A Step in Time Chimney Sweeps


Chimney liners are one of the most important parts of your fireplace system as a whole. The chimney liner of your fireplace helps send hot flue gases into the outside air. Because they are so important, chimney liners need to be sized correctly for your fireplace. Excessively large liners cause smoke to move too slowly up your chimney, which can cause a chimney fire. If your chimney liner is too small, however, it leads to gases entering your home, which can be dangerous as well.

Which type of chimney liner you have depends on the type of fireplace that you have. Brick fireplaces are usually equipped with liners made from terra-cotta flue tiles. These liners are efficient at shielding heat, but they tend to crack over time. If your chimney liner cracks, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible to restore its efficiency and prevent chimney fires.

When replacing or repairing your chimney liner, you should always make sure that you are meeting the UL1777 standards. Products like HeatShield, which coat your existing chimney liner, sound great, but they do not necessarily do anything to meet the UL1777 standards you should be aiming to reach.

While many companies offer chimney liner repair, it is next to impossible to actually restore a broken chimney liner to its original efficiency. Replacing your chimney liner is a much safer route that can guarantee you a longer lifespan for your chimney liner in the long run. The replacement process for individual terra-cotta flue tiles that has cracked can be difficult and technicians are only able to individually replace the top two tiles without deconstructing the entire chimney.

If the terra-cotta flue tiles of your chimney liner have cracked beyond the top two tiles, you should consider relining your entire chimney. Stainless steel liners are an excellent choice if you decide to reline your chimney. They are durable, high-quality, and they are easy to inspect after they have been installed to ensure that they are still functioning properly. Plus, many stainless steel chimney liners come with a lifetime warranty.

The smoke chamber of your chimney is the part of your chimney that is placed right above your fireplace damper. The purpose of a smoke chamber is to allow smoke to travel from the opening of your fireplace damper to the liner of your chimney. Building codes do set restrictions on how smoke chambers for chimneys are constructed. Smoke chambers should be parged smooth by hot mortar. A parged smoke chamber helps the smoke travel up the chimney faster and prevents the heat in the smoke chamber from posing a fire hazard elsewhere in the chimney.

If your smoke chamber gets damaged, you need to get it repaired and properly parked to restore it to its original efficiency. When getting your smoke chamber repaired, it is important to make sure that the repair meets the International Residential Code, especially in terms of smooth parging.

A chimney swift is a special type of bird that get their name from their nesting habits: chimney swifts nest primarily in large open chimneys. They are long and slender birds with curved wings and brown plumage.

Chimney swifts fly in flocks. They eat in the air, feeding on flying insects. You can recognize a flock of chimney swifts flying through the air by their close formation, sharp turns in the air, and distinctive high-pitched chirping sound.

Throughout the chimney swift breeding season, which lasts from May through July, they settle down within the large open chimneys of residential homes throughout eastern North America. When they are not nesting, chimney swifts are long distance migrant birds that travel through Peru and South America. Chimney swifts construct their nests from twigs which they glue together with their saliva. These birds have an incubation period of approximately twenty days; after they hatch, chimney swift fledglings leave their nest within one month.

Interestingly, the population of chimney swifts has increased since large chimneys were introduced as a common feature of residential homes. However, large open chimney are becoming less popular and the chimney swift population is dwindling. The species is on the Threatened list; residents who move chimney swift nests from their chimney face a ten thousand dollar fine.

If a family of chimney swifts make their home in your chimney, let them raise their babies there and wait until they fly away. Then, call us at Reliable & Quality Chimney Sweep Services. We will come sweep away the swifts’ nesting material that can cause fires and install a chimney cap to prevent future swift families from making your chimney their home.

Dryer vents definitely need to be cleaned, despite popular opinion. The lining of your dryer vent eventually gets coated in lint or animal nesting material and requires cleaning. An easy way to tell if it is time to get your dryer vent cleaned is if you notice that your clothes are taking a longer amount of time to dry than they normally do.

