we’ll discuss 5 common chimney myths and misconceptions. Some may surprise you.

1. I don’t use my chimney that often so I don’t need to have it cleaned or inspected. Although creosote buildup may not be an issue, you might be surprised about the amount of debris that can fall into your chimney, or how quickly your structure erodes over time. While cleaning your chimney, your chimney sweep will remove any debris and check for dangerous cracks  the chimney and flue. 

Spring is a great time to schedule a chimney cleaning. Hold off until fall and you’ll have to wait in line for an appointment with everyone else.

2. I have a metal chimney liner so I no longer need annual inspections. While metal liners help protect the interior of your chimney, they are still subject to soot and creosote build-up. Regardless of your liner type and condition, an annual inspection is still recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

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3. Cleaning a chimney is easy and something I can do myself. Some household maintenance jobs are best left to the professionals, and chimney sweeping happens to be one of these. For the non-professional, cleaning a chimney can be extremely messy, time-consuming, and dangerous. You need the appropriate equipment, including a respirator (to protect your lungs from soot and creosote). Make it easy on yourself and schedule your chimney cleaning with the CSIA-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney.

4. Masonry chimneys are indestructible. Unfortunately this is not true. While doing chimney cleanings and inspections, the Admiralty Chimney team frequently finds cracks in masonry chimneys caused by the freezing and thawing of water.

5. Burning pine and other softwoods (which contain large amounts of sap) can cause creosote damage to your chimney. A University of Georgia study put an end to this long-held belief. Creosote forms from burning low-temperature fires, not sap-rich wood. If the wood you burn has dried for at least a year, creosote shouldn’t be a concern.

Chimney Inspections and Cleanings in Southern NH

Don’t be misled by these common chimney myths and misconceptions. Even if you only use your fireplace just a few times a year, it’s important to have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. Contact the CSIA-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney today to schedule your annual chimney inspection and cleaning.


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March 2017

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poetryconcrete:

Solar chimney, in Iran.

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March 2017

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brassandbolts:

Brickwork taken to new levels.

Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas Performance Piece, Dennis Oppenheim
2000 
24’ H x 12’ W x 12’ D
Steel, galvanized steel, epoxy, pigments, cement, bugles, fire brick, foam and fiberglass This piece invites one to consider the fusion of architecture and musical performance. A chimney is turned into a wind instrument, suggesting one could play or perform it. The cavity of a functional object (chimney) is considered for its sound producing qualities. In the same way, one could consider playing or performing a building by walking through it.

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Benefits of Cleaning and Inspecting Your Chimney in the Spring
March 2017

Ahhh…springtime. There’s no better season to get your home in order. When you start your spring cleaning, don’t forget about your chimney—it’s been working hard for you these past several months! Here are four reasons why spring may be the best time for cleaning and inspecting your chimney:

Avoiding the Fall Rush

By scheduling your annual chimney cleaning and inspection during the spring, you avoid the fall rush. Most people don’t think about their chimneys until the temperatures start to drop. By scheduling your cleaning now, you won’t have to wait for an appointment.  

Eliminating Foul Odors

The creosote and ash that’s been building up in your chimney can cause unpleasant odors. By having your chimney cleaned after the long winter season, you’ll keep your home smelling fresh.

Prolonging the Life of Your Chimney

When acidic creosote buildup is combined with the moisture from the rain of spring and summer, it can cause deterioration of your chimney’s interior. By removing creosote buildup after the burning season, you can significantly prolong the life of your chimney.

Finishing Repairs Before the Burning Season

To protect the safety of your home and family, the Chimney and Safety Institute of America recommends annual inspections and cleanings by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. By having your chimney cleaned and inspected in the spring, you’ll have time to take care of any needed repairs before the start of the burning season. Doing so will allow you and your family to safely enjoy the warmth and comfort your chimney all season long.

Chimney Cleaning and Inspections in Southern NH and Northern MA

The CSIA-certified professionals at Admiralty Chimney are here to keep your chimney in good working condition and your family safe. Contact us today to schedule your spring chimney cleaning and inspection.

