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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
There’s no denying the importance of having a well-functioning chimney liner. Chimney liners are known for protecting your home and masonry, as well as increasing fireplace efficiency – without them you’d be experiencing gas leaks, poor air flow, and even house fires. Needless to say, a well-fitted and properly installed liner is vital if you own a fireplace.
If you’ve been given the news that your liner is no longer safe for use, you may be feeling concerned about time restraints, labor costs, and the price of the new liner itself. Fortunately for many, there is a more affordable and seamless option out there – HeatShield®.
The best way to know for sure if HeatShield® is an option for you is to have our CSIA-certified sweeps come out to perform an inspection. In these cases, a level 2 inspection will be needed, which means we’ll use our camera equipment to get an accurate and in-depth look at it all.
HeatShield® can pretty much be done on any brick and mortar chimney that is fitted with terra cotta flue tiles and isn’t gas tight. As long as your chimney isn’t completely destroyed (and is up to code as far as sizing, height, etc.), you should be able to fix it rather than invest in an entirely new system.
Whether you’re dealing with inefficiency or are concerned about potential damage after a chimney fire, lightning strike, flood, or other natural disaster, there’s a good chance we’ll be able to help you out, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
So, let’s say you’ve been told this option will work for you, but you’re still wanting to know what to expect. Well, there are actually two methods we can use to ensure your liner is gas tight from here on out – Joint Repair or the Resurfacing Application. Here’s what to expect from both:
And again, we’ll send up our cameras for a closer look, so you can see the end results – we’re certain you won’t be disappointed!
What else is there to know about HeatShield®? Here are a few more things that reemphasize how reliable and sound this method is:
If you know you need professional relining services, then you’re now aware of some options we can offer you. But how do you figure out if relining or repair work is needed in the first place? Well one of the more obvious clues is if your fireplace just isn’t working right.
Holes throughout your structure will cause a lot of inefficiency and affect draft and airflow significantly. Smoke will work its way into your home, you’ll notice condensation issues, and your fires won’t burn as strongly.
Smell smoke in your home when lighting fires? This is another sign that your venting system has holes in it. Think of it like a straw that’s cracked or broken. As you attempt to drink your beverage, a lot of the liquid that comes up will simply spill back out through the holes – your chimney works this same way. If you smell smoke it’s because it has worked its way into your home.
But what’s the best way to know if professional care is needed? A level 2 camera inspection. Our high-tech equipment ensures every nook and cranny of your system is observed, so that you know exactly what you need to stay safer and more comfortable as you finish out your burning season.
We’ll look for any cracks, gaps, and damage, but we’ll also note whether or not there are random clean areas amongst your creosote. Essentially, your chimney should either be all clean or all dirty. If it’s mostly dirty with clean patches throughout, then it’s likely you have holes.
Lords Chimney has been recognized as one of the top chimney sweeps throughout the Houston area, and we’ve received a large number of positive reviews from satisfied customers. We value education, professionalism, and honesty, and we never skimp when it comes to offering exceptional care or top-of-the-line products.
If you’re looking for chimney care that will stand the test of time, then rely on our team today. We’re here for you!
So, you’re all set to put your fireplace to use, but something is off. Whether there’s a slight issue you can’t quite pinpoint or something big and obvious, you’re not getting the experience you’re hoping for and you want to find solutions fast. But where do you start?
Well, here at Lords Chimney, we know that the more educated homeowners are, the safer they’ll be able to operate their appliances. That’s why we’re here to give you the lowdown on what to look out for in both gas-fueled and wood-burning fireplaces and appliances.
When it comes to operating a gas appliance, one thing we urge all of our customers to do is trust their senses. Your nose, for example, is more sensitive than you might think – if something smells off, it’s likely you have some type of gas leak.
Another indicator is burning eyes or even the “feeling” of something being off. In other words, trust your spidey senses! If your stomach is upset, your head hearts, you’re feeling dizzy, or something else along those lines and you have nothing to blame it on, there could be carbon monoxide in your home.
Now, in the case of a carbon monoxide leak, the biggest warning sign is your carbon monoxide detector going off. Don’t have a carbon monoxide detector? Then it’s time to invest in one! It could make all the difference in keeping you and your loved ones safer.
If your detectors do start beeping, it’s important to leave the area immediately and call the appropriate authorities for assistance. Carbon monoxide causes hundreds of deaths every single year, so this is one substance you can never be too careful with.
Another thing to keep in mind when working with gas appliances is to check your batteries. Believe it or not, some homeowners call in a sweep to check on an appliance that’s not working only to discover the batteries were in backwards.
If your carbon monoxide detectors aren’t going off and your batteries look good, but problems are still occurring, it’s time to call us in for an inspection. Most gas appliances are designed to automatically shut down when your safety may be threatened. The unit could be overheating, not venting correctly or maybe the oxygen levels are off.
And in some cases, it’s the safety feature itself that isn’t working. Regardless, the entire system will need to be checked out, so a visit from our team is always a great first step.
When it comes to a wood-burning fireplace, a common sign that something is off is smoke in your living space. Now, in many cases you’ll actually see the smoke entering, but sometimes you’ll smell it without seeing any in your home. Many love that classic smoke-y smell and think it’s normal, but it actually shouldn’t be present. If you smell smoke at all, something is wrong, and it’s time to call in the experts
What does smoke in your space typically indicate? Well, there are a number of things that cause this. You could have excess creosote build-up, clogs in your flue, incorrect chimney dimensions, poor draft or air flow, a stuck damper, or some type of masonry damage. Fortunately, our team has the tools and training to spot and resolve the issues in no time.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your masonry. If it’s showing any signs of cracking or crumbling, then there’s likely water damage. Ignoring water damage leads to inefficiency and costly repairs, and it can even trigger a house fire, gas leak, or chimney fire if too much damage is done.
