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

Small Repairs now Save Money in the Long Run

Friday, June 28th, 2013

We know the weather doesn’t always cooperate year round in St. Paul, MN, even during the summer. But at 2nd Generation Chimneys, staying on track and doing the job right is our top priority. Our certified and experienced technicians provide outstanding customer service and work hard to meet our deadlines despite the summer showers. Whether your chimney requires a minor repair, masonry repairs, or a partial replacement, you can rely on us to get your chimney in top shape for this winter.

St. Paul’s extreme weather conditions make chimneys susceptible to structural wear and potential long term damage to the chimney’s lining from extensive use. Repairs such as chimney relining and sealing are more cost-effective than having to replace the entire chimney. Keep in mind that routine inspections and annual cleanings can help catch little cracks or other problems early to prevent extensive damage and costly repairs.

To request an estimate or to schedule service, call 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

Continue Reading

What Causes Chimney Cracks?

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

If you have a fireplace and chimney in your home it is something that you want to last as long as possible. With good installation, regular maintenance and repair, some chimneys can actually last for over 100 years. Nevertheless, chimneys are just like any other component of your home and they can develop problems. Chimney cracks are a very common issue for homeowners and one that we get a ton of calls for here at 2nd Generation Chimneys. We are the Minneapolis chimney relining and chimney repair experts! We wanted to shed some light on what can cause chimney cracks so that you can detect them early.

Common Causes of Chimney Cracks

Even though your chimney is very sturdy, it can still run into problems and develop cracks. In some cases, repairing the chimney isn’t enough and it requires Minneapolis chimney relining in order to get it back up and working properly. Here are some common causes of chimney cracks.

  • Bad installation – If the mason who built your chimney didn’t leave any expansion room between the flue and the chimney bricks, it could cause cracks as the flue expands from the heat of the fireplace. This could cause you to need Minneapolis chimney relining so that the expansion gap can be put in place.
  • Water leaks – If the flashing around the base of the chimney where it meets your roof isn’t properly installed, water can get in and start to degrade the masonry. Also, during the winter that water could freeze and cause it to expand which would case cracks.
  • Bad chimney footing – The base of your chimney, called the footing or foundation, needs to be level so that the chimney doesn’t slide over the years. Also, if your chimney isn’t properly secured or braced to your structure it could start to lean and crack.
  • Weathering – Depending on which side of your chimney gets the most exposure to the elements, you may notice that your chimney curves in one direction. This could cause your bricks and mortar to start to crack.

If you’re starting to have any issues with your chimney, the Minneapolis chimney relining professionals at 2nd Generation Chimneys can help. Give us a call today to learn more and to talk with one of our chimney experts.

Continue Reading

How Often Should I Schedule Chimney Sweeping?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Most homeowners probably don’t give much thought to the health of their chimney. However, dirty chimneys are the leading cause of chimney fires in the United States. Getting regular chimney sweeping is a great way to improve the efficiency of your chimney and to potentially protect your home from fires. The Minneapolis chimney sweeping experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys have been providing fast and good quality services for many years. We often get asked how often homeowners should schedule chimney sweeping services. Check out our answer below and give us a call if you have any questions or if you’re interested in scheduling a chimney sweeping visit.

When To Get Minneapolis Chimney Sweeping

Most homeowners understand the value of getting regular maintenance for their home’s components. We get our cars and trucks regular serviced so why wouldn’t regular cleaning and maintenance have benefits for our chimneys as well? But how often should you get Minneapolis chimney sweeping? The answer depends largely on what type of fuel you burn in your fireplace. Check out our quick guide below.

For most types of fuel, you can get your chimney swept once every year. However, there is a big caveat with this. If you use your fireplace a lot you should probably think about getting Minneapolis chimney sweeping twice per year. If you have a wood-burning chimney make sure that you only burn very dry wood in it. Burning young wood that is still wet can produce more creosote and soot in your chimney which would cause it to build up faster. If you have a coal-burning fireplace you should definitely get Minneapolis chimney sweeping twice per year. Coal is a very dirty fuel to burn and produces a lot of creosote that can build up in your chimney and cause a fire.

If you’re interested in setting up regular Minneapolis chimney sweeping visits for your home just call 2nd Generation Chimneys today. We will get to your home, quickly clean your chimney and then get out of your hair. Call us today to learn more and to talk with one of our friendly specialists.

Continue Reading

How Can I Tell if My Chimney Need a Repair?

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Homeowners with working fireplaces know how relaxing and comforting a roaring fire in the living room can be. While fireplaces are a great luxury, though, they can also present some unique hazards if not properly cared for. One of the most important things that you must do if you use a fireplace in your home is to ensure that your chimney is in great working condition. If you have any reason to suspect that you may be in need of professional Minneapolis chimney repair, 2nd Generation Chimneys is the company to call. Contact us today to schedule the outstanding chimney repair services you need to operate your fire safely and confidently.

In order to schedule any necessary chimney repair services promptly of course, you must be able to recognize some common signs that you are in need of chimney repair. One of the most obvious signs that you need to schedule professional chimney repair is the development of cracks in your chimney. Chimney crowns, for instance, are a common cause of chimney leaks. They are very exposed to the elements, designed to shed water away from the top of a chimney. As the weather fluctuates from freezing winters to hot summers, your crown may cracks and crumble.

You may also notice cracks in the mortar of your chimney. The mortar tends to go before bricks, which are much more durable. It is very likely that, at some point, your mortar will need to be touched up or replaced.

Finally, operational issues most likely point to a need for a professional chimney repair. If you are at all concerned about problems with venting smoke out of your fireplace, contact us immediately. The threat of carbon monoxide exposure should not be taken lightly. Schedule professional chimney repair the moment you notice any problems with its operation.

2nd Generation Chimneys is happy to answer any questions you may have about the chimney repair process. Give us a call today to learn more. Our Minneapolis chimney repair technicians want to ensure that you are able to use your fireplace safely and with total confidence in the quality of your chimney’s operation.

Continue Reading

Tips for Chimney Fire Prevention

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Fireplaces are a great addition to many homes and provide warmth and style to any indoor environment. But fireplaces and their chimneys need to be taken care of and respected. Chimney fires are no laughing matter and can be a serious threat to your home and to your safety. Preventing chimney fires should be something that every homeowner is interested in. The St. Paul chimney fire prevention professionals at 2nd Generation Chimneys have years of experience cleaning and maintaining all different types of chimneys. We thought it would be a good idea to put together some of the ways that you can potentially protect your home from chimney fires.

St. Paul Chimney Fire Prevention

During the winter you likely use your fireplace on a regular basis. That use can lead to the build-up of creosote and soot on the inside of your chimney lining. These two materials are the result of burning fuel in your fireplace. They are also the most common cause of chimney fires. These are a few of the St. Paul chimney fire prevention steps that you can take to make sure that your chimney keeps working efficiently and safely.

  • Get regular maintenance – Probably the best way to potentially prevent chimney fires is to get your chimney regularly inspected and cleaned by a professional. During regular maintenance and cleaning visits, our chimney sweeps will thoroughly clean and inspect your chimney for any cracks or issues that could be developing it your chimney’s lining.
  • Burn the right wood – Make sure that the wood you burn (if you have a wood-burning fireplace) is thoroughly dried. When green, wood can have a lot of resin, water and tannins that can create a lot of creosote when you burn them. Also, evergreens like pine and hemlock tend to have more resin and sap in them which produces more creosote. To help prevent creosote build-up you can burn  an aluminum can in your fireplace every once in a while which will help dry out the creosote.

If you’d like to learn more St. Paul chimney fire prevention tips just call 2nd Generation Chimneys today to talk with one of our friendly staff about any of the services that you need.

Continue Reading