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Why we recommend waterproofing your chimney

Protecting your chimney from water damage can be nearly impossible. Chimneys are most often constructed from porous masonry materials, which draw in and hold moisture, and they extend above the roofline of your chimney, completely unprotected from the elements. The only way to be sure that water isn’t doing damage to your chimney is by sealing it off from moisture with a specialized waterproofing treatment.

Water damage and your chimney

Water leaking in through your chimney can wreak havoc on your chimney and your home. Damages from water can weaken your chimney’s structure, as the moisture causes bricks and mortar to crumble. Moisture retained in chimney masonry can stain the exterior of your chimney, turning the masonry blue, green or black. Inside your chimney, water can cause damage to the chimney liner, and it can cause metal components of your fireplace and chimney system, such as the damper, fireplace grate and fireplace doors to rust and warp. In the heat of the summer, a damp chimney can stink, filling your entire home with an unpleasant odor.

When water penetrates your chimney, it doesn’t only endanger the chimney and fireplace system; it can do damage to your home. Water seeping in through your chimney can cause the support beams in your home to warp and rot. It can cause mold to grow on your roof and walls, and in your attic. Water leaking into your home through the chimney can warp walls and ceilings, and cause staining, warping and sagging. It can cause paint, wallpaper or ceiling plaster to peel away.

Protecting your chimney with waterproofing

Because of how damaging water can be to your chimney and your home, we recommend protecting your chimney with ChimneySaver Water Repellant! Once applied to your chimney, ChimneySaver Water Repellant prevents 99.9 percent of water from entering your chimney’s masonry. At the same time, ChimneySaver lets your chimney’s masonry breathe, allowing 100 percent of the water vapor that can form when your fireplace is in use to exit as it normally would through your chimney’s masonry. That means that, unlike other water sealants, ChimneySaver won’t trap moisture in your chimney!

ChimneySaver also provides protection that lasts. When applied properly, ChimneySaver Water Repellant continues to protect your chimney’s masonry from water for 10 years!

Schedule your ChimneySaver Water Repellant application today!

Water can cause major damage to your chimney and your home, which is why we recommend protecting your chimney with ChimneySaver Water Repellant. Don’t let jeopardize the health of your chimney’s masonry, your fireplace and your home’s structure! Have ChimneySaver applied to your chimney to keep it safe from the dangers of water penetration. Call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your waterproofing today!

When is the best time for chimney repairs?

Have you been told that your chimney is in need of repair? Have you noticed that your chimney is looking worse for the wear? You might be wondering when is the best time to have your chimney repaired? That time is now!

There are several reasons spring is ideal for scheduling chimney repairs, including:

Warmer, dryer weather. The No. 1 reason spring is the best time for chimney repairs is warmer, dryer weather. Many chimney repairs, particularly masonry repairs, cannot ideally be performed in cold or wet weather. As cold winter weather yields to sunny spring days, you can finally have your chimney damage taken care of.

The frequency of winter chimney damage. No season is harder on your chimney than winter. During the winter, your chimney deals with the excess heat of your fireplace. Winter brings a lot of wet weather and colder temperatures. All of those extreme conditions can lead to a host of chimney problems. If your chimney has suffered damage over the winter months, you will want to have your chimney repaired as soon as possible. That makes spring ideal for chimney repairs.

Easier scheduling. Chimney companies’ schedules fill up fast once cooler weather hits. When you schedule your chimney repairs in the spring, you have the best chance of having your chimney repairs scheduled and completed quickly. That means you won’t have to worry that you won’t have to miss out on enjoyment of your fireplace this fall because you’re still waiting for your chimney repairs.

To have necessary chimney repairs completed this spring, you should know what chimney repairs you need. That’s why it’s a good idea to perform a quick visual inspection of your fireplace and chimney each spring. Once the weather clears up, examine the exterior of your chimney.

Look for cracks, crumbling or gaps in the masonry, discoloration or rust on the sides of the chimney and any signs of leaning or misalignment in the chimney. If you are able to access chimney rooftop, or to view it from the ground or a window, check to make sure your chimney cap remains undamaged and in place, your chimney crown or chase cover is free from damage and your flashing remains snug against the base of your chimney and doesn’t have any cracks or signs of corrosion. Inside your home, you will want to check for cracks in the firebox, rust on the damper, fireplace doors or fire grate and signs of water damage on the walls and ceiling surrounding the chimney.

Because spring is the ideal time for chimney repairs, it’s also the ideal time for a chimney sweeping and inspection.

If you schedule your chimney inspection for the spring, hire a certified chimney sweep. They will be able to spot any repairs your chimney or fireplace will need to undergo before the next fire-burning season. A spring inspection ensures plenty of time to have your chimney repaired and ready for the fall.

If you need chimney repairs or would like to have your chimney inspected by a professional this spring, call 916-850-2446 today!

Why does my chimney need a chimney cap?

