2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog

Stop Using Your Fireplace If These Things Happen

January 15th, 2018

chimney-needs-repairMost people assume that an older fireplace, one that has served a home well for years, doesn’t require much service. A fireplace is designed to be durable, after all, since it’s the one part of your home you frequently fill with fire!  However, that doesn’t mean your fireplace or chimney will be completely safe forever.

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Gas or Electric: Picking Out Your New Fireplace

January 8th, 2018

living-room-open-kitchen-fireplaceLooking for the perfect fireplace to fill your living room with warmth? If you’re not building a new home or working on huge renovations any time soon, you can probably rule out a real wood fireplace. If you don’t already have one, installing a wood fireplace can be quite costly as you’ll need to change the construction of your home to add a chimney of the right size to properly vent smoke, as well as dangerous gases like carbon monoxide.

Thankfully, there are other solutions that won’t require you to drop so much cash and change the structure of your home. A gas or electric fireplace could still offer the comfort you seek for a smaller price tag. So how do you choose for your home?

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How to Effectively Clean Your Fireplace

December 25th, 2017

fireplace-fire-burningAlthough you may expect your fireplace to get dirty with extended use, it’s not intended to be this way. The fireplace should be kept clean, even if soot seems to collect quickly at the bottom of the fireplace. And if this is the case, you should do whatever you can to ensure this is kept under control.

Part of this is regular fireplace sweeping. Part of this is prevention. But you should also be sure to call in professional technicians to clean your chimney and fireplace at least once per year, and help you make changes to reduce soot and debris buildup in the first place.

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What You Should Know about Gas Heating and Your Chimney

December 18th, 2017

gas-furnace-burnerMany people in Minnesota have homes with classic masonry chimneys and wood-burning fireplaces that add charm and elegance to a home. Of course, these older fireplaces produce a lot of creosote, which means they need to be cleaned frequently. This is something most homeowners in our area know.

What some people do not realize, though, is that some gas heating appliances—including fireplaces, stoves, boilers, and furnaces—use the masonry chimney too, and that the chimney still requires just as much maintenance in these cases.

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Don’t Use a Chimney in Need of Repair

December 11th, 2017

chimney-masonry-worn-brickIt’s the perfect time of year to light a fire and bask in the warmth and comfort a fireplace can provide. That is, of course, as long as your chimney is not a risk to your health and safety. However, many people don’t realize that problems within a chimney exist. Or, they may think that they can still use their chimneys despite the problems that exist.

Even a seemingly “small” problem, or anything that seems to affect only the aesthetics of the chimney, may be a bigger safety risk than you think. If your chimney is in need of repair, you should NOT use your fireplace, sticking to traditional central heating until the issue is resolved. Here’s what else you should know.

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The Most Sought-After Fireplaces

November 27th, 2017

napoleon-gas-fireplace-1A flickering flame and a warm, cozy living room are just about all you need as temperatures get colder and colder. Of course, this can only be achieved with a safe, functional fireplace in the home. If you’re in the market for a new one, we’ve got some ideas for you to start with.

We highly recommend getting over to a fireplace showroom to find out what type of fireplace is the best fit for your needs in terms of convenience, cost, and style. To get you started, we detail some of the most sought-after fireplace types and styles popular in our area. If you’re in the market for a Napoleon fireplace, come check out our showroom!

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Maintaining Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

November 21st, 2017

fire-smoke-detectorAs chimney sweeps and technicians, safety is our number one goal and priority. We help to prevent carbon monoxide and smoke from filling a home with our chimney and fireplace maintenance services. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent every possible circumstance that could put a home in danger. A crack in your furnace heat exchanger, a broken flue vent, or any other dangerous situation could cause a fire or gas leak you cannot predict.

That’s why it’s so important to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. However, you cannot just install them and forget about them. Some amount of detector and alarm maintenance is required, and it’s pretty easy for you to do yourself.

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The Dirty Truth about Creosote

November 13th, 2017

chim-scan-insideCreosote is something we deal with every day as professional chimney sweeps and fireplace technicians. It’s likely in your fireplace and chimney right now. Just because it is common, though, that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Creosote makes a chimney dirty, but that doesn’t mean it’s just dirt. Learn all about this fuel-burning byproduct and why you want it out of your chimney ASAP in today’s guide.

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How Will You Know a Chimney Needs Repair?

October 30th, 2017

question-mark-blueYou often know when a furnace needs repair because it will not produce the right amount of heat. You know when it’s time to fix your car, as it may struggle to start up, or you could have trouble breaking. But when it comes to your home’s chimney, it can be a lot more difficult to tell. When it malfunctions, is it because it needs repair or because you’ve skipped a step while lighting the fire? And how will you know when the masonry is in dire need of some renovation?

We believe that safety is the most important thing for you and your family, which is why we’re here to help. Before you notice major problems with your chimney and fireplace, read our guide on signs to look out for, and why you should call in a chimney sweep regardless.

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Repair a Broken Fireplace Damper ASAP!

October 16th, 2017

fireplace-repair-chimneyFireplace safety is always our #1 concern at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Before we help you upgrade your fireplace, we always advise you of any safety issues we see first and foremost, as all of our chimney sweeps are trained to do. We can detect hard-to-spot concerns such as a buildup of creosote, issues with the masonry, or signs of a previous fire that put you at a greater risk.

That said, there is one safety concern that you can likely catch on your own. If the fireplace damper is sealed shut, smoke can quickly back up into your home. The fireplace damper is meant to be opened before you use your fireplace each time, and closed shortly afterwards. However, some people still feel that there is time to wait to call for a chimney technician’s services to if they notice a fireplace damper is broken.

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