Chimney Repair/Rebuilding Services in the York & Durham Regions

working in winter

If you require chimney repair/rebuilding services in the York or Durham Region, look no further than Aaran/Aashton Chimney Sweeps. Our staff has completed the necessary training to understand how your chimney works and to make any necessary repairs to ensure it’s functioning properly.

Chimney Maintenance FAQs

The most important thing you can do to prevent the need for costly chimney repairs is to properly maintain your chimney. We also offer chimney inspections and chimney cleaning/sweeping services for your peace of mind.

We often get questions from our clients relating to chimney care and maintenance. We encourage you to view our most frequently asked questions and answers below or to contact us should you not find the specific answer you’re seeking. We’d be happy to help!

Q. What should and shouldn’t be burned in a chimney?

A. Because wet, sappy woods such as pine and spruce often develop more creosote build-up, they should be avoided if at all possible. We recommend you burn a hardwood like oak, hickory, cherry or maple. You may use birch or pine wood to get your fire going, but be sure to split it into smaller kindling first.

It’s best to only use wood that has been split, stacked properly, covered and left to dry out at least six months — if the ends aren’t cracked, the wood’s not dry enough. A wood moisture meter can be very useful in telling if your wood is dry enough. You can find these affordably priced at most hardware stores. The maximum recommended moisture content for burning is 18-20%.

Don’t burn painted woods that may give off toxic fumes or plywood that is usually put together with glue. A small amount of paper is okay to start a fire, but avoid glossy paper or paper with colour print. Large amounts of paper, such as Christmas wrapping, shouldn’t be burned because it can create a large flame that may reach your chimney’s creosote deposits and start a chimney fire. * Remember, the top of the flame should always be visible.

Q. Why do I need a chimney cap?

A. Chimney caps are necessary for many reasons, including:

  • They keep out undesirable weather elements– Chimney caps keep out rain and snow, which could cause rust and expensive repairs. Moisture is your chimney’s enemy because when you mix it with the sulfur-laden soot already in your chimney, it becomes sulfuric acid that can attack the inner walls of your chimney’s flue and mortar joints – again leading to expensive repairs.
  • They keep out unwanted pests– Chimney caps keep out birds, bats, squirrels and other animals. This is important because these types of animals often make nests inside chimneys, which can result in air flow blockage and/or a carbon monoxide (CO) leak into your home (a very common problem).
  • They prevent backdraft– Where certain wind conditions exist, chimney caps can discourage downdrafts.
  • They reduce sparks– The wire mesh found on a chimney cap can help reduce the amount of sparks and large ash that are normally blown into the air and onto rooftops, which could catch a roof on fire.

Q. How do I know what type of chimney cap to get?

A. We recommend you get either a stainless steel or copper professional-grade chimney cap. The caps found in your local home improvement store may not be considered professional-grade. Aluminum or galvanized caps can be taken off easily by animals and may even rust over time, leaving ugly stains on your chimney.

Q. Is there anything I can do to make my fireplace more efficient?

A. Yes. We recommend installing a wood-burning insert to increase your fireplace’s BTUs (British thermal units).

Q. With the rising cost of heating, is there anything I can do to minimize heat loss in the area of my fireplace?

A. Because most fireplaces/chimneys were originally built with a cast-iron damper, they’re susceptible to warping and rusting over time because they don’t seal well. You can reduce your energy costs by installing a top-sealing damper that will seal it off from the top, preventing cold air from entering your chimney. To test your damper’s effectiveness, close it on a cold day while your fireplace isn’t in use. If you feel a cold draft around its opening, you could be wasting money on a damper that isn’t sealed properly.

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