2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Archive for February, 2014

What Does a New Fireplace Installation Entail?

Friday, February 28th, 2014

If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, you may think that installing one is impossible, or at least too much work to be worth it. We won’t deceive you: the installation of a fireplace is indeed a great deal of work. But if you bring in the right fireplace installers to do the job, it will go much easier and have a minimal interference of your life while the work goes on.

At 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we specialize in many types of fireplace installation in Minneapolis, MN. We can handle gas log inserts into existing hearths, freestanding wood and pellet stoves, masonry fireplaces, and complete installation of a new chimney liner. For the purposes of this post, we’ll look at what the most extensive of the jobs entails: installing a traditional wood-burning fireplace with a chimney.

Traditional Fireplace Installation

The first step in putting in a traditional fireplace is to determine the type of stone, wood, and decoration to use that will match the sort of fire you want, as well as fit your budget plans. You’ll work with a mason, who will be responsible for constructing the chimney and the hearth. The installers will also determine the best location for the fireplace for the purposes of venting and laying in a foundation. You may have a set idea for where you want to have your fireplace, and often the installers can accommodate you, but listen to their advice about the safest location.

The installers will need to do some renovation on your home to fit in the chimney. The biggest work comes first: laying a chimney foundation, which is responsible for supporting and balancing the considerable weight of the chimney stack. After this, the installers will build up the firebox (where the fire actually will burn) and then the outer chimney bricks. Then the liner will go in, which keeps the heat from the fireplace from getting through the masonry of the chimney to the materials of your home.

Other Options

If you would prefer a less expensive and time-consuming choice for a fireplace, you can have a wood-burning stove installed instead. These are freestanding units, although they do require a vent through a wall and a lined flue to reach the outside. Freestanding stoves are very efficient heaters because they raise the temperature of their metal casings.

Ask About Your Fireplace Choices

For high quality fireplace installation in Minneapolis, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. and talk to our professionals about the various options for placing a fireplace in your home. They’ll help you sort through the prices and the construction details so you’ll end up with the right fireplace for you.

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The 3 Levels of Chimney Inspection

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Chimney inspection is an important part of maintaining a safe and attractive fireplace in your home. We often need to remind people that a fireplace poses no greater danger to your home than a heating system like a furnace or boiler…as long as it receives regular inspections and necessary cleanings and repairs.

When it comes to inspections, you should entrust the work only to certified professionals. The organization that certifies chimney inspectors and technicians is the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). In January 2000, the National Fire Protection Association adopted three levels of inspection to solidify the methods of inspectors. The CSIA has adopted these three levels, and all certified inspectors now use them.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has CSIA-certified inspectors on staff with extensive training to provide all three levels. We also offer chimney sweeping, repairs, and the necessary masonry services in Eden Prairie, MN, for your chimney should an inspection identify problems that need remedy.

An Explanation of The 3 Levels

The levels of chimney inspection are a hierarchy: the first level is the simplest inspection, while the third is extensive and necessary if it appears there are serious issues. Which one will you need?

If you haven’t had trouble with your fireplace’s venting and have no plans to make any changes in the near future, then a Level 1 inspection is the place to start. According to the CSIA, “A Level 1 inspection is recommended for a chimney under continued service, under the same conditions, and with the continued use of the same appliance.” The inspector will examine parts of the chimney that are easy to access to check for construction soundness and flue integrity, as well as look for any obstructions.

You will need a Level 2 inspection if you have made any changes to your fireplace or venting: a new fuel source, construction, or appliance addition. It’s also required upon sale or transfer of property, or after any occurrence that might have damaged to chimney and liner. A Level 2 inspection includes everything in Level 1, but also investigates other areas of the chimney exterior plus the attic and crawlspaces.

A Level 3 inspection is necessary if either of the other levels identified the possibility of hidden hazards. Inspectors will often need to remove some chimney components to access areas that could have sustained damage.

In Case You Need Chimney Repair

Fireplaces and chimneys are durable and do not often require repairs. But it’s vital that they receive them when they need them: there’s danger of fire escaping or structural collapse. Call for 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. when you need your chimney inspected in Eden Prairie to find out its current state, and if you’ll need our professional masonry services to restore it.

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Other Anniversaries of Valentine’s Day

Friday, February 14th, 2014

For more than a hundred years, people in countries around the world have marked the 14th day of February as a time for lovers to give each other gifts and for children to write cards to each other and eat heart-shaped candy. But Valentine’s Day isn’t the only important event to occur on February 14th. There are many other anniversaries to mark on this day. Here are a few:

1400 – The death of King Richard II: The same English king whose engagement resulted in the first love poem mentioning Valentine’s Day (from court poet Geoffrey Chaucer) dies in prison in Pontefract Castle after his cousin Henry overthrows him. He probably starved to death, although another famous author, William Shakespeare, would portray his death as murder.

