Our Company Blog

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.

All About Our Virtual Chimney Assessment

Summertime is a great time to invest in services for your chimney and fireplace. With the holidays still months away, many are not putting their system to use as much. Our sweeps are also less busy, as well. Want to have your chimney inspected but still don’t have the time or money? Why not try our virtual chimney assessments?

Learn more about this process below, then make us your one-stop shop for it all. Our team is qualified to serve you!

Putting Your Needs Firstscanner looking at chimney

Here at Lords Chimney, we take the concerns and suggestions of our customer base seriously. We understand that the cost and time involved with having us come out to do an in-person assessment of your chimney and fireplace can present some challenges. That’s why we have come up with the option for a virtual assessment.

How It Works: Getting The Most From Your Assessment

We cannot stress enough that this will not replace your annual inspection. If you want to guarantee safer and more efficient fireplace operations, then scheduling an appointment with our team is a must. That being said, this can be an effective option for those that would like to know our thoughts on the current state of their chimney but are struggling to find time to get us in. Simply submit your pictures online, and we can give you bids and recommendations from there.

So, how can you get more from your assessment? Well, the better your pictures are, the better we can evaluate them. We require at least four pictures, but the more you provide, the more accurate we can be! Not sure where to begin? Here are the angles we recommend:

  • An outdoor top-to-bottom shot of your chimney from a distance.
  • A full shot of the fireplace exterior from a distance.
  • A close-up view of the firebox.
  • A close-up view of the flue, from the perspective of your firebox.

Still Have Questions?

If you are still facing questions about this process, visit us online to learn more or feel free to give us a call and we can offer some guidance over the phone. We are ready to do everything we can to set you up right!

Importance Of Regular Repair Work & Maintenance

When it comes right down to it, investing in regular chimney care is vital to the health of your home and the safety of your family. Water damage and leaks can cause your system to break down in a hurry and, if too much creosote is building up, your risk of experiencing a chimney fire will heighten significantly.

Even the most well taken care of chimney needs cleaning and minor repair work from time to time, so do not hesitate to get the professional attention you deserve. If you have been putting off care due to time restraints, please take advantage of this service today. The CSIA certified crew at Lords Chimney is ready to help you out.

5 Tips For Preventing House Fires

It is an unfortunate fact that thousands of house fires occur every single year in the United States. These disasters leads to countless injuries, multiple deaths, and millions of dollars worth of damage.fire That being said, many of these were entirely preventable, meaning you can take steps towards preventing them from occurring in your home.

Ready to learn more? Read below. Then, count on the team at Lords Chimney to handle your fireplace, chimney, and venting maintenance, ensuring you stay as safe as possible in the years ahead.

Schedule A Dryer Vent Cleaning

If your dryer vents are clogged up and filled with debris, it won’t be long before things overheat. As you can imagine, when the high temperatures produced by the appliance combine with your flammable lint, a fire could easily ignite. An annual cleaning will ensure your system stays free of lint build up, and it should guarantee a better functioning appliance, too. It’s a win-win!

Be Vigilant

Leaving things like candles and fireplace fires unattended can increase your risk of fire significantly. It is also important to keep flammable items away from these things. We know how tempting it can be to decorate your mantle or place candles throughout your holiday decor, but these items can easily catch on fire before you even realize anything is wrong.

This is also goes for your cooking habits! Don’t leave pots, pans, or boiling water on a heated stove unless you are there to keep an eye on it. It only takes a second for something to go awry.

Invest In Smoke Detectors & Fire Extinguishers

Sometimes a fire will start, but can be stopped immediately with the appropriate preventative measures. Smoke detectors are known for preventing countless fires and for keeping homeowners and their families safer, as well. Along with this, a fire extinguisher can make a huge difference when it comes to preventing further damage. Invest in yours today!

Keep An Eye On Cords & Wiring

Frayed cords and wiring should always be repaired or replaced right away to decrease the chance of a fire starting. Also, never hide them under rugs, curtains, or furniture, as the heat from the electricity produced can cause harm, as well.

Invest In Annual Chimney Inspections

An annual chimney inspection is CSIA recommended, and it can make a big difference when it comes to operating a safer and more efficient fireplace. If you live in Houston or any of its surrounding areas, the team here at Lords Chimney can help you out! When you call us in, we can check for any flammable obstructions, such as birds nests or twigs, and we can look for excess creosote, too, which is known for triggering chimney fires.

Chimney inspections also allow us to spot chimney damages that could be putting your home at risk. Ready to get yours scheduled? Call our certified crew in today.