Northeastern Masonry & Chimney's Blog

Your Chimney and Fireplace System Are Not DIY Projects

Let’s play alphabet soup. DIY. FYI. CSIA. NMAC. FRACAS.

What do these acronyms or initialisms stand for? Do it yourself. For your information. Chimney Safety Institute of America. Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. Failure reporting, analysis, and corrective action system. (We learned that last one decades ago on a government proposal. Who could forget it?)

Despite appearances to the contrary, this is not a post about acronyms. Well, it is about one of them.

DIY.

When it comes to chimneys and fireplaces, we suggest you skip the DIY role.Chimney and Fireplace System Are Not DIY Projects Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & Chimney

Why?

Safety and efficiency, in two words.

On the most basic level, we do not want to see our customers or prospects risking life or limb on a roof. Don’t DIY. Don’t do it yourself.

Depend on certified professionals, for the same two reasons: safety and efficiency.

What You Can Do

Make Northeastern Masonry & Chimney your DIWP resource. DIWP? Do it with professionals.

“We’re certifiable” — and proud of it. Being certified and certifiable sets us apart from those who lack rigorous training credentials. You often hear words like “qualified,” “trained,” and “expert.” The customer has every right to ask: “What does that mean?” and “What is the value of these terms?”

What sorts of professional certifications exist in our industry? Most notably, the CSIA certifies technicians so that they have the skills and tools to inspect or clean your chimney properly.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney employs CSIA-certified professionals. CSIA certification involves compliance with a set of rigorous industry standards that yield quality to our customers. The CSIA is a non-profit organization, thereby safeguarding itself from bias or commercial conflict.

How does this help you as a homeowner? It protects you because any CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep found in violation of the code of ethics runs the risk of having CSIA certification revoked. In other words, the ethics code has some teeth in it.

While not necessarily certifications per se, other types of training include National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) standards, education in and compliance with NFPA-211 codes and recommendations, and best practices gleaned from our own experience with customers like you.

We Do More

Another certification body is the National Fireplace Institute. The NFI is the certification arm of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation (HPBEF), a nonprofit educational organization for the hearth industry. As with any certification entity, the NFI assesses its industry and devices standards of information, knowledge, training and compliance.

(You can add NCSG, NFPA, NFI, and HPBEF to your list of acronyms.)

Our certifiable work practices and methods reinforce quality. Reserve your appointment today with Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney at 518-767-9315 or make an appointment online.

Since 1993 (and more than 17,000 customers later), Northeastern Masonry & Chimney has been DIYing for you, so you don’t have to DIY yourself. Go with us as your DIWP (do it with professionals) experts. You won’t regret it.

Is Your Chimney the Cause of Your Leaking Roof?

Drip, drop, drip. It’s not a pleasant sound for a homeowner. Correct that: the soporific sound of a steady rain can be one of Nature’s most soothing sound tracks. We don’t mean that. No, we mean the annoying and alarming sound of what appears to be a leaky roof. The kind of sound that keeps you up nights, with nightmarish visions of expensive repair bills.

Drip, drop, drip. Is my roof leaking? Uh-oh? Drip, drop, drip. Do I call a roofer? Maybe. Maybe not.

We politely suggest you first call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. Why? It may be a chimney problem, not a roof problem.

Is Your Chimney the Cause of Your Leaking Roof img - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneyHear us out.

A winter of snow, ice, and rain — along with freeze-thaw cycles — can result in a leaky roof that masks the root cause: a leaky chimney. A chimney leak presents identifiable symptoms and signs. Turn to the experts at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney to determine if you have a chimney leak posing as a roof problem.

Do you have damaged roof shingles? Northeastern Masonry & Chimney can investigate to discern whether damaged roof shingles are a symptom or a cause. We know how to spot chimney-leak symptoms, ranging from water in your hearth, crumbling mortar joints, moisture around your flashing, cracked brickwork or odors from mold — and, of course, damaged roof shingles. Incidentally, roof shingles are ironically one of the least common causes of chimney leaks.

