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 toolset. Some people use these as statement pieces in the living room, while others use them for their proper use. Typically, this set includes six individual tools. Below are descriptions of the tools and their purpose.

Tools & Purposefireplace set

  1. Spade – Appears similar to a flat shovel. It is often associated with digging, mainly used to pick up ashes, hot coals, and burning embers. Moving around the ashes and providing a cleaner burn, there will be a decrease in smoke production. Typically is used after a fire is done burning, use this to clean ashes and coals once they are cooled by scooping them into the ash dump door.
  2. Tongs – Similar to the ones for cooking, but these are much larger. These are large enough to grab logs, pieces of wood, and breaking up burnt wood to provide more oxygen. More oxygen creates more flames and less smoke.
  3. Fireplace Broom – A tiny/small broom that is used to sweep out ashes from the fireplace once a fire has been extinguished. This is important to have because all fires create ash, it is specifically designed to fit in the fireplace to clean.
  4. Bellows – Not one of the more commonly known tools, but is used to blow a controlled gust of oxygen into the fire to increase the flames. There is a valve on the end to direct the wave of air. It is used to help start the fire by increasing the flame size and heat. Typically used to light the kindling.
  5. Fireplace Poker – A long metal extended rod with a pointed end, similar to a Philips screwdriver. It is used to move burning wood in the fireplace.
  6. Andiron – A rarer tool and known as a ‘log-dog’. It is a horizontal bar that is used to hold/support logs that are fed to the flames. It allows more air to pass through, producing a cleaner burn.
chimney cap

Caps, Covers, & Damper Repairs

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.

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