Month: August 2017

Summer Projects to Improve Your Home

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Summer Projects to Improve Your Home

Summer is one of the best times in the year to get around to improving your home. Both regular maintenance tasks and remodels can be done in the summer, seeing as you won’t have to worry about the weather too much. Small additions and touch ups on your home can go a long way in making it a more pleasant place to live.

Not sure what things to focus on while working on your home? Well, here’s a list of things that are worth considering.

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Paint and Finishing Touch Ups

Never underestimate a new coat of paint! Paints these days are more durable than ever, so if your house isn’t exposed to too much harsh weather where you live, a fresh coat should last you at least a few years.

However, paint can be tricky, and if you don’t know paints well, this could be a job best left to a professional.

Redoing the paint anywhere in your house shouldn’t simply be a matter of running to the store, asking an assistant what you need, and then applying whatever you bought to the area that looks like it needs to be repainted.

Not all paints are equally good. And if you apply a fresh coat of high quality paint to a wall that had a bad paint, your new paint job simply won’t last as long. Sometimes getting a paint job to last properly could require you to add a primer underneath, or to scrape off the old layer completely.

Whichever way it goes, it’s important that you realize that you can’t treat painting like a simple, straightforward task if you want the new paint job to last. To get your paint to last, you have to make sure you know what you’re dealing with and that you’re using the right products to get the best out of your fresh coat of paint.

When checking for areas that might need a new paint job, you need to think further than just checking your walls and roof. Here’s a checklist of areas that you can check to see if they need a fresh coat of paint or finishing:

  • Window and door frames
  • Doors (including garage doors)
  • Fencing
  • Deck or patio
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Roof

Not everyone has a painted roof, so not all of those areas would necessarily present a problem to you. However, what should be clear is that there are plenty of areas in and around your house that can do with a fresh coat of paint or finishing from time to time.

Siding Improvements

Maybe your siding is old and you want to replace it. Or perhaps you just want to switch from one kind of siding to another. Siding can either be made from vinyl, wood or metal, and all options have their pro’s and cons.

If you have wood siding, there’s a good chance that it might need some maintenance. There might be areas in your siding where the wood has gone bad, in which case some parts might have to be replaced.

Adding Energy-Efficient Windows

Energy-efficient windows can go a long way in helping to regulate the temperatures inside your home without using air-conditioners, heaters or your fireplace. The aim of these windows is to either keep heat inside your home more efficiently, or if rooms get too much sun, the windows helps to keep out the harshness of the sun.

The trick is to get windows that suit your climate type best. You might even want to install the different kinds of windows in different areas of your home depending on how much sun they get. Also be sure to do your research and make sure that you’re having a high grade window installed, otherwise all the effort might not pay off really well.

Handyman Build a Patio

Deck and Patio Addition

No, a deck or patio addition isn’t a very small home improvement project, but if you don’t have a deck or patio, adding one can make your yard a more fun place to be this summer.

If you’re exceptionally good at carpentry, you could even try to build your own. It could be a fun project for your family to try this summer.

However, if you’ve never built anything out of wood in your life, your deck or patio isn’t a good place to start experimenting. After all, you want your deck or patio to be durable.

If you already have a deck or patio, you could consider changing it to be bigger or smaller. But even if you’re perfectly satisfied with the amount of space on your patio, and the space still left in your yard, you should check your deck or patio every year to see if it needs any maintenance. There might be pieces of wood that are cracked, or some planks might need replacement.

To help your deck or patio last longer, it’s also best to have a fresh coat of finishing applied once every one or two years. How often you refinish your patio will depend on the weather conditions in your area, as well as how often you use it. To keep this area looking its best, it’s also recommended that you clean it properly.

Need these projects done but don’t have time to complete when yourself? Feel free to call us at Chimney Sweeps West! We have a team of professional handymen that can help you painlessly get around to all of your home maintenance tasks this summer. With professional help, you won’t have to squeeze home improvement and maintenance into your already busy schedule, we can help you get everything done in as little time as possible so you can enjoy the look and feel of your newly improved home in no time!

Why Your Chimney Might Smell Badly This Summer

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Why Your Chimney Might Smell Badly This Summer

If visitors somehow managed to stroll into your home right now, what’s the main thing you think they’d take note of? Maybe the scent radiating from your chimney was what crossed your mind; if so, don’t panic. This is a typical event for some property holders, one that is particularly predominant amid the hotter summer months. The uplifting news is help is close at hand. The experts from Chimney Sweeps West are here to help you.

Why Does My Chimney Smell So Bad?

The appropriate response here is a truly direct one: creosote. If you happened to depended intensely on your chimney this past winter and maybe utilized more wood than you’d at first arranged (some of which would not have been properly prepared), creosote could have buildup on the inward walls of your fireplace’s chimney. These deposits, when joined with the additional water in the air that is noticeable all around this season of year, can emanate a completely disagreeable fragrance. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about whether you’re the main individual who needs to manage this issue, we hope you can discover some comfort in realizing this is a typical occurrence that chimney clients have been managing for quite a long time! It’s part of the long term care that goes into your chimney.

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How Do I Rid My Home of These Smells?

Creosote odors tend to linger. They saturate your smokestack’s permeable stone work and never seem to dissipate. In any case, you can try to treat the issue to help prevent yourself, your family, and your visitors from being driven out by the stench. The professional crew at Chimney Sweeps West can come out, investigate your chimney to guarantee that the main issue is the creosote, and clear out the deposits causing the odor. Having your chimney cleaned every year is a flat out must on the off chance that you intend to make full utilization of your chimney when the climate turns icy!

