Company Blog

Get Your Chimney Swept Before the Fall Rush

All Seasons Chimney understands that the last thing on your mind right now is lighting a fire in your fireplace. However, national fire safety organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend that you have your chimney professionally swept and inspected before lighting that first fire after summer is over for safety reasons. We strongly recommend to our customers to be prepared and proactive now by scheduling a summer chimney sweeping so that when the weather turns cooler this fall, you can relax and enjoy the fire without worrying about fire hazards. As soon as the month of September rolls around, our certified chimney sweeps have a packed schedule of maintenance calls, which means it could take longer to have your chimney swept and inspected if you wait too long to make your appointment with us. We would like to share exactly what kind of service you can inspect from our expert chimney sweeps.

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CHIMNEY SWEEPING

The number one concern of our CSIA-certified sweeps at All Seasons Chimney when they come to your home to get it ready for the cooler months of fall and winter is to remove all of the creosote accumulations from the interior walls of your chimney. Creosote is a highly combustible and natural compound that forms during the process of condensation that occurs when smoke, gases, vapors, and other by-products of combustion exit your chimney. With a varying appearance, creosote can be black or brown, sticky and gummy, crisp and brittle, or hard and shiny. No matter what it looks like, large amounts of creosote are dangerously flammable and ignite the majority of chimney fires. We know how essential it is to rid your chimney from excessive deposits of creosote before you light your first fire of the winter.

CHIMNEY INSPECTION

Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at All Seasons Chimney take much pride in inspecting your chimney to be sure it works properly and safely. We use a closed circuit video camera on every inspection so that we can get the best possible examination of the condition of the interior of your chimney. Before cleaning your chimney, our chimney sweeps will closely look at the readily accessible parts of your chimney and fireplace, be sure everything is correctly connected, check out how sound the structure of your chimney is, and guarantee nothing is dangerously blocking the flue. All Seasons Chimney will ensure that your fireplace and chimney function correctly with no safety hazards present.

Want to beat the fall rush? Contact All Seasons Chimney to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection sooner rather than later.

All About Chimney Crowns

From our years in experience of working in the chimney industry, All Seasons Chimney understands the problems that water can cause to a fireplace and chimney system. In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) named water as the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney. Except for stone, all masonry chimney construction materials suffer from accelerated deterioration when exposed to water for an extended period of time. Preventing water penetration of chimneys is one of our most important duties as chimney experts, and we know how to best keep the water out of your chimney. One of the most simple ways to stop water from entering your chimney in the first place is the installation of a chimney crown. We would like to tell you more about chimney crowns and how they can protect the masonry materials of your chimney.

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What exactly is a chimney crown?

Also known as a chimney wash, a chimney crown is the top part of a masonry chimney. Constructed from mortar, the chimney crown covers and seals the top of a chimney from the flue liner to the chimney edge.

Why do I need a chimney crown installed on the top of my chimney?

Without a chimney crown, your chimney is open to rainwater and water from melted snow. This water will penetrate the bricks and mortar of your chimney. In the winter, this water repeatedly freezes and thaws, and this process causes problems. When water freezes, it expands as much as 10 percent. This can create cracks in the bricks and mortar, which worsen each time this water freezes. Even tiny amounts of water can cause this type of spalling damage. Eventually, if left unrepaired, the bricks and mortar can become so deteriorated that your chimney is no longer structurally sound.

If a chimney crown is made from mortar, how is it protected from spalling damage?

Since the chimney crown sits on the top of your chimney exposed to all of the elements of weather, it should be sealed with a durable waterproofing treatment to protect it from water penetration. A customized chimney crown from All Seasons Chimney is also constructed from a Portland cement-based mixture that is designed for years of weather abuse.

How can I tell if my chimney crown is properly constructed and installed?

A properly built chimney crown should have a slope to best protect your chimney from water damage. Your chimney crown should provide a downward slope to direct water from the flue to the edge of the crown. There should also be an overhanging drip edge to direct water from the crown away from the chimney to help prevent any erosion of the bricks and mortar in the vertical surfaces of the chimney. This overhang should project beyond all sides of the chimney by a minimum of two inches for best protection from water damage.

In need of a chimney crown? Contact All Seasons Chimney to schedule a custom installation of a crown for your chimney.