Why Spring is the Best Time to Get Your Chimney Repaired

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Finally, things are heating up again! Now that the weather is improving, it’s a great time to think about maintenance tasks that need to be done before things start cooling down nearing the end of the year once more. Your fireplace worked hard all winter long, so one of the maintenance tasks on your spring to-do list should definitely be a chimney inspection. Because of the lovely weather conditions in spring, it’s one of the best times to get an exterior chimney inspection.

The Best Time to Sweep Your Chimney?

In all honesty, there isn’t one single time of year that’s best for getting your chimney cleaned and inspected, but some seasons are better than others. Regardless of what time of the year it is, however, you should always have your chimney inspected as soon as possible if:

  • Your chimney hasn’t been inspected in more than a year. Annual inspections are recommended, as it’s best to have your chimney inspected after every winter to insure it’s still in good shape.
  • You just moved into a new house. When you just moved into a new place, there’s no way to tell for sure whether or not the previous home owners took well care of their fireplace and chimney.
  • You notice any potential problems. If you notice smoke leaking into your house when you use your fireplace, or if your chimney seems to have cracks, it’s time to have it checked out.

To be safe, you should have carbon monoxide sensors installed in your house. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that happens to be reasonably similar to carbon dioxide in chemical structure. But while carbon dioxide is naturally abundant in the atmosphere, breathing in carbon monoxide can be fatal.

This is because your red blood cells have to ability to chemically bond with oxygen (O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). But while bonding with oxygen and carbon dioxide helps your red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your body, bonding with carbon monoxide actually does the opposite. When your red blood cells bond with carbon monoxide, you effectively suffocate, as your body will no longer be getting the oxygen it needs.

Here’s the catch, though. It won’t feel like you’re suffocating. The primary symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning through inhalation are simply feeling light headed, dizzy, or tired. People who die of carbon monoxide poisoning often just fall asleep to never wake up again.

If you often feel more light headed or tired when you’re in the same room as your fireplace, your fireplace might be leaking CO into your home. The best way to know for certain that your fireplace is safe is to install CO sensors, because humans can’t smell, see or detect CO without the proper technology to do so. But having your chimney inspected, cleaned and repaired regularly should significantly reduce the risk of CO leaking into your house through the fireplace.

Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the dangers of CO poisoning, making it a silent killer.

The Best Season for Chimney Inspections

As stated above, when it comes to chimney inspections, it’s always better to play on the safe side. That said, for practical reasons, some seasons tend to be better for chimney inspections than others.

Spring and summer are perfect for chimney inspections. During these warm seasons, it’s easier to fix any problems that a professional chimney sweep might identify.

For instance, your chimney might be getting water damage from a roof leak. Before you can have your chimney fixed, you should have your roof repaired to avoid future water damage to your chimney. However, winter (or any particularly cold time of the year) isn’t the ideal time to work on your roof.

If you wait till winter for a chimney inspection, you might learn that your chimney isn’t safe to use, but that the work required to fix it should preferably wait till spring.

This will mean that you’ll have to go through winter without using your fireplace, which will probably a bit chilly. Winter is generally less pleasant than springtime and summertime, so not even having the opportunity to snuggle up in front of your fireplace with hot chocolate or a book seems rather dreadful.

But when it comes to the safety of your chimney, you can’t really take any chances. Using your fireplace when your chimney unsafe can literally cause you to burn down your house. While you can try other heating alternatives, you can’t replace your house once it’s burned down, so be sure to be safe rather than sorry. If your chimney is unfit, don’t use your fireplace before your haven’t fixed it.

Where to Find a Chimney Sweep?

Don’t neglect having your chimney inspected by a professional. While you can attempt to clean your own chimney, professional chimney sweeps are specially trained and know what to look for during inspections. So while there’s nothing wrong with cleaning your own chimney on a regular basis (assuming you know how to), you should still have it inspected annually by a chimney professional.

Chimney inspections are important, but unfortunately there are fake chimney sweeps who try to scam people. Most often, these people will require large upfront payments, but they’ll never even come back to look at your chimney.

