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How To Prepare For Your Chimney Sweep

Imagine this. You’ve scheduled your chimney sweep and put it on the calendar, and now the time has arrived for it to arrive. At this point, you may be wondering, “Do I need to do anything for when my Chimney Sweep arrives?”

Your sweep requires little from you, but knowing what they do is a huge help in ensuring your appointment goes successfully. Since most contractors charge by the hour, it’s wise to prepare your chimney so that your contractor spends less time on your property, saving you a lot of money.

Some of the things you can do to prepare your chimney for cleaning include:

Put the fire out

This may sound obvious, but it is usual for your sweep to arrive to sweep a chimney while the fire’s embers are still burning hot. This is wrong.

Ideally, you shouldn’t use your appliance or fireplace in the 24 hours before your appointment; nevertheless, if your fire is your sole source of it, this may not be practical.

Speak with your sweep and let them know about this. They may be able to schedule your appointment for later in the day to give your fire time to properly cool down if you used it the night before.

Stoking your ash pan and ensuring that your coals are out before your sweep’s appointment is an excellent practice that your sweep will greatly appreciate.

Clear the space in front of your fireplace.

Your cleaning professional will come with a variety of tools. The first step in every chimney sweep’s routine is to lay down a ground sheet in front of the fireplace for them and their equipment to live and work on for the length of the sweep.

Most sweeps should be able to fit in a space two meters wide and a meter and a half in front of the fireplace.

To give your cleaning professional enough space, move any furniture, carpets, and ornaments from this area and around the fireplace in preparation for your sweep’s arrival.

Keep away children, pets, and valuable items.

Chimney debris is not something you want to breathe in. You and your family must remain at a safe distance from your sweep while they are operating.

Your sweep will wear a PPE3-certified (or higher) air filtering mask and utilize the aforementioned Hepa-rated vacuum to ensure that no one is inhaling anything they shouldn’t.

For the safety of your pets and your sweep, keep all pets (yes, even the cute ones) away from the sweeping area or, better yet, out of the room entirely.

To reduce the danger of damage, lock any valuables away or remove them from the work route. Remember that it’s always better to be cautious than sorry.

Clear your mantle

In addition to removing valuable items, fireplace equipment, and anything else near the fireplace, you should also clean the items on your mantle.

This is particularly true if any of the goods are fragile. While the chimney sweep will try not to disturb these items, the cleaning procedure may generate vibrations that cause them to fall.

Remove anything that may fall on the chimney sweep as well.

Make a list of things wrong with your chimney.

If you discover anything unusual about your fireplace, you should put it on a list and notify the chimney sweep before they begin work. This includes any unusual odors or evidence of wetness.

Before beginning, your chimney sweep will discuss your fireplace and its condition. During this time, express any concerns you may have.

You should carefully review the risk to ensure you don’t skip anything.

This list helps the sweepers understand what they’re dealing with and which portions of the chimney may require special care. It also informs them if any damage to the chimney may necessitate additional repairs.

Even after the contractor is done with the work, you should go over the list to confirm that they covered all areas.

Don’t worry about covering your furniture with dust sheets

The days when cleaning professionals walked into your home and just threw a brush up the chimney, releasing an avalanche of soot and other chimney debris, are over.

Modern sweeps will ‘sheet up’ your fireplace to prevent debris from entering your home, and they will be fitted with Hepa-certified vacuums to eliminate dangerous particulates.

Rest assured that what was previously a very nasty task has now been thoroughly cleaned up.

While this is the case, there is nothing wrong with adding extra care and another layer of protection.

Clean the fire grate and ash pan.

In addition to inspecting your embers, now is a good time to empty the ash from the previous fire. Cleaning out the ash from your fire is not normally included in the sweeping service, but if you forget, your sweep will most likely take care of it for you.

While this is the case, it’s always wise to clear the grate and ash pan to make the cleaning professional’s job easier.

How often should you clean your chimney?

Sweeping your chimney once a year is enough to keep it clean and free of harmful creosote accumulation and other obstacles.

Besides regular cleaning, you should also undertake a chimney inspection, allowing you to spot even the most minor abnormalities before they become fatal.

Some of the issues that you should look out for include:

  • Cracked or split brickwork
  • Broken or missing chimney cap.
  • Cracked chimney flue.
  • Decaying wood/damaged mortar

When you are hiring chimney cleaning services Bowie providers, don’t hire the first one you come across. Instead, you should take your time to research and find a reputable professional who will not only professionally inspect and clean the chimney but also recommend the best way to keep the unit in top working shape at all times.

Since you will be working with the contractor each year, you should find one with a great personality. You don’t want to be stuck with someone you don’t enjoy spending time with, do you?

The post How To Prepare For Your Chimney Sweep first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

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

5 Common Chimney Problems in Commercial Buildings and How to Address Them

Navigating the maintenance of commercial buildings can be a complex task, especially when it comes to addressing chimney issues. As a professional chimney company that’s been in business since 1989, we’ve seen our fair share of chimney problems in the Boston, MA area. However, there are 5 common chimney problems you’re most likely to face as a commercial building owner or manager during your chimney’s lifetime. Fortunately, we can help you address these problems in no time. If you’re looking for a local chimney company in the Boston area to take care of your chimney services, give us a call! We’d love to help. Here are some of the most common commercial chimney problems we see: 

Byproduct Build-Up

Carbon and soot are byproducts of burning gas or liquid fuels. Therefore, build-up a very common problem to run into. When soot builds up, it can become a dangerous obstruction within the vent system that you need to be conscious of removing regularly in order to avoid heat and hot water outages. This problem is easily solvable by booking a commercial chimney sweeping once a year to inspect and remove, if necessary. Your chimney technician can recommend whether or not you require more than one inspection or sweeping a year based on overall condition and nozzle settings.

Deterioration in Venting

Frequent exposure to flue gasses can eventually cause your chimney’s breeching pipe to deteriorate and crack.  You don’t want to allow this problem to sit long because cracks in the flue pipe that joins the heating equipment to the stack will affect overall efficiency of the system and create the risk of carbon monoxide spillage back into the boiler room.  Booking an appointment for a visual inspection is recommended to get ahead of this issue.   

Chimney Leaks

When maintaining your chimney, it’s common to run into chimney problems like leaks. Chimney leaks can be a result of rainwater seeping into cracks causing crumbling mortar, or other structural damage, but it can also be caused internally by over or under firing equipment resulting in excess condensation.  Figuring out where and why the leak is occurring is the difficult part, so you’ll want the help of a professional to perform a commercial chimney inspection. A chimney technician will be able to identify the source of the leak and then provide the next steps to repair it.

Structural Damage

Over your chimney’s lifetime, it will develop structural risks, like weak points, rust or cracks within a stack. Ignoring structural damage can lead to your chimney’s instability and the safety of those living in or around the building. Repairing structural damage could involve some variation of a stack repair, but it depends on the specific problem, so contact your local chimney company to identify the problem and provide the repair.

Blockages

It’s not uncommon to face chimney problems like blockages, caused from wildlife, falling debris, or excess soot. However, you want to address these problems as soon as you identify them because blockages in your chimney can restrict airflow, thus increasing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. We recommend booking a chimney inspection to inspect and responsibly remove any and all debris. Your chimney technician may recommend installing a chimney cap if you’re finding bird nests and animals in your chimney often.

Contact Best Chimney Services for Your Commercial Chimney Maintenance

Regular chimney maintenance is the key to preventing these common problems and catching them before they become unsafe and costly. Maintain the integrity of your commercial chimney by working with a qualified chimney company that can ensure your chimney is functioning safely. Contact us today to get started!

The post 5 Common Chimney Problems in Commercial Buildings and How to Address Them appeared first on Boston's Best Chimney.

The Best Time to Get Your Chimney Swept

We have just come out of a cold, long winter. The days are getting warmer. The nights are getting shorter. We see flowers and trees budding all around us. The fireplace is becoming a thing of the past, for now. You have other chores and tasks to get your yard ready for the Summer. The fun and games are around the corner. We all have our lists of things to do this spring. Let’s get a chimney sweep appointment today. 

Book Today!

Expert Chimney cleaning and sweeps in South Windsor CT and Bristol CT

Don’t delay in calling your chimney sweep. Now is the perfect time to book your sweep. Along with everyone else, you may not think about cleaning out your fireplace until you need it again. But don’t wait. Now is the time to call Northeastern Chimney to set up your appointment. Don’t be stuck this fall without a clean chimney.

Why Book Now?