A typical cause of chimney leaks is improperly installed or damaged flashing, or gaps in the sealant around the flashing. One of your chimney’s most important shields against water infiltration is its flashing, which is installed on all four sides where the chimney rises up out of the roof. Sometimes portions of chimney flashing can be torn or damaged, or the high-performing caulk that’s used to seal some edges can pull off, giving water an opportunity to enter.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney experts are trained to assess flashing, whether it’s materials or installation. Other chimney leak causes can range from a faulty or missing chimney cap, allowing rainwater in, a damaged chimney liner, or a damaged flue. Any of these malefactors can masquerade as a roof problem.

Prevent or address a chimney leak by getting a professional chimney inspection. That’s your first line of defense. Northeastern Masonry & Chimney has developed a 25-point comprehensive water-entry inspection. Our time-tested techniques of inspection can evaluate what’s going on.

What’s the next step? That depends on what we find.

Remedies can range from flashing repair, resealing, chimney waterproofing, or adding or repairing a crown – fit for a king or queen.

Let Northeastern Masonry & Chimney take a look.

Not sure what to do? Please call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney at 518-767-9315 or make an appointment online.

Since 1993 (and more than 17,000 customers later), Northeastern Masonry & Chimney has been “drying out” chimneys and fireplaces as if we were a “drying out” rehab facility. Come to think of it, we are – for chimneys and fireplaces.

By Joe Shear | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

5 Reasons Your Chimney Smells Bad

Studies suggest that women have a keener sense of smell than men. Children too are said to possess an acute awareness of smell. Whether you are a man, woman, or child, Northeastern Masonry & Chimney wants to alert you to chimney odors.

5 Reasons Your Chimney Smells Bad Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneyWe do have lots of experience on this smelly issue. Chimney and fireplace odors are related since they are part of the same system. Although it might be difficult to distinguish fireplace odors from chimney odors, it is worth having us investigate.

There can be several reasons why your chimney is giving off an unpleasant odor.

Let’s address each of them.

  1.  Critters, R.I.P.
    If a critter got caught in your chimney and succumbed, that can be a source of chimney odor. Or perhaps animals left a nest or other remains that decomposed. Animal-related issues are not the most common cause of chimney odors, but they bear looking into, or smelling into.
  2. The Autumn, or Summer, Spring, or Winter, Leaves.
    It is possible that rotting leaves, small twigs, or other vegetation can get lodged in your chimney and leave a resulting smell. It’s a very fixable problem.
  3. Water Intrusion.
    Water intrusion is a common cause of chimney odors, especially if a musty odor is your problem. Moisture intrusion can damage chimney linings, bricks or mortar. As a remedy, you may simply need a chimney cap or top-mounted damper installed to keep rainwater and moisture out. Let Northeastern Masonry & Chimney take a look.
  4. Downdraft.
    In the summer, when you are not building fires, air may be coming down the chimney, instead of going up and out. You may need to open a window in the same room or seal off the top of the chimney in the summer.
  5. Creosote.
    Bingo. The most common cause of chimney odor is creosote buildup. If your chimney smells like tar or asphalt, it’s probably coming from a buildup of creosote on your chimney walls. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, creosote is a natural byproduct of wood-burning. The odor is usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high and the air conditioner is turned on. That means summer is the ideal time to address chimney odors.

Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney.

Let us help you find a solution. We’ll give you a professional diagnosis and suggest practical and affordable options to fix the problem based on our vast and successful experience. We are proud to say we have technicians certified by the CSIA.

Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney at 518-767-9315 or make an appointment online today.

Since 1993 (and more than 17,000 customers later), Northeastern Masonry & Chimney has been sniffing chimney and fireplace odors and clearing the air for folks throughout eastern New York and western Massachusetts. Take advantage of warmer weather (and less fireplace use) by fixing chimney odors now.

By Joe Shear | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

How Often Does a Chimney Need to Be Swept?

Chimney Sweeping Frequency Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneyThey say timing is everything, and that’s so true. What about having your chimney swept: what’s the best timing for that? Northeastern Masonry & Chimney doesn’t have a magic answer along the lines of “only on April 1,” or “every last Tuesday in October.” It doesn’t quite work that way — although there is some wisdom in that approach. Having your chimney swept is not only a matter of simple frequency but also a factor of chimney use, chimney age, and overall care and maintenance.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that your chimney be inspected and swept annually, so whatever trick works can be useful as a reminder.

