Choose Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service for Your Chimney & Fireplace Repair Needs

In an ideal world, every homeowner with a chimney would have their systems cleaned and inspected annually. Unfortunately, that’s not always how things go. Sometimes, circumstances don’t allow us to do all of the home maintenance projects that we would like to do each year.

If you have fallen behind in your chimney maintenance, schedule an appointment with Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service. Our team of chimney technicians are all certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and have the experience and knowledge to get your chimney in working order.

Regular chimney inspections can uncover hidden problems with your chimney. Like any good preventive maintenance, chances are good that a chimney inspection will detect damage before it becomes noticeable to you, the homeowner. Reach out to us online or call us at 919-747-1859.

Two chimney technicians standing in a lift truck servicing a brick chimney

What Services Does Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service Offer?

Like any other part of your home, your chimney must receive proper care and maintenance. Unfortunately, many homeowners take their chimneys for granted and let them deteriorate. If you’ve neglected to maintain your chimney and fireplace system for many years, there’s a good chance that you’ll need some extensive repair work to make it safe to use.

At Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service, we offer a wide range of services to residents in Broadway and Raleigh. From regular maintenance, like chimney cleanings, to more specialized services, like a chimney cap repair or relining, we’ve got you fully covered.

Here’s what we can do for you:

Chimney Relining

The chimney liner is a protective tube that goes the length of the chimney. The primary purpose of a chimney liner is to contain combustion byproducts, like smoke and carbon monoxide, direct them out of the home safely, and protect the chimney from heat and corrosive gases.

Liners can deteriorate over time due to normal wear and tear, allowing cracks and gaps to form. This allows toxins, smoke, and heat to escape through those openings which then compromises your safety and puts your family at risk. We offer chimney relining options to customers with damaged liners and for chimneys with no liner at all.

Crown Repair

If your chimney had an arch nemesis, it would be water. Damage from water entry can lead to rusting, mold growth, and structural problems. A chimney crown is one of the first lines of defense your chimney has in its battle against the elements. It’s a large slab of concrete that sits at the top of your chimney – underneath the cap – and it diverts water away from the sides of the chimney.

Chimney crowns are usually made from concrete (although mortar is common in older chimneys), so they can crack after years of exposure to weather. Unless you spend a lot of time on your roof, you may not know if your crown has been damaged – and issues are typically uncovered during a chimney inspection. If your crown is cracked or crumbling, we can repair it and resurface it if the damage is extensive.

Firebox Repair

The firebox is the part of your chimney that holds that beautiful fire. Although it is made from fire-resistant materials like firebrick and/or refractory paneling, it still takes on a lot of heat that will cause it to break down eventually. The most common type of firebox damage we see is cracking in the bricks and gaps in the mortar that can allow fire to escape into nearby structures and potentially cause a chimney fire. No worries, though – we excel when it comes to firebox repair services.

Damper Repair/Replacement

Airflow is important to your fireplace’s efficiency. You can control how much air is getting into your chimney by opening and closing the damper – and they protect your home and firebox when your system isn’t in use.

That said, dampers are made out of metal like stainless steel and can rust if you have a chimney leak. And as dampers age, they can begin to malfunction and a repair or replacement is necessary to restore their function. If you have a throat damper, we might suggest replacing it with a more efficient top-sealing option if your system qualifies.

Chimney Cap Repair/Replacement

The chimney cap helps prevent water, debris, and animals from getting into the chimney. It sits at the top of the flue and covers the chimney opening – a very important component. Yet, because it’s exposed to the elements, chimney caps can get damaged or knocked off completely. In addition, caps that were poorly installed may not fit your chimney properly making it ineffective.

One of our chimney technicians can install a cap that is the right size and will keep your chimney system protected for the long haul.

Vinyl sided chimney with rusted chase cover and metal chimney cap before chase cover replacement

Chase Cover Replacement – Before

Vinyl sided chimney with rusted chase cover and metal chimney cap after chase cover replacement with new stainless steel chase cover

Chase Cover Replacement – After

What Are Common Chimney & Fireplace Issues?

