Our Company Blog

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.