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Lords Chimney - Chimney Sweep and Fireplace Vent Service
Lords Chimney - Chimney Sweep and Fireplace Vent Service

Our Company Blog

The Importance Of Dryer Vent Cleaning

Are you running your dryer two or three times only to realize your clothes still aren’t getting fully dry? Do you smell a smokey/musty odor when running your dryer? When your dryer turns off does a humming noise come from the appliance? All of these are clear-cut warning signs that your vents, as well as your booster vent and terminations, may need some attention. Here at Lords Chimney, we’re qualified to help with it all.

What Is A Booster Vent?dryer vent in ceiling

Not sure what a booster vent is exactly? If you have a duct system that is long or has lots of turns, then it’s very likely you have a booster vent in place. It is designed to suck exhaust from the dryer vent, thus ensuring your dryer is not forced to work nearly as hard as it would normally have to.

Clearly these devices play a very important role in keeping your appliance functioning as safely and as efficiently as possible, but unfortunately, not many homeowners owners know much about maintaining them. In fact, some hardly notice they’re even there! The truth is that these pieces of equipment actually need to be cleared out at least once every two to three months, and if not given regular attention, they’ll force your dryer to work overtime. There’s also a hose that helps with the pressure system that is prone to fall apart, and if damaged will need replacing right away.

As you can imagine, the harder your dryer works, the fewer years it will last, and you could be looking at some expensive damages down the line, too. Along with this, a clogged up booster vent creates a huge fire hazard! In the end, some routine maintenance now is a lot more affordable than buying a new dryer or paying for home restoration work after a fire. Combine all that with increased energy bills and a higher clothes budget (since all those tumbling cycles are sure to wear down your wardrobe in a hurry), and you’ll be looking at a big dent in your bank account.

It’s a no-brainer – call on our team to check things over today. We’ll ensure you’re set up right in no time!

All About Terminations

Another area we are happy to help you with is terminations. These are the spots where your vents end and the fumes from your dryer then safely escape out of your home. These are located on either the side of your home or the roof, and every single one of them should have a backdraft damper. These ensure air can effectively escape, as well as prevent animals, debris, and backdrafts from getting in.

In regards to terminations, we recommend investing in metal devices that do not have a screen. Metal options simply last longer and stand the test of time against the elements, and if you don’t have a screen or mesh, then you don’t run into scenarios where lint and other things are building up and creating clogs.

Also, if possible, we urge all of our customers to invest in the rooftop terminations over the ones on the sides of your home. Why? Well, these are known for creating no back pressure, which then makes your dryer’s job much easier. In the end, your system will face less stress, which will help it last longer, and it won’t have to run as long to get your clothes dry, which will then have a welcome effect on your energy bills. These devices cost a bit more upfront, but in the end, they’re a much smarter investment than their on-the-wall counterparts.

What Risks Do I Face If Maintenance Is Avoided?

All in all, your vents, terminations, and booster vents need to be cleared out regularly, and investing in professional care is the only way to ensure the job gets done right. Avoiding these services puts your home at serious risk, and we can assure you that you’ll wind up paying a lot more down the line for repair services and replacement parts than you would for a simple and affordable cleaning now.

What could happen if maintenance is avoided? The main concern is dryer fires. Thousands of dryer fires occur across the country every single year, and these result in hundreds of injuries, multiple deaths, and thousands of dollars worth of damage. Needless to say, combining flammable lint with a system that’s overheating doesn’t result in a good scenario.

Another concern is carbon monoxide exposure. Carbon monoxide could easily pour back into your home if your vents are backed up, and this colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas is impossible to detect with basic human senses. This deadly substance is known as a silent killer, and many are hospitalized due to exposure. Avoiding it at all costs is vital!

Investing in professional care is a surefire way to prevent mishaps and dangerous scenarios, and you’ll definitely appreciate the added efficiency you gain. We also urge our customers to invest in both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for their home. These should be placed on every level of the property, as well as outside of all bedroom doors to ensure everyone inside is alerted at the first sign of trouble.

