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Ashbusters Charleston Is the Local Company You Can Call for Your Chimney Repair Needs

Have you ever gone to start up a fire in your fireplace and, within seconds, the entire room is full of smoke?  What about when a sudden downpour leaves puddles in the firebox? Ever walked by your fireplace only to have a foul odor stop you in your tracks? Chimney damage is a shared source of frustration for many homeowners. Fortunately for the residents of Charleston, you don’t have to suffer any longer.

When your chimney acts up and keeps you from the enjoyment of using your fireplace, schedule an appointment with Ashbusters Charleston. Our chimney technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and are more than capable of getting your chimney back up and humming along. 

Get in touch with us at 843-400-0133 or set up an appointment online.

What Chimney Repair Services Does Ashbusters Charleston Offer?

From spalling brick to a cracked liner, Ashbusters Charleston offers a wide selection of chimney and fireplace services. If you have chimney damage, we’re confident we have a solution that can take care of the problem.

Chimney Relining

Fireplaces generate extremely high temperatures and acidic fumes, all of which can cause the breakdown of stone, brick, and mortar. Chimney liners are a protective barrier that helps insulate heat, protect your chimney walls from corrosion, and redirect dangerous toxins out of your home.

Needless to say, liners take on a heavy load and, over time, they can crack or wear down – especially if regular professional maintenance is neglected. If the cracks are small or there are only a few, we may be able to seal them. But if cracks are long or cover a large section of the liner, you will need a new stainless steel chimney liner.

HeatShield® Repair & Resurfacing

Ashbusters Charleston is certified by HeatShield® for Cerfractory Flue Repair. If you have a clay flue liner, HeatShield® is a simple, cost-effective alternative to relining or, worse, a full rebuild. If your chimney inspection uncovers liner damage, ask your technician about HeatShield®.

Chimney Leak Repair

Chimneys and water are about as compatible as oil and water. When water gets into your chimney, it’s going to cause a host of issues. When possible, we like to take a more proactive approach and protect the chimney against water by installing chimney caps, checking the crown, repairing flashing, and waterproofing the brickwork with industry-grade sealants. 

Chimney caps, crowns, and flashing can deteriorate due to wear and tear or animal activity, leaving your chimney system exposed. When your chimney springs a leak, we’ll locate the problem area, repair it, and suggest maintenance options to prevent the issue from happening again.

Two Technician on Roof Fixing Chimney

Chimney Caps

Chimney caps are a first line of defense against water and animal intrusion. Caps sit at the top of the flue and cover the opening of the chimney, and they come in several materials like stainless steel, aluminum, and copper. Unfortunately, chimney caps can crack or rust over time due to regular wear and tear, and other times they fall off completely in a strong storm. 

We have the tools, training, and experience to set you up with the best chimney cap for your chimney. When installing a new cap, it’s important that it’s fitted properly for your chimney, so be sure to hire our techs for the job.

Chimney Masonry Repair

Crumbling mortar and chipped brick aren’t just eyesores – they can compromise the structural integrity of a chimney when left unaddressed. We can restore or replace damaged bricks and provide repointing and tuckpointing services to breathe new life into the mortar.

Chimney Rebuilds

There are times when we encounter a chimney that is just beyond repair and we have to recommend more drastic measures. If your chimney can’t be saved or if short-term repairs will only cost you more in the long run, we’ll suggest a chimney rebuild. We will demolish that existing structure for you and build you a new, beautiful structure that is safe for use, looking good, and up to code.

How Do I Know if I Need Chimney Repairs?

Some common chimney repairs are needed because people simply don’t know what to be on the lookout for in order to avoid them. For example, the type and amount of firewood burned in a wood-burning fireplace or woodstove has a lot to do with the buildup of a substance called creosote. Creosote can cause your fireplace to smell during the warmer parts of the year and, if not addressed, it can catch fire and cause damage to your home and potentially loss of life. 

Being aware of this can lead to a maintenance schedule where the chimney can be cleaned and inspected based on the burn. Of course, you can also get the recommended annual checkup if you don’t know the type of wood or how much you burn every year.

Other easy-to-spot issues that can point to a damaged chimney?

