Fireplaces are warm, cozy, and beautiful. They should also be kept clean, just like any other part of the house. Cleaning away soot and ash is important to keep your fireplace beautiful and working well. Here is a helpful guide to keeping your fireplace looking and...
Fireplaces are a wonderful feature in many homes. They provide heat as well as a comforting sense of home. But, just like any other part of the home, fireplaces and chimney systems require care and upkeep to ensure that they are functioning properly and safely....
Many of us have pets that we adore sharing our homes with us. Often, pet owners need to take steps to make their homes safe and enjoyable for their pets. The fireplace is no exception. It is important to practice fireplace and chimney safety with pets in order to...
Growing up, we wanted to play with whatever we were told not to touch. Well, our grandparents and parents are right to not play with these. These tools are sharp and are designed to deal with fire and wood; wood in the fire to be exact. That set is called a fireplace...
From the street, your home is not the only thing that is noticed. People can notice your car, yard, and even your chimney. It may seem ridiculous but it has an impact on the home. Your chimney is subjected to continuously changing climates throughout the year. The...
Living in the south, mainly along the Gulf Coast, then you know there are lost of rain storms. Actually, we get more rain than anywhere else in the country, including Seattle. The ranking of the most amount of rainfall goes as follows: Mobile, Pensacola, and Seattle in 41st.
This region has such a big deal about rain when it comes to chimneys and fireplaces. As the Chimney Safety Institute of America explains, “water, not fire, causes most chimney damage.”
“Whether masonry or factory-built,” says the CSIA, “prolonged water exposure can result in cracks or gaps in chimneys where creosote can collect and increase the risk of fire or where noxious gases can escape into your home and expose your family to carbon monoxide.”
Fireplaces, Chimneys and Leaks
In basic terms the problem with fireplace and chimney leakage is that water combines with the creosote that remains from fires to form an acidic mixture. Over time that mixture can eat out the silica in the mortar joints. Once the joints are no longer secure, moisture — remember all that Gulf Coast rain — can get into the house through the chimney. For example, if water comes in through the chimney and is released under the shingles it can lead to the need for a roof replacement.
Also, without proper sealing, heat from fires can travel into areas which should not be exposed to heat, dry out wood, and in some cases actually cause the wood to catch on fire.
In fact, according to a staff report by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are about 22,000 fires a year which are associated with fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connectors. Such fires can cause substantial damage and in some cases may lead to fatalities.
Also, without caps it does happen that birds and animals get into fireplaces. Sometimes nests are built and in some cases animals unable to get out die inside chimneys and fireplaces. Noises and odors can result from such problems.
Caps, Covers and Dampers
You can protect your household with caps, covers and dampers. Caps with spark arresters are devices that go over the flue. They keep out both moisture and animals, plus they help prevent sparks from leaving the chimney. Covers are at the top of the chimney, go around the flue, and protect against moisture. Dampers are inside the chimney itself. They can help create a proper draft to achieve the best fire, plus when closed they prevent animals from getting into the house.
Cap, Cover and Damper Services
We can install, repair and maintain caps, covers and dampers. We inspect such devices as part of our basic chimney sweep services. We have many devices in stock and can recommend the equipment which is right for your fireplace and chimney, whether it is masonry or metal, new or historic.