Our Company Blog

We Are A HomeShow Radio Pro!

The HomeShow Radio Show with Tom Tynan is a well-loved and -respected program that many enjoy on a regular basis. Thanks to Tom and his extensive knowledge on architecture and home construction, a number of homeowners throughout the Houston area look to him for great tips and advice every Saturday and Sunday morning. And with over two decades of experience building custom homes under his belt, you can rest easy taking his instructions to heart – Tom knows his stuff!

Well, one thing this show is known for is designating a select number of businesses as HomeShow Pros. As you can imagine, there are a large number of business throughout Houston and its surrounding areas, so to be given this honor is quite an accomplishment! Lords Chimney is proud to hold one of these titles, and Tom Tynan himself feels that we are a great team to trust with all of your chimney and fireplace needs.

Schedule An Inspection With Us Today

Now, with the holidays fast approaching, you want to work with a team that puts you at ease when it comes to chimney care. Based on our reputation, experience, and dedication to further education, we’re confident that we can handle anything you need done! Start off by scheduling an inspection with us. We’re CSIA trained and certified, so we can handle your annual maintenance, no problem.

An inspection is a surefire way to give you that peace of mind you’re hoping for as you dive into holiday festivities this season. There’s nothing like a crackling fire to light up some Christmas spirit, but you need to ensure your system is functioning safely before putting it to use! Otherwise, you could easily be faced with uncomfortable and dangerous scenarios, such as smoke back-up, chimney fires, gas leaks, and more.

We’ll do a thorough overview of your entire structure, and let you know if there are any issues that need our professional attention. We can offer advice and tips for moving forward, and before you know it, your system will be performing in tip-top shape.

Save yourself stress and hassle this Christmas by depending on us for it all!

We’re The Team For You!

From big to small, we can handle anything. Whether you have a minor leak, excessive creosote accumulation, or some major restoration work to get done, we’re the team trusted throughout Houston and all of its surrounding areas. Set your home up right for the holidays by putting your fireplace in our hands!

Time is running short and our schedule fills up fast, so if you’re hoping to get a nice fire going for all of your parties and get-togethers, then don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with us. There’s no time to lose! Give us a call today, and we’ll set you up right.

Resourceful Uses For Fireplace Ash

If you own a wood burning stove or fireplace, you have probably disposed of buckets and buckets worth of ash throughout the course of time. Most homeowners simply wait for their ash to cool, then throw it out with trash. However, there are a lot of ways you could use this substance a bit more resourcefully. Check out some great ways to utilize your ash pile, so you get the most out of every fire you burn!

Enrich Your Soil

If you are an avid gardener, then put some ash into your soil to amp up your gardening game. Just be careful which plants you add it near. Watch your pH levels, as ash will increase them, and steer clear of adding it to plants that thrive in acidic soil, like berries, fruit trees, rhododendrons, or azaleas. Tomatoes are a great example of a plant that would benefit from the addition of ash, as well as onion, broccoli, and cabbage.

Another gardening tip is to sprinkle ash around the outside of your garden beds to keep nasty pests away. Ash repels snails and slugs, and it helps in keeping out harmful diseases, as well. If you are a green thumb, fireplace ash can work wonders for your plants!

Make Cleaning Easier

Believe or not, ash can help a lot when it comes to cleaning around the house. If your fireplace doors are looking a bit foggy, dip a wet sponge or towel in your ash pile, then scrub away. You could also try the same technique, just with newspaper – it’s known for making your doors sparkle! Try it on your home’s windows, as well, to get off any stubborn dirt or debris.

Ash is also great for polishing silver, and the best part? It’s completely natural! Store bought products typically contain toxins that could cause damage throughout time. Instead, mix a little water in with some ash until a paste forms, then spread it on your silver. After a few minutes, wipe it clean, buff it, and your dishes and silverware will look good as new!

Other Uses

We’ve mentioned a few things you can do with ash, but the list could go on and on! If you are looking for a fun project, try using it to make some soap! Look up tutorials online for a fun way to spend your day or let your kids give it a shot. It also helps to hide paint stains on paving, and even removes pet odor from your furry critter’s coat! Rub in a handful to your dog or cat’s fur next time you give them a bath and get rid of any unpleasant smells with ease.

Always Remove Ash

Remember to clean out your ash on a regular basis to ensure strong fires and a healthy, long-lasting fireplace. A small layer is fine and can be helpful when starting up fires, but anything too thick should be scooped out and disposed of properly.

Learn more about safe ash removal and chimney sweeping today by calling on the certified pros at Lord’s Chimney. We can assist with any and all of your fireplace needs!

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.

