There are a number of ways we get our fireplaces ready for winter; having them swept, buying new firewood, and sweeping out ashes and coals are all ways to make sure your fireplace is safe and ready to use. However, there may be hidden hazards hiding in your chimney liner.
A properly lined chimney is an important part of the helping your fireplace burn safely, efficiently, and last longer. Because the majority of the chimney liner cannot be seen without an inspection and the use of technology such as closed circuit cameras, damage to the chimney liner may go unnoticed.
How a chimney liner protects your home
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, chimney liners are “A clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.”
Because of their important purpose, a requirement for chimney liners is included in most state and local building codes. Chimney liners play an important role in protecting your home against the heat, gas, and smoke created in your fireplace. Protecting against a transfer of heat keeps surrounding walls, beams, frames, and other building materials from reacting to the heat in the chimney; when a chimney liner is damaged, the National Bureau of Standards found adjacent building materials can catch fire in as little as three hours due to heat transfer.
Chimney liners also keep smoke and gasses from getting into the air supply of your home. A quality, undamaged liner helps keep toxic byproducts of combustion, including the extremely dangerous carbon monoxide gas venting safely up and out of your chimney instead of lingering in the flue or seeping into your home. This is especially important during the winter when most homes have their doors and windows tightly closed, letting in little outside air.
Does my chimney need to be relined?
Because of the difficult to access location, length, and size of the chimney liner, repairs in specific areas are often too difficult to complete. Because of this, a complete chimney relining may be recommended. There are several reasons why a chimney might need to be relined.
Damage. Damage to the chimney liner can cause it to lose the ability to protect your home against heat transfer, as well as allow smoke and gas into your home’s air supply.
New fireplace or insert. A new fireplace or insert may have different venting requirements than your old unit; relining the flue can ensure your new fireplace burns as safely and efficiently as possible.
Changing fuel sources. The byproducts of combustion from wood, gas, coal, and pellet fires are all different; because of this, they require different types of chimney liners. If you have changed fuel sources, a new chimney liner can protect your flue.
Winter weather is just around the corner; make sure your fireplace is ready to be safely used all year round by having the liner checked. For more information on the importance of a quality chimney liner or to have your chimney inspected, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!
For nearly 40 years, Jack Pixley Sweeps, Inc., has served the greater Minneapolis area. From installation to cleaning and inspection to rebuilding, our certified technicians can meet all of your fireplace and chimney needs.
Chimney sweeping and inspection
We at Jack Pixley Sweeps go above and beyond national guidelines in our chimney sweeping and inspection service.
During your cleaning our CSIA-certified sweeps will insert a rotating brush up your flue. As it travels up your chimney, it will expand to remove all of the creosote and soot that has built up in your fireplace. Following your cleaning, your chimney sweep will go beyond the visual, “level 1” inspection recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute. Our sweeps will insert a closed-circuit camera up your flue so they can visually inspect to your chimney to make sure there is no crumbling mortar, cracked tiles, or damage from an unobserved chimney fire.
Chimney and firebox repairs
We can repair leaking chimneys, diagnose and correct chimney draft problems, or repair a damaged firebox. Our skilled technicians can go so far as to rebuild your chimney or firebox, if needed.
If you’re looking to upgrade your fireplace, Jack Pixley Sweeps can help. If you prefer a traditional fireplace but would like to return more heat to your home, we offer open-hearth Ahrens Fireplace Systems. Or, if you’d like to upgrade to a closed insert, we offer Regency gas and wood-burning inserts.
If you’d like to change the look of your hearth, either to update, make it better suited to your taste, or have it made to fit your new fireplace insert, Jack Pixley Sweeps is the company to call. We specialize in rebuilding fireplace fronts to meet the aesthetic and practical needs of our customers.
Many chimneys have been constructed with the wrong size chimney tiles, which can lead to drafting problems and smoke flowing back into a home rather than out of the flue. Jack Pixley offers stainless steel chimney liners, which can solve your drafting problems, or replace any older, cracked tiles.
Dryer vent cleaning
Clogged dryer vents are a leading cause of home fires, and Jack Pixley Sweeps provides the best dryer vent cleaning in the area. We hook up a vacuum to your dryer vent to ensure that lint doesn’t litter your yard, and then we remove lint with a rotary system. We’ll also make sure your vent utilizes a safe aluminum lining.
Raccoons and some birds love to nest in your chimney, while other animals, such as ducks or squirrels, can make their way into your chimney and become stuck. An animal nest can be a chimney fire hazard, and a trapped animal is obviously in danger. Our technicians can safely remove any animal you hear trapped or making a home in your chimney. We also can install stainless steel screen and chimney cover to prevent animals from getting into your chimney.
Your gutters should be cleaned each spring and fall to prevent leaks or water damage to your home. Jack Pixley Sweeps is happy to provide gutter-cleaning service!
Chimney repairs can take extensive scaffolding setup. We set up our own scaffolding, saving you from hiring a scaffolding company.
If you have any questions about the services we provide and live in and around Minneapolis, please contact us or give us a call! We’re locally owned and happy to help!
Chimney care should be a must on your to-do list for Spring. It deserves to be given proper attention after enduring the cold winter days while keeping you warm.
Spring. It’s the time of the year where you can free yourself from months of wearing thick clothes and triple socks. It’s the perfect time to finally go outside and play without having to worry about freezing to death. It’s also the time where your chimney can finally rest and prepare for the next time of extensive usage. But it doesn’t mean that you’ll just tuck away your chimney until the next winter. No, there are still some things to take care of because of the shift in temperature.
Chimney Inspection and Sweeping
Here at Jack Pixley Sweeps & Masonry we’d like to present a Spring checklist so that when one of our certified CSIA chimney sweeps knock on your door, you already know what to expect. The very first and very basic things to do are the routine inspection and sweeping. From there they can assess whether or not your chimney needs any of the following:
As winter comes to an end, there will be a lot of traces of melting snow. This is bad for the chimney because huge volumes of water can destroy the chimney. The chimney will start to degrade overtime and water can enter the small cracks and joints of the masonry brick walls that will further speed up the degradation of the chimney. When this happens, there might be a need for waterproofing. When we’re done, even the smallest ant cannot find cracks to live in inside your chimney. Another good way to keep water out is to install chimney flashing. This will block water from coming in where the exterior of the chimney meets the roof.
Again, as the chimney gets old, damage to the the flue and the flue liner will be inevitable. This problem should be addressed right away because it leads to poor chimney draft. If there are holes in the flue, there won’t be enough pressure to push up all the smoke to the chimney and you’ll have a smoky fireplace. If the flue liner is the problem, chimney relining will solve it. Otherwise, if the damage is to the structure of the flue itself, we might have to go as far as replacing the whole thing.
Install a Chimney Cap
Since we’re talking about spring, there are now bigger opportunities for debris, leaves and other obstructions (including tiny animals looking for a home) to enter the chimney. Having a chimney cap installed will totally stop these things from entering the inside of the chimney.
These are a few of the things that we can to do ensure that your chimney will last for many years to come. And not only that, when you invest in maintaining your chimney, you won’t have to worry about accidents due to functional problems while using your chimney. You’ll also end up saving money in the long run by avoiding these untoward incidents that might cause severe damage to your property. Make an appointment with us now. Jack Pixley Chimney Sweeps & Masonry: “It’s the name you can trust.”