  • Best services. If you delay in booking your chimney sweep until later in the year, all the 5-star companies will be booked. Waiting only gives you fewer options on the best companies to work with.
  • Convenience. Booking now will allow you to get an appointment when you want it. Waiting only puts you on a waitlist with many others. With limited availability.
  • The weather is perfect for someone to climb up on your roof. Waiting until the fall, or even worse until it snows is dangerous. It is dangerous for technicians to climb a ladder in thesnow.
  • Spring discount offerings. Now is the time that chimney sweeps aren’t busy. They offer discount coupons to bring in the business, your business.
  • Repair Parts backordered. If you wait until the heat of the season to get you your fireplace checked out, you may find a backorder of parts.
  • Waiting until the weather starts turning bad may cause more of a mess in your home. The technicians have to bring their equipment into your house. Bringing in the snow, rain, and mud as well. 

Now is the time to call for a chimney sweep. Don’t be left out in the cold. Our suggestion is to call Northeastern Chimney at 860-233-5770. It’s time to make that appointment now.

Expert chimney services cleanings and chimney safety in Farmington CT and Avon CTExpert Chimney Care

When you plan on cleaning a chimney, it is important to contact a professional. Appropriate tools as well as safety precautions are all taken under consideration. This is a job for professionals. We at Northeastern Chimney have all the tools necessary to get the job done. Remember that a well-maintained chimney will allow for proper ventilation. It will prevent hazardous fumes and chimney fires. Fires run with proper cleaning also improve energy efficiency.

Schedule your inspection or cleaning soon by calling Northeastern Chimney at 860-233-5770.

We service all of Hartford, Tolland, and Litchfield Counties. All our chimney technicians are CSIA certified. We are active in the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)

In addition, Northeastern Chimney, Inc. maintains a rigorous training schedule and a strict code of performance and ethics.

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

Why Are Chimneys So Important?

Chimneys are integral to homes with wood-burning heating systems like stoves and fireplaces. However, most people take their chimneys for granted, leading to structural damage and poor performance. Let’s look at why chimneys are important and how you can protect yours.

chimney inspections and cleaning in St Windsor LocksChimney Importance

The chimney’s primary job is funneling smoke, carbon monoxide, and other harmful combustion byproducts out of the house. This is crucial to maintaining healthy air quality and preventing health hazards. Moreover, efficient chimney operation maintains the fireplace or stove’s heating performance. An optimally functioning chimney creates a draft that feeds the fire with oxygen, which is essential for proper, efficient combustion.

Common Types of Chimney Damage

As mentioned, neglecting your chimney can damage it, impair performance, and create potential risks. Here are the dangers.

Creosote Buildup

One of the most common issues with wood-burning chimney systems is creosote accumulation. Creosote is a black or brown tar-like substance that builds up on the chimney’s interior walls and, in later stages, becomes highly flammable. According to a white paper by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “There is no absolute minimum of creosote accumulation necessary for a chimney fire.”

Structural Damage

Chimneys are susceptible to various forms of structural damage, including cracks in the flue liner, mortar joint, brick deterioration, and damage from natural phenomena like wind and lightning strikes. Structural damage reduces the chimney’s efficiency and poses safety risks, such as the potential for toxic gases to seep into the home and increased risk of fires.

Blockages

Chimneys get blocked by nesting animals, debris, or fallen leaves. Blockages prevent proper airflow, which can cause smoke to back up into the house and increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Water Damage

Water is the chimney’s number one enemy and can enter through cracks or missing caps, leading to further deterioration. Water damage can also compromise the chimney’s metal components and cause the masonry materials to deteriorate prematurely.

How to Protect Your Chimney

Fortunately, you can prevent most chimney issues by following these tips.

Regular Cleaning

Regular chimney sweeping by certified professionals will keep creosote from building up to a dangerous level. The National Fire Protection Association recommend annual fireplace, vent, and chimney inspection for soundness, freedom from buildup, and blockages.

Install a Chimney Cap

A chimney cap is an inexpensive and essential component to prevent debris, animals, and rainwater from entering the chimney. It also blocks downdrafts and can help prevent sparks and embers from exiting and landing on the roof.

Repair Structural Issues Immediately

Repairing structural issues, like cracks or deteriorating mortar, is crucial as soon as you detect them. Repairing minor issues now will prevent them from escalating into major problems requiring expensive repairs down the road.

Waterproof Your Chimney

Another inexpensive but essential way to protect your chimney is to hire a professional to apply a waterproofing product. Waterproof sealants guard against moisture damage and can extend your chimney’s lifespan.

