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Troubleshooting And Diagnostics Services

Because of the complexity of the fireplace or appliance and chimney system, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the source of problems. Unfortunately, if you don’t know what is causing problems, you certainly can’t make the necessary repairs to prevent future issues and further damage. At Bulldog Chimney Sweeps, we know how frustrating this can be, but you don’t have to go it alone. We have twenty years of industry experience and a wealth of education and resources to help us solve any problems you may be having.

Some of the most common problems we address are:

  • Chimney and Appliance Efficiency
    • Appliance and flue type may be incompatible – Not all flue types are designed to function with all fuel types and appliances. If you did not have your flue inspected for compatibility before changing appliances or fuel types, you will not only have an inefficient system – you will have a dangerous system.
    • Flue size disproportionate to the size of the appliance or fireplace – If the size of your flue was not considered when choosing or installing your appliance or fireplace, you may have a flue that is too big or too small to work efficiently. This can also result in excessive smoke and creosote production, which can be a health and a fire hazard.
    • Damaged damper – The damper is designed to open and close to control air flow within the chimney. If your damper is damaged or rusted into place, it may not be opening or closing fully, resulting in heat loss and inefficient burning. Energy-top dampers are exceptionally effective energy savers and may be just what you need. For more information on dampers, click here.
    • Missing or damaged chimney cap – The chimney cap acts as a barrier against energy loss and gusts of wind. If your cap is missing or damaged, you may be losing heat or conditioned air by the minute. For more information on chimney caps, click here.
    • Improperly installed appliance – There are many things to take into consideration when installing an appliance. Almost all manufacturers will guarantee an efficient appliance when professionally installed, but won’t stand behind the performance of an appliance that wasn’t installed exactly as directed. If you aren’t sure about the quality of the installation work done on your appliance, contact Bulldog Chimney Sweeps, today. You would be surprised how many appliances we find that are inefficient and dangerous because they were incorrectly installed.
    • Poorly designed and constructed fireplace or chimney – When having your fireplace and chimney designed and built, it is imperative that your mason have a comprehensive understanding of fireplaces and chimney systems. Unfortunately, many contractors only specialize in building beautiful fireplaces, not efficient or safe fireplaces. At Bulldog Chimney Sweeps, we bring craft, skill, and knowledge to each and every design and construction – so you don’t have to worry about an expensive rebuild in the future.
    • Inadequate air supply – The safe and efficient function of the chimney relies heavily on the ease of air flow. When air flow is restricted, the fireplace and chimney are starved of the air they need in order to function. Air flow problems can be as a result of a damper problem, a chimney cap problem, a flue obstruction, a damaged or missing flue liner, competing appliances, etc. If you have a newer home and are experiencing efficiency problems, it is highly likely that your problems are related to air supply. This is because newer homes are built to be air-tight, which is good for heat retention, bad for heat production.
  • Smoke and Creosote Problems
    • Closed damper/stuck damper – If you are noticing smoke in your home, one of the first things to check is the damper. It may be that you simply forgot to open it before starting a fire. It is also possible that the damper has rusted into a fixed place or that creosote has cooked around it so that it cannot open and close freely. In this case, you may want to consider scheduling a good cleaning and installing an energy-top damper. For more information on dampers, click here.
    • Missing or damaged chimney cap – The chimney cap keeps large gusts of wind from forcing its way down the chimney and ushering smoke back down into your home. If you are noticing smoke problems occasionally, a missing or damaged chimney cap may be the culprit. For more information on chimney caps, click here.
    • Wet or unseasoned wood – If you are noticing excessive smoke and creosote buildup in your wood-burning fireplace or appliance, it is possible that the wood you’re burning is wet or unseasoned. Anytime wood has excessive moisture to burn, it burns it off in the form of smoke and soot. As the smoke cools during its exit from the chimney, it may settle as flammable creosote, which will further hinder the smoke’s exit and contribute to even more problems. If you are burning a lot of wood but not getting a lot from each burn, you may want to talk to a Bulldog Chimney Sweep about the type of wood you are using. We would be happy to give you suggestions for a more efficient burn!
    • Flue obstructions – Whenever air flow is restricted within a chimney system, problems with smoke and creosote will arise. This is because the obstruction is preventing the smoke’s exit, and the hindered smoke is making its way back into the home or settling as creosote. A flue obstruction is a very dangerous thing and can quickly lead to a chimney fire. If you haven’t had your chimney inspected lately, call Bulldog Chimney Sweeps today – it could save your life!
    • Inadequate air supply – If your chimney is competing with other fans or venting systems in the home, it may not have the air flow it needs to efficiently remove smoke from your home. If you have a newer home, this is incredibly likely as they are typically built to be airtight. But don’t worry – we can make suggestions for improving air flow, no matter how airtight your home is!
    • Poorly designed and constructed fireplace or chimney – To properly design and construct a fireplace and chimney, catalytic and fire properties must be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, many contractors design for aesthetics and nothing more. If this was the case in your design, you may be having smoke problems and excessive creosote buildup because your chimney is not the proper height or is not conducive to air flow. If we find that this is the cause of your problems, you may need to have your chimney or fireplace rebuilt by a professional Bulldog Chimney Sweep.
  • Leaks and Water Damage
    • Missing or damaged chimney cap – The chimney cap acts as a shield against the elements, like wind and water. When properly installed and maintained, a chimney cap can help keep your chimney system safe and dry. If your chimney cap was not installed properly or was damaged or removed during a storm, you should have it replaced or repaired immediately. Fixing or preventing a damaging leak could be as simple as installing a quality chimney cap. For more information on chimney caps, click here.
    • Deteriorating or poorly designed crown – The crown of a chimney is a concrete or masonry covering and is one of its best defenses against water. If it was poorly designed, improperly sealed, or is deteriorating, your chimney may be wide open to the elements. If we find that your crown is in disrepair or is substandard, we have the skills, knowledge, and products to help! At Bulldog Chimney Sweeps, we specialize in repairing, rebuilding and waterproofing crowns – give us a call, today!
    • Damaged, missing, or improperly installed flashing – Flashing is designed to prevent water penetration where the chimney and roof meet. If not properly installed, the flashing will leave spaces and gaps for water to enter the chimney system. If its surface is not smooth and seamless, it may also allow water to gather and rust through. Even if your flashing was installed by a professional, maintenance is imperative. Strong winds, animal tampering, and water damage can remove the flashing or render it ineffective. If flashing is the source of your leaks, rest assured – at Bulldog Chimney Sweeps, we stand behind our custom flash jobs and will have your chimney protected in no time. For more information on chimney flashing, click here.

Whatever your chimney, fireplace or appliance problems, you can trust the knowledgeable and experienced technicians at Bulldog Chimney Sweeps to provide you with expert advice and high-quality work. Call us today or click here to schedule your appointment.


Dryer vent cleaning and repair is a critical part of maintaining home safety and that’s why we include it in our services for your chimney and vent systems.


Golden Flue Cecure Chimney Systems Regency Fireplace Products Heatfab Majestic Products Vermont Castings

Certifications & Associations

CSIA National Fire Institute Certified Hearth, patio, And Barbecue Association Member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild

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