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chimney cleaning services

Professional Chimney Maintenance

Valley Chimney is your expert choice for chimney maintenance.

We are your trusted resource for chimney maintenance in the West Chicago suburbs. Living in this beautiful region, it’s crucial to understand the importance of regular chimney maintenance. With our unpredictable weather, chimneys play a vital role in keeping your home safe and warm, but they also suffer more wear and tear throughout the year.

Did you know that neglecting maintenance can lead to issues like creosote buildup and structural damage? At Valley Chimney, we’re here to be your guide, providing valuable insights into expert chimney care. Our chimney sweep professionals are dedicated to sharing knowledge on preventive measures, chimney cleaning, fireplace health, and ensuring your chimney does not become a fire safety hazard. Let us be your partner in creating a safer, cozier home.

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Chimney Maintenance Services

Chimney Chase Cover Replacement and Installation

Valley Chimney is your expert choice for replacing chimney chase covers and installing new custom chase covers.

It’s a fact of home ownership – most chimney chase covers rust out and need replacing.

The chase cover is the piece of metal that covers the entire top surface of your chimney housing and extends over the exterior edges of your siding. Chase covers can be made of copper or stainless steel, but more often than not galvanized steel is used to keep costs down. Just a note that a chimney cap or chimney cover is the smaller piece that covers the flue opening, preventing pests and rain from entering down your flue but letting air and the smoke out when necessary.

When the chase cover starts to rust, it might start dripping rust stained water onto your exterior chimney siding, creating an unpleasant dripping eyesore for the neighborhood to stare at. A chase cover serves a more important purpose than just keeping the top of your chimney pretty. Your chase cover protects the inside of the flue and chimney by sealing in some heat and sealing out the weather.

Chase covers are standard on pre-fabricated/manufactured fireplaces. Most are installed with galvanized metal that rusts after this coating wears off. A battered and rusted chase cover can lead to moisture problems and mold growth in the framed chase that supports and hides your fireplace and chimney system. As with other fireplace and chimney problems, catching it early will cost less and help prevent avoidable safety issues and costly interior repairs.

Many homeowners in suburban Chicago choose Valley Chimney to replace chimney chase covers. We install custom-built chase covers from one piece of metal, usually vinyl-coated sheet metal, but we can also install stainless steel or copper, and we fit them individually for your specific chimney. We ensure that there are no low spots, that water won’t pool and puddle on top of the chimney chase and that the seal is strong and water tight. Depending on the condition of your chimney cap and chimney cover(s), we might re-install them or suggest replacing those too.

To see our western Chicago suburbs chase cover installations, visit our Before & After gallery.

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Fireplace Draft Problem Analysis

We can determine why your fireplace is smoking and analyze your draft problems.
We understand the frustration in a smoke filled house. You just wanted a nice quiet evening by the fire and instead you wound up smoking the family room out – again. There are some simple tips to avoid backpuffing from your fireplace. But, if the simple tips don’t work, we recommend bringing in a professional like Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration to assess, analyze and fix your draft problems.

Why Does My Fireplace Smoke?
There are a number of reasons why your fire smokes into your home rather than up your chimney. Whether you have tight home construction, a leaky or poorly built chimney, crooked pipe layout, a blocked passage, air pressure issues, over-dry firewood and/or seasonal changes, we can analyze your drafting issues and make recommendations to get your fire blowing back up your chimney, possibly more efficiently than before.

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Glass Door Installation

We can install fireplace glass doors to help conserve your home’s energy.
Installing fireplace glass doors doesn’t only improve the heating efficiency, safety, and design of your fireplace; but also helps conserve your home’s energy.

After lighting a fire, air continues to travel up the flue because the damper is open, causing an updraft. This draft is equivalent to running 3 bathroom exhaust fans. Without glass doors in place, the draft can only be stopped if the chimney cools down to a lower temperature than your home or if you close the damper.

Instead of waiting for the fire to die down, you can close the doors and carry on with your night. Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration can install a fresh new set of fireplace glass doors which, and when they’re shut, it will prevent unwanted drafts and help with unexplained smoke and CO alarms.