Monitor Rust

If your chimney has metal components, monitoring them for rust or corrosion is essential. Rust and corrosion signal the presence of moisture, and you may have an underlying issue like water leaks that could lead to significant damage.

chimney systems in central ctRegular Inspections

Finally, it’s recommended you hire a professional chimney service to inspect your fireplace and chimney at least once a year, even if you don’t use them that much. This ensures there are no blockages or structural issues that could impede performance or create a safety hazard.

Call Northeastern Chimney Inc.

Northeastern Chimney Inc. has been the go-to chimney service in Connecticut since 1984. We’re fully licensed and insured, and our techs are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. They are always up to date on the latest technologies and techniques, so you can trust their expertise.

Whether you need chimney cleaning, inspection, repairs, installation, rebuilding, or anything else, you can rely on us.

Book your appointment today by calling 860-233-5770.

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

How to Get More Heat from Your Fireplace

A brick-and-mortar fireplace is one of any home’s most aesthetically pleasing features, offering comfort and warmth to the entire space. Traditional wood-burning fireplaces are more efficient and cost-effective than wood stoves or other electric heating appliances.

As a responsible homeowner, you want the most heat from your unit. And it’s possible. Some of the things you need to do include: 

Keep the unit in top shape

Like your car, you can’t expect a poorly maintained fireplace to function optimally. At least once a year, contact reputable chimney contractors to have your fireplace cleaned and maintained. This repair and maintenance will improve airflow and increase heat output for your next fire. 

 You shouldn’t remove all the ash in the chimney but rather leave some on top to improve airflow to the fire. To lower the amount of ash in the chimney, remove a little ash on a regular basis.

Make a habit of monitoring the fireplace regularly, and you should never leave it unattended. 

When hiring a maintenance professional, ensure you work with an experienced one who knows what they are doing. The last thing you want is to hire a contractor only to find that they aren’t experienced enough and end up ruining your unit. 

Install a fireplace insert.

Studies show that instead of the normal 10% efficiency of a regular wood-burning fireplace, an air-tight wood-burning fireplace insert can increase your fireplace’s efficiency by 70-80%. 

 You should install a wood-burning fireplace insert within your existing fireplace, which serves as a well-insulated firebox constructed of steel or cast iron. 

The most efficient inserts are double-wall units with built-in circulating fans that direct warm air from the fire into the room.

Hire an expert to install your fireplace insert. The insert should be designed precisely for your current firebox and linked directly to the flue liner to ensure accuracy. 

Sometimes, the contractor may have to use a new flue liner to ensure the insert is appropriate. 

 When looking for inserts, choose those that are high-efficiency and EPA-approved.

Burn high-quality wood

Frequently, what passes for firewood has been in a pile for years, decomposing and producing mushrooms. Turns out that rotten wood produces less heat than rot-free wood. 

Good wood burns hotter for three reasons. One, it is substantially drier. When wood has moisture, it must burn to remove the water before it can produce heat. As you can tell, this means that it loses heat. 

Second, good wood doesn’t rot. Rotten wood is lighter than good wood, therefore there is less to burn. 

Third, good wood usually indicates good hardwoods. When you burn good oak or hickory, which are hardwoods, the fire is really hot.

For the best outcome, always burn well-seasoned wood. Well-seasoned wood has lower moisture content and burns more efficiently than moist wood. 

Do not use recently felled wood or wood with a greenish hue, as it may not burn in the long term. Dry logs of wood that have been dried for up to 6 months to remove moisture and are well-seasoned are the best to go for. 

Get a chimney damper

A chimney damper serves as an entryway for air in your chimney. It helps to maximize the amount of heat produced by your fireplace while minimizing heat loss when it is not in use. 

 Chimney dampers are sometimes used with glass doors to form a stronger barrier to heat loss when the fireplace is not in use. 

 When installing the damper, ensure that the handle for opening and closing is above the fireplace entrance. To open, you only need to slide it to the right.

When lighting a fire, open the damper as wide as possible to generate additional heat. A wide-open damper increases the air hitting the fire, improving combustion. As a result, the fire will become hotter. 

When not using your fireplace, close the damper to keep indoor heat from escaping.

Ensure the room is properly ventilated.

Ventilating a room is equally vital as keeping the chimney clean by opening the damper. Chimneys are designed to remove hazardous gases from your fireplace and home. 