Ask your chimney sweep about any special training they have. Many chimney sweeps are registered with the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or other official organizations that regulate chimney safety in the US.

But as long as the company sweeping your chimney is a real business, you probably won’t be scammed, so avoid hiring a chimney sweep who doesn’t work for a business that seems real. An online presence, or brick and mortar location both indicate that you’re working with real professionals.

Not sure where to find chimney sweeps in Knoxville, TN? Feel free to book an inspection with Chimney Sweeps West.

Spring is the Perfect Time for Exterior Chimney Repair

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Spring is an awesome time for spring cleaning and yard upkeep, however that isn’t all. This spring keep your fireplace in mind. Regardless of whether it need repair or it simply needs a little cosmetic touch up this year, spring is an incredible time for these repairs.

To begin with, spring begins the off-season, which implies chimney sweeping companies are less occupied and clients have more opportunity to calendar repairs.

Second, by planning your repair in the spring, the repair doesn’t interfere with the standard utilization of your chimney and fireplace. Contingent upon the degree of the harm, a repair can be a torment amid the icy months, since chimney cleaners require a cool chimney and fireplace to work, for their wellbeing, and an intensive clean.

What is Exterior Chimney Repair?

Fundamentally, the parts of the chimney that are outside the house make up the outside fireplace. At the point when the crown, masonry, flashing, or chimney cap need supplanted or repaired, you require outside fireplace repair. These repairs are best done in decent climate, so it doesn’t intrude on your stack utilize, and it’s additionally simpler for your CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) to make these repairs in pleasant climate.

Some outside fireplace repairs might be restorative repairs. On the off chance that you are putting your home up for sale, or have quite recently procured it, you may plan a restorative repair. Chimney Sweeps West of Knoxville works in stone work repairs that are enduring and wonderful! Our group can expertly repair your stack to reestablish its excellence, its proficiency, and its security. Regardless of whether you require minor mortar repairs, brickwork, or remedial stone work, Chimney Sweeps West is the group to call. We can even evacuate years of residue and grime development from your stone or block!

Normal Exterior Chimney Repairs

Tuckpointing is required when the mortar between the blocks is broken, eroded, or generally harmed by water or bugs. It’s the procedure by which the mortar is painstakingly evacuated and new mortar is pressed in. Tuckpointing is to a great degree precarious in light of the fact that the mortar ought to be coordinated in shading, organization, and quality or it will really exacerbate matters, both structurally and aesthetically. Chimney Sweeps West has mortar-coordinating down to a science!

Block re-confronting is required when the blocks start to spall or lose confronting. The fireplace clear expels blocks independently, and replaces them. Chimney Sweeps West attempts to ensure the completed item mixes flawlessly with the first stone work.

Another regular exterior chimney issue is a leaning chimney. It can be brought on from different basic issues, poor development, or cataclysmic events. Chimney Sweeps West is knowledgeable about stack reclamations and revamps and can work with property holders to make something standard or extraordinary for your home.

Spring Clean Your Chimney

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Now that things are warming up a little, it’s time to take a look around your house. There are probably quite a few maintenance chores you put off during the winter. One area that you should pay special attention to is your chimney and fireplace. Your chimney probably worked hard throughout the winter, so you should check that it didn’t sustain any damage.

Why Have Your Chimney Inspected?

The good news is that your chimney is probably in an okay condition. If you were still using your fireplace all throughout the cold months without any problems, chances are your chimney isn’t badly damaged.

So why have your chimney inspected if it’s still okay?

For starters, a chimney inspection includes a chimney cleaning. If you’ve been regularly using your fireplace, there’s a good chance that your chimney is full of soot and other buildup. Apart from that, having your chimney cleaned will help the professional chimney sweep to clearly see what’s going on. If there are any cracks that formed in your chimney due to overheating, for instance, you can have them fixed before they have any time to spread further.

