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

What Is the Process for Restoring My Chimney?

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Does your fireplace no longer work as it once did? Do you find that your heated air does not effectively radiate into your living space, but escapes through the cracks in the chimney? Has your chimney been damaged by fire? There are various ways in which your chimney can be damaged over the years, whether by wear and tear or by fire and water damage. As an integral part of your fireplace, and therefore directly linked to the comfort of your home during the heating season, your chimney needs to be serviced by a professional. While routine fireplace maintenance tasks like chimney sweeping can be helpful, some problems are so severe as to warrant complete chimney restoration. The scale of this job depends on what the problems are, but we can find a unique solution for your home.

Call 2nd Generation Chimneys today for all of your masonry service needs in St. Paul.

Here are some aspects to consider when dealing with chimney restoration in St. Paul.

  • Crown. The crown or mortar cap as it also known is the top of the chimney that prevents water from seeping into the chimney over time and down into the firebox. It is critical to ensure that your crown is in good condition at all times. Whether yours has been damaged by fire or water, it can be detrimental to the integrity of your entire chimney, thus putting your home and your comfort at risk.
  • Mortar damage. The mortar is the material that holds your chimney together. Without it, your dry bricks would simply collapse and the chimney would not be properly sealed. While it tends to last a long time when professionally pointed, it will not last forever. Moisture, as well as fire, can both damage the condition of your mortar joints. When this occurs, your entire chimney is at risk. We can provide comprehensive inspection and repointing as well as sealing to prevent the wear and tear of water over time.

Let 2nd Generation Chimneys take care of your masonry services so that your fireplace and chimney are restored to full functionality and energy efficiency.

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Why You Should Fix Crumbling or Cracked Masonry

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

The chimney and surrounding masonry of your fireplace is vital to the effectiveness and efficiency of your heating system. Over time, your masonry will be subject to the effects of temperature fluctuation, rain, snow and wind, as well as any accidental damage caused by debris. You should always keep your masonry in top condition, whether it’s your fireplace or another part of your home. There are several different techniques that our professional masonry service technicians in Wayzata, MN use to ensure that can restore your home in no time. In today’s post, we’d like to look at some reasons why fixing crumbling or cracked masonry immediately is so critical to the future comfort of your home. Call 2nd Generation Chimneys today.

  • Air leaks. Your fireplace is only as good as the masonry that encases it. This is not only an efficiency issue but also a safety one. Incomplete combustion can lead to the production of carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that is highly toxic. Any crumbling or cracked masonry may lead to leaking exhaust in your home.
  • Water leaks. Perhaps even more dangerous to your fireplace and chimney is a water leak. When water is allowed to penetrate into your brickwork, it may actually expand when frozen, thus leading to further damage.
  • Heat. Crumbling or cracked masonry can also lead to problems with the effectiveness of your heating. If you rely on your fireplace for more than just its looks, then repairing such issues can help you keep your fireplace in good working condition. Such issues tend only to worsen over time. If you are in need of chimney repairs for your Wazata home, then call 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

Our masons use only time-honored and long-lasting repair techniques. The action of using mortar to fill and repair cracks in the mortar is known as repointing. The “pointing” is the external surface of the mortar joints that hold the bricks or stones of your fireplace together. Hence, repointing is the process by which your pointing is restored. It involves assessing what parts of your mortar joints are damaged and removing them. Then, our masons can match new mortar to the color of your existing chimney or fireplace.

Call 2nd Generation Chimneys today for excellent masonry services throughout the Wayzata, MN area.

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Which Type of Fireplace Is Safest for My Chimney: Gas, Electric or Wood-Burning?

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

If you’re replacing your fireplace and are concerned about creosote and soot build-up or about cracks forming in your chimney, then you’re likely weighing your options about which type of fuel you should burn. Here at 2nd Generation Chimneys, we have years of experience working with all different types of chimneys and we wanted to help our customers figure out which type of fireplace is right for them: gas, electric or wood-burning.

Give us a call if you have any questions or if you need any Minneapolis chimney cleaning services.

Types of Fireplaces

There are several different types of fireplaces that you can choose from, but which one will be safest for your chimney? Here’s a quick explanation of the pros and cons of each different type of fireplace in regards to chimney health and safety.

  • Electric – With electric fireplaces, there isn’t any need for a chimney because there are no byproducts of the fireplace. So if you’re concerned about the health of your chimney, then an electric fireplace is a good option because your chimney won’t actually get any use. However, electric fireplaces tend to use a lot of electricity to generate heat, which can be very expensive.
  • Gas – While gas fireplaces are very popular because of their efficiency, their exhaust gases can produce acid. They may not create creosote or soot deposits like wood-burning fireplaces, but the acid produced can eat away at the inside of your chimney. Also, water vapor is another by-product of burning gas, which can condense on the inside of your chimney and cause problems.
  • Wood-burning – If you’re interested in a more rugged experience with your fireplace, then wood-burning might be a good choice. Just be aware that soot and creosote are created as a by-product of burning wood. These substances can build up on the inside of your chimney and are one of the most common causes of chimney fires. Make sure that you always burn well-seasoned and dry wood because green wood can cause even more creosote and soot to build up. And if by chance you’ve already had a chimney fire, you may want to consider calling 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for our chimney restoration services. We can make sure your chimney is safe for use again.

No matter what kind of fireplace you have, getting regular Minneapolis chimney cleaning is a great way to help keep your chimney working well and your fireplace burning safely.

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What Types of Fuel Should I Burn to Minimize Soot and Creosote?

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Wood-burning fireplaces are rustic, attractive and they provide your home with plenty of warmth. There is a huge variety of fuel that you can burn in your fireplace, but which one produces the least amount of soot and creosote in your chimney? Both creosote and soot are responsible for a large number of chimney fires in the United States, which is why getting regular St. Paul chimney cleaning is so important. Read on below to learn about which types of wood you should burn in your fireplace to avoid creosote and soot build-up in your fireplace.

Whether you need chimney cleaning, repairs, inspections or installations – 2nd Generation Chimneys is here to help!

What are Soot and Creosote?

When you burn wood in your fireplace, it produces a number of byproducts including ash, smoke, soot and creosote. Soot is a black powder that is largely comprised of unburned materials. When it is first produced, soot can be easily vacuumed up or brushed off. But over time, as layers of soot collect on the inside of your chimney, they can form layers that will restrict the flow of air out of your chimney.

Creosote is more tar-like than soot, which is produced by the condensation of many different fire byproducts like wood particles and hydrocarbons. These substances cool as they exit up your chimney and collect as a sticky substance on your chimney walls. In order to remove creosote, you should call 2nd Generation Chimney for your St. Paul chimney cleaning needs. This creosote is incredibly flammable and can create a very hot fire that ignites within your chimney.

What Fuels Should I Burn?

As we mentioned above, there are a lot of different fuels that you can burn in your wood-burning fireplace. Here’s a quick list of some of the things that you can burn to make sure that you limit the amount of soot and creosote that gathers in your chimney.

  • Avoid wet, young wood – When you try to burn wet wood that hasn’t had a chance to dry out, it will likely smolder and produce more smoke than heat. This can cause more creosote to build up in your chimney.
  • Dry wood – There are a couple reasons to make sure that you burn seasoned and dry wood. First, the fire will burn hotter. A hotter fire means that more of the wood will be consumed which will reduce creosote. Also, a hotter fire will keep your chimney warmer and prevent the gases from cooling and condensing into creosote.

For any St. Paul chimney cleaning that you need, just call 2nd Generation Chimneys today.

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