Our experience with customers backs up the need for an annual sweeping at a minimum. Sometimes “annually” is not enough. We’ve found that under “normal burning conditions,” it may take about one cord of wood burned in a fireplace to produce enough creosote buildup to warrant a chimney cleaning. However, under certain burning conditions, you may need a professional chimney cleaning sooner. Each situation differs.

Ask Northeastern Masonry & Chimney about your particular circumstances.

Let’s go back for a second to that CSIA recommendation. It’s intended to detect problems before they get worse; it’s intended to prevent dangerous occurrences such as chimney fires.

What we’re saying is that an annual inspection is a good standard practice and recommendation, but if you suspect a problem don’t hesitate to have an inspection and a possible cleaning more frequently than annually.

Our CSIA-certified technicians will sweep and clean your chimney properly. We minimize damage and properly dispose of waste materials. We remove soot and creosote from the smoke shelf and firebox as it becomes dislodged during cleaning. We use proven methods to assure that no soot or creosote escapes into your home. Our technicians employ drop cloths, rug runners, high-speed vacuums, shoe covers and tarps over the fireplace to give you a mess-free cleaning.

Your yearly chimney sweeping presents challenges — and risks. It’s a task that is critical for preserving the life of your chimney and for maintaining a safe and efficient fireplace and chimney. Rely on professionally trained, CSIA-certified Northeastern Masonry & Chimney technicians for this valuable service. We know how to do it, and do it right, whether it’s annual or more or less frequently.

We take our CSIA certification seriously, and we are proud of it because it demonstrates compliance with strict industry standards.

Let our 35 years of experience deliver value to you in the Capital District, Central or Northern New York, the Hudson Valley or western Massachusetts.

Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney today at 518-767-9315, or schedule an appointment online. For a professional chimney sweeping, go with real pros with nationally recognized CSIA credentials. Let us do the dirty work so you can relax and feel comfortable in the safety of your home.

How to Care for Your Chimney After Winter

We’ve seen one robin already. No lie. Before you know it, the corn will be “as high as an elephant’s eye” and we’ll be singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’. ”

How do you care for your chimney after the winter’s snow and cold and ice and rain?

How to Care for Your Chimney After Winter Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneySure, your fireplace and chimney are still getting a good workout, but it’s not too early to think about the days when fans will be spinning or AC humming. Since we at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney know what is needed to open or close or maintain a fireplace and chimney, permit us to share our hard-earned wisdom.

Post-winter, there are some things you can do yourself, and other things best left to professionals like Northeastern Masonry & Chimney.

First of all and most obviously: shut down the fire, let the embers cool, and don’t start any more new fires. Once you are done for the season, stick to your decision.

What next?

You can do some of the required cleanup work yourself. Once those embers have become stone-cold and safely disposed of, you can remove soot or ash from the bottom of the fireplace by using an industrial vacuum cleaner. As for the chimney, have a certified chimney sweep properly remove soot and creosote that has built up over the winter and its many hours of fire burning. By the time spring weather arrives, it is time to remove deposits in the chimney. You don’t want them to emit unpleasant odors.

Be sure to close your damper. When your fireplace goes unused for any significant duration, close the damper. Doing so prevents air and odors from entering or exiting the house.

What else? If you have a gas fireplace, turn off the pilot light when you are done for the season. This will save on energy use and cost. If you’re unsure or skittish about how to do this, we’ll be glad to do it for you.

The spring and summer are also ideal times to fix any loose or crumbling brickwork and masonry. This ensures April showers and summer rains don’t leak into your chimney or fireplace, causing further damage,

These simple and sensible post-winter steps will protect your home and make things that much easier in the next burning season.

How do you take care of your fireplace and chimney in the “off-season”?

We’re always glad to hear from our many loyal customers, who, incidentally, are very informed and experienced. Let us know.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney employs CSIA-certified professionals. If you need help in closing down your chimney after the winter, or merely have a question or concern, call us at 518-767-9315.

As certified professionals, we adhere to strict standards and practices. Plus, we apply the benefits of successful encounters with thousands of customers over the course of decades.

