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How to Vent a Gas Fireplace Without a Chimney

A fireplace is a must-have for homeowners and especially during winters, the demand for wood-burning and gas fireplaces increases dramatically! 

Getting a fireplace is considered the most significant thing you can do to add value, aesthetics, and warmth to your home. But what if you don’t have a chimney to vent out the toxic gasses and smoke? 

No worries, there are certain types of chimneys, such as electric or vent-free gas fireplaces, that do not require any outdoor venting.

But all other fireplaces, stoves, and inserts, whether their fuel source is gas, wood, or pellets, rely on some form of ventilation to keep fresh air circulating inside the home and prevent harmful smoke from residing in the rooms.. For this purpose, you must ensure that combustion by-products are removed from the indoor air in your home. 

Gas fireplaces provide ambience and warmth to your house. This heating device comes in with installation flexibility and is extremely heat efficient. It also provides space for Christmas decorations. Also, the cherry on top, these new fireplace models offer natural ventilation.

This blog will help you understand the major types of vents with the help of which you could buy a gas fireplace for your chimney-free home. 

If you are looking for gas fireplace servicing in Maryland, you can contact High’s Chimney by calling 301-519-3500. Our EPA – certified fireplace repairman can help you with chimney/ fireplace cleaning, sweeping, maintenance, and installation.

3 Types of Vents

To understand how a ventless gas fireplace works, you need to know how it operates. Ventless gas fireplace logs are much easier and more attractive for your home. However, different types of vents have different features and benefits.  

The most common types of vents include 

  1. Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace
  2. B-Vent or Natural Vent Gas Fireplace
  3. Vent-Free Gas Fireplace

Let’s check out the details of each vent type so you can decide the best one for your home.

  1. Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace

A direct-Vent gas fireplace is the most popular type of venting. This type of model is designed to transfer the combustion of by-products, hazardous fumes, and pollutants outside the home through a chimney or an opening on the house’s exterior.

However, if you are looking for a chimney, you can consult a chimney and ventilation expert at High’s Chimney.   

Direct-Vent fireplaces are the most popular choice for homeowners because of their increased safety, efficiency, and versatility. These vented fireplace models are an ideal option for newer, more air-tight homes. Also, with a sealed glass panel in front of the fireplace, these models keep odors and pollutants out of your home and the toxic fumes will not reside within the rooms..

2. B-Vent or Natural Vent Gas Fireplace

A Natural Vent, also known as a B-Vent, draws harmful fumes from your fireplace out through the chimney. Such venting systems operate similarly to Direct-Vent.

However, the only difference between B-Vent and Direct vent is that a natural vent gas fireplace has an opening in the roof of your house, directly above the fireplace. For example, if there is a gas leak, the gasses will escape through the roof and not enter your home. 

A Natural Vent or B-Vent system eliminates the need for a chimney by routing combustion gasses directly into the atmosphere. 

At High’s Chimney, our B-Vent models are factory-built double-wall vent pipes exclusively used for venting gas. They are typically constructed with galvanized exteriors and aluminium interiors. Spaces between the partitions tend to be constricted; however, they can still accommodate moderate air circulation. The natural vent can be utilized efficiently to ventilate or connect your system while staying cost-effective.

3. Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces

Vent-Free gas fireplaces are also known as “un-vented” or “ventless”. These units are designed to introduce natural gas or propane into an existing gas-burning unit. Vent-free units offer a seamless heating solution to your home!

The flame of a gas fireplace should always come through the cracks of the artificial ceramic fiber logs, to provide safe and efficient heating operation.

If you don’t properly vent your gas fireplace, it will not allow the unit to work properly , creating a potential fire hazard. To ensure proper ventilation, it is important to consult a fireplace expert to assess the ventilation needs of your gas fireplace. 

We firmly recommend our customers to install vent-free gas fireplaces as they are more efficient and provide safer ways of heating homes.

Looking for a Gas Fireplace Cleaning and Repair Service?