Even if your chimney is still in tiptop shape, it needs to be cleaned regularly to keep your fireplace safe. A dirty chimney will leak more smoke and harmful gases into your home than one that’s been properly cleaned. So if you found that you had a problem with smoke leaking into your house this winter, it’s definitely time to have your chimney swept.

When to Clean Your Chimney?

You can call a professional to sweep your chimney any time of year. There isn’t a specific time of year when you can’t have your chimney swept.

That said, when exactly you have your chimney inspected might depend on a couple of things. If you have your chimney inspected once a year, then obviously you’ll always have it inspected more or less at the same time each year. If you don’t regularly clean your chimney, the best time to call a professional is any time before using it again.

If you normally clean your chimney yourself, you should still have it inspected from time to time just to make sure it’s in good shape. Don’t assume your chimney is safe to use just because you cleaned it. Unless you aren’t a professional chimney sweep, there’s a good chance you might have left some dirt. And even if you got all the dirt, you might not know how to spot and fix cracks.

Who Can Inspect Your Chimney?

As mentioned before, it’s always best to have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a qualified chimney professional. But how will you know who to trust?

Your safety depends on finding a chimney sweep that knows what they’re doing. In the same way you wouldn’t have your car services by just any mechanic, or you wouldn’t have anyone tamper with your home’s electric connections, you shouldn’t trust anyone with your chimney.

Before allowing someone to work on your chimney, ask about what certifications they have when it comes to the work they do. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) offers a certification program for chimney sweeps. Ideally your chimney sweep should be certified with the CSIA, or a similar organization.

While the work chimney sweeps do is vitally important to your health and safety, there’s no standard requirement someone must fulfill to work as a chimney sweep. This means that anyone could sell themselves as a chimney sweep, even if they know nothing more about chimneys than you do!

That’s why the CSIA and similar organizations have set out to standardize the industry. These organizations recognize the importance of having a well-maintained chimney when it comes to fire safety.

Keep in mind that the best chimney sweeps won’t necessarily be cheap. But don’t be fooled into hiring someone who isn’t a professional just because they’re cheaper. Often times, the cheapest sweeps won’t even clean your chimney. Unfortunately there are many chimney sweep scams out there, where a sweep will require you to pay for an inspection upfront only to disappear without a trace.

So when choosing a chimney sweep, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that the professional you’re hiring has a real business. A business address, professional work uniforms and an online presence all indicate that you’re working with a real company.
  • As mentioned, ask about any special qualifications or experience in the field before hiring someone.
  • If you’re new in an area and you have any friends with chimneys, ask them who they use for chimney sweeps. It could save you a lot of headache.
  • Be careful about anyone who requires you to pay a large amount of money upfront, even if they haven’t so much as looked at your chimney.
  • Don’t hire someone if you feel uneasy about them. If everything looks right and your gut says no, trust your instincts. Your safety isn’t something you should risk for anyone.
  • If you’ve been using the same professional for many years and you’re satisfied, avoid using someone else in the future only to chase a bargain.

What should be clear, is that taking good care of your chimney is as important for practicing good fire safety as being safe while using your fireplace is.

Are you located in Knoxville? If so, feel free to call us! Here at Chimney Sweeps West are ready to help. With multiple standard levels of inspection, our professional team will help ensure your chimney is ready to go through another winter safely.

Best Way to Waterproof a Chimney

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Asking what’s the most ideal approach to waterproof a chimney or what are the best waterproofing items are both sufficiently justifiable inquiries, but on the other hand they’re excessively wide for a basic answer. The most ideal approach to waterproof what sort of chimney? Is it accurate to say that we are waterproofing a vertical wall or the breast of the brickwork? There are brick, concrete block, stucco and stone chimneys and there are diverse contemplations for every one of them – meaning you may utilize distinctive items on various sorts of fireplaces. We should peel this back like an onion.

Picking the Right Waterproofing Product

Before getting started, please understand that the less a waterproofing product costs, the less likely it is to do you any good. One noteworthy brand costs close to nothing yet endures a fairly short measure of time since it separates in with UV exposure (daylight.)