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Hiring the Right Chimney Sweep
February 2017
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As our New England winter days are growing longer and warmer, we’re reminded that spring is just around the corner. And with the dawn of this season of renewal comes spring cleaning! As you clean and maintain your home in preparation for the warmer months, don’t forget about your chimney–it’s been working hard for you all winter long. Before you schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection, follow these guidelines for hiring the right chimney sweep:

Ensure Your Chimney Sweep is CSIA-Certified

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is a non-profit organization with a mission of educating and protecting homeowners, and a dedication to providing continuing education for chimney sweep professionals. CSIA-certified chimney sweeps pass two exams and renew their certification every three years. Roughly 1,800 chimney sweep professionals are certified nationwide.

Ask These Important Questions

In addition to confirming that your chimney sweep is CSIA-certified, be sure to ask the following questions:

1. How long have they been in business?  When it comes to the safety and maintenance of your home, experience matters.

2. Do they offer current references? Talk to other customers about their quality of work and level of professionalism.

3. Does the company have unresolved complaints filed against them? An unresolved complaint is, of course, a red flag.

4. Does the company carry valid business liability insurance? Never allow anyone to work on your home without proof of insurance.

5. Does the company ensure that a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep will be on the job site? All chimney inspections should be signed off by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep.

Unfortunately, many chimney sweeps lack the education and experience required to protect the safety of your home and family. Following the above guidelines will help you in hiring the right chimney sweep for your home.

CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps in Southern NH and Northern MA

At Admiralty Chimney, we take your home and your safety very seriously. We aren’t just licensed chimney service professionals, we are certified by and committed to the standards and ethics of the Chimney Service Institute of America (CSIA). Whether your chimney is in need of service or an annual inspection and cleaning, our certified professionals are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.


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Preventing Chimney Fires
January 2017

Baby it’s cold outside. During the winter, nothing beats a cozy fire when it comes to bringing warmth and comfort to your home. However, prolonged use of your chimney can lead to creosote buildup, and an increased risk of chimney fires. Preventing chimney fires is easy, though. With a little care and attention, you can safely enjoy the warmth your chimney provides all season long.

Creosote and Chimneys

When wood burns, creosote builds up in your chimney. Depending on the temperature of the fire and how quickly the air is moving away from the fire, this buildup can look black, brown, gummy, hard, shiny, or even flaky. Certain conditions—improper ventilation, burning of unseasoned wood, or drastic changes in burning temperature—accelerate creosote buildup. Creosote is highly flammable and combustible and if too much builds up in your chimney, a fire can start at any moment. To prevent a chimney fire, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends “any solid fuel venting” system be annually inspected and cleaned with repairs done whenever needed.

How Well do You Know Your Chimney?

Did you know that most small chimney fires often go undetected? If you’ve had a small fire, you are at risk of significant chimney damage and danger to your home and family. Preventing chimney fires requires that you pay attention to the functionality of your chimney: Is enough air coming through? Are your fires struggling to stay lit due to lack of air? Is there a hot, burning smell even when the fire isn’t lit? Is there a lot of dense smoke? Will your damper not close? (Indicating the safety of the damper has been compromised by fire that’s gotten too hot.) If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may have already had a chimney fire.

Warning Signs of a Chimney Fire

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, there are 9 signs that a chimney fire has occurred in your home:

•  “Puffy” or “honey combed” creosote

•  Warped metal of the damper, smoke chamber connector pipe, or factory-built chimney

•  Cracked or collapsed flue tiles, or tiles with large chunks missing

•  Discolored and/or distorted rain cap

•  Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to the chimney

•  Creosote flakes and pieces found on the roof or ground

•  Roofing material damaged from hot creosote

•  Cracks in exterior masonry

•  Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

If you detect any of these signs, contact a chimney service and repair professional immediately!

Chimney Service and Repair in NH

The friendly professionals at Admiralty Chimney are here to make sure your chimney is clean, safe, and running properly all season long. If you have questions about preventing chimney fires, or need service, contact us today.

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Happy Holidays From Admiralty Chimney!
December 2016
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One of the best things about this time of the year is stepping out your door and smelling all of the chimneys gently puffing along. The smell of a wood fire on a winters’ morning can bring back great memories and make the holiday season just a little more complete. We at Admiralty Chimney are grateful for the chance to help you prepare your chimney for the holiday season, and the winter that comes with it.

Simple Chimney Fixes in NH

Chimneys are the heart and warmth of your home, and it’s important to make sure they are running smoothly. Simple steps like having an inspection completed, making sure the chimney cap is installed and fitted properly, or getting a good chimney cleaning can help keep things working properly. Thank you to everyone who chose to have us provide you with a quality inspection or cleaning this year!

