2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog: Archive for July, 2012

New Home Chimney Cleaning and Inspection in Minneapolis

Monday, July 30th, 2012

It is essential to have a chimney inspection and chimney cleaning performed when you purchase a new home.  You can never know exactly how the chimney and fireplace were maintained by the previous owner, and as such ensuring it is properly ventilated with a correctly functioning liner and flu is essential to making certain you remain free from fire hazards associated with improper chimney maintenance.  2nd Generation Chimneys is a professional chimney company in Minneapolis that performs these vital chimney services such as chimney inspection and chimney cleaning.  Let us help you and your family stay safe in your new home before you use your new chimney for the first time.

Chimney Inspection and Chimney Cleaning in New Homes

New homes can come with all sorts of unseen problems which a home inspection will normally uncover.  This way you are aware of the potentials prior to purchasing the home. That is why it is important to make certain you schedule a new home chimney inspection and chimney cleaning with a chimney company such as 2nd Generation Chimneys prior to using your new chimney at all.  This way you will ensure you have a clean chimney that is free from creosote buildup which is a major cause of chimney fires, free of soot which restricts airflow, and free of debris which can come from outside.

During the chimney inspection any deposits will be swept, a visual inspection of the fireplace and chimney itself will be performed to identify any construction defects which have occurred, as well as an internal inspection of the chimney with video inspection to ensure correct chimney cleaning has occurred and to look for other issues.

Professional Chimney Company

It is important to hire a professional chimney company in Minneapolis such as 2nd Generation Chimneys that performs regular chimney inspections and chimney cleanings for new homes as well as chimney maintenance services.  Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys and receive quality Minneapolis chimney services for your new home!

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Your Insurance Claim is Safe With Us!

Friday, July 27th, 2012

The Pixley family name has been around for generations when it comes to your Chimney Repair, Chimney Cleaning, and Maintenance needs. David Pixley began his expertise with his fathers old business, Jack Pixley Sweeps. Now the proud owner of 2nd Generation Chimneys, David Pixley and his crew are here to help you with all your Chimney needs, including your Insurance Claims! Making an insurance claim can be time consuming and stressful and 2nd Generation Chimney’s is here to ensure a smooth process and a high quality repair so that your family stays safe. Give us a call today to get your Chimney inspected for fire safety. If you already are filing an insurance claim, be sure to give the Pixley family a call and we will guide you through the process!

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Summer Newsletter!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Check out our Summer 2012 Newsletter for informative articles, Promotions, Testimonials, a Did You Know fact, and a great summer recipe to share!

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Plymouth Chimney Sweeping FAQ’s

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

There are few things more relaxing than making use of your fireplace on a chilly night. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that because it is not a primary heat source your Plymouth chimney does not need to be inspected and cleaned, though. Any use of your fireplace requires basic maintenance to keep it safe. Here are some common questions that people have regarding chimney sweeping.

How Often Should I Clean My Chimney?

Fire safety experts generally agree that yearly maintenance is necessary for a safe chimney. Remember, even though it is not heavily used your chimney could have poor ventilation from animal nests or suffer from a damaged liner or flu. A yearly inspection and cleaning will keep your chimney safe and functional.

How Long Does A Sweeping Take, and Is There a Mess?

Generally a chimney sweeping should be done in about an hour, though if problems are discovered it can take longer. As for a mess, yes, chimney sweeping is messy business. Thankfully a professional service like ours always has the appropriate equipment to leave your fire area cleaner than when we got there.

Why is Video Inspection Necessary?

A video inspection is, simply put, the most thorough way to ensure that your chimney is in safe working order. If our professional chimney sweepers notice any warning signs or safety hazards, the best way to evaluate the level of concern is with video inspection. The accessible parts of a chimney are only part of a complete inspection.

Can I Install My Wood Stove Insert Directly Into My Fireplace?

