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So, you have a fireplace, but it doesn’t get much use. You use it once or twice a year (maybe on a colder day or around the holidays), but other than that it mainly serves as an attractive focal point in your home. Because of this, it shouldn’t need much professional care or maintenance. …right?
Wrong! In fact, believe it or not, refraining from using your fireplace typically causes it to deteriorate more quickly than if you use it on a regular basis.
Like a washer, dryer, refrigerator, or other appliance, your fireplace needs regular attention, no matter how often it’s used. This especially goes for metal prefabricated fireplaces. Learn more below, and be sure to reach out with any questions! We’d love to do all we can to help you out.
Think of your fireplace like a car. If you let a car sit in your driveway for years on end without ever starting it up or taking it on a drive, would you expect it to work perfectly when you eventually try to drive it again? Not likely. Fluids likely will have pooled, your battery will probably be dead, and there’s sure to be weather-related wear and tear.
The same goes for your fireplace. Rust and warpage will occur more than usual during long periods of unuse, along with countless moisture-related damages, such as mold growth, deterioration, decay, stains, and more.
What happens when we experience another freeze or you just feel like starting a cozy fire after these issues have occurred? Like the car that was left abandoned, the system is simply not going to function correctly. In fact, you may experience dangers such as smoke and fume backup, an increased risk of house fire, exposure to harmful gases, and more.
When we come in to inspect your chimney, we’ll look for things like holes, gaps, signs of animal life, warpage, rust, and more. If we can spot and resolve these issues while they’re still small and manageable, the lifespan of your fireplace could be extended significantly.
We’ll also look for parts that need replacing. Some things, like the chimney cap, are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace if spotted in time. That said, if you ignore a broken cap, your system will be exposed to harmful things (like storms, rain, curious animals, and more) that cause a lot more damage overall.
In the end, purchasing a new chimney cap to ensure your system stays protected is a lot cheaper than investing in a time-consuming and costly rebuild or relining job. And the sooner we can react, the better shape your system will stay in, thus preserving resale value and ensuring you can use it when you need to.
Critters in your fireplace? This means something is wrong up top. Animals should never have easy access to your fireplace, and once they get in they can cause a lot of damage. Along with this, animals that are unable to escape may pass away, leaving you with an even bigger mess on your hands.
Another problem has to do with bird’s nesting materials. If birds set up camp in your chimney (an ideal spot for them), the twigs, leaves, and materials that make up their nests can clog things up and affect airflow. A system that cannot properly vent doesn’t do anyone any good. Be sure to get a sweep in to look things over so you can avoid those uninvited guests – especially this time of year.
If your chimney was damaged due to a natural disaster like a lightning strike, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, or something similar, your insurance company should be covering the costs to repair it. Unfortunately, they often look for ways around this.
If you have no records on your fireplace, then your insurance company could easily deny your claim stating that there’s no proof the damage caused was due to the event that had just occurred.
That said, if you have a report from your chimney company showing that at the last yearly inspection your system was just fine, getting that money you need for repairs, restorations, and replacement parts won’t be such a challenge.
Before buying a home, we strongly advise getting a video inspection. This ensures you don’t get caught with big repairs after you finalize the sale.
Home inspectors will tell you if you should have it cleaned or have something looked into, but there’s no way for them to gauge just how extensive certain damage can be. All too often people sign the papers on their dream home, only to realize later that they’re now responsible for thousands of dollars worth of repairs.
Also, keep in mind that if you bought a house and no one has ever used the fireplace, there’s typically a reason for that. The previous homeowner may have used it once only to have something go wrong and never use it again. And if you see freshly painted brick? There are likely smoke stains underneath.
In the end, getting that level 2 inspection done is always worth the peace of mind you gain in the end.
The big takeaway from all of this? If you want to use your fireplace at all – even once – you need an inspection. Even if the system is brand new or rarely used, an inspection is vital. Professional insight can make all the difference when it comes to how safely and efficiently your system operates down the line.
Anything specific you need covered? Send us a message! We’d be happy to answer any and all of your questions. You can reach out to us through our website, give us a call, or even follow us on Facebook or Youtube. It’s Lords Chimney’s goal to keep you as up to date and informed as possible!
A crackling fire on a cool fall or winter evening sets a beautiful aesthetic in any home. Once a fire gets going, it seems to draw family members together in a hurry, as everyone gathers around and takes advantage of the warm and cozy atmosphere the wood-burning unit has created.