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Chimney Linings and Masonry in NH

Remember, if you have a larger scale chimney project like a lining replacement, or some old masonry that needs fixing, Admiralty is here for you; give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that your chimney has been taken care of by a quality team that wants to keep your home safe and looking fantastic.

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Happy Holidays!

Here at Admiralty Chimney, we take our commitment to service and quality seriously, and we know that we wouldn’t be anywhere without our fantastic customers! We’d like to wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season. May your homes be warm, and your hearts be warmer throughout this season of gratitude. Happy Holidays from our family to yours, and thank you for your patronage—we love serving you!


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The Importance of Creosote Removal in NH Chimneys
November 2016
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As the temperature starts dropping, we rely more and more on the warmth and comfort we get from our fireplaces. Many people look forward to these times by the fireplace, helping to keep the cost of gas/oil/electric down and our spirits up. But before you settle in for the long months ahead, it’s important that you take the steps necessary to make sure your chimney is safe and clear of any dangers that could cause you trouble. So that when you do settle in front of your warm fire, you will know all is safe.

How Does Creosote Develop?

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Every time you light a fire in a wood burning stove or fireplace, the condensation that occurs when the smoke is traveling up the chimney creates a substance called creosote. Creosote is highly combustible, and can be dangerous for you and your chimney.

Depending on the temperature of the fire and how quickly the air is moving away from the fire, creosote can look black, brown, gummy, hard, shiny, or even flaky. However it appears, if too much creosote accumulates in your chimney, a fire can start at any moment whenever the temperature gets hot enough.

What Can I do About Creosote?

Factors that cause creosote to form in your chimney lining faster are: restricted air, burning unseasoned wood, cooler chimney temperatures, and slow moving smoke. All of these factors can create the situation that would allow the creosote to ignite within the chimney.

Depending on how quickly the creosote builds up, you may need more frequent cleanings than you originally planned on. There are ways to avoid creosote developing in your chimney quickly, but you’ll never be able to completely stop it from forming.

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Getting Service from the NH Chimney Experts

The most effective way to deal with creosote is to get a trained professional to inspect and care for your chimney. Each home and chimney system is different. Having someone with the knowledge and training to help your chimney stay safe and clean is critical for the safety of your home and family. 

Admiralty Chimney is a full-service chimney company, certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Contact Admiralty Chimney today and schedule your inspection and chimney cleaning, so you can relax and have peace of mind knowing your chimney is safe and operational.


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Protecting Your Chimney From Water Damage in NH
October 2016
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Believe it or not, your chimney is not as likely to become damaged from heat, smoke, and corrosion as it is from excess moisture. Water can damage your chimney in a variety of ways, which is one reason that it pays to have a regular chimney inspection!

Moisture and Chimney Masonry

Moisture is always in the air, but it poses a greater threat during prolonged times of humidity or heavy fog. Water seeps into the cracks between brick and mortar over time, softening and eroding these materials. If preventative measures are not in place, your chimney could lose its integrity and develop a tilt, making it unsafe for regular use.

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In order to maintain a functional, robust bond between stone, brick, and mortar, moisture must be kept at a minimum. Water can also get inside your chimney and cause rusting on metal fixtures like dampers and hinges. With the added damages of moisture freezing, expanding, and thawing, New Hampshire chimneys have the odds stacked against them!

Protecting Your Chimney From Moisture

There are a few options when it comes to protecting your chimney from water damage.

  • Chimney caps. Having a rust-proof, all weather covering over your chimney keeps out a significant amount of rainwater and prevents internal moisture damage. Yet another outstanding reason to install a chimney cap!
  • Flashing. These sections of sheet metal that surround your chimney’s base are excellent for preventing moisture damage. Flashing should be inspected, sealed, and maintained regularly so it remains effective.
  • Sealants. There are plenty of great brick and masonry water repellents out there, known as penetrating sealers. We prefer the spray-on sealer called ChimneySaver.

Your NH Chimney Specialists

It’s no secret that chimney maintenance protects the value of your home. As your New Hampshire chimney specialists, we want to help our fellow homeowners maintain safe and effective chimneys before the coming winter months. Contact Admiralty Chimney today to schedule your inspection, cleaning, or waterproofing appointment!


