Troubleshooting & Smoke Investigation
Chimney systems might seem somewhat simplistic, but they’re actually quite complex. For this reason, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of a smoke problem, performance issue, or other challenge, and even more difficult to find a solution. But if you can’t sit down in front of your fireplace or stove and enjoy a warming and relaxing experience, what good is it?
Here at The Chimney Doctor, we know how discouraging it can be when you have a problem with your fireplace, stove, or chimney, and you don’t know what to do to fix it — but we can help.
We specialize in troubleshooting and diagnostics and will work diligently to find a solution to your problem, make the necessary repairs or adjustments, and help you prevent future problems down the line. So if you live in Grand Junction or a neighboring community and you’ve just about had it with your hearth, rest assured, The Chimney Doctor will restore your system and your enjoyment of it.
We’re certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and maintain membership with the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), and we bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to each and every problem we face. No matter what issue you’re facing with your chimney and appliance, with The Chimney Doctor, you don’t have to face it alone.
These are some common problems we address for our customers:
- performance issues
- draft problems
- smoke problems
- excessive creosote buildup
- chimney leaks
No matter what issue you’re experiencing, we’ll get to the bottom of it and provide a solution that’s long-lasting and effective.
Performance, Efficiency & Smoke Problems
Smoke, efficiency, performance, and creosote problems can have multiple causes:
- high winds
- insufficient make-up air
- a chimney that’s too short
- an incompatible flue type or size (for the attached appliance)
- damaged damper
- missing chimney cap
- damaged flashing
- improperly installed appliance
- poor fireplace/chimney design
- flue obstruction
- crown or masonry damage
- burning wet, green, or unseasoned wood
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, we’ll check:
- The compatibility of the appliance and the flue — In order to achieve proper draft and vent smoke and byproducts quickly and efficiently, the flue needs to be appropriately sized for the fireplace opening or size of the appliance. If the fireplace opening or appliance is too big for the flue or the flue is too large for the appliance, you may experience draft issues, as well as smoke problems, excessive creosote buildup, or poor system performance. If this is the cause of your issues, some possible solutions include chimney relining, the installation of a new appliance, or the installation of a smoke guard.
- The flue and smoke chamber — Likewise, if your flue or the smoke chamber just below it is in bad condition or blocked, the passage of smoke could be slowed, and you could find that smoke wafting back into your home. Flue and smoke chamber damage and blockage could also be responsible for excessive creosote buildup and poor system performance. If a damaged or blocked flue or smoke chamber is behind your issues, we may suggest cleaning your system, relining or repairing your flue, repairing the smoke chamber with ChamberCoat, or restoring your system with the Ahren-Fire Fireplace Restoration system.
- The damper — The damper, which is just above your fireplace, is opened when the fireplace is in use (to allow proper ventilation) and closed when it isn’t (to prevent downdrafts and heat loss). But if the damper is broken or stuck, it may not be opening or closing fully, resulting in smoke problems, performance issues, heat loss, and inefficiency. The good news is that the issue can be quickly and affordably resolved with the installation of a new top-mounted damper.
- The chimney cap —One of the main roles of the chimney cap is to prevent energy loss and wind gusts. But if the cap is missing or you’re in a high-wind area, you may experience downdrafts. To eradicate this problem, we may simply need to install a Vacustack chimney cap, a cap specifically designed to solve wind-related issues.
- The installation of the appliance —A lot of performance, safety, and efficiency problems can be traced back to improper appliance installation. Are you confident your appliance was installed correctly? If not, we’ll make sure of it.
- The design and construction of the fireplace and chimney — Everything from poor and inefficient performance to smoke issues, creosote problems, draft issues, and a low-heat producing fire can be traced back to the design and construction of the chimney system. If this is the issue for your system, we may need to extend or rebuild the chimney, reline the chimney, rebuild the fireplace, install an insert, or install the Ahren-Fire Fireplace Restoration system. This all-in-one system has been proven to eradicate a whole host of performance, safety, and efficiency issues.
- The air supply — Your hearth system relies on adequate combustion or make-up air in order to function properly, feed the appliance, and safely remove smoke and byproducts. But if inadequate air supply is making your fireside experience inefficient, unsafe, and unpleasant, we can help. Installing an Enervex chimney fan may be all you need to do to improve appliance performance and achieve proper draft.
Chimney leaks can be very challenging to deal with and can be especially frustrating because of how quickly damage can occur and spread to other areas of the home. But if water is your problem, we can help.
Most commonly, we trace leaks back to the chimney cap, the crown or chase-top flashing, the masonry of the chimney, or the flashing. Wherever and however water is getting into your chimney system, you can count on our team to identify the entry point quickly and make the necessary repairs to stop the leak and prevent future leaks.
We install chimney caps, repair and replace flashing, repair and rebuild crowns, replace chase-top flashings, install top-mounted dampers, and waterproof masonry. Our chimney leak investigation and repair services are comprehensive and designed to provide you with everything you need to win the battle against water.
You Can Trust Our Expertise & Experience
If you’re having issues with your chimney and fireplace, stove, or insert, give The Chimney Doctor a call at 970-234-3330 ASAP. We’ll fully investigate the issue, identify potential causes, and come up with an action plan for restoring your system. Give us a call today or fill out our online appointment request form and let our experienced and courteous professionals help!