That is, unless the firewood is creating some unpleasant effects. Using unseasoned firewood can trigger lots of issues like excess smoke, less heat, and more creosote accumulation (which can then trigger unpleasant odors and structural issues). All in all, it’s well worth it to either season your own wood pile or take the time necessary to examine the wood you purchase, ensuring it’s adequately dried out and ready to burn.
Why do issues occur with unseasoned wood? Well, the fresher the log is, the more water it will contain, meaning your fire has to put in a lot of extra work and energy to burn out all that extra moisture. This takes time and it causes a lot of acidic water to be sent through your chimney, which isn’t good for your chimney’s health
Along with this, burning wood with lots of moisture also makes your fireplace experience less than ideal. Learn more about how to differentiate between seasoned and unseasoned wood by reading below, or you can feel free to contact our staff here at Lords Chimney with any questions. We’re always happy to help you create a more enjoyable burning season!
If you’re purchasing wood to burn, there are a few key characteristics to note before making any final decisions. First off, check the length of the wood. If it’s cut short, that’s a good sign that the person seasoning it knew what they were doing. The less mass, the less water there is, ensuring it drys out faster. Splitting the ends also speeds up this process, so look for that, too.
Noting the color and weight of the wood is a wise step, too. Fresh wood is still vibrant-looking and has a pleasant aroma. Wood that has been sitting for some time is typically faded and darker in color. Also, when you lift it will feel lighter in weight, since most of the water is evaporated. Try hitting two pieces together. If they sound hollow, they’ve been seasoned. If they make a duller, thud-like noise, they likely need more time on the wood pile.
Obviously, the most surefire way to get exactly what you want from the wood you burn is to season your own. Store it in a place that is open, yet protected, such as a wood shed with open sides and a sturdy roof, and let it sit for at least six months before putting it to use. Ensure the pieces are cut short and split on the ends to get things moving faster.
If your wood pile is ready to go, and you’re ready to put your system to use, call us in for your annual inspection. Our team is CSIA certified and ready to serve, guaranteeing you a safer and better functioning system every single year. There’s no time to lose – call today!
Don’t have that chimney inspection on your calendar yet? Call the experts at Lords Chimney right away! Inspections play a vital role in ensuring your fireplace stays in great condition and safer for use all year long. We want your system to be ready to go when the holidays come around – give us a call now!
Managing a household (no matter your family size) can be a stressful job! It seems like there are always things going on and, with the holidays coming soon, life is only going to get more hectic. Amidst it all, we know it can be a challenge to fit in your yearly chimney inspection.
That’s why we urge you to schedule now! We want to make this process as easy and stress-free as possible and, by getting in early, you save yourself the hassle of finding a slot during our fall rush. Get the appointment time that works best for you by giving us a call right away!
When the time comes for holiday get together’s and family gatherings, you want your fireplace to be ready to go! By getting your maintenance done now, you know everything will be all set when you go to light that first fire. We would hate to see you call to make an appointment, only to discover the next available slot is after your big party or event. In addition, running a fireplace that hasn’t been thoroughly checked over is never a safe option!
Ensure that your guests, friends, and family stay as safe and comfortable as possible by getting your inspection in now. There’d be nothing worse than firing things up only to face smoke back-up or nasty odors. That would definitely put a damper on things fast! Not to mention, built up creosote can be extremely flammable. Play it safe – give us a call right away!
When it comes to providing you with quality service, the staff at Lords Chimney goes above and beyond. We implement all of the proper footwear and coverings, so that your home stays clean and damage-free throughout our entire inspection process. We will use top of the line equipment to search every nook and cranny and, should you need a cleaning, we’ll get that covered, too!
And don’t worry about a mess. We’ll clean up everything, so your home will look just as good as it did before our arrival. For customer service that can’t be beat, you can count on us!
Also, should we note any necessary repairs, we will offer sound advice as far as proceeding forward. With our long list of tools and services, we are certain we can assist you no matter what, and we will be happy to get your next appointment scheduled right away. Give us a call now!
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
We offer a wide variety of masonry services including tuckpointing, crown rebuilding and repair, and firebox rebuilding and repair. Our highly skilled masons will get the job done with high levels of service and craftsmanship, creating a repair that will last for years to come.
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.
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.
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!