Are you living in Maryland and looking for gas fireplace cleaning and repair service? If yes, then you can book an appointment with our certified fireplace repairman. They will inspect and guide you through the maintenance process for the fireplace, insert, log, stove or chimney.

How to Install a Vented Gas Fireplace?

Installing a vented gas fireplace is a great way to bring comfort and style to any home. Gas fireplaces can be installed in new and existing structures as they offer the convenience of remote controls —an efficient heating system, and flame height adjustments.

However, it is important to ensure that the fireplace is properly connected to a venting system that meets local codes. Moreover, it’s important to undertake all necessary precautions and vigilantly observe the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a well-maintained gas fireplace operation.

When it comes to venting or selecting the right connectors or chimneys, it is essential to get help from an experienced chimney and ventilation expert. He can guide you with the installation process and a premium quality gas fireplace with lasting heating efficiency.

If you are searching for a reliable fireplace in Frederick, MD and looking for a venting system, then you can contact us by filling out the query form.

The post How to Vent a Gas Fireplace Without a Chimney appeared first on Highs Chimney.

How to Add a Fireplace to Your House – Planning Guide

Fireplaces not only add exceptional ambience to your home but are also a valuable source of heat in cold areas, helping you save money on your heating bills. However, if you do not have a fireplace in your home, you can certainly get one installed, but for this, you first need to know the types of fireplaces.

Fireplaces are simply aesthetic, providing a decorative charm, adding warmth, and value to your living space.

We encourage our customers to take advantage of the decorative and warming qualities that fireplaces provide; since we offer an opportunity for homeowners to enhance their homes with efficient fireplaces.

In this article, we will share some suggestions on how to add a fireplace to your house, though installing a fireplace on your own is difficult. That’s why it’s highly recommended to contact chimney and fireplace specialists for gas fireplace servicing; they will walk you through these three steps; inspection, consultation, and installation. 

Choose the Right Fireplace For Your House

When choosing the right fireplace for your home, you must know what kind of fireplace you want. There are different types of fireplaces, and each one is different in terms of features and cost. 

However, to help you decide on the best fireplace for your home, we have summed up the types of fireplaces. But nowadays, gas fireplaces are the most popular ones.  

Three Types of Fireplaces 

Before adding the fireplace for comfort and coziness that everyone loves to have inside their home – you need to know these three types of fireplaces.

Here are the three types of fireplaces: 

  1. Masonry wood-burning fireplaces
  2. Gas fireplaces 
  3. Zero-clearance fireplaces
  • Masonry Wood-Burning Fireplaces 

Masonry wood-burning fireplaces look simple, antique, and are quite expensive.

A real masonry fireplace consists of a framework of cement blocks that include the firebox, flue, and chimney. In two-story houses, the choices for placing a fireplace might be limited. But still you can find the 12- to 14-inch space that is required for the masonry wood-burning fireplace.

Masonry wood-burning fireplaces are made of a brick/stone firebox or chimney, and a mantel, usually made of wood. Before buying a masonry wood-burning fireplace, some things to consider are; the size of your fireplace, the type of fuel you will use, and the installation.

However, these fireplaces are very common and look quite beautiful.

  • Gas Fireplaces 

Gas fireplaces are one of the most popular types of home furnaces because they are easy to use and install. These appliances use natural gas or propane gas to create heat and flame, making them EPA-certified for indoor air quality.

You can simplify your life with the ease and beauty of an indoor gas fireplace. You can add this type of fireplace for decoration purposes in your home and to give it a warm and welcoming feel. 

Installation of a gas fireplace usually takes around a day or a day and a half, because the process of installation is quite long. The installed fireplace further needs to be connected with the supplied gas line, where it uses the fraction of the fuel. These fireplaces also tend to be very reliable, with a longer lifespan as compared to other types.

There are three main types of gas fires: open hearth, closed hearth, and direct venting. You can choose any of them as per your needs and requirements. 

In addition, gas fireplaces start with the flip of a switch and are easy to clean and maintain. If you have been looking for gas fireplace cleaning and repair, then call the fireplace repairman from High’s Chimney at 301-519-3500.

