Many homeowners pay little attention to their chimney flue. As it is not easily accessible or visible, most do not pay it a second thought. Because of this, many people are shocked to learn that their flue has been cracked or damaged. Likewise, the idea of having a chimney completely relined can seem daunting to many homeowners.
Having your chimney relined with HeatShield is an excellent way to restore the integrity of your chimney flue without the construction of a full flue replacement. Before you go through the time, cost, and mess of having your flue tiles removed and replaced, consider relining your chimney with HeatShield products!
What is HeatShield?
The average person has most likely never heard of HeatShield. Despite its relative lack of name recognition, it is one of the most innovative products for fireplaces and chimneys on the market today.
HeatShield is a specially formulated sealant that can withstand the high heat of the flue, preventing heat, sparks, embers, and dangerous gasses from entering the home. By coating the inside of the flue, HeatShield is able to eliminate the risks created by a cracked or damaged tile flue.
In addition to eliminating the need reline your chimney, our HeatShield products are environmentally friendly, made entirely of naturally-occurring and recycled materials. To give homeowners additional peace of mind, they also come with a 20 year limited warranty.
What HeatShield methods are available?
At Lord’s Chimney, we offer two HeatShield methods to homeowners. The first is the HeatShield joint repair system. This is ideal for homes that have tile lined flues with defective joints. Using a foam applicator that is custom fitted to your chimney, all gaps are filled with the HeatShield product and smoothed using a blade.
The HeatShield resurfacing method is ideal for homes with extensive cracking or spalling. A tie coat, or primer, is used first to remove any dust. After, a quarter-inch layer of HeatShield is applied to the entire length of the flue.
After applying either HeatShield method, a camera is used to verify that there are no remaining gaps or voids and that the chimney has been completely repaired and restored.
Benefits of a correctly lined chimney
Although it may not seem like much, a correctly installed and undamaged chimney liner can greatly impact chimney performance. The primary purpose of a chimney liner is to protect your chimney structure and the rest of your home from the extreme temperatures created by the fireplace. Likewise, chimney liners are also an essential part of stopping chimney fires from spreading to other parts of the home.
In addition, chimney liners prevent carbon monoxide and other harmful gasses from seeping back into the home. By containing and directing these byproducts of combustion out of the home, the chimney liner does more than just extend the life of your brick and mortar chimney. It also keeps your family safe!
If you have questions about how HeatShield products can be used to repair your damaged flue, contact Lord’s Chimney today!
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the weather begins to cool off in the fall, many species of birds start the long migration process to their winter homes. However, sometimes along the way they stop and take up residence in the chimneys of unsuspecting homeowners.
Birds in the chimney are dangerous for both the homeowners and the birds themselves. Migratory birds often carry diseases, exposing members of the household to different bacteria and illnesses. Likewise, birds can sometimes become trapped in the chimney structure and need the help of certified technicians to get back out. Chimney swifts pose are particular nuisance because they are protected, and therefore cannot be removed from their nests.
What are chimney swifts?
Chimney swifts are small, brown and grey birds that are found throughout North America. Known for its distinctive, loud chirps and calls, these migratory birds traditionally built their nests in dead or hollow trees. As more and more forests have been cleared to make way for cities and residential areas, the birds have adapted their habitats. Now, many chimney swifts build their nests on the inside of chimneys to mimic their former tree homes.
Although these birds may be beautiful to observe in the wild, few homeowners want them to build nests in their chimneys. First, their nests and nesting materials can cause damage to the chimney structure itself. In addition, chimney swifts and other migrating birds are known carriers of various diseases. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology says, “Their ability to travel over long distances and through a variety of habitats exposes them to a wide range of microorganisms.”
Finally, chimney swifts and several other species of birds are protected animals under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Under this law, destroying or removing nests that contain eggs or young birds is a federal crime punishable with a number of fines. If you think the birds in your chimney may be chimney swifts, it is best to call a professional to evaluate the problem.
How can I get the birds out?
If the birds in your chimney are identified as chimney swifts or another species protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is unlawful to remove or damage their nests in any way until the eggs have hatched and the young have left the nest. Luckily for homeowners, chimney swifts have a short incubation period of just 18 days, and most young leave the nest within 24 days of hatching.
Under no circumstances should a homeowner ever attempt to smoke out a nesting bird or any other animal in the chimney structure. Doing this is extremely dangerous for both the animals and homeowners. For animals, the smoke and gasses from a fire are toxic, and most succumb to the fumes or heat before they are able to exit the chimney structure. For homeowners, dry and brittle nesting materials can ignite, causing an unintentional fire hazard.
The experts at Lord’s Chimney can help homeowners identify the animals in their chimneys, remove any nests as necessary, and seal the chimney to prevent future animals from returning.
Homeowners are always striving to make sure that their homes are in the best shape. This not only includes the way they function, but also the way they look. Chimneys are one part that always seems to get the unappealing visual effects, but now there are ways to fix that. Parging is a mixture that will give your masonry wall a fresh look. To learn more call the technicians at Lords Chimney today!
What is parging?
Parging can be used on almost any indoor or outdoor structure made of concrete, brick, or stone. The mix contains water, lime, and a blend of cement and can be made at your home. However, it is important that every ingredient is measured properly, so if you prefer you can buy a pack at the hardware store and just add water. It is also important to make sure that you are adding just the right amount of water. Mix with too much water can crack, but mix that is short on water may not stick.
Parging is the trick to cover anything that you may not want people to see such as cracks, holes, or water damage, all without costing a fortune. Parging is also sometimes used for sealing off small air leaks, which can overtime improve your electric bill. If you are buying a property you should make sure that none of these errors have been previously covered by parging without being properly fixed. This could cost you more money later if something were to go wrong.
How do you apply parging?
You can apply parging on your own, however it is always recommended that you have a professional do your chimney work. You will need a masonry trowel to apply the mix so you can be sure to get thin layers and reduce the chance of it being too heavy. Also, make sure the walls you are coating are wet so that the mix sticks properly. Parging can be applied to have a smooth look, or a textured look. To get the smooth look keep your trowel wet and apply a second coat after the first has time to dry completely. If you would like, parging can be painted to match other walls.