Why is a chimney important?2023-06-29T02:59:21+00:00

A chimney is important because it ensures that combustion gasses are safely and effectively vented out of a building. Without a chimney, these gasses could accumulate inside the building and pose a serious health hazard.

How often should a chimney be cleaned?2023-06-29T03:01:13+00:00

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that chimneys be inspected annually and cleaned as needed. The frequency of cleaning will depend on factors such as the type of fuel being burned, the amount of use, and the condition of the chimney.

What are the signs that a chimney needs to be cleaned?2023-06-29T03:04:02+00:00

Some signs that a chimney may need to be cleaned include a buildup of soot or creosote, a smoky or smelly fireplace, a lack of airflow, or a buildup of debris or animal nests in the chimney.

What is a chimney sweep?2023-06-29T03:05:48+00:00

A chimney sweep is a professional who specializes in inspecting, cleaning, and repairing chimneys. They use specialized tools and techniques to remove soot, creosote, and debris from the chimney, and can also identify and repair chimney problems.

How can I prevent chimney fires?2023-06-29T03:06:35+00:00

The best way to prevent chimney fires is to have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly by a professional chimney sweep. Additionally, never burn trash, paper, or other materials in your fireplace, as these can create hot embers that can ignite the creosote in your chimney.

What are some common chimney problems?2023-06-29T03:07:30+00:00

Common chimney problems include cracks or leaks in the chimney structure, blockages in the chimney flue, damage to the chimney cap or crown, and damage to the chimney liner.

Can I install a chimney myself?2023-06-29T03:09:29+00:00

It is not recommended that you install a chimney yourself, as this is a complex and potentially dangerous job that should only be performed by a licensed professional.

How do I choose a chimney sweep?2023-06-29T03:10:26+00:00

When choosing a chimney sweep, look for a professional with the appropriate licenses and certifications, such as those from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Additionally, ask for references and make sure that the sweep has liability insurance.

How long does a chimney last?2023-06-29T03:13:14+00:00

The lifespan of a chimney will depend on a variety of factors, including the materials used, the quality of the installation, and the level of maintenance. A well-maintained chimney can last for decades or even a century, while a poorly maintained chimney may need to be replaced much sooner.

Can a chimney be repaired or replaced?2023-06-29T03:14:12+00:00

In many cases, a damaged chimney can be repaired. Common repairs include replacing damaged bricks or mortar, installing a new chimney cap or crown, or replacing a damaged chimney liner. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to replace the entire chimney.

What is a chimney liner?2023-06-29T03:14:48+00:00

A chimney liner is a protective lining that is installed inside a chimney to protect the chimney structure from the corrosive byproducts of combustion and to improve the efficiency of the chimney.

How often should a chimney liner be replaced?2023-06-29T03:15:27+00:00

The lifespan of a chimney liner will depend on the materials used and the conditions it is exposed to. In general, a stainless steel chimney liner can last up to 20-25 years, while a clay or ceramic liner can last up to 50 years or more. It is important to have your chimney liner inspected regularly to determine if it needs to be replaced.

What is a chimney cap?2023-06-29T03:16:11+00:00

A chimney cap is a protective cover that is installed on the top of a chimney to keep rain, snow, debris, and animals out of the chimney. It also helps to prevent downdrafts and improve the efficiency of the chimney.

How often should a chimney cap be replaced?2023-06-29T03:17:17+00:00

The lifespan of a chimney cap will depend on the materials used and the conditions it is exposed to. In general, a stainless steel or copper chimney cap can last up to 10-20 years, while a galvanized steel cap may need to be replaced more frequently. It is important to have your chimney cap inspected regularly to determine if it needs to be replaced.

What is a chimney flashing?2023-06-29T03:18:05+00:00

Chimney flashing is a weatherproofing material that is installed around the base of a chimney to prevent water from seeping into the roof. It is typically made of metal or other durable materials, and is designed to last for many years.

How often should chimney flashing be replaced?2023-06-29T03:18:47+00:00

The lifespan of chimney flashing will depend on the materials used and the conditions it is exposed to. In general, a well-maintained chimney flashing can last up to 20 years or more. It is important to have your chimney flashing inspected regularly to determine if it needs to be replaced.

