How Do You Know If Your Chimney Needs to Be Cleaned?

Professional Chimney Maintenance and Cleaning

Getting Your Home Ready for Cooler Weather

When the weather starts to cool down, there is no greater feeling than starting a fire and cozying up next to it. This is a quintessential fall scene that most homeowners can’t wait to take part in, but there are risks associated with using a fireplace. Most notably being chimney fires. If you haven’t been taking care of your chimney during the year, then you may face several problems come winter. Schedule time for chimney maintenance in Branford, CT with Amity Home Maintenance Solutions today. Dial 203-390-7399 to get started. 

Chimney Maintenance

The Importance of Chimney Cleaning and Maintenance

Is chimney cleaning and maintenance really important? The short answer is, yes. Yes, taking care of every aspect of your home, including the chimney, is important to your seasonal living. We won’t say it’s not important to your daily life, because you more than likely won’t be using your fireplace and chimney every single day of the year. However, once the weather starts to get colder, you will likely want to use your fireplace to warm your home. If you haven’t had professional chimney maintenance and repair, then your home could be at risk for fire.

So what happens when you don’t clean your chimney? There are a few problems that could be the result of that neglect. There could be issues with deposits and debris buildup, structural damage, and more. When you do consistently use your fireplace and chimney, there will be a build-up of soot and tar. These two produce the smoke, gas, and fog that you associate with fires. When that soot and tar build-up, there is a greater chance for chimney fires. If there is something wrong with the flue or any kind of structural damage, you could also face smoke buildup and even carbon monoxide poisoning, if your chimney is completely obstructed.

You won’t be able to determine if there is something wrong with your chimney with just residential roofing services or inspections. You’ll need to take the time and invest in a professional chimney inspection. That being said, there are a few tips that you yourself can take part in to maintain your chimney year-round as well as during those colder months.

Chimney Maintenance Tips

Living in working in our area, we know just how cold the winter months can get. If you’ve got a fireplace in your home, of course you’re going to want to light a fire and cozy up next to it. The problem is, if you haven’t been taking proper care of the fireplace or chimney, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. Rather than wait to find out the hard way if things are okay, start now with some easy chimney maintenance tips. 

  • Useable Damper: A fireplace damper is possibly one of the most unsung heroes of the home. During the summer months, the damper should be closed to keep out drafts, birds, and rodents. If your damper isn’t closing properly, it will reflect in your energy bills. Additionally, when it does come time to use the fireplace, always make sure the damper is open. 
  • Waterproof: One of the biggest problems that some may have during the winter months is moisture. If your chimney isn’t waterproof, you may not be able to get a flame going. More than that, it’s a sign of a serious leak that needs to be addressed. 
  • Professional Sweeping/Cleaning: Probably the best maintenance tip we can suggest is to have your chimney and fireplace professionally swept. It’s best to schedule this at least once a year, right before the weather gets really cold. 
  • Inspection: On top of having your chimney cleaned once a year, it’s best to also have the whole structure inspected at least once a year as well. Doing so will help to find any exterior cracks or breaks with the bricks or find any internal damage. This is highly-encouraged to prevent major problems from occurring. 

While you can purchase your own chimney cleaning equipment, these tools won’t be able to determine if there is any structural damage. For that, you’ll need home repair services in Branford, CT to correct that. As we’ve already discussed, there are several things you can do to maintain your chimney. However, there comes a point when you should seek help from the experts, like those at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often do you need to clean your chimney?
    • This will all depend on your fireplace and how often you’re planning on using it. That being said, the National Fire Protection Association says that you should have your chimney, fireplaces, and vents should be checked at least once a year. 
  • Do you need to clean your chimney every year?
    • Yes, according to the National Fire Protection Association your chimney, fireplace, and vents need to be checked at least once a year. Doing so will ensure that can problematic collections and deposits will be cleared so you meet clearance standards. 
  • What happens if you don’t clean your chimney?
    • The soot and tar which naturally form the smoke, gases, and fogs that naturally occur during a fire. When a chimney is clogged, tar can quickly build up and trigger a chimney fire. If there are problems with the chimney flue or other aspects of the feature, then you can experience real problems. 
  • How common are chimney fires?
    • Unfortunately, chimney fires happen every single year. At this time, these fires account for 25,000 fires almost every year. They are more common than they should be because too many homeowners neglect or forget to have their chimney checked before they start using it. 
  • Can you sweep your own chimney?
    • While you can, technically, clean your own chimney, it is not highly encouraged. There are several things that can go wrong, but there is also a lot that you may not think about. Instead, it’s better to rely on the experts that will cover every detail and ensure that every aspect of your chimney is cleared.
Working on Repairs and Chimney Maintenance

Connect With Our Team Today for an Appointment

Want to start taking care of your chimney? Dial 203-390-7399 to be connected with Amity Home Maintenance Solutions and schedule an appointment for chimney maintenance in Branford, CT today. 

