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 Plymouth MN
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Diagnose Your Chimney's Leaking ProblemChimney caps have various functions. Almost all the flues require caps or terminations to protect the crown from rains to go inside. Rain can damage the fireplace and even ruin walls. These caps keep the birds away from building nests within chimneys. Moreover, This addition to your chimney is very important for metal chimneys because they are made up of two or three metal layers and have embedded air between them. In the absence of a custom flue cap, water and moisture can destroy metal. Mostly, caps are installed at the time of installation by the manufacturers. This is the best time to install the product because you don't need to check its size and shape moreover, It is usually made from the same brand and provide best protection to your home. Sometimes, you may require installing a new custom cap onto your flue when you face wind problems or draft, worn out caps and unavailability of original manufacturer's product. If you are facing high intensity of wind problems then your best choice will be of vacuum caps that are specially designed to help you in your draft (wind) problems. Professional sweeps can best describe your needs and can provide you with a custom solution. The best option about your new cap is to use the same brand as of your installed chimneys. Custom caps are alternative option in the absence of branded caps from the manufacturer of your metal flue. Some of the metal flues are of "air cooled" by venting them on the top. Be certain, not to close the venting slots of these metal flue solutions because that can lead to the house fire. You must choose special caps for these products that assure proper cooling. Cons of Chimney Caps: An improperly designed cap can lead to draft restriction and can reduce the draft. Caps with small screening become blocked due to creosote and soot after heavy use. Clogging of screen in caps leads to reduce performance of your fireplace. Sometimes, Creosote can collect into the caps that can run down outside of your chimney structure. This leakage can cause discoloration. occasionally caps can also blow off or can even destroy in heavy winds. Replacement or reinstallation of a new cap can cause additional expenditures to you. Pros of Chimney Caps: Chimney caps avoid from birds and raccoons to build nests into your walls. These caps protect your flues from moisture & rains to get inside your chimney and also keep the smell away from your home. These caps protect the crowns and shed ice from them and extend the life span of crowns. Moreover, these caps increase the draft especially in the region of heavy winds. In a nutshell, Chimney caps are very important for your chimneys and are available in various sizes including 8" x 8", 12" x 12" and 8" x 12" and are also available in other customized sizes, as well.
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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