Can a chimney be used without a damper?2023-06-29T03:19:22+00:00

It is not recommended to use a chimney without a damper, as this can lead to heat loss, reduced efficiency, and the risk of smoke and other combustion gasses entering the living space. If your chimney does not have a damper, it is important to have one installed.

How do I know if my chimney needs repairs?2023-06-29T03:19:54+00:00

Some signs that your chimney may need repairs include cracks or damage to the chimney structure, water leaks or stains on the walls or ceiling, or a buildup of soot or creosote in the chimney. It is important to have your chimney inspected regularly by a professional to identify and address any potential problems.

Can one chimney have multiple fireplaces?2023-06-29T03:21:05+00:00

The flue is the interior passageway inside the chimney that allows these byproducts to escape outside.

It is possible for a chimney to have multiple flues, which are separate passageways inside the chimney that can vent different heating systems or fireplaces. This is common in homes that have multiple fireplaces or heating appliances, such as a furnace and a water heater, that require their own flue to vent their byproducts.

Each flue has its own opening at the top of the chimney, which allows the byproducts to escape outside. The flues may be located side-by-side or one on top of the other within the same chimney structure, depending on the design and layout of the building.

It is important to note that each flue must be properly sized and installed to ensure that it is able to handle the volume of gasses produced by the appliance it serves. Additionally, regular maintenance, such as chimney cleaning and inspections, is crucial to ensure that each flue is functioning properly and safely.

What is the difference between a fireplace and a fireplace insert?2023-06-29T03:24:24+00:00

A fireplace and a fireplace insert are two distinct heating appliances with their own unique features and benefits.

A fireplace is typically an open hearth or firebox that is built into a wall or masonry chimney. It is designed to burn wood or other solid fuels and radiate heat into the surrounding room. Fireplaces are often considered to be a decorative feature, as they provide an ambiance and atmosphere that cannot be matched by other heating sources. However, they are not the most efficient heating source and can be costly to operate, as much of the heat is lost through the chimney.

A fireplace insert, on the other hand, is a self-contained heating appliance that is designed to be installed into an existing fireplace. It is essentially a fireproof box made of steel or cast iron, with insulated glass doors and an air intake vent. Fireplace inserts are available in a variety of fuel types, including gas, wood, and pellet, and they are highly efficient heating sources. They can help reduce energy bills and provide a more consistent and controllable heat output. Additionally, because they are closed units, they are safer to operate and produce less indoor and outdoor pollution than traditional fireplaces.

In summary, a fireplace is a traditional, open hearth or firebox that is built into a wall or masonry chimney, while a fireplace insert is a self-contained heating appliance that is designed to be installed into an existing fireplace. Fireplace inserts are generally more efficient, controllable, and safe to operate than traditional fireplaces, while still providing the warmth and ambiance of a traditional fireplace.

Are you able to repair cracked or damaged brick?2023-06-29T03:23:31+00:00

Yes, we are able to provide masonry repairs for chimneys. Repairs may include a new chimney crowns, replacing bricks, tuckpointing, and rebuilds.

What is spalling?2023-06-29T03:25:34+00:00

Spalled bricks are bricks that have suffered from spalling, which is a type of damage where the surface of the brick begins to flake or peel away in small pieces. This can occur due to exposure to moisture, extreme temperature changes, or freeze-thaw cycles. Spalled bricks can be a serious issue for chimneys, as they can weaken the structural integrity of the chimney and lead to further damage. It is important to have spalled bricks replaced or repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the chimney.

What is a gas fireplace?2023-06-29T03:27:37+00:00

A gas fireplace is a heating appliance that uses natural gas or propane as its fuel source to produce heat and flames. It is designed to simulate the appearance of a traditional wood-burning fireplace, but without the need to burn wood.

How do gas fireplaces work?2023-06-29T03:29:03+00:00

Gas fireplaces work by burning natural gas or propane fuel in a combustion chamber. The flames produced by the burning gas are directed through logs, glass, or other media that give the appearance of a traditional wood-burning fire. Heat is then radiated into the room by the fireplace.

