Inspection & Repair Of Your Chimney Damper

Chimney dampers are an important part of your chimney’s anatomy. They typically aren’t seen and their small stature often causes people to underestimate their importance, but the truth is your home and fireplace would suffer a lot without a damper in place! Learn more about all that dampers can do for you by reading below, then turn to us if you need yours repaired or replaced. The certified sweeps at Mason’s Chimney Service are ready to serve you!

The Function Of A Damper

So, what does the chimney damper do? Well, they serve a big purpose when your fireplace is not in use. Imagine trying to heat your home in the cold winter months, only to have cold drafts constantly swooping through your living room. That doesn’t seem very cozy, and we’re guessing your heating bills will increase quite a bit, too.

Luckily, for those with a damper in place, harsh outdoor winds won’t have easy access to your home anytime soon! The damper blocks this air from swooping down your chimney and entering your home, allowing you to enjoy a warm evening indoors, no matter how cold it is outside. Ready to turn down the heat and build a fire? No problem! Dampers easily open, so that smoke and other toxins can escape whenever a fire is lit. You’ll be good to go all winter long!

But that’s not all… Dampers also help out homes in the warmer months! If you’re running your air conditioning all summer, the last thing you want is that nice, cool air to escape out your chimney. Dampers seal things up so that your home will remain a comfortable place to relax on even the hottest days!

Throat Or Top-End?

In the damper world, there are two main types that we come into contact with: throat and top-end. So, which one is the better fit for your system? Well, throat dampers were always the standard, and they are the ones we’ll typically find in older fireplaces. These are located just above the firebox, and they do a good job keeping your home protected. We can repair them, as needed, but if a replacement is in order, we recommend upgrading to a top-end damper.

Top-end dampers are fitted at the top of your chimney and they seal it off better than ever with a rubberized gasket that will close things off nice and tight. Throat dampers are known to rust, thus inhibiting their ability to keep out winds and cold air. With top-end dampers, that’s not something you’ll have to worry about! Along with this, they help the chimney cap keep animals and moisture out of your system. You’ll conserve more energy and save that much more on your month-to-month bills. There’s no doubt that it’s the obvious choice for your home!

We Can Serve You!

At Mason’s Chimney Service, we’ve got the tools you need to ensure your chimney and fireplace is running great year after year. Learn more by visiting us online, then give us a call today to set up an appointment. When you count on us, you count on the best!

Published by Anastasia Ridgeway and tagged with: Tags: , , | No Comments

Firestarting Options

As the temperatures outside continue to drop, fireplaces are once again being used as a source of heat and comfort in our homes. However, this also leads to the age old debate: what is the best fire starter?

While everyone has their favorite method for starting a fire, there are very few truly “right” or “wrong” ways to do it. Below are several different fire starting options. This year, branch out from your favorite to try a new one!


  • Fire starting logs. Fire starting logs are composite chemicals logs designed to ignite quickly and burn for long periods of time. Popular brands like Duraflame can often be found at most grocery stores. While fire starting logs provide a fast and easy way to start your fire they do contain chemicals; make sure the damper is completely open to provide proper ventilation. Likewise, if you are planning on cooking with your fire make sure the fire starting log has completely burned off to avoid chemical transfer onto the food.
  • Fatwood kindling. If you like the ease of fire starting logs but don’t like the chemicals, try fatwood kindling. Made from the pine stumps left over from logging, fatwood kindling ignites quickly and can burn for up to 20 minutes, giving your seasoned firewood plenty of time to ignite and begin to burn on its own. Because it is natural wood, fatwood kindling may take several minutes to fully ignite before it burns hot enough to light other wood.
  • Dryer lint. Re-purpose two things at once by using cardboard tubes and dryer lint to create your own fire starters! Set aside your dryer lint and pack it into the cardboard tubes left over from paper towels or toilet paper; while the tubes should be full, avoid over packing them so there is still room for oxygen to circulate. Because lint ignites and burns quickly, two or three rolls may be needed to successfully start a fire.
  • Wine corks. If your family is regular wine drinkers, you can re-purpose the corks to create easy fire starters! Simply keep the corks in a sealed jar with rubbing alcohol; when needed, toss a couple corks onto the kindling and light! While the cork jar can double as a decorative piece, like all fire starters it should be stored away from the fireplace for safety reasons.
  • Fire starter gel. These sticky gels are similar to lighter fluid and can be applied directly to the firewood. When lit, they burn intensely for several minutes, making them a fast and effective way to start a fire. However, because they are a chemical product it is important to follow the same rules as when using fire starting logs; likewise, some homeowners do not like the chemical smell they can create.
  • Egg cartons. Use leftover materials from around the house to create your own compact fire starters in an egg carton. Fill the compartments of a cardboard egg carton with combustible materials such as sawdust, dryer lint, or shredded paper. Next, pour melted wax from candle nubs or broken crayons over each compartment. Once the wax cools, the compartments can be broken apart into a dozen compact fire starters.