3. Zero-Clearance Fireplaces 

If you’re looking for a low-cost fireplace option, consider a fireplace with no clearance or a built-in fireplace. These are lightweight fireplaces with a linear design to keep up with more modern tastes.

However, if you compare zero-clearance fireplaces with masonry fireplaces, they are easier to install and require much less construction work. It can be installed in any room, even over hardwood floors and inches away from existing walls.

Most zero-clearance fireplaces use electric or gas logs that you can buy, store, and replace like a regular appliance.

If you’re still looking for a traditional fireplace that will add character and elegance to your home, Masonry wood-burning fireplaces are the best option. However, consider a gas fireplace if you need more space and value for money. They’re easy to install and maintain and have efficient heating quality.

How to Add a Fireplace to Your House?  

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of fireplaces and their features, it’s time to learn how to add a fireplace to your house.

The three steps you should follow to add a fireplace in your home:

  1. Inspection
  2. Consultation
  3. Installation
  • Inspection 

Before starting any project, it is important to have an inspection done inside the house. It will help you determine the size and type of fireplace that will best fit your home.

  • Consultation

Once you have decided on the type of fireplace and its features, you must consult a professional fireplace repairman. He will be able to walk you through all of the installation steps and make sure everything goes smoothly.

  1. Installation

Finally, after all the preparations are made, the installation will take place in the selected space in your home. A professional fireplace repairman from High’s Chimney will arrive at your home and install the fireplace according to your specifications.

The post How to Add a Fireplace to Your House – Planning Guide appeared first on Highs Chimney.

How Often to Clean Dryer Vent? – A Brief Guide

Regular dryer vent cleaning is essential to maintain optimal dryer performance and efficiency. Removing lint and debris allows dryers to operate at peak levels and avoid potential issues obstructing performance.

In addition, proper dryer vent maintenance is essential in preventing duct blockages from developing. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends cleaning the dryer vent at least once a year or more frequently if you notice that your clothes take longer to dry.

This blog will cover a brief guide on dryer vent cleaning and maintenance.

Ideally, it would be best to have your dryer vent cleaned at least once a year and the air ducts five times annually. If you live in Gaithersburg, MD, get the dryer vent repaired and cleaned today from High’s Chimney. All you have to do is call 301-519-3500 and book your appointment for the service. 

Now let’s dig into why you need to clean the dryer vents and the particular signs of when you need to clean them.

Why Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent? 

Regularly cleaning your dryer vent is essential to ensure safe and efficient operation. Not only can a clogged dryer vent increase the risk of a fire, but it can also cause your dryer to use more energy, causing an increase in energy costs.

Here are a few main reasons showing why you should clean your dryer vent regularly; have a look at them. 

  • Reduced Clothes Drying Times 

Clothes take longer to dry when the airflow is obstructed. Cleaning your dryer ducts on a regular basis can help speed up the drying process.

  • Dryer Vent Cleaning Can Prevent Duct Blockages

Dryer vents play a vital role in directing airflow into and out of your machine. If the airflow is blocked, it can cause serious problems with your machine’s operation.

Signs That Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning 

If your clothes take longer than usual to dry or you notice excessive heat in the laundry room, it may indicate that your dryer vent needs cleaning.

1. Drying Time 

When lint slows down the airflow in the dryer duct, it can negatively impact the efficiency of your dryer.

It may lead to longer drying times or even failure to dry clothes.

If you notice that your clothes take a long time to dry or do not dry at all, it could be a sign that your dryer vent needs to be cleaned.

2. Slow Air Flow

Homeowners should inspect dryer vents for weak airflow and may need to have the ducts cleaned if necessary. Further, homeowners can gauge the necessary level of airflow by comparing it with a clean vent.

Those with roof vents may require professional assistance; you need air and dryer vent service from High’s Chimney by calling 301-519-3500

Our experts can inspect in-depth and clear out the dryer vent for proper airflow. If, after cleaning, minimal or no airflow continues to be detected, the duct may obstruct by a difficult blockage, a nest belonging to a bird, or the duct may have been disconnected from within the wall.

