Our Company Blog

Preparing For Winter & The Holiday Season

As the cool weather approaches, it’s wise to ensure you home is ready for potentially harsh weather conditions. Winter in Texas is fairly mild, but this doesn’t mean we don’t get storms and cold days, so it’s always best to be prepared. Investing in extra insulation, stocking up on supplies and weatherstripping are all good practices to implement as temperatures start to drop.

Don’t forget to ensure your fireplace and chimney are ready too. On cold nights, lighting a fire and relaxing with family is wonderful, and there’s no doubt that a crackling flame sets the perfect aesthetic for any holiday gathering. Call the experienced and certified team at Lords Chimney now, to ensure you’re ready to tackle fall and winter this year. We’re eager to help you!

Schedule An Inspection

Preparing For Winter & The Holiday Season - Houston TX - Lords ChimneyAn inspection is always recommended before the beginning of each burning season. The CSIA recommends scheduling at least one inspection per year to ensure your chimney system is ready to operate. This is a simple step to help keep your appliance functioning more efficiently and to keep your family safe.

Invest In Necessary Repairs & Preventative Maintenance

Once we’ve assessed your chimney, we’ll be able to offer advice on the best solutions to necessary repairs, cleanings, and regular maintenance. If cracks or crumbling have developed in your structure, it’s vital to have these issues addressed immediately to prevent further damage. This type of deterioration could easily lead to bigger problems, and it could put you and your loved ones at risk of experiencing chimney fires, house fires, gas leaks, and more.

You’ll also want address all water damage to your masonry chimney. If bad weather occur, an unprotected masonry chimney can face all kinds of issues. Your brickwork is very absorbent, meaning moisture easily soak in and start to cause decay and deterioration. Water could easily enter your chimney to trigger clogs, leaks, and other damage.

We offer all types of repair and reconstruction work, along with an array of other solutions to protect your chimney. This include chimney waterproofing, chimney cap installation, flashing repair, and more. Once we’re through, you’ll be able to enjoy a safer and more comfortable holiday season next to your fireplace. It’s worth the investment to protect your home and family, so call our crew today!

Don’t Skimp On Maintenance Down The Line

Guarantee your chimney and fireplace is in great shape by counting on our team. No matter the weather, we can help you! Get in touch with us now – we’re ready to serve you!

Importance Of Certifications

When it comes to hiring a chimney company, there are many questions you should ask yourself. For instance, how long have they been in business? Do they have any current references or reviews that you can look over? You may also want to look into any complaints they have received. In addition, check for liability insurance.

Importance of Certifications Image - Houston TX - Lords ChimneyAll of these are important. However, a major thing that any good chimney company will have is certifications. If your technicians spent time and money obtaining certifications and going through the proper training, then they care about providing you the best service possible.

CSIA Certification

One certification any chimney sweep would be proud to obtain is one granted by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). The CSIA is highly esteemed in this industry. They hold the standard as far as what skills a chimney sweep should obtain.

The CSIA has been around since 1983, and has spent every year growing and training sweeps throughout the nation. They strive to make homes across America safer and love educating homeowners on how to keep their hearths in good health for decades. They also strive to remain ethical in everything they practice. Plus, want to protect fireplace owners from any potential scams.

The high standards maintained by the CSIA make these certifications highly desired by any company. Look for a CSIA certified sweep anytime you need an inspection, cleaning, repair, or more!

Don’t Be Fooled

Remember, always look for specifics! If a company claims to be certified, but does not say by who or what in, then they are likely trying to pull the wool over your eyes. The word “certification” can be thrown around loosely at times. Consequently, unqualified companies often twist it around to make themselves sound more advanced than they really are.

Because of this, it is important to do your homework! Check for the CSIA logo with any company you hire. Also, be sure to double-check any suspicious-sounding certifications they claim to have. If someone claims to be CSIA certified but doesn’t seem to have the skills to back it up? Contact the CSIA and they will investigate the matter further!

Lords Chimney Can Help You Out!

At Lords Chimney, we hold certifications with the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute. We also employ Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician sweeps, as well! We are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and have been reviewed by multiple places, such as Angie’s List and The Better Business Bureau.

Visit our website today to learn more about our many services and qualifications. You can also contact us 281-497-4000 with any questions! To request an appointment, either fill out the form online or give us call. We look forward to working with you!

Is Your Chimney Up to Modern Standards?

Owning an older home often includes beautiful original building features. One of the most sought after features in historical homes are fireplaces and chimneys; these original structures were built with quality materials and designed to last. However, as charming as an original fireplace is, it may not be up to modern building standards.

Older chimneys often have unique problems and different considerations than more recently built fireplaces. Because of this, it is important that homeowners with older fireplaces are educated about the state and condition of their fireplace system.

chimney-up-to-modern-standards-houston-tx-lords-chimney

How old is old?

An older home doesn’t necessarily mean an out of date fireplace. For the most part, “old” chimneys are more than 60 years old and are exclusively built with masonry. Many fireplaces built after the 1950s are prefabricated metal or factory built units; while there are still brick chimneys built after that time, a number may also be block chimneys.

Common problems in old chimneys

For older chimney and fireplace systems, there are a number of safety issues that are likely to occur.

