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Chimney Chat: Growing Up in Our Family Business

Chimney Facts

Gracie Murray

Being raised in a family-owned business, one thing I noticed was how welcoming and accepting our company was with every employee that came to us. Employees weren’t just allowed in the work environment- they were invited into our family. At a young age, I began to learn the true definition of unity and selflessness through the actions of my parents.

Saying our company was a family business wasn’t just a label-it was a lifestyle. I saw my parents sacrifice everything they had for their business; that’s what makes any business successful.

All Staff for Masters Services

Both of my older sisters, Kylie and Madelyn, have worked in the call center for Masters Services. Kylie graduated from Texas Tech with a certified teaching degree last May, and is now teaching special education in Denton. Kylie, with her teaching position, no longer works for the business. Madelyn is in college for a nursing degree and works part-time at a local hospital. In between studying and helping out with patients, she still finds time to work for Masters Services. Maybe my younger sisters will work for the company when they are older too!

My dad, Chad Murray, the founder and CEO of Master Services, has a certified degree in the chimney and wildlife industry. He has obtained the certification of being a Certified Master Chimney Technician for several years now. Christa Murray is also the founder of Masters Services, and used to work in the call center.

Chimney Sweep Houston Business Founders

Growing up in the Chimney Business

Growing up, I remember going into the Masters Services office during the summertime. While my parents would be busy working, I had to find other ways to occupy my time. When the employees in the call center would go on their break or even run to the restroom, I would silently snoop around. Looking at the open desk and the lonely phone, I had an idea. This was my chance to let my creativity run wild, and to finally fill in the duties of an adult.  

Careful to not to touch any of the belongings on the desk, I would grasp the phone with precision and allow my imagination to take over. Cautious not to be caught in the act, I spoke in a soft but eager tone. “Hello, this is Gracie speaking. Is your refrigerator running?”, or “Hello, Queen Elizabeth. Of course, I will have tea with you this evening,” followed by giddy laughter as if somebody were actually on the other end of the phone. Just as I heard footsteps coming towards me, I would leap up out of the victim’s chair and run as fast I could to my secret hiding spot.  

Gradually, my conversation topics adjusted based on my growing maturity, (and the Queen was no longer returning my calls for tea). I moved from fantasy into reality- and I now wanted to transform into a working business women-at least act like one. Instead of pretending to speak to characters, I started to communicate with made-up clients. The cycle of sneaking in and out of the office call center continued, although as mentioned, as I grew up the subjects began to alter. 

One day during my daily lurking, I noticed a tab on the computer was left open from the Masters Services website. It read “Chimney Facts about Stopping Chimney Leaks and Deterioration,” what was that, I wondered? Having no clue what that phrase meant I started to base my phone calls off chimney leaks and… deodorant? I had no idea why my parents’ business was talking about a hygiene product that freshens up smelly armpits. “This is Gracie with Masters Services. How can I help you today?” waiting a few seconds then I would say, “Of course, we repair Chimney leaks and prevent deodorant stains. Would you like to make an appointment?”.

At the time, I was only about 10 years old but I wanted to learn everything I could about my parent’s business. The more I learned about chimneys, the more I wished I could work in the call center; even if I wasn’t sure what all the terms meant quite yet. 

I’m now 16 years old and I have come to the realization that acquiring a job isn’t as glamorous as I always thought it would be. This is only my second week working for Masters Services and I can already tell you all about chimney leaks and how to prevent them. If you have a deteriorating chimney or leak, that’s alright because Masters Services has your back. Our company repairs leaks and chimneys to ensure maximum safety for you and your family. Your families safety and health are our number one priority.  

What is Deterioration?

Let’s start with what deterioration actually is. I now know that the word I thought was deodorant is actually deterioration. Since then I have been filled in on the true meaning of the word and how it affects your chimney. Deterioration is the process of your chimney breaking down and becoming progressively unsafe. Leaks in your chimney caused by rain water leads to chimney deterioration. 

