Are Chimney Caps Important?

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Are Chimney Caps Important?

Not every house with a chimney has a chimney cap fitted. And despite the fact that chimney caps aren’t very expensive, homeowners often neglect having one installed, believing they aren’t important to the overall function of the chimney.

However, if more homeowners knew the value of chimney caps, they wouldn’t be so reluctant about getting them. The relatively low investment of getting a chimney cap, could literally save thousands of dollars down the line.

Not quite sure whether getting a chimney cap is necessary? Here’s why you should have a chimney cap installed on your home this winter.

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Keep Animals out of Your Chimney

Birds love to make their nest in your chimney. But birds aren’t even the only problem, small mammals such as raccoons and squirrels also like to investigate the space inside your chimney.

Animals are especially prone to making their home in your chimney during the cold of winter. That’s because the heat from your fireplace makes the chimney nice and warm, offering the little animals a welcoming space to build their nests. Generally it doesn’t even take too long for a squirrel or bird to build a nest in your chimney. Before you know it, your home will have some new inhabitants in the chimney!

But as you might have guessed already, the warm and cozy home your chimney offers won’t be comfortable for very long. As soon as you use your fireplace again, smoke and sparks will travel up your chimney, potentially killing the little animals who didn’t know any better than to make their home there. So obviously, getting a chimney cap is a good measure to take if you’re concerned about general animal welfare and preventing unnecessary deaths, or even just the smell these outcomes will bring.

Keeping animals out of your chimney is also important for the health and safety of you and your family. That’s because bird and squirrel nests in the chimney tend to be flammable. In fact, animal nests in chimneys is a common cause of chimney fires. But even if you’re lucky and the nest doesn’t catch fire, it will still block your chimney, preventing smoke and harmful gases from exiting your home through the chimney.

Another potential problem with animals in the chimney, is when wild animals (such as raccoons) make their way down the chimney, through the fireplace and into your home. Although raccoons aren’t always aggressive, they’re wild animals. This causes them to be very unpredictable. Once a raccoon feels threatened, it can seriously injure you or your family in an attempt to defend itself. This is especially dangerous if you have small children, as a raccoon can easily cause even fatal injuries if it should choose to attack a little child.

Keep Moisture out of Your Chimney

Moisture might not seem like such a big problem, but the truth is that rain, hail, snow and even dew entering your chimney can wreak havoc on its structure.

The moisture causes your chimney walls to deteriorate faster, meaning you’ll need to have the inside walls of your chimney repaired more often. Of course, it makes no sense to fork out extra money on more regular chimney repairs if simply fitting a chimney cap could’ve solved the problem. While some homeowners might see a chimney cap as too big an expense, the money it can save on chimney repairs will be well worthwhile.

Furthermore, a chimney that’s in a good condition is also safer to use, so getting that chimney cap to keep out water will be an investment in keeping your fireplace safer this winter.

Are Chimney Caps Necessary?

In some areas, regulations might require that all chimney have caps, however, this isn’t necessarily a requirement in your area. So the short answer to the question would have to be no – chimney caps aren’t more necessary than going to the doctor when you have cold, or putting a cover over your pool. But just like doctor appointments and pool covers, chimney caps are a relatively small investment that could potentially be life saving.

If you have home insurance, it might also be wise to get a chimney cap for insurance purposes. That’s because your insurance provider might not even pay out for a chimney fire if you didn’t have a chimney cap fitted. This might not necessarily be the case, but it’s worth asking.

So to summarize, chimney caps aren’t entirely necessary in order for your to use your fireplace. But the mesh blocking animals from entering your chimney, and the chimney cap itself (which keeps moisture out) can go a long way in improving the overall safety of your fireplace. Getting a chimney cap is a small modification to your home which can prevent some of the most common causes of chimney fires. In the same way you wouldn’t want to drive your car if it didn’t have insurance, using your fireplace if you don’t have a chimney cap simply isn’t a good idea. A chimney cap saves money and prevents problems, so there’s really no reason not to get one.

If you don’t have a chimney cap and you’re concerned about using your fireplace this winter, please give Chimney Sweeps West a call. We can help inspect your chimney for existing damage, and fit a chimney cap. Fireplace and chimney safety is something all homeowners should pay attention to over the holiday season. So before the worst of the Christmas rush begins, check your chimney safety so you can enjoy the holidays without having to stress about the safety of your family.