  • Unlined chimney: One of the most common issues seen in older chimneys is a lack of a chimney lining. While it may be tempting to believe that a chimney that has been unlined for 100 years or more is safe to use, best practices indicate that all chimneys should be lined. Relining the chimney can improve the efficiency of your fireplace as well as protect the rest of your home from the heat and gasses created during combustion.
  • Chimney caps and crowns: Older chimneys often lack caps and crowns that meet modern building standards. All fireplace systems should have a chimney cap to protect the chimney from moisture, animals, blockages, and debris. Likewise, the chimney crown of many older homes is more likely to be degraded. Because chimney crowns are constantly exposed to the elements they are more likely to deteriorate faster than the rest of the chimney system. Repairing or relaying the chimney crown can ensure that your chimney is structurally sound.
  • Masonry damage: Although chimneys are built to last, long term exposure to the elements – especially without regular maintenance – can lead to masonry damage. Masonry joints are more likely to be affected than the bricks themselves, which can compromise the structural integrity of the chimney itself. The tuckpointing process can remove and replace old mortar without removing any brick. Doing this can help reinforce the chimney and protect the surrounding bricks from damage. Likewise, applying a waterproofing agent to the chimney can protect it against further water damage and help extend the life of the masonry.

Owning a home with an older fireplace system often comes with its own unique set of maintenance issues. However, by better understanding the structure and condition of your chimney you can continue to enjoy it for years to come. Contact Lords Chimney today for more information on how we can help you with the upkeep and maintenance of your older chimney, as well as make sure it is up to modern building standards.

All About Carbon Monoxide

A deadly toxic gas that can enter your home if you have venting problems with your chimney or other heating unit, carbon monoxide is responsible for killing over 400 Americans by unintentional poisoning annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carbon monoxide poisoning also sends over 20,000 people to the emergency room, and more than 4,000 people end up having to be hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Known as the “silent killer” (you cannot see or smell it), carbon monoxide makes it very important to have your chimney inspected annually to ensure your chimney system is venting properly.

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.

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.

Our Chimney Safety Institute of America-certified technicians, who are experienced with solving carbon monoxide issues, would like to tell you more about this toxic gas that can silently enter your home and cause serious health damage:

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, chest pain, and confusion are all symptoms of low-level carbon monoxide poisoning. Since these symptoms are so similar to the flu or the common cold, carbon monoxide poisoning can be difficult to diagnose. If you persist in having these symptoms, ask your doctor for a carbon monoxide level blood test. High-level symptoms include organ damage, loss of consciousness and death.

How does carbon monoxide poisoning work?

For some reason, your red blood cells would rather pick up carbon monoxide than oxygen. If there is a lot of carbon monoxide in the air, your body may replace all of the oxygen in your blood with carbon monoxide, blocking oxygen from entering your body, causing tissue damage and resulting, possibly, in death. Tissues can also be destroyed by carbon monoxide teaming up with the proteins in tissues.

How do I prevent carbon monoxide leaks from my chimney?

Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected by a reputable chimney company like Lords Chimney every year. If you are purchasing a gas fireplace, be sure it carries the seal of a national testing group, such as the CSA Group. If your heat ever goes out, never use a portable flameless chemical heater indoors. Although they do not have a flame, they do burn gas and can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside your house. Most importantly, install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home, and check and/or replace the batteries when you reset your clocks in the spring and fall.

How do I vent my gas appliances properly?

Firstly, never burn anything in a fireplace that is not vented. Secondly, never patch a vent pipe with tape, gum, or anything else, which could cause carbon monoxide to build up more quickly. Thirdly, your indoor vent pipes should go up slightly as they go towards the outside. This helps prevent toxic gases from leaking if the joints or pipes are not fitted properly.

If you have any more questions about carbon monoxide, contact us today. Our experienced staff can answer whatever else you need to know about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Only the Best

Trust Your Home to Professionals

Homeowners often have such an overloaded list of what needs to be cared for that often times they overlook the most important places.  Fireplaces and chimneys are usually included since they are only used for a portion of the year.  If you have fallen into this category, don’t burn yourself out on figuring out how you will handle the situation.  There is actually little to be done and the professionals at Lords Chimney can handle it all.  In a short amount of time they can have your yearly chimney sweep and inspection finished so you can be on with the rest of your busy schedule.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America provides training, resources and certification. You can find them at http://www.csia.org/

The Chimney Safety Institute of America provides training, resources and certification. You can find them at http://www.csia.org/

The Chimney Safety Institute of America

It is important that you hire chimney care that is both professional and CSIA certified, or meets the standards of the Chimney Safety Institute of America.  These chimney sweeps and businesses are reliable and can be found a variety of ways, including asking around your community or online.  As with any service you want your chimney technicians to be the best.

The In’s and Out’s 

So, what is the importance of a chimney sweep?  To start, they remove built up creosotes that could potentially start a fire or cause a blockage where smoke would remain inside of the home.  If you breathe enough of this smoke you can get Carbon Monoxide poisoning.  A chimney sweep can also remove any blockages that an animal may have caused. With the inspection the technicians can make sure the chimney is in working order.  What you may think of as no big deal may be a danger to your family and your home, even if it is something as small as a broken tile or brick.  If there is a crack, they will continue to grow until they are fixed.  Water can then get in and begin to mold, and when not taken care of spread to the rest of your home.  If the unit is broken it may not heat correctly which is not only unsafe but may cost you more to operate.  It is important that this procedure is done once a year at the beginning of the season, and even if you have no problem getting in small, dirty places, you should still hire a certified professional.