This is the time of year when people start thinking about putting their fireplace to more frequent use, so it’s not uncommon for us to get a lot of questions and phone calls regarding proper fireplace care and maintenance. If you find yourself wondering about inspections, sweepings, and more, check out some of the more common inquiries we get by reading below.
1) When should I start thinking about getting my fireplace swept and inspected in Houston?
Most people start thinking about scheduling their inspection right around this time of year. Fall is just around the corner, families start planning for the holidays, and homeowners suddenly realize that they better make sure their appliances are in good working order!
Unfortunately, because everyone tends to think the same thing at the same time, we get a lot of appointment requests throughout September, October, and November.
Needless to say, if you need work done, you will want to reach out as soon as you can! Repairs and inspections will book out later and later as the year progresses, and if you want a well-working fireplace by Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s much more likely to happen if you get in touch with us right away.
Then, next year, make sure to stay ahead of the curve by scheduling your inspection during late spring or early summer. May, June, and July are all ideal months to get your maintenance booked in a timely manner, and you’ll be more likely to get your appointment on a day and time that’s convenient for you.
2) Do you need to get an inspection done every year, no matter what?
Yes – an inspection should be completed every year to ensure optimal functioning. This way if there are small problems (like a small leak, crack, etc.), we can catch them while they are still minor and relatively easy to fix. If you wait until the issues are big and obvious, they will be much more expensive and time-consuming to fix.
All in all, preventative maintenance is always better on your budget, schedule, and stress levels, so don’t hesitate to get that yearly inspection on the books!
3) In terms of getting inspections done, is it just about how much you burn or is it also about heavy rain, hurricanes, and other major weather events?
The short answer here is… both! If you put your fireplace to lots of use, then you’ll definitely want it checked over for damages and build-up because both of these things can lead to some serious and dangerous issues down the line.
But bad weather will often lead to some major problems, too. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and the like can compromise your structural integrity a great deal, and by documenting your structure both before and after a natural disaster, you ensure your tracks are covered when it comes to getting compensation from your insurance company.
4) Most people know what sweeping a chimney sweeping consists of, but they don’t know what an inspection entails. Can you explain?
While a sweeping entails actually removing creosote out of the chimney with the use of brushes and vacuums, an inspection is what comes before that. Basically, we send cameras up your flue to check for any signs of cracking, deterioration, water damage, and more.
In the end, inspections are more about preventing more damages from occurring later on. We will also be able to tell what has happened to your system in the past (for instance, if it experienced a lightning strike or storm damage), which is especially good to know if you are buying a home. Home inspectors will quickly shine a flashlight in the appliance, then make a fast assumption on where you’re at. They aren’t actually required to look over a good portion of the chimney, which is a bit unsettling!
The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.“ Hiring a certified chimney professional is always your best bet and ensures you don’t wind up paying more for the home than you should. And you’ll have all of your bases covered when it comes to insurance, too – well worth it!
5) Are there any sure fire signs that you have waited too long to get a chimney swept?
Other than experiencing a chimney fire, most signs of creosote build-up aren’t all that obvious. You won’t truly know where you are at until you get an official inspection completed by a team of qualified sweeps.
6) What’s the difference between using a creosote sweeping log and getting a professional chimney sweeping completed?
When it comes to creosote sweeping logs, the name can be a bit deceiving. While they can make the creosote in your chimney easier for the professional to remove, they don’t actually remove the harmful substance.
These products should never replace an actual professional sweeping, and they will not clean your chimney. All in all, they’re not bad for your chimney, but they may not be worth the money you pay for them.
7) How do I know I have hired the right chimney sweep for the job?
There are a few main things to keep in mind when hiring a sweep. The first is whether or not they’re trained (and trained correctly). A surefire to know this is by checking for proper certifications and memberships from organizations like the CSIA, the NFI, and the NCSG. And keep in mind that some businesses will certify one sweep, claim the status, then fail to indicate that other team members (likely the ones coming to your home) are, in fact, not certified.
You’ll also want to make sure they use an actual camera to look your system over, have a physical office that you can check in with if issues arise, and hold all necessary insurance and liability policies.
Here at Lord’s Chimney, we believe communication is a key component in quality customer service, which is why you get an actual picture or video of the technician that is coming to your home, along with their certifications. You can bet that we’ve got everything necessary to provide you with the highest level of care, so don’t hesitate to reach out now.
Summertime is a great time to invest in services for your chimney and fireplace. With the holidays still months away, many are not putting their system to use as much. Our sweeps are also less busy, as well. Want to have your chimney inspected but still don’t have the time or money? Why not try our virtual chimney assessments?
Learn more about this process below, then make us your one-stop shop for it all. Our team is qualified to serve you!
Putting Your Needs First
Here at Lords Chimney, we take the concerns and suggestions of our customer base seriously. We understand that the cost and time involved with having us come out to do an in-person assessment of your chimney and fireplace can present some challenges. That’s why we have come up with the option for a virtual assessment.
How It Works: Getting The Most From Your Assessment
We cannot stress enough that this will not replace your annual inspection. If you want to guarantee safer and more efficient fireplace operations, then scheduling an appointment with our team is a must. That being said, this can be an effective option for those that would like to know our thoughts on the current state of their chimney but are struggling to find time to get us in. Simply submit your pictures online, and we can give you bids and recommendations from there.
