Chimney Cleaning Tips

chimney cleaning

If your chimney is small and has minimal creosote deposition, you don’t have to go through the trouble of hiring a chimney cleaning professional as you can quickly clean it on your own.

Tips to ensure that you professionally clean the chimney

One of the things you should do is to clean the chimney using high-quality products. Most people make the mistake of investing in cheap, low-quality cleaning products which is wrong. Even if you aren’t a professional, invest in good quality products. Some of the products you need to successfully and efficiently clean the chimney include: safety glasses, duffel bag, tape measure, dust mask, wire brush, cordless drill, plastic sheet, shop vacuum, and old clothes.

One of the things you should pay close attention to is the chimney brushes. When you are the in the store, carefully go through them and ensure that they are of high quality. In addition to quality, also, ensure that they are of the right size and shape.

Another thing you need to do to keep your chimney in top shape is to know when it’s time to clean your chimney. You need to clean your chimney if:

  • There is visible soot in the chimney flue
  • Smoke accumulates in the chimney when you light fire
  • You regularly burn unseasoned wood
  • You keep the damper open

If you aren’t sure of whether your chimney is ripe for cleaning, consider hiring a chimney contractor to help you out. Most of the professionals can do it by simply looking at the fireplace.

Safety tips when cleaning the chimney

Plenty of accidents have been reported when homeowners fall from the chimney and hurt themselves. To protect yourself from the injuries you need to observe a number of cleaning safety tips. Some of the things you need to do include:

  • Use an extension ladder, instead of a step ladder
  • Place the ladder in a way that it rests against the eaves and extends a few feet above the eaves
  • Be cautious of the footing of the ladder. Ensure that t, the ladder rests on a hard surface such as asphalt or concrete. If the ground is wobbly, the ladder might fall. Unless when climbing the ladder, don’t go near the edge of the roof.

Conclusion

These are some of the tips to consider when cleaning your chimney. If you aren’t confident in your skills or your chimney is too big, hire a chimney sweep to help you with the cleaning.

Chimney Cleaning And Maintenance Myths You Should Be Aware Of

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As a home and chimney owner, you must have heard a lot of things about chimney cleaning and inspection. While some of the things are true, some are false. Here are some of the most common chimney myths you should be aware of:

You can clean the chimney on your own

With the presence of a lot of information online, some homeowners have the impression that they can do all the cleaning by themselves. While it’s true you can correctly clean your chimney if it doesn’t have a lot of creosote, you will have challenges cleaning it if you have used it for a long time without cleaning. If the creosote levels in your chimney are more than 5 gallons, you need specialized tools to effectively clean it.

Before you go ahead and start cleaning your chimney, first inspect it and determine the amount of creosote in it. If too much, ask a professional to help you.

A chimney liner fixes all problems

There is a misconception that when you install a metal chimney liner, you don’t have to clean or inspect your chimney anymore. There is nothing that is further from the truth than this. Remember that no magic happens when you install a metal chimney liner. While it increases the safety of your chimney, creosote and other materials build up on it.

If you don’t clean the liner, a lot of creosote will accumulate on it putting your house at the risk of fire. Regardless of the type of liner you install, remember that you have to clean and inspect it regularly.

You don’t need to clean the chimney if you don’t use it regularly

Although, you have to clean your chimney regularly when it’s in constant use, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore it when you don’t use it regularly. You should note that the creosote isn’t the only thing that damages the chimney. Other things such as bird nests and dead birds can also block the chimney. If you don’t remove them at the right time, the fireplace will put your house at the risk of fire.

You should also note that even if you aren’t using the chimney, the unit might still develop masonry problems that need to be fixed. To be on the safe side, make a habit of hiring a masonry contractor at least once a year to inspect your unit regardless of whether you use the chimney or not.

Chimney Company: All About The Gas Fireplace

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A gas fireplace is one of the best units you can install in your home.

Benefits of installing the unit

There are plenty of benefits that come with installing a gas fireplace. Some of them include:

Efficiency: The units are usually professionally constructed in such a way that they allow maximum efficiency. This ensures that you get maximum heat at least cost.

Ease of cleaning: Unlike with a wooden fireplace where you need to hire a chimney cleaning professional to clean it regularly, you don’t have to do it with a gas fireplace. Since you don’t use wood in the unit, no soot is formed thus no creosote compromises the safety of your home. This saves you money as you don’t have to hire a chimney contractor now and then to clean it.

Beautiful designs: The fireplaces come in beautiful designs that you can use in your home. They come in different colors, designs, and sizes. It’s up to you to choose the ones you like. When installing them, choose a design that complements your home.