What is a Leak Detection Test?

Leak Detection is Important, as It Could Have Alleviated Burst Pipe Leak Detection

How Much Does Leak Detection Cost?

Leak detection costs can vacillate. They can range from $75 to more than $350 depending on the type of leak detection equipment necessary to determine where the leak is. For natural reasons, the more complicated and deep the leak, the ostensibly more technical equipment, and expertise required. It is important to find and fix leaks whenever they occur, as leaks only get worse over time. The added expense to water bills is also important to mitigate. 

How Does a Leak Detector Work?

Leak detection is an important service for homeowners and business owners who have extenuating and mysterious water problems. Please consult the following list to determine the different types of leak detection systems.

  • Video inspection tools. One of the primary ways that a plumber finds a leak is through video inspection tools. A plumber who specializes in leak detection usually has a plumbing camera in their arsenal. This camera is funneled down into a relevant pipe and allows the homeowner and the plumber to obtain visuals of the plumbing system. 
  • Ground microphones. If the leak is located underneath a concrete slab or behind a wall, ground microphones or listening discs can be used to find leaks. 
  • Acoustic amplifier. Plumbing leaks that are too quiet to hear can be amplified using this device. 

How Can You Tell if There is a Water Leak Under Concrete?

Depending on when the pipes were originally installed, the pipes underneath your home may be worn out. Over time, wear and tear and clogs can cause leaks to develop in older pipelines. While the damage may not be readily apparent, high water bills and pricey problems naturally occur as a result of worn-down pipes. One of the primary ways a homeowner can determine if there is a water leak under concrete is to watch out for a major water bill spike. If you find a massive price spike from one month to the next you may have a leaky pipe. Another way to find out if you have a water leak underneath your concrete is to watch for foundation cracks. Cracks in your floor, tiles, bricks or moldings could signify a water leak.

How Do I Find a Leak in my Water Pipeline?

There are a number of helpful ways to determine if you have a leak in your water pipeline. One of the best ways? Check your water meter. In order to do this, turn off all the water in your home. Next, shut off all faucets, and make sure appliances like the washing machine and the dishwasher aren’t running. Return to the meter. If the meter begins to change, you probably have a fast-moving leak. If the meter does not change immediately, wait several hours and check it again. If the water usage has changed despite the water being shut off, it’s probably a slower-moving leak. Water damage can create havoc in a home or business. If you have a flat roof and are experiencing water damage, roof restoration may be the answer. 

How Does an Infrared Leak Detector Work?

For determining where possible leaks exist, infrared leak detectors have been increasing in popularity. Infrared leak detectors draw the sample across an optical sensor that analyses how much IR radiation the sample has absorbed. The advantages to an infrared leak detector include that they have very good sensitivity, and they are less prone to false positives from other gasses. They also maintain full efficiency for a greater range of refrigerants. Infrared detectors are used for refrigerant leaks and are a recommended tool for HVAC technicians. 

Leak Detection What is It?

Pipeline leak detection is an important discipline. It is used to determine where a leak has occurred in systems that contain liquids and gases. The methods of detection include hydrostatic testing, infrared and laser technology, and are used after pipeline creation. Leak detection methods may also be used while in service.

Leak Detection with Smoke

Smoke testing can be used for residential plumbing systems. Smoke testing is a procedure wherein artificial smoke is channeled through pipelines to determine or detect signs of cracks, leaks, or other problems. Where there is a defect, plumes of smoke will emerge. These smoke signals will alert the plumber and homeowner as to potential weaknesses in the pipelines. Leak detection can help prevent catastrophic damage to a home through preventing a true plumbing emergency, such as a burst pipe. 

Professional Water Leak Detection 

The stress of dripping taps places an unnecessary burden on the homeowner. While a faucet leak may be obvious, and fairly straightforward, not all leaks are so apparent. Leaks underneath the foundation of a home or behind a wall can be difficult for a homeowner to find. That’s where professional water leak detection comes into play. With the help of a reputable plumbing company, hidden leaks can be a thing of the past. A master plumber, for instance, will have many years of education and experience to back up their plumbing-related assertions. 

