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

Chimney Fire Top to Bottom

Friday, November 30th, 2012

If you have experienced a Chimney Fire, the Pixley family at 2nd Generation Chimneys is here to help you with the repairs and restoration. We are experienced in walking our clients through the insurance process and ensuring piece of mind with quality restoration from our expert technicians. Maintenance and inspection is the ideal way to prevent chimney fires, so remember to call us to schedule an appointment!

Here are a couple photos from a home that experienced a chimney fire. This is what it looks like inside from top to bottom:

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What Type of Liner is Right for my Particular Heating System?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

If you have a chimney in your home in Minneapolis, you’ve probably heard about linings for it. If you’re like most people, you may have questions about the different types of liners and which one is right for your home. At 2nd Generation Chimneys, we’ve installed countless liners for our customers in the Minneapolis area. We thought it would be helpful if we put together a checklist so that you can get an idea of what type of liner is good for your home.

You should always consult with a professional heating contractor to take on a chimney lining job. This type of project should never be done on your own. The efficiency of your chimney and the safety of your home are at stake with this kind of work. Contact us today!

What Type of Fireplace Do You Have?

The first question that your heating contractor will ask you is what type of fireplace you have. Whether you have a wood, gas or oil fireplace will dictate the number of options that are available to you.

Types of Chimney Liners

There are a few types of common chimney lining materials.

  • Clay – Clay is a great liner for chimneys and has a lifespan of about 80 years. They are cheap and work well with wood-burning fireplaces. However, they run into trouble with gas fireplaces because they can’t contain the combustion gasses.
  • Metal – There are two types of metal liners: stainless steel and aluminum. These types of liners are typically installed when upgrading and repairing chimneys. Stainless steel liners are more robust and can be used with just about any type of fireplace. Aluminum liners can only be used with certain types of gas fireplaces.
  • Concrete – With this type of liner, heat resistant concrete is poured down the chimney into a mold. This is another robust and durable chimney liner that can be used with most types of fireplaces. However, this liner is permanent and can’t be removed without tearing down the entire chimney.

Benefits of Chimney Liners

Chimney liners feature several important benefits. First, they improve the efficiency of your fireplace. By allowing smoke and fumes to exhaust more quickly, you can increase the efficiency of your system. Second, they improve the safety of your home by not allowing dangerous gasses to come back into your home.

If you have any questions about which chimney liner is right for your home in Minneapolis, contact the experts at 2nd Generation Chimney. We have years of experience offering chimney lining services in the Minneapolis area. We can help you pick out the right one and install it for you correctly.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

From all of us here at 2nd Generation Chimneys, we want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you are spending time with the people you care for most and taking this day to remember all the things that you are grateful for in your life.

We also want to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of our customers for your loyalty and the opportunity you have given us to provide you with service. As you know, we couldn’t do what we do without YOU!

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Minnetonka Chimney and Fireplace FAQ: Why is Chimney Sweeping Necessary?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Hiring a Minnetonka chimney technician to clean and inspect your chimney and fireplace before the heating season is an important part of preventive maintenance. At 2nd Generation, we provide comprehensive inspections and chimney cleaning.

Call us today if you haven’t scheduled your annual chimney sweeping service. Here are a few important reasons to do this.

Wood-Burning Appliances and Pellet Stoves

Wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves create creosote buildup over time. While there is some normal level of buildup that is to be expected, removing excess creosote can help prevent chimney fires and other hazards from occurring. it is essential to schedule an annual cleaning and inspection to ensure the safe operation of your fireplace. Even though pellet fuel is a clean-burning fuel, pellet stoves also need to be cleaned inspected for other issues.

Gas Logs and Fireplace Inserts

Even if you don’t heat your home with wood, inspections for gas inserts is just as important as inspecting a traditional fireplace. The technician will need to check the gas connections, piping, and firebox for any damages or gas leaks. Gas logs and inserts can also have corrosion issues if there’s excess moisture in the chimney. We will make sure that your chimney cap is doing its job of keeping out the rain and snow and creating issues. A technician will also inspect the electrical work and controls, including the thermostat, to ensure that everything is working properly.

Certain animals also like to nest in chimneys, particularly birds and raccoons. If any animals have nested in your chimney over the summer, we can make sure that there are no potential dangers associated with animal infestation once you start using your gas logs again. We’ll also check for proper airflow and other debris lodged in the chimney.

Call the Minnetonka chimney professionals at 2nd Generation if you need to schedule your annual inspection. If begin to notice any problems, such as odd smells, excessive smoke, backdrafts, or other issues, call a certified technician as soon as you can. There could be a hidden problem that needs to be resolved sooner than later.

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Documentation Is Key!

Friday, November 16th, 2012

The chimney repair experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys know that the only way to be certain that your chimney is clear of debris or damage is if you can see it with your own eyes. This is why we use the Chim-Scan to photograph our chimney inspection work. This device also allows us to scope your chimney for visual assistance that cannot be attained with the use of a flashlight or natural sunlight. Check out the images below and to “see” the difference:

 

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What is Tuckpointing and Why Do I need it for my Brick Chimney?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

If you’ve never owned a brick chimney or if you’ve never paid any attention to the one that you have, you may not know what tuckpointing is. But if your chimney has started to crack, lean or deteriorate, you may have started to hear about tuckpointing. We thought it would be helpful for our customers in St. Paul to learn more about this process and why it is necessary for chimney repairs. Below we’ve put together a brief description of what tuckpointing is and why you need it for your chimney repairs.