Maybe. Some prefabricated wood stoves require a specific chimney that is installed with the insert. Some are adaptable to existing fireplaces, but it is important that a qualified contractor do the installation to ensure that the stove and chimney are compatible as well as to properly insulate and seal the components.

If I’ve Had a Chimney Fire Can I Still Use My Fireplace?

The only way to be sure that your fireplace is safe to use is by having it professionally inspected. If you have a tile or clay liner, for example, you may need to have a new liner installed as these materials are very susceptible to heat. If any insulation or other materials are exposed through a crack it is very possible that another chimney fire may occur.

We at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. hope that this information has cleared up a few questions you may have had. Remember, we’re here whenever you need us, so if you have a question that was not addressed or have any other concerns, call us now. We’re here to help with any issues your Plymouth chimney is experiencing.

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Thank You For Your Feedback

Friday, July 20th, 2012

We love what we do, and it is our goal to offer the highest quality service no matter how big or small the job! Please let us know how we are doing by taking our online survey.

A recent happy customer:

“Thank you for conducting the inspection of a house we are planning to buy. You were able to accommodate our tight schedule; the inspector was on time, thorough, and educated us; and we had the report within a few hours. Thank you for all of your help.”

– Maureen M.

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Chimney Reline in Minneapolis

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

When it comes to quality Chimney Relining, the Pixley family name has been around for generations and remains the name to trust for all your Chimney cleaning, repair, and inspection needs. David Pixley, owner of 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. will ensure the highest quality craftsmanship on your Chimney Relining job. Give us a call today and let the Pixley’s take care of your Chimney needs! See the difference in quality here:

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Minneapolis Chimney Sweep Q/A: Why Do I Need Chimney Cleaning if I Have a Pellet Stove?

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Using alternative fuel sources for heat is becoming more and more popular in Minneapolis. Sometimes, though, people get misconceptions in their head when switching over to a different fuel source. If you’ve ever used wood to heat your home with a fireplace before then you hopefully know about the importance of chimney cleaning. Don’t think that just because wood pellets are advertised as “clean burning” that you don’t still need to maintain a clean, safe chimney.

Wood pellets are a clean burning source of heat. They consequently create less creosote than burning wood logs in your fireplace or in a wood burning stove. However, the chimney and flue utilized by these stoves still require professional cleaning, not only to work efficiently but to work safely. Don’t take any chances when heating your Minneapolis home with pellet stoves.

Wood stoves rely on the principle of chimney draft in order to operate. Pellet stoves, on the other hand, require a specially sealed exhaust pipe in or to work properly. This prevents exhaust from spilling out into your living space. A combustion blower within pellet stoves creates air pressure, in turn creating a need for double walled ventilation with a stainless steel interior. Thanks to this forced exhaust system, pellet stoves do not require a vertical rise in order to properly vent. They can be vented horizontally, straight through the wall of your living space.

If you do have a preexisting chimney you can choose to vent through that as well, but you will need a correctly sized stainless steel liner for your chimney in order to ensure proper drafting of the exhaust. This will prevent a drop in pressure cause by an oversized flue, allowing smoke to condense within the chimney and adversely affecting the performance of your stove.

However you choose to vent your pellet stove, whether through horizontal piping or straight up your fireplace’s chimney, it is important that you take all the right steps to ensure proper operation and safety. This includes using the right equipment and flue liners. It also includes professional Minneapolis chimney service. Remember, clean burning does not mean creosote free. Call 2nd Generation Chimney now with any questions you may have.

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Minneapolis Chimney Sweeping Tip: Reasons You May Need a Video Chimney Inspection

Monday, July 9th, 2012

There is nothing quite as comforting on a cold night as making use of your Minneapolis fireplace. For those of you who use your fire places regularly the importance of having them swept out is probably well known. Modern technology offers more in the way of just chimney sweeping, though. If you have heard about video chimney inspection or have had it recommended, we’re guessing that you have a few questions. The first question is whether or not video chimney inspection is really necessary. The second is how to decide when to have a video chimney inspection performed. 2nd Generation Chimneys has some information to help answer these questions, and we encourage you to call with any others you may have.

