As we all know, our streets and highways take a beating when the temps drop. Having said that, the porches, chimneys, patios, and walls (the stone and brick masonry) of your home are just as porous. Older homes such as homes built in the 1920's are significantly more porous than our roads and highways. This is due to the fact that brick homes were, and still are, made of materials that are nearly identical by nature. What this means is that the mortar and the brick themselves absorb a great deal of water. When the moisture in the masonry unit freezes it expands, causing extremely serious damage over time to your home.
Chimneys are often one of the most neglected system in our entire household. This is bad news since the safe operation of our fireplaces and stoves requires a properly working chimney system! During your annual chimney inspection, our certified chimney sweeps will be able to determine the condition of your chimney and offer solutions for chimney repair and maintenance should it be required. Our chimney services cover all aspects of repair for masonry and factory-built chimneys, including: Chimney Rebuilding, Chimney Relining, Chimney Masonry Repair, Chimney Crown Maintenance, Tuckpointing, Firebox Rebuild, and more!
Traditionally, masonry chimneys had clay tiles that covered the inside of the chimney. These tiles were designed to seal the chimney structure and direct all the sparks, heat, gases and particles up and out of the home. The problem is that over time, the tiles crack or break due to weathering, heat and freeze cycles, and other factors. Once the break-down begins, your chimney can become dangerous to use and can require a new lining. Some older chimneys did not even have the tile liners, so they are a real hazard that needs immediate attention. Chimneys built before 1940 have a high likelihood that they were built without a clay liner. Every chimney needs a liner of some kind that is designed to fit the needs of the fireplace, stove or furnace that is venting through it.
There are many solutions to relining a chimney, the most popular being a stainless steel liner being installed in the chimney space from top to bottom. This flue can also be insulated to increase efficiency and needs to be fitted properly to the chimney using flexible or rigid flue piping.
A buildup of creosote is the main reason that it’s important to have your Chimney cleaning company inspected annually for you brick masonry and stone masonry. But, did you know that there are three degrees or stages of creosote? Tar, soot, and creosote are all byproducts of wood burning and “creosote” is what the mix of the three components is usually called. What’s needed to properly clean your chimney depends upon what level of creosote there is on the flue lining. Creosote in all of its forms is dangerous because it can cause chimney fires. MASONRY-RESTORED in Smiths Creek specializes in all areas of masonry, stone, walls, porches, and chimneys. Chimney repair in Fort Gratiot, MI? Call Today!
Creosote which contains a high percentage of soot is the first degree of the substance. This type of creosote is easier to remove from your chimney than the other kinds. All that is needed to remove first degree creosote is a chimney brush. The way to end up with the easiest creosote to clean is to burn seasoned wood in an environment in which there is plenty of air, so that the flue is warmed by the fire’s heat. If a house is sealed too tightly, there may be a restriction in the air supply in the fireplace, which can cause more smoke to enter the home and can keep the chimney flue from getting properly heated.
Creosote is a highly flammable tar-like substance that can easily start a chimney fire if it is not removed.
Creosote in the second stage is a bit more complicated to remove than first degree creosote. The second degree variety is a buildup of hard, shiny black flakes, which contain hardened tar. This type is best removed using a rotary loop. This piece of equipment is a stainless steel cable attached to a hub which has metal rods that are turned by a special type of powerful drill, and it works effectively. Second degree creosote is the type that is formed in the above-mentioned scenario, when there is restriction to the amount of incoming air. It’s not unusual for people to get this type of creosote if they have glass doors on their fireplace or wood stove.
Third degree creosote is a tough problem to deal with, and it’s not unusual for people to replace their flue liners in order to be rid of it. This kind of creosote looks like tar running down the inside of your chimney. It’s a highly concentrated fuel which hardens and can form a thick layer, when re-coated repeatedly. The cause of third degree creosote is burning wood when the flue isn’t warmed and temperatures in the flue are too low. Deposits of third degree creosote are also the result of incomplete combustion.
To avoid creosote buildup, always use safe burning practices, such as only burning seasoned wood.
To avoid having to deal with third degree creosote, avoid burning unseasoned firewood and make sure there is enough air for combustion to occur in the fireplace. Another cause of this problematic type of creosote is attaching an appliance to an over sized flue. There are restrictions on the size a flue should be for a wood burning appliance. It’s best to hire a professional to install fireplace inserts and wood stoves, to make sure everything operates properly. Your Chimney sweep in Macomb and surrounding counties can do this for you.
Third degree creosote easily catches fire, which is dangerous. Chimney fires can lead to house fires. But if this kind of creosote does burn, it’s easier to remove, since it takes on a different form.It’s very difficult to remove third degree creosote. A rotary head with chains can typically get the job done and is a safe method but any cracked tiles which already existed may show up as a result of the chains and the procedure is often blamed. There are chemicals which do a fair job of removing third degree creosote. A chimney inspection can help determine if any creosote build up is in your chimney. Whatever type of creosote is in your chimney, let our professional chimney sweeps eliminate this safety hazard from your home. While we're there, we can also check to see if there are any other chimney repairs to be taken into consideration. MASONRY-RESTORED services southeast Michigan, including Chimney repair in Fort Gratiot Township, Michigan. Chimney repair in Marysville, MI. Chimney repair in Kimball.
This is why we should clean our chimneys every year. Please use discretion.
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MASONRY-RESTORED in Kimball, Michigan is your local choice for expert tuckpointing, masonry repair, Chimney Repair in Kimball, Chimney Repair in Fort Gratiot Township, Chimney Repair in Marysville, Chimney Repair in Port Huron, MI. Servicing down the southeast coast- down to Grosse Pointe where we successfully complete over 60% of our historic projects.
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