2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Archive for February, 2013

Spring Chimney Maintenance Projects in Plymouth MN

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Chances are that by the end of the winter in Plymouth, MN you will not be too sad to see the cold and the snow get left behind. It is a little sad, though, to realize that your fireplace will be largely out of commission for the next few months. There are not many things in life more comforting and relaxing than a nice, warm fire crackling in the fireplace.

Now is the time to make sure that your fireplace and chimney will be well rested and ready for the coming heating season, though, even if it is a ways off. Contact the Plymouth MN chimney maintenance experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys today for more information. Here are some off-season maintenance tasks to keep your fireplace and chimney in great, safe working condition.

Spring is the perfect time to schedule an additional chimney sweep before putting your fireplace to rest for the season. A cool fire builds up soot and creosote. If you have gone through a lot of wood this winter with slow burning, mild fires, you may benefit greatly from a chimney cleaning in the off-season.

Chances are that no one was up on your roof in the middle of the winter. Now is a great time to have your chimney cap and masonry inspected. There are a lot of things up there that could go wrong in a harsh winter storm. You may as well have the various parts and components of your exposed chimney inspected while the weather is more comfortable.

As the weather warms up a lot of different animals begin to become more active. Don’t let your chimney be converted into a critter condo. When animals set up shop in a chimney they tend to bring in raw materials like leaves, sticks and other things that could potentially lead to a chimney fire or blockage when you put your fireplace back in action.

Remember, before you flip on the air conditioner for the first time make sure that your fireplace is ready to be taken out of commission for the cooling season. There is plenty of maintenance to be done yet. Call 2nd Generation Chimneys today to learn more.

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Chimney Repair – Done the Old Fashioned Way

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Even with as much technology as we have access to these days, sometimes we still have to get down and dirty and “dive in” to a job. In this case, our technician is climbing into the chimney to finish tiling for a chimney repair job. We stop at nothing to ensure our work is done right! From inspection, to cleaning, to repair and installation, 2nd Generation Chimneys is know for our expertise and craftsmanship in all that we do. Give us a call today!

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Minneapolis Fireplace Tip: Heating and Fireplace Efficiency

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Having an efficient fireplace in your Minneapolis, MS area home will ensure that you minimize energy waste in your home during the winter. Having a reliable and efficient heating system means that you get even greater comfort throughout the coldest winter months. Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. any time to learn about our fireplace installation, maintenance and fireplace repair services. We also offer annual chimney sweeping and chimney inspections, so call today if you haven’t had your chimney cleaned this year.

Here are a few ways you can help maintain the efficiency of your fireplace when heating your home.

Use Chimney Dampers

When your fireplace or gas logs are not in use, be sure to close the damper in your chimney so that you aren’t losing heat. If you have a gas furnace that is being vented through the chimney, the damper should remain open as long as your furnace is being used. Be sure that you know how to operate the damper to make sure that it is securely closed or open all the way when using a fireplace or gas heating system.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance for your fireplace will entail many tasks. First, you can visually check your fireplace and firebox for any damages. Cracks in the masonry or damaged fire boxes can increase the chances of air leaks through these cracks. Calling a Minneapolis chimney technician for an annual chimney cleaning and inspection is the other huge part of preventing repair needs and maintaining efficiency.

Burn Seasoned Wood Only

For wood-burning fireplaces, burn seasoned wood only. If you are burning green or treated wood, it can cause a number of problems. First, it can lead to excess creosote build-up inside the flue liner. This can damage the liner and hinder proper ventilation. In addition, it will cause smoky or smoldering fires that will not heat the home as well, and you’ll end up using more wood than normal.

If you would like to know more about heating your home efficiently with a fireplace, call the Minneapolis fireplace and chimney experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys for all your fireplace and heating efficiency needs.

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Rotary Chimney Cleaning by 2nd Generation Chimneys

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Chimney cleaning is naturally a dirty job, but with 2nd Generation Chimneys specialty equipment, we are able to minimize dust in your home and ensure a thoroughly cleaned chimney. In this video, you will see one of our technicians cleaning a factory built fireplace using a Top-Vac to control the dust. Give the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys a call today!

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Scaffolding Done Right for Chimney Repairs

Friday, February 8th, 2013

What separates us 2nd Generation Chimneys from the other guys? Experience! This video offers terrific perspective for what correctly installed chimney scaffolding should look like. Proper scaffolding ensures that we can clean, inspect or repair your chimney efficiently and safely.

Give 2nd Generation Chimneys a call today to set up an estimate for a chimney clean, repair, or inspection. Your safety and comfort is our top priority!

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Minneapolis ChimneyTips: Safety Reminders

Monday, February 4th, 2013

The most important heating safety reminder we can give you is to have an annual chimney inspection by one of our Minneapolis chimney technicians. This will reduce the chances of hazards by eliminating any hidden safety concerns. No matter what type of heating system you own, always hire a heating contractor you can trust, such as 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. to perform an annual tune-up or chimney inspection in Minneapolis.

If you have ductwork in your home, it’s a good idea to routinely vacuum out your vents and make sure the vents are not damaged. This will ensure that there’s proper airflow and remove any excess dust or other particles that could eventually damage your system. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home if you have a gas heating system or gas logs. If you have a boiler, check for leaks, corrosion, or other damages.

On gas boilers, furnaces and gas logs, make sure you know how to locate and light the pilot light. Check your owner’s manual or call a heating professional if you don’t. The pilot light should burn blue and steady. If it is yellow, orange, or the flame flickers, call one of our chimney experts to troubleshoot the issue. If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, make sure you know what type of wood to burn, and always burn seasoned wood that has been drying for at least six months.

Every home should have a working smoke detector. Test your smoke detector occasionally to make sure it is working. Change the batteries at least once a year, even if they are not dead. If you remove the detector to test it or change the batteries, make sure you know how to properly reinstall the device. This is an important safety device designed to protect you and your home.

Call the Minneapolis chimney specialists at 2nd Generation Chimneys if you have any questions about heating safety. Call today if you have not scheduled your annual chimney inspection and cleaning. Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys!

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Minneapolis Chimney Tips: Basic Components of your Chimney

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Whether you own a traditional wood-burning fireplace, gas logs, wood stove, or pellet stove, all chimneys have the same basic components, more or less. If you want to know how the chimney works in your Minneapolis area home so that you can properly operate your heating system, it’s important to know the basic components. At 2nd Generation Chimney’s, Inc., we’ve put together a basic rundown of the chimney components for all types of fireplaces and heaters.

The Fireplace

There are two basic types of fireplaces: masonry and fireplace inserts with metal boxes inserted into an existing masonry fireplace and chimney. While a masonry fireplace is built of bricks, it also has a fire box where you build the actual fire. Gas logs are usually factory-built and come with a matching chimney.

The Chimney

The chimney consists of a liner to prevent fire damage and heat stress, a damper to close it off when not in use, and chimney cap on top. A chimney cap is designed to prevent moisture from getting inside the liner, which can cause corrosion if there’s too much creosote build-up. The cap extends across the crown—the masonry top to your brick chimney—to prevent water damage to the crown.

Chimney Screens

We also install chimney screens or combination screen and cap to prevent animals from nesting inside the chimney, which is common and dangerous for you and the animals. An animal nest prevents proper ventilation by obstructing airflow. Chimney screens also serve as spark arrestors. If you have small children, it’s a good idea to get a fireplace screen for wood-burning fireplaces to prevent your children from putting their hands too close to the fire. Chimney screens on the top of the cap prevent sparks from causing brush fires, especially when conditions are dry.

If you have questions or need to schedule a chimney inspection, call 2nd Generation for all your Minneapolis chimney needs.


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