Why Do I Need a Chimney Company?

So, you have a fireplace, but it doesn’t get much use. You use it once or twice a year (maybe on a colder day or around the holidays), but other than that it mainly serves as an attractive focal point in your home. Because of this, it shouldn’t need much professional care or maintenance. …right?

Wrong! In fact, believe it or not, refraining from using your fireplace typically causes it to deteriorate more quickly than if you use it on a regular basis.

lords pickup work truck

Like a washer, dryer, refrigerator, or other appliance, your fireplace needs regular attention, no matter how often it’s used. This especially goes for metal prefabricated fireplaces. Learn more below, and be sure to reach out with any questions! We’d love to do all we can to help you out.

Preventing Damages

Think of your fireplace like a car. If you let a car sit in your driveway for years on end without ever starting it up or taking it on a drive, would you expect it to work perfectly when you eventually try to drive it again? Not likely. Fluids likely will have pooled, your battery will probably be dead, and there’s sure to be weather-related wear and tear.

Water Leak Colors are Key

The same goes for your fireplace. Rust and warpage will occur more than usual during long periods of unuse, along with countless moisture-related damages, such as mold growth, deterioration, decay, stains, and more.

What happens when we experience another freeze or you just feel like starting a cozy fire after these issues have occurred? Like the car that was left abandoned, the system is simply not going to function correctly. In fact, you may experience dangers such as smoke and fume backup, an increased risk of house fire, exposure to harmful gases, and more.

Saving Money Long Term

When we come in to inspect your chimney, we’ll look for things like holes, gaps, signs of animal life, warpage, rust, and more. If we can spot and resolve these issues while they’re still small and manageable, the lifespan of your fireplace could be extended significantly.

We’ll also look for parts that need replacing. Some things, like the chimney cap, are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace if spotted in time. That said, if you ignore a broken cap, your system will be exposed to harmful things (like storms, rain, curious animals, and more) that cause a lot more damage overall.

In the end, purchasing a new chimney cap to ensure your system stays protected is a lot cheaper than investing in a time-consuming and costly rebuild or relining job. And the sooner we can react, the better shape your system will stay in, thus preserving resale value and ensuring you can use it when you need to.

Avoiding Unwanted Visitors

Critters in your fireplace? This means something is wrong up top. Animals should never have easy access to your fireplace, and once they get in they can cause a lot of damage. Along with this, animals that are unable to escape may pass away, leaving you with an even bigger mess on your hands.

Another problem has to do with bird’s nesting materials. If birds set up camp in your chimney (an ideal spot for them), the twigs, leaves, and materials that make up their nests can clog things up and affect airflow. A system that cannot properly vent doesn’t do anyone any good. Be sure to get a sweep in to look things over so you can avoid those uninvited guests – especially this time of year.

Assisting in Insurance Claims

If your chimney was damaged due to a natural disaster like a lightning strike, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, or something similar, your insurance company should be covering the costs to repair it. Unfortunately, they often look for ways around this.

If you have no records on your fireplace, then your insurance company could easily deny your claim stating that there’s no proof the damage caused was due to the event that had just occurred.

That said, if you have a report from your chimney company showing that at the last yearly inspection your system was just fine, getting that money you need for repairs, restorations, and replacement parts won’t be such a challenge.

Ease the Home-Buying Process

Before buying a home, we strongly advise getting a video inspection. This ensures you don’t get caught with big repairs after you finalize the sale.

Home inspectors will tell you if you should have it cleaned or have something looked into, but there’s no way for them to gauge just how extensive certain damage can be. All too often people sign the papers on their dream home, only to realize later that they’re now responsible for thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

Also, keep in mind that if you bought a house and no one has ever used the fireplace, there’s typically a reason for that. The previous homeowner may have used it once only to have something go wrong and never use it again. And if you see freshly painted brick? There are likely smoke stains underneath.

In the end, getting that level 2 inspection done is always worth the peace of mind you gain in the end.

Give Us a Holler

The big takeaway from all of this? If you want to use your fireplace at all – even once – you need an inspection. Even if the system is brand new or rarely used, an inspection is vital. Professional insight can make all the difference when it comes to how safely and efficiently your system operates down the line.

