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

Our Company Blog

The Value Of Your Chimney Liner

Chimney liners are an important part of your chimney’s construction. They offer added protection, allowing you peace of mind when putting your fireplace to use. For anyone with a chimney, having it lined is highly recommended by various safety organizations. Learn more about chimney liners below!

What A Liner Does

So, what does a chimney liner do? There are a few main things that the CSIA highlights, as far as the purpose your liner serves. First of all, they help to ensure other parts of your home don’t catch any stray flames. Without that protective shield, heat can quickly move to the woodwork in your home and catch fire.

Secondly, chimney liners keep your chimney standing strong. They offer a barrier for your brickwork and mortar, ensuring they aren’t affected by the intense heat of your fireplace. Without a liner, your entire structure will weaken considerably in a short time period. Also, when things like this break down, gases are given more pathways for entering your home and causing illness.

Lastly, a liner will help your fireplace function more efficiently. When it comes using your appliance, you want everything to work right every single time. By hiring a reputable company to perform a yearly inspection, you can rest easy knowing your liner is still doing its job to the best of its ability.

Is Your Liner Missing?

As you can see, liners serve a very important purpose. If your system is missing a liner, it is vital that you invest in some professional services right away! Get an inspection done, so that a certified tech can evaluate your current needs. A good sweep will know just what you need to move forward and engage in regular chimney use, and they can set you up with everything necessary to have a well-run appliance.

How Can Lords Chimney Help?

At Lords Chimney, we strive to provide the best of the best. Our CSIA certified staff knows what to look for and how to perfectly size up your chimney, so that you can invest in the right liner for your specific needs. When it comes to this piece of your chimney’s setup, getting the right dimensions, materials, and quality is important! We can get the job done right, so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your home and family any longer.

Now Is The Time To Call!

With the fall season fast approaching, now is the time to call us in! We can examine your unique situation, then set up further appointment for resolving any issues. Ensure your fireplace and chimney are ready to go for the upcoming holiday seasons. Contact us today!

Summer Stink And Your Chimney

If you own a fireplace, you may notice some bad odors creeping into your home as outdoor temps rise and humidity increases. Dealing with these nasty smells is never fun. However, Lords Chimney has solutions for you! Learn more below. Afterwards, contact us today to see how we can help you out!

Scheduling A Cleaning

First things first, you’ll want to get your annual cleaning scheduled. This is so that any soot, creosote, or other debris is properly removed. By doing this, it ensures your fireplace is safe for regular use. In addition, it can do a lot when it comes to minimizing odors! You see, all of these materials smell less than ideal. When negative air pressure sweeps down your chimney, it brings these nasty odors with it! Remove creosote and say good-bye to a lot of the nasty smells you’re facing.

When scheduling your cleaning, you’ll definitely want to ensure your sweep is CSIA trained and certified, like the staff at Lords Chimney. Count on us for care you can trust!

Controlling Air Pressure

While a cleaning will definitely help, you still may find yourself facing some issues with smell. To put a final stop to this, you’ll need to find a way to control the air pressure in your home, so that outside air doesn’t keep coming down your chimney. Introducing new air somewhere else in the home (i.e. opening a window) may help, but that still doesn’t always solve the problem.

We recommend installing a top-sealing damper. This will seal off your chimney, so that downdrafts are no longer a problem. Top-sealing dampers also keep bad weather, animals, and dirt/debris out of your chimney, ensuring your entire appliance in better condition all year long.

At Lords Chimney, we have the products you need! We sell and install top-sealing dampers, and we will be sure to set you up with the right size for your specific situation. Trust in our experts to set you up right!

Still Have Problems?

If you have tried everything, and you are still noticing nasty odors, there are still a few things that may be going on. Excess moisture, decaying animals, and debris build-up/clogs are all reasons why your chimney may stink. It’s best to hire a professionally trained chimney expert to assess your situation and locate the true cause of the issue.

We want to help! Let us find what’s causing stink in your chimney and help you resolve it. You don’t need to deal with chimney issues any longer. Let us set you up right, so you can enjoy your fireplace to the fullest all year long! Call on our staff today or visit our website to learn more. We can’t wait to serve you!

Choosing A Chimney Cap

Operating a chimney without a chimney cap can trigger countless issues for your chimney and fireplace. If you are missing a chimney cap or if your chimney cap is broken, then the time to get a new one installed is now!

How To Choose

There are a few factors to take into account when picking out your new chimney cap.