You need an item that utilizes poly siloxanes or silanes. Fundamentally, that implies that it doesn’t utilize solids to obstruct pores of the stone work, rather it sets up an electrostatic charge that outside water can’t overcome. In the meantime, if the brick work has caught dampness in it the day you choose to waterproof (and it might) the head weight of the water inside will have the capacity to defeat the electrostatic charge and escape. At the end of the day, water can’t get in, yet it could get out if need be. The good stuff costs more – not restrictively more – but rather it is gracious along these lines, so justified, despite all the trouble.

Sealing Brick Chimney

Since around 99% of the general population perusing this have brick chimneys, we should begin there (I will address non-brick fireplaces later). One of the focal issues concerning waterproofing is the porosity of the material being waterproofed. This bodes well: you don’t need to waterproof steel or vinyl since water doesn’t infiltrate them in any case. While bricks are by and large less permeable than numerous different materials (like an cinder block) unique sorts of bricks fluctuate in porosity themselves.

This clarification is to set the phase for understanding that occasionally you need to waterproof a fireplace more than once. This makes sense: however we don’t prefer to let it be known, the truth of the matter is that occasionally experts misconstrue how much waterproofing a fireplace needs and end up returning when they get a complaint. We beyond any doubt don’t like that way, nor do we like individuals being disappointed with our work, however where waterproofing is concerned, it is by all accounts an unavoidable truth. Lesson of that story is 1) request that your waterproofer go over it twice only for good measure (regardless of the possibility that it costs more) and 2) don’t be too tough on your person in the event that you need to get back to him. I thank you on behalf of all the guys who ever get caught in that squeeze! And please look below for special information concerning re-applications.

A last thing before moving onto more specific data: If you have spalling brick, i.e. the faces of the brick are flying off, don’t try to waterproof the chimney; it’s past the point of no return. Rather kick yourself for not having done it ten years back and have the brick structure reconstructed. At that point waterproof it so it doesn’t occur once more.

How is chimney waterproofing applied?

Waterproofing is applied with a sprayer. On the vertical walls, i.e. the greater part of the chimney, waterproofing ought to be applied from base to the top in light of the fact that as the waterproofing material leaves the sprayer it keeps running down the fireplace and gets assimilated into the stack underneath the region being taking a shot at. It kind of sums to doing it twice. Clearly, the top needs additional consideration or it’d just get one pass. After you complete around 10 minutes’ worth, do it again just to ensure the entire structure gets a decent dousing.

Extraordinary contemplations ought to be given to breast walls, re-application, the crown, the flashing region and the mortar joints. The breast wall is the place a chimney doesn’t go straight down to the ground, rather circumvents something (quite often a fireplace.) They aren’t typically by and large flat zones, a 30°-60° edge is really normal. These zones ought to get diverse treatment.

Sealing the Chimney Breast

Since the chimney breast has a more extreme introduction to rain and especially snow, it needs more layers of waterproofing. Most waterproofing utilized nowadays is water-based material. This is for two or three reasons: one is that water-based materials cost less than dissolvable based materials. They are more secure to ship, store and utilize and they are splendidly sufficient to the errand. The exception to the advantages is on non-vertical surfaces.

One way to deal with a non-vertical surface is to waterproof it over and over and over. Another is to use a solvent-based material, still with polysiloxanes, because it soaks deeper into the substrate. For a chimney with a breast below, opt for the more expensive solvent-based waterproofing.

An extraordinary note about re-applications. On the off chance that one needs to re-apply waterproofing after the water-based material has officially dried, dissolvable based waterproofing ought to be utilized. This is not regular learning, even among the exchange. Regardless of whether re-applying the following day or after ten years, utilize dissolvable based waterproofing. Try not to be frightened that if in the wake of perusing this article you know more than the general population you contract to carry out the occupation; the vast majority don’t have the foggiest idea about this. Just persistently demand getting what you request.