What is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing is the process of repairing the mortar joints between bricks. While the actual bricks in your chimney can last up to 100 years, the mortar joints between them can last around 25 years or more. The tuckpointing process involves routing out the old mortar and then replacing it with new, fresh mortar. Here is how the process works for a typical red brick chimney:

  • The old mortar is ground or routed out at a uniform depth.
  • After that, red mortar is filled in to the newly routed grooves.
  • Thin strips are cut out down the middle of the red mortar to form thin grooves.
  • A contrasting color of mortar, normally white, is then filled into the grooves.

In this way, the original clean shape of the bricks and the mortar are recreated.

Why You Need Tuckpointing On Your Chimney

As the mortar joints in your chimney deteriorate they can start to cause some serious problems.

  • Water proofing – As the mortar joints in your chimney deteriorate they can start to let water into your home. You might not even detect this water which could cause mold, mildew and wood rot.
  • Structural stability – Obviously, if the mortar joints start to deteriorate, your chimney won’t be as sturdy.
  • Avoid rebuilding – If you let the mortar joints in your chimney deteriorate too much, you may have to end up tearing it down and rebuilding it.

Chimney Maintenance

Your chimney should be inspected and maintained every 2 to 3 years. With proper maintenance and repair, including tuckpointing, your chimney should potentially have a long life.

If you have any questions about tuckpointing or chimney repair, call the experts at 2nd Generation Chimney. If you think that your chimney needs tuckpointing, call us and we’ll send one of our technicians out to your home to take a look. about this process and why it is necessary for chimney repairs. Below we’ve put together a brief description of what tuckpointing is and why you need it for your chimney repairs.

What is Tuckpointing?

Tuckpointing is the process of repairing the mortar joints between bricks. While the actual bricks in your chimney can last up to 100 years, the mortar joints between them can last around 25 years or more. The tuckpointing process involves routing out the old mortar and then replacing it with new, fresh mortar. Here is how the process works for a typical red brick chimney:

  • The old mortar is ground or routed out at a uniform depth.
  • After that, red mortar is filled in to the newly routed grooves.
  • Thin strips are cut out down the middle of the red mortar to form thin grooves.
  • A contrasting color of mortar, normally white, is then filled into the grooves.

In this way, the original clean shape of the bricks and the mortar are recreated.

Why You Need Tuckpointing On Your Chimney

As the mortar joints in your chimney deteriorate they can start to cause some serious problems.

  • Water proofing – As the mortar joints in your chimney deteriorate they can start to let water into your home. You might not even detect this water which could cause mold, mildew and wood rot.
  • Structural stability – Obviously, if the mortar joints start to deteriorate, your chimney won’t be as sturdy.
  • Avoid rebuilding – If you let the mortar joints in your chimney deteriorate too much, you may have to end up tearing it down and rebuilding it.

Chimney Maintenance

Your chimney should be inspected and maintained every 2 to 3 years. With proper maintenance and repair, including tuckpointing, your chimney should potentially have a long life.

If you have any questions about tuckpointing or chimney repair, call the experts at 2nd Generation Chimney. If you think that your chimney needs tuckpointing, call us and we’ll send one of our technicians out to your home to take a look.

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Chimney Relining Experts At Work!

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Our crew at 2nd Generation Chimneys is trained to detect and protect your family from fire hazards in your chimney, such as replacing your chimney lining. Non-combustible material is used in the liners we install to protect your home from combustible gas and smoke that can damage or start fires in your chimney. Give us a call today to find out how we can restore your chimney to safe working order with a new liner or other repair. We are here to serve you in St. Paul and the entire Twin Cities area!

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Why Choose Wood Pellets in Minnetonka?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

There are a lot of home heating options out there, and it can be difficult to decide which is best for you. Many people go into the decision considering either natural gas or electrical heating options, but wood pellet-fuel heating options deserve your consideration as well. Wood pellet stoves and boilers may not be for everyone, but what is? Before you make any decisions about how you want to heat your home make sure that you have the information you need to make an informed choice. Here is some information that may help you decide if heating your Minnetonka home with wood pellets is the right choice for you. For more information call the wood pellet pros at 2nd Generation Chimneys.

Wood pellet stoves do a great job heating an entire home, especially considering their relatively small size. The pellets themselves come in fairly small, manageable bags as well, making pellet stoves a good option for homes without a lot of space to spare. They are convenient to use as well, as you do not have to continually feed them the way you would with a wood burning stove. A hopper holds a supply of wood pellets, and as they burn down the hopper feeds more into the stove.

Many people purchase and operate wood burning stoves in their homes because they appreciate the sustainability of the fuel source. Wood pellets are made of recycled material that is compressed into the pellet form. This high level of compression has some added benefits as well. The moisture content is much lower than in split wood, and this dryness allows for more heat to be generated. This in turn means that wood pellets actually burn more completely and cleanly than wooden logs, creating fewer pollutants. Pellet stoves also create less smoke than burning wood, which reduces less ash than firewood and creates less creosote to accumulate in your chimney. Creosote buildup can lead to chimney fires.

As with any other home heating option, wood pellets do have their drawbacks. The stoves are expensive to purchase, and they run on electricity which can be an issue in the event of a power outage. Be sure to check the availability of wood pellets in your area as well. A pellet burning stove isn’t worth too much if you don’t have access to the fuel source.

If you are considering the purchase and installation of a pellet burning stove, call the home heating experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys today. We’ll help you decide if it is the right choice for Minnetonka home. Let us help you keep your home comfortable this winter.

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