Chimney, Fireplace, Ventilation & Duct

Certified Craftsmen: Chimney, Fireplace, Ventilation and Duct Experts serving Central New Jersey.

Certified Craftsmen: Proudly serving Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex Counties since 1989.

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Common Problems & FAQ's

Chimney Crown / Wash:

This is the mortar bed found at the top of the chimney.  It should gently pitch away from the flue tiles.  Many times the crown will be cracked & deteriorated, allowing water & ice penetration into the chimney.  This will eventually cause the bricks & mortar on the chimney to deteriorate.

Clogged or Plugged Chimney:

As the CDC states. Your chimney or flue for your hot water heater, furnace or boiler should be inspected annually by an experience certified professional. Clogged chimneys occur quite often with gas and oil-fired units. The lining of the flue deteriorates due to acidic condensation and the debris falls to bottom of the chimney flue clogging the breeching or smoke pipe.


In fact Certified was called out several times this year right after a large utility company in the are had connected a hot-water heater and a furnace to a clogged flue and left the house with the units running and spilling flue gas emissions.  Please see our photo documentation of these and other problems.


Generally made of some sort of metal and exists anywhere the chimney intersects the roof.  When chimneys are not counter-flashed properly degradation, sheathing rot and the emergence of mold & mildew can occur.  This type of leak create a lot of damage.

Cap Missing or Broken:

Can cause water leaks, which consequently cause firebox & smoke chamber damage, rotted dampers and animal & pest infestations.  Certified can install lifetime guaranteed stainless steel caps to prevent these unnecessary problems.

Missing, Broken or Rusted Out Damper:

Can cause heat & energy loss out of the chimney, creating a cold & drafty feel around the fireplace.  Our damper top system keeps the chimney warm and the weather out, preventing the loss of heat & energy.

Cracked, Broken or Missing Flue Tiles:

Can cause hazards during operation of your fireplace or heating system.  As the National Fire Protection Association 211 Codebook states: "liners must not be cracked, broken, deteriorated or missing".  Certified Craftsmen can eliminate the hazard of bad lining systems by relining it with lifetime guaranteed insulated stainless steel alloy relining systems.

Leaning or Failing Chimney Structure:

Certified Craftsmen can tear down and rebuild virtually any residential chimney type.

Rusted-out Metal Heat Form Fireboxes:

These pose a significant hazard.  Certified Craftsmen can help by torching & rebuilding them and also installing a new damper system.

Leaking Chimney:

Certified Craftsmen will inspect & evaluate the problem and offer solutions.

Rusted Out Metal Chase Tops:

A chase top is the cover that exists on top of some chimneys.  Field-installed galvanized chase tops frequently rust & rot out, causing damage to the firebox and eventually destroying it.  Certified Craftsmen can replace these tops with lifetime warrantee stainless steel or copper chase tops.

Gas / Oil Furnaces, Boilers or Hot Water Heaters:

It is vitally important that the masonry lining system & smoke pipe / breeching be inspected annually by a certified professional.  When these systems fail they pose a significant carbon monoxide hazard (for more important information, click here).

Call us for an annual inspection of your fireplace chimney, furnace, boiler or hot water heater flue. This should be part of the yearly maintenance on your home.

Annual inspection fee: $95.00




Frequently Asked Questions
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What is a chimney fire?

  • Caused by a build-up of exhaust byproducts (creosote) due to insufficient combustion that when heated up, ignite in the chimney.  Temperatures can often exceed 2000 degrees during the fire-- flames can leap out of the chimney and travel through cracks and chimney walls.  These flames can ignite framing within the walls as well as bushes & trees outside the home.  This excessive heat damages chimney liners, cracks chimney walls and can damage many types of factory-built metal chimneys.

How often should I clean my chimney?

Why do I need a cap?

  • Caps keep out rain, which can form lye inside your firebox and destroy firebox walls.  They also keep out rodents & pests, which can contaminate your house with bacteria & insects.

How Often should my dryer vent be cleaned?

  • Your dryer vent should be cleaned twice a year.

How often should I clean my air ducts?

  • It is recommended & HVAC systems have a cleaning occur once every two years.  This helps promote indoor air quality and allows your heating/cooling plant to function efficiently.

Why does my chimney leak?

  • There are many reasons why your chimney may leak, such as: missing cap, a cracked & deteriorating crown/wash, deteriorating mortar joints, leaking flashing, a bad roof, missing cricket, etc.

Why did my furnace or boiler chimney get clogged?

  • The exhaust byproducts can be very acidic and when mixed with condensation, which commonly occurs, can create an acid mixture which will deteriorate your flue lining.  Pieces of flue lining and chimney will accumulate at the base of the flue where the breech from your furnace or boiler is made.  When this occurs, your chimney is clogged-- and now exhaust byproducts, such as carbon monoxide, are contaminating your living space. 

    This is why all heating plant flues, including hot water heater flues, should be inspected once a year by a certified professional.

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