The Importance of Chimney Caps

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The Importance of Chimney Caps

Is it safe to say that you are another mortgage holder with an old chimney? Assuming this is the case, you may not see that it’s feeling the loss of a chimney cap. A few property holders in the past didn’t perceive their significance, and frequently they weren’t added to their chimney. Chimney caps are likewise regularly dismissed in light of the fact that they are low support and “out of the picture, therefore irrelevant”.

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The Chimney Cap Keeps Wildlife Out

Amid the an ordinary winter, there are various little creatures that may look for shield in a warm and dry condition like a chimney such as chipmunks, squirrels, and even raccoons. In the spring, you will probably discover winged animals settling in your fireplace. These creatures can leave combustible flotsam and jetsam, make blockages, and even suffocate and die. It can be hard to expel creatures from the fireplace humanely. In this manner it’s less demanding and regularly less expensive to keep this event at bay by introducing a chimney cap!

The Chimney Cap Keeps Sparks In

Amid an especially hot fire, sparks and coals can rise rapidly up the vent alongside vapors and a solid updraft. The standard chimney cap plan highlights both a cover and a screen that holds these stray particles into the flue. Without the top, these sparks can get away from the stack’s opening and touch dry leaves and garbage on the rooftop. This can cause both loss of property and life.

What are the distinctive sorts of stack tops?

Diverse chimney cap varieties have their own individual advantages. How about we take a gander at a couple of the most well known tops:

Standard Chimney Cap – This top incorporates screening on all sides to keep creatures from settling in your stack. It likewise traps vast sparks that advance up your vent when your chimney or wood stove is being used.

Draft-Increasing Chimney Cap – This sort of top uses outside breeze to make more grounded updrafts. This kind is best for chimneys that have existing issues with drafts. Its drawback is that it utilizes turning turbines that can progress toward becoming built up with smoke and ash after some time.

Lock Top Damper Chimney Cap – Damper caps come furnished with a stainless-steel cover appended to the casing. A long link drops down the smokestack, which is worked by a handle that is mounted in the firebox. This takes into account brisk and secure shutting of the bolt top at the property holder’s comfort. The damper can likewise be secured in the vacant position amid a fire.

Contract a Professional

Having a chimney cap introduced is perhaps the best thing you can improve the situation of your stack. It’s one preventive advance that has a major effect, and ought to be joined with proficient establishment and also routine upkeep like smokestack assessments and ranges. When you procure an expert like Chimney Sweeps West, you get an expert assurance, as well as fit you with the best top for your particular stack.

Why You Should Install a Chimney Cap

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While you may not be personally acquainted with the life systems of your home’s chimney or fireplace, a chimney cap assumes a critical part in your home’s chimney framework. In the event that your home doesn’t as of now have one, here are five reasons why you ought to consider introducing a chimney cap.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Chimney?

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How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Chimney?

The reason to hire a chimney sweep is to evacuate ash, blockages and developed creosote from your fireplace liner, firebox, smoke chamber and damper. This cleaning will help make a more secure operation of your chimney amid the warming season. It takes just a little gathering of creosote to make the potential for a chimney fire. Creosote is an exceptionally combustible substance that develops inside your fireplace or liner because of consuming wood. The rate of gathering can be higher on the off chance that you use the wrong woods or have a consuming machine or stove that isn’t functioning correctly. Diverse sorts of wood make their own measures of creosote when consumed. Pine causes a quick deposit of creosote and ought to be avoided to keep down potential build up. Creosote can likewise lessen the draw of the chimney and decrease proficiency.

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Fireplace Inspections ought to be booked once every year.

To make sure that the greater part of your frameworks are in working order and working as they should, it is prescribed that mortgage holders get a yearly chimney examination. Most mortgage holders pick to have a Chimney Cleaning done each year too, particularly on the off chance that they utilize their chimney all the time. Other venting frameworks associated with heaters and stoves ought to likewise be cleaned all the time to keep up more secure operation. Chimney, stove, heater and warming apparatus frameworks are essential to your home and family’s security and not a territory to disregard or cut corners on. Try not to chance the possibility that an unfamiliar deformity could transform into a costly repair or more regrettable yet – a chimney fire.