3 Ways Negligence Ruins Your Chimney

Many serious problems can arise just because you fail give your chimney the care it requires. Don't neglect you chimney!

Many serious chimney-related problems arise due to negligence. Give your chimney the care it deserves.

A fireplace and chimney are creature comforts for many homeowners. Unfortunately, not every homeowner takes chimney maintenance as seriously as they should. Your chimney requires special care and attention to ensure it remains clear of debris and functions properly. Without an annual inspection, your fireplace and/or chimney can quickly become dangerous—even deadly.

Is a little creosote buildup really that bad?

In short, yes. According to the NFPA, the second leading cause of house fires is heating equipment; fireplaces, chimneys and wood stoves cause two-thirds of those house fires. Most of the afore-mentioned fires are the result of creosote. Sadly, most are preventable with regular inspections and maintenance.

If allowed to accumulate in large enough quantities, creosote can severely limit the flow of deadly combustion gases when you’re burning wood. One of these gases—carbon monoxide (CO)—is responsible for killing more than 200 people each year and sends more than 10,000 to hospital emergency rooms for treatment.

You can prevent your home and everyone in it from being included in these statistics by simply scheduling routine chimney inspections and sweepings to catch dangerous creosote before it has the opportunity to catch you.

So what if my bricks are spalling and the mortar is missing!

The main purpose of a chimney is to vent the products of combustion from your home. That function is crucial. A well-structured chimney and flue are designed to offer protection to your family and home from these deadly combustion byproducts.

It’s not uncommon for a masonry chimney to be in need of repair. If left uncorrected, a few minor issues can quickly become huge problems in no time at all. Broken or spalled bricks and deteriorated mortar joints are definite signs that your chimney may need repair, as they create several hazards—improper venting of combustion gases and potential structural collapse. Both hazards could prove to be fatal.

What harm is a little water going to do?

Failing to waterproof your chimney could lead to a multitude of problems. By waterproofing your chimney, you enable it to repel up to 99.9% of the water that would otherwise penetrate the brick and/or other materials. Waterproofing is a true preventative measure that can add years to your chimney’s life.

Because it’s not a requirement, many homeowners deprioritize it; this is a big mistake! There are many issues that can develop as a result of water being on and getting in to your chimney, and, as such, swift and immediate action should be taken to ensure that you’re not faced with unnecessary and avoidable repairs bills.

Unless you’re just looking for a reason to get rid of your chimney, there really is no excuse for neglecting it. It’s time to have an experienced technician evaluate the condition of your fireplace and chimney, get them repaired if necessary, and have your chimney coated with a waterproofing product. If you live in the greater Houston area and are looking for a pleasant service experience and the knowledge that your job was done correctly, give Lords Chimney a call at 281-497-4000, or click here to request an appointment online! We look forward to showing you a level of professionalism and quality that you haven’t seen in a service provider!

Creosote in a Nutshell

We know you care about keeping your family safe. One way to keep your family safe while at home is to minimize the likelihood of a deadly chimney fire. One way to minimize this risk is to make sure you do not allow creosote to accumulate.

Creosote is no laughing matter. The professionals at Lords Chimney can provide you with a wealth of information and service to give you that added peace of mind!

Creosote is no laughing matter. The professionals at Lords Chimney can provide you with a wealth of information and service to give you that added peace of mind!

For homeowners with chimneys, there is one other thing that they worry about specifically – creosote. According to our team of experts here at Lords Chimney, more than 70% of the inquiries and concerns we receive from our loyal customers involve creosote in some form or fashion. So what exactly is creosote anyway?

If you look online you’ll see a lot of definitions filled with scientific jargon that would just confuse you a lot more than you may already be. But the definition from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry describes and defines creosote in a simple and uncomplicated way. According to the ATSDR, creosote is basically the chemical byproduct of burning. There are different varieties of creosote. There’s the Wood, Coal Tar Pitch, Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles and Coal Tar. But basically they are all referred to collectively as creosote.

Why should we worry?

Although seemingly harmless during the beginning stages, creosote can quickly become extremely dangerous when left alone. You see, since it is a byproduct of burning, this means that it would constantly be produced whenever there’s burning of any kind in your chimney system. Once it is produced, it sticks to various parts of the fireplace and chimney. If it accumulates further, it becomes this thick volatile layer that is one of the number one culprits of chimney and house fires.

What can we do?

The best thing we can do to prevent things from getting out of hand is to properly maintain your chimney. Schedule regular inspections and cleanings to make sure that creosote build-up never gets a chance to reach threatening levels, which, in turn, would guarantee safety for your home and your family. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a phone and schedule an appointment right now. You can count on us for quality and dependable chimney and fireplace services. Lords Chimney is ready to help!