3. Dryer Gets Very Hot 

When a dryer’s vent is clogged with lint build-up, the appliance and its drum may become uncomfortably hot to the touch. It is caused by reduced airflow, preventing heat from escaping outside.

Cleaning a dryer vent can reduce fire hazards and energy costs and extend the appliance’s lifespan; that’s why you need to hire a professional maintenance specialist to get proper maintenance for your dryer vent.

4. Burning Smell 

Suppose you detect an unusual burning odor coming from your dryer. In that case, it is recommended that you turn off the appliance and get professional help to clean your dryer vent at High’s Chimney.

A lint clog within the ductwork may cause a smoldering fire. Lint is highly flammable; when it clogs a dryer vent, excess heat may ignite it.

It has been reported that dryer duct fires are common in homes, and thousands of such fires occur across the United States annually.

Regular cleaning of the dryer vent can reduce the above-shared problems and increase the efficiency of your dryer. Dryer Vent cleaning depends on various factors, including the type of dryer, the size of the vent, and your specific cleaning schedule.

Steps For Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

High’s Chimney experts advise regular inspection and cleaning of dryer vents because it’s essential for dryer maintenance.

Lint build-up and other blockages should be checked, as they indicate that the vent requires cleaning. That’s why you must follow these simple steps for cleaning your dryer vent:

  1. For safety reasons, it’s essential to turn off the power of your dryers before performing any maintenance or repairs.
  2. To access the internal components of the dryer, begin by carefully removing the cover on the front of the dryer.
  3. Locate the exhaust hose near the top of the machine and remove it by pulling it straight up.
  4. Disconnect the duct from the dryer and remove it from the machine.
  5. Remove any debris from the area around the duct by sweeping or vacuuming in a circular motion. Ensure that any debris that falls into the dryer drum is replaced.
  6. For optimal efficiency, clean the areas where lint or other debris has accumulated on the metal duct with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar or lemon juice.
  7. Once the cleaning process is complete, it is important to thoroughly rinse the area and consider replacing the duct if necessary.

Hire a Professional today! 

When cleaning dryer vents, the best option is to hire a professional. Professional dryer vent cleaning specialists can expertly remove all lint and dirt from all vent parts, ensuring complete cleanliness.

With their advanced knowledge and expertise, they can guarantee that the dryer vent is ready to operate. They clean the following components:

  • Dryer
  • Filters
  • Ducts

Regular air and dryer vent cleaning services can help ensure that your dryer vents remain in optimal working condition. 

The post How Often to Clean Dryer Vent? – A Brief Guide appeared first on Highs Chimney.

How to Keep Birds Out of Your Chimney

The simplest way to keep birds away is to put a chimney cap. It is basically covering the top of your chimney.

It is going to prevent animals from going inside your home, but it will keep water from entering. Needless to say, there is no need to worry about rain damaging the walls and ceilings of the interiors.

The chimney repair will advise you not to install it yourself, especially if you are a beginner. It is always advisable to hire a professional. You might have to pay a bit more, but it will save you a lot of headaches. You can read on to know more about how to keep birds out of your chimney.

Install a Top Cover or Chimney Cap

The thing is – birds inside chimneys are something you should not be dealing with. The good news is you can prevent the issue by installing a chimney cap.

When there are no birds in your chimney, you will have better ventilation, which reduces fire hazards and creates a safer environment for any home. A chimney is going to block birds, as well as other animals from building their nests and blocking your chimney.

Chimney caps will:

  • Stop the rain from going inside your flue
  • Hot ember protection
  • Prevents other animals, aside from birds, like raccoons and squirrels
  • Reduces the possibility of a chimney fire
  • Aesthetically pleasing to any chimney top

You Should Also Determine if the Bird is Only Visiting

There are times when birds become a bit curious and they decide to explore chimneys. The unfortunate thing is that they panic when they realize that they have a hard time getting out.