Anything specific you need covered? Send us a message! We’d be happy to answer any and all of your questions. You can reach out to us through our website, give us a call, or even follow us on Facebook or Youtube. It’s Lords Chimney’s goal to keep you as up to date and informed as possible!

What Should Chimney Repairs Cost?

Here at Lords Chimney, it’s not uncommon for customers to ask how much a certain repair or service costs. We get it – you want the job done right, but you also don’t want to overpay for something that really shouldn’t be costing an arm and a leg. Unfortunately this is one question that isn’t always so easily answered.

Think of it this way. If someone were to ask if $20,000 is a good price for a car, would you be able to give them a yes or no answer right off the bat? Of course not. You’d need to know what kind of car it is, how many miles it has, how old it is, what the body looks like, and a whole lot more.

Well, it’s the same with your chimney! There’s not a simple menu of options each with their own specific price point. What you pay for repairs depends on a wide range of factors such as the unit’s health history, its age, its fuel type, the model you have, and the list goes on.

We understand that this type of answer can feel frustrating, especially when you have no idea if you’re paying too much or too little. If you go with the cheapest option and the repairs aren’t up to par, that’s never good, but you don’t want to be cheated out of money just because there aren’t clear guidelines.

The best thing you can do when navigating this process is to turn to a reputable sweep. Learn more about how to find a chimney company you can trust by reading below, and please feel free to rely on us for any questions down the road. Lords Chimney can help with it all!

Chimney Crown Repair - Before

Is the Company You Hire Reputable?

One thing to assess when getting estimates for a repair is whether or not that company is actually qualified for the job. It’s an unfortunate fact that a lot of chimney companies out there will tell you that you’re in need of repairs when you’re not or give an exceptionally pricey estimate just to get that extra money in their pocket.

Another thing to note is that chimney sweeps don’t need licensing and they aren’t required to be certified. If a tech claims to be qualified and trained, do your research to ensure they actually have received formal education. Most of the organizations that certify sweeps (like the CSIA, for example) will have a tool on their website that lets you search to find certified sweeps in your area.

Other things to consider: Do they actually have a storefront or are they working out of their home? Do they have insurance (most will say they do whether this is true or not)? Is the sweep coming to your home actually certified? It’s common for a company to certify a couple of team members, then claim themselves as a certified company. But that doesn’t mean the person working on your chimney has had any formal training.

In the end, the crew at Lords Chimney wants people throughout Houston and its surrounding areas to have only positive experiences within this industry. If you’re unsure about an estimate you’ve received, please reach out and let us take a look! We’ll happily refer you to that company if they have made an accurate assessment and are known for doing a good job.

Be Wary of Online Search Results

In today’s world, doing some quick research online is easier than ever. Online search engines have made our lives easier in a lot of ways, but there are some things that Google just can’t assess like a qualified professional can. And just because you find answers to your questions doesn’t mean those answers are accurate.

Take chimney parts, for example. If you know your damper is broken, then you could easily search “chimney dampers” and get hundreds of results. It may seem like the cheapest one should be fine for you, which may leave you wondering why a chimney tech is charging you more. Well, the damper you’re looking at may be the completely wrong fit or model for your particular setup, meaning what you can quickly order online won’t end up working for your system at all.

Again, it takes the eyes of a knowledgeable and trained professional to actually know where your structure stands, and no amount of online searching is going to give you that accurate and in-depth analysis you’re hoping for.

Your Safety is Always the Priority

All in all, safety should always be the priority – even above the price tag. If an estimate seems especially low, you probably shouldn’t trust it, and likewise with a very high estimate. You deserve to pay a fair price for exceptional work to ensure you and your family can use your fireplace as safely and as comfortably as possible year after year.

So, don’t hesitate to talk with the experienced crew at Lords Chimney today. We’re dedicated to staying as educated and up to date as possible, and if you book an inspection with us we’ll always send a CSIA-certified sweep to perform the assessment. On top of all that, we’re experienced, professional, and have a strong reputation for being fair and honest.

Reach Out Today

The time is now to ensure your chimney is in the best shape possible. Give us a call right away or reach us online or to book an appointment. We look forward to speaking with you soon!