Copper Pipe Bursting, With the Need for Leak Detection

Leak Detection Cost

The cost to find a plumbing leak can be expensive. However, plumbing leaks only get worse over time, so when one is suspected, it’s important to contact a respectable plumbing company immediately. The average cost of detecting a slab leak, for instance, varies from around $150 to $400. Your plumber may put this cost toward the overall cost of the repairs, which can be high. The cost to fix a slab leak costs around $2,000. For all plumbing repairs, it’s important to contact a thorough and caring plumbing company that puts your water leak detection first. Your leak detection and the associated repairs should alleviate the burden of high water bills and foundation problems.

Scheduling an appointment for your leak detection has never been easier. Our staff at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions are ready to take your phone call at 203-390-7399. Discover more about what our leak detection in Branford, CT can do for you!

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Out Your Gutters?

Amity Home Maintenance Offers Gutter Cleaning Services.

Why should I have my gutters cleaned?

Gutters divert rainwater and snow and ice melt away from your roof and home through downspouts. If your gutters aren’t cleaned regularly, several problems could arise that could damage your roof and home and lead to costly repairs. The list below shows you why gutter cleaning is important.

Why gutter cleaning is important

Here are just a few reasons why gutter cleaning is important:

  • To prevent roof leaks: When gutters get clogged with leaves and debris, water gets backed up and can seep under shingles and damage the roof’s interior structure and create leaks.
  • To prevent water damage to home and landscape: Clogged gutters create overflow problems that not only damage roofs but can damage foundations, seep under windows and doors and cause soil erosion
  • To prevent gutter sags: Heavy clogs can cause the gutters to pull away from the home, which can cause damage to fascia boards or cause the gutters to collapse. This can lead to expensive repairs.
  • To prevent animals from nesting in gutters: Rodents, birds and insects can clog gutters with nests and can cause damage to areas of the roof and siding around the gutters.

If your gutters need to be cleaned, you may want to get the help of a professional and give Amity Home Maintenance Solutions a call at 203-390-7399.

Gutter cleaning should be part of your regular home maintenance, along with plumbing maintenance.

Who can clean my gutters?

Anyone with a ladder, a hose (preferably with high pressure attachments) and something to clear away debris can clean gutters. While you can clean your own gutters, a gutter cleaning service, like the ones offered by Amity Home Maintenance Solutions, can get the job done quickly and thoroughly. Gutter cleaning services will have all the necessary tools on hand to clean the gutters and may be able to help with any repairs that may need to be made.

How much should I pay to have my gutters cleaned?

What you’ll pay for gutter cleaning will depend primarily on the size of your home and how many linear feet of gutters surround the home. Other costs may be included in the cleaning. A single-story home of about 1,500 square feet with 150 linear feet of gutters will run about $70 to $200, while a 2,500 square-foot two-story home with 160 to 180 linear feet of gutters will cost between $90 and $250. Larger homes with more gutter space will cost more and may require more equipment or an extra person to clean.

For affordable gutter cleaning and regular maintenance services, give our team a call at 203-390-7399. We also provide repairs and gutter installation services.

How do you clean gutters that are too high?

If you have high gutters, gutter cleaning can be difficult, though not impossible. The first thing you will need is a ladder tall enough to reach the gutters. You will also need to ensure the ladder is stable so you can clear the gutter. If the ground below the ladder sinks, slopes or otherwise makes the ladder uneven, you can place pieces of scrap wood under the ladder to stabilize it. You’ll also want to attach a bucket or a plastic bag to the ladder for debris disposal. You can clear the debris by hand, with a tool like a garden trowel or with an air compressor. The final step is to flush the gutters with water.

How often should gutters be cleaned?

Gutters should be cleaned at least once per year, depending on variables such as where you live and how many trees you have around your home. If you get heavy rainfall and have a lot of trees, gutter cleaning is recommended at least twice per year. For those with pine trees or similar trees that shed needles and leaves frequently, gutter cleaning is recommended every 3 months. In the winter you’ll also want to make sure the gutters are free of ice. Ice clogs can damage both the gutters and the roof.