Sealing a Chimney Crown

The chimney crown is a level surface and it’s made of cement or mortar. It shouldn’t be made of mortar, however there’s a decent shot that it is at any rate. In view of what you’ve quite recently perused about waterproofing the chimney bosom, you’d sensibly feel that you’d simply utilize a dissolvable based waterproofing material there. In any case, that is not really: a crown requires more than common waterproofing.

The crown is fairly permeable. In case you’re fortunate the crown will be made of cement and will have been worked in a way that makes the top very smooth and non-permeable. In any case, by and large, crowns are genuinely permeable and have more introduction to rain and snow than all the rest of the chimney, and accordingly more problems (e.g. leaks) that the rest of the chimney as well.

There are coatings made particularly for crowns (the two noteworthy brands are Weather Tight and Saver Systems and both are by and large accessible to the exchange just.) Regardless of the brand being utilized, crown prep is critical. All the greenery and earth must be wire-brushed away. The crown ought to be wetted down before the material is connected. Crown coatings connected to dry surfaces don’t build up the fundamental security you’re searching for. Extensive breaks ought to be caulked with high sap filler before the crown coat is connected.

A note on flat surfaces which are not chimney crowns, for example, carports and so on. Siloxanes are not the best decision here in light of the fact that garages are made of cement. A comparative material (silane) is fitting so as to get legitimate holding with the substrate. It isn’t so much that chimney waterproofing material won’t work; it’s quite recently that silanes will last longer in this case.

The flashing area needs special attention. Traditional flashing, which 99.9% of all of us have, is not actually so great. I’m sure traditional in-the-mortar-joint-flashing was a huge improvement over whatever was before it a hundred years ago, but don’t imagine it keeps water out the way you wish it did.

There are spectacular blazing items which, as I would like to think, are tragically underused. Streak Seal and Flash Tight are high-pitch coatings particularly for this reason. To waterproof the blazing truly well, request one of these items. Your breadth might possibly even hear what you’re saying, yet don’t hold that against him. For this situation you’ll be teaching him. As I stated, they are still undervalued items now.

Now the big one: the mortar. Since most spilling happens at the joints, you need to be extra certain you splash them well with the waterproofing. You ought to realize that when in doubt mortar joints are regularly not also fortified as you may think they seem to be, and there are in reality little breaks in the mortar (more often than not obvious however.) The joints themselves have distinctive properties on various chimneys relying on whether mortar concrete or Portland bond was utilized, also the molecule size of the sand utilized and the pH of the water that was blended to make the mortar.

To what extent does chimney waterproofing last?

Before moving on, let me answer another FAQ. The question is how long does chimney waterproofing last? Answer is, as a general statement, probably about 20 years for most people. If you have the wind blowing sand at your chimney a lot, perhaps in the desert or by the sea, the brick surface can wear away, but most people don’t have that. There are guarantees, generally about 10 years. When those guarantees were instituted they were basically guesses from studies done in wind tunnels and freeze-thaw cycles. After a lot of years of observation, 20 years seems to be a generally good answer. Having it redone every 10-15 years is reasonable maintenance.

What is the distinction amongst beading and repulsing water?

A related subject: there’s a contrast amongst “beading” and repulsing water. Directly in the wake of anything is waterproofed, there is an extremely fulfilling impact called beading. This is the place you see dots of water simply sitting at first glance, sort of like seeing water sitting on oil. As perfect as it is to see, at impact is transitory. I don’t know why, yet the reality remains that waterproofing stays compelling for some, numerous years past the beading impact is no more.

How to waterproof stone chimneys

Finally, there are stone chimneys. Depending upon what kind of stone, the surface may be quite dense or quite porous. Regardless, stone usually doesn’t waterproof well with chimney waterproofing materials. The reason is that siloxanes and silanes bond to silica, and stones may or may not be silica. If they are, it’ll work, and if they aren’t, it won’t. Faux stone on the other hand is made with Portland cement, and you can waterproof it.