Why is having a leaky chimney so dangerous?

 Having rain water trapped in your chimney may contribute to health risks and could eventually progress into structural decay. The rain will seep into the walls of your home, growing all sorts of unwanted, harmful bacteria, such as, mold, fungi spores, and mildew. Once the bacteria finds its way into your home, you are more susceptible to respiratory issues and other health hazards. The musty smell of mold can also be detected throughout the house when leaks go unfixed. Annual chimney inspections are suggested, in order to avoid these issues altogether. Master Services offers a rigorous chimney and fireplace inspection with a full report emailed and printed for your records. 

Why Master Services Chimney Caps is the Best Installation Choice

There are several ways a chimney can be exposed to water and develop leakage. Without a proper fitting chimney cap installed, your chimney is vulnerable to rain damage. Installing a full coverage chimney cap means the top of your chimney will be entirely covered, resulting in little to no repairs when heavy rain comes your direction. Master Services chimney caps are fabricated by us and also come with a limited lifetime warranty. Animal proofed screens are installed to make sure wildlife removal will not be needed in the future. If the rain can’t get in, neither can the pesky critters. 

Custom Chimney Cap #2 Copper

How to Figure out if your Chimney is Leaking

Here’s how to figure out if you need to give Master Services a quick call for your leaky chimney. Sometimes it’s difficult to know for sure if your chimney is leaking. You can start by checking for any dripping noises coming from your fireplace or visible condensation inside the firebox. Staining from water buildup could appear on your walls or ceiling anywhere around your fireplace. Another way to determine whether your chimney has water trapped inside, is to look for cracks or eroded brick in the masonry. Water could also fall straight down your chimney when it’s raining outside, this is the most common way people realize their chimney is leaking.  

Master Services Levels of Water Damage Solutions

Once your chimney has been inspected and the leakage has been identified, there are three levels of water leakage solutions to follow. Depending on how much damage the water left, each level has a different approach on repairing your chimney. Often times level one is the only step needed to completely fix the chimney leaks and waterproof the chimney as a whole.  

Level one of Repairing Chimney Leakage

Level one of the water leak solutions includes a list of many beneficial steps. Each step helps to solve the problem of water seeping from your chimney into your home. This process will keep your home free from developing hazardous bacteria and even harmful toxins.  

With a success rate of 95 percentage, level one ensures to keep leaks from destroying your chimney and causing further issues from evolving. Now let’s break the process down into separate steps so you know exactly what will be done to your chimney. In level one we always install a full coverage chimney cap, made specially by our company.  

Master Services installs full coverage chimney caps to prevent rain from entering your home and to protect your family from unwanted animal infestation. Our number one chimney cap has a flat top for water prevention and screening for wildlife removal avoidance. While making sure your family isn’t at risk from the effects of these chimney complications, safety and style go hand and hand. Of course, the health and safety of your family is always our top priority, we want your home to look it’s best. Our chimney caps can complement the house’s exterior, as well as make sure you and your family are protected. Master Services wants our customers to be aware of all the chimney facts associated with the installation process.

Chimney Cap for Rain

From several different design types to choose from, our number one chimney cap comes in colored steel, stainless steel, and copper. Can’t find a chimney cap that suits your liking’s? Master Services offers the choice to customize your chimney cap and get it specially made just for you. Happen to not like the classic flat top design? Our companies’ arched lid chimney cap is perfect for your family and is the right choice to satisfy you. 

Arched Lid #1

Chimney Facts About Flashing

The flashing of a chimney is the space in between the roof and the bottom of the chimney. It should never be cracked, impaired, or have signs of tarnishing, such as rust. This is an important chimney fact that most homeowners don’t think about. Having a chimney with flashing that is bowing out or bending could cause water to enter the chimney and make the existing flashing erode away. Sealants wearing down is one of the most common ways rain gets into houses. If the flashing on a chimney isn’t installed correctly or it begins to leak, rust will eventually form. Flashing is installed to make sure water doesn’t seep into the crevices of the roof and to secure the chimney to the house. To avoid needing your chimney flashing repaired in the suture, get your flashing installed correctly by Master Services. Fixing your flashing now, ensures you won’t run into issues later on.  