We have preventive services that can help, including waterproofing, flashing installation, crown repair, and more.
Sometimes repair work simply isn’t an option if the damage is too extensive or if your system is too old. So, how do you know when it’s time to invest in a new unit altogether? Well, our team can help with that, too.
The fact of the matter is that if you know how your chimney is supposed to work, then you’ll know when it’s time for repairs or replacement parts. Lords Chimney can help you gain the necessary knowledge to know when it’s time to hire someone for professional care. We’re happy to keep homeowners as informed and as educated as possible.
One thing is for certain – you don’t want to wait until the system completely fails before investing in care from a certified sweep. This is when major accidents happen, and you could end up putting your home and family at risk.
In the end, it’s important to remember that fireplaces, stoves, inserts, and the like are all appliances that will eventually need to be replaced. Fireplaces are known for their longevity, so it’s easy to forget that. Yet, if you buy a home that’s decades old with the original unit still installed, just know that you might be replacing it sooner than you think.
Basically, when we come to look at your system, anything over 20 years old will get a bid for replacement. This will give you an approximate estimate as far as when a new system will be in order so that you can start planning for it (and saving up).
If we take a look and realize that you need something new right away, it’s important that you stop using your appliance until a new one is installed. If a new one isn’t in the budget, shut your fireplace down until it is. Your safety and satisfaction depend on it!
Regular maintenance is vital for good chimney health, so if you have yet to schedule your annual inspection then it’s time to reach out to the Lords Chimney team today at 281-497-4000 or you contact us online! We look forward to helping you out soon!
It is an unfortunate fact that thousands of house fires occur every single year in the United States. These disasters leads to countless injuries, multiple deaths, and millions of dollars worth of damage. That being said, many of these were entirely preventable, meaning you can take steps towards preventing them from occurring in your home.
Ready to learn more? Read below. Then, count on the team at Lords Chimney to handle your fireplace, chimney, and venting maintenance, ensuring you stay as safe as possible in the years ahead.
If your dryer vents are clogged up and filled with debris, it won’t be long before things overheat. As you can imagine, when the high temperatures produced by the appliance combine with your flammable lint, a fire could easily ignite. An annual cleaning will ensure your system stays free of lint build up, and it should guarantee a better functioning appliance, too. It’s a win-win!
Leaving things like candles and fireplace fires unattended can increase your risk of fire significantly. It is also important to keep flammable items away from these things. We know how tempting it can be to decorate your mantle or place candles throughout your holiday decor, but these items can easily catch on fire before you even realize anything is wrong.
This is also goes for your cooking habits! Don’t leave pots, pans, or boiling water on a heated stove unless you are there to keep an eye on it. It only takes a second for something to go awry.
Sometimes a fire will start, but can be stopped immediately with the appropriate preventative measures. Smoke detectors are known for preventing countless fires and for keeping homeowners and their families safer, as well. Along with this, a fire extinguisher can make a huge difference when it comes to preventing further damage. Invest in yours today!
Frayed cords and wiring should always be repaired or replaced right away to decrease the chance of a fire starting. Also, never hide them under rugs, curtains, or furniture, as the heat from the electricity produced can cause harm, as well.
An annual chimney inspection is CSIA recommended, and it can make a big difference when it comes to operating a safer and more efficient fireplace. If you live in Houston or any of its surrounding areas, the team here at Lords Chimney can help you out! When you call us in, we can check for any flammable obstructions, such as birds nests or twigs, and we can look for excess creosote, too, which is known for triggering chimney fires.
Chimney inspections also allow us to spot chimney damages that could be putting your home at risk. Ready to get yours scheduled? Call our certified crew in today.
With our busy season coming to a close, now is an ideal time to get your inspection, sweeping, or repair work scheduled. There are countless benefits to schedule chimney care this time of year, so get in touch Lords Chimney right away. We are always happy to help you out!
If you feel that free time is something that is hard to come by in your family, then you are not alone. We understand that your to-do list is long and many struggle when it comes to scheduling regular professional chimney care. Unfortunately, putting this maintenance on the back burner can lead to some serious risks.
That’s why we always aim to come at a time that is convenient for you, which is why we suggest getting your inspection in now while our schedule is more clear. This availability means you will have the freedom to schedule your appointment at a time that works well for you. No need to rearrange your hectic schedule! Just let us know what works, and we can schedule it.
Another big advantage of scheduling your chimney maintenance now is that we will be able to tackle any repairs right away. During the fall, repairs may need to be put on hold until our scheduled clears up. Throughout fall and early winter we stay very busy, so addressing repairs can take more time than usual, putting off your burn season. If we spot damages we can repair them now so you will be able to light up a fire early! While others are struggling to get maintenance completed, you will be ready to enjoy nights by a fire.
All in all, regular inspections are never something to put off, and now is an ideal time to get yours completed. Skipping this maintenance could land you in some trouble when the time comes to light a fire. Using a system that is damaged or clogged increase your chances of experiencing chimney fires, gas leaks, and house fires.
Along with this, a chimney that is well cared for will run more efficiently, guaranteeing you more heat and a more pleasant aesthetic, overall.
Guarantee yourself a safer and more comfortable home by getting the care you deserve right away. The team at Lords Chimney is experienced, CSIA certified, and eager to provide you with top-notch customer care. Schedule an appointment online today. We’ll be happy to help you out right away!