  • Odd smells coming from the chimney. This can be due to the presence of deceased animals or creosote buildup. Either scenario calls for a good cleaning followed by a level 2 inspection that would allow us to run a camera up the flue to see if additional repairs are needed.
  • Smoke backfilling into your living room. A smoky fireplace is never a good sign, and it could be happening because of a blocked flue or a bad chimney draw. If there is something preventing smoke from clearing the chimney, we’d suggest a chimney sweeping and inspection to rule out further repairs.
  • White residue on the brick or stone. Efflorescence is a white, chalky substance that coats the exterior chimney and is indicative of a moisture problem. We’d perform a thorough chimney cleaning then waterproof the brick with a commercial water repellent. We’d also check to see if the flashing is still intact and recommend installing a chimney cap or chase cover if you don’t already have one.
  • Fireplace/firebox cracking. If you have a prefabricated unit, you may have damaged refractory panels. You will need to have a professional chimney technician check it out to see if it needs replacing. For masonry units, a certified chimney sweep will be able to remove the damaged bricks and replace them.
  • Bricks flaking or turning back to sand. This is called spalling and it’s due to your bricks being exposed to water. This is a harder and more expensive repair than one would think, so you need a chimney professional who knows what they’re doing to get it done right.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Chimney Damage?

Chimney appliances are very much like us – if we maintain our health with the right type of care and get those annual checkups, we tend to feel and do better. When we do break down, it’s normally due to unforeseen circumstances or accidents. It turns out that is usually true in the fireplace and chimney business as well.

If you’re experiencing chimney issues, it’s usually due to one of the following:

  • Water: A chimney leak left unchecked can do a lot of damage. If you see or hear water dripping anywhere around the firebox, mantel, or chimney, please call us sooner than later. Water is the primary enemy of your chimney. It’s intrusive and can damage the brick, mortar, and flue. And if water gets into your system, it can rouse the need for some very expensive repairs.
  • High Winds: A chimney is vulnerable because it sticks up out of the roof and can take the brunt force of any extreme storms that may come our way. That’s one reason we highly recommend getting a certified chimney technician out to inspect the system every year, especially if your area has experienced one of these storms. If you call Ashbusters Charleston, we can find any cracks, leaks, or other damage caused by bad weather.
  • Lack of Maintenance: With annual inspections and chimney cleanings, you can catch brewing problems before they’ve boiled over and become big issues. Sometimes life gets in the way and, before you know it, you’ve gone a few years without a chimney check-up. Or maybe you’ve recently moved into a new house and the previous homeowner didn’t prioritize the fireplace and chimney. Whatever the reason, sometimes maintenance falls through the cracks, and a neglected chimney is far more likely to have more extensive and expensive issues than one that is inspected regularly.
  • Creosote: One of the snags of a wood-burning fireplace is the existence of creosote, a flammable tar-like substance that accumulates in chimneys. Creosote can’t be prevented and when too much of it builds up, you’ll be more at risk for experiencing a chimney fire. Creosote has three stages, but annual chimney cleanings can keep it at a safe, manageable level.
  • Animals & Debris: Chimneys are the high-rises of the wildlife population. Birds, raccoons, squirrels, and other critters like them because they’re dark, warm, and quiet. They can breed and nest safely away from predators and the harshness of Mother Nature. But you don’t have to share your home with animals – it’s pretty easy to stop animals from entering the top of the system through the flue or chase with a good chimney cap that is also equipped with an animal screen.

Most of these – water, maintenance routines, creosote, and keeping wildlife out of the system – can be planned for. Unusually high winds are just the luck of the draw and the only thing we can do is make sure everything else is taken care of, so the chimney has the best chance of survival when something unforeseen happens.

Because of this, we highly recommend you call a certified chimney company to inspect your chimney system so you can rest easy at night while continuing to enjoy your fireplace or wood stove.

Is It Normal for Chimneys To Leak During Heavy Rain?

It doesn’t matter if it’s rain, sleet, or snow – your chimney shouldn’t leak when the weather takes a turn. A leaky chimney is a symptom of a bigger problem that’s lurking somewhere in your fireplace’s system – and it’s likely been going on for some time. We’ll check your chimney carefully to pinpoint the entry point and fix the issue.

