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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.

Waterproofing & Your Chimney

When it comes to keeping your masonry in tip-top shape, investing in a few forms of preventative maintenance can go a long way. Things like chimney caps, chimney crowns, flashing, and more all play a big role in protecting your structure from harmful water damage, and these effective and affordable solutions typically wind up saving homeowners hundreds (sometimes thousands) in repair work.

One thing the crew here at Lords Chimney urges all of our customers to invest in is waterproofing services. Not familiar with how this process works or what it entails? We’ve got you covered! Get the facts below, then reach out to our team with any questions. We are always happy to help.

What Is Waterproofing?chimney near lake in fog

Waterproofing is the process of covering your brickwork and mortar with a light, vapor permeable seal. This coating protects your masonry from rain, sleet, snow, and other forms of moisture without affecting the look or aesthetic of your structure. The products that are used by professional sweeps are known for allowing any pre-absorbed moisture the chance to effectively escape your structure, as well, ensuring things will not continue breaking down from the inside.

Why Is Waterproofing Important?

Now, what many homeowners fail to realize is their strong, sturdy brickwork is actually quite absorbent. The more exposure your masonry has to rains and harsh weather, the more it will break down, meaning you’ll be investing in some expensive professional rebuilding work before you know it. Waterproofing now will save you loads of money down the line!

What kind of damages does waterproofing trigger? Homeowners have noted countless issues from too much water exposure ranging from discolored brickwork to mold growth to rust streaks and more. Not only with it threaten the structural integrity of your setup, but it will make it look much less attractive, as well.

A waterproofed structure will also ensure your brickwork and mortar won’t form holes, gaps, and openings through which smoke, carbon monoxide, heat, and flames can escape into your home. All of these can lead to injury or health issues, and they can cause damage throughout your property, as well.

Finally, waterproofing helps homeowners avoid disasters, such as settlements or collapses. If your chimney starts to crumble and weaken, it may only be a matter of time before it falls down completely, putting your entire home and family members at significant risk. A simple call to our team of experts can ensure you are set up right with the high-quality services you deserve. Let’s get started today!

How Often Should I Invest In This Service?

How often do you need to schedule waterproofing services? Well, it often depends on the products that are being used, but most will need to be reapplied every 5 – 10 years. Here at Lords Chimney, we use ChimneySaver, which comes with a 10 year warranty, so you’ll be good to go for the long haul!

That being said, make sure you invest in care from a qualified technician or you may not get the results you are hoping for. Tackling this as a do-it-yourself job could result in you not getting the most from the products you invest in, and your chimney will suffer as a result.

All About ChimneySaver

Like we said, ChimneySaver comes with a 10 year warranty, but it has many other qualities that make it a top choice for certified sweeps all throughout the nation. This company excels when it comes to setting the standard for all types of chimney products, and everything they sell undergoes testing and research to ensure it really performs out in the field. Chimney companies all over the country trust it year after year because it really delivers!

Help! My Chimney Is Already Leaking!

Is your chimney already experiencing leaks and water-related damages? Well, these are issues you will obviously need to have addressed before applying any waterproofing agents. If your metal components are rusting, if you see or hear water in your chimney, or if you’ve noticed some deterioration throughout your flue, then the time to call in the experts is now!

If you aren’t sure where you stand, the best thing to do is to schedule a chimney inspection. A CSIA certified sweep will have the knowledge, experience, and tools to do a thorough overview and can recommend further services based upon their findings. With the holidays coming up quick, now is a great time to get this maintenance scheduled.

Thanks to services like tuckpointing, crown repair, brick replacement, and more, you’ll have your system working as efficiently and as safely as possible in no time!

Can Lords Chimney Help Me?

So, what can the Lords Chimney team do to resolve problems with leaks and water damage throughout the Houston area? First things first, we are certified to perform all levels of chimney inspections, so you can count on us no matter what state your chimney is in. Then, we can sweep and repair your unit as necessary.

After we’ve got your structure looking and functioning like new again, we can apply preventative measures to keep it protected, including waterproofing services. You deserve peace of mind in the months ahead, and we’re here to provide it. Reach out now, and we can get something scheduled!

