Chimney Repair: 4 Of The Most Common Chimney Problems And How To Fix Them

chimney repair

As a homeowner, you will come across a number of chimney problems. You need to fix the problems for you to restore sanity in your home. To help you out, here are some of the most common chimney problems and how to fix them as given by chimney repair professionals:

Mortar issues

The most common mortar problems are missing or damaged mortar. This problem often comes about due to old age. When the mortar is damaged, the cracks allow water to get into the chimney. The water then expands during the thaw and freeze cycles, and as a result, the bricks get loose. In some cases, they collapse completely.

When you notice the mortar coming off, you should contact a repair professional as soon as possible to fix it.

Missing bricks

Your chimney will miss bricks if you don’t take good care of it. When you are having missing bricks in your chimney, your fireplace is not only ugly to look at, water also tends to get into the mortar, masonry, or adjoining bricks.

Just like when you are having mortar problems, more bricks might get damaged which further compromises the structural integrity of your unit.

You shouldn’t allow your chimney to be damaged to the extent that the bricks are missing. When you notice a loose brick, you should contact a masonry contractor as soon as possible to fix the issue.

Spalling

Spalling comes about when water gets into the stone or brick and forces the masonry out. The best way of spotting spalling is to take a look at the flakes and pieces of masonry that have fallen. You should fix the issue as soon as possible to prevent the entire structure from crumbling down.

Firebox problems

The firebox has a great impact on the efficiency of the fireplace. The most common problem with the firebox is rusting, which indicates that water is getting in. If the firebox is rusting or damp, you should find out where the moisture is coming from and fix the problem.

If you don’t have the time or aren’t sure of how to go about it, you should hire a chimney contractor to help you out.

Conclusion

These are some of the most common chimney problems and how to fix them. For you to have peace of mind that the work is expertly done, let a chimney company do the work.

Tips To Consider When Undertaking Chimney Cleaning

chimney cleaning

As a homeowner, you know that you need to undertake chimney cleaning to keep your family safe. For you to properly clean your chimney you need to consider a number of tips that include:

Inspect the fireplace

Before you start the cleaning, you need to first inspect the fireplace. This will help you come up with a cleaning plan. You should get to the top of your chimney and shine a bright light. When you do this you will be able to tell the extent of soot accumulation and whether there are any dead animals up there.

Use high-quality cleaning materials

Since all they need to do is to get rid of soot, many homeowners have the impression that they can use any cleaning materials that they come across. This is wrong. Remember that you need to sweep your chimney at least once a year.

If you invest in low-quality materials, you won’t clean the chimney properly. The materials also won’t last for a long time thus you will be forced to buy new ones when the cleaning time comes—which as you know is expensive.

To avoid this, you should invest in high-quality cleaning brushes, ladder, and any other thing you might need in your work.

Practice safety when cleaning

Chimney sweeping involves a lot of soot which can pose danger to you especially if you are asthmatic. For you to be safe you should protect yourself from the soot. This calls for you to wear a face mask and goggles to protect your eyes.

The task is also messy thus you should avoid using your clean, good clothes. The best way of going about it is wearing an apron or your used up clothes.

Still, on the safety issue, you should be cautious when getting on the chimney. Plenty of accidents have been reported of people cleaning their chimneys—you shouldn’t be one of them. Always ensure that the ladder you are using is sturdy. For you to have peace of mind, do the cleaning in the company of another person.

Conclusion

These are the tips to consider when cleaning your chimney. If you have the necessary tools and skills you should go ahead and clean the unit by yourself, but if you haven’t done it before, hire a chimney company to help you out.

As rule of thumb, ensure that the company you use is highly experienced and certified to work in your local area.

Chimney Repair: Tips On How To Take Care Of Your Wood Burning Stove

wood burning stove

A wood-burning stove is loved by many people as it’s easy to maintain and tends to be more efficient than other wood burning units in the market. While this is the case, it can be dangerous to run if you don’t take good care of it.

One of the most obvious problems that you might have is the unit putting your house at the risk of fire.  To help you out, here are tips given by chimney repair professionals on how to keep your unit in top shape:

Watch the type of wood you use

This is a no-brainer. Just like your wooden chimney, you need to be cautious of the type of wood you use. As rule of thumb, you should go for seasoned wood. This is wood that has been air dried for at least six months.

You should note that when you burn unseasoned or green wood, you put your house at the risk of fire as the huge smoke produced increases creosote deposition. In addition to only burning seasoned wood, another great way of decreasing smoke in the house is avoiding leaving the stove in slumber setting.

