Our Company Blog

What’s Causing That Bad Smell From Your Fireplace?

Is There A Bad Smell From Your Fireplace?Summer heat and humid weather have reputations for causing some pretty bad smells to travel down your chimney. When the air conditioning gets turned on, these odors get roused, causing your home to stink and making everyone inside of it uncomfortable. Fortunately, the team at Lords Chimney has solutions for you!

When Was Your Last Inspection and Sweeping?

One very effective way to remove odors is to get rid of excess creosote. Creosote is known for producing some pretty awful smells, and the more build up you have, the worse things will be. Removing it is sure to help out significantly, and you’ll greatly reduce your risk of chimney fires, too. It’s a win-win!

If you have yet to schedule your annual inspection, call us in right away, so we can look things over and see if a sweeping might be necessary. This is an easy way to resolve odor issues – all you have to do is give us a call!

What Type Of Damper Do You Own?

When it comes to blocking these terrible downdrafts, another effective method is to have a top sealing damper installed. Every chimney system should be equipped with a damper, but most have only had experience with a throat damper. While these have done a good job over the years, there’s now something better on the market that’s sure to seal up the system and keep out odors, rainwater, and downdrafts for good – a top sealing damper.

Top sealing dampers are placed right at the top of your flue, and they close tightly with a rubber gasket, so you don’t have to worry about the inefficiency associated with a metal on metal seal. If you need a new damper, we strongly urge you to consider this highly effective upgrade. You won’t regret it!

Have Animals Entered Your Chimney?

Sometimes, the issue doesn’t lie with high temperatures or humid days at all. It’s not uncommon for animals to nest in your chimney, especially if you haven’t used it much lately, and sometimes these animals wind up stuck. If a critter passes away in your flue or chimney, you’ll definitely face some serious odors. If your system has been recently cleaned, and you know everything is sealed up tight, consider this option.

Fortunately, there’s an easy, affordable, and effective way to ensure animals stay out for good. By having our team of experts install a chimney cap, you guarantee yourself high-quality protection at a price that won’t break the budget. Chimney caps are placed over the flue, so no animals can work their way in, and they are known for keeping out water and excess moisture, too.

If you need a new cap installed, count on our team today!

We’ll Work Hard To Find You Answers

No matter the issue at hand, we’ll find you the answers you need to guarantee an odor-free home. Dealing with fireplace stink is never ideal, but with a team like ours to count on, it’s not something you’ll have stress about for long! Call today, so we can get you back to where you need to be in no time.

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.

We Fix Leaky Chimneys!

Whether it’s a musty or moldy smell, a soft drip-drip sound coming from the chimney, or a puddle of water at the bottom of the firebox, a leaky chimney is a problem that cannot be ignored. Left unrepaired, even minor chimney leaks can create major damage throughout your fireplace system.

Thankfully, leaky chimneys don’t have to be a chronic problem. Identifying the source of the water entry and fixing your leaky chimney as soon as possible can prevent serious water damage to your fireplace system or home.

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What causes chimney leaks?

Chimneys are built to stand strong against the elements; however, there are still a number of points where water can work its way into the chimney system. The following are some of the most common causes of chimney leaks.

Chimney cap: The chimney cap protects the top of the chimney and keeps moisture, animals, and debris from falling into the chimney. A damaged chimney cap can allow water into the flue, causing damage throughout the fireplace and chimney structure.

Chimney crown: Often confused with the chimney cap, the chimney crown is a mortar slab that seals the top of the chimney. Chimney crowns should have small overhangs as well as be built with slightly sloped edges to prevent water from pooling on the top. Chimney crowns can deteriorate over time due to prolonged exposure to the elements; this creates cracks that allow moisture into the chimney.

Flashing: Flashing is the watertight metal strips that seals the joint between the chimney and the roof. Over time, flashing can lose its seal due to overexposure to the elements; flashing can also be damaged by storms or animals.

Masonry damage: Without regular maintenance, bricks and mortar can begin to deteriorate over time. The freeze thaw process – which causes water in bricks to freeze and expand – is the most common cause of water damage to masonry.

Fixing a leaky chimney

When it comes to fixing a leaky chimney, the most important step is to find and repair the cause of the chimney leak. Repairing the water damage without first removing the cause of the chimney leak will only lead to recurrent water problems. By uncovering the root cause of the chimney leak, you can rest assured that the water damage will not return once the necessary repairs have been made.

For chimneys with damaged masonry, tuckpointing may be used to repair or replace damaged bricks and mortar. During the tuckpointing process, small areas of damaged masonry are carefully removed before the new bricks and mortar are put in; this can help strengthen the chimney structure and help avoid the costs of rebuilding the entire chimney.

Another great way to prevent chimney leaks and water damage is by having your chimney waterproofed. Professionally waterproofing a chimney can seal and protect the masonry from water damage while still allowing the bricks to retain their semi-porous nature.