The most common culprits of a leaky chimney are:

  • A damaged or missing chimney cap
  • Cracks in the chimney crown
  • Warped or damaged flashing materials
  • A missing chimney cricket
  • Deteriorating masonry

If your chimney is leaking, don’t wait until it gets worse – give Ashbusters Charleston a call at 843-400-0133 or book an appointment on our website today.

Is It Dangerous To Use a Damaged Chimney?

Using a damaged chimney can be dangerous and we strongly advise against it. Chimneys are meant to safely vent smoke, gases, and toxins out of your home. When a chimney is damaged, using it can pose several significant risks:

  • Increased fire hazards. Cracks, gaps, or deteriorated masonry in a chimney can allow heat and sparks from the fire to escape into the surrounding walls or structure of your home. In addition, if there’s a significant amount of creosote or debris present in the flue, the chance of a disaster skyrockets. You’re at risk of a chimney fire that can spread to other parts of the house, endangering your home and your family.
  • Higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. A damaged or compromised chimney can allow carbon monoxide to enter your living space. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, making it especially dangerous if you don’t have a working carbon monoxide detector. Breathing in too much of this toxic gas can lead to poisoning, which causes symptoms ranging from dizziness and nausea to death if you’re not treated by a medical professional.
  • Structural damage. Depending on the type of chimney damage you have, the chimney stack – and even parts of your home – could be at risk of damage or collapsing. If you have issues with the masonry, schedule an appointment to get it repaired immediately.

When Is the Best Time to Schedule Chimney Repairs?

We suggest scheduling chimney maintenance in the late spring or over the summer before the temperatures drop. That way, we can inspect and clean your chimney with enough time for you to schedule any necessary follow-up appointments before the start of your burning season.

However, we know that chimney issues can pop up suddenly – and those unexpected problems usually happen at the worst times. If something goes wrong during the cooler months, you don’t have to wait to schedule an appointment with Ashbusters Charleston. We’re here to help you year-round.

Are My Chimney Repairs Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Unless your chimney damage can be attributed to a “sudden occurrence” – a hurricane, tornado, collision, lightning strike, etc. – your homeowner’s insurance policy probably won’t cover expenses. Still, we recommend that you always get in touch with your insurance provider to check the details of your policy as each situation is different. It never hurts to perform your due diligence if you can save a few bucks.

We also suggest holding onto inspection reports and receipts. The insurance company is likely going to ask for proof of maintenance when you inquire about a possible claim, so it’s always best to be prepared.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair a Chimney?

This is a question we get a lot and our answer is always the same: it depends. You may have a very straightforward and easy-to-fix issue, like replacing a chimney cap, or you may have a combination of problems that require a more intensive intervention. We won’t know what needs to be done until we’ve been able to get a good look at your chimney – and we don’t believe it’s fair to offer a quote before we can do that.

If you have questions about a specific type of repair or issue, reach out to our customer service team. They’ll be happy to answer your questions and walk you through the different services we offer.

How Do I Choose the Right Chimney Repair & Services Company Near Charleston?

There are a lot of chimney service companies in Charleston and a lot of them are good, but Ashbusters Charleston is a cut above the rest. We pride ourselves on staying a step ahead of industry trends and new technology, and we’re committed to constantly advancing our knowledge with continued education initiatives.

Here are a few things you should know about Ashbusters Charleston:

  • We have almost 30 years of experience in the chimney business.
  • Our chimney technicians are CSIA-certified.
  • We’re a member of the Southern Chimney Association Board.
  • Our technicians are graduates of Pennsylvania College Advanced Fireplace Construction School.
  • We’re certified by HeatShield® for Cerfractory Flue Repair.

In Need Chimney Repairs? Call Us Now

A damaged or malfunctioning chimney is a pain that no homeowner wants to deal with, and that’s why Ashbusters Charleston is here to make the repair work as stress-free as possible. Our chimney technicians can diagnose your problem, suggest a plan of action, and get the problem resolved, so that you don’t have to miss out on quality time around the fireplace with your loved ones.

Schedule an appointment with us online or call us now at 843-400-0133.


Our chimney and dryer services technicians are trained to provide top-quality, dependable gas service and repairs, so give us a call.