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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.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town; Is your Chimney Ready for Him?

Everyone is getting excited for Santa’s yearly visit, but is your chimney ready? Your chimney might be a ticking time bomb if you haven’t had a visit from an even more important chimney visitor, a chimney sweep.

Aside from soiling Santa’s suit, dirty chimneys are prime offenders in some of the most destructive fires in the country. When wood is burned, the smoke produced leaves a residue on the inside of your chimney; if this residue is allowed to build up, it produces a sticky, black substance known as creosote.
Read the article on how to keep your chimney sagfe for Santa this year.

Anatomy of Your Fireplace

Have you ever wondered how your chimney actually works? How is the anatomy of your chimney affecting your heating ability? Or maybe you just want to see the hole Santa has to slide down.

Since the dawn of time, humans have gathered around the open fire for a sense of safety and community, and the fireplace is still the focus of family living in many homes, especially around the holidays.
Here is the full article about how your chimney works.

How Much Does a Chimney Sweep Cost?

Are you considering hiring a chimney sweep but aren’t sure if you need to? You don’t really want to spend the money if it isn’t necessary right? This article from HomeAdvisor goes over the reasons you should have your chimney cleaned or inspected.
Having a wood fire burning in your fireplace all winter long can save you on your electric bills, not to mention the nice homey feel it can give your house. However when smoke goes up a chimney, it leaves behind ash and carbon residue. These residues need to be cleaned out periodically, or they can result in chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and lack of airflow through the chimney to the outside. You may wonder what the cost is to have a chimney sweep clean out your chimney, and a number of factors influence the price for cleaning it.
Get all the information here.

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.