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Fall Fireplace Safety in Southern NH
September 2016
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The fall is a great time of year to start thinking about your chimney and fireplace again. We always recommend a chimney inspection or a cleaning to start your winter season off right. As you get your chimney ready for the colder months, fireplace safety is something you should also be thinking about.

Tips for preparing & using your fireplace

When the temperature dips over the next few months, you’ll want your fireplace to keep you warm, but you’ll also want it to be a safe and reliable fixture in your home. Never underestimate the value of safety when it comes to fires. It always pays to be prepared and informed!

Install a firebox screen. Having a screen around your open fireplace will ensure that everyone remains a safe distance from the flames, and that no embers will make it beyond the hearth

Build proper fires. Don’t use too much loose paper when you start a fire. Instead, keep wood shavings and splinters on hand. They’ll light quickly and won’t create burning ash.

Burn the right wood. Softwoods like pine and cedar don’t burn cleanly. They put out resin in their smoke, which forms creosote inside your chimney. It’s best to stick with cleaner burning hardwoods like oak or maple.

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Practice fireplace safety in your home

When it comes to fireplace safety, everyone in your home should be involved in preventing an accident or a potential tragedy. Make sure your family knows how to operate the fireplace mechanisms such as the flue and damper. Be sure to establish fire safety plans, including escape routes for different areas of your home.

Always remember, common sense is the best way to prevent a fire. Other than the obvious things like keeping kerosene away from open flames, make sure you keep an eye on burning candles. Also, check your chimney periodically to ensure there’s a proper smoke flow, and test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors regularly.

Don’t hesitate to contact Admiralty Chimney. Be sure to schedule your inspection or cleaning appointment before winter is upon us.


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Types of Chimney Dampers to Install in NH
August 2016

As a homeowner, you probably have a decent idea of how your chimney works. If not, here’s a quick run-down:

Fuel is burned in the firebox, and the exhaust and smoke travel through the flue pipe. The flue pipe enters into the chimney body, and is fixed to the chimney liner. The liner travels up the chimney, and the rest is history.

Between the firebox and the chimney top, there are several key features. One of the most important is the chimney damper.

What is a Chimney Damper?

Dampers are flaps that form a tight seal inside part of the chimney, closing off the interior when the chimney is not in use.

Some dampers are made entirely of steel, and others have a rubberized gasket that allows for a tighter seal. Chimney dampers serve two primary purposes: energy efficiency and pest prevention. Let’s take a look at the two types of chimney dampers.

Top Sealing Chimney Dampers

As the name implies, these dampers are fixed to the very top of your chimney. They come either as individual units (as seen on the left), or housed within specialized chimney caps. After they’re installed, top sealing dampers require very little maintenance. A thin steel cable attaches to the shifting mechanism and runs the length of your chimney, allowing you to open or close the damper from inside your home.

Top sealing dampers are considered to be the most effective for preventing wildlife and insects from entering and nesting in your chimney during the off-season. They compliment chimney caps nicely in this aspect, and provide a secure, airtight seal.

Throat Dampers

Throat dampers are located much closer to the base of your chimney. In gas or pellet stoves, they’re usually fixed just outside the firebox, inside the steel pipe that enters the chimney. In older brick fireplaces, throat dampers are usually not visible, but are operated in a similar way to top sealing dampers.

Because throat dampers are located nearest to the interior of the home, they allow for greater energy efficiency. Rather than allowing your entire chimney to fill with warmth from your home, these dampers create a seal before heat can enter the chimney. When you’re not actively using the fireplace, it’s best to keep throat dampers closed in the winter.

Which Chimney Damper is Best for NH?

In a word, both. The type of chimney damper you use should be based on where you live. In New Hampshire, both wildlife and energy efficiency are top concerns when it comes to chimneys. With a top sealing damper, your chimney is most effectively sealed off from any type of infestation during the off-season. With a throat damper, your home remains warmer for a longer period of time after each use.

Many New Hampshire homeowners choose to install both types of dampers, and we can’t argue with the best of both worlds! If you’d like more information before you decide, or if you’d like to have a damper professionally installed, give us a shout. Our crew at Admiralty Chimney Service is always happy to help!