If you have a leaky chimney, trust the experts at Lords Chimney to repair it. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can help resolve your chimney leaks!

All About the Importance of Chimney Caps

Your chimney and venting system consists of several different components to make it function safely and correctly. One of the most important parts of your chimney system, a chimney cap is needed to protect your chimney from water penetration, animal intrusion, and other things. While chimney caps are not required, we at Lords Chimney strongly recommend your chimney be capped for several essential reasons. As the cost and installation of a chimney cap is relatively inexpensive and can protect you against more expensive repair work, there is no excuse not to have a chimney cap on top of your chimney. We would like to tell you why a chimney cap is such a vitally important part of your chimney system.

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A chimney cap protects the interior of your chimney from the elements.

According to EBSCO Research, a chimney cap keeps rain and melted snow from entering your chimney. If you receive a two-inch downpour of rain and have no chimney cap, you can get those two inches of rain water into your chimney. A chimney cap also protects you from wind issues. Persistent drafts can cause frustration and loss of money on heating bills. While a basic chimney cap will protect you from rain and melted snow, you can find special wind-resistant caps if you have problems with downdrafts in your chimney.

A chimney cap keeps animals from entering your chimney.

Even if you live in a climate with no snow and little rain, you still need a chimney cap to keep birds, squirrels, and raccoons out of your chimney. Many of these animals mistake chimneys for hollow trees and choose a chimney as a safe place to nest. Both the animals and their nesting can be fire hazards. The nests can cause chimney blockages and prevent toxic gases like carbon monoxide from exiting out through the chimney. This causes a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning since the gas is forced back into your home. Additionally, animals can become trapped and possibly die within your chimney, which causes a horrific odor and a possible bug infestation. To prevent these problems that come along with animal invasions. Contact Lords Chimney to install a chimney cap with metal screening on the sides to keep the animals out.

A chimney cap prevents sparks from jumping out of the chimney and igniting a fire.

We have talked about how a chimney cap is needed to keep things out of your chimney, but a cap is also important to keep hot sparks and embers inside your chimney. Occasionally, sparks and embers can fly out of your chimney and land on your roof or your neighbor’s roof, which can possibly cause a house fire. These sparks and embers may also land in your yard on a pile of leaves or a bush and cause a brush fire, which can quickly and easily become out of control. To prevent this, have a chimney cap with spark arrestors, or wire meshing, to keep the hot sparks and embers safely within your chimney.

Have more questions about chimney caps? Contact Lords Chimney to talk to our expert staff about custom installing a chimney cap on top of your chimney.

Water Damage and Your Chimney

While a faint dripping sound or a little dampness in the firebox after it rains might not seem like a big deal, these seemingly minor issues can cause major problems if left untreated. Because chimneys are constantly exposed to the elements, including rain, ice, and snow, they sometimes deteriorate at a higher rate than the masonry in the rest of a fireplace system. Fortunately, almost all water-related issues are entirely preventable through proper upkeep and maintenance of the chimney structure.

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How is the water getting in?

Although a chimney might seem like a straightforward structure, there are actually many different parts that work together to prevent water from entering the fireplace. Because of this, it is important to have any leaks evaluated by a professional who can determine the exact cause of the water entry. With the latest technology, including closed-circuit cameras, the experts at Lords Chimney can find and repair any leaks.

While chimney leaks may be caused by a number of different issues, below are some of the most common causes of water entry.

Masonry damage: Because both bricks and mortar are naturally porous, they absorb a certain amount of moisture. This absorption, combined with the expanding and contracting caused by changing temperatures, can lead to the accelerated deterioration of a masonry chimney. Left unrepaired, what started out as small cracks may progress to the point of bricks falling off and even damage to the chimney liner itself.

Chimney cap: Because they are not visible without being on the roof, chimney cap damage is often not found until an annual sweep or inspection is performed. In addition to keeping water out of the chimney and fireplace, chimney caps also prevent squirrels, birds, raccoons, and other animals from entering and nesting in the chimney.

Flashing: Flashing is the metal band that protects the gap where your roof and chimney meet. While it is meant to create a watertight seal, it can be damaged by nail holes, falling debris, and exposure to the elements.

How to prevent water damage

The best way to protect your home, chimney, and fireplace against water damage is to take the proactive steps to prevent it. One of the most beneficial and long-lasting repairs a homeowner can have done is to have a waterproofing solution applied to their masonry. These specially designed compounds are intended to still allow harmful gasses out without letting moisture in.

An annual chimney cleaning and inspection is another way to prevent small, easily-fixable problems from turning into costly repairs. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

By spotting a problem early, it can be repaired before it causes major damage to the chimney structure or home. The expert technicians at Lords Chimney are highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals who have been trained to identify the source of a leak as well as to repair it. Call them today to schedule an appointment to discover the root cause of your leaky chimney or to ensure that water damage never happens.