Undertake stove cleansing

Even if you burn seasoned wood, you will have soot accumulated in your unit. To keep your unit in top shape, you should make a habit of cleaning your unit every three months or once every six months.

If your stove is small, you can go ahead and clean it by yourself but if its large and you have never undertaken chimney cleaning before, hire a chimney sweep to help you out.

When cleaning it by yourself, you should get guidelines from the user’s manual. Here you will know the safety precautions that you need to follow and fittings to use. You should pay close attention to the catalytic combustor that is located between the fire and stovepipe.

If there are soot deposits on it, remove them with a gentle brush and vacuum.

Take care of the glass door

The glass door prevents heat embers from getting to you. The way it looks has a significant impact on the look of the house. To keep it looking great, you should make a habit of cleaning it every time you are lighting the fire. One of the best materials to use is a wad of paper that has been dampened with watered down vinegar.

It’s also common for the door to be faulty. In such a scenario, you should hire a chimney contractor to help you in repairing it.

Chimney Contractor: What You Need To Know About Gas Fireplace

chimney contractor

If you are constructing a new house or looking to install a new fireplace, you should go with a gas fireplace.

Benefits of a gas fireplace

According to chimney repair professionals, there are plenty of benefits that come with installing the gas fireplace in your home. One of the advantages is that the fireplace is easy to operate as you only need to switch it on and you have a fire.

This isn’t the case with wooden fireplaces that require you to collect firewood, dry it before you can warm yourself.

The fireplaces are also safer than other fireplaces that you might be having. For example, unlike wooden fireplaces that put your home at the risk of spores that grows on wet wood, with these units you don’t need to worry about it.

The fireplaces are also more efficient than other fireplaces. This is because most of them come already installed with inserts that greatly increase the efficiency levels.

If you love beautiful looking units, these are the units that you should go for. They come in different designs and sizes, and it’s up to you to choose the ones that are right for you.

Finally, the units are easy to maintain. Since they don’t accumulate soot, you have an easy time keeping them clean. In fact, you can clean them on your own without requiring the services of a chimney cleaning professional.

Tips on how to take care of a gas fireplace

As mentioned, the gas fireplace is easy to maintain. One of the things you should do is to ensure that the fireplace is clean all the time. You need to clean the glass on the door at least once a month.

You should clean it whether you are using the fireplace or not. For ideal results, use a standard glass cleaner to avoid cloudiness and etching of the glass.

You also should regularly inspect the gasket around the glass door or firebox system. It’s common for the gaskets to crack and even break apart putting you and your family at risk. If you notice an issue with the gasket, you should replace them as soon as possible.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about gas fireplaces. While the fireplaces are great, they can be problematic if you don’t take good care of them. To be on the safe side, at least twice a year, hire a chimney contractor to inspect the areas of the unit and fix the ones that are problematic.

Chimney Repair: Tips On How To Maintain Your Chimney

chimney repair

While the fireplace provides you with warmth and a great place to relax with your friends and family, according to chimney repair professionals, the unit is a fire hazard if you don’t take good care of it. To help you out, here are tips on how to take good care of your chimney:

Clean the fireplace

When the fireplace is dirty, it means that there is a lot of creosote deposited on the walls. There also might be birds and animals on the unit. In the event you didn’t know, it’s good you know that creosote tends to catch fire fast which puts your home at great risk.

To keep the unit in top shape, you should make it a habit to clean it at least once a year. You can also clean it more regularly than this mainly if you use the chimney a lot. You should avoid cleaning the unit on your own as you have high chances of making mistakes. The best way out is hiring a chimney contractor to help you out.

Watch the wood that you burn

Did you know that the type of wood you use in your chimney has a significant impact on the condition of the unit? To avoid a lot of soot in the unit, only use seasoned wood. This is wood that has been air dried for up to 6 months.

If possible, avoid softwood at all costs as it not only burns slowly, it also produces a lot of soot that requires you to sweep the chimney more regularly than you are supposed to.

Inspect the chimney

In addition to cleaning the unit, you also need to inspect it regularly. You should start with inspecting the condition of the chimney. Take a look inside and outside the chimney. Confirm whether there is anything that looks out of place.

If you have a masonry chimney, you need to be on the lookout for missing or loose bricks, cracks, leaning chimney, chipped masonry joints and any other faulty areas that might be there. If the unit has issues, ask a masonry contractor to fix it as soon as possible.

You also should check for leaks and stains near the fireplace. If the wallpaper is peeling, there is dampness near the chimney or stains on the walls, the unit requires your attention. Again, if there is an issue with the chimney, ask a fireplace repair professional to give it a look.