So, how can you get more from your assessment? Well, the better your pictures are, the better we can evaluate them. We require at least four pictures, but the more you provide, the more accurate we can be! Not sure where to begin? Here are the angles we recommend:
An outdoor top-to-bottom shot of your chimney from a distance.
A full shot of the fireplace exterior from a distance.
A close-up view of the firebox.
A close-up view of the flue, from the perspective of your firebox.
Still Have Questions?
If you are still facing questions about this process, visit us online to learn more or feel free to give us a call and we can offer some guidance over the phone. We are ready to do everything we can to set you up right!
Importance Of Regular Repair Work & Maintenance
When it comes right down to it, investing in regular chimney care is vital to the health of your home and the safety of your family. Water damage and leaks can cause your system to break down in a hurry and, if too much creosote is building up, your risk of experiencing a chimney fire will heighten significantly.
Even the most well taken care of chimney needs cleaning and minor repair work from time to time, so do not hesitate to get the professional attention you deserve. If you have been putting off care due to time restraints, please take advantage of this service today. The CSIA certified crew at Lords Chimney is ready to help you out.
Are you struggling with drafts and poor airflow when it comes to lighting fires in your fireplace? Finding the right solutions to these problems can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, especially if your system is prone to backdrafts due to its location, size, or style. Fortunately for homeowners in and around the Houston area, Lords Chimney has a solution for your drafting problems: a ventilation fan.
What Is A Ventilation Fan?
So, what exactly do these devices do? They draw the fumes, smoke, and gases that would typically enter your home up and out through the chimney. They are typically controlled by a device that is installed near the fireplace, allowing you full control when it comes to how fast the fan is operating. Worried about extra noise? These devices are not loud or bothersome, and they are energy efficient, too. If you searching for something that is reliable and can handle your drafting issues, then look no further – our ventilation fans are the answer.
Dangers Of Smoke & Carbon Monoxide
If smoke enters your home on a regular basis, you will soon be dealing with unsightly stains, smelly furniture, and overall unpleasant aesthetic. Along with this, smoke inhalation is very detrimental to your health, especially if you already have lung-related issues, such as asthma. There is also the potential for carbon monoxide exposure. This poisonous gas is known for its lack of color and odor, and it’s life-threatening. Those who are exposed may feel ill, dizzy, or experience flu-like symptoms. If you pass out or fall asleep during it, your life could be at risk.
It’s not worth taking any chances, so you should consider investing in a ventilation fan today! You should also have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your property. These few easy tips could make all the difference!
What Can I Expect From Lords Chimney?
What can you expect when you depend on the Lords Chimney crew? When you hire our CSIA certified technicians, you can put your mind at ease because we always put your needs first. We are honest, experienced, and thorough. When it comes to the latest techniques and technological advances, we are on it. When we arrive to install your new fan, we will first perform an inspection to ensure your system is strong and safe for use. Once that is complete, we can get your ventilation fan installed in no time.
If you are ready to get this process started, call us now at 281-497-4000 to set up an appointment!
If you have a masonry chimney, then you likely know how damaging water can be! Brickwork is quite absorbent, so it doesn’t take long for moisture to get sucked in. Quickly after entry, it causes all types of decay and deterioration. As your masonry breaks down, your risk of a collapse increases. You don’t want to put your family and home in danger!
Along with this, you’ll notice countless issues that make fireplace use a lot more dangerous and challenging. For instance, clogs tend to occur more when water damage is present, meaning airflow will be obstructed. This leaves you with a smoky living room and potential exposure to harmful and potentially deadly fumes.
Not to mention, the various parts of your chimney’s structure will face damage such as rust, rot, mold buildup, cracks, holes, and more. You don’t want to shell out a lot of dough in repair and replacement costs! All this and more is why it is so important to have leaks and water problems resolved as quickly as possible. Luckily, the CSIA certified team at Lords Chimney have everything you need to run a safer and more efficient appliance. Save yourself some stress by depending on us from the very start!
Ask Us About Your Free Consultation Today
If you have water leaks in your fireplace, we’re more than happy to come check things out, free of charge. We’ll find the source of the leak, then advise you on the next logical steps for getting things resolved as quickly as possible. Between waterproofing, flashing repair, chimney cap installation, crown rebuilds, and more, there are countless options out there for resolving leaks and preventing further damage down the line. Based on your setup, we’ll figure out which techniques would be best for you. We’ll take care of you in no time!
Keep Up With Your Annual Inspections
Ensuring your chimney holds up over time doesn’t have to be a stressful process. By working with Lords Chimney throughout the year and by keeping up with annual inspections and regular sweepings, you’ll see the long-lasting results you deserve, guaranteed, and you’ll avoid nasty leaks in the future. The CSIA states that annual inspections are a key component in keeping your structure stronger throughout time. Trust our certified staff for all your chimney needs!
Spotting buildup and necessary repair work early is always a more cost-effective and less time-consuming way to address your chimney and fireplace maintenance. No matter what issues may be present, we’ll advise you on the best steps to take, so you have smooth burning seasons every fall. The holidays aren’t the same without a crackling fire to set the mood, so be sure to get us in now, so you know you’re good to go down the line! We’re ready for your call!