All About HeatShield

A warm and cozy fire sets the perfect mood for a chilly evening indoors. But not if your fireplace and chimney are broken down, crumbling, or posing any threats to your home. Stressing about gas leaks, house fires, and damaged masonry makes fireplace use anything but relaxing, which is why we encourage homeowners throughout the Houston area to rely on our team of experts for it all.

When it comes to offering your home and chimney better protection, a structurally sound liner is a must. A good number of homeowners will opt for a stainless liner if relining work is needed, but this isn’t always an option for those with a tighter budget. Fortunately, if you have a clay liner in place, there may be an alternative option – restoring it with HeatShield!

Our team can set you up with everything you need to operate your chimney as safely as possible this upcoming holiday season. For more information, give us a call today, or set up an appointment for your annual inspection so that we can get this process started. We’re always happy to help!

The Role Of Your Liner

chimney against dark sky

First things first, it’s essential to know why a sturdy and reliable liner is necessary when operating your fireplace. For one thing, it keeps the other parts of your home from catching on fire. Your fireplace produces a lot of heat, and if the surrounding woodwork isn’t adequately protected, it could start on fire within a matter of hours. A correctly fitted and well-maintained liner will ensure those high temperatures and stray flames don’t reach any other areas of your house.

Another thing your liner does is keep your masonry in better shape. Your fireplace produces a lot of acidic gases, which can eat away at your brickwork and mortar in a hurry if given full access. The more it breaks these components down, the higher your chances will be of facing gas leaks, house fires, or even a chimney collapse! All in all, broken down masonry is costly to fix, so avoiding the issue altogether will always be your best bet.

Last, but certainly not least, a well-functioning liner will enable your chimney to function as efficiently as possible. It will ensure smoke and fumes are directed up and out of your flue, so nothing leaks back into your household, and it guarantees better draft and airflow all around. In the end, your system will function a lot safer, too, so don’t skimp when it comes to your liner – it’s a vital piece of your chimney’s anatomy!

How HeatShield Works

So, how does HeatShield work? Well, a full relining job would consist of tearing apart your current, broken down liner, after which an entirely new liner is put into your chimney. This is super effective, but it’s also very costly and time-consuming. Many wonder if there’s an easier and more affordable option – and there is! Heatshield is an alternative many turn to, and it also produces great results. In fact, it comes with a 20-year warranty, so you can trust that it’s a method that truly stands the test of time.

There are two HeatShield methods we can apply to your chimney. The first is HeatShield’s Joint Repair which is good for a tile-lined chimney that needs some repair work. If your mortar joints are crumbling, then this mixture will fill in every gap throughout your structure. In the end, you’ll be left with a smooth, seamless surface that can enjoy for the long haul.

Is a whole resurfacing job necessary? Then, HeatShield’s Resurfacing System is what you need. We’ll remove any dust from your flue, then put a thick application of HeatShield throughout the entire interior. Your chimney’s interior will be looking like new in no time!

Whichever method we use, we’ll use cameras to show you how everything looks at the end of it all. We pride ourselves on customer satisfaction above everything else, so you won’t need to worry about being disappointed when we’re through. The Lords Chimney crew knows their stuff!

HeatShield: A Consistently Reliable OrganizationHeatshield-logo-image-blog-houston-tx-lords-chimney

So, how can you know that HeatShield is a name you can trust? Well, this product has been utilized in homes for two decades now, so it is clearly a reliable one. All standards meet the Underwriters Laboratories’ regulations regarding chimney liners, and sweeps throughout the country utilize their products on a regular basis for their loyal customer base. This is a company that is dedicated to keeping homes as safe as possible!

We’re The Only Certified HeatShield Techs In The Area!

Throughout the entire Houston area, the team here at Lords Chimney is the only technicians that are certified to set you up with the HeatShield method. This, along with our many years of experience, ensure we can get you taken care of, no matter what. We’ve built up a strong reputation throughout our service area, and we stand by our work every time. If you want to invest in a name you can trust for the long haul, we’re it!

Fall is just around the corner and, soon, you’ll want to start lighting up fires for the festive months ahead. Ensure your home has the perfect aesthetic by getting our team on the job today. We can’t wait to work with you soon!

