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Is Your Chimney Safe For Use?

Nothing beats the ambiance offered by a fireplace. It adds a cozy atmosphere to any home setting and can help make an evening perfect, especially throughout the cold weather months. Yet, with owning a fireplace comes a lot of responsibility and it is important to make sure that your fireplace is safe to use before lighting any fires. There are a number of things you can inspect and watch out to ensure that your home and family stay protected. Follow the tips listed below.

Is Your Chimney Safe for Use - Gloucester VA - Olde Town Chimney

  •  Check For Blockages: Animal nests and other debris can quickly clog up any chimney or venting system. If the flue or damper is blocked up, air cannot escape properly, meaning you may have harmful fumes backing up into your home. On top of this, your fireplace will not run as efficiently as possible and may cause issues further on down the line.
  • Buy Smoke Detectors: Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are an important addition to any home, especially those with fireplaces. Carbon monoxide is hard to detect with one’s basic senses and is very harmful if inhaled. If affects various parts of the body and is known for causing brain damage in young children. If you do not own these detectors, be sure to purchase them as soon as possible.
  • Schedule A Cleaning: If creosote builds up, it can quickly ignite a fire in the chimney, putting you and your entire family at risk. Not only could you potentially burn down your entire home, but you are putting your fireplace and chimney through a lot of damage that will need to eventually be addressed. Get a professional in to clean and inspect the chimney, ensuring that everything is safe for use.
  • Check The Outside: Many remember to check all of the internal aspects of the chimney, but scanning the outside areas is important, as well. Check for any branches or twigs that may be causing blockages. Also, make sure that the mortar and brick are remaining in good condition, as well as the flue, the flashing, and the chimney crown. The best option is to ask a professional to check up on everything. An expert will know exactly what to look for and knows the best way to approach any necessary fixes.
  • Burn Safely: When it comes to actually lighting a fire, be sure to only burn seasoned wood and to practice proper fire safety precautions. Always have someone keeping an eye on the fire, and be sure that it is put out completely when you are finished with it.

All of these steps will make your fireplace more suitable for use and will help in maintaining its overall structure. At Olde Town Chimney Sweeps we have all of the tools necessary for ensuring your chimney is in top shape. Our experts are standing by and will work hard to ensure that your home and family stay safe throughout the upcoming burning seasons. Give us a call today!

Masonry Repair Questions

Spring is upon us, which means now is the ideal time to focus on any needed repairs in your masonry. If you have been trying to schedule this type of work throughout the winter and are finding little success in doing so, it is likely because masonry fixes in cold weather often do not turn out well. Learn more about this and other common questions associated with masonry repairs below.

Masonry Repair Questions - Glocester VA - Olde Town ChimneyWhy Wait Until Spring?

Many realize that springtime is ideal for masonry repairs, but few know why this is so. It has to do with allowing the masonry to cure once the mortar is applied. If the temperatures are too low, the mortar will likely freeze before it has set properly, meaning all the work that was done was for nothing. Once warmer weather has arrived, chimney professionals will be much more willing to come out and focus on any masonry work that you need completed.

How Can I Prevent Damage?

Waterproofing your masonry work will help immensely as far as ensuring that your chimney stays sturdy. When moisture enters the brickwork, it can cause a lot of damage throughout time. Brick absorbs moisture easily, and the freeze/thaw process will cause the chimney to eventually settle, leaving you facing an unsteady structure and a lot of potential damage. Moisture also causes rust, stains, and other forms of deterioration that will cause your chimney to crumble over time.

Do I Need A Chimney Cap?

When it comes to keeping your masonry protected, a chimney cap is a fairly inexpensive way to prevent further damage. It keeps rain out, prevents animals from entering, and minimizes the risk of excess debris building up and blocking up your chimney. Have a professional inspect your chimney and find the right chimney cap based upon your specific needs. By hiring an expert to install the chimney cap, you can rest assured that everything has been done properly and that your chimney and masonry will stay protected for years to come.

Should I Hire A Professional?

Many question whether or not hiring a chimney expert is worth the additional cost. When it comes down to it, hiring a professional is a better investment and will end up saving the homeowner a lot of money throughout time. Especially when it comes to masonry, if repairs and preventative treatments are not done correctly, the potential damage one faces will end up costing a lot more than simply hiring a professional in the first place. If a chimney is not properly protected, it will eventually deteriorate making it unsuitable for use. If left unaddressed for too long, it may collapse or tilt, meaning a lot of time and money will be spent on home repair. Give Olde Town Chimney Sweeps a call today and schedule an inspection. Our experts will clean and inspect your fireplace and offer sound advice as far as any necessary repairs. Do not hesitate as now is the ideal time for masonry repair.

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