Month: September 2016

Why You Need A Chimney Care Pro

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Your chimney performs a few very important tasks to help keep your fireplace safe. Apart from channeling smoke so that it leaves your house, it also prevents carbon monoxide from accumulating in your home when you make a fire and prevents fires from spreading.

Your chimney isn’t just a hole in the roof above your fireplace that allows smoke to escape, it’s a necessary safety measurement. There’s much more to a chimney than meets the eye. More specifically, the inside of a chimney is what helps it to function properly.

Have you ever seen the inside your chimney? Do you what a safe chimney should look like inside? Would you be able to see if something wasn’t right?

Maybe you do know what the inside of your chimney looks like, and maybe you’re confident in your ability to identify and fix any problems you could potentially come across. But it would be wise to reconsider that confidence, because chimney care involves more than simply sweeping out some blackish, dirty-looking stuff and then calling it a day.

Why You Shouldn’t Inspect Your Own Chimney

Sweeping a chimney seems easy enough. Technically it should be as easy as cleaning anything else in life. If you’ve ever washed your own driveway pavement or the walls of your house, cleaning out a chimney shouldn’t be much more difficult that they, should it?

Well actually, sweeping a chimney is a rather tricky thing to do. It’s definitely more complicated than cleaning your driveway.

For starters, you’re actually going to have to get on the roof of your house. Without implementing the necessary safety precautions, that in itself could lead to absolute disaster. You might think that getting on your roof without a harness to prevent death or serious injury in case of a fall isn’t very important. Like many people, you probably think it’s okay as long as you don’t do it too often.

Truth is, the risk you’re taking is still pretty big. Once you’re on the roof, you’ll also have to be performing tasks you don’t do regularly. Especially if you’ve never cleaned your own chimney, you’re running a high risk of either falling, or not doing a proper job of cleaning out all the debris. In both cases, your negligence could prove to be fatal. And even if you are planning to use a safety harness, improper use could lead you to end up gaining almost no safety benefit from it.

But when it comes to the actual chimney inspection, things get even trickier. Small cracks on the inside of your chimney could lead to big problems. The same applies for loose bricks or damaged mortar.

A qualified chimney sweep will know exactly what to look for during a chimney inspection. Among obvious issues, such as checking for bird nests or animals like snakes or squirrels that could be taking shelter in your chimney, a professional chimney sweep will also be able to tell whether or not your chimney complies with safety requirements regarding size and structure.

Why Not Just Get A Handyman?

Like many other people, you might realize the risks involved in cleaning out your own chimney, so instead of hiring a chimney sweep, you decided to get a handyman.

Clearly, you respect the fact that you aren’t able to perform dangerous tasks and that you need to hire a professional, which is already a step in the right direction. By hiring a handyman, you’re reducing the risk of injury from a serious fall. But you aren’t paying someone not to get hurt, are you? You want your chimney to be properly inspected and cleaned.

And while the average handyman will be able to do a much better job of sweeping your chimney than you can do yourself, it’s still not as good as getting a real chimney sweep to do the job. It’s a bit like getting a dental assistant to do the work of a dentist. Yes, you’re working with a qualified professional, but that doesn’t mean the professional you’re working with is right for the job.

Chimney sweeps usually complete courses by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) or other organizations that help them to specialize in their field. A good chimney sweep isn’t just a handyman who decided he likes sweeping chimneys, but a professional who knows that doing a proper job can be a matter of life or death.

That said, you should always ask before hiring a company or individual to inspect your chimney, because not all chimney sweeps have any special training for the job. The chimney sweep industry is largely unregulated, with only a few recognized associations providing qualifications for companies and individuals. Fact is, many chimney sweeps really are only handymen who decided to sweep chimneys, and while they might be just fine at doing their job and what they’re doing is in no way illegal (although it could be, in some cases), it’s always better to get someone who knows their stuff when it comes to chimneys.

Normally, it’s recommended that you have your chimney inspected once a year. If you just moved into a new house, having the chimney inspected before using it also is advised. Other than that, you should have your chimney inspected if too much smoke is entering your house from the fireplace, if you notice any strange smells, or if you notice anything else that could potentially be a problem.

If you’re in search of a professional company to help you with chimney inspections, then feel free to contact Chimney Sweeps West. We’re a BBB accredited business and we specialize in performing thorough chimney inspections.

3 Quick Tips For Finding A Knoxville Handyman

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3 Quick Tips When Finding A Knoxville Home Repairman

Roofer Working On Exterior Of New Home

Water tends to travels before it drips down visibly. Interestingly, a leak can come out twenty feet away from the original leak in a roof.

Is your garage door giving you a bad time these past few days? Perhaps, it is time to contact a Knoxville Handyman for your home repair needs. Trusting a repair guy to do the work seems the easiest recourse available in times like this one. But even though repairmen are the most convenient solution to household repair problems, and especially if you are not adept at this kind of jobs, you still want to make sure that some things, like if the guy is insured, so that you get a quality and insured job. After all, everyone wants to have a house that functions really properly for the longest time and no one wants to always spend on repairs for broken appliances or home improvement fixtures. So, what are the things you need to remember when hiring a home repairman? From finding out if the repairman is properly insured to making sure they bring the right equipment, having your garage door fixed should produce favorable results to you if you remember these 3 quick tips. Read below. Is he properly insured? This is the very first thing that you must take care of before any repairman takes care of the garage door job, or any home improvement job for that matter. In home improvement tasks like this, accidents are inevitable. You don’t want to have an injured workman in your house uninsured and pay for their hospital expenses, so better make sure the handyman who is going to handle the garage door repair is properly insured so as to protect you against any odds arising from injuries or accidents that happened during the job. Can the company or handyman furnish a free estimate of the total cost of the job repair? Is the handyman willing to provide the digits? If not, there is a problem there. You don’t want to work with a contractor that you don’t initially know how much they charge for the work done. Free quotes are given as a courtesy to customers who even thought of availing their services. When asking for a free bid, include an estimate of time they think will be required to finish the job. Is the company experienced and organized? Although photos are not enough, you can see in them the kind or quality of job the repair company has done with their previous customers. This is just one but most effective ways to determine if they are the right choice. Besides, if the repair company is confident with their services, it would be willing to provide before and after photos to encourage customers to trust them. You can also ask them the length of time they have been in the business. The longer they exist, the more that you can trust them. But don’t just rely on this aspect. See the company profile. If possible, check if they have the right types of equipment and tools. See their vehicle. You can also ask the assigned handyman to do the home improvement job in your house, questions you think necessary for you to trust them. Doing these things help determine if the company is experienced and organized. Once you are secured with the above tips, it will give you the confidence you need to consider that the local home repairman or the repair company is the right choice for your needs.

NFPA Chimney Inspection Guidelines

View of red tiled rooftops and a variety of different chimney pots in a typical English village

Chimney Inspections

Professional chimney inspections give you a look into the health and total situation of your home’s chimney system that might be in any many cases unattainable. Snaking closed-circuit cameras alongside the sides of the chimney flue allows us to supply a sincere and detailed analysis, along with visuals. Regardless of whether you have used your chimney currently, or even for those who plan to make use of it sooner or later, annual chimney inspections are an absolute must. In January 2000, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) outlined three totally different levels of chimney inspections and adopted these ranges into its code NFPA 211, the Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances. When you are shopping for a brand new house, the NFPA requires a Level 2 inspection of the fireplace and chimney. A Level 2 inspection contains the simple Level 1 inspection, which is a visual test of your chimney to look for blockages, creosote and soot buildup, and any other harm. What makes a Level 2 inspection extra detailed than a Level 1 is the usage of particular instruments, together with a video scanner, and an examination of your roof, attic, and crawl space.

Level 2 & 3 Chimney Inspections

brick-chimney

Professional Chimney Cleaners

NFPA 211 is the usual code upon which certified chimney sweeps base their services and CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps are examined to those three ranges of inspection. Always ask for the extent of inspection that you believe can be most applicable in your chimney and venting system. Each degree of inspection covers particular items dependent on the person, equipment, and venting system. Level three – A Level 3 inspection is carried out when a hidden hazard is suspected that can not be uncovered without accessing concealed areas of the chimney assembly and flue. This inspection will include all the pieces from the Level 1 and a couple of inspections, plus an analysis of the chimney building and the concealed portions of the chimney and flue. Level 3 inspections are usually mandatory when assessing damage that has occurred to the chimney or to the constructing structure. Level 2 – If you’ve bought a new home heating appliance, made a change to any existing equipment that’s vented by way of your chimney, or for those who suspect that there’s injury to your chimney, a Level 2 inspection must be carried out. A Level 2 inspection consists of all the things in a Level 1 inspection plus an evaluation of any accessible parts of attics, crawl areas and basements. Your technician will even do an inside chimney video inspection of your chimney during a Level 2 inspection.