Need professional care? The team at Lords Chimney is ready to be here for you every step of the way. Give us a call today.

Is Your Chimney Protected?

The rainy season is upon us here in Houston, and as we move into spring, this rainfall will only continue. Because of this, it is imperative that you ensure your chimney and fireplace are protected! Water leaks are all too common in the world of chimneys. Many homeowners fail to realize that this is actually one problem that is easily avoided if the right measures are taken.

The biggest reason homeowners face problems with leaks and water damage is simply a lack of maintenance. If the chimney cap is missing or the chase cover is cracked or rusted, water will easily work its way in. By then, it is too late.

Get the scoop on chimney caps and chase covers below, then rely on our team to help you out with it all. Owner and CSIA Master Chimney Sweep, Lee Roff, is ready and eager to keep all of Houston and its surrounding areas protected. Lords Chimney is definitely the company you want to trust!

The Importance Of Chimney Capsmasonry chimney with proper flashing, crown and cap

How vital is a chimney cap to the overall function of your fireplace? Well, without a protective covering over the top of your chimney, it is left completely open and vulnerable to whatever wants to enter. Whether its rain, animals, or outside debris, it has an easy way to access your home. If water enters your flue, it won’t be long before your metal components start to rust, and your masonry will start to crack and crumble, too.

Water will also break down your liner which leaves you vulnerable to gas leaks and house fires. Using a damaged system is really dangerous, but many fail to realize that they are even experiencing issues. This is why investing in regular inspections are so important!

Chimney caps also work hard to keep out birds and curious woodland critters. One common animal that loves to set up camp in chimneys is the chimney swift. These birds nest on vertical surfaces, and the warmth and protection your chimney offers is ideal. Unfortunately, their numbers are in decline, which is why they are now protected by law. What does that mean for you? Well, it means you’re stuck with them until they leave on their own. In fact, trying to remove them will land you with some hefty fines.

Avoid Chimney Swifts

Like most other birds, these will eventually migrate away from their nest, but don’t think your troubles are over then! They’re known to come back to their same nesting grounds when they return. Fortunately, we have a solution – a chimney cap. With one of these affordable devices in place, you won’t have to worry about any animals entering.

Raccoons, squirrels, and other creatures are also known to work their way into your chimney. In fact, we’ve seen raccoons have babies on the smoke shelf. If your damper gets left open, they could find their way into your home! All in all, getting these animals out and getting your chimney opening sealed up is vital for keeping your chimney, home, and family safer! Now is the time to get your cap installed, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our crew today.

All About Chase Covers

Chase covers, or chase tops, cover the opening of prefabricated units. These models have grown in popularity over the years since they are easier and cheaper to install. They also don’t require the commitment of actually building a permanent fixture in your home. Unfortunately, the flues on the units have been proven to attract even more birds than those of masonry chimneys.

Because of this, they need a protective covering, and that’s where your chase cover comes in. Nesting materials can clog things up in a hurry, causing draft and airflow issues. As nests are made of flammable materials, this also creates a fire hazard for your home. The smartest, safest, and most cost-effective route to take is to have a chase cover installed before any of these issues start to occur.

Unfortunately, a lot of these prefabricated models come with a chase cover that is made of weaker materials, which means it will rust and corrode before you know it. An ideal cover will be designed with a slight slope, ensuring water does not pool on top, and they should be made from strong products, such as galvanized metal, so you won’t need to worry about it breaking down any time soon. Ready for us to helpt? Reach out now – we’re more than happy to help.

We Are Dedicated To Our Customers

We go above and beyond to ensure our customer base is satisfied, and we are certain there is no better team than ours to trust throughout the Houston area. Our award-winning sweeps are certified with the CSIA and the NFI, and we’re members of the NSCG, too. We always use the high-quality tools and products we know you deserve, and you can trust that we never cut corners or take shortcuts.

The protection you’re looking for is a phone call away. Get in touch with us now!