Consider the following

  • Size: Ensuring that your cap is the appropriate size for your chimney is vital in ensuring it does its job properly. At Lords Chimney we can help you find the perfect cap for your needs!
  • Fireplace Type: Whether or not you have a prefabricated fireplace makes an enormous difference as far as what type of cap you need installed. We can help you find a cap that works for your specific type of fireplace.
  • Style: Looking for something to showcase your personal style or taste? We can customize a cap to fit it with any décor! We want you to be able to showcase your home, so it gains the attention it deserves. Call us now for more details and to learn what we can do for you.

Benefits of Chimney Caps

Choosing to go without a chimney cap causes lots of problems. Check just some of the many benefits you gain by having yours installed right away.

  • Moisture Control: Moisture and masonry? Not a good combination. Too much water exposure can mean bad news for your chimney over time. The brickwork will wear down, water damage will occur in your home, and mold and mildew could accumulate. Save yourself tons of hassle and repairs costs down the line by investing in a sturdy cap today.
  • Keeps Animals Away: Pesky woodland critters and birds love to nest in chimneys. If an animal enters and does not make it out, you’ll be faced with nasty odors and pest accumulation.
  • Prevent Fires: A chimney cap will stop any stray sparks or embers from escaping onto your roof and potentially creating a house fire. Keep your home protected by investing in a chimney cap today!
  • Ensure Good Air Flow: When leaves, twigs, and other materials get into your chimney, they can cause blockages that lead to smoke back-up and poor air circulation. On top of this, a home without a cap invites downdrafts, which also causes a lot of problems with air flow. Keep everything consistent and say good-bye to debris build up now – give a call and we can help.

Any more questions? No problem! The staff at Lords Chimney is standing by, ready to help you out with any and all of your chimney and fireplace needs. Check out our long list of services below, then give us a call today! You won’t regret choosing us!

Chimney Drafting Issues and Indoor Air Quality

A drafty fireplace that blows smoke and soot into your home is more than just a nuisance; it can also affect the air quality in your home. With a number of potential causes of draft problems, a chimney inspection is often needed to identify the underlying cause. Resolving chimney drafting issues can help get rid of smoky odors in your home, prevent soot and ash from blowing onto your carpets and furnishings, and minimize your family’s chance of exposures to dangerous gasses such as carbon monoxide.

How drafting issues affect air quality

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that indoor air pollution is most often caused by interior sources of pollution – including drafty fireplaces. These drafting issues can affect air quality in two ways: first, by not bringing in enough fresh outdoor air to dilute pollutants, and second, by not venting and carrying air pollutants out of the home.Chimney Drafting Issues and Indoor Air Quality Image - Houston TX - Lords Chimney These conditions are often made worse by high temperatures and humid weather, weather conditions which the Houston area is used to experiencing.

When a fireplace “drafts,” the hot air, smoke, and gasses produced by the fire are pushed up and out of the chimney, safely venting to the outside. However, blockages, air pressure changes, improperly sized chimneys, and a whole host of other reasons can prevent proper drafting from occurring. When this happens, dangerous smoke, soot, and gasses can back draft into your home.

Causes of draft problems

While draft problems are fairly common, there are a number of things that can cause them to occur. The following are a few of the many potential causes of a chimney draft problem.

  • Air tight house: Keeping all the doors and windows shut keeps cold air out, but can also prevent your fireplace from drafting correctly. Often, cracking a window near the fireplace can allow fresh air in and help the fireplace vent properly.
  • Keeping the damper closed: Partially or completely closing the damper while the fireplace is in use – even when a dying fire is smoldering – can cause smoke and gasses to back up into your home.
  • Improperly sized flue: If you’ve installed a new insert into an existing firebox, your flue may need to be resized. A Flue that is too small can cause smoking issues as the byproducts of combustion have nowhere to go; likewise, a flue that is too large can let too much cold air into the chimney and cause unwarranted creosote buildup.
  • Chimney blockages: The presence of debris, animal nests, creosote buildup, and other blockages can prevent smoke and gas from properly venting.

Drafting issues can do more than just prevent you from enjoying your fireplace – they can also affect the indoor air quality in your home. If you are experiencing an ongoing drafting issue, don’t just stop using your fireplace and hope it resolves itself; contact Lords Chimney today to learn how we can help improve ventilation problems and air quality in your home!

Chimney Caps Keep Animals Out

Animals love chimneys; whether it is raccoons or squirrels, roof rats or birds, many different types of animals view chimneys as a safe, protected space to nest, have their young, or hide from predators. Unfortunately, animal entry can cause serious damage to your chimney, as well as put you and your family at risk.

