Frequently Asked Questions

I keep hearing about waterproofing your chimney. Is this something that I really need to consider here in North Carolina?

Whether you are located in North Carolina or not, if you have rain, wind, extreme sun, snow and ice, then damage to your chimney will eventually happen if you don’t treat it with a good material designed to protect your brick and mortar from water. However, it still needs to allow your brick to exhaust smoke and fumes through the chimney wall. You can find more information on the waterproofing page located within this website as well as at the ChimneySaver website. We believe that every chimney should be waterproofed to prevent freeze/thaw, which causes early deterioration.

We keep getting smoke in the house, and can’t figure out why it’s coming into the house. Can you help?

We sure can. There are several reasons a fireplace might smoke:

  • Flue too small for the fireplace
  • An obstruction
  • Smoke chamber too large
  • A secondary chimney in your home – such as a bathroom fan, dryer, open window or cold-starting chimney

Once we inspect the appliance we can determine the exact reason for the smoke problem and get it fixed.

It seems that it gets harder and harder to start a fire some evenings. Is there something we can do to make it easier to light a fire?

Cold-starting chimneys can be hard to light. Make a paper torch to warm up the flue, by holding it up past the damper. The fire should light easier afterwards.

What is the best way to store firewood before using it?

While this might seem to be a very simple answer, keeping firewood under a cover of some sort is the best way to store it before using. This can be as simple as placing a tarp over the wood to building a woodshed of some sort. You can also use a part of a barn or garage as well. Just keep it covered.

I have heard you should split wood right before using. Is this right?

Split firewood 1 year ahead for optimum burn.

pile of firewood

How do I know when wood is dry and ready to burn?

One way is to take a look at the chainsaw cut on the logs. Dry wood cracks in the ends of the log at the chainsaw cut. Another way is to contact us to come do a moisture test to confirm your wood is ready to burn.

Where can I get more information on relining a chimney? We have been told we need to do this, but I’m not sure.

In many old chimneys there is no liner at all and there are times that repair is not possible without installing a new liner. If this is for a wood-burning fireplace or stove, here is some detailed information in regard to a stainless steel chimney liner that is one of the best choices a homeowner can make. Here is the information if you need to reline a chimney for a gas or oil furnace.

Call us today or click here to schedule your appointment online!


Contact us for further information or to set up an appointment for an Environmental Chimney Service to make your home safe.