In the event that you just have minor utilization of your chimney or stove, a review is as yet exhorted every year to take a gander at all warming venting frameworks, chimney, stove frameworks and heater pipes. During these inspections any defects or issues that may be found that require action even if cleaning is not needed. When you have a regular chimney sweet that you utilize, they will for the most part put you on a yearly examination plan. Amid these examinations they will prompt you on the off chance that the time has come to get a cleaning.

When Do I Need A Chimney Inspection?

On the off chance that you haven’t had your chimney investigated in a year or more, in the event that you are having any ventilation issues with your chimney, chimney or warming framework or on the off chance that you recently moved into the home you should plan an examination. Try not to wait – holding up quite often brings about extra repairs, and now and then in property misfortune.

In the event that you have not utilized your chimney in quite a while, bugs may have constructed homes that could stop up your vent or fireplace chamber. Winter freeze cycles and dampness consolidate to take a yearly toll on stone work and liner materials as well. Ordinary wear and tear that is left unchecked will influence the execution of your framework.

What is the Best Time to Clean my Chimney?

In a perfect world, before the beginning of the consuming season amid the spring, summer or early fall is an incredible time to get your chimney investigation and/or fireplace cleaning. Before you consider building a fire or starting your heater on the grounds that the climate has changed, is an ideal opportunity to call your chimney sweep. Perhaps you overlooked the early cleaning before beginning to utilize the chimney, stove or heater? Try not to wait until the fall, we can do your chimney cleaning or examination whatever time of the year.

Make sure your chimney is clean for holiday visitors Check out our Knoxville Office!

Fall Chimney Inspections

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Fall Chimney Inspections

Winter is almost here again, and as you’d know, there are many wonderful things you can enjoy during the winter months. The cool air, hearty soups and hot chocolate can be surprisingly refreshing. But winter is also the time of the holiday season, and in the weeks leading up to the holidays you’ll barely have time for anything other than preparations for when friends and families come over.

Get a head start on your winter preparations this year! Check your home inside out for maintenance tasks you can do before winter. Getting a chimney inspection before winter is also a vital part of keeping your family safe.

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Winter Chimney Safety Tips

To keep your chimney safe, it’s always best to have it inspected by a qualified chimney professional before winter. Doing so can help you avoid a nasty chimney fire during the festive season. After all, the last thing you’d want over the holidays is to lose time with friends and family over a house fire!

During inspection, a chimney professional will clean out your chimney and check for any structural issues, like cracks, missing mortar and other potential problems. Your chimney professional will also check for any animals, like birds that have made their nest in the chimney.

When to Get a Chimney Inspection

There’s no right or wrong time to get your chimney inspected. When you get your chimney will depend on some of the following factors:

  • The date of your last professional chimney inspection: To practice good chimney safety, the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that you get an annual chimney inspection by a professional. If you don’t even know when last your chimney was inspected, now is definitely a good time to call your local chimney sweeps.
  • How long you’ve been living in your home: If you just moved into a new place, it’s best to have your chimney inspected before you use the fireplace this winter.
  • Changes to your chimney system: If you’ve made any changes to your chimney or fireplace, it’s recommended to get an inspection done before you make a fire again.
  • Your chimney’s odor: If you were smelling smoke or other foul odors last time you used your fireplace, it’s definitely time for a chimney inspection. If your chimney smells bad even when you aren’t using it, that’s also a sign that your chimney needs to be cleaned and inspected.

Remember, when there’s debris hiding in your chimney, it can catch fire. Creosote buildup can also cause your chimney to start leaking smoke and carbon monoxide into your home. Because carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, this can have serious implications on your family’s health.

The Three Levels of Chimney Inspections

When it comes to getting your chimney inspected, there are three different kinds of checks your chimney professional can perform:

  • Level 1: This level of inspection is for when you annually have your chimney inspected and you know it was in good shape last time you used it.
  • Level 2: The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends a level 2 chimney inspection if you moved into a new house, or when changes have been made to your chimney.
  • Level 3: A level 3 inspection is only required when either a level 1 or 2 inspection reveals that there are serious problems with your chimney that need to be fixed. A level 3 inspection will include the costs of removing and replacing chimney components that are no longer functional. If your chimney is visibly damaged and crumbling to pieces, you’ll also need a level 3 inspection.