When an animal gets into your chimney, it can be harmful to them and damaging to your chimney. However, it is possible to avoid animal entry with regular chimney maintenance and a good chimney cap.

Chimney Caps Keep Animals Out - Houston TX - Lords ChimneyHow animals get in

The most common cause of animal entry into chimneys is a missing or damaged chimney cap. The chimney cap sits at the top of the flue, covering and protecting the flue from animals and the elements. While the solid metal top of the chimney cap prevents water from getting in, the mesh or wire sides serve two purposes: letting smoke out and preventing animals from getting in.

If they chimney cap is damaged in any way, it may be easier for animals to get in. Small holes, dents, damaged mesh, or missing screws might seem too minor, but even these small issues can leave spaces for animal entry. Birds and small mammals often only need a few inches of space to wiggle through, while raccoons have been known to claw or bite weak areas of chimney caps to create larger holes.

How animals damage your chimney

Even a tiny animal can create a big problem in your chimney. Below are some of the ways that animals can damage your chimney.

  •  Chimney cap: Animals can create or worsen damage to the chimney cap. This can leave your chimney susceptible to water and debris getting in – as well as more animals in the future.
  •  Flue liner: Sharp claws and talons can scratch and chip the delicate flue liner. Areas of damage in the liner can expose the surrounding building materials to heat or gasses from the chimney and may require your chimney to be relined.
  • Debris: Animals rarely come into your chimney empty handed. Dry nesting materials in the chimney can ignite if the fireplace is used, putting you at greater risk for chimney fire. Likewise, many wild animals also carry bacteria, bugs, and other diseases.

Keeping animals out

The best way to keep animals out of your chimney is by having a quality, well-fitted and correctly installed chimney cap. A quality chimney cap protects the area of your chimney that is most susceptible to animal entry, as well as keeps water and debris from entering your chimney. Regular chimney inspections can also be used to spot damage to the chimney cap or other areas of the chimney before animals can get in.

At Lords Chimney, we are the animal removal experts; not only can we safely get the animals out, but we can also prevent them from coming back with a quality chimney cap. Contact us today to learn more about how the chimney cap protects your fireplace system from animal entry.

Water Leaks And Exterior Chimney Staining

While the bricks and mortar of your chimney is designed to withstand the elements, there is one force that can cause serious damage – water. Moisture can wreak havoc throughout your chimney system, causing leaks, rusty parts, and masonry deterioration. However, the presence of moisture can also show itself in unique ways, including chimney discoloration or staining. The following guide can help you identify the kind and source of your chimney staining – as well as how you can keep it from coming back in the future.

Water Leaks and Exterior Chimney Staining - Houston TX - Lords Chimney

Red or brown stains

If you have a prefabricated or factory built chimney, red or brown stains on the chimney chase are often the result of rusting. Long-term exposure to moisture – especially from puddles of standing water – can cause the galvanized metal found in many chimney chase covers to deteriorate and rust. The rusting chase top then causes dark red, brown, or orange staining to appear on the sides of the chimney. Rusted chase covers should be replaced with sturdier metals such as stainless steel or copper to prevent rusting from occurring again.

White stains

Crystalline or powdery white stains or discoloration are caused by a phenomenon known as efflorescence. Efflorescence occurs when water trapped in the masonry evaporates, leaving behind a concentration of white mineral salt.

Efflorescence is more commonly seen in areas where ground or rain water has a high salt content. Water from hoses, sprinklers, or rain can all cause efflorescence to occur. However, interior efflorescence may indicate that you have a leaky chimney; only small amounts of moisture are required to leave behind the mineral white chalky salt after evaporation.

Dark green stains

Dark green stains or discoloration is typically caused by the growth of algae on masonry. In order for this type of discoloration to occur, water must continually flow or pool over one area of the chimney structure. This type of long term exposure to moisture can foster an environment for algae growth – as well as mold or mildew – on the chimney.

What about inside?

While water can wreak havoc on your masonry outside, it can cause an equal number of problems indoors as well. One of the most common signs of a chimney leak is the presence of water in the flue, firebox, or on surrounding walls or ceilings. However, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a roof leak and a leaky chimney; because of this, you may want to have a certified chimney sweep have a look at the chimney before you or your insurance company pay to have the roof inspected and repaired.

Staining on your masonry could indicate that your chimney has a water leak. For more information on identifying chimney stains or to schedule a chimney inspection, contact Lords Chimney today!