This a tougher question than it sounds. The simple answer is: The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “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.” This is the national safety standard and is the correct way to approach the problem. It takes into account the fact that even if you don’t use your Fireplace Cleaning & Sweeping much, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be swept at 1/8″ of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system. This is considered to be enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney or spreading to the home. Factory-built fireplaces should be swept when any appreciable buildup occurs. The logic is that the deposit is quite acidic and can shorten the life of the fireplace. Fireplace Cleaning & Sweeping Shoreview MN
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The Importance of Routine Chimney Repairs and InspectionChimney caps come in many different sizes, shapes and materials. So which one is right for you and why should you get one? These two questions are the most commonly asked questions home owners ask me regarding chimney cap installations. These may seem like simple questions, How ever they are from simple answers I will explain the answers to both of these questions in laymen terms. Chimneys come in many sizes and shapes. To further make the issue more complex the flue that raises out the top of your crown also may vary in the height. So the first step is to find out what proper size cap you need. A common mistake is to install a cap that mounts onto the chimney flue. These are commonly sold at Home Depot and Lowes. These caps are only suitable for single flue. Even still the lid of the chimney cap must over extend over your chimney in such a way that when it rains the rain falls off to the sides of your chimney and not on the top of your crown. If you refuse to follow my advice and install one of these Home Depot Specials, When it rains the water will fall in a more focused way on specific spot on your crown. This will speed up the wear and tear. To make matters even worse in some cases the water that falls now may actually fall down your flue. This is the worse thing that could happen as when your flue wears down you run the risk of carbon monoxide leakage inside your home or even a fire. Liners are the only solution to fix this problem when you have issues like this. A liner installation will run a cost from $1500 to $3,000 and up! The bottom line is in most cases you need a custom cap made for your chimney. This is not that pricey usually this runs a cost of about $400 give or take. When a chimney cap is installed properly it will protect your chimney crown for decades to come as well as your chimney flue from the elements. In addition to this you will never have to worry about small animals making a nest or home in your warm chimney. This is a common problem in New England. Every home should have a chimney cap on their chimney it is one of the best decisions you will ever make for you home.
Chimney Repair - The 5 Most Common Chimney Issues and How to Fix ThemThere is nothing quite as comforting as a roaring fire on a cold winter day to warm your heart and your home. A fireplace is something your entire family can enjoy. But you need to make sure chimney repair and maintenance is done correctly in order to ensure your families safety. The Importance of Chimney Repair A chimney is designed to draw the smoke and gases produced by a fire up and safely out of your home. This is extremely important since some of these gases are dangerous. One of the most dangerous is carbon monoxide which in large enough doses can kill. A second important function of the chimney is to contain the excess heat from a fire until it can be vented to the outside air. Most of your home is combustible. If the chimney does not get this extremely hot air outside without leaks it can easily cause a fire in your home. This is why it is so important for you to make sure that any needed chimney repair is done correctly in order to keep you, your family and your home safe. Here are some important tips to ensure that your fireplace is working correctly and avoid some common chimney repair issues. Creosote Buildup Creosote is an oil that is produced when wood or other solids are set on fire. Over time the creosote can build up on the inside of your chimney. If there is too much buildup it can ignite and cause a fire in your chimney. Blockage Another common chimney repair issue is having a blockage in the flue of your chimney. This can be caused by debris from material dislodging in your chimney or even by animal nests. Blockages, even small ones affect the efficiency of your chimney in getting smoke, gases and heat out of your home. Cracks Or Holes In The Flue Some of the gases from a fire are quite corrosive and over time can damage your chimney flue and create the potential for blockages or even allow dangerous gases to seep into your home. Make sure that your flue gets an annual inspection to ensure that it is working correctly. Brickwork Problems Another problem is caused if the flue starts to leak and erode the masonry and brickwork around the exterior and require extensive chimney repair work. Too much of this can cause major structural damage which will make your chimney repair much more expensive. Chimney Cap and Chimney Crown The chimney cap and crown basically make up the roof of the chimney that surrounds the flue and keeps water and debris from getting into the chimney. If this is cracked or missing pieces it can allow water damage to the inside of the chimney and even damage the ability of the flue to channel gases and heat out of the home. This area also keeps animals, debris and weather out of your flue. Conclusion If you see any of these problems when you inspect your chimney, you need to see that any needed repair is made before the fireplace is used. While you may be able to fill small cracks, you should consult a professional for any larger issue. It is always recommended that you have your chimney cleaned, inspected and any needed chimney repair work done at least once a year to ensure its safe operation. To ensure the safety of your family make sure that you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These should be placed on each floor or at a minimum on the floor where your family sleeps. Check them regularly to make sure they are working properly to protect your family from even low levels of carbon monoxide. By taking care of any needed chimney repair as soon as you see it the costs for the repairs will be much less than if you let the problem get larger. Make sure that your chimney is inspected regularly and it will give you years of safe use.
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