Are you excited to start lighting up fires this holiday season, but find yourself struggling to get any flames going strong? This is a common issues for fireplace owners, but there are some great tips and tricks out there to ensure you get a better burn every single time. Get the heat and comfort you deserve this season by reading some of our advice below!
Selecting The Right Firewood
Now, before you light any wood, you need to ensure it is well seasoned. This means it has been adequately dried out for at least six months and most of the water has had a chance to evaporate. When choosing pieces to light, look for ones that are dark and split at the ends. The less fresh the piece looks and smells, the better!
Seasoned wood is also lighter in weight and makes a hollow, clunking noise when smacked together. Stick to these guidelines and your fires should be stronger, warmer, and less smoky all season long!
Choose Your Fire-Building Method
There are various ways to build a fire, so it’s all about finding what method works best for you. One common option is the teepee method. You’ll start with a pile of tinder (dry leaves, wood shavings, etc.) in the middle of your firebox. Next, get some kindling, which will consist of small twigs and branches, and form a teepee around the tinder. Finally, place your bigger logs in their own teepee formation around everything else. All that’s left to do is light up your tinder, and let the flames spread!
There’s also a method known as the log cabin lay, which starts out the same as a teepee, then switches up a bit when you start laying your bigger logs down. Instead of forming an additional teepee at the end, you instead take your biggest pieces and lay them on either side of the structure. You then lay two more pieces on top of those, but on the opposite sides of the teepee. Continue this pattern with smaller and smaller pieces of wood (until you have a pyramid shape), light your kindling, and you’re all set!
The last method we’d like to highlight is the top-down burn, which has grown more popular in recent years. Rather than start off with the kindling, this method involves you to put the largest pieces of wood down first with the ends at the front and the back of the firebox. Then, pile on around 5 more rows of wood, each one utilizing smaller and smaller pieces. Finally, add the kindling and the tinder. Once your stack is complete, light up the tinder and let it burn!
Like we’ve said, there are lots of ways to build a fire, and we’re just focusing on the more popular options. If none of these work well for you, just keep trying out techniques! We’re certain you’ll soon find one that works, guaranteeing countless cozy evenings in this winter.
Schedule An Inspection Today
Now, no matter how well your fire-building skills are, you’ll never get a safe or efficient burn if your fireplace and chimney are not clean and well-maintained. Count on our CSIA certified team to check things over for you today!
At Lords Chimney Services, we pride ourselves on providing our customers in the Houston area with outstanding chimney and fireplace services. Over the past decade, we have helped our friends and neighbors in Houston make their homes more healthy and safe through fireplace maintenance. Likewise, because we are a local company we understand the unique maintenance issues that are often seen in our area.
We are proud to say that we love the city of Houston! A bustling – and growing – metropolis that is home to a diverse international community, Houston is the largest city in the state as well as the fourth largest city in the nation. The city is recognized as a worldwide leader in the energy industry in both oil and natural gas, and is also the proud home of Johnson Space Center.
Apart from the bustling economy, Houston has plenty to offer both residents and visitors alike. The Houston Theater District is home to six performance halls and nine arts organizations, including permanent opera, ballet, music, and theater companies. The city has a professional team in every league except for the NHL, including the Houston Astros, Texans, Dynamos, and Rockets. In addition, several college and universities such as the University of Houston and Rice University add to the city’s vibrant culture.
About Lords Chimney
Over the last decade, we have proudly built and grown our business in Houston. We offer our customers a number of high quality fireplace, chimney, and dryer vent services and are proud to work in the same neighborhoods and areas that we live.
We provide our customers with a wide range of chimney and fireplace services; we can service and repair everything from the bottom of the firebox to the top of the flue. This includes the sales and installation of a number of high quality fireplace inserts and accessories. In addition, we also clean and install dryer vents.
Why choose us
At Lords Chimney, we are dedicated to providing our friends and neighbors in the Houston area with quality, mess-free services for their chimneys, fireplaces, and dryer vents. There are a number of things that set us apart from our competitors:
Our certifications: All of our fireplace and chimney services are performed by Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweeps. With a CSIA certified sweep, you can rest assured that you are getting a highly trained and qualified professional. This also means that our technicians are more than able to uncover the most common causes for chimney issues and answer any questions you may have.