An Additional Consideration for You

Perhaps you’ve had your fireplace legitimately cleaned and yet have found scents every now and then, you could likewise be having a draft issue. The dominant part of older fireplaces were built with throat-mount dampers. Their metal-on-metal construction is their downfall with regards to keeping the odor inside the fireplace. Since they can’t be completely closed when the chimney is not being used, some scent can be smelled through the opening (regardless of how little it might show up) as outside air is constrained down your smokestack. Since there’s no fire going in the chimney to make an updraft, the air has an easier time moving into your home.

As should be obvious, chimney clients around the globe battle with rancid smokestacks, particularly amid the summer months. The professionals here at Chimney Sweeps West are here to help moderate this issue (and in addition whatever other issues you may have) for you. We urge you to get in touch with us at your soonest accommodation to plan an appointment so you can come back to making the most of your scent free living space.

What’s Causing My Chimney Odor?

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Having a nasty smell coming from your chimney is NOT something you want to wake up to on a warm summer day. Even when you aren’t using it, your chimney can cause your house to smell. The main culprit is usually creosote buildup, but there are a few things to consider when it comes to foul chimney odors.

Different Types of Chimney Odor

Most chimney odor simply smells a bit like smoke. That’s because the smoke leaving your chimney causes buildup of creosote and soot over time. This residue will have a tendency to buildup faster if you use woods in your chimney that don’t burn as well.

To delay creosote buildup in your chimney, it’s always best to stick to well-seasoned hard woods. But even when using the right kinds of firewood, your chimney will still need a cleaning from time to time.

Apart from creosote and soot buildup, however, there are things that can cause your chimney to smell bad. And in some cases it won’t smell like smoke at all.

Cases where your chimney might smell bad for reasons other than creosote buildup include:

  • Mold: This isn’t a problem that should normally be present in chimneys, but if your chimney smells moldy, it might be because you have a roof leak. The wetness of the leak creates the perfect conditions for mold to grow in your chimney. This problem can be fixed by having your roof checked. Only once the leak is fixed, have your chimney cleaned. After all, there’s no use in cleaning your chimney without fixing the underlying problem first.
  • Animals: There are precautions you can take to keep animals out of your chimney. However, homeowners often don’t realize how easily animals try to get into the home through a chimney. Birds also like to make their nests there. If the smell coming from your chimney smells more like animal scats, there’s a good chance you’ve got guests. Unfortunately, animals also get stuck in the chimney occasionally, meaning that if your chimney smells like something died in there, that might very well be the case.
  • Debris: Once again, there are ways to keep leaves and other debris from entering your chimney, but many homeowners don’t know about this. Once again, this can smell moldy, rotten or perhaps even as if an animal died in your chimney.

Those are the main chimney odor problems you can expect that don’t have anything to do with creosote buildup. However, by keeping your chimney safer, even these problems can be eliminated.

It’s worthwhile to mention that keeping your chimney as dry as possible can go a long way in preventing bad odors. Anything from debris to creosote will smell worse if it gets wet.

The best way to fix your chimney odor problems is by first identifying the cause. You can do this by calling a professional chimney sweep to do an inspection. Here at Chimney Sweeps West, we have many years of experience in helping our customers fix and prevent chimney problems, so be sure to call us if you’re in Knoxville and you need help with your chimney.

How to Prevent Chimney Odor

Preventing chimney odor is actually surprisingly easy. One of the first things you can do to prevent bad odors from entering your home through your fireplace is to ensure that your chimney stays clean. You can do this by having you chimney cleaned and inspected once a year, preferably before winter so you know that it’s safe to use before making a fire.

Apart from this, you should do your best to keep debris and animals out of your chimney. Anything that gets into your chimney is not only likely to cause bad chimney odors, it’s also a fire hazard. Debris or bird’s nests in your chimney can light on fire easily, causing a problem that’s way worse than just a foul smell.

To prevent anything from getting into your chimney, you should have a proper chimney cap installed. The chimney cap will prevent some debris from getting into your chimney, but more importantly, it’s meant to keep water out. Keeping water out of your chimney will help so that any creosote buildup that might be present doesn’t get wet. This helps mainly because creosote smells worse when it’s wet. Apart from that, the cap will help keep water out to prevent mold from growing in your chimney.

To keep animals out, you should go for a chimney cap with a net.

What if My Chimney Still Smells?

Your chimney might smell because of drafts coming into your home through the chimney. Ideally, air should actually move out of your home through the chimney rather than entering your home. But sometimes the drafts don’t flow right, causing air to enter your home through the chimney.

Keeping the windows open might help for this problem somewhat. Other than that, having your chimney cleaned regularly can help a lot for this problem too.

If you recently repainted your burning stove, allowing the fireplace to burn for short intervals of time while keeping the windows open can help with chimney odors. Freshly painted or polished burning stoves have a tendency to smell rather bad for a while after being repainted, which might be another cause of foul odors from your fireplace.

Pick The Perfect Handyman Service Provider

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It is safe to say that you are searching for home rebuilding administrations? Would you like to improve the excellence of your home? It is safe to say that you are searching for jack of all trades administrations to settle harms? You have to pick the ideal jack of all trades specialist organization. You can without much of a stretch discover them close you. Simply take after a few stages to pick the best one.

Diagnosing Chimney Odors

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With a hotter climate in the forecast, your chimney is most likely one of the last things at the forefront of your thoughts at the present time. In any case, the warmth and dampness of summer can make certain things inside your smokestack discharge strong and unsavory scents, which can wind up inside your home through the chimney.