Extending Your Chimney’s Lifespan

Taking good care of your chimney can lengthen its lifetime and increase its functionality.

Taking good care of your chimney can lengthen its lifetime and increase its functionality.

Many tend to take their fireplace and chimney for granted, believing it should last the lifetime of the home. However, if ignored, chimneys can become unusable if the liners are damaged or if other parts need repairing, and they can even suffer structural damage due to water penetration and collapse. Proper chimney maintenance is essential in keeping your fireplace safe to use, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America. If you practice good maintenance of your chimney, you prolong its life, and Lords Chimney provides all sorts of chimney services to help you take care of your chimney. Your chimney’s lifespan is important, and our CSIA-certified technicians are here with several ways of practicing the best chimney maintenance to extend that lifespan.

schedule an annual chimney sweeping and inspection

As CSIA states, “dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires,” and this is the most important reason you need to schedule a sweeping and inspection of your chimney with Lords Chimney. Our experienced sweepers will remove dangerous fire hazards like animal nesting and creosote build-up and then inspect your chimney thoroughly to see if any repairs need to be done and to look for water penetration damage. Every part of your chimney, from your flue liner to your masonry to your flashing and more, will be visually inspected, prolonging its life as crucial and needed repairs could be discovered.

replace your chimney liner, if needed

If you have cracks in your flue liner, carbon monoxide can enter your home and cause serious health issues for you and your family. If your chimney does not have a liner, as many older chimneys do not, the risk is even worse, and you should definitely contact Lords Chimney about our chimney liner services. Essential for containing chimney fires, protecting your chimney walls from dangerous creosote build-up, and improving its efficiency, an undamaged chimney liner truly adds years to the life of your chimney. We carry and install tough and durable stainless steel liners as well as HeatShield treatments for cracked liners that need resurfacing.

waterproof your chimney

If you have a masonry chimney, the CSIA claims that water is the biggest enemy your chimney has to battle. Our certified technicians at Lords Chimney are trained and experienced experts on resolving chimney leaks. The amount of damage caused by water penetration is enormous, from loose bricks and chipped mortar to a tilted or collapsed chimney structure. To protect your chimney from water leaks, Lords Chimney recommends waterproofing your chimney because keeping water out extends the life of your chimney. Using ChimneySaver, a breathable treatment, exclusively, our technicians will spray this water repellent all over the walls of your chimney, and we only have to use one coating as ChimneySaver contains patented siloxanes small enough to penetrate masonry pores, forming a strong bond with the silica in masonry and concrete. Being breathable, water vapors are able to escape your masonry, keeping freeze-thaw damage, deterioration, and other problems at bay.

Contact Lords Chimney today to talk to our staff about these ways of extending the life of your chimney, as well as to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection.

All About Chimney Liners

The chimney liner of a fireplace is one of the most critical components of the operating system.  According to the CSIA, problems in your chimney’s flue can present serious risks to your home and family, as it is no longer able to perform its primary function: to safely contain and vent the products of combustion to the outside of your home.

Every chimney needs a working liner to usher deadly carbon monoxide gases from your home.

Every chimney needs a working liner to usher deadly carbon monoxide gases from your home.

Tell Me About Firebox Replacement

Look closely and pay attention to the signs that say your firebox needs a replacement.

Look closely and pay attention to the signs that say your firebox needs a replacement.

Before we talk about firebox replacement , let’s get into what a firebox is. When you stack up your wood and build your fire in your fireplace, the area that’s holding that fire — fittingly, shaped a lot like a box — is what we refer to as the firebox.

Whether you have a masonry or factory-built fireplace, that firebox was made with materials that were designed to hold up to years of high heat (and since the firebox really does bear the brunt of the heat of your fire, they need to be built that way). Masonry fireboxes are constructed out of firebrick, and those firebricks are made with a refractory material that’s highly resilient when exposed to extreme temperatures. Factory-built or prefabricated fireplaces are largely built out of metal, but the firebox itself is bolstered by refractory panels on the bottom and sides — which also offer that durability and strength when faced with the high temperatures of repeated fires.

Why Would I Need To Replace A Firebox?

As strong as fireboxes are designed to be, over time, it’s not unusual for damage to occur. The type of damage will differ, depending on your individual use, circumstances, the firebox’s construction and other factors, but we see a few common problems.

Masonry fireboxes

Sometimes masonry fireboxes weren’t built correctly (with older ones, it’s not uncommon to see non-refractory mortar that just isn’t equipped to last under that abuse). Sometimes leaky chimneys allow water to get into the firebox, and as moisture combines with creosote, acids start to wear at the masonry — particularly the joints. If the damage is serious, you may notice it as you go to build a fire. But more likely, it’ll take professional eyes to see a problem in your firebox — and firebox problems can quickly become fire hazards, so that underlines why annual chimney inspections are so important.

Factory-built fireboxes

Most often, firebox refractory panels just begin to wear and abrade, and cracks start to develop either in the panel itself or around the joints between panels. A good rule of thumb is generally to seek repairs or replacement when cracks reach the thickness of a nickel.

The repair approach will depend, too, on the individual circumstances of the firebox and its damage, and Lords Chimney technicians will fully inspect yours to recommend the best course of action. Sometimes refractory panels can be replaced to repair a factory-built firebox. Sometimes the firebox has reached the end of its service life, and the unit needs to be replaced. We may be able to repair damaged mortar joints in a masonry firebox, or it may need to be rebuilt. But rest assured, when you have Lords Chimney come out to take care of your firebox problem, your fireplace will get the attention it needs, and you’ll get back the heating appliance you love, returned to the levels of performance and safety you expect.

If you have any questions about fireboxes — or your firebox, specifically — we’re always here to help. Just give Lords Chimney a call!

Solving the Draft Problem in the Chimney

Is smoke coming in to your home instead of escaping through the chimney? Worry no more! Lord's Chimney is here to address those chimney draft problems.

Is smoke coming in to your home instead of escaping through the chimney? Worry no more! Lord’s Chimney is here to address those chimney draft problems.

When your chimney is not working as it should – bringing smoke out of the house via the chimney flue, then there might be a draft problem. As a result, complications such as a smoky fireplace or worse, carbon monoxide poisoning can happen. Not to worry! There are ways to solve this ongoing issue in your home. We at Lords Chimney are here to tell you more about it. We’d like to tell you how draft is supposed to work.

By the way, don’t go all super hero mode and try to fix it yourself, you might just end up with an even bigger problem. The process mentioned can only be done by a professional. In any case, it’s good to know how things work and what they do to fix it.

What is it with Draft inside the Chimney?

Draft in the chimney is vital. It is needed every time there is open combustion— a process called chimney draft. It is needed in order for unwanted smoke to properly exit the chimney opening. There are many variables that can affect draft. This process can only happen when there is enough heat; more heat means more draft. It also makes it easier for the smoke to go out of your homes. The temperature inside and outside the home will also affect the draft inside the chimney.

Apart from having a good draft, it is also necessary to ensure that there are no obstructions in the chimney. Blockages like:

  • Debris
  • Chimney Swifts
  • Bird nests
  • Spider webs
  • Vermin

Install Chimney Caps

To prevent blockages, it’s good to have a chimney cap installed. This will protect the inside of your chimney from all sorts of things that could potentially block it. It’s also built so that water will not be able to seep in too. Installation should only be done by one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps. They are well-experienced and they know everything there is to know about chimneys so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

What Happens if Nothing is Done

You will know when there’s already a problem because smoke will enter the living room and there is not enough heat despite adding wood into the fireplace. This should be taken care of immediately so that there will be no room for fires and carbon monoxide poisoning to happen. Trouble begins when you choose to ignore obvious signs of chimney malfunctions and irregularities.

Replacing Your Flue and Flue Liner

The Solution: a perfectly stable and fully-functional flue and flue liner. The flue actually plays one of the most crucial roles in chimneys. They are there to control and manage smoke coming in and out of the chimney. It also helps in making sure that draft is properly accommodated. Once you have an effective flue and liner, there is no reason for the drafting process not to take place properly. This will then avoid and solve all the other problems.

Lords Chimney Company is more than willing to give you the best of our services. You are always our priority. Give us a call today.



The Science of Combustion

Ever wondered how some fires die out in an instant while others burn for a long time? It has something to do with combustion. Read on to learn more about it.

Ever wondered how some fires die out in an instant while others burn for a long time? It has something to do with combustion. Read on to learn more about it.

All About Creosote

Everything You Need to Know About Creosote

What is Creosote?

Creosote is a chemical byproduct that is produced after the distillation of tar. So when wood is burned, creosote is produced. It is known for its preservative properties and for being anti-septic. There are basically two types of creosote; the wood-tar, and the coal-tar. The wood-tar creosote, being less toxic, is commonly used in meat preservation, wood treatment and for medicinal purposes. When used medicinally, it is commonly utilized as an astringent, anesthetic, expectorant, laxative and anti-septic. The coal-tar creosote is more commonly used in wood preservation because of its toxic properties.

In its early stages of accumulation, creosote is flaky. As it left to build...it becomes more tar-like. All creosote is highly flammable.

In its early stages of accumulation, creosote is flaky. As it left to build…it becomes more tar-like. All creosote is highly flammable.

Creosote in Chimney

There are several stages that the creosote in your chimney that you may experience. First is its’ soot: a flaky form that is easy to remove leaving the flue walls unobstructed. Second: the stage where it leaves brittle and hard deposits that are a bit more difficult to remove. The third is the glazed stage where it becomes dangerous and much more difficult to remove. Once you notice the dense, dark and shiny tar-like appearance, then this would indicate that the creosote has reached its glazed stage. There will always be some level of creosote in your chimney – as it is a natural byproduct of burning, but it doesn’t need to be left to accumulate.

Possible Dangers

The longer creosote is ignored…the greater the possible danger. Creosote is highly flammable and is a leading cause of chimney fires. You may see products, such as a log that is supposed to remove creosote while burning. Not only is this difficult to gauge in its effectiveness, it may also cause chunks of creosote to fall down your flue and get stuck along the way. Because of the fire risk, you should leave creosote removal to a professional.

Preventive Measures

To avoid higher risk for a catastrophe, don’t wait for your chimney to reach a disastrous level of creosote build-up. It is best to schedule regular chimney inspections and sweeping on an annual basis. This way you know you are not letting the buildup become a hazard. This also prolongs your chimney’s lifespan.

We hope that this has been helpful and sufficient in answering your questions about creosote. So now you are fully equipped with the knowledge to better protect and improve your home. If you have a chimney, make sure to have it checked regularly and make it a habit to schedule a regular inspection and sweeping by a chimney professional.