The Importance Of Certifications

When hiring a team of sweeps to work on your chimney and fireplace, there are a few important questions you should be asking yourself. For instance, do they receive a lot of positive reviews? Are they insured? How long have they been in business? All of these say a lot about a company, but there is one more question you definitely don’t want to miss: Are they certified?

In the chimney industry, earning certifications is a vital part of bringing customers the best care possible, and it ensures the sweeps don’t miss a thing when it comes to the safety and efficiency of your appliance. Both the CSIA and the NFI play a big part in educating sweeps across the country and, here at Lords Chimney, we’re proud to be associated with both of them.

The CSIAImportance of Certifications Image - Houston TX - Lords Chimney

What Is The CSIA

The CSIA, or Chimney Safety Institute of America, is a nonprofit organization that has been setting the standard for chimney and fireplace education since its start back in 1983. The leaders of the CSIA strive to keep sweeps up-to-date and knowledgeable on everything they need to know about your chimney’s anatomy, and they also strive to keep homeowners educated on the safest ways to operate their fireplace.

Now, becoming certified with the CSIA is no easy feat, which is one reason why hiring a team that has put in the time and effort to do so is always a better bet. It takes hours of studying, training, and test-taking to earn this honor, so you can rest easier knowing the sweeps that have it truly know their stuff.

The Process To Be Certified

What’s the process like exactly? Well, technicians will first purchase multiple training materials that must be studied thoroughly. Next, they need to do one of the following: attend a training school, go to a review session in person, or take an online review of these materials. Each option requires a lot of time and dedication! Finally, there is the exam that consists of two parts: a one-hour, 100-question portion and an hour and a half open-book portion.

As you can see, the whole process takes a considerable amount of time, and CSIA certified sweeps are required to renew their certifications every three years, as well. This is done by either taking an exam again or by obtaining a high number of continuing education units. This ensures they are always on top of any new developments, as well as updates on techniques, tools, or technology.

Finally, the CSIA offers the option to become a Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician, which ensure the techs you hire know everything they need to know about thoroughly cleaning out your dryer vents. This reduces the risk of dryer fires significantly, and it keeps your appliance functioning as efficiently as possible.

The NFI

The NFI is another organization that certifies sweeps. NFI stands for National Fireplace Institute, and it specializes in equipping sweeps to install hearth appliances and venting systems correctly. When it comes to installation services, even small mishaps or mistakes can lead to bringing problems for the homeowners, so getting these techniques down precisely is essential.

Like the CSIA, the NFI is a nonprofit, and it has been offering its services to industry professionals since 1981. NFI professionals must take an in-depth examination before earning their credential, and they must renew it every 3 years by taking a new exam. If there are any new products introduced into the field or any new and improved approaches when it comes to installation strategies, you can bet an NFI certified expert will know about it!

Certified Chimney Professionals

A Certified Chimney Professional certification is another certification sweeps can earn to improve their fireplace knowledge. This achievement is earned by purchasing their specific manual, then taking an examination over the materials. Once you successfully pass the test, you get your certificate.

Passing this exam takes experience, training, and a lot of expert knowledge. If the sweeps you hire have done so, it is clear that they are dedicated individuals who will continuously strive to go above and beyond for their customer base.

The Lords Chimney Crew Is Certified With Them All

If you’ve worked with us before, then you may know our technicians, Lee, Llynn, and Billy. They are all certified with the CSIA, and they have received a number of accomplishments with the other organizations listed above, as well. Well, now we’re proud to add two new certified sweeps, Ivan and Ryan, to our team. When you work with us, you can stress less because we’ve got a great team of qualified technicians on the job!

We’re Also Members Of The NCSG

Member of the NCSG

Member of the NCSG

The National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) doesn’t offer certifications but, by being associated with them, you are given the opportunity to attend conferences, stay up-to-date on industry news, and stay connected with others in the same line of business. This institute is all about promoting success and safety, ensuring homeowners everywhere receive the best care possible. We’re proud to be a part of this distinguished group!