In case the bird is in your chimney and not the fireplace, you should open the chimney damper. Then, place a large box with the side up open facing the fireplace and then prop it up. This way, the bird has no room to escape into your room. Dim the lights and quietly wait until the bird goes into the box. In case it does, slide the cardboard sheet gently on the box opening, then take it outside, and release it.

How to Stop the from Coming Down Your Chimney

The simplest way to keep birds from falling down your chimney is to use a cowl. There are different versions of chimney cowls.

If the chimney has an unusual construction, you will be offered a bespoke solution to birdproof the chimney. All the solutions will keep birds from being able to enter your chimney.

Regular Chimney Sweep

Regular chimney sweeps and inspections are important when it comes to protecting the home from fire hazards and health issues. Cleaning up all the bird droppings from growing and accumulating fungus takes out the possibility of an airborne disease that enters your home. As well as removing debris brought by birds, to eliminate blockages that can cause a fire or CO poisoning.

Bird Spikes

Another way to keep birds from building nests in the chimney is to keep bird spikes around the chimney to bird-proof the chimney. This will keep them from finding their way inside the chimney flue and starting nesting.

You can Relocate the Animal or Bird

Your chimney might look like the best place to raise your family. If you hear chirps from your chimney, you might have to just wait. Many birds leave the nest about two weeks after hatching, so you need to monitor the sound levels. You can take action after at least a week of hearing the chirp.

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Is Your Chimney Causing Your Energy Bills to Rise?

Many people use their fireplaces to reduce their reliance on gas and electricity and cut down on energy expenses. But what if using your fireplace does the opposite? This post looks at ways your chimney and fireplace can increase your energy bills and how to make them more efficient.

Wood Burning Fireplace for Heating in Kansas City MOHow Fireplaces & Chimneys Cause Energy Bills to Rise

Before delving into ways to make your fireplace and chimney more energy efficient, let’s look at problems that could lead to energy loss. Despite what many people think, fireplaces aren’t the most efficient heating sources because they draw air from inside the house and vent it up the chimney. In other words, the fireplace and chimney system remove the heat they produce. Moreover, a fireplace needs constant airflow to keep the fire going. This air comes from vents, drafty windows, and doors.

So, when it’s cold, your fireplace pulls a lot of air out of the house, which could make your furnace work harder to make up the difference in heat.

According to the EPA, Generally, a wood-burning fireplace is an inefficient way to heat your home. Fireplace drafts can pull the warm air up the chimney, causing other rooms to be cooler. Another cause of energy inefficiency lies with the chimney. If your chimney is dirty or blocked, it reduces airflow, affecting the log’s combustion. Poor combustion produces less heat, causing your furnace or heater to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.

How to Increase Fireplace & Chimney Efficiency

This might seem like bad news for fireplace owners, but you don’t have to give up enjoying a beautiful fire because there are easy ways to make it more energy efficient and reduce your utility bills.

Install a Fireback

A fireback is a metal piece (typically stainless steel or cast iron) attached to the back of your fireplace to protect the wall from the extreme temperatures and reflect your fireplace’s heat back into the house.

Install Glass Doors

Another easy and inexpensive way to improve your fireplace’s efficiency is to install glass doors. Glass doors help your fire to burn more efficiently, and they make your fireplace safer too, which is beneficial if you have small children or pets in the house.

Use Your Damper to Control Heat

The fireplace damper is a device above the firebox you open and close to control airflow. Open the damper all the way to get your fire going, then draw it back a little to keep more heat in the home. You can experiment with opening and closing the damper to get the desired temperature, but you should never close it completely when burning a fire because it will expose your family to toxic carbon monoxide. When the fire goes out, close the damper to keep the heat and reduce the need to use your heater or furnace.

Keep Your Chimney Clean

As mentioned, a dirty or blocked chimney makes your fireplace less efficient because it reduces the airflow it needs to burn hot. Moreover, creosote buildup and other blockages put you at risk of a chimney fire. Hiring a certified chimney sweep for annual cleaning and maintenance ensures your chimney is safe and functions as intended.

Crack Open a Window

Because your fireplace relies on air to burn efficiently and draws so much from your house, it’s helpful to crack open a window near the fireplace, so it can draw in the air it needs from the outside instead of the rooms you’re trying to heat.

Use Your Ceiling Fan

If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on to circulate the heat throughout the house. If you don’t have a ceiling fan, set your HVAC fan on manual to help spread the warm air.

Level Two Chimney Inspection in Liberty MOCall the Pros at Fluesbrothers

Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace is the go-to chimney sweep and fireplace service in Kansas City because we do it all. Whether you need sweeping, repairs, maintenance, professional inspections, chimney rebuilds, stove installation, dryer vent cleaning, or more, you can count on our CSIA-certified technicians.

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Chimney Freeze Thaw Cycle in a Mild Chicago Winter

Chimney Freeze Thaw Cycle in a Mild Chicago Winter by Superior Chimney, Illinois

Chimney freeze thaw cycle is a regular occurrence in Illinois, even with the mild winter we’ve been experiencing. Now with the week ahead, temperatures hovering around the 30 degree mark during the day, chance of snow multiple times and in the 20’s at night, is a perfect recipe for the chimney to have to endure repeated freeze thaw cycles. What does this mean and how can your home be affected?

What is a Chimney Freeze Thaw Cycle?

As we all know, living in Chicago, the temperatures are cold even in a mild winter. However, even in these conditions, a chimney freeze thaw cycle occurs. When it rains or snows, the chimney bricks soak up a lot of moisture. When night time hits and the temperature drops, everything begins to freeze. Yes, the moisture in the bricks freeze. Those ice crystals nestled in the bricks expand causing the bricks and mortar to crack. Not necessarily big ones, a hairline crack is all it takes for water leaks and compromise to begin.

I Don’t Use the Fireplace

Whether you never use the fireplace, have a gas fireplace or a woodburning fireplace, what happens outside during the chimney freeze thaw cycle is all the same. Many homeowners choose not to use the fireplace thinking, ‘if I don’t use it, I don’t have any expenses.’ Sorry to disappoint, but weather treats all homes equally regardless of how often or not you use your fireplace.

What Can Be Done About Potential Water leaks?

To begin, reaching the chimney this time of year takes a bit more caution/consideration. Superior Chimney uses the right safety gear to ensure safe access at your home. Once we come to your home, here’s some of what we may inspect:

1. Inspect the chimney cap. Is it properly installed? Are there gaps for critters or debris to make its way in? What about rain and snow? Is the chimney cap tilted where weather elements can make their way in? These are just a few general questions we will be exploring.

2. Inspect the chimney crown or chase cover. This is the concrete slab or metal top. Our certified chimney technicians will take a close look to understand its wear in order to determine if it needs maintenance/repair or does it need to be replaced.

3. Check the brick-and-mortar joints on the chimney itself. Are there any loose bricks, or pieces of the brick falling off? Even if your chimney is made of stone, we’ll be checking for wear. Next, we’ll inspect the mortar. Is it worn down, are there missing pieces, are there cracks, small or large ones in the mortar.

By having these three items carefully inspected and fixed, you’ll ensure a dry winter and an event free Spring. So yes, it is January, and yes, you are still recovering from the holiday expenses of December, however, getting the chimney inspected and the fireplace cleaned and inspected will save you additional repair costs tomorrow.

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When Was Your Last Chimney Inspection?

Why You Need One Now

The time to have the chimney inspection is usually thought of as either at the end of use or the start of the fireplace season. Or you may think that you don’t need a chimney inspection because you’re not using your fireplace.  

The truth is, that even if you’re not using your fireplace, you’re still likely using your chimney to vent your heating system. The heating system vent typically runs parallel to the fireplace flue and carries the flue gases up and out. Here are things you can look for and we can find in the inspection: 

Chimney Inspections Can:

Prevent the Risk of Carbon Monoxide

We all likely know the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, but did you know that an obstructed chimney flue can lead to the inadvertent release of harmful gases and toxins, further resulting in an intrusion of carbon monoxide? 

inside view of chimney inspection

Diagnose Problems Your Chimney is Facing 

Whether it be flue damage, cracks in the masonry, leaks, or deteriorating brickwork, having your chimney inspected regularly can combat these issues and prevent the need for expensive repairs and further damage to your home. 

Allow for Better Home Heating

A clean chimney will inevitably allow for better home heating. When your chimney is properly swept, it removes that overabundance of creosote and other debris allowing for optimal flow. A clear passageway means better efficiency, and thus, less money to heat your home during the winter months.

Stay on top of your maintenance! We highly recommend getting your Chimney Inspection scheduled now, avoiding potential operation outages when you need it most.

The post When Was Your Last Chimney Inspection? appeared first on Boston’s Best Chimney.

Chimney Repairs and Improvements During The Off Season

Most homeowners here in the Northeast use their chimneys for secondary warmth during the colder months. Once the weather breaks, we in the chimney industry call this the “off-season.” It’s a great time for chimney repairs and general maintenance as these updates are easier to perform when the system is not in use. Here are our top 7 chimney repairs during the off-season.

Masonry tuckpointing in Farmington CTTuckpointing

Tuckpointing is the systematic repair of your chimney’s masonry. As one of the chimney repairs, you can do during the off-season, tuckpointing seals the joints between masonry components by applying new mortar where necessary. If left unattended, these gaps and cracks can lead to a chimney fire.


However, if the damage is extensive, your Northeastern Chimney technician will likely recommend repointing. This is the complete removal and replacement of deteriorated masonry. It’s more involved than tuckpointing, yes, but far more cost-effective than a complete rebuild of your entire chimney.


Once you’ve completed one or both of the previous two repairs, the next is to waterproof your chimney. This can prevent additional deterioration of your brick-and-mortar components, prolonging the life of the chimney structure.

Repairing broken components

Over time, all things begin to show wear and tear. This is true whether you’re referring to an appliance, a vehicle, your roof, or your chimney. Repairing your broken chimney components, such as a crown that has cracked and deteriorated or your damper that won’t fully open or shut, can save you significant money. In addition, as is the case with your damper, this can be a safety hazard.

Replacing your chimney cap

We’re highlighting your chimney cap because it’s often the first line of defense for your internal chimney components such as your damper and flue. A cap keeps animals, leaves, and other debris from entering your chimney. And, if your flue has significant creosote buildup, your cap can help keep stray smoldering embers at bay.

Cleaning your firebox

Removing ash is a regular part of using a fireplace. Once you’re done for the season, use this as an opportunity to remove all ash and deep clean your firebox. Though you might not consider it a repair, it’s just as much preventative maintenance as when our team performs an annual sweep.

Gas Fireplace Installation in Avon CT

Installing a gas insert

However, if you’re tired of cleaning ash, consider using the off-season to have one of our team members install a gas insert for you. This is an alternative to wood-burning fireplaces and will reduce some of the annual maintenance tasks you need to complete.

Each of these will follow a sweep and inspection

As a bonus 8th “repair”, we recommend all homeowners schedule a chimney sweep and inspection during the off-season. Indeed, it’s during this visit that we’ll uncover the need for most of the above items, as your technician can help you identify potential issues before they become significant problems.

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What Is That Smell From My Fireplace?

When relaxing in front of your fireplace, the last thing you want to have to happen is to get a whiff of a nasty smell. However, from time to time all homeowners will encounter an unexplained odor emanating from their fireboxes. So, what is the cause of that smell coming from your fireplace exactly? Here are the six most common answers to that question.

Creosote removal, chimney cleaning in Rocky Hill CTCreosote buildup

One of the benefits of an annual sweep and inspection by a Northeastern Chimney technician is that, during their visit, our team members will remove any creosote buildup within your flue. This sticky, tar-like substance can be quite smelly, especially when mixed with winter rain or snow.

An unintended side effect of efficient homes: negative air pressure

You want your home to be sealed so that your energy usage is as low as possible. However, this could have an unintended side effect, that being negative air pressure. Essentially, this creates a vacuum that pulls air down through your flue and into your home. This can cause odors from your neighborhood to make their way into your home.