Gutter cleaning and repair

When you’ve cleaned your gutters you want to make sure to note any repairs that need to be repaired. It’s wise to check for leaks or other damage like dents. Most leaks can be sealed but areas that are dented may need to be replaced if the dents are obstructing water flow and the material can’t reshaped or repaired. If your gutter is sagging away from the house or you have multiple leaks, your gutters will need to be replaced. When you need expert gutter repair or replacement services, make sure to call our team at 203-390-7399.

Gutter cleaning and estimate

Depending on the gutter cleaning service, your estimate may be determined either by the linear feet of gutters you have on your home or by the square footage of your home. Some services may also charge different prices depending on whether the home is one-story or two-story. 

Amity Home Maintenance Uses High Pressure Hoses To Flush Gutters.

Gutter cleaning equipment

You need very little equipment for gutter cleaning other than a ladder, something to clear away debris, and a hose to flush the gutter. You may also want a broom to sweep your roof clear of debris before you start cleaning the gutter, and you may want to get high pressure extensions for your hose when flushing the gutter out.

If you are looking for professional gutter cleaning in Branford, CT, you can depend on our team at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions. To schedule an appointment give us a call at 203-390-7399.

How Can I Protect My House from Water Damage?

Home Water Damage Creates the Perfect Environment for Mold to Grow and Wood to Rot.

Water Damage at Home

Storms could potentially damage the outside of your home in multiple ways, from hail impacts to leaks. Those leaks can potentially impact the inside of your residence as home water damage. This is when water intrudes into your home and impacts different materials in different ways, from wall stains to rotting your furniture. It’s an annoying occurrence that ruins the aesthetics of any room it’s in and poses health risks to you and your family. Knowing how dangerous it can be would make anyone want to learn how to prevent water damage and avoid all of the negative circumstances that accompany it. Learning about the different types of water damage will help you better protect your home from the different potential sources.

Home Water Damage Puts You and Your Family at Risk if Left Untreated.

Facts About Home Water Damage

Home water damage comes in multiple classes and categories depending on the source of the water and how much effort it takes to make the water evaporate. The categories range from one to three, with one considered clean and three containing the most possible microbes and contaminants. Classes range from one to four with one affecting a small portion of a room with minimal absorption while class four requires fans, dehumidifiers, and lots of time to dry out the moisture. Water can seep into the drywall of your ceiling, into your furniture, and into your carpet and under your foundation, and when it saturates your home it causes discoloration, warping, rotting, and other damage. It can weaken the actual structure of your home, potentially causing parts of your walls or ceiling to collapse, and it creates the perfect environment for mold. Home water damage poses a huge threat to you, your family, and your property, but you have options if you’re asking yourself “How do you stop water leaks in your house?”

Protect Home from Water Damage

  • Clean Your Gutters These and your downspouts help water drain off of your roof. If they’re clogged, water can’t drain and will pool on top of your house. This could cause the wood in your roof to start rotting the wooden structure or leaking through any weak-spots that it finds. Ensuring your gutters and downspouts are clean and clear help minimize the chances of roof leaks and water damage.
  • Inspect Your Roof If you’ve ever asked yourself the question “How do you prepare your home for heavy rain?” this is the answer. Experts agree that you should have your roof inspected annually. When contractors conduct an inspection, it increases your chances of finding any leaks or potential problems. If you spot damage early enough, it gives you the chance to conduct repairs before they can cause damage in the future. damage.
  • Repair Leaks Any leak you find, from a pinhole leak in your plumbing to a small leak in your ceiling, you should have it repaired immediately. Water that leaks freely will eventually cause home water damage, no matter how small the leak is, so immediate repairs minimize your risk.
  • Test Your Sump Pump If you’re asking yourself “How can you prevent house foundation problems?” this is one of the first steps you can take. Your sump pump keeps water from pooling at the base of your house, either your first floor or your basement. Water pools in its basement and gets removed, keeping your floor, basement, and foundation safe from home water damage. You can go a step further than a properly functioning sump pump when you search for basement waterproofing services.
  • Watch Your Water Bill If you’ve noticed that your water bill is higher than normal or is steadily increasing over time, it may be time to have specialists come to take a look at your plumbing. This could be a sign that your plumbing is leaking somewhere in or outside of your house. The earlier you find and repair the source of the leak or problem, the less likely you are to see home water damage from it.
We Are the Experts to Call When You Need Home Water Damage Repair Service.

What Do You Do If Your House Has Water Damage?