We are proud of our 35 years of experience in the Capital District, Central and Northern New York, the Hudson Valley and western Massachusetts.

Even though the idea of knee-high corn — never mind as high as an elephant’s eye! — is but a dream, bookmark this page for handy reference.

Signs Your Chimney Needs Professional Attention

Smoke billowing from your fireplace into your den. Who you gonna call? A chimney sweep. (Better yet, call 911 first.)

Bad odors from your chimney. Who you gonna call? A chimney sweep.

Signs Your Chimney Needs Professional Attention Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneyCritters making noises up in the chimney. Who you gonna call? A chimney sweep.

Get the picture? There are times when it is best to call a chimney sweep. But not just any chimney sweep. Call a professionally trained chimney sweep – for your safety, comfort, and heating efficiency.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney is ready and able to serve you to meet those needs!

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has a number of practical guidelines as to when to make that all-important call to a chimney professional.

A number of factors are fairly easy to spot, with a bit of professional counsel.

If you have as much as 1/8” of soot buildup or glaze present, call a chimney sweep. Not sure? Contact us at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. Have the pros check it out.

If you have odors coming from the fireplace, call us. The smell is probably coming from creosote deposits in the chimney. But it may be indicative of a structural problem. You may need better sealing, a new damper, or some other structural improvement. The smell could even come from animals who have built nests in the flue — or critters who have met their Maker after residing in your chimney.

Of course, if you have actual smoke exhausting into the house, you have a significant problem. This negative-pressure problem is serious and can result from any number of structural issues. You’ll want to be sure that carbon monoxide is not entering your living space. If you have any concerns along these lines, definitely call a chimney sweep.

As for animals in your chimney system, we recommend you leave this to the pros.

Leave it to us to see what’s up there, or down there (looking from the roof). It takes more than an ordinary flashlight. And if we find a bird or a raccoon or a squirrel or a mouse, dead or alive, we’ll take care of the problem. And if it’s just a nest that remains, that’s important, too. You don’t want your chimney obstructed in any way.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney employs CSIA-certified professionals. If you need a chimney sweep, we’re the people to call. As certified professionals, we adhere to strict standards and practices. Plus, we apply the benefits of successful encounters with thousands of customers over the course of decades.

Our 35 years of experience in the Capital District, Central or Northern New York, the Hudson Valley or western Massachusetts speaks for itself. Join our growing family of satisfied customers. Who you gonna call? Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. The number, by the way, is 518-767-9315.

The Importance of Leaving a Review After Your Chimney or Masonry Service

When a Broadway show is being previewed, the director and actors – and everyone connected with the production – learn how to work out the kinks. They learn when audiences laugh or cry. Similarly, stand-up comedians change their punchlines based on audience reaction.

The Importance of Leaving a Review Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneyIt’s the same with Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. No, we’re not doing comedy or Broadway musicals, but we are interested in improving our work products and services.

And that’s where our customers come in.

It’s not an idle request.

We really do want to hear from you. The good and the bad. And the in-between.

Many companies say that, but we’re serious. So let’s review how reviews work.

You call us for service. Then we deliver it. Or perhaps we don’t.

In any case we want to hear about it.

Can a customer be “wrong”?

That sort of misses the point. It’s not really a question of right or wrong. It’s a matter of the customer’s perspective, and your feedback is invaluable.

So that means we want to hear from you: whether you are satisfied or outraged; whether we were early, or late, or on time; treated you courteously or not; whether we diagnosed or misdiagnosed your problem; or if we fixed your chimney problem or made it worse. We want to know if everything was perfect or a few things were imperfect.

We want to know if you received good value for your dollar.

We’ll take the good news with the bad, or the bad with the good – and everything in between. We’ll put on our thick skin and our listening ears.

How does all this help future customers?

Good customer feedback allows Northeastern Masonry & Chimney to improve practices and procedures so the next customer benefits. Let us offer a simple hypothetical example. Suppose we got to your house on a Tuesday, but it was supposed to be a Wednesday? Your feedback would force us to examine our scheduling protocols. Maybe you the customer actually said “Tuesday,” but meant “Wednesday.” No matter. Your feedback would be critical in helping us figure out a better communication system. Thus, a simple advance call to confirm time and date might have prevented a mix-up. Our feelings aren’t hurt. We also want to reward and recognize our technicians when they perform service that is above and beyond what was expected from you, the customer.