We measure and quote for customized Rainbow-style doors from Hearth Craft and handle the entire process from start to finish to ensure your glass doors are the right fit. There are many options and price points to choose from, and you get to pick the trim and glass finish. Building and shipment typically takes about 2 weeks.

If you’re interested in installing fireplace glass doors for your Chicago area home, contact Valley Chimney today!

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Rain Cover, Top Mount Damper & Spark Screen Installation

We install stock or custom chimney rain covers, top mounted dampers and spark screens for your home.
If you are considering some upgrades to your fireplace and chimney systems this year, we recommend talking to a Certified Chimney Sweep®. With years of experience, we can advise on the most efficient and cost effective solutions for your chimney upgrade. We can also advise on the best quality chimney products and can usually offer comparable solutions to the big box hardware store.

If your chimney is open right now and you don’t have animals living in there already, you’ve got a combination of options to consider protecting your chimney from:

  • Moisture
  • Debris
  • Animals
  • Sparks

To prevent damage you need to keep rainwater and moisture out of your chimney. The remedy is simple, a rain cover for your chimney! Adding a spark screen or bird/squirrel deterrent might also suffice to ward off animals and minimize risk associated with sparks. A top-sealing damper can not only assist with pest deterrence, but could make your fire more efficient.

If you have a chimney moisture problem your Certified Chimney Sweep® might recommend a full size chimney cap to cover not just the chimney opening, but the entire chimney crown. Speak with our team to learn what solutions are available to improve your chimney health.

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Masonry Chimney Repair & Rebuild Services

Specializing in masonry chimney repair, as well as full chimney rebuilds in the Western Chicago suburbs.
Chimneys and fireplaces undergo significant wear and tear, and it’s possible for them to require chimney repairs without your knowledge. Damage can be caused by numerous factors, such as water leaks or construction-related issues. Valley Chimney offers reliable and professional masonry chimney repair services in the Chicago area.

If you have an older home in the Chicagoland suburbs and the chimney has not been cared for in a while, there is a good chance that the elements of the seasons and seasonal weather changes have deteriorated the exposed part of the chimney walls, the chimney cap and/or the connections where the structure and roof meet.

If you’re wondering whether your chimney needs repair, we have helpful information on the top masonry chimney repair services in your area.

How Do I Know if My Chimney Needs to be Repaired?
We receive this question a lot and for a good reason. Valley Chimney is one of the leading local chimney repair companies in Chicago’s western areas, meaning we have the best chimney repair answers for you.

To determine if you require masonry chimney repair services, take a look at our list of questions provided below.

  • Does your fireplace emit a foul odor?
  • Does your chimney or fireplace smell like the drippings from your outdoor BBQ grill?
  • Is there a powdery white substance on the outside of your masonry chimney?
  • Looking up at the exterior of your chimney, are the bricks cracking?
  • Does your chimney leak?
  • Do you hear water dripping inside the chimney?

We can’t diagnose your chimney problems without coming out and taking a look for ourselves, but if you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, you should call a local chimney sweep or a mason trained and certified in chimney repair to come out and inspect your home.

Find the Best Masonry Chimney Repair Company Near Me
Great news! You just found the best masonry chimney repair company in Chicago’s west suburbs. Valley Chimney has been serving areas like NapervilleOswegoPlainfieldAurora, and more since 1978.

We offer reliable chimney repair services that leave our customers satisfied and safe. You can check out what our previous customers had to say about our chimney repair services by viewing our testimonials. If you are still curious check out one of our masonry chimney repair projects before & after.

We are the best masonry chimney repair company because we constantly update skills, techniques, and have the latest chimney masonry equipment. Our goal is to reduce chimney fire hazards and be your Chimney Sweep for Life.

Some chimneys hold up for years, some do not last as long. One thing that makes Valley Chimney great is our certified chimney professionals. Our team can likely pinpoint the age or building style of your chimney as they drive into your subdivision or neighborhood in the western Chicago suburbs. We’ve inspected thousands of chimneys and been on thousands of roofs in the Chicago suburbs and can identify the problem (or impending signs of future problems) as soon as we arrive at your home.

