If you see signs of damage on your chimney, don’t wait until fall approaches to call your chimney sweep. Have your chimney repaired this summer! Chimney repairs can take some time, and chimney companies’ schedules fill up quickly in late summer and early fall. If you wait too long to schedule your chimney repairs, your chimney won’t be ready when temperatures drop, and you will miss the first opportunities to light a fire this fall.
There are other reasons to schedule your chimney repairs this summer! If your chimney’s masonry is in need of repairs, summer is the optimal time to address those repairs. Masonry materials need warmer weather to cure properly, and repairs may not be able to be undertaken if temperatures drop too low or if rainy weather hits. Summer repairs also can save your chimney from further damage. Leaking flashing, missing or damaged chimney caps, deteriorating mortar or chimney crowns, and spalling bricks all can allow more water to seep into your chimney or your home’s structure. Having those repairs taken care of now can save you the headache and cost of more extensive repairs later.
If your chimney needs to be repaired, A to Z Chimney Services can help!
We can repair any of your chimney problems, including:
- Cracked or spalling bricks,
- Crumbling mortar,
- Deteriorating or improperly constructed chimney crown,
- Leaking flashing,
- Rusting dampers,
- Damaged flues, and
- Missing or damaged chimney caps or spark arrestors.
In addition to traditional masonry chimneys, we can repair your prefabricated chimney! Regardless of which make and model of prefabricated chimney you have, we can find the right parts and make needed repairs to have your chimney repaired and safe for your fall fires.
A to Z Chimney Services also can help with preventative chimney maintenance. Summer is the perfect time to have your chimney swept and inspected to identify any chimney problems in time to have those problems addressed before you are ready to light your first fall fire. We also can help you take steps to protect your chimney from future damage. We can install a top-sealing damper atop your chimney’s flue to stop drafts and water from making their way down your chimney. We can apply a chimney waterproofing solution to block water from penetrating your chimney’s masonry and causing damage.
This summer, take a walk around your chimney to see if you can notice any visible damage, such as cracked or missing bricks, or a rusting chimney cap, or call to schedule a chimney inspection to make sure you don’t have any hidden issues lurking within or atop your chimney. If you want to repair and prepare your chimney for the fall fire burning season, call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your repairs, consultation or inspection today!
The new year presents the perfect time to check things off of your to-do list. If you haven’t had your annual cleaning and inspection, you should start the year with a freshly cleaned chimney! An uncleaned chimney poses a risk to your home and family. Resolve to maintain your fireplace’s safety by scheduling a chimney sweeping with a certified technician from A to Z Chimney Services today!
Importance of annual chimney cleaning
The National Fire Protection Association advises homeowners to have their chimneys cleaned and inspected at least once per year. An annual chimney sweeping guarantees that your chimney is clear from dangerous creosote. A highly flammable substance, creosote buildup is a leading cause of chimney fires. Creosote also can interfere with your chimney’s draft or cause an unpleasant smell in your home during warm summer months.
Your chimney sweep also inspects your fireplace and chimney for damage and proper function. Your annual chimney sweeping can help you to address minor problems with your fireplace or chimney before they become major problems. Even if you don’t use your fireplace often, animals can build nests inside, or debris can build up, causing dangerous or damaging blockages. Your annual chimney sweep will make sure that your chimney is free and clear.
Other considerations for chimney cleanings
Remember, the recommendation for annual chimney cleanings states that homeowners should have their chimneys cleaned at least once per year. The new year can be a good midway point in the fire-burning season to address any problems you may be having with your fireplace or chimney. Your chimney should be cleaned if you notice any problems or change in its function. Water seeping, smoke back drafting into your home or visible cracks can all be signs that your chimney is in need of inspection or cleaning.
If you notice any soot or creosote buildup within your flue, it’s time to have your chimney swept again, even if your chimney was swept at the beginning of the fire-burning season. One-eighth inch buildup of creosote is considered a fire hazard, though any noticeable amount of creosote can cause damage to your chimney, as creosote is acidic and can corrode a metal, factory-built flue. Burning fires frequently, using unseasoned wood or burning pine in your fireplace all can cause creosote to build up more quickly in your flue.
Call to schedule your chimney sweeping!
Call the certified chimney sweeps at A to Z Chimney Services today at (916) 850-2446 to start your year with a freshly cleaned chimney! We’ll make sure your chimney is free from debris, dangerous creosote or damage. When A to Z sweeps your chimney, you can be sure that your chimney is clean and safe for the rest of the fire-burning season!
There are three different levels of a chimney inspection – call A to Z Chimney Services for your own today!
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) develops, publishes and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. One code in particular, NFPA 211, is the industry standard upon which upon which certified chimney sweeps base their services. The code was written to provide for the reduction of fire hazards by ensuring the safe removal of flue gases, the proper installation of solid fuel-burning appliances, and the correct construction and installation of chimneys, fireplaces, and venting systems.
DIFFERENT LEVELS OF CHIMNEY INSPECTIONS
The NFPA and Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) classify chimney inspections into the following categories: Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. Each level of inspection covers specific items depending on the individual appliance and how it is vented to the outside of your home. Let’s look at all three levels to get a better understanding of what’s completed during each:
Level 1 inspections
These are completed during your routine chimney cleaning. This is the recommended level when the conditions of use have not changed over the past year. It’s a more routine evaluation that, as such, should be carried out annually. Level 1 inspections are limited in scope to the portions of the chimney’s exterior and interior that are easily accessible as well as the portions of the fireplace and flue that are readily accessible. The technician will be looking to gauge the basic soundness of the flue and chimney structure as well as your basic fireplace installation and connections. The technician will also check to make sure the chimney is free of obstructions and combustible deposits.
Level 2 inspections
These are more detailed and thorough than their Level 1 counterparts and are recommended either when the conditions of use have changed during the past year or when a Level 1 inspection reveals an issue that warrants a more thorough inspection. A few notable issues that may call for a more in-depth inspection are homeowners opting to convert his or her traditional fireplace to a gas unit or when an event has occurred that possibly could have caused damage to the chimney (e.g., chimney fire, earthquake, or foundation settling). It’s also recommended upon the sale or transfer of the property. Level 2 inspections include everything Level 1 inspections include as well as the inspection of accessible areas of the attic, basement, and crawlspace and a video evaluation of the inside of your chimney.
Level 3 inspections
These are the most in-depth of all the inspection types and are conducted after either a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection reveals a major issue in parts of the chimney and/or flue that are not, by traditional standards, easily accessible. It’s important to note that the technician’s examination of concealed areas is limited to those areas that are reasonably suspected of containing hazards that can’t be evaluated otherwise. Level 3 inspections include all of the areas covered in Level 1 and Level 2 inspections as well as inspection of otherwise concealed areas to further investigate known or suspected problems. Because certain portions of Level 3 inspections require some sort of demolition to, within, or around your home, the technician will discuss these areas with you prior to the inspection beginning any work.
That’s a lot of information! However, it’s a lot of necessary information for any homeowner with a chimney and/or fireplace. Understanding the general scope of work required with each level of inspection is critical to being an informed homeowner and consumer. Knowing what you’re getting yourself into before getting into it will generally leave you feeling much better before, during, and after the situation than remaining blissfully ignorant ever could.
Regardless of how you plan to use your system, it’s important that you make annual chimney inspections a priority in your home. Contact the CSIA-certified professionals at A to Z Chimney Services today and we’ll help you determine what level of inspection you need.