Almost every chimney will require some sort of repair work at one point or another, even if you don’t use your fireplace on a regular basis. And, although each chimney is unique, most chimney systems are set up similarly, so there are certain issues that we see a lot.

Some of the most common problems we find during chimney inspections include:

  • Too much creosote. Creosote is a flammable substance that is produced when burning wood fires. It’s sticky and tar-like, and it clings to the chimney’s interior walls – and the more you have, the higher your risk is of experiencing a chimney fire. Creosote occurs in three stages, with stage 3 being the most dangerous.
  • There are signs of a chimney fire. Most homeowners expect chimney fires to be big and dramatic. The truth is sometimes the opposite, though – a chimney fire can burn slowly and go completely under the radar until an inspection. Signs of a chimney fire include cracked masonry, a warped chimney cap, honeycombed creosote, and roof damage.
  • There’s a blockage. When debris like leaves, twigs, and animal nests get into the chimney, it prevents proper airflow and causes smoke to back up into your home. An annual chimney cleaning by one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps can take care of blockages and obstructions.
  • Water damage. Cracks in the chimney’s masonry or liner can allow water to seep in, causing components of the chimney system to rust and potential structural issues to form. And eventually the damage to spread to further parts of your home, triggering damages and mold growth.
  • The masonry is deteriorating. As your chimney takes on Mother Nature over the years, the masonry can slowly deteriorate. Masonry that is compromised can lead to loose bricks, crumbling mortar, and chimney instability.
  • There’s smoke coming from the fireplace. If smoke is filling your living space, it’s definitely a sign that something is wrong. You may have a blocked flue or a damper problem, for instance. In some cases, smoke may be coming from your fireplace because it’s not warm enough when you start your fire. This is a small fix that can be corrected by preheating your fireplace by lighting a small roll of newspaper or a piece of cardboard and holding the burning end towards the top of your firebox.

How Do I Know When My Chimney Needs to Be Repaired?

Quick answer: Book yearly inspections with a certified chimney technician.

It’s not always easy to tell when there’s a problem with your chimney system which is why yearly inspections are so important. By the time you see signs of an issue, it’s likely been going on for some time. An annual inspection is a great way for you to stay on top of breakdowns and avoid pricey repair work.

Are there any warning signs I can look out for?

Definitely. And being aware of your chimney and how it’s functioning is never a bad thing! Here are some warning signs that indicate something may be wrong with your chimney and/or fireplace:

  • Smoke backfilling into a room
  • Difficulty starting a fire in the firebox
  • Water or moisture in the firebox
  • Bad smells
  • Musty or smoky smells
  • Dripping noises inside the chimney
  • Bricks flaking or coming apart

If you notice any of the above warning signs, you should call a chimney professional. Water is especially destructive to your chimney system, so it’s critical to take action right away if you suspect water damage or leaks. We’re here to help. Call or book online with us today.

After Picture of Restored Flashing on brick chimney

What Are the Signs of a Chimney Fire?

The idea that a fire has occurred in your home without you knowing about it is scary. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for a chimney technician to find signs of a previously undetected chimney fire during an inspection. Slow-burning fires tend to be quiet and eventually burn out without intervention, but they do leave behind some evidence.

If you notice the following, reach out to the crew here at Mr. Smokestack at 919-747-1859 to schedule an appointment for an inspection:

  • Flakes of creosote on the floor of the firebox and around the roof
  • Puffed-up areas of creosote or pieces that look like honeycomb
  • Broken or cracked pieces of flue tiles
  • Burned or melted roofing material
  • Warped metal chimney parts (damper, flue liner, or cap)
  • A discolored or disfigured chimney cap (or chase cover if you have a prefabricated chimney)
  • Cracks in the masonry on the exterior of the chimney
  • Heat damage to roof structures like the shingles, television antenna, and cable dish

When’s the Best Time to Book Chimney Repairs?