First of all, like any service, chimney inspection is only necessary when there is reason to believe that you will benefit from the service. Our team will never recommend a service unless we truly believe that it will help diagnose a problem that other methods have failed to. When you have your chimney swept out a basic inspection is performed. If one of our trained chimney sweeps finds evidence of a problem with your chimney but is unable to find the cause, a video inspection may be a viable option. Likewise, if one of our customers is concerned about a performance issue with their chimney and we cannot find a reason for it, we will want to examine your chimney more thoroughly.

There are certain situations where it is pretty obvious that a video chimney inspection may be required. If there is evidence of a potential crack or void during the initial sweeping or inspection, for instance, or following a chimney fire. If you plan on relining your chimney flue it  certainly makes sense to ensure the integrity of your chimney beforehand.

The best way to decide whether or not you need a video chimney inspection is through communication. Only work with a professional Minneapolis chimney sweeping company that you trust and whose advice you feel comfortable in taking. If there does not seem to be any cause for a video inspection that’s fine. If your chimney sweep does recommend one, though, you want to be sure that it is because one is actually necessary. Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. if you’re in the Twin Cities area. When you work with our trained, professional and certified team, you’re working with technicians you know you can trust.

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Chimney Fire Restoration Start to Finish

Friday, July 6th, 2012

If you have experienced a chimney fire, then let the Pixley family make the restoration process as easy as possible. David Pixley of 2nd Generation Chimneys is committed to excellence in every aspect of your experience. Unplanned restoration is never convenient, so at the very least you deserve to have peace of mind when it comes to the repair and restoration of your chimney as well as the financial burden. 2nd Generation is here to help! Let the Pixley’s walk you through the process of your insurance claim and get your chimney back in order as soon as possible. Call us today!

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Minneapolis Chimney Guide: Professional Chimney Cleaning Steps

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

There are few things as comforting on a cold night as a crackling fire in your living room. No matter how much or how little you use your fireplace it is important to have your chimney cleaned annually. When it comes to cleaning your chimney the only way to ensure that it is safe and structurally sound is to call a Minneapolis chimney cleaning professional. Anyone can sweep the soot out of a chimney, but a professional chimney sweep provides much more service than that. Here is some information about the professional chimney cleaning process.

A professional chimney sweep starts by cleaning and inspecting the fireplace, moving upwards to the flu and chimney. The chimney sweep also inspects the chimney flashing and crown. The chimney flashing is the seal between the joints of your building and the chimney and the crown sits on top of the chimney, protecting the masonry from water and weather damage.

Once the fireplace is cleaned the damper is removed. This is the part of chimney is seals the opening when the fireplace is not in use. Its removal allows for brush access to the smoke shelf and chamber. The smoke chamber functions to reduce backdraft when smoke enters the flue, and the smoke shelf catches falling debris and rain water. It is vital that these areas be clean and unobstructed.

Once the area is cleared it is time to begin the actual sweeping of the chimney. Most professionals will skip the handheld brush for one mounted on a heavy duty drill. This allows for a much more thorough scraping and cleaning of the built up creosote than simply feeding a brush through by hand. Once the brushing is done the crew will vacuum up the mess, being sure to clear the smoke shelf of all debris.

Once the cleaning has been completed, your professional chimney sweep may feed video equipment through the damper opening. This will allow them to inspect the condition and integrity of the chimney flue and mortar joints. Most serious issues with chimneys are discovered during routine chimney sweeping. Video inspection allows for detection of water damage, missing or degraded mortar joints, black stains indicating smoke leakage and a slew of other possible issues.

Once a year, every year, have a Minneapolis chimney professional clean your chimney. If you have any questions regarding this information, the pros at 2nd Generation Chimneys are willing, able and happy to provide answers.

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