Leaving a window or two slightly cracked when burning a fire in your fireplace, as well as closing your damper when it’s not in use, can help mitigate this issue.

Birds or other rodents

If your cap is missing or broken, birds and other critters can make their way into your chimney. There, they build nests or can get stuck. As time goes on, this can lead to a very smelly situation, especially with droppings and other waste. A smell like something is rotten is a strong indication you’re dealing with this type of problem.

Leaves or other debris

Have you ever cleaned leaves out of a gutter? We’d imagine you just said “Yes” to yourself. Likewise, have you ever cleaned decomposed leaves out of your gutters? In either case, leaves and other debris can have a unique odor. And again, if your cap is missing, this can be another reason for an unpleasant smell to be coming from your fireplace.

Mold and mildew from moisture

Mold and mildew have a very distinct smell. If there are structural issues with your chimney, ranging from missing bricks to a damaged crown, it can lead to moisture buildup. In turn, beyond the physical damage to your chimney, water can also lead to health concerns in the form of mold and mildew growth.

Chimney Sweeping New Britain CTAsh

The final thing you may be smelling from your chimney is ash. Ash should be removed weekly, but if left in place, can start to turn into a smell situation.

How to get rid of that smell coming from your fireplace!

Whenever there is a smell coming from your fireplace, you will want to schedule an inspection with our team right away. It may be overdue for a sweep and cleaning, or there may be an issue that’s popped up recently with your chimney. If left to fester, it may lead to larger problems down the road.

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How to Identify Chimney Stains

You may think a weathered look gives your chimney character, but stains can be a sign of an underlying problem. Let’s look at the various stains you might see on your chimney and what causes them.

Chimney Stains and Water Damage in Overland Park KSGreen Stains

If you live in a humid environment, you’ll probably notice green stains dotting your chimney, which are usually algae. Algae is unsightly but isn’t considered a hazard. It could also be mold, which may indicate a water leaking issue with your chimney. You would want to get a water problem inspected and repaired right away!

Black Stains

Black chimney stains are one of the most common and are caused by soot. Soot stains mainly appear on the crown, but wind can spread them everywhere.

Brown Stains

Brown stains are typically caused by creosote, a natural byproduct of burning wood. If you see these stains on your chimney, it could mean it needs to be swept. Creosote is corrosive and highly flammable, so it’s crucial to hire a professional chimney sweep to take care of it as soon as possible.

Red Stains

Red stains typically mean rust and often affect factory-built chimneys. Rust happens whenever water leaks from your chase cover and drips down the sides. If you see red stains, call a chimney professional as soon as possible because water leaks can cause damage to the chase cover if they’re not repaired and lead to mold growth in your home.

White Stains

White stains come from a process called efflorescence. Efflorescence is when moisture seeps into the bricks, causing the salt in the mortar to go to the surface. Efflorescence typically happens in cold climates, where chimneys undergo a freeze/thaw cycle. Because efflorescence results from water, it could signify that you have moisture damage, which, if left unchecked, can cause brick spalling, loose mortar joints, and a compromised chimney structure.

Preventing Chimney Stains

The most effective way to prevent chimney stains and the damage that results is to schedule an annual inspection by a trained professional. As mentioned, some stains are nothing more than an eyesore, but others could result from an underlying issue that can lead to damage or fire. Certified chimney experts can quickly determine a stain’s cause and determine if your chimney is at risk.

Level Two Video Inspection for Chimney in Prairie Village KSBesides scheduling a chimney inspection, it’s wise to invest in a waterproofing product since many stains are caused by moisture. Waterproofing prevents many moisture-related stains and extends the lifespan of your chimney.

Contact Fluesbrothers

At Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace, we’re committed to providing top-rated chimney and fireplace care for customers throughout Kansas City.

Our certified technicians do it all, from sweeping, inspections, repairs, installations, and rebuilds.

We have over a decade of experience, and our customers continue to rate us highly for our exceptional service, work ethic, and commitment to satisfaction. Contact us today at 913-236-7141.

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