When you do notice that your dryer is not working like it should be, schedule an appointment to get your dryer inspected. Or, you can check to see if your dryer vent is clogged by disconnecting the line behind your dryer for one cycle. If your clothes dry more quickly during this cycle, you will know that your dryer vent is clogged. Call us at Reliable & Quality Chimney Sweep Service to take advantage of our dryer vent cleaning and inspecting services.

Having a chimney cap installed in your chimney comes with a wide variety of benefits. The main benefit of chimney caps is that they prevents unwanted things from coming down your chimney. Chimney caps keep rainwater, animals, and wind out of your chimney. Water in your chimney can create dangerous mold and animals can die in your chimney and generate an unpleasant odor. Chimney caps also prevent lit embers from going up your chimney and landing on your roof, which can set your roof on fire.

There are two types of chimney caps you can have installed; which type of cap you choose depends upon the type of chimney that you have. If you have a fake chimney, your chimney cap is likely installed with it automatically. Chimney caps for fake chimneys are durable and have a long lifespan. However, the chimney chase cover can rust after a while. You can order a chimney cap specifically to fit the make and model of your fake chimney.

If you have a masonry chimney that is constructed from brick, your chimney probably has either one flue or multiple flues. If your chimney has one flue, your chimney cap will be very easy to install. However, multi-flue chimneys are more difficult to fit for chimney caps. In this case, you can either install an individual chimney cap on each of your chimney’s flues or you can have a single chimney cap installed over the full top of your chimney. It is extremely vital to measure the dimensions of your chimney flue and flue tiles before your purchase a chimney cap in order to ensure that the chimney cap is not too short or too loose for your chimney.

If your chimney is one of the very few chimneys without crowns, there’s no need to panic. You just need to take precise measurements to ensure that the chimney cap your order will fit on the exterior brick of your chimney.

Chimney caps come in three different types of material: galvanized, stainless steel, and copper. Galvanized chimney caps should always be avoided; they rust very quickly and easily and do not have a long lifespan. Stainless steel chimney caps are much more long-lasting, don’t rust, and generally have a lifetime warranty.

When wood stove inserts became popular in the 1980s, chimney fires became abundantly common. They happened most frequently in homes that had a wood stove insert in their chimneys. The reason that wood stove inserts cause chimney fires is that they allow creosote to accumulate within the chimney and block the flue passage. The opening of the wood stove made the opening to the chimney much smaller and prevented gases like creosote from getting expelled from the chimney. The wood stove can be connected to the chimney liner with a connector. These new wood stoves have a large enough opening that creosote does not accumulate excessively and fire risks are significantly decreased.

Wood stove inserts have become much safer since codes from the National Fire Protection Association were updated in the late 1990s. These new codes required that wood stove inserts have two openings: one in the front and one at the top. The only problem with these new wood stove inserts are that they can be very difficult to clean. At Reliable & Quality Chimney Sweep Services, we recommend the installation of a full reline chimney liner to fix this problem.

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You might think it’s the end of the world when your chimney starts leaking. While a leaking chimney can be difficult to fix, it’s not impossible.

There are several different reasons why your masonry chimney might start leaking:

  • You might be missing a chimney cap, which lets water flow and accumulate into your chimney.
  • Your chimney crown could be cracked, which can allow water to get into your chimney. If your roof leaks, it can cause your chimney to leak as well. If you have a chimney that is wider than thirty inches and do not have a chimney cricket installed, that could be the culprit of your leaking chimney.
  • Other possible reasons for a leaking chimney are saturated bricks that have sucked in water or damaged chimney flashing that no longer efficiently seals off your chimney.

If you have a fake chimney, there are three primary reasons why your chimney could be leaking. These reasons include a missing chimney cap, a damaged chimney chase cover, or a damaged sealant that allows water to saturate your chimney liner.

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