Our professionalism: We go above and beyond to treat your home with care and respect. This includes placing protective tarps and wearing protective footwear to keep your home clean. Likewise, Lords Chimney is also fully insured – including auto insurance – on the off chance that anything should happen on the job.
Our integrity: We have made a promise to be upfront and honest with all of our clients. For our customers, this means never doing any work without prior approval and providing you with an accurate estimate beforehand.
If you live in the Houston area, look no further Lords Chimney for all your chimney, fireplace, and dryer vent needs. We love this city and are proud to play a small role in keeping its residents safe. Contact us today to for all of your chimney and heating appliance needs!
A fireplace is a beautiful addition to any home. However, if the masonry has become stained by smoke, ash, or soot, it can affect how you feel about and how often you use your fireplace.
While stained masonry does not affect your fireplace’s performance, it can make a big impact on the aesthetics of your home. A stained fireplace can make a home look dirty and uncared for, no matter how clean the rest of the house is. Likewise, staining on your chimney structure can affect the curb appeal of your home.
In the past, the only option to clean masonry was to paint it or spend days scrubbing with powerful cleaners. However, homeowners can now use the Chimney Saver Paint “N” Peel fireplace cleaner to restore the beauty of their original masonry without the use of harsh chemicals.
What makes Paint “N” Peel different from other products
If your masonry has been damaged by years of smoke, soot, and ash buildup, you may have been told there were few ways to repair it. Likewise, many traditional methods of cleaning bricks are extremely time intensive or damaging.
Many interior cleaners, even those designed specifically for bricks, must be left on for several days or require extensive scrubbing to work. These products are also often made with harsh chemicals that require you to wear protective masks and may leave your home smelling like chemicals for days or weeks after. For exterior brick, using a power washer is one popular way to clean up dirty chimneys; however, the combination of high pressure with moisture can cause long term water damage to the bricks and mortar of the chimney structure.
Unlike these other products, Paint “N” Peel is easy to use, requires no difficult scrubbing, is environmentally friendly, and has no offensive odors.
How Paint “N” Peel works
Your fireplace professional will apply a thick coat of Paint “N” Peel using specially designed brushes. After the product is applied, it will dry for between 6-12 hours. During this time, there is no need to leave your home or avoid the hearth room; because Paint “N” Peel is environmentally friendly and leaves no odors behind, it will not affect the air quality in your home.
When the Paint “N” Peel has completely dried and cured, it will form a thick, non-hazardous film. This film can then be easily peeled away from the brick, taking with it years of staining from ash, smoke, and soot and leaving behind beautifully restored masonry. Because Paint “N” Peel is designed for both interior and exterior use, it can be applied to fireplaces, chimneys, and a variety of other masonry structures.
Spring is the perfect time to have your fireplace or chimney restored using Paint “N” Peel products. Because it can only be used when the temperature is between 45 and 95 degrees, the mild spring weather is an ideal time to use this product.
If you are ready to restore the finish of your interior or exterior masonry, contact Lord’s Chimney today. We are confident that the Paint “N” Peel chimney system can make the bricks in your home beautiful again!
Gas fireplaces continue to grow in popularity due to their energy savings, ease of use, and low maintenance. Gas logs are particularly popular due to their ability to recreate the look and feel of a wood burning fire at the push of a button. While there is significantly less work with a gas fireplace compared to a wood burning one, gas fireplaces still need regular cleaning and upkeep.
Although gas logs do not have ashes or soot to remove after each use, they should be regularly cleaned to maintain efficiency and safety. Cleaning a gas log is an easy process, but special care should be taken to ensure that no fireplace parts or pieces are damaged.
Cleaning your gas log
The interior and exterior portions of your gas log fireplace should be cleaned at least twice a year to prevent an excessive buildup of soot or dust. However, only cleaners that are specially designed for gas fireplaces should be used. Other chemical or homemade cleaning agents may have abrasive qualities on the gas, metal, or ceramic parts of the fireplace. In addition, the chemicals in non-fireplace cleaners may react when the fireplace is relit for use. A specialized cleaner can be purchased at many fireplace retailers.