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Benefits of Having a Chimney Cap in NH
July 2016
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Have you ever taken the time to really look at your chimney? Not too many people do. That’s the thing about chimneys…when they’re working like a charm, they’re all but invisible. And during the summer months? Most folks don’t give them a second thought.

When summer comes to a close though, people begin noticing their chimneys again. They realize the masonry looks a bit crumbled in places. The flue is stiffer than it used to be, and there’s an awful lot of creosote inside the fireplace. And what’s that on top of the chimney? Did that really used to be a cap?

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The Importance of Chimney Caps

If a chimney cap is all rusted away, it’s not doing you any good. Here are the main purposes that a chimney cap serves:

  • Keeping animals out. Squirrels, mice, insects, and swifts will make nests in unused chimneys
  • Keeping rain out. Caps direct rainwater away from your chimney, preventing the masonry from becoming waterlogged and damaged.
  • Keeping flaming debris in. If bits of burning materials escape your chimney and land on your roof, they can cause house fires.
  • Improving air flow. Caps block the wind enough to prevent downdraft, meaning smoke flows freely away from your house and not back down the chimney.

Chimney caps are important for the structural health of your chimney, for preventing moisture damage, and preventing roof fires. They serve so many important safety functions, we believe it’s important for every homeowner to have a chimney cap.

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Chimney Cap Installers in NH

At Admiralty Chimney, we have a saying. You can’t go wrong with a chimney cap. Catchy, right? It’s just plain true. They protect your chimney and your home in so many different ways, and summer is the perfect time of year to install them.

There are several types of caps, and once our experts take a look at your chimney, we’ll know exactly which one is perfect for your needs. The collage above will give you an idea of what chimney caps can look like. Depending on your local climate, type of chimney, and budget, certain caps will be better than others.

Don’t worry, you really don’t have to think much about your chimney this summer. Just give us a quick call at 603-594-0400 to have a cap installed. If you already have one, great! Saftey’s the word, and having a chimney cap is a big step in the right direction.

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Chimney Issues in Old NH Houses
June 2016

One of the great aspects of living in New Hampshire is the abundance of old Colonial houses. They stand tall and resolute as testaments to the living history of New England, stretching back for hundreds of years. The problem with houses built over a century ago is that, well, they were built over a century ago.

Before 1900, there were hardly any building regulations, and certainly none to compare with the extensive chimney safety codes of today. When it comes to chimneys and fireplace apparatus, old houses are usually lacking in the safety department. Let’s take a look at some specific chimney issues that are often present in old or unused houses.

  • Infestation. Swifts, squirrels, and rodents love making nests inside chimneys because they offer safety from predators and great shelter. If the chimney wasn’t properly blocked off for storage, there are probably nests inside the flue.
  • Masonry. Leaning chimneys are a result of age, gravity, and crumbling mortar. In old houses, interior and exterior mortar must be addressed before usage.
  • Lining. Chimney liners become caked with creosote over time, but that’s a small issue when compared with the fact that before 1900, most chimneys were built entirely without liners! Hence, increased home fires.
  • Cleanout Doors. Another required safety feature of modern wood burning fireplaces, chimney cleanout doors are not common in old houses. One less safety feature, check.
  • Flashing. This is the material overlapping the chimney base and the roofing. Today, flashing is made from sheet metal. Back in the day, flashing was just lots of mortar.
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Take a look at this image to get an idea of the inner workings of an old, multi-story Colonial chimney. Then keep in mind that the codes of today, such as height and depth dimensions and other safety features, were not common practice in chimney building.

Chimney Restoration for Old NH Homes

Do you live in a beautiful old Colonial house? Maybe you’ve been eyeing that walled-off fireplace for some time, but you always thought it would be impossible to bring it into working condition. Give us a call, and we can help you find out. At Admiralty Chimney, we know our stuff. Give us a call at 603-594-0400 or contact us online to get started!

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Preparing Your Chimney for the Off-season in NH
May 2016
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Now that the weather is finally warming up, you can start thinking about stowing your chimney for the off-season. At Admiralty Chimney, we recommend that you have your chimney inspected and cleaned as part of your off-season chimney storage.

Preparing your chimney for storage

Close the damper. If you have a wood burning fireplace, the damper should be closed throughout the summer months. If you have a gas stove, it’s best to leave the damper open slightly during the off-season to prevent the buildup of toxic gasses in your home.