The point is, your perspective is not the same as ours. And, after all, your perspective is what’s overwhelmingly important here.

Agree?

There are other benefits to our receiving your customer reviews. If you have information concerning a particular product, we can pass that on to the supplier so that they too can learn important information about their product.

Finally, as you know, Northeastern Masonry & Chimney employs CSIA-certified professionals. As certified professionals, we are pleased to pass along the experience and views of our customers when it can improve health or safety or improve practices for our industry.

Help us improve upon our 35 years of experience in the Capital District, Central or Northern New York, the Hudson Valley or western Massachusetts. Tell us about your experience with our service by reviewing us via one of the online entities that specializes in this.

Just click on the Google+, Merchant Circle, Kudzu, or Yelp icons on our review page. We will be indebted to you for your honesty.

What to Consider When Hiring a Chimney Sweep

Despite popular culture, the chimney sweep you hire does not need to know how to spell “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Nor does your chimney sweep have to know how to sing “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from “Mary Poppins”.

More seriously, though, several factors come into play if you are considering the services of a professional chimney sweep.

What to Consider When Hiring a Chimney Sweep Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneyAvailability and Proximity

Naturally, you want someone who can serve you readily. Even if superior and highly qualified chimney sweeps are available in, say, Oregon or California, you’ll need to look closer to home.

But there’s another aspect associated with availability: does the firm you are dealing with have enough staffing capacity? You don’t want to be on a long waiting list for chimney sweep services.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney serves the Capital District, the Hudson Valley, Northern and Central New York and Western Massachusetts. We are proud of our record of chimney sweep service. We meet the criteria we have outlined: we are close enough to you, and we have the staff to do your job.

Credentials and Customer Satisfaction

It is wise to employ highly trained professionals. This is for your own benefit in terms of work quality but also for the sake of safety and efficiency.

What sort of credentials should you look for? For one, look for CSIA certification. The Chimney Safety Institute of America certifies technicians so that they have the skills and tools to clean your chimney properly.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney employs CSIA-certified professionals. Our sweeps adhere to rigorous industry standards that result in quality to our customers.

Other entities also provide assurance of quality. For example, Northeastern Masonry & Chimney experts are also trained in National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) standards and follow standards and recommendations of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). We keep abreast of the latest industry guidelines and recommendations. And our equipment matches the type of chimney we are cleaning, whether it’s a large masonry chimney, a furnace flue or a metal factory-built chimney.

Efficiency / Responsible

In plain English, you want chimney sweeps who are competent, efficient, and environmentally responsible. We perform a thorough and appropriate regimen of industry-recommended tasks. Brushable creosote and soot are removed carefully so as to avoid fireplace or chimney damage. Our cleaning even reaches into the elbows in factory-built chimneys. We also clean connector pipes, which can become separated if they were improperly sized or if inappropriate brushes or rods were used.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney removes soot and creosote from the smoke shelf and firebox as it becomes dislodged during cleaning. We use proven methods to assure that no soot or creosote escapes into your home. Our CSIA-certified technicians employ drop cloths, rug runners, high-speed vacuums, shoe covers and tarps over the fireplace to give you a mess-free cleaning.

Customer Testimonials

Let our 35 years of experience in the Capital District, Central or Northern New York, the Hudson Valley or western Massachusetts do the talking. Better yet, let our satisfied customers tell you about our quality.

Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney today at 518-767-9315. Then you can add your own testimonial for quality service soon!

What is a chimney sweeping log and why is a professional sweep better?

It’s only human nature to seek the easiest and least costly way of doing something. Such innovations are often, though not always, the mark of progress. Take the case of chimney sweeping, a traditionally dirty job, as any viewer of “Mary Poppins” can attest. Along came chimney sweeping logs, known to “clean” your chimney with little or no effort and very low cost.

What is a chimney sweeping log and why is a professional sweep better Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneySounds too good to be true – and we know how that typically ends up.

Please allow Northeastern Masonry & Chimney to chime in with some reasonable commentary on this somewhat controversial topic.