How To Undertake Chimney Cleaning On Your Own

chimney cleaning

One of the ways of keeping your chimney in top shape is to clean it regularly. While many people opt to hire chimney cleaning professionals to clean their units, you can clean the unit on your own if you have the basic cleaning skills. To help you out, here are some of the tips that you should put into consideration to give the unit a clean look:

Inspect the unit

This is the first thing that you need to do. You can’t just jump into cleaning without knowing the condition of the chimney. You should climb to the top of the chimney using a ladder and check the extent of creosote accumulation.

You also should confirm if there are any blocking materials up there. If there is a lot of creosote, consider hiring a professional to help you out, but if it’s only little, you can go ahead and remove it.

If there are nests or animals in the chimney, you should contact the animal control to help you in removing them. You should note that you can be on the wrong side of the law if you try getting rid of the animals on your own.

Gather the right chimney sweeping tools

Once you have ascertained that you can clean the chimney on your own, you should go ahead and gather the necessary tools. Some of the tools that you need for the work include: dust mask, rope, chimney brush, gloves, protective goggles, and flashlight.

Before you head to the store to buy the chimney brush, you should measure the inner part of the chimney liner. This will help you in purchasing the right size of unit.

Clean the chimney

You should now go ahead and start the cleaning. There are two main ways of cleaning the chimney: you can clean from the top or bottom. Cleaning from the top is easier, and also you don’t have to get into contact with a lot of dirt.

To clean the unit, you need to seal the fireplace to prevent spreading soot in the room. You also should remove the flue cap to allow unrestricted access to the chimney. You can clean the chimney using a chimney brush. If the brush is long enough, you can use it on its own, but if it’s not long enough, you can tie it with a rope.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to clean the chimney. If you have analyzed the situation and concluded that you couldn’t effectively clean the unit on your own, let a professional chimney contractor help you out.

Fireplace Repair: Why You Should Install A New Wood Stove

fireplace repair

If you are like most homeowners, you have an old wood stove that was made in the 90s. In addition to the unit looking out of style, it also might be too expensive to keep running. Fireplace repair professionals recommend that you invest in a new appliance.

Benefits of buying a new wood stove

There are plenty of benefits that come with investing in a new appliance. Some of these benefits include:

Energy efficient technology: The modern wood stoves are made in such a way that they consume little wood. According to the manufacturers, the units consume 33% less wood than their pot belly counterparts. The savings you make in the wood means more money in your pocket.

In addition to the units consuming little wood, they also produce more heat thus you don’t need to use a lot of wood to keep your house warm. Most of them have inbuilt wood stove inserts.

Safety: Since the stoves produce up to 90% fewer fumes than the traditional stoves, you don’t have to worry about inhaling dark, dense smoke. The less smoke also means less creosote deposition thus you don’t have to keep on hiring a chimney cleaning professional now and then.

Better style: As you might have guessed, most of the modern stoves have better-looking designs. They also come in different colors and are made from a wide range of materials. The different designs give your home an elegant look.

Guide to buying a wood stove

If your wood stove is old and you have to replace it, you need to consider a number of factors for you to buy the right one. Some of the factors that you need to consider include:

Material: While the units are made from different materials, two of the most common materials are cast iron and steel. Welded steel stoves perform better as they don’t expand like the cast iron units.

Type of combustion: Many people think that they only need to put wood on the stove and heat the house. To get the most from your unit you need to consider the type of combustion that the stove has. Two of the most common combustion types are: catalytic and ceramic.

You should go for a unit with a catalytic type of combustion as it provides a steadier and longer heat output from your wood.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about the wood stove. After buying and installing the unit, you need to regularly undertake chimney inspection to ensure that everything is running properly.

Fireplace Repair: Understanding Chimney Odor And How To Get Rid Of It

fireplace repair

According to fireplace repair professionals, chimney odors are one of the problems that you will come across as a homeowner.

Causes of chimney odor

A smelly chimney comes about due to two main reasons: moisture and soot deposits. If your chimney is leaking, the water from the rain gets inside the house. As you know, bacteria and other microbes love moist environments. As the bacteria grow, bleed, and excrete on the moist environments, they release the bad odor.

If you have stayed for a long time without cleaning the chimney, you are bound to have a bad smell emaciating from the fireplace. As you burn wood to keep you warm, soot tends to get deposited on the fireplace. Large deposits of the soot cause the chimney to smell.

How to fix the smelly chimney

The cool thing is that there are many ways of fixing the smelly chimney—it all depends on the source of the problem.