 A lack of ventilation in the room from the chimney may result in a vacuum, mingling fresh air with the created smoke. This vacuum decreases the chimney’s ability to suck air from the fireplace while allowing fresh air into the flames. 

 Unfortunately, many homes are now securely built, leaving little space for air to enter. This can interfere with the air supply to the fireplace. To optimize the heating performance of a wood-burning fireplace, ensure that your room is well-ventilated and the fire is constantly fed with new air.

Remember that leaving the door to other rooms of the house open or leaving the room’s windows partially open will help enhance airflow to the fireplace. 

There is no need to open the windows wide; a few centimeters is plenty. 

Ventilation from the exterior through vents and windows allows warm air inside your home to be released from the outside rather than through the chimney, resulting in a perfect harmony between the fireplace and the air. 

Invest in chimney fans.

Chimney fans provide forceful drafts, resulting in hotter-burning fires. They improve a chimney’s draft by drawing air up and out while bringing more heat into the house. 

 Chimney fans also effectively keep soot and smoke out of the home. These fans draw soot and smoke from the chimney rather than allowing it to blow indoors.

As a result, you have a properly functioning chimney with minimal smoke entering the house. 

Parting shot

As you have seen, it’s not hard to always get an optimally burning fireplace. As mentioned, work with reputable chimney cleaning services Upper Marlboro that will not only help with the fireplace’s maintenance but also advise on the right features to install in your unit to make it more functional.

The post How to Get More Heat from Your Fireplace first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

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

Checking a Chimney Heat Shield

A chimney heat shield is the crucial part of your chimney that protects your home from overheating and catching fire. If you’re noticing any burning smells, unusually high temperatures coming from the firebox, or are just overall concerned for the safety of your fireplace, a professional chimney sweep from Superior Chimney can help. Over time, the heat from the firebox will cause the mortar to crack and fall apart. With constant heat and even water exposure, the chimney heat shield will need to be replaced. As springtime rolls into summer in the Chicagoland area, and rainstorms come more frequently, your chimney (and home…) is more susceptible to water damage. This, in turn, damages your chimney heat shield. Do you suspect any damages to your chimney heat shield? 

What is a Chimney Heat Shield?

A chimney heat shield is a protective barrier installed on the outside of your fireplace primary firewall to reduce the heat transfer to your home’s walls. It acts as a barrier between the hot fireplace fire and the combustible materials in your home, such as wood framing, drywall, or insulation. By reducing the heat radiating from your fireplace, a heat shield helps prevent fires and protect your home from damage.

How Does a Chimney Heat Shield Work?

A chimney heat shield works by creating a layer of insulation between the fireplace fire and the walls of your home. This shield reduces the amount of heat that reaches the walls, preventing them from becoming too hot and potentially catching fire. Heat shields are made of stainless steel and are designed to withstand high temperatures without falling apart.

Why Should You Invest in a Chimney Heat Shield?

  1. Fire Prevention: One of the most significant benefits of a chimney heat shield is its ability to prevent fires in your home. By reducing the heat transfer from your fireplace fire to your walls, a heat shield can minimize the risk of combustible materials catching fire.
  2. Energy Efficiency: In addition to improving safety, a chimney heat shield also increases the efficiency of your home heating system. By reducing the amount of heat lost through your chimney, a heat shield will help keep your home warmer and reduce your energy bills.
  3. Longevity: Installing a chimney heat shield will also extend the lifespan of your chimney and prevent damage caused by excessive heat. By protecting your chimney from extreme temperatures, a heat shield can help prevent cracks, warping, and other issues that can lead to costly repairs.

Installing a Chimney Heat Shield

Installing a chimney heat shield is a process that should only be done by a professional chimney sweep. The first thing a chimney sweep will do is to measure the dimensions of your chimney and determine the appropriate size of the heat shield. If you’re interested in installing, replacing or having your chimney heat shield inspected, contact us at Superior Chimney today by calling 877-244-6349.

This post first appeared on https://www.superiorchimney.net

Why Would My Chimney Be Leaking?

You notice water and moisture coming from your chimney. This is a concern that you will want to get looked at before you have serious damage. A leak in the chimney can occur in several situations. Let us look at the five reasons that you may have a leaky chimney.

leaky chimney repair in Rocky Hill CTWater Coming In From The Top Of The Chimney:

If your chimney is not protected by a chimney cap, you may have rain and snow coming in from the top. The easiest fix for this would be to contact us for information on inserting a chimney cap. A cap is also beneficial to keep out debris and small animals that may search out your chimney for shelter.