If you’re unsure about getting your chimney inspected, it’s always best to simply go with a level 1 inspection. While a level 2 inspection is certainly recommended under certain circumstances, getting a level 1 inspection is better than doing no maintenance on your chimney at all. After doing a level 1 inspection, your chimney professional will also be able to tell you if there will be additional repair costs for your chimney. Should any part of your chimney look suspicious after a level 1 inspection, further investigation will need to be done, which would require you to do a level 2 inspection.

Choosing Professional Chimney Sweep Services

When you choose a chimney sweep, you’re trusting this professional with the health and safety of your family. Just as you wouldn’t go to just any doctor, you shouldn’t work with just any professional chimney sweeps.

Unfortunately, there are some chimney sweeps out there who aren’t even chimney sweeps at all. These people will charge you for a chimney inspection and will then disappear with your money without ever providing the service you paid for. To protect yourself against these malicious characters, you have a responsibility to research any professional chimney sweep before hiring them. Some important things to look at when choosing a chimney sweep include:

  • Brick and mortar location: More than anything else, a brick and mortar location is a sign that you’re working with a real professional chimney sweep business.
  • Customer reviews: Even when you work with a real business, reviews from previous customers can help you find the best value for your money.
  • Reasonable pricing: Granted, you don’t want to simply choose the chimney sweeps that give you the lowest quote, but if you get a quote that is well above the normal market price for a chimney inspection, the business is overcharging you. You should be able to get a reliable business without having to pay hundreds of dollars more for your inspection.

If you would like to get ahead on your winter preparations this year, feel free to contact Chimney Sweeps West in Knoxville, TN for a quote on a professional inspection for your chimney.

Great Reasons to Call a Chimney Sweep

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In case you’re new to the universe of chimneys, you may not know precisely what a professional chimney sweep does. Like the name suggests, these experts clear (i.e., clean) smokestacks. Yet, many additionally perform other essential errands, for example, diagnosing issues and making repairs and substitutions. Since you comprehend what a chimney sweep does, we need to discuss four motivations to get one of these professionals out to your home.

Tips on How to Choose a Chimney Repair Contractor

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Tips on How to Choose a Chimney Repair Contractor

There are approaches to protect yourself and settle on an educated choice. These tips will ensure that you wind up with a trustworthy chimney repair contractor and pay a reasonable cost for the work done.

We as a whole have known about the news stories about rascals who trick mortgage holders out of deposits for terrible work, non-existent work or notwithstanding for work that never should have been started. The Chimney Sweep business is a prime domain for these con-artists to work. Since numerous clueless purchasers are not taught about chimneys, stoves, warming machines and their smokestacks or venting frameworks they are regularly deceived by these hoodlums. A large portion of these operations begin with a telephone call offering uncommon low costs. When they are at your home, they may propose repairs that are required or security issues that should be tended to.

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Protect Your Home

The best possible operation and upkeep of your smokestack, stove or heater frameworks are of outrageous significance. Taking risks by procuring a chimney repair contractor in light of value alone can spell genuine inconvenience for your home and your wallet. The “savings” you may understand, will dissipate rapidly if the work is never done or not done up to industry models. When settling on a Chimney repair contractor picking a respectable and very much qualified organization will guarantee the most secure answer for ensuring your home and family. Try not to take risks with this critical choice.

Don’t Hire in light of a Chimney Sweep Solicitation

Leave con artists speechless, telephone specialists that guarantee low costs for fireplace services ought to be disregarded. Do your exploration on the web and ask these questions when you call your decisions.

Make Sure Your Chimney Sweep Company is Insured

Try not to be reluctant to inquire as to whether the Chimney Sweep Company has protection that would ensure against harm that may happen in your home, or to representatives that are working at your home. Discover precisely what their insurance covers, making inquiries can help to avoid hazards. On the off chance that the chimney repair contractor has no scope and gets harmed or harms your home you will assume the risk.

Insist on an Appointment Time Window

No one wants to stick around throughout the day for a temporary worker to arrive late. When making your arrangement the Chimney Sweep you pick ought to have the capacity to give you a window of a couple of hours in which the professional will arrive. On the off chance that the temporary worker you are meeting is uncertain when they will arrive or not certain they will arrive at all, it is then time to find a different, more reliable company.

Ask For Current References

Any legitimate Chimney Sweep organization ought to have the capacity to give names and telephone numbers of clients that are in your general region. Try not to delay making a snappy call to ensure the reference was satisfied with the organization. There are no reasons for not giving a reference when inquired.