If you are not local to Valley Chimney the best masonry chimney repair company for you is a local chimney sweep or a mason trained and certified in chimney repair.

Why Masonry Chimney Repairs are Important
Masonry chimney repairs are important for a handful of reasons including the following.

  • Ensures the structural integrity of the chimney
  • Prevents potential collapses or accidents
  • Maintain proper ventilation and prevent moisture from entering the chimney
  • Reduce the threat of chimney fires
  • Increases the longevity of your chimney

Investing in professional masonry chimney repairs ensures a functional and safe chimney, providing peace of mind for you and your family. Chimneys are often a place homeowners forget about. If you find this to be true for you and your family, do not worry. Valley Chimney is available to offer expert chimney services, including masonry chimney repairs, chimney waterproofing, and chimney inspections.

Valley Chimney Offers Professional Masonry Chimney Repair Services
Valley Chimney Sweep and Restoration is proud to both hold the title of longest-running continually Certified Chimney Sweep® in the United States and one of the founders of the Illinois Chimney Sweep Guild.

Since 1978, we have serviced over 40,000 chimneys for over 40 years throughout 5 counties. We have provided a wide range of professional chimney services. Including masonry chimney repair.

Valley Chimney is a reliable chimney repair provider, ensuring high-quality and professional solutions for your needs. Whether it’s repairing cracks, replacing damaged bricks, or fixing mortar joints, Valley Chimney’s team of skilled professionals will ensure that your chimney is restored to its optimal condition.

If you need chimney repair services, feel free to contact us either by phone (630) 553-5995 or online today.

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Chimney Tuckpointing

Repairing the old damaged masonry mortar joints on your masonry chimney is our specialty!

What is Tuckpointing?
Tuckpointing is the process of removing old damaged mortar and repairing the chimney by replacing with new, fresh mortar in the masonry mortar joints on rock masonry blocks, stone or bricks. When done correctly, the new mortar will provide strong, water-resistant joints and match the existing masonry texture and color. Steps to proper tuckpointing:

  • Ground or route out old mortar at a consistent depth
  • Fill in base mortar in new grooves
  • Cut thin strips in base mortar to form grooves
  • Fill grooves with color matched mortar

This work is best done by a Certified Chimney Sweep®. Chimney sweeps are not regulated and anyone can claim to be a chimney sweep. However, choosing someone that has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America ensures you are working with a professionally trained chimney sweep.

How Long Does Chimney Masonry Mortar Last?
If you’ve been told by a professional chimney sweep that you need some tuckpointing done, you are most likely wondering why. Hopefully they gave you a good answer and you are just double checking here.

Masonry work requires routine maintenance. A good masonry chimney can hold up well for 100+ years, if it is annually inspected, occasionally sealed, and usually remains dry throughout the year. However, you probably haven’t lived in your house for 100 years nor do you know the maintenance of the previous owners. Sometimes home inspectors do not do thorough chimney inspections so you may not have learned about chimney troubles during the home inspection process.

If you live in the western Chicago suburbs, your masonry work has the worst of the weather. Not only does it get bitter cold with strong winds of Illinois, like it does further north, but the drastic flux of temperature (with some rain, sleet, snow and sometimes hot sun thrown in) during the spring and autumn months is the real burden on your chimney’s structure. This up and down weather is what wears away the mortar on the chimney and will cause the need for tuckpointing.

Preventative Chimney Maintenance
Annual chimney cleaning and inspection (we can’t say this enough) is very important. Not only does your chimney sweep inspect your chimney, but they log any issues – including the progression of any potential cracks and concerns – and will advise you as to normal wear-and-tear versus serious safety concerns. Preventative chimney maintenance can save you money by recommending repairs sooner than later.

The alternative to tuckpointing is replacing a chimney and that is certainly not a less expensive option. However, if you don’t yet require tuckpointing, you could avoid it by maintaining and keeping your chimney in tip top condition.