Cracked Chimney Crown:

The chimney crown sits on the top of the fireplace. It is usually made of cement. The cement over time can age and crack. If you have a small crack water can enter. With the freezing and thawing of ice, the cement expands, making the crack larger. As the crack expands, more water can get into your chimney.

This can be fixed by applying a sealer around the chimney crown. Contact Northeastern Chimney at 860-233-5770.  We can help with this.

Masonry Bricks Absorbing Water:

The bricks used to construct your chimney are quite porous. Even more so if they go unattended over the years. Water can seep into the bricks and eventually come into the chimney. The freezing and thawing effect of ice can cause the mortar to expand and crack, giving way to leaks. Also, if your chimney is mostly in the shade this may be causing issue as well. The sun doesn’t hit the chimney to dry it out. Try to maintain the trees close to the house. Trim overhanging branches and limbs. A brick sealant can help as well.

Damaged Chimney Flashing:

The flashing is the part of the chimney where it joins the roof. If the flashing is not attached to the chimney, water will get into your chimney. This can cause a major issue if not addressed. A tight seal is used to connect the chimney to the roof, if damaged there can be considerable water issues.

chimney inspection in Rocky Hill CTLeaking From The Attic

When you have fires in your fireplace, gas fumes escape up the chimney.  With these fumes come condensation. The condensation attaches itself to the inside of your chimney and the flue. This condensation, if not recognized, can seep into your home, most commonly into the attic. The condensation or moisture can damage the drywall in the attic. It can cause moisture damage to the walls as well.

It is recommended to have your chimney inspected regularly. Experts suggest on an annual basis. By doing so, any issues can be found early, before the damage is too great.

Schedule your inspection or cleaning soon by calling Northeastern Chimney at 860-233-5770.

We service all of Hartford, Tolland, and Litchfield Counties. All our chimney technicians are CSIA certified. We are active in the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)

In addition, Northeastern Chimney, Inc. maintains a rigorous training schedule and a strict code of performance and ethics.

The post Why Would My Chimney Be Leaking? appeared first on .

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

Spring Chimney Safety Check: How to Spot Problems and Fix Chimneys Before They Become a Hazard

As spring blooms and we begin to enjoy milder temperatures, it’s a perfect time to ensure that all parts of your home are secure and ready for the upcoming seasons. At Best Chimney, we specialize in keeping your chimney not only aesthetically pleasing but also fundamentally strong. Spring is the ideal season to assess and address any potential safety risks associated with damaged or leaning chimneys. Whether you require routine inspections or extensive repairs, our team is committed to maintaining your chimney in top condition to protect your home and family.

Spotting Chimney Problems: A Sign to Act

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to notice chimney issues during the spring. After a long winter, signs of wear and tear or even structural misalignments can become apparent. A chimney leaning away from the house can be particularly alarming. This isn’t just a structural issue; it’s a safety hazard that requires immediate attention. While it may seem daunting, leaning chimneys are a fixable problem that should be addressed promptly to prevent further complication.

Understanding the Causes of Chimney Leaning

Several factors can contribute to a chimney shifting away from your home. Often, these issues are compounded by multiple influences:

Weather Impact:

The freeze and thaw cycles of winter can cause significant strain on chimney structures. As ice forms and melts, it can lead to cracks and weaken the mortar holding the bricks together.

Improper Installation:

If the chimney was not built according to current standards, structural weaknesses could become evident over time. The initial construction quality plays a crucial role in the long-term stability of your chimney.

Inadequate Base Support:

Older homes might have chimneys with bases that are too small to support their considerable weight adequately. This can lead to tilting, especially if the ground beneath has shifted or settled unevenly.

Soil Erosion:

 Spring showers can exacerbate the erosion of soil around the chimney base, leading to instability. Water infiltration into the soil can make it less capable of supporting the heavy structure of the chimney.

Taking Action Against a Leaning Chimney

If you notice your chimney tilting, it’s important to avoid quick fixes that don’t address the root of the problem. While temporary solutions like filling gaps with mortar or using metal straps seem cost-effective, they do not provide long-term stability.

The Right Time for Repairs

Spring is the perfect time to undertake chimney repairs. The milder weather allows for thorough inspections and the completion of necessary repairs without the complications of winter weather. Addressing chimney issues now also prepares your home for the rest of the year, ensuring that when you need your fireplace again, it will be ready and safe.