What are the advantages of a gas fireplace over a traditional wood-burning fireplace?2023-06-29T03:30:21+00:00

Gas fireplaces offer several advantages over traditional wood-burning fireplaces, including:
● Convenience: Gas fireplaces are easy to use and require less maintenance than traditional fireplaces. There is no need to gather, store, and carry firewood, and no ashes or soot to clean up after use.
● Efficiency: Gas fireplaces are more efficient than traditional fireplaces, as they produce more heat for the same amount of fuel. They also release fewer        pollutants into the air.
● Safety: Gas fireplaces are generally safer than traditional fireplaces, as there is no risk of sparks or embers escaping and causing a fire.

Are gas fireplaces expensive to operate?2023-06-29T03:30:56+00:00

The cost of operating a gas fireplace depends on the price of natural gas or propane in your area, as well as the efficiency of the fireplace itself. However, gas fireplaces are generally more efficient and cost-effective than traditional fireplaces.

Do gas fireplaces require venting?2023-06-29T03:31:43+00:00

Yes, gas fireplaces require venting to release the byproducts of combustion outside. There are two main types of venting for gas fireplaces: direct vent and vent-free. Direct vent fireplaces use a sealed combustion system and vent directly outside through a pipe, while vent-free fireplaces do not require venting but have strict limitations on where they can be installed.

How do I maintain my gas fireplace?2023-06-29T03:32:21+00:00

Regular maintenance is important to keep your gas fireplace operating safely and efficiently. It is recommended to have your fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned annually, and to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for routine maintenance and care.

Can I install a gas fireplace myself?2023-06-29T03:32:57+00:00

It is recommended to have a professional install a gas fireplace to ensure that it is installed safely and according to local codes and regulations. A licensed gas fitter or fireplace installer can handle the installation and ensure that all safety requirements are met.

Commonly Used Terms For Your Chimney

Crown is the concrete at the top of a chimney. It seals off the air space between the outer walls of a masonry chimney and the flue liner. It slopes away from the liner and overhangs the chimney to shed water.

Splay or Wash is a mortar coating a-top a brick, block, stone or stucco chimney. A Wash keeps water from entering the chimney to prevent deterioration during the freeze thaw cycles. A Wash with cracks is the first point of water entry in any weather exposed chimney. Unlike a crown, a Wash is not concrete and does not overhang the edge of the chimney.

Flue is the passage in a chimney for conveying flue gasses to the outside air.

Smoke Chamber is the chamber in a fireplace directly above the smoke shelf and extending to the base of the flue.

Smoke Shelf is the area at the bottom of the smoke chamber and is the back wall of the firebox. The shelf is located at the intersection of the smoke chamber and the firebox. Typically there is a damper on the forward side of the smoke shelf.

Lintel is the horizontal non-combustible component, usually of masonry or steel, spanning the opening of a masonry fireplace to support the load above.
Ash Dump (Ash Pit) is an opening, usually with a hinge door and located at the bottom of the fireplace, where ashes can be dumped. Also , it can be the receptacle below the opening in which ashes collect before removal.

Damper is a valve, usually a movable or retractable plate, for controlling the flow of air or smoke.

Firebox is the section of a masonry fireplace that includes the firebrick, lintel, and damper. This is the combustion area of a fireplace where the fire is contained.

Firebrick is brick composed of clay and silica and designed to withstand high temperatures such as those found in a firebox.

Hearth is the floor area within the firebox of a fireplace or a fireplace stove.

Chimney Cap is the protective covering or housing for the top of a chimney intended for preventing the entry of rain, snow, animals, birds, etc., and for preventing downdrafts. Chimney caps are also called flue caps or rain caps.

Flashing is a sheet metal or other materials used in waterproofing roof valleys, hips, or the angle between a chimney and a roof.

Firestop is a horizontal fire-blockade constructed of non-combustible materials (usually sheet metal or gypsum board) and/or plywood of a minimum thickness.

Chimney is one or more passageways, vertical or nearly so, for conveying flue gasses from the appliance to the outside atmosphere.

Fireplace is the hearth, firebox (or similarly prepared place) and a chimney.

Contact us for a chimney inspection and sweep for your current fireplace or a complimentary consultation for something fresh and new. We are certified with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

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