Tips For Hiring A Qualified Masonry Contractor

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Enlisting a Chimney repair contractor to do repairs on your smokestack done in your home in Knoxville, TN can be overwhelming undertaking. This is on the grounds that many individuals will claim to be Chimney repair contractors when you begin your hunt, yet not every one of them have what it takes and skill to take care of business right.

Hire the Right Chimney Repair Contractors

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Hire the Right Chimney Repair Contractors

Regular chimney repair and maintenance is an essential maintenance step to keep your home safe. Your fireplace keeps you warm in the winter, but without your chimney, there wouldn’t be a way for the fire and harmful gases to stay in your fireplace only. With winter approaching, now is the perfect time to have your chimney inspected and repaired before you use it this winter. But how will you find a chimney repaired contractor in Knoxville, TN that will value your chimney safety as much as you do?

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Choosing a Chimney Sweep

Despite the importance of chimney safety, there’s a large amount of chimney sweeps out there who aren’t capable of helping you keep your chimney safe. And unfortunately choosing the wrong chimney could end up costing you way more than just the money you wasted on a job poorly done. Even a small house fire could result in damage that costs way more than any chimney inspection ever would.

Doing a bit of research before hiring a Knoxville chimney sweep will help you choose a contractor you feel comfortable with, ensuring that you have the peace of mind you deserve after your annual chimney inspection.

Here are some helpful questions you could ask a chimney repair contractor before hiring them:

  • Certifications: While a certification isn’t a guarantee of good service, it shows that you’re working with a business that’s willing to invest in reassuring you that the job will be done well. Good certifications for chimney sweeps include registration with the CSIA or another established non-profit entity.
  • Experience: When you hire a chimney repair contractor that’s been in business for a few years, you’re more likely to get what you pay for. Businesses that don’t deliver a good service often disappear as fast as arrive on the scene.
  • Insurance: Ask any chimney repair contractor you’re considering hiring whether they have any liability insurance to protect your home and belongings in case of an accident.

Even after asking all the most important questions, it’s still important that you choose a business you feel comfortable with. Don’t feel pressured into choosing a business if you don’t feel like they truly care about your best interests. Chimney safety is about keeping your home and family safe, and a contractor that cares about delivering good service will understand that you want to hire someone who realizes the importance of chimney safety.

How Important Is Certifications?

As mentioned before, certification is a good sign of a professional chimney contractor. In many cases, this certification also indicates that the business is concerned with ongoing education to keep up with the latest news in fire safety and chimney repairs. However, there are also certified chimney sweeps who care more about getting certifications to make you feel a false sense of trust, even though they don’t care about delivering good service to their customers. In this case, you might feel like you can rely on the certification, only to end up with a chimney that’s no safer after the inspection than before.

Because of this reviews and references should still be a step in choosing the right business to work with. You want to work with a business that has a reputation of doing the job properly. One that gives friendly service and cares about making your home safer.

So while certifications are certainly an important step in choosing a chimney sweep, as a customer, you deserve to ask more questions and do more research before choosing a company to work with. Standards for getting certified with any specific entity aren’t always high enough, making it too easy for chimney sweeps to obtain certifications. This is usually the case when the organization that offers a certification is more concerned about making it easy for businesses to get the certification rather than being concerned about your best interests as a homeowner.

The most well-known and trusted organization regulating chimney safety in the US is the Chimney Safety Institute of America. However, after certification, the CSIA has little control over how chimney contractors run their businesses, and so they encourage customers to report any gross misconduct from accredited business.

If the chimney sweep business is registered with the Better Business Bureau, the CSIA encourages customers to check if there are any unresolved complaints. Checking a business’s online reviews and social media can also help you to see how the business responds to negative feedback in the case of disagreements.

Chimney Sweeps West: Chimney Repair Contractors in Knoxville

If you would like to hire a chimney professional before the winter is here, feel free to call Chimney Sweeps West. At Chimney Sweeps West, we understand that your safety comes first. Our passion is helping to keep you safe, and so meeting customers who care about chimney safety brings us joy, as we know these people understand the importance of regular chimney maintenance. This helps us build long-lasting, mutually beneficial business relationships with homeowners who like to stay safe.

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.

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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!