1859 – Hello, Oregon: The Oregon Country is admitted to the United States of America as the 33rd state.

1876 – Who invented the telephone? Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for his new invention, the telephone. Another inventor, Elisha Gray, applies the same day for a similar device, sparking a long controversy over who invented what first.

1912 – Hello, Arizona: Continuing the statehood tradition that Oregon established, the Territory of Arizona is admitted to the U.S. as the 48th state. Women are granted the right to vote in Arizona the same year, eight years before the rest of the nation.

1929 – The world’s most infamous mob hit: Unknown assailants shoot down seven people in Chicago, IL. Six of the dead are gangsters in the mob of Bugs Moran, an enemy of Al Capone in the business of selling Prohibition bootleg liquor. No one is ever arrested or charged for the crime—but there isn’t much doubt who masterminded it.

1931 – “I am… Dracula”: The most influential vampire movie ever made, and the start of Universal Studio’s famous monsters series, Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, premieres in theaters. Universal cannily uses Valentine’s Day to promote the film as “The Story of the Strangest Passion the World Has Ever Known!”

1961 – The Periodic Table becomes larger: The 103rd chemical element, Lawrencium, is discovered at the University of California. The name comes from the laboratory where it is synthesized, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

2005 – Now it’s easy to watch funny animal videos: A group of college students launch a video sharing website call YouTube.

Even if Valentine’s Day itself isn’t a major holiday for you, February 14th has many reasons to celebrate—unless you are a member of Bugs Moran’s gang or a supporter of Richard II. All of us at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. would like to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, however you observe it.

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3 Stages of Chimney Inspection in Wayzata

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Because chimneys are made of durable material and designed to last for many years—over a century in some cases—people often believe that chimneys don’t need to have regular maintenance or inspection, except maybe at five year intervals just to check if there’s creosote that need cleaning out.

But this is a myth, and a potentially hazardous one. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that homeowners have their chimney inspected once a year, even if they did not use it much during the previous year. Chimneys can accrue damage during periods when they are not in use as easily as during their busiest times of the year, such as winter holidays. Scheduling a chimney inspection in Wayzata, MN should be on your yearly calendar for home maintenance. Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. to schedule an inspection today from our certified technicians.

There are 3 stages of inspection, which are called “levels” by the CSIA.

Your chimney inspectors will ascertain what level you need. Below are the different levels:

  • Level 1: Recommended for a chimney in regular use that is not experiencing problems. Inspectors look over the readily accessible areas of the chimney (spots that do not require special tools or damage to building material or surface finishes to access). The inspection goes over the flue, the basic building structure, and fundamental installation, all for the purpose of ensuring the safety of you and your family.
  • Level 2: The CSIA recommends this level when you make a change in your heating, such as a switch in fuel type, a flue relining, or the replacement or addition of an appliance like a gas log insert. It is also recommended if you have experienced a malfunction or damage to the chimney. This level of inspection goes beyond Level 1 to include video scanning.
  • Level 3: Recommended when earlier inspections indicate hidden problems within the chimney or more complex tools are necessary. This inspection may require removal of components around the chimney, such as drywall, so technicians can access hidden areas of the chimney.

Chimney inspections are vital to maintain the safety of your fireplace and its ventilation. 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has a staff of CSIA certified chimney inspectors who can perform all three levels of inspections to help ensure that your chimney is safe, allowing you to enjoy the warmth of a fire in the hearth throughout the year. Contact us today to start with a Level 1 chimney inspection in Wayzata, MN.

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Types of Fireplaces Worth Installing in Edina

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Although fireplaces are no longer the only way we get heat in our homes, they still serve an important cosmetic function with the extra benefit of warmth. If you have considered having fireplace installed in Edina, MN, look over the options below. Then, when you’re ready to make a decision, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc and talk to our experts about how to get the right fireplace for your home.

Traditional wood-burning fireplace

This is what most people think of when they hear “fireplace”: a hearth with a chimney where wood logs burn and crackle. Wood-burning fireplaces have the advantage of coziness—there really is no substitute for the look, feel, and sound of actual wood burning—as well as the low cost of wood compared to other potential fuel sources. However, you need to have a chimney to install one, they are much less convenient than other systems (wood storage, fire tending, etc.), and require regular chimney sweeping to eliminate creosote build-up.

Gas log fireplace

If you already have a chimney, you can easily convert over to the convenience and efficiency of a gas fireplace with a gas log insert. Gas log fireplaces also exist in factory-built units if you do not have a pre-existing chimney.

Free-standing pellet or wood stove

You don’t need to have a chimney to enjoy a fireplace in any room of the house. Free-standing pellet and wood stoves are able to fit into any room where they can access venting through the wall. Pellet stoves burn highly efficient wood pellets, which make them more effective as heating units; they can serve as an addition to your central heating system.

Fireplace installