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How to Safely Operate a Gas Fireplace

new gas fireplaces, canton ctOnce the decision is made to install a gas fireplace into a home, the man of the house breathes a sigh of relief. He is no longer lugging in wood, no more splinters, ashes, cleanup, or all the other menacing chores that accompany a wood-burning fireplace.

However, some precautions still need addressing before a gas fireplace can be used.  Adhering to these few safeguards will make a gas fireplace reliable as well as enjoyable.

Get Your Fireplace Cleaned and Inspected

First things first.  Have a certified chimney company clean and inspect your chimney.  If there is debris in your chimney, it could catch fire.  If enough creosote is present, that too could ignite.

Purchase a Gas Fireplace with All Necessary Sensors

When shopping for a gas fireplace, make sure an oxygen-depletion sensor is installed with it.

The oxygen-depletion sensor causes the gas to shut off if the fireplace gets too cold or a carbon monoxide build-up.  Also, install a carbon monoxide sensor on every floor of the home.  Carbon monoxide is a lethal gas that is odorless and invisible.  Although instances are rare, the gas has killed families of homes without a sensor.

This Isn’t a Do-It-Yourself Project

Working with propane tanks and gas lines is dangerous.  To ensure the family’s safety, start by hiring a licensed gas fireplace installer.

Follow All Local Building Codes

Make sure your new fireplace will be up to local building codes.

Insist your contractor apply for and obtain a building permit for your gas fireplace.  There will be an inspection and another set of eyes on the work your contractor has completed.

Keep Little Hands Away From The Glass

The glass of a gas fireplace gets very hot.  Teach everyone in your home not to touch the glass to prevent burns.

Comply With The 3′ Rule

Make sure all furniture, rugs, toys, etc., are kept three feet from the glass of your gas fireplace. This time of year, especially, as the Christmas decorations are brought out.

cleaning gas fireplace logs, bloomfield ctGet The Gas Fireplace Logs Cleaned

It is recommended that the fireplace logs be cleaned annually.  A gas fireplace retailer can do this.  The technician will clean the logs and make them look their best.  Other functions will be checked, such as the fan and air circulation passages, checking the sensor batteries, ensuring all vents are unobstructed, and cleaning the glass.

Pay Attention

If the flames in your gas fireplace change or there is a funny smell, call your fireplace service professional.  If gas can be smelled, grab the phone, leave the house, and call 911.

No Shortcuts

It is always exciting for homeowners to get something new in their house.  Don’t take shortcuts when installing a new gas fireplace.  When the fireplace is safely installed, sit back, and relax and enjoy the ambiance.

Call Northeastern Chimney

Northeastern Chimney, LLC is your full-service fireplace and chimney company.   Our nearly four decades of service have taught us that satisfied customers are customers for life.  Many of our clients have been with us since we opened our doors.

Our company provides continuing education for our technicians.   Training on new techniques and new equipment are offered regularly to our staff.  Chimneys are at the mercy of the weather, age, and various other conditions.  Our technicians are trained in every aspect of cleaning, repair, and rebuilding.

If a chimney needs care, we will be there.

 

Northeastern Chimney, LLC

37 Cody Street

 West Hartford, Connecticut 06110

 Phone: 860-233-5770

This post first appeared on https://www.mychimney.com

Can I Prevent Creosote Buildup?

The chemical reaction that creates combustion when burning solid and liquid fuels produces several natural by-products, including creosote. Although we typically associate creosote build-up with wood-burning fireplaces, even gas fireplaces have some creosote.

creosote found in a chimney, prairie village ksCreosote is of particular concern because it hardens into a dark, tarry, and highly flammable substance that is very difficult to remove without regular chimney sweeping. In addition, the intense fireplace heat or a burning ember can spark a chimney fire that can damage the flue liner and quickly spread throughout the house resulting in significant property damage and injuries. According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics, most residential structure fires are due to creosote build-up in the chimney.

How to Prevent Creosote Build-Up

Although you can’t eliminate creosote entirely when using the fireplace, there are several steps you can take to minimize creosote build-up.

Burn Seasoned Wood

Avoid burning fresh or green wood in the fireplace. The high moisture content in green woods produces smokier fires with more creosote. Instead, only burn hardwoods that have been seasoned or dried for six to twelve months. The lower moisture will make a cleaner, hotter, and longer-lasting fire with a lot less creosote. Some example hardwoods include ash, beech, birch, maple, and oak.

Watch For Airflow Restrictions

The chimney needs to draw sufficient draft to start and maintain a fire in the fireplace. However, small animals, leaves, twigs, and creosote buildup can cause a flue obstruction that restricts the airflow, impeding the performance of your fire. The incomplete combustion also produces smokier fires with more creosote. When flue obstructions are severe, a dangerous backdraft can occur that pushes smoke, creosote, and other debris out of the fireplace.

Warm the Flue Before Lighting the Fireplace

You can also help minimize creosote by warming the flue before lighting the fireplace. When the flue is cold, insufficient draft in the chimney can make it challenging to start and maintain a proper fire, thus producing more smoke and creosote. You can easily warm the flue by lighting a piece of cardboard or rolled newspaper and holding it under the flue until the draft reverses and goes up the flue.

chimney cleaning, leawood ksSchedule an Annual Chimney Inspection & Cleaning

Annual chimney inspections and cleanings are essential to preventing creosote build-up and ensuring your fireplace is safe to operate. When creosote accumulates in the chimney, it can cover the flue liner, smoke shelf, damper, and other critical components in a tarry, charcoal-like substance. You may also notice a distinct asphalt-like odor coming from the fireplace. During an annual inspection, a certified chimney technician will visually examine the entire chimney system, including vents and attached heating appliances for creosote buildup, flue obstructions, leaks, masonry damage, and other issues that can affect the safety and performance of your fireplace. When the chimney technician determines cleaning is necessary, it can often be accomplished during the same visit.

Signs of Creosote Buildup

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), an accumulation of 1/8” or more of creosote is hazardous and should be removed. Some of the signs of creosote buildup include:

  • Black soot around the fireplace
  • Insufficient draft
  • Poorly burning or smokey fires
  • Wood logs are not burning completely
  • Dark tar-like deposits on the damper

If you notice any of the above signs of creosote buildup, contact Fluesbrothers to schedule an appointment with a certified chimney technician in Lee’s Summit, Overland Park, and throughout the Kansas City KS/MO region.

The post Can I Prevent Creosote Buildup? appeared first on Fluesbrothers Chimney Service.

Can I Prevent Chimney Creosote Build Up?

creosote buildup in pipe, bristol ctThere isn’t any way to prevent creosote build up on the inside of your chimney.  Several feeble attempts were made to discover a process to inhibit build-up; sadly, none were successful.  We have found cleaning and inspection were the only way to make a chimney clean and safe.

DIY “Remedies” Homeowners Have Tried

To prevent anyone from repeating those mistakes, here are some ‘remedies’ some have tried.

  • Soot spray
  • Chemicals
  • Cleaning Logs
  • Burning aluminum cans
  • Burning potato peelings

The only technique having any positive results is, believe it or not, burning potato peelings.  Starting with uncooked potato peelings, you need to put the peelings directly on burning logs.  The chemical reaction provided by the peelings softens the creosote; regrettably, it does nothing to rid a chimney of it.  When all is said and done, nothing can replace an annual chimney cleaning and inspection.

Slow Down Creosote Build-Up

There are other ways to cut down on creosote. A frequently used chimney will have creosote regardless of what the homeowner does.  Burning season wood is an excellent start to a cleaner chimney.  Using ‘seasoned wood’ causes the flames to burn hotter and with less moisture.  Seasoning firewood doesn’t mean adding paprika and garlic; it means letting the wood dry, sometimes for a year or more before burning it.  Identifying the difference between the two can be tricky.

Using seasoned wood will slow the progression of creosote. Seasoned wood has the bark separating from the wood itself.  The seasoned wood will be darker in color. Some seasoned wood will take on a gray cast and will weigh less than greenwood.  When stacking the wood, seasoned wood will sound hollow when stacking.

Greenwood or unseasoned wood will have a slightly green cast to it.  Greenwood will be heavier than seasoned wood because of its moisture content.  Greenwood will also produce more smoke and more popping and crackling.  Since green wood will give off smoke, it is the smoke that carries the creosote up and on the walls of your chimney.

If you and your family are interested in finding the amount of moisture in your firewood, there are moisture meters.  An ideal moisture level in wood is around 15%.

video inspection of chimney flue, rocky hill ctChimney Creosote Can’t Be Fully Prevented

Back to our original question, Can I prevent creosote build-up?  The answer is No.  You can slow the build-up but, there is no magic formula.  The only fail-safe process is to have your chimney inspected annually, along with a chimney cleaning.  Not only will you have a clean chimney, but you will also have peace of mind that your chimney is safe to enjoy.

 

Call Northeastern Chimney, LLC

Northeastern Chimney, LLC has been servicing chimneys in the Central Connecticut area for 35 years.  Our staff is committed to keeping the West Hartford area safe by preventing chimney fires.  Our chimney technicians are customer-focused and results-driven to make sure your chimney is as safe as possible.  We are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).  An organization committed to training with the latest equipment and services related to every chimney.

Our technicians arrive on time in clean crisp uniforms.  They strive to give all information to the homeowner so decisions can be made about the chimney.  The best part is they always clean up and try to leave the premises cleaner than when they came.

We look forward to serving you.

Northeastern Chimney, LLC

37 Cody Street

 West Hartford, Connecticut 06110

 Phone: 860-233-5770

This post first appeared on https://www.mychimney.com

Tips on the Safe Operation of Your Gas Fireplace

safe gas fireplace operation, olathe ksThe manufacturer that made your gas fireplace likely provided some kind of owner’s manual or operator’s guide, either on paper or online. That manual will tell you what you need to know about the safe operation of the unit. Here are some key principles you should keep in mind.

Gas fireplaces should burn gas, nothing else

Just because there’s a flame in the firebox doesn’t mean you can throw all kinds of stuff in there to build a fire. Only gas should burn in a gas fireplace. That means no wood, furniture, magazines, newspapers, plastics, metals or anything else. These other materials could release dangerous toxic gases and cause major problems for your fireplace/venting system.

Have a working carbon monoxide monitor in place

Carbon monoxide monitors are designed to alert you to the presence of this deadly gas in your air. It’s widely understood that carbon monoxide is potentially fatal to humans and animals when inhaled. You need a monitor, because you can’t smell or see carbon monoxide. Follow the directions in installing and maintaining the monitor.

Teach children about fireplace safety

If you have children, they need to understand that the fireplace is not a play area. For older kids, you can set a five-foot radius around the appliance that’s off limits. Younger children and pets need to be watched. Never leave young children alone in the room when a fire is burning.

Schedule annual gas fireplace inspections

While gas fireplaces require minimal maintenance, they do require a yearly safety inspection by a licensed, experienced technician. Your inspector will check the gas lines, the burner, the pilot light and other components. If damage or malfunction is spotted, you can get it fixed before it becomes a serious problem.

If you smell gas

Don’t rely only on your carbon monoxide monitor to detect a gas leak. Your nose is also a good monitor. If you smell gas in the vicinity of the fireplace:

  • If the fireplace is running, shut if off if safe to do so
  • Open several windows
  • If shutting off the unit doesn’t stop the gas odor, call 911 and leave the house
  • If shutting off does stop it, don’t use the fireplace again until it’s been inspected

Don’t place candles or other flames near the fireplace

Any flame close to your fireplace could cause an explosion should your fireplace begin leaking gas. Find other places for candles, lanterns, kerosene lamps and even incense.

fireplace installation and owner's manual, shawnee ksGet to know your owner’s manual

When a chimney professional installs your gas fireplace, they will give you the manufacturer’s fireplace manual. Several common “problems” you may be experiencing can easily be solved by you instead of paying a fireplace technician. (But never hesitate to call a professional if there’s something you can’t fix or prevent.)  If you don’t have an owner’s manual, you probably can find one online. If not, contact the manufacturer to acquire this document.

Keep your gas fireplace safe and working at its best

Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace of Kansas City, KS, is here to help you with all your gas fireplace needs. We provide licensed fireplace inspection, vent system cleaning, fireplace repair, replacement of damaged components and more.

When in doubt, check it out with an expert. Call us today at (913) 236-7141.

The post Tips on the Safe Operation of Your Gas Fireplace appeared first on Fluesbrothers Chimney Service.

How to Start a Chimney Cleaning Business

If you want to own a chimney relining business, you can do it anytime. There is low competition here compared to other industries and since chimneys must be cleaned once a year, there is a recurring demand from the homeowners. You can combine this with a low startup cost, and the possibility of making healthy profits. In addition, your market is a niche.

However, there are still proper procedures before you can start this kind of business. You must be licensed and your staff should be properly trained before working on a house.

You will have a new career or another way to make a profit from your existing job. When you read this article, you will know how to start a chimney cleaning business the proper way. Read more about it now.

Have a Business Plan

Before you start a new venture, you must write a business plan to show the trajectory of your company. Successful companies thrive since their owners have a vision and are prepared for any industry changes, tax season, and market forces. Most of the time, it is considered the most important part of opening a business. It should have an executive summary that covers the basics of your chimney cleaning business venture. There should be a projection and business strategy section. A business plan that is well-written helps you obtain loans or attract investors to get involved in your business.

Get Certified and Gain Experience

Based on the law, you are not required to be licensed in order to operate chimney sweep business. You can get a general business license.

However, if there are any damages that result from your chimney cleaning service, you are going to be liable for them.

You can prevent this by getting certified, so your knowledge about the job improves. In addition, being certified makes your business more attractive to high-payers.

The certification stamp shows credibility telling homeowners you put safety first and then do an excellent job.

Have Strong Characteristics

All jobs have certain characteristics that help the job to become more natural for any person. If you want to become a chimney cleaner, you need stamina, strength, fine motor skills, ability, and critical thinking skills. If you do not work in construction or even complete a DIY project at home, you are aware that no project goes as planned so you must be adaptable and flexible. You also need strong customer service, so you can effectively communicate with business owners and homeowners. Having strong communication skills also lets you interact well with co-workers and bosses.

Online Exposure

If you want to find a new customer online for your chimney cleaning services, you must consider having a compelling website. You will be able to build one on your own through platforms, or you can pay for a web designer to create something unique from scratch. Features such as online booking is convenient and gives you an advantage over other companies. Do no forget to talk about the services you offer in detail and show your certifications, as well positive reviews to make your customers assured of your skills.

Choose a Great Business Name and Logo

You should give a lot of thought to your business name and choose the ones that is professional and practical. After that, your name will be seen on your invoices and quotes, uniforms, marketing materials. And even your van.

They should both go hand-in-hand and the logo should be easily recognizable.

You can become of the top chimney contractors Columbia MD if you follow the proper ways of opening a business in this industry.

The post Blog first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

This post first appeared on https://www.firstclasschimneyservices.com

Should I Get a Chimney Inspection? How to Know If Your Chimney Needs to be Inspected

“Should I get a chimney inspection?” You may be wondering this as the weather gets cool and the heat is being turned on for the season. Fireplace safety should be at the forefront of any chimney owner’s mind, which includes an annual chimney inspection.

Do you have a home in the Greater Boston, Massachusetts area? Best Chimney Services has been the community’s all-service chimney company since 1989, and we’re ready to serve you with a chimney inspection, chimney sweep, or other chimney service. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch.

chimney against a blue skyWhen To Get a Chimney Inspection

At Best Chimney, we recommend getting an annual chimney inspection. The Chimney Safety Institute of America agrees, and quotes the National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 saying,”Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

Besides an annual inspection, there are several other times to have your chimney inspected. If you are buying a new house, you should have the chimney inspected to protect your investment. In addition, if you’re having any chimney issues, an inspection is a good starting point to diagnose any issues. Also, if a connected device is replaced, it is time for an inspection. This means that upgrading your heating appliance or water heater will require a flue inspection to confirm use.  Finally, even if you do not use your fireplace, you should have the chimney inspected. An inspection will check for venting issues with your heat and hot water ensuring the health and safety of those in your household.

Boston’s Best Chimney Inspectionsfriends gathered around a fireplace

We offer Level I, Level II, and Level III chimney inspections, and our team will help you determine the appropriate type of inspection for your situation. Each inspection type involves different tasks, but no matter which level of chimney inspection you choose, our team members are certified. This means that you can rely on having a highly trained and ethical chimney technician inspecting your chimney. Click here to learn the details of the different chimney inspections that we offer.

Call Best Chimney Services for Your Chimney Inspection Needs

If your chimney is in need of an inspection, be sure to get in touch with our team to book an appointment. An inspected and swept chimney will help keep your chimney safe and help you to avoid winter chimney problems, when the time comes to use your chimney. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to contact us with questions.

The post Should I Get a Chimney Inspection? How to Know If Your Chimney Needs to be Inspected appeared first on Boston's Best Chimney.

Why You Should Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep

Hiring a trustworthy chimney company can be difficult. After all, getting your chimney inspected and swept regularly is essential to the safety of your home and family. Therefore, choosing a trustworthy company is important and often challenging to navigate. Besides asking friends and neighbors for recommendations and checking out companies’ reviews online, we recommend checking to see if the company employs CSIA certified chimney sweeps.

Today, we’ll explain what a CSIA certified chimney sweep is and why this certification is a good indicator of a chimney company’s competence and trustworthiness. Are you seeking a chimney company that you can trust in the Boston, MA area? Best Chimney Services is a CSIA certified chimney sweep company and has been serving the community since 1989. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to book a chimney sweep or to ask your chimney-related questions.

csia certified chimney sweepWhat is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep

CSIA, or the Chimney Safety Institute of America, makes it “easier for homeowners to find reliable, experienced, highly-trained chimney and venting professionals.” This nonprofit organization has been in business for over thirty years, and has “created a standard of excellence in the industry by providing expert-led education and training to industry professionals.”

More specifically, a CSIA Certified chimney sweep is a credential that chimney professionals earn through this institute. It ensures that a specific chimney technician has a high level of knowledge regarding the “evaluation and maintenance of chimney and venting systems.” Chimney technicians need to prepare for and pass a challenging and detailed exam in order to gain this credential. After companies earn this credential, homeowners can easily find local certified chimney sweeps through CSIA’s certified provider search tool. Click here to learn more about this certification.

Why You Should Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweepadvantages of hiring a csia certified chimney sweep

Keep Your Home and Family Safe

CSIA certified chimney technicians are not only highly trained and made to pass a difficult exam, but they also sign a code of ethics, stating that they will follow all outlined safety standards. By hiring a chimney sweep to ensure that your chimney is clean and safe, you are placing your trust in someone. There is nobody better than a highly trained, ethical technician.

Avoid Expensive Chimney Issues

Chimney issues can be expensive. By ensuring that your chimney is properly maintained, you can avoid a host of dangerous or expensive issues such as creosote build up, especially glazed creosote, and animals nesting in your chimney.

Peace of Mind

If your chimney is swept by someone who is trustworthy, you can relax and enjoy your fireplace during the cold months without having to worry about the state of your chimney. Get the assurance that you deserve by hiring a CSIA certified chimney sweep.

How CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps Can Keep Your Family Safe

As the CSIA describes in this video, a safe chimney is the last thing that you should be taking the time to worry about. Leave the care of your chimney to a certified professional.

Are You Looking for a Boston, MA Area Chimney Sweep?

If you’re looking for a certified Chimney sweep, look no further than Best Chimney Services. Not only does Best Chimney offer chimney sweeps, but we also offer chimney repairs, masonry work, chimney installations, and commercial chimney workClick here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch today!

The post Why You Should Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep appeared first on Boston's Best Chimney.

What is the Best Material for a Chimney Cap?

Every homeowner with a chimney should have a chimney cap! Chimney caps come in a variety of styles, colors and materials which can lead to confusion on which type of chimney cap to choose. Today, we’ll share our recommendations on the best materials for chimney caps.

Do you need a chimney cap installed or replaced on your chimney? At Best Chimney Services, we are a full-service chimney company serving the Greater Boston, MA area. Whether you need a chimney cap or another chimney service, we will use our more than thirty years of experience to serve you. Click here or call (781) 893-6611 to contact our team with questions or to schedule a service.

what is the best material for a chimney capThe Best Materials for Chimney Caps

Though there are many options out there, our team typically installs either copper or stainless steel chimney caps. Quality copper or stainless steel chimney caps are ideal for New England chimneys, and they usually come with lifetime warranties.

Copper Chimney Caps

Copper chimney caps are long lasting and durable, especially throughout Massachusetts’ fluctuating seasons. Instead of rusting, copper will oxidize and develop a blue-green layer of patina adding a classic, European look to homes, making them an aesthetically pleasing favorite.

 Stainless Steel Chimney Caps

Stainless steel chimney caps are our most popular.  This material is long lasting, and strong and gives your chimney a polished, shiny look, even after time has passed.  It will not rust, which will prevent the issue of a rusting chimney cap staining your chimney and roof. Also, since stainless steel chimney caps are a popular option, there are many sizes and shapes available. This will make it easier to find the right fit for your chimney.

If you’d like to replace or install a chimney cap, we always recommend calling a professional to help you choose the proper size and to perform the installation. After all, your chimney cap will not be effective if it does not fit properly, or if it is not installed correctly.

 Why You Need a Chimney Capwhat is the best material for a chimney cap

There are many benefits to having a chimney cap on your chimney. First, chimney caps drastically reduce the amount of water that enters your home through your chimney. They also keep critters from nesting in your chimney. Since animal nests can cause obstructions in your chimney leading to carbon monoxide leaks, this is no small benefit. In addition, chimney caps can act as spark arrestors on your roof, preventing sparks from leaving your chimney and falling on your roof or nearby trees. If you’re interested in learning more about chimney caps, check out our ultimate chimney cap guide for more information.

Interested in a Chimney Cap? Get in Touch with Boston’s Best Chimney!

Chimney caps will make your chimney safer, and can even add a touch of style. Remember, though we recommend copper or stainless steel chimney caps, it is best to contact a professional to help you choose the best size and shape.

The post What is the Best Material for a Chimney Cap? appeared first on Boston's Best Chimney.

Is Your Fireplace Ready for Winter? Here’s how to Find Out.

Just as people prepare for winter, fireplaces and chimneys also need some preparation. The difference is, a fireplace can’t prep itself, so it’s up to you. Here’s a simple guide you can follow.

firebox repair, kansas city moCheck the firebox

Before you start using your fireplace regularly, clean the soot and any leftover ashes out of the firebox and take a close look. Does anything look damaged? Are there issues with any of the bricks?

Check the damper

The fireplace damper serves the critical purpose of opening during a fire to provide a thorough draft and closing after a fire to prevent the exchange of air between the home and outside. Does the damper squeak? Is it hard to open and close? It could be rusted or damaged.

Visually inspect your chimney

When you’re looking over your chimney, pay attention to these areas:

Chimney Masonry Condition

Are bricks cracked, is mortar crumbling? Is the chimney tilting or leaning to one side?

Chimney Brick Staining

Do you see white stains on the masonry? Could be the bricks are absorbing a lot of water. What about dark, smoky stains near the top of the stack? This could indicate that chimney fires have happened.

Chimney Cap

Do you have a chimney cap at the top of the chimney? If not, have one installed. If there is a cap, is it damaged, loose, torn or warped?

Chimney Crown

Look at the concrete chimney crown for signs of cracking and deterioration. Crowns (and caps) keep water and snow out of vulnerable areas of the chimney system.

Chimney Flashing

Is the flashing that blocks water from getting into the gap between the chimney and the roof warped or loose? Are sections of it missing?

Have your chimney professionally cleaned

Flammable creosote builds up inside your chimney flue every time you burn a wood fire. Over time, there can be enough creosote accumulation to start a dangerous chimney fire. A professional chimney sweep uses a variety of industry-grade tools to safely remove both creosote and drafting obstructions such as outside debris and small-animal nests.

Watch for signs of a leaky chimney

Chimneys can leak for many reasons and often leave clear signs including:

  • Water in the firebox
  • Damp sections of walls and the ceiling near the fireplace
  • Strong, musty odors coming from the firebox, attic or crawlspaces
  • Squeaky fireplace damper (rust)
  • White stains on exterior chimney (as noted above)

certified chimney inspection, kansas city ksSchedule a chimney inspection

While you can spot certain problems with your chimney and fireplace, only a licensed inspector can give the system a clean bill of health, which gives you peace of mind. Chimney inspections can cover a full range of structural and functional issues such as:

  • Drafting efficiency
  • Damage to the firebox and damper
  • Cracks in the bricks and mortar of the exterior chimney
  • Damage to the chimney liner
  • Problems with the chimney cap, crown and flashing
  • Chimney leaks
  • Damage caused by chimney fires

It’s best to schedule chimney inspections along with chimney cleaning once a year. But in between service, if you spot any of the issues we’ve talked about here or anything else that seems “unusual,” contact your chimney services provider right away.

Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace of Kansas City, KS, is ready to help with all your winter fireplace and chimney preparation. We provide licensed chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, chimney repairs and chimney rebuilding services. Call your local experts today at (913) 236-7141.

The post Is Your Fireplace Ready for Winter? Here’s how to Find Out. appeared first on Fluesbrothers Chimney Service.

Keep Your Chimney & Fireplace in Good Working Order

It looks like Old Man Winter may be arriving sooner than expected in the Kansas City region. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it will be a colder winter in the Midwest, and our area could start to see some snow showers around the Thanksgiving holiday. However, with the early arrival of colder weather, now is an excellent time to remind our neighbors of four important reasons to ensure your chimney system has been properly maintained

risk of chimney fire, overland park ksFire Prevention

Fire prevention is the most significant reason for maintaining your chimney & fireplace in good working condition. Creosote is a naturally occurring material produced during the wood-burning process. The volatile organic compound (VOC) sticks to the damper, smoke chamber, chimney liner, and other components as smoke and gases vent up the chimney. The longer that creosote lingers in the flue, the more harmful this volatile organic compound becomes. It eventually hardens into a dark, tar-like substance that is extremely difficult to remove and is highly flammable. As a result, chimney creosote build-up is the leading cause of heating-related house fires, which areis entirely preventable with routine chimney maintenance.

Avoid Exposure to Harmful Fumes

Another important reason to not neglect chimney maintenance is to avoid exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) gas and other harmful fumes. Animal nests, creosote build-up, and debris that clog the flue due to a damaged or missing chimney cap can restrict the venting of dangerous fumes. The restricted airflow can ultimately cause the draft to reverse, known as a backdraft, that forces soot, creosote, and smokey debris into your living room. Also, masonry damage like masonry cracks or missing bricks and gaps in the mortar joints can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home. Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the “silent killer” because the odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas can quickly reduce oxygen levels that can cause sudden headaches, nausea, vomiting, and even death. To avoid exposure to carbon monoxide, be sure to have working CO detectors on every level of your home when using gas or wood-burning heating appliances. Also, be sure to do regular chimney sweeping and timely masonry repairs to keep your chimney and fireplace in safe working order.

Prevent Water Damage

Although a masonry chimney is a tall, heavy, and durable structure, water is its arch enemy. As water invades the masonry, it accelerates its deterioration causing bricks to spall or chip, crack, crumble, with gaps in the mortar joints. If left unresolved, entire bricks can loosen and separate from the chimney leaving large holes in the structure that can ultimately cause a partial or complete chimney collapse. Water can leak through these gaps and cause foul odors, corrosion, and extensive damage to the interior masonry and components. In addition to water damage, there is an increased risk of fire and exposure to carbon monoxide fumes, making it unsafe to operate your fireplace.

fireplace service, lenexa ksImprove Heating Efficiency

Keeping your chimney and fireplace in good working order with regular inspections and cleaning will also increase its heating efficiency, which means you’ll stay warmer with lower fuel costs. That’s because the soot, creosote, dirt, and debris can reduce the chimney draft. A proper draft is essential to optimum heating efficiency; otherwise, it will result in incomplete combustion. Not only does this result in higher fuel costs, but it also produces more smoke and creosote that will require more frequent chimney sweeping.

 

 

Chimney & Fireplace Inspection and Cleaning in Kansas City

Scheduling your annual chimney inspection and cleaning today will ensure your chimney and fireplace are in good working order. It will also help keep your home and family safe while enjoying the warmth of the fireplace. Our certified and licensed professionals serve Lawrence, KS, Blue Springs, MO, and communities throughout the Greater Kansas City area.

The post Keep Your Chimney & Fireplace in Good Working Order appeared first on Fluesbrothers Chimney Service.

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