If you are having the unpleasant chimney smell, the first thing you should do is to hire a chimney contractor to inspect the fireplace and identify the cause of the smell. If it’s as a result of creosote deposition, you should hire a chimney sweeping professional to clean it.

If the professional observes the cause to be moisture coming from a cracked chimney flue or chimney cap, ask a masonry contractor to fix the problem. You should note that a crack in the chimney flue not only allows moisture in the house, it also increases the risk of your chimney catching fire.

To keep the smell from getting into the house, consider buying a Lyemance damper. This is a unit that not only keeps cold air and smell from getting into the house, it also keeps your heating costs low. All you need to do is work with a contractor and find the right damper for your chimney.

Most of the modern houses have a tight construction aimed at not only making them stronger, but also energy efficient. If you open the house window and notice that the smell is going away, consider installing an air supply ventilator that will help you in solving the problem.

If you aren’t familiar with ventilators, these are small vents that allow a lot of outdoor air into a room thus reducing the concentration of smelly air.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about the smelly chimney. To prevent the chimney from smelling in the future, work with a reputable chimney company to properly maintain the unit.

Chimney Repair: Understanding The Chimney Crown

chimney repair

The chimney crown or chimney wash as its popularly known is a large slap that covers the top of your chimney. According to chimney repair professionals, the unit plays a vital role in protecting the chimney from tough weather conditions.

When they are properly installed, they extend over the walls of the chimney creating a kerf that directs water onto the roof—away from the chimney.

Types of chimney crowns

There are many types of chimney crowns that you can install in your home. Some of the most common are:

Cement crown: This is the most common type of crown that you will find in most homes. You install the unit on top of the finished chimney masonry and slop it upwards to aid in water run-off.

The attractive thing with the unit is that it’s affordable and easy to install. The unfortunate thing is that it doesn’t last for a long time—it often lasts between 1-5 years.

Concrete crown: You install this unit on top of a finished masonry and you fill it with concrete. To make it more durable, it’s common for chimney contractors to add steel to the construction. When installing the unit, you should note that it tends to be a little bit expensive.

The cool thing is that it can last for a long time (usually 20-30 years) depending on the quality of concrete used, design, and installation.

Cut stone crown: Chimney experts refer to it as the most durable crown that you can install in your home. The chimney company you hire simply cuts and sets the stone on top of the finished chimney to act as crown.

While this crown is durable, it’s main flaw is that it tends to be expensive to install, thus you should be ready to part with a substantial amount.

Chimney crown damage

Just like the other parts of the chimney, the crown also tends to get damaged. The damage often comes about due to tough weather elements or improper installation.

While the unit can develop a wide range of damage, the most common one is development of cracks or holes that allow water into the flue and firebox.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about the chimney crown. To get the most from it you should ensure that its installed by a chimney professional. You also should regularly take a look at it when undertaking chimney inspection MD.

Fireplace Repair: Tips On How To Be Safe With Your Wooden Fireplace

fireplace repair

A wooden fireplace is one of the most popular units loved by many people. While its cheap to run as all you need is firewood, it tends to be unsafe; thus you need to be cautious when using it. To help you out, here are tips given by fireplace repair professionals on some of the safety tips that you need to put in place to be safe when working with the unit:

Inspect the chimney every year

While you might think that chimney inspection is unnecessary, it’s crucial as it helps the contractor to identify the problems while they are in their initial stages and fix them. The inspection also gives you peace of mind as you know that there is nothing wrong with your unit.

You shouldn’t inspect the unit on your own especially if you have never done it before. The best way of going about it is hiring a chimney expert to guide you through.  When the contractor identifies a problem, you should fix it immediately to prevent it from escalating.

Undertake chimney cleaning

In addition to regularly inspecting the unit you also need to periodically clean it. Here you need to hire a chimney sweeping professional at least once a year to clean both the insides and outsides of the fireplace. To have an easy time keeping the unit clean you should work with an experienced contractor.

The last thing you want is having the chimney improperly cleaned and develop issues after a short time.

Install the vital parts

Many homeowners make the mistake of ignoring fixing the vital areas of the unit which make the fireplace very dangerous. One of the vital parts of the unit that you should have in place is a chimney cap. This is a unit that ensures that birds and animals don’t get into your house thus blocking the chimney.

When you install it, you are sure that raccoons, squirrels, and other animals and birds won’t get inside your unit putting you and your family in danger.

Another unit you should consider installing in place is a fireplace grate. The unit protects the floor of the fireplace from direct heat thus saving you money that you would have spent replacing the unit.

Conclusion

These are some of the tips that you need to put into place for you to be safe with your fireplace. To have an easy time, work with a reputable chimney company.