Call Today To Make An Appointment

Whether you’re overdue for an inspection, need creosote swept out, are struggling with crumbling brickwork, or something else, we are confident our crew can help you out. We handle leak repairs, relining work, nest removal, troubleshooting, installation work, and a whole lot more. Don’t hesitate to reach out now for the care and attention you deserve.

Leaks & Your Chimney: What You Need To Know

Whether you are experiencing leaks around your chimney and roof, deterioration throughout your brickwork, water in your fireplace, or something else along these lines, there is no doubt that water-related problems throughout your chimney structure is something you need to address right away. Fortunately, our team can help.

Learn more below, then contact us for your chimney repairs, inspections, fix-ups, sweepings and more. The Lords Chimney team will always have your back.

Causes Of Chimney Leaksbrick chimney flashing

So, what is making your chimney leak in the first place? Well, a lot depends on the type of fireplace you own. The metal chase of your prefabricated unit could be rusted, for example, or if you have a masonry chimney, your crown could cracked, crumbling, and breaking down. Other times your chimney was simply designed or installed wrong to begin with. All in all, it is about getting our team in there to figure it out, so we can provide solutions.

Some of the more common things we see? It is not rare for a homeowner to have a damaged or missing chimney cap, in which case a new one will need to be installed. Without a proper covering over your flue, water can easily get in and wreak havoc. Other times, we notice the flashing is rusted, bent, or cracked. Because your flashing is meant to protect the area where your roof and chimney meet, this can lead to problems in a hurry.

We often realize that the brickwork has broken down, too. Because your masonry is so absorbent, it is important to protect it with waterproofing services. Without this layer of protection, moisture will get in and stay put, triggering all kinds of decay and deterioration over the years.

Water Damage & Your Chimney

So, what kind of damages will occur if your system is left unaddressed? Well, you won’t be able to use your fireplace safely or efficiently, that’s for certain. If you own a prefabricated fireplace, you will likely notice rust all throughout the inside of the unit, in which case the whole system will need to be changed out. This is expensive and time-consuming, so investing in preventative care from the get-go is always a better bet.

Along with this, sheetrock damage can occur, and you may notice the woodwork in your home rotting, swelling, and/or buckling. If there are leaks in your fireplace, then trust us – it won’t be long before you notice them in other places, too. It is also advised to keep an eye on your walls and ceilings, as these may show signs of staining or discoloration when too much water is present.

Notice some white powder around your home? This is called efflorescence and, while many falsely assume it is not associated with leaks, it actually is a big sign that water damage is present in your home. It is what is left over when the water dries up, and it is a big indicator that you have leaks somewhere throughout the area.

Combine all that with a crumbling masonry structure, and you have got a lot of issues on your plate that are costly to repair. Fortunately, our team can help you through it, no matter what stage you are at. Whether you have damages that need addressing, are eager to invest in some preventative measures, or simply want to have us come out and take a look, we can lend a helping hand. Call today, so we can set something up.

How Can We Help?

So, what can the CSIA certified sweeps at Lords Chimney do to help out citizens in the Houston area? Well, a lot will depend on your specific situation. We are not roofers, but we can do some basic roofing repair, and we offer flashing services, as well. If you are looking for something more cost-effective and temporary, we could offer a seven-year patch, which will buy you some time until you can get a new roof put on.

When it comes to your actual chimney, though, there is a lot we can offer, and it mainly depends on if you want to invest in a major repair job or simply patch up the problem to get you by for a while. If you are going to be in your current home for many more years to come, then investing in a long-term solution is likely the best route to take.

Depending on what type of problems you are experiencing, we may need to fix the holes in your mortar and brickwork, then apply waterproofing products, or we might need to install a new chimney cap or chase cover to ensure water stays out of your flue. Flashing work can also take you far, as can a drip edge, so that water does not run down the sides of your masonry structure.

The Importance Of Annual Inspections

All in all, the best thing you can do to keep your fireplace and chimney in good shape for the long haul is invest in annual inspections. By having our experts look things over every single year, you help ensure that problems are spotted and resolved well before they become major issues that put your safety at risk. We can recommend preventative measures and let you know of any concerns we have about the current state of your structure, giving you the peace of mind and satisfaction you deserve.

Ready to set something up? So are we. Call today to get your appointment on the books.