Operating Your Fireplace In Warm Weather: What You Need To Know

Here in Houston and its surrounding cities, high temperatures are all too common, even during the winter months. Because of this, knowing the safest way to operate your chimney and fireplace on even the warmest days is essential. Fortunately, here at Lords Chimney, we have the tools, training, and technology to ensure you are set up right, no matter what the weather outside is doing. If you’re looking to keep your home and family better protected through it all, talk with our team today about your needs. We’d be happy to set up a time to look things over!

Is It Safe To Build Fires On Hot Days?white house in the summer

When it comes down to it, fireplaces are not meant to be operated when it’s hot outside. Wood-burning units are especially temperamental in these situations, but no matter the fuel type, it is important to practice caution when attempting to light fires on hot days. Is it even possible to light a successful fire? It can be! You just need to make certain you are set up right for it.

If you have a party or festive event coming up, then you are probably hoping to get some flames going. We get it! Sometimes, a fire is all you need to create the perfect mood. So, what can be done in these situations? Well, with our help, you can still use your fire effectively and safely. Get our experts on the job to check things up and down and ensure everything is in perfect shape.

The Dangers Of Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Exposure

One of the biggest risks involved with operating a faulty fireplace on a hot day is an increased likelihood of smoke and carbon monoxide entering your home. Both of these substances can be extremely detrimental to your health, and carbon monoxide is especially threatening due to its colorless and odorless nature. This gas has been deemed “the silent killer” since detecting its presence is so hard to do with one’s basic senses.

Getting your system working perfectly is a surefire way to significantly reduce your risk of experiencing smoke back-up or gas leaks. We’re here to help with it all, and we would be happy to answer any questions you have along the way, as well. In no time, our team will have you set up right, giving you the peace of mind you deserve whenever operating your fireplace. Get us in for an inspection right away, so that we can get this process started.

What else can you do to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide? Well, being aware of the symptoms associated with exposure is very important. Most people who have breathed in this poisonous gas report feelings of nausea, dizziness, headaches, confusion, vomiting, and chest pain. Others have even reported flu-like illnesses. If you are concerned there is gas in your home, and you experience any of these things, leave the area immediately and call for help. It’s always best to practice caution!

Another vital step in keeping your home safer is investing in both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Have them installed on every floor of your house, and make sure there are some outside of all sleeping areas. Then, check them regularly to ensure they are working. It’s also a good idea to change the batteries periodically, as well as replace the units themselves every 10 years.

Have any questions? Let us know. We would love to put you on the right track for keeping your household as safe and as comfortable as possible.

Trust In Our CSIA Certified Team

Anyone from Lords Chimney who comes out to inspect your fireplace will be certified with the CSIA and equipped with everything they need to get the job done right. In fact, the owner, Lee Roff, is Texas’s only CSIA Master Chimney Sweep, which means he has undergone years of training and has held certification with the CSIA for more years than most.

When it comes right down to it, when you put your chimney in our hands, you can rest easier knowing it will function better for your home and family. And with warmer days like these upon us, you can never be too careful! Don’t put your home in the hands of someone uncertified, inexperienced, and notorious for cutting corners. Trust in us from start to finish – you and your family deserve only the best!

We Offer Repairs, Sweepings & More

So, what can be done if our professional inspection reveals bigger issues at hand? Well, an extensive sweeping can work wonders when it comes to removing creosote and ensuring no harmful clogs or obstructions are present. And if your masonry or chimney parts are in rough shape, we can fix those up, too. We can replace components, as necessary, restore your brickwork and mortar, and patch up any gaps, cracks, and holes, as needed.

And these services only scratch the surface as far as what we’re capable of! Ready to learn more? Then, the time to reach out is now. We’re only a phone call away!

Building A Safe Fire In Your Fireplace

Here at Lords Chimney, we take pride in putting the safety and satisfaction of our customers above it all. You won’t find experienced, professional sweeps like ours anywhere else, and we can provide you with the knowledge and advice you’re looking for to have the safest and most enjoyable holiday season yet.