Install a chimney cap. Chimney caps are great all year round, as they improve the safety of your home and chimney. They prevent pests from entering the chimney, and they help to

contain sparks and flaming debris during usage.

Clean the hearth. The ashes and soot in your fireplace create

airborne particles that can be dangerous to inhale. Cleaning your fireplace early in the off-season eliminates this issue.

If you haven’t had your annual chimney inspection yet, don’t delay! Give us a call at 603-594-0400 or contact us online today to schedule your inspection or cleaning. We look forward to hearing from you!

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NH Spring Chimney Cleaning & Inspections
April 2016
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Now is the time to take action. Schedule your chimney cleaning and inspection in the Spring. Now is the perfect time to get your chimney cleaned and inspected to be ready for the next winter season.

3 Benefits of spring chimney cleaning

  1. Peace of Mind:  Knowing your chimney will be safe and ready for the next winter season.
  2. Identify issues early. Your chimney might have damage from heavy usage. These issues can include water condensation, freezing and thawing, or any number of problems that can come up over the winter months. So why wait until the fall to have it cleaned and inspected? By fall, winter is just around the corner and your chimney should ready with no surprises.
  3. Reduce odors. Did you know that as the weather gets warmer, creosote and other chemical reactions that have built up in your chimney over the winter can begin to emit a foul odor? A professional cleaning will clear that right up, leaving your chimney odor free and ready for next season’s use.

Admiralty Chimney Service, along with the National Fire Protection Association, recommends having a thorough chimney inspection and cleaning every year. Most of us homeowners have spring cleaning rituals, a time when the weather allows us to get to those “hard to reach” places. Why not check your chimney off the list this spring, too?

Call the Admiralty Chimney Service experts at at 603-594-0400 or contact us online today to schedule your inspection or cleaning. We’ll see you soon!

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NH Chimney Masonry and Mortar Repairs
March 2016
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March is the time of year when we begin restoring chimneys. Although this winter has been tamer than some, the temperature around New Hampshire has constantly fluctuated above and below freezing. Because of this, chimney mortar and masonry has experienced constant freezing, thawing and refreezing.

NH Winter Chimney Damage

Mortar holds up most efficiently when the weather is consistently above 40 degrees. During the winter, the moisture trapped inside chimney mortar freezes and expands, creating tiny cracks and fractures. While this damage isn’t severe enough to ruin a chimney’s masonry in one season, over time it causes serious structural damage.

Each winter, chimney mortar erodes a little more. With the inconsistent temperatures of this past winter, chimney mortar has certainly experienced this effect. When it comes to masonry issues, it’s important to act before your chimney becomes dangerously unsound.

Chimney mortar inspections & repairs in NH

During your annual chimney inspection, the experts at Admiralty Chimney Service will thoroughly examine and assess the condition of your chimney’s mortar and masonry.

We can point out to you areas of your chimney that are experiencing cracking damage. If masonry repairs are required, we will do the job thoroughly and efficiently. Fresh masonry repairs performed in early spring are ideal, as the weather allows for mortar to harden properly, without freezing.

After every masonry project, we spray the surface of your chimney with ChimneySaver, a sealant and water repellent for masonry. This final touch increases the lifespan of your chimney by preventing water absorption and offering freeze/thaw protection.

Got questions? Call Admiralty Chimney Service at 603-594-0400 for more information or a free service estimate. You can also contact us online to schedule your appointment.

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Prevent Chimney Fires: NH Emergency Chimney Cleaning
February 2016
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Did you know February, March and April are when most chimney fires occur?

At Admiralty Chimney, we try to educate our customers in the proper care of their fireplace, wood, gas, or pellet stoves and furnace flues so chimney fires never have to happen. The National Fire Protection agency (NFPA) strongly urges an annual inspection for all fuel combustible appliances.

When was the last time you had your fireplace, stove or furnace flue inspected?

If you’re not sure, you probably need one – soon!  Do you hear falling debris noises in the flue, or has water gotten into your chimney and turned it white? These are indicators of serious problems that need immediate attention.

This cold weather means more burning, more smoke going through the chimney, more creosote, chemical and soot buildup. We provide inspections and cleanings year round. We come to your home and not only provide a service but give you “peace of mind” in knowing that your chimney is in safe working condition.

Emergency chimney cleaning in NH

Don’t wait until you have a serious issue, contact Admiralty Chimney today to schedule an inspection and/or cleaning of your wood, pellet or gas stove, as well as fireplaces and furnace flues.