Firstly, what is a chimney sweeping log? It’s a log treated with minerals or chemicals designed to break down chimney build-up. All agree that creosote accumulation in the walls of your chimney or flue is not goo. It poses several health and safety risks, including the possibility of a chimney fire. However, note that – despite the various commercial names – none of these logs do any sweeping. They don’t grow wings and fly up into your chimney. Ever.

Do chimney sweeping logs actually work?

Well, it depends on what you mean by “work.”

Some of these products have been partially effective in breaking down creosote in chimneys. But there have not been definitive “before” and “after” comparisons or controlled studies to evaluate effectiveness.

If a log, or any passive device, is effective, it would have to be for a straight chimney without any bends or curves.

No matter how effective a chimney sweeping log might be, all experts end up saying you better add the human touch. Real-life professionals – chimney sweeps — have to take a look-see and scrub with steel brushes.

Even in the case of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) granting an endorsement for one of these products, the CSIA goes out of its way to point out: “For improved safety and home heating efficiency, CSIA recommends that all chimneys and vented appliances be inspected every year by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®.”

In addition, the CSIA goes on to note that a log “will not tell you if your chimney is blocked or has any kind of structural damage.” So, plain and simple, there’s no safe substitute for mechanical sweeping of a chimney.

Speaking of chimney blockages, that’s a key issue that a log can’t see or remedy.

A professional sweeping removes bird or rodent nests, leaves or twigs, or any other debris that may be hidden and lodged in your chimney system.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney technicians are trained to sweep properly. Additionally, our sweeps are CSIA-certified experts, and are members of the NYSCG (New York State Chimney Guild) and the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG). We also follow standards and recommendations of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney serves the Capital District, the Hudson Valley, Northern and Central New York and Western Massachusetts. We are proud of our record of chimney sweep service. Call us today at (518)767-9315 to make a clean sweep, and let logs be logs.

Ring in the New Year With a Cleaner and Safer Chimney

A New Year Chimney Sweeping Image - Albany NY - Northeastern Masonry & ChimneyThink of your house as a miniature Times Square. Imagine that at midnight the famous ball will slide down your chimney to herald the new year, 2017. It’s admittedly a corny and cheesy notion. It won’t happen, and it won’t be broadcast around the world. Bear with us. Humor us. Go a step further into the imagination. What preparations would be in order for this faux Times Square countdown? Your chimney and fireplace would need to be clean, free of obstruction. Your chimney and fireplace would have to be operating safely and efficiently. That’s a requirement even without the New Year’s Eve fantasy.

Perhaps in reality you will have guests to ring in the new year. You will almost certainly take advantage of the crackling wood fire in your fireplace or perhaps the advantages of a gas-fueled fire.

You will want you and your guests to have the safest and most enjoyable experience you can conjure up. (We will leave it up to you to supply noisemakers, libations, and appetizers.)

Oh. Before we say another word, let Northeastern Masonry & Chimney be the first to wish you a happy, safe, healthy, and rewarding new year.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney is pleased to share with our loyal friends and customers practical advice and tips for a safe and festive ringing in of the new year, complete with all the comforts of a cozy and warm hearth.

First, as we have noted in previous posts, don’t clutter and dirty your chimney by burning torn and crumpled holiday wrapping paper. Ink from some wrapping paper may give off toxic fumes. Paper burns quickly and produces a high flame, which can reach into the chimney and cause built-up creosote to catch fire. In addition, embers from burnt paper that escape from the top of a chimney can pose a fire hazard.

So, the obvious question is, what do the folks at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney recommend in terms of having a safe and clean chimney? We say it all the time: your annual fireplace and chimney inspection is the key. If you are concerned about creosote buildup or the formation of any combustible residues, get your chimney and venting systems inspected.

Our highly trained technicians follow standards and recommendations of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). If you have questions, call us at 518-767-9315.

Northeastern Masonry & Chimney serves the Capital District, the Hudson Valley, Northern and Central New York and Western Massachusetts. We are proud of our record of excellent service. We’ve satisfied thousands of customers over the course of many New Year’s Eves, and the days before and after.

So join us in taking a “cup o’ kindness” and sing a verse of “Auld Lang Syne” with us around the familiar warmth of a hearth.