Tips on how to take care of your gas fireplace

For the units to continue working efficiently and maintain their good looks, you need to take good care of them. Some of the things you should do to make it possible include:

Keep it clean: While you don’t need to regular hire a professional to clean the unit, you need to maintain the fireplace clean. One of the areas you should pay close attention to is the glass-viewing door. You should wipe the door with a clean, wet piece of cloth at least once every day.

While this doesn’t have an impact on the efficiency of the fireplace, it has a great impact on how the fireplace looks. When cleaning the door, check the bolts and screws and ensure that they are secure. If they aren’t, ask a contractor to give them a look.

Keep an eye on fumes and odors: Since the unit uses gas, it’s common for some of it to leak out. As you know, gas leakage is dangerous as it can result to fire in your house. Before you start the fire in the unit, first smell it and if you can smell it, contact a chimney company to give it a look. To protect yourself and family, it’s wise that you install a carbon monoxide sensor in your home.

Taking A Look At The Common Chimney Repairs

chimney repairs

If you are a homeowner, you know that you need to undertake regular chimney repairs. By regularly repairing your chimney, you prevent accidents from happening. When you live the unit to run without repair, the bricks and stones can come apart injuring you and your family members.

A faulty chimney also tends to accumulate creosote. The substance not only causes damage to the internal structures of the chimney, it also puts your property at the risk of fire. Finally, the faulty chimney also tends to accumulate harmful gasses such as carbon monoxide which you know are harmful when inhaled.

Common chimney repairs

While the chimney can develop problems in different areas, some repairs are more frequent than others. The most common areas that require repair include:

Chimney caps: Chimney caps are units found on the top of the chimney. They prevent water, animals, and debris from entering the chimney. When water gets into the chimney, it can destroy the mortar and liner joints putting the fireplace at the risk of coming down. Animals, when they get into the chimney, they block the flue preventing effective elimination of harmful gasses.

If your chimney doesn’t have a chimney cap, hire a chimney contractor to install it. If you have already installed it, hire a chimney expert to inspect it and fix any issues that might be there. The most common problem with chimney caps is cracking.

Chimney crown: The chimney crown is the top part of the chimney made up of concrete. Its primary role is to prevent water from entering the flue. Just like the chimney cap, it’s prone to cracks that compromise the effectiveness of the fireplace. If there are cracks, water can get into the chimney destroying the ceiling, walls, and attic. At least once a year, inspect the unit and fix any issues it might be having.

Firebox: From its name, this is a unit where you light the fire. It’s often made up of bricks which tend to come apart when exposed to ultra-high temperatures. To avoid accidents, hire a masonry contractor to inspect the unit and fix any issues present.

Flue: Finally, the flue is another part that you will have to repair regularly. The flue is the internal part of the chimney and functions as a canal to expel smoke and other toxic gases from the fireplace. It’s common for it to get blocked or cracked which compromises its effectiveness. To avoid dangerous fire accidents and toxic gas inhalations, hire a chimney company to inspect it and fix the problematic areas.

Chimney Company: Things You Should Know As A Chimney Owner

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If you have a chimney, there are a number of things you should know about it. Some of these things include:

Identify the type of chimney

Do you know the kind of fireplace you have in your home? If you don’t, ask your chimney company to explain it to you. There are three main types of fireplaces in most homes: single-walled metal, masonry, and pre-fabricated metal. The single-walled metal chimney takes the shape of a thin piece of metal pipe that sticks up the roof with a circular top. You are more likely to find this one in older homes.

The masonry unit is your standard brick chimney and the most common in most homes. Masonry chimneys feature a liner that is often pre-installed to ensure proper venting. Due to this feature, most people recognize it as the safest as it removes almost all of the harmful gas from the inside of the chimney.

You need to inspect the bricks

If your chimney was properly constructed, it was made from unique bricks that can withstand high temperature. In most cases, they are able to withstand up to 3000 degrees F. The bricks are put together with high-quality cement that is also able to withstand the high temperature. While the bricks are uniquely made, you should note that they tend to breakdown due to the high temperature. To have peace of mind that your chimney is safe regularly inspect the bricks and fix any problems they might be having. For ideal results, let a reputable chimney contractor do the work.

Take care of the flue

The flue is the venting system. It’s a pipe located on the interior of the chimney liner and removes gas and other gasses preventing them from building up in the unit. If the flue is improperly installed or develops issues, it can be risky to you, and your family members as the harmful gas doesn’t exit the chimney at the right time. To be on the safe side, hire a reputable contractor at least once a year to inspect the unit and fix any problems it might be having.

Conclusion

These are some of the things you should do for you to have an easy time with your chimney. To avoid regular chimney cleaning, learn how to build the right type of fire. If having a wood burning fireplace, always use seasoned wood.