Now, one key ingredient in hosting a successful Christmas gathering is a warm, blazing fire in the fireplace. That is unless your fire-building strategies always prove to be less than successful. If you want to avoid a smoke-filled living space, along with the countless other threats that accompany a poorly constructed fire, read up on some of our guidelines below.

Invest In An Inspection & Sweepingclose up of shaped fire

First things first, be certain to get your annual inspection scheduled before lighting any fires and have a sweeping completed if excess creosote was spotted in your flue. By getting an inspection done every year, you guarantee more efficient fires, and you avoid countless potential threats, such as house and chimney fires, carbon monoxide exposure, gas leaks, smoke back-up, and more.

Just be sure you book this maintenance with a team of CSIA Certified Sweeps to ensure you get the most knowledgeable and in-depth analysis possible. The crew here as Lords Chimney has trained with the CSIA, and we work with a number of other reputable organizations, as well, such as the NFI and the NCSG. We would love to set you upright, so book your inspection with our experienced staff today!

Pick The Right Wood

Now, what you use for fuel plays an integral part in how efficiently your fires burn, and it has an impact on the health of your chimney, too. It’s essential that you burn only well-seasoned firewood in your fireplace and nothing else besides it. Although it’s tempting to throw trash in there from time to time, especially in a time of year where you’re using a lot of wrapping paper, paper plates, plastic silverware, and more, but burning these materials increases the amount of creosote that forms in your flue, and it can create some pretty smoky fires, too.

It’s also important to avoid burning wet or unseasoned wood. If your fuel hasn’t adequately dried out, then acidic water will break down your chimney’s interior system, and your fires won’t burn as nicely, either. If you want heat and efficiency from your fireplace, then well-seasoned wood is the only thing you should be burning!

How do you know that your logs are ready for use? Well, if you season your own wood, it should be fine to burn after about six months of airing out in a well-protected, but open area outside. (Be sure to store it off of the ground, too!) If you are purchasing fuel, then some key characteristics to watch out for are.

  • Logs that are lightweight.
  • Pieces that make a hollow-sounding noise when smacked together.
  • Logs that are split and dark on the ends.
  • Wood that is cut to a shorter length.

Open Your Damper

Ever light a fire only to have smoke start pouring into your living room? This is unhealthy, uncomfortable, and it can leave you with an odor that is hard to erase. It’s a common mistake for homeowners to forget to open their damper before lighting things up, so be sure yours is open before getting your evening going.

Also, if your throat damper is rusting, eroding, or getting stuck all the time, consider upgrading to a top-sealing damper. These offer an effective seal with a rubber gasket, and they work alongside your chimney cap to keep out animals, downdrafts, and excess debris. Ready to make the switch? Talk with our team today.

Warm The Flue

It’s a good idea to light a roll of newspaper and hold it in your flue for a bit to get things primed and ready before lighting your fire. Why is this recommended? Well, otherwise you’ll be fighting the cold air in your chimney, which can overpower any smoke going up and push it back into your home. If you heat things up ahead of time, you could save yourself a lot of stress and hassle.

Study Fire Safety Tips

A fire in your home means there is always an increased risk of experiencing a gas leak, house fire, chimney fire, and more. Be sure you know the best ways to avoid a disaster in your home and have a plan in place should a fire occur. Map things out ahead of time and have your family practice different escape routes. It’s also important to pick a meeting spot outside of the home so that everyone knows where to meet up and check-in in the event of an emergency.

Also, remember to never leave a fire unattended. When it’s late and you’re tired, it may be tempting to simply fall asleep and let the flames die out on their own, but this has caused many accidents. It simply isn’t worth the risk. We also urge all of our customers to invest in multiple smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as these are often the first or only things to offer any warning signs of danger.

Don’t Wait – Call Lords Chimney Today

If your chimney is in need of care, then there’s no time to lose. Count on the qualified and experienced technicians at Lords Chimney soon. We serve the counties of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Austin, Galveston, and Wharton, and we would love to help you out. Call today!