The exterior glass and metal can be wiped down as often as needed using a clean, damp cloth or other specialized cleaner. The burners, control compartments, and ceramic logs can be gently cleaned with a dry cloth or soft bristled paintbrush. A vacuum may also be used, but can should be taken not to shift or move the gas log or its components.
Before attempting to clean your gas logs, make sure that the gas valve has been completely shut off. Likewise, none of the fireplace components should be warm to the touch from recent use, as the heat may react negatively with the cleaners.
Referencing the manufacturer’s manual is another way to ensure that you are safely and correctly cleaning your fireplace logs and other components. The manual should give detailed instructions on how to safely clean the fireplace with minimal risks.
If you believe you have damaged any of the components of your gas log fireplace during cleaning, contact a professional before using the fireplace again. Even shifting a gas log a few inches can impact both performance and safety.
Do I need a chimney sweep?
Many homeowners are surprised to find that they still need their chimney swept after installing a gas log. Gas appliances still produce small amounts of creosote, which can coat the inside of the flue. In addition, high efficiency modern gas fireplaces are also at risk for incomplete combustion and water condensation.
An improperly sized chimney or flue cannot create sufficient drafting for a gas fireplace, leading to incomplete combustion. When this occurs, gasses such as carbon monoxide may linger in the fireplace. Likewise, accumulating water condensation can be corrosive to the flue lining.
Having a regular chimney cleaning and inspection can help protect your family against any emerging chimney or fireplace issues, as well as ensure that your gas fireplace is still running safely and efficiently. If you have questions about how to clean your gas fireplace or need to schedule a chimney inspection, contact Lord’s Chimney today!
Chimney sweepings and inspections are an important part of chimney maintenance. However, they are just one of the many services we can offer our customers!
Many of our customers are surprised to find that, after discovering an issue during an inspection, we can repair the damage we discovered. We can offer our customers much more than just cleanings. Our wide range of chimney, masonry, and vent services allows us to better serve our customers and meet all of their chimney and fireplace needs.
Fireplace rebuilding and restoration
If your fireplace or chimney is worn down after years of use, we can help restore it to its former glory. Our fireplace restoration services can fix every part of your chimney, from the chimney cap at the top all the way to the firebox at the bottom.
In addition to our range of repairs for masonry chimneys, we also repair prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces. Our staff can help ensure that your prefabricated fireplace maintains Underwriter’s Laboratory tested parts so that it can maintain its UL safety listing.
When animals find a way into a chimney, it can be extremely frustrating for the homeowners and potentially deadly for the animals themselves. At Lord’s Chimney, we are experts at safely removing animals along with their nesting materials. We can also prevent the animals from coming back by repairing or replacing a faulty chimney cap, which is most often the site of animal entry.
Gas fireplaces and inserts
For homeowners looking to make the transition from wood to gas as their fuel source, we sell and install a wide variety of high quality gas inserts and logs. Gas fireplaces offer homeowners the look and feel of a wood burning fire with the added convenience of being able to start a fire with the push of a button.
In addition to our chimney services, we can also clean and install dryer vents. Even if you regularly clean your lint trap, lint can still accumulate in your dryer vents and hoses over time. This lint is extremely flammable and can be accidentally ignited by the heat from your dryer. Clogged dryer vents cause thousands of house fires each year, leading to millions of dollars in property damage.
Having your dryer vents cleaned is the best way to prevent these kinds of house fires from starting. Clean dryer vents can also help your dryer run more efficiently, wasting less energy and resulting in dryer clothes after each load. In addition to cleaning dryer vents, we are also experts at dryer vent installation and rerouting.
We can do it all!
At Lord’s Chimney, we have been proudly providing the greater Houston area with chimney, fireplace, masonry, and vent services for the past decade. If you are experiencing chimney issues, rest assured that the same company you trust to clean your chimney can also repair it. Contact us today and let us tell you all the ways we can fix your fireplace!