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Chimney Damper Repair

Creating a more efficient fireplace by repairing or replacing your chimney damper.

What is a Chimney Damper?
In a flue, a chimney damper closes off the fireplace from letting hot or cold air in or out of the home. It remains closed and hopefully sealed when the fireplace is not in use. When you first start a fire, you open the damper all the way. The chimney and flue will heat up and a natural convection process will take over. At this point, advanced firemakers might slightly close the flue damper to minimize heat escape.

Throat Damper:
This traditional type of damper is found in brick and stone fireplaces just above the firebox. There is a iron or steel frame with a plate that opens by pushing a handle or turning a knob. It closes but not usually tightly. Some throat dampers are either open or closed, while others can be adjusted once a fire is started.

Top Sealing Damper:
Technology improvements have led to a range of more improved construction products for fireplaces. By placing the damper at the top of the chimney, it serves multiple purposes. It still has the same effects as the throat damper for fire starting and maintaining, but it also has additional benefits including keeping critters and water out. Another benefit is that starting the fire might be easier because the air circulating in the open flue is a bit warmer.

The throat damper can be easily controlled with a handle and it has a rubber seal around it, creating a better seal and therefore better temperature control and heat efficiency.

Should I Get My Damper Repaired?
If your damper is broken or needs repair, you have some options. You can repair it or you can implement some newer technology and get it replaced with a more energy efficient model.

Should I Replace My Damper?
If you have a throat damper that is open or closed only and you use your fireplace a lot, you might benefit from a top sealing model. It will decrease leaking energy out while the fireplace is not in use and it will help you control the heat when the fire is lit.

Valley Chimney Sweep is certified in top mounted damper installation. We can come out and advise you on the most efficient and economical model for your home.

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Chimney Crown Repair / Replacement

Specializing in sealing chimney crowns and replacing chimney crowns.

What is a Chimney Crown?
A chimney crown is the masonry top of your chimney. It should extend out more than the rest of the chimney, but yours may be flush with the rest of your chimney. It should also slope out, guiding water away from the chimney and protecting the vertical brick and mortar of the chimney.

Sometimes a chimney will speak to a homeowner and indicate that it has some problems that need to be addressed, but not always. Some symptoms that might indicate you have a problem with your chimney are:

  • Smell coming from the fireplace
  • Water dripping in or around the fireplace
  • White powdery staining in the firebox
  • Smoke drafting into the room rather than up the chimney when you start a fire
  • Broken/chipped bricks near the chimney top
  • Visual cracks in the brick or cement

Other problems might be harder to diagnose without a Certified Chimney Sweep® making a visit to your home for inspection and annual chimney sweeping. And some of these issues might have other solutions as well, hence the reason it is so important to have a chimney sweep diagnose your problem and come up with a chimney repair solution.

A proper chimney crown is built to last years, even in the Illinois weather. However, the chimneys in most homes, especially newer homes, are not usually built with chimney usage in mind and sometimes not built by chimney professionals. A correct cement crown will be cast and formed with a reinforced Portland cement-based mixture with at least a two inch overhang from the vertical chimney. It will have a bond break between the bricks and the cement, and have an expansion joint around the flue tile(s).

  • Sometimes a home inspection will skip the chimney inspection.
  • Sometimes a homeowner will neglect regular chimney inspections.
  • Sometimes the weather is so bad that even the hardiest chimney crown can’t compete with the weather.
  • Sometimes the homeowner over fires the components with too large a fire.

These are all out of your, the current homeowner’s, control. Moving forward, a proper chimney inspection on a regular basis will keep you informed of your chimney’s health.

A Certified Chimney Sweep® will be able to inform a homeowner if a chimney’s crown should be sealed or if a chimney crown needs replacing. If the chimney deterioration is bad enough that there will be a negative effect on your home or chimney system, your chimney sweep will discuss some options with you to properly repair or replace your chimney crown.

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Firebox and Damper Repair / Rebuild

If your firebox is damaged, we can help you determine whether to repair it or rebuild it.