Lightning Strikes & Your Chimney

Thunderstorms are common in the United States with over 100,000 occurring every single year, and here in Texas, we are especially prone to experience them. Now, when lightning strikes one’s home, it typically hits the highest point on the structure, which is almost always the chimney. As you can imagine, this can lead to a lot of issues. Learn more about these below so that you are prepared should something of this nature occur, then count on our team to help you out. We are eager to have your back!

Beware Of Fireslightning striking house chimney

First things first, get the fire department on the phone if lightning strikes your chimney. There’s a lot of heat in one bolt of lightning, and it could easily spark a fire, especially if your flue is filled with creosote. Even if you don’t see any flames or smoke, it’s important to have professionals from the fire department check things over to ensure that no threats are present. Keep in mind that chimney fires are not always loud, obvious events – you could be experiencing one and not even know it!

There could also be a fire growing in your attic, in which case you’ll want the proper authorities on the case as soon as possible. It’s always safer to let qualified firemen and firewomen do a thorough inspection of your property, rather than look for signs of fire yourself. When it comes to the wellbeing of your home and family take every possible precaution is always the better bet!

Have A Chimney Expert Check For Damages

After you know that there is no threat of experiencing a house fire, the next step is to make an appointment for a chimney inspection. When hiring a chimney company, make certain the staff are CSIA certified sweeps and that they have positive reviews on various websites. Involvement with other organizations like the NFI and the NCSG also says a lot about their dedication to education. Doing a little research can take you far and ensure you get the most accurate assessment possible.

Here at Lord’s Chimney, we use high-quality products, as well as the latest techniques and technologies, and we pride ourselves on our experience, our education, and our integrity. We would love the opportunity to prove ourselves to you, so reach out today to schedule an appointment, especially if you’re concerned about the state of your structure!

Why is an inspection important, especially after a lightning strike? Damages of any type weaken your masonry significantly, and the intense heat from a bolt of lightning will cause countless spots to experience issues. Your metal components could warp or come undone, brickwork could become dislodged, your mortar may crumble, and your liner will likely become especially vulnerable.

All in all, any problems need to be resolved before lighting any fires. Failing to address damages can lead to water damage, gas leaks, smoke exposure, carbon monoxide poisoning, house/chimney fires, a chimney collapse, and more. It’s not worth taking any chances, especially when it comes to the wellbeing of your loved ones. Gain the peace of mind you deserve by scheduling an inspection with our knowledgeable team of professionals right away.

Lightning Struck, But My Structure Seems Fine… Should I Still Call?

If you know lightning struck your structure, but a quick overview reveals that nothing seems to be damaged, you may be thinking you’re off the hook. This is not the case! Hidden damages are still likely lurking. In fact, most of the time, the most serious issues are lying within the chimney and can only be discovered with the help of camera equipment and a trained eye.

When it comes to your fireplace, you never want to take any chances. Risking a fire when issues are still present can turn a cozy evening indoors into a disaster in no time, and the threats involved could wind up being fatal. Play it safe, and guarantee you and your loved ones the best holiday season yet by calling in our crew to look things over today. We would love to set you up!

Will My Insurance Help Me Out?

Now, it’s an unfortunate fact that the services required after lightning strikes your chimney are often expensive. Picking up the pieces after a chimney fire, for example, requires a lot of time-consuming work, and if you need to replace your flashing, chimney cap, and more, that will add up quickly, too. Because of this, it is definitely worth looking into your insurance policy to see if they will help cover the costs.

A lot of insurance policies cover damages from lightning strikes, but you’ll have to speak with your insurance company to find out their specific guidelines. This is one extra step that could save you a lot of stress, especially in a time of year when extra funds are typically necessary.

Staying Prepared

Above all, the crew here at Lords Chimney wants our customer base to stay as safe as possible. If you have any concerns about the state of your chimney or fireplace, please reach out today to get an inspection in the books! Along with this, keep informed on weather-related threats, and make certain you are taking necessary precautions should a severe thunderstorm be on its way. It’s always best to play it safe!

Ready to work with our highly-ranked experts? Great. Call now, and we can get something set up.