We concentrate most of our efforts on cleaning and repairing masonry and prefab fireplaces in Memphis and surrounding areas. We also clean and repair wood and gas stove inserts. A licensed and certified chimney sweep, a member of the Better Business Bureau and we have workers' compensation for all Chimney Doctor employees. Memphis has been our home for over 28 years and we have a reputation of being honest and fair to our customers.
All chimneys and fireplaces should be cleaned by a professional chimney sweep on an annual basis, as recommended by The National Fire Protection Association. Over long periods of time, soot builds up inside your chimney and can potentially ignite. Having your fireplace and chimney cleaned by a professional, certified chimney sweep will eliminate that hazard. Cleaning your chimney regularly will also improve the efficiency of your wood burning system and reduce unwanted odors. Using our experience and range of state-of-the-art equipment, we will clean your chimney system in the most effective and efficient manner possible. The Chimney Doctor also provides professional chimney inspections, and we will examine your chimney to identify any structural damages or imperfections that make your chimney and fireplace unsafe, creating a potential hazard for you, your family and your home.
The sour, sickly odor is the smell of creosote. The solution is to call a chimney professional to clean your chimney and install a chimney cap to prevent water from entering and reacting with the creosote. Your chimney professional can also recommend a good chimney deodorant to handle any remaining odor, which has been absorbed into the masonry.
Slow smoldering fires and/or the use of unseasoned wood can create "cool" smoke and weak draft. Under these conditions the smoke condenses and sticks to the chimney's interior, firming highly flammable creosote.
Is your damper closed? If it is open and the smoking continues, open a nearby window a crack for a minute or two until the fire is going well - then you can close it again. If it just smokes when you first light the fire, it may be because the flue is cold. Did you warm the flue with a burning rolled-up newspaper held in the damper region? (If not, that usually works.) If the chimney continues to smoke, call a chimney professional. Animal nests or an accumulation of soot and creosote may be clogging your chimney. Or it may have additional problems.
How to avoid chimney fires?
Creosote is the main cause of chimney fires. A buildup of creosote is highly combustible and can result in a chimney fire. To minimize creosote:
Don't allow the fire to smolder
Contact The Chimney Doctor to professionally clean your chimney regularly
Don't close the damper. If you have a fireplace with glass doors, close the doors and the vents. If you have a woodstove, close the doors and the air inlets.
If flames are visible at the chimney top, hose down the roof, but NOT the chimney. Spraying water on a hot chimney could damage it.
Call a chimney professional before using it again. Even a small chimney fire can damage the chimney making it unsafe to use.