You can contact us online to schedule your appointment or call our office at 603-594-0400 and our staff will set you up with an appointment. See you soon!

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NH Emergency Chimney Repair Services
January 2016
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Believe it or not, a lot can happen to your chimney in the winter! In New Hampshire, chimneys go from being unused to being constantly relied upon within a matter of weeks. This sudden constant use can affect chimneys in different ways, particularly if the chimney had existing damage before the winter.

Does your chimney need emergency repairs?

A damaged chimney is dangerous for many reasons, and any problems that arise during the winter should be dealt with quickly. Some of the issues may include:

  • Flu damage leading to smoke in the house
  • Hearth and fireplace damage from dried, crumbling masonry
  • Chimney liners clogged with creosote buildup
  • External masonry damage or chimney cap damage

Chimney care is all about maintenance.

Our experts will identify issues early on through chimney inspections. You shouldn’t wait until your chimney falls apart, or worse, before calling your local chimney company. Admiralty Chimney is here to keep your chimney safe and efficient, all winter long.

Because of the nature of mortar, we usually perform large masonry repairs when the weather is consistently over 40 degrees. But we are a year-round, full service chimney company, and we’re ready to do what it takes to inspect, clean, or repair your chimney during the long NH winter.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule your appointment, or call us with your emergency chimney repair needs at 603-262-1245.

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Burn, Baby, Burn: Safe Fire Practices
December 2015
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During the wintertime, everyone wants to just curl up by the fire on a cold December day. It’s important, however, to learn the proper uses and potential safety hazards before starting up that fire. Here are some burning practices for creating that perfect cozy winter atmosphere, while keeping both your fireplace and your home safe.

What should I burn in my fireplace?

It’s best to burn wood that has been stored outdoors and kept off the ground. The wood should also be shielded by a tarp or other protective covering.

Use newspaper, dry kindling, or an all-natural fire starter. You can also install a natural gas or propane log lighter in your open fireplace.

Most wax and sawdust logs are made for open hearth fireplaces only. Check the instructions for your wood stove or fireplace before using artificial logs. If you are using manufactured logs, be sure that they are made of one-hundred percent compressed sawdust.

What should I avoid burning in my fireplace?

  • Do not burn wet, rotten, or moldy wood.
  • Never start a fire with highly flammable materials such as kerosene, gasoline, or a charcoal starter. These could cause severe burns and physical injuries.
  • Avoid burning any wood that is covered in glue or paint.
  • Do not burn household trash, including plastic, cardboard, rubber, foam, magazines, or wrappers. These materials can release toxic and harmful chemicals into your home when burned.
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For more safety information on wood burning, contact Admiralty Chimney Service today at 603-594-0400.

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Fire Safety Tips and Home Escape Routes
November 2015
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Fire can spread quickly throughout your home, leaving your family as little as one or two minutes to escape after the smoke alarm goes off.

With limited time during a high-pressure situation, it is important for your family to plan ahead by coming up with a fire escape route for your home. Here are some basic fire escape planning tips in case of an emergency.

1.) Inspect all exits in your home.

Draw a map of your house and plan out the different ways your family will be able to exit safely. Review this map with your children so that they will know how and where to exit in case of a house fire.

2.) Choose a meeting place.

Find an outside location where you can all meet that is a safe distance away from the house. Mark this location on your escape map so that you will all know where to meet.

3.) Test your smoke alarms.

Double check that all of your smoke alarms are equipped with working batteries. It’s important that your children can easily wake up to the sound of the smoke alarm going off.

4.) Practice makes perfect.

Practice your escape route with your family so that they will know how to respond if there is a real house fire. Planning ahead will prevent you or your family members from being unprepared during a dangerous situation.

5.) Do not reenter the building.

In the case of a real house fire, do not go back into the burning building under any circumstance! If someone is missing, let your fire dispatcher know when you make the call. For your safety, allow firefighters with the proper equipment and training to enter the house during an emergency.

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For more fire-related safety information, contact Admiralty Chimney Services today at 603-594-0400 or visit our website to learn more about our services. Above all, stay safe this holiday season!