Understanding Chimney Relining

Chimney relining is simply the reinstallation of the chimney liner. The old liner might have been damaged or deteriorated due to old age.

Type of chimney liners

There are plenty of chimney liners in the market that you can go for. The most common being:

Clay: These are the traditional units, and you will find them in most homes. When properly installed and maintained, they last for decades. The cool thing is that it’s easy to take care of them. All you need is to clean them regularly. Relining a clay chimney is labor intensive as you have to break the chimney walls to remove the tiles and install new ones.

Cast-in-place: These units are made from pouring cement line products from the outer walls of the chimney. This relining option provides a well-insulated flue that not only improves the functionality of the fireplace, but also improves its integrity. Cast-in-place liners make it possible for the chimney to burn cleaner; thus you have less creosote accumulation. As a result, you don’t have to hire a chimney cleaning professional regularly.

Metal: Metal chimney liners are made from aluminum or stainless steel. Fire experts recommend that you install stainless steel liners in your home. In addition to the units protecting your home from fire, they are also ideal for a wide range of applications. You can install them in your gas, wood burning, or oil burning chimney.

Mistakes to avoid when relining your chimney

For ideal results when relining your chimney, you need to avoid making plenty of mistakes. Some of the mistakes you should avoid making include:

Installing the wrong size: The size of the liner is important as it determines how well the unit functions. Due to lack of knowledge, some homeowners install liners of the wrong size. In most cases, they install liners that are too small for the chimney. This often results to improper insulation thus the chimney works inefficiently.

Using the wrong material: This is common when people are using clay liners. Some people use the wrong mortar. Others improperly install the mortar which results to a defective chimney.

Working with the wrong contractor: Removal and reinstallation of the chimney liner is a major project that requires an experienced professional. To save money, some homeowners hire a cheap masonry contractor. Most of the cheap contractors are inexperienced thus provide a poor service.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about relining of the chimney. To have an easy time work with a reputable chimney company.

Fireplace Repair: Taking A Look At Fireplace Dos And Don’ts

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Is this the first time you are installing a chimney? Here are a few fireplace dos and don’ts as given by fireplace repair experts:

Fireplace Dos

These are the things you should do to keep your fireplace in top shape. Some of these things include:

Burn the right wood: The type of wood you burn has a significant impact on the amount and type of heat you have. The type of wood also determines the amount of creosote that your chimney produces. To be on the safe side, make an effort of burning hardwoods such as oak, birch, maple, and ash. These woods produce less creosote and are often hotter.

You should also burn seasoned wood. This is wood that has been air dried for at least six months. The wood burns better and leaves less creosote residue. As a consequence, you don’t have to undertake chimney sweeping more regularly.

Choose a heavy fireback: The more massive the fireback is, the longer it radiates heat. According to chimney repair experts, firebacks come in handy in increasing the efficiency of the fireplace. According to the experts, the units enhance the effectiveness of the fireplace by up to 50%. There are many types of firebacks you can choose from. All you need to do is choose the right one for your application.

Undertake regular inspections: Just like any other unit in your home, you need to inspect your chimney regularly. You can do it on your own or hire a chimney contractor to help you out. At least once a year, hire a contractor to go around your chimney and fix any issues that might be there. In addition to chimney inspection giving you peace of mind that your chimney is in good shape, it also ensures that bigger chimney problems don’t come about.

Fireplace Don’ts

Don’t live with a cracked chimney: Is your chimney breaking? While the break might seem minor, it poses a danger to your home. If you notice a crack in your chimney, contact a masonry contractor as soon as possible.

Don’t install the fireplace on your own: Some homeowners try to install the chimneys on their own. This shouldn’t be you especially if you haven’t done it before. While the installing of the fireplace might seem easy, it requires specialized skills. The same thing applies to the installation of the chimney inserts and stoves. The best way of going about it is to hire a chimney company to do the work.

Chimney Company: Tips On How To Maintain Chimney Safety

While the chimney is your best friend during the cold months of the year, it can be a safety hazard when you don’t maintain it properly. To help you out, here are tips given by chimney repair professionals on how to keep your chimney healthy:

Cap the chimney

There is no way that your chimney will be safe if it doesn’t have a cap. The chimney cap is located at the top of the chimney, and it prevents rain, birds, leaves, raccoons, squirrels, and other materials from getting inside the chimney and obstructing it. When the animals and products get in the chimney, they obstruct it, and this can prevent the harmful carbon monoxide from exiting the chimney which can be fatal to you and your family.

It’s rare that your chimney won’t have a cap, but if it doesn’t, you should contact your local chimney contractor and install the cap. Most of the modern chimney caps are made from stainless steel, but there are some that are made from clay. These aren’t ideal as they tend to break within a short time.