We all love our chimneys! They add a certain aesthetic beauty to our homes and help keep our families safe from the smoke and harmful gases that would otherwise leak into our homes without them. Since we value them for the protection that they provide to our families, why shouldn’t we protect them a little, too? This is where chimney caps come into play. They’re not required by laws or codes to be on our chimneys; however, it is strongly recommend that you consider having one installed.

chimney-cap-image-sacramento-ca-a-to-z-chimney

THE PURPOSE OF A CHIMNEY CAP

It’s quite simple actually. The basic job of a chimney cap is to cover the chimney’s opening in an effort to keep water, birds and other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris from getting into your chimney and/or house. Water is directed away from the center and off the sides of your chimney. Birds, other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris are blocked from getting to your chimney via the mesh screening on the side, thereby preventing it from becoming a giant trash can. If any of these things were to get into your chimney, they could damage the chimney and cause more problems for you down the road. On the other hand, keeping them all out can increase the lifetime of your chimney liner.

VARIOUS MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE

Chimney caps are made from a variety of materials—galvanized steel, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum—and can be simple or ornate. Stainless steel caps generally give homeowners the most bang for their buck, as they are not impacted by the elements as much as are the other materials. Galvanized steel and aluminum caps can and will eventually rust and need to be replaced, while shiny, more expensive copper caps will slowly weather and eventually end up the same color as the Statue of Liberty (some homeowners may actually prefer copper’s natural patina and will be willing to fork over the extra money for it; it’s purely a personal preference).

CONSIDER HAVING A CHIMNEY CAP INSTALLED

For those who are worried about the cost associated with a chimney cap, basic caps are available at a pretty fair price. Deciding to purchase a chimney cap and have it installed by a professional chimney technician is a choice you won’t soon regret, as it’s much cheaper to add a chimney cap now than to be faced with repairing or replacing your chimney liner much sooner than would otherwise be necessary.

It’s also a lot cheaper to have a cap installed than to hire a pest removal specialist to remove a family of raccoons from your chimney. Unless you just really want to get a visit from Ernie “The Turtle man” Brown or the Verminators, do yourself a favor and have a chimney cap installed. With A to Z Chimney Services, you can be confident that you’re receiving the best in chimney care from experienced and educated technicians. All of our sweeps are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and work to continuously improve their skills and add to their knowledge. We guarantee honest, high quality, clean work every single time we’re in the field.

Luck of the Chimney Sweep

Many people have heard the saying “the luck of the Irish.” However, not as many people are aware of another lucky bunch: the chimney sweeps of the world. If you’ve seen the movie Mary Poppins at any point in your life, you may at least remember the chorus of the song “Chim Chim Cher-Ee”:

chimney-sweep-luck-sacramento-ca-a-to-z-chimneys

Chim, chimney,
Chim, chimney,
Chim, chim, cher-ee.
A sweep is as lucky,
As lucky can be.
Chim, chimney,
Chim, Chimney,
Chim, chim, cher-oo.
Good luck will rub off when
I shakes hands with you.
Or blow me a kiss
And that’s lucky, too.

Many of you may find that you’re able to sing right along with that song, even if you might not have paid much attention to the words you were singing before now.

THE LEGEND IS BORN…TWICE

During the 1700s, King George was riding in a procession when a wild animal emerged from the crowd and began barking and snarling. This dog startled the horse upon which the King was riding so severely that it began to buck wildly, causing the King to lose control of the halter. As the horse continued bucking and jumping, a chimney sweep came forward from the crowd of onlookers and caught the halter, eventually calming the wild horse and saving the King from serious injury and/or death. The King was said to have declared that, from that point forward, chimney sweeps were lucky; the custom of regarding sweeps as sources of luck rapidly spread throughout Europe thenceforth.

LEGENDS SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE

As mentioned previously, the legend of the chimney sweep quickly spread across Europe and slowly made its way across the proverbial pond when many Europeans immigrated here thereafter. In Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the surrounding regions, the chimney sweep is considered a particularly favorable omen of good luck if you meet with him on New Year’s Day. As the years went on and chimney sweeps became quite rare in the area, meeting one at any time of the year began to be considered lucky.

BRIDES LOVE US

Legend has it that in 1066, King William was rescued by a chimney sweep who pushed him out of the way of a runaway carriage. The King was so overwhelmed by this act that he invited the sweep to his daughter’s wedding to express his gratitude and declared sweeps to be lucky, thereby permitting them to wear top hats, which, to that point, were typically reserved only for the distinguished class. From that point forward, the presence of a chimney sweep at a wedding has been a sign of good luck. Brides are thought to have an especially lucky marriage if kissed on the cheek by a chimney sweep on the day of their wedding. Inviting chimney sweeps to wedding is still popular in Great Britain and Germany today; some sweeps even encourage these invitations by renting themselves out as wedding guests!

Whether you choose to believe these legends or not, the fact of the matter is that visits from chimney sweeps are lucky and will instill good fortune into your home for the coming year. How can we make this claim? The answer is simple: we provide for the safety of everyone who enters your home by ensuring that your chimney system is operating at peak levels when you need it most. To schedule your visit from the good luck fairy, give the professionals at A to Z Chimney Services a call today. Let our good luck rub off on you, too!