Master Services uses FlashSeal for sealing chimney flashing and overall flashing needed on the roof. With FlashSeal, a bond is produced that ensures a solid seal will keep all moisture out of your house. Flashing makes sure the area between your roof and chimney are watertight. It also makes certain no condensation will get trapped inside the walls of your home, enter your attic, or sit on the inside of your roof. 

During the rest of the level one process a crack free mortar crown and a seal mortar crown are both installed to hold the chimney top altogether. A solid bed of the mortar is smoothed out and a coat of crown is applied to secure it in place. A lifetime warranty is put on the chimney after the crown coat is laid out, guaranteeing the chimney won’t ever leak into the crown of mortar. Deterioration and leaking will never occur with a mortar installation and no chimney repairs will be needed again.  

Crown Coat Mortar Crown Sealant

Chimney bricks may have cracks in them, allowing water to fall right through your chimney and into your fireplace. The procedure of repairing your chimney bricks of cracks is called tuck pointing. Only minor tuck pointing is necessary (if any at all) for a level one water leak solution job. Tuck pointing includes filling in all cracks with mortar after drilling the cracks out. To fill in the cracks, we use a matching age mortar therefore it will blend in with the existing mortar. Once the job is finished, the cracks will be gone and most of the time, the new mortar can’t even be seen at all.  

Chimney facts are that Chimney Saver Waterproofing, the absolute best waterproofing chimney sealant on the market, is applied to the outside brick of the chimney. It is sprayed onto the chimney exterior to prevent any moisture from finding its way into the chimney. After the spraying is finished, any water moisture already trapped inside evaporates out of the chase, therefore no further damage is made. This waterproofing should be applied to every chimney to avoid chimney repairs in entirety.  

To prevent rain from being blown into your chimney, dampers are installed underneath the chimney cap. Our company offers two types of dampers, based on the classification of the chimney. 

Fireplace Top Mounted Dampers

When a chimney cap is made by Master Services, an energy top damper should be put in place as well. A chimney fact that not many know is that only masonry fireplace chimneys can have an Energy Top Damper positioned below it. Air conditioning and heating is controlled by these chimney top dampers. One of the chimney facts most don’t know is that without having a chimney top damper installed, the air conditioning you pay for escapes through the chimney when you don’t even realize it. If you have an energy top damper installed you and your family will end up saving hundreds of dollars yearly from heating and cooling costs, while protecting your home from unwanted chimney leaks.  

Energy Top Damper

Zero Clearance Replacement Dampers are our other damper option available to our customers. This damper includes a U.L. Listed Spark Arrestor, or a termination cap with a louvered screening.  

Chimney facts About Level two of Water Damage Solutions

After every single step from level one is completed to repair water leakage, if necessary, level two is used. The process of tuck pointing is used on the entire chimney and mortar crown is also installed. Another spraying of Chimney Saver Waterproofing is applied to mortar and the chimney brick for the second time. 

Level Three Chimney Facts

If the previous levels of water leak solutions have not solved your problems with chimney leaks then level three must be approached. Level three includes a complete rebuild of the chimney as well as installation of a full coverage chimney cap and a crack free mortar crown. Knowing your chimney facts could potentially save your chimney from  having to as far as having to rebuild the whole chimney.

Master Services stops chimney leaks before they happen and prevents chimney deterioration from occurring. If your chimney has leakage, needs repair from water damage, and needs any of the services mentioned, give us a call and schedule an appointment with Master Services. Don’t have any leakage in your chimney? Most people don’t realize their chimney is prone to leaks, even if they haven’t happened yet. We offer services to prevent and avoid leakage before it even occurs, therefore give Master Services a call today or schedule an appointment online! 


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