A lot of homeowners wait until the burning season is in full swing to call us for repairs because that’s when they use their fireplaces the most. Yet, the best time to schedule an inspection and repair work is actually during the spring and summer months before our schedule fills up. This gives you flexibility to get the appointment times you prefer and you won’t have to wait to use your fireplaces when fall arrives.

That said, chimneys don’t care about schedules, and issues can pop up any time during the year. Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service performs chimney repairs year round. If you notice a change in your chimney’s performance, don’t hesitate to give us a shout.

White brick chimney after repairs with new black flashing and new black metal chase cover and chimney cap

How Much Do Chimney Repairs Cost?

As much as we wish we could give you an estimate upfront, we really need to know more about what’s happening with your chimney before we can provide that. The cost of repairs can change depending on what type of work needs to be done, and we don’t want to give you an estimate that doesn’t reflect the final price.

Think about it – you wouldn’t buy a used car without taking a good look under the hood, right? It wouldn’t make sense to spend $1000 on a car only for you to end up spending $2000 on a new transmission.

You should be wary of any chimney service provider that offers a reduced or fixed rate for repairs. These are often ploys to upsell you on more expensive repairs or replacements down the line. We don’t work that way – one of our chimney technicians will inspect your chimney and give you an estimate based on their findings. You can also call us and speak to a member of our customer service team or simply reach out online.

Are Chimney Repairs Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?

Well… sometimes. Depending on the specifics of your homeowner’s insurance policy, you may be able to get repairs partially or fully covered. If you’re not sure what your policy states, it’s worth looking into.

Most insurance policies provide coverage in the case of a sudden occurrence, like a lightning strike, natural disaster, or collision. On the other hand, insurance companies usually don’t cover expenses if the repairs are the result of wear and tear or neglect. For instance, they may not cover chimney fire damages if you haven’t booked a sweeping or inspection every year.

When you file a claim for chimney repairs, you should expect the insurance company to request proof of maintenance. Be sure to keep up with annual chimney inspections and sweepings, and hold on to any receipts and reports, so you’re ready for anything.

How Can I Prevent Chimney Damage?

A lot of times, the chimney damage we identify is due to something that was preventable or could have been addressed earlier. With a good maintenance routine, you can stop a growing problem in its tracks. Here’s what you can do to cut back on repair costs:

  • Schedule an inspection once a year. The CSIA and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggest having your chimney inspected at least once a year (or more if you use your fireplace a lot). Don’t skip inspections if you don’t use your fireplace as you can still run into issues, like animal invasion and weather-related damages. An inactive chimney is more attractive to critters because they can nest and breed uninterrupted.
  • Get your chimney cleaned annually. Be sure to have your chimney swept every year. Debris and creosote buildup can lead to chimney fires, so keeping the chimney clean is crucial to your safety.
  • Only use seasoned wood. Firewood that has been left out to dry for six months is known as seasoned wood. Only use seasoned wood in your fireplace – it burns hotter, cleaner, and more efficiently. Avoid burning treated, unseasoned, or painted wood. These types of firewood can release harmful chemicals and lead to creosote buildup.
  • Take care of repairs. Some repairs can wait a bit before you get to them, but don’t wait too long. If a chimney technician finds a problem during the inspection, they’ll discuss your options with you – including a timeline. Don’t put off a damaged liner, deteriorated brick, or excessive creosote buildup. Those issues are safety risks.
  • Hire a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. The chimney industry is self-regulated, meaning there are no federal organizations that oversee chimney service companies. What does that mean exactly? It means that if someone with little to no experience wants to start up a chimney service company, there’s nothing preventing them from doing so. The best way to guarantee you’re hiring a trustworthy professional is to look at their certifications, check customer reviews, and verify that they’re registered with the Better Business Bureau.

Our Chimney Experts Are Here to Help

Don’t wait to get chimney repairs resolved. Save money and time by attacking chimney damage head-on. For nearly 20 years, Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service has provided expert chimney and fireplace repair work for residents in Broadway and Durham. Call us now at 919-747-1859 or schedule an appointment online. We’d love to hear from you.


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