Our Comprehensive Chimney Services

At Best Chimney, our services are designed to handle every aspect of chimney maintenance:

Inspections:

We conduct various levels of detailed assessments to identify safety issues.

Sweeping:

Removing soot, debris, and blockages to ensure your chimney is clean and efficient.

Why Choose Best Chimney?

Choosing the right professionals to care for your chimney can make all the difference. Here’s why homeowners trust us:

Expertise:

Our team is highly trained and experienced in all aspects of care.

Quality:

We use the best materials and techniques to ensure your chimney is not only ready for use but also adds to your home’s curb appeal.

Customer Focus:

We prioritize your safety and satisfaction, offering tailored solutions to meet your specific needs.

Plan Ahead:

Don’t wait until small issues become larger problems. Spring is the ideal time to ensure your chimney is in good condition. By addressing any issues now, you can relax and enjoy a safe, comfortable home throughout the year.

Contact us today to schedule your inspection or discuss how we can assist with any chimney-related needs.

The post Spring Chimney Safety Check: How to Spot Problems and Fix Chimneys Before They Become a Hazard appeared first on Boston's Best Chimney.

Can You Sweep a Chimney While It’s Hot?

As a homeowner, you know the benefits of keeping your chimney clean. It prevents harmful soot and creosote from building up. It also keeps your family safe, among many other benefits.

Due to its importance, you can sometimes be in a hurry, and you want to clean your chimney while hot.

Is it wise to do this? Unfortunately, it’s not. This is because, in addition to risking burning your cleaning brushes, you can also get hurt, and you don’t want this.

Whether you are the one cleaning the chimney or you are hiring the services of chimney cleaning services providers, you should always wait for the chimney to cool first. Besides this, you should consider plenty of other chimney cleaning tips. They include:

Clean the chimney at least once a year

Most people know they should sweep their chimneys but are unsure how frequently they should do so. The prevailing consensus is that you should sweep your chimney at least once every year.

While this is the case, if you use your fireplace frequently, you may need to do so more often.

As mentioned, sweeping your chimney is crucial because it removes soot and, more significantly, creosote buildup in the chimney.

Creosote is highly combustible and the primary cause of chimney fires. Cleaning your chimney on a regular basis (approximately once a year) will minimize the quantity of creosote in it, lowering the risk of future chimney fires.

Besides cleaning the chimney, you also should ensure that the cover or fireplace insert is in good shape and that there are no gaps or holes in the flue. If your chimney is damaged, animals may be able to make themselves at home within, resulting in an unhealthy rat infestation for your home.

So, if you haven’t already, have an expert evaluate your chimney and consider cleaning it as soon as possible.

Sometimes, you don’t have to wait for a year to do the cleaning

While cleaning your chimney once a year is recommended, you may need to clean it more frequently. You do this when you use the chimney more regularly than the average person.

If this is the case, you should look for signs telling you it’s time to do the cleaning.

The first sign that your chimney needs to be cleaned is the presence of soot on the inside of the chimney. Large levels of soot build-up indicate high usage or that it hasn’t been cleaned in a long time.

You should consider running a fireplace poker along the interior of your chimney liner, and if you discover a 1/8-inch layer (or more) of buildup, it’s time to arrange a cleaning.

Strong scents are another sign that your chimney requires cleaning. You will notice a harsh and unpleasant odor if creosote accumulates in your chimney. If you see this, it’s time to get it cleaned immediately.

If you are unsure whether your chimney needs to be cleaned, hire a professional to inspect it. They will help with the inspection and provide an estimate of the cost, which will help you plan for it.

Clean the chimney in spring.

You should sweep the chimney as soon as the heating season ends, in the spring, while deposits are still dry and easy to remove. This also gives you plenty of time before the next season to fix or replace broken components.

People in the house will also be less exposed to unpleasant creosote odors while working.

Unfortunately, most homeowners wait until the fall to have their chimneys cleaned. This is wrong as you often end up paying too much for the service as most cleaning service providers are busy at this time.

As mentioned, you can get away with cleaning your chimney once a year, but if you use your fireplace to heat your home every day in the winter, you’ll need to schedule an extra sweep in the middle of the season—usually after you’ve burned three or four cords of wood.