Let’s start at Fireplace Anatomy 101.

This is a common schematic of a fireplace. Currently, we are discussing the firebox and damper.

What is a Firebox?

When you light a fire, you are igniting it in the firebox. The firebox is the area that surrounds the flames and is made with firebricks and high heat plaster called refractory mortar. Not all fireboxes are built with the correct firebricks or heat-resistant plaster, and that is why some do not last as long as others.

It does not take a Certified Chimney Sweep® to identify a crumbling firebox or mortar damage. Unlike chimney damage, you can probably determine if your firebox has deteriorated before you light your first fire of the season. If there is crumbling in the mortar, loose bricks, or air coming through the firebox bricks, do not use it. Call in a Certified Chimney Sweep® to inspect and make a recommendation of what to do next.

Why Does a Firebox Deteriorate?

  • Poor Construction – If your firebox was not constructed properly, to begin with, you will see cracks appear because of the extreme heat and temperature shift. Even small holes in the mortar can allow dangerous gases, sparks, smoke, or flames to go where they don’t belong causing CO poisoning or house fires.
  • Water Infiltration – If there is no rain cover mounted on top of the chimney the rain comes in and usually settles behind the damper and washes out the fireclay mortar (fireclay is good for heat resistance, but poor with water).
  • Natural Disaster – If your home has survived a tree falling, earthquake, hurricane, or tornado, chances are there is damage to your firebox. Bring in a Certified Chimney Sweep® to inspect the damage and make recommendations.

Should I Repair or Replace My Firebox?
If the auto mechanic tells you that you need a major repair on your car, you have a choice to pay for the repair and hope nothing else breaks, or you might consider this as a sign to trade it in and get something new and more reliable.

The same goes for your firebox. When your chimney sweep diagnoses the problem and gives you a quote to repair it, chances are this is a prime opportunity to replace that aging fireplace with something more updated, more efficient, and with your own style rather than your grandma’s.

  • Option 1: Repair and Tuckpoint Existing Firebox
    If the bricks are still intact and only the mortar needs replacing, your chimney sweep might recommend tuckpointing. Although an intricate process, your skilled chimney mason can do this for you.
  • Option 2: Replace Firebox with Firebox Insert
    There are a number of high-quality, efficient firebox inserts that slide right in where your old firebox was. This is a job a professional chimney mason should do. You can have your chimney mason do the rest of the decorative stonework around the firebox or maybe take on an advanced DIY project.
  • Option 3: Replace Firebox with New Firebricks
    If you want to go all out with a custom firebox, your skilled masonry team can replace the firebricks using a refractory mortar and custom design your new firebox. They use architectural and CSIA standards for safety. With the chance to choose brick color and design, this option can give you a very dramatic new look.

If you live in the west suburbs of Chicago and the question you have to decide on is: “do I repair or replace my firebox?” – Valley Chimney is here to help. As the longest continually Certified Chimney Sweep® in the United States, Derek Dearborn and his team will bring knowledge, experience, and customer service to your home, leaving you with a warm, safe firebox.

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Chimney Relining and Furnace Flue Relining

There are a number of reasons why you need a chimney lining. Whether you are replacing a liner or lining your existing chimney, you have some options. Your choices include clay tile liner or metal chimney liner.

We can help you replace your existing chimney liner or line your existing chimney flue.
Although both are effective if your chimney flue is in need of some repair, Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration tends to recommend the metal chimney liner option for a number of reasons.

  • The metal flue liner is less labor intensive to install, pre-fabricated in many shapes and sizes and customizable to the specifications of your particular chimney.
  • With a stainless steel chimney liner or aluminum Flexi-liner option, Valley Chimney can get your chimney working right again, not just for those warm winter fireplace fires, but for venting your furnace, boiler and dryer too.

If you are in the market for a new chimney housing or flue liner, give us a call and we can advise you with some experienced recommendations.

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If You Need a Chimney Repair Service or Installation, Feel Free To Contact Us Today (630) 553-5995 or Request an Appointment