Use the right fuel

With the advances in technology, chimneys are fueled by different materials. There are some fueled by wood, others by gas, and others by electricity. The biggest problem is with the wood-fueled chimneys. Some homeowners put up expensive chimneys, but they fail using the right fuel. For example, some use inferior quality wood. Use of these materials not only results in high inefficiency levels, but it also puts your chimney at the risk of clogging as soot tends to accumulate on the chimney walls.

To be on the safe side, use dry, seasoned wood as it will give you the most heat. It also will produce less smoke thus you won’t have to keep on hiring a chimney cleaning professional now and then. Use of the right fuel has also been found to be highly effective at preventing chimney fires.

Install a fireplace screen

If there are flying sparks coming from your chimney, you should install a screen that prevents them from landing on your furniture. The cool thing is that there are plenty of doors you can install. All you need to do is hire a reputable company to help you with the installation.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to keep your chimney safe. In addition to the above-mentioned tips, also remember to hire a chimney company at least once a year to undertake chimney inspection and fix any problems your chimney might be having.

Chimney Contractor: All About Chimney Fires

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s a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to protect your family from chimney fires. This calls for you to observe a set of fireplace tips.

Chimney fire prevention tips

Undertake regular chimney inspections: At least once a year, hire a chimney contractor to inspect your unit and fix the damaged areas. In most cases, the professional will clean the unit and fix any mechanical issues it might be having.

Keep the top of the chimney clear of debris and tree limbs: When there are tree limbs at the top of the unit, they can easily catch fire putting your house at risk. To avoid this, get rid of any debris and tree leaves that might be at the top of your chimney. Also, consider installing a chimney cap that will cover the top of the chimney. This prevents smoke from reaching the tree leaves thus protecting your property.

Watch the fire size: During the cold months of the year, it’s common for homeowners to want as much warmth as possible. This makes them put up large fires. While you will get warmth from doing this, you end up putting your house at the risk of catching fire. To be on the safe side, avoid overloading your fireplace. Remember that large fires result to overheating of the wall. It’s also common for the roof materials to be overheated especially if the fireplace is made from metal.

To be on the safe side, chimney repair professionals recommend that you keep only the minimum amount of fire.

Mistakes to avoid with your chimney

According to chimney companies, most of the chimney fires are as a result of chimney mistakes. These errors include:

Ignoring the chimney: As mentioned above, you need to take good care of your fireplace to protect your family and property from fire. Out of ignorance or lack of knowledge, some homeowners don’t inspect their units thus don’t know when they are at the risk of putting their lives in danger. To be on the safe side, undertake thorough chimney inspections at least once every year.

Hiring the wrong chimney sweep: Most homeowners know that they need to clean their fireplaces regularly to keep them running efficiently and safely. To save money, the homeowners often hire the cheapest chimney cleaning professionals they can afford. The cheap cleaners are often new to the industry thus have limited experience. This results in them giving you poor service. For the best service, hire the most experienced professionals.

Chimney Company: Everything You Need To Know About Stoves

When you are looking to install a fireplace in your home, you have many options. One of the options is installing a wood stove. Stoves are more efficient than the traditional fireplaces thus you end up saving a lot. They are also versatile in design giving you many options to choose from. In addition to this, you don’t need to hire a chimney company to help you with the installation as most of them don’t require installation.

Stove options

As mentioned, the stoves come in different designs thus you have many options to choose from. The units you have to choose from include:

Wood stoves: They are the most common and feature a traditional look. They also produce classic heat that most people long for. While the units are great, they are annoying as you have to cut, haul, split and carry wood. You also have to regularly undertake chimney cleaning as the soot tends to be too much. To get the best fire, use properly seasoned wood. This is wood that has been left outside to dry for up to 6 months.

Gas Stoves: Gas stoves are the most efficient units you should go for. The high energy efficiency is due to the zone heating feature. Unlike the wooden stove, you don’t have to cut wood—all you need is put on a switch, and you are good to go. Due to this, you don’t deal with soot; thus you don’t have to hire a cleaning professional now and then.

Pellet stoves: These units are also energy efficient (than the wood stoves). They are also eco-friendly as the pellets are made from organic materials. The stoves even have a feature that makes it possible for pellets to feed into the fire at set intervals.

Factors to consider when buying stoves

To buy the right stove, you need to consider some factors. These factors include:

Design: The units come in different designs for you to choose from. The one you choose depends on your preferences and home décor. As rule of thumb, choose a unit that complements your home and also looks good in your eyes.

Efficiency: This is critical as it saves you a lot of money. When you invest in an energy efficient unit, you spend less and vice versa. If you aren’t sure of the right unit to go for, get the input of a professional chimney contractor.