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4 Reasons to Install a Chimney Cap on Your Home
October 2015
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Chimneys add to the beauty of a home, but they also protect your family from harmful smoke and gases that would otherwise remain in your house. Many homeowners take steps to protect themselves by having a chimney installed in their home, but chimneys also need to be protected in order to remain functional and safe.

One way of protecting your chimney is by installing a chimney cap. A chimney cap is a stainless steel device fitted to the top of a chimney to improve the airflow. We recommend that homeowners have them installed because of their many benefits.

So what are some of the benefits of installing a chimney cap?

1.) Chimney caps prevent moisture from damaging the chimney.

A properly installed chimney cap will protect your crown and help to prevent harmful moisture from rain, snow, and ice from getting into the chimney cavity. Moisture entering the chimney can lead to rapid deterioration, expensive repairs, and safety issues. 

Chimney caps are designed to redirect water away from the top of the chimney and over the sides of the chimney.

2.) Chimney caps prevent animals from accessing the chimney cavity

Chimneys make a great place for small animals and birds to nest because of their warmth and safety from predators. This can cause serious problems for both the homeowner and the critter. Once they get in, they can’t get back out. 

Birds, squirrels, raccoons and other animal nests will block the path of smoke and force the smoke to settle back into your home. This can cause soot damage or even carbon monoxide poisoning. Installing a chimney cap with mesh siding will prevent animals from entering your chimney and your home.

3.) Chimney caps keep debris out

Debris such as leaves, twigs, and trash can easily enter a chimney and clog the flues and the pathway of the smoke. This can lead to blockages or even chimney fires. If you have the proper chimney cap installed, leaves and other debris will not get past the wire mesh, keeping your chimney clear and safe. 

4.) Chimney caps protect against fires

Embers and large sparks from fireplaces can travel up and out the chimney flue. A large enough spark could easily exit the chimney, causing a roof fire or the nearby brush or leaves to catch fire. If this happens, it can also cause internal damage to the chimney itself. The wire mesh of a chimney cap keeps these sparks contained until they eventually burn out.

Have Admiralty Chimney install your chimney cap today.

If you want to maximize the lifespan of your chimney and protect your valuable investment, installing a chimney cap is a great place to start. Admiralty Chimney Service recommends and installs stainless steel caps, and all our caps come with lifetime warranties. Give us a call today at 603-594-0400 to learn more!

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Chimney Inspections for Safety and Health
September 2015
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As a homeowner, having your chimney inspected every year is one of the smartest moves you can make. There’s no substitute for an expert pair of eyes identifying hazards before they become destructive.

Chimney inspections are important for proper fire safety.

Chimney fires are always unexpected and can be devastating. Even when contained, chimney fires can cause massive structural damage to both mortar and chimney linings.

A regular chimney inspection will identify potential fire hazards such as pest infestation, chimney swift nests, soot and creosote buildup, and damage to your chimney lining before these things cause any serious damage.

Chimney inspections are important for your health.

Creosote is a highly flammable, oily brown material that cakes onto a chimney’s interior lining. Creosote can be either crusty or tar-like, and is a byproduct of the combustion of firewood or pellets. Over time, creosote builds up in chimneys, creating a carbon residue that is both a fire hazard and a health threat. If not inspected and removed regularly, creosote can cause skin and eye irritation as well as respiratory disease.

Chimney soot is also formed from the incomplete combustion of firewood or pellets. Made from small particles of carbon, soot is very dangerous to inhale and can cause a variety of respiratory diseases.

Chimney swifts are small birds that prefer to nest in chimneys, as they offer safety from predators. Chimney swifts, like many birds, have been known to carry a fungus that causes histoplasmosis, a dangerous and potentially deadly flu-like infection. Chimney swift droppings often collect inside chimneys over time, releasing airborne pathogens that can infect you or your family.

Carbon monoxide is another silent killer that can originate from a dirty chimney. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct that is released when wood or fuel does not burn completely. While a carbon monoxide detector can alert you when the gas is present, an annual chimney inspection can identify the flaws in a chimney, preventing the gas from ever being present in your home.

It’s never wise to put off your annual chimney inspection. With the winter months approaching, now is the time to identify and address the hazards lurking in your chimney.

Call us at 603-594-0400 to learn more. View our Chimney Inspections page or request a chimney inspection today.

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Admiralty Chimney

12 Rancourt Street
Nashua, NH 03064

2312 Columbia Circle
Merrimack, NH 03054