If cleaning the chimney by yourself, use the right tools

It’s always wise to hire chimney cleaning professionals to do the cleaning as they do a good job, but if you don’t have the budget, you can do it yourself. When doing it, ensure that you use the right tools.

A wire chimney brush has long been the primary instrument for cleaning chimneys.

To effectively clean the chimney walls, insert a wired brush into a chimney and move it reciprocally while rotating.

If there is any movement (other than from the bent pipe), it is most likely because the chimney pipe is very narrow and has become clogged.

Such congestion can be broken through with a large object tied to a rope.

When the chimney is severely clogged, you can use a combination of two methods: clean it with chemicals and then mechanically. Pre-prepared soot will be cleaned considerably more easily and quickly.

Its diameter should be approximately 20% larger than that of a chimney. A metal brush is best for cleaning a rectangle or square structure.

You can also use a hefty round metal ball to clear obstructions, such as dense debris or collapsed bricks. To break through the congestion, throw the ball, linked to the rope, directly into the center of the pipe hole, taking care not to harm the chimney walls.

If you can’t punch through the blockage in this manner, you may have to disassemble part of the chimney.

The core diameter should be at least two-thirds of the pipe’s cross-section. The ball has another duty as a weighing agent, and you tie it to the rope together with the wires brush.

Before using the brush, you need a scrubber to remove a deep layer of soot.

You should avoid using sports weights or other heavy things not intended for chimney cleaning. This is because of the changed center of gravity, they can tip over and become stuck inside the pipe.

As mentioned, you should always use the right tools, but if you don’t have the tools, let experienced chimney contractors Ellicott City do the work.

The post Can You Sweep a Chimney While It’s Hot? first appeared on First Class Chimney Services.

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

Does Your Living Room Look Like a Pizza Oven?

How would you know if your chimney smoke guard is working properly? A faulty chimney smoke guard is surprisingly obvious. Have you been to a pizza restaurant recently? The best pizza restaurants have wood burning ovens, all with a chimney attached. Sometimes, the inside of the restaurant looks cloudy and smokey, and smells like burning food. It’s not a bad smell, but it is a sign the pizza place’s air flow and chimney are not working well. These smokey fumes are nothing to mess around with, they can be toxic to breathe in. Carbon monoxide, dioxide and other harmful toxins are released during the combustion process. So, how can you protect your home from ending up like a smokey pizza restaurant?

An Important Part of Your Chimney

A chimney smoke guard serves an important purpose in the construction of a chimney. It is to keep the smoke out of your home. It’s a metal-like strip that attaches to the fireplace opening at the top. If you’re noticing any black stains above your firebox in addition to a smokey living room, it is time for a chimney smoke guard install or replacement by a professional. Remember, no smoke should be entering your home at all!

Why is my fireplace smoking?

There are several reasons why your fireplace is smoking: 

  1. It’s time to check and replace your chimney smoke guard.
  2. The airflow is bad. Airflow is very important to your chimney’s maintenance. If you notice cold air blowing into your home that smells musty or smokey, it’s an airflow problem. There’s a stronger downdraft, pulling in cold air from the outside. A chimney professional can help fix airflow problems. They may install a better smoke guard or other necessary equipment.
  3. A dirty flue. Blockages in the chimney flue are quite the common problem. This also creates a downdraft of smokey air. 
  4. Bad construction. Sometimes, the fireplace opening is very large compared to the size of the flue. In this case, the chimney can’t remove all the smoke, and it spills out into the room. It’s possible for a professional to reduce the size of the fireplace opening or make the flue bigger. 

Dangers of a smoking fireplace

Without a professional chimney sweep to check the health of your chimney and fireplace, you’re running the risk of being poisoned. Carbon dioxide and monoxide are both toxic chemicals that when breathed in, can cause poisoning. Unfortunately, by the time you find out, you’re already poisoned! However, a chimney professional is here to keep your home safe. Though a dangerous problem, a smoky fireplace is usually a fixable one. 

I have a smoky fireplace! What should I do? It’s not healthy if you’re noticing smoke coming out of your fireplace firebox. Call a chimney professional as soon as possible for an inspection. We will determine what’s going on inside your chimney and take on the best course of action. It could range from installing a chimney smoke guard to a simple flue sweep. Don’t keep your home looking like a smokey pizza oven…Superior Chimney professionals service the whole Chicagoland area, and are happy to help keep your home safe. Call us at 877-244-6349 for more information!

This post first appeared on https://www.superiorchimney.net

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