Sometimes there are emergencies that you can’t avoid and will cause home water damage, like burst pipes or flash floods. These events cause us to start asking questions like “What type of water damage is covered by homeowners insurance?” and researching things like repairs for home water damage cost. If your residence experiences some form of flooding or water damage, you don’t have to worry about it dealing with it yourself. Hiring a professional to clean up the moisture and damage to your possessions and the structure of your home also minimizes the chances that you’ll have issues like mold or rotting wood in the future. You should definitely hire someone to handle the cleanup if the damage is from a category two or category three source, because every affected part of your home needs to be disinfected. When you’re looking for repair of home water damage in Branford, CT, contact the professionals of Amity Home Maintenance Solutions at 203-390-7399 for more information today.

Reliability Meets Accountability

Amity Home Maintenance Solution, Guaranty Fund

Reliable Home Improvement Company

At Amity Home Maintenance Solutions, we understand the risk that many homeowners take when starting a home improvement project. The need for reliable and accountable service is huge, as the threat of improper installation or repairs can leave a homeowner dealing with the damages on their own. This is why we have taken the time to become completely licensed and insured, not to protect out company but to protect the investment of our clients.

Guaranty Fund

The Department of Consumer Protection created the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund as a way to help homeowner’s whom have experienced poor services and increased damages from poor craftsmanship during a home improvement project with a hired contractor. In order to protect our clients further, Amity Home Maintenance Solutions has registered itself under this fund, so that we can help contribute money to aid those whom are suffering from a poor home improvement job. Not only does this allow us to further help our community but this creates a system of accountability.

A homeowner may be eligible for up to $15,000 if your home meets the following criteria:

Your Contractor Failed to Provide the Contracted Services

In order for you to even have a case, your selected contractor must have been registered with the Department of Consumer Protection at the time or two years before you signed the contract for your project. If the contractor fails to provide the services outlined in your contract, you can then appeal to the court for judgement and also apply for the funds.

The Work Was on a Residential Property

The guaranty fund only applies to residential properties, which includes multi-family dwellings such as a condo that has six units or less.

The Cost of Work Must Have Succeeded $200

Unfortunately, only cases that are $200 or more count for the guaranty fund. Anything less is considered a lost investment.

What Doesn’t Fall Under the Guaranty Fund?

No Written Arrangement or Contract

Unfortunately, cases where a written contract was not produced does not hold in a court, as it then falls on hearsay. Always make sure to get a contract written up before agreeing to services from any home improvement contractor.

Failure of Agreed Payment to the Contractor

If you agreed to pay the contract partial before the service and the rest after, and you failed to do this, then you have no case against the contractor. Always make sure you know the fine lines of your agreement before signing off on a contract.

Who Should I Turn To?

After you have resolved previous experience with a poor contractor, you are still left to repair to your home. You need a contractor who is reliable, committed to customer service, and has your needs as their main concern. If you are seeking for service in Branford, CT then turn to the trusted team at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions.

Our dedication to serving all of our clients on an individual basis has allowed us to build strong and long lasting relationships with our clients.

Client Testimony

“He provided a prompt proposal, and provided a thorough description with pictures of the work he completed. I’d definitely use him again,” – Kelly Kessel

We work with our clients from the planning stages. All of our jobs start with a free consultation, in which we discuss your needs, what you hope the finished project is going to look like, and then we set a date for an inspection of your home. After the inspection, we write up an estimate of our services, including the cost of parts and labor, and go over with you the game-plan to complete the service. Once we get the okay from you, we draw up a contract, and give you a copy, so that way you know your investment is protected. We then order parts and get started on the service, completing them in a timely fashion so that way we can honor your time. We continue working on the repairs until completion, and if you are not 110% satisfied, we keep working until the necessary changes are made to fit your ideal look.

“They were timely, efficient, and well priced. They showed up each day as scheduled and finished the job right on time. Joe will definitely be doing all of our work moving forward,” – Joel Cobden

We honor our time commitments, as we understand that your life is busy and your time extremely valuable. We make all of our appointments on time and ensure that all of your projects are completed on time and done to perfection. Our services don’t just stop once the job is completed either, we ensure that you understand that we are their to help you with all of your home improvement needs. You need more than just a contractor, you need a home improvement partner.

Amity Home Maintenance Solutions, Guaranty Fund

Contact Us

If you are looking for home improvement services you can rely on in Branford, CT then do not hesitate to call the passionate professionals at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions! All it takes is one phone call to begin a partnership that will last a life time. Dial 203-390-7399 to get started today!