A Final Cautionary Word

Let me finish with a fun (in retrospect) cautionary tale. Be careful where you spray your waterproofing material. We once had an employee get cute and draw a smiley face on one of our customer’s driveway. It dried right up, no problem. But, when it rained the smiley face showed up just great. We wound up waterproofing that whole driveway just to keep it from smiling in the rain. Put down cloths on the roof so you don’t get it on the shingles. Never get it on the windows (you’ll mess them up permanently.) And of course, be real careful not to get it on the driveway.

‘Animal in my fireplace’ and other critter-in-the-chimney encounters

If you have a chimney, you probably at one point or another had an instance where there was an animal stuck in there. It happens. The CSIA emphases chimney caps as a way to help prevent animals getting in your chimney.

Chimney Safety Institute of America emphasizes the need for chimney caps, where appropriate. Why? It’s all about animal intrusion. The flue is an inviting, cozy environment that may be appealing because it offers refuge, and dry lodging, to the critter. Some crawl in, and some fly in.
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Chimney Repairs

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With winter drawing to a close, and the frequency of using your fireplace goes down, it’s time to start thinking about having your chimney inspected for repairs. As with most other things, after prolonged use, there can be minor damage to your chimney. While minor damage might not seem like such a big deal, the reality is that it can lead to bigger problems if left without repairs. That’s why having your chimney inspected regularly can help keep your family safe. Especially after winter, seeing as your chimney could’ve sustained some minor damage during the cold winter months.

Are Chimney Repairs Important?

At Chimney Sweeps West, our work is to help you keep your chimney in good shape, so of course we believe that chimney maintenance is important, but it’s not just because we want you to hire chimney sweeps.

Unfortunately many homeowners might be under the impression that having their chimneys swept and repaired isn’t necessary to keep their families safe, while in reality chimney problems are one of the main causes of fires in residential areas.

A chimney that isn’t working properly can also leak carbon monoxide into your home. Because carbon monoxide is similar to carbon dioxide, you won’t notice when your chimney isn’t channeling the gas out of your home as it should. But even though there won’t be clear warning signs that carbon monoxide is being released into your home, the gas is highly poisonous. Inhaling too much can be fatal.

According to the NFPA, fires caused by heating equipment (that includes your fireplace) were second on the list of most common fire causes in 2016. But even though only 16% of home fires were caused by heating equipment, falling far behind the percentage allocated to fires caused by cooking (which was the main cause of home fires), fires caused by heating equipment were responsible for 19% of the deaths that took place a result of home fires in 2016. Fires caused by cooking were equally likely to result in death, making up for a further 19% of deaths in home fires.

What this means is that, although your chimney is less likely to be the place where a fire starts than your kitchen, chimney fires are more dangerous, leading to death in more cases.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to have your chimney inspected before you use next winter. Also have a carbon monoxide alarm installed into your home so you’ll have an early warning if there are any toxins leaking into your home from the fireplace.

Having Your Chimney Inspected Is Cheaper Than a Fire

Homeowners who don’t have their chimneys regularly inspected by a qualified professional often end up paying the price in home repairs. Assuming you’re lucky enough that a fire that started in your chimney doesn’t result in loss of life, the effects of such a fire will still be awful.

To have your chimney swept and checked for damage will cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand if your chimney needs a lot of work (such as in cases when the chimney wasn’t built properly to begin with). Fire damage, on the other hand, will almost never cost you less than at least $5000, and that’s if the fire was small.

We’re willing to bet you have some things in your home near the fireplace – like furniture and maybe even a piano – that’s dear to you. These possessions have sentimental value that go well beyond their monetary worth, and they’re the first that you’ll lose in a fire.

Always Practice Fire Safety

So, suppose you’re a responsible homeowner and you have your chimney inspected annually. Do you get to throw out that ugly fire extinguisher? Well, we’d have to caution you against that.

Although having your chimney inspected annually before using it for the winter will certainly lower your risk of a chimney fire, there really aren’t any guarantees in life. Various things can impact the safety of your chimney, including the materials you burn, as some woods burn at a temperature that’s too hot, causing your chimney to crack more easily.

But apart from the fact that your chimney still works with fire – and is therefore a potential risk regardless of what you do – there are also other areas in your house that are high-risk zones where fires can start.

According to the NFPA’s report on home fires (titled Home Structure Fires) approximately 46% of home fires start in the kitchen. These fires often start as a result of forgetfulness, where residents might leave the home to run a quick errand only to come back to a burning house. Faced with this horrific scene, it’s often then when they realize they forgot something on the stove, or in the oven.

To practice good fire safety entails more than just having a fire extinguisher in your home (although that certainly is important). Good fire safety is about all-around mindfulness when it comes to potential fire hazards in your home. So while inspecting your chimney and having it repaired is an integral part of practicing good fire safety, we urge you to be more mindful in other areas as well. After all, there’s no use having your chimney inspected only to lose your house in a kitchen fire.

Talk to Qualified Chimney Professionals

Chimney sweeps aren’t all the same. While some Chimney sweeps undergo proper training, others don’t know much about what they’re doing at all. There’s no use in hiring someone who knows no more about your chimney than you do. In that case, you might just as well have tried to sweep your chimney yourself.

Obviously, your safety should be a deciding factor when hiring a chimney sweep company. You wouldn’t want an unqualified doctor, so why hire someone who doesn’t take your safety seriously to sweep your chimney?

Contact Chimney Sweeps West to have your chimney inspected by our team of highly qualified professionals.

Why masonry chimneys have to meet the 3-2-10 rule

While you may never need to know the 3-2-10 rule in order to build yourself a chimney, knowing why is exists is still interesting. Remember the 3-2-10 rule is the minimum height requirement.

It is widely known that masonry chimneys are required to meet the 3-2-10 rule. This rule means that they must extend 3 feet above the roof penetration on the shortest side, and the top of the chimney must be 2 feet higher than any portion of the building structure within 10 feet. This height requirement for masonry chimneys penetrating or adjacent to pitched roofs has been around for many decades. But why is this? I personally have been working on chimneys since 1997, and have been actively involved in the industry and with industry professionals for the past 10 years. I have asked this question many times, of many different folks in the industry. I have discovered that there is something of a divide in the reasoning behind the 3-2-10 rule.
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The top-down burn.

Fire can be a dangerous element if not kept in check. Epically around the nice wood frame of your home. That is why the CSIA come up with so many safety measures to make sure everyone at home burns their wood properly and in the safest manner possible.

Ready to talk about top down burns? We are at the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Even though the heat of August and September hasn’t left us, some cool mornings are signs that Fall is just around the corner. “It’s not pushed very much, but any of us that are around (expert mason/fireplace designer and CSIA instructor) Chris Prior know about this and use it. It takes a little longer to set it up but it definitely burns much better, much cleaner,” said Bob Fish, a CSIA instructor from Londonderry, Vermont.
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What the U.S. can learn as England educates homeowners about chimney fires

The US isn’t the only place with fireplace/chimney safety issues. CSIA in the United States frequently works with firefighters so they understand how to combat chimney fires. Read more to find out how.

You might think that of all places that know the value of a well-maintained chimney, the United Kingdom would top the list. After all, it was in 16th century England that the trend of fireplaces and chimneys really caught on. Yet, despite that head start, chimney fires remain as much an issue overseas as they are in the United States (which averaged an eye-popping 22,700 fires from 2010 to 2012) and first-responders are doing something about it!
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Accepted Products for Home Use

With so many different products out there claiming to do this or that for your fireplace or chimney, it’s nice to have a list of “Approved” items by the CSIA.

The cold has officially crept in and before you head out to your local hardware store for fireplace and chimney supplies we thought it was a good time to talk to you for a minute about the chimney & fireplace products accepted by CSIA for home use. But first, I think it’s important to mention that earning the “CSIA Accepted” is not a meaningless designation or a deceitful marketing ploy by companies who happened to have a few extra dollars lying around. In fact, we are extremely picky about who gets to use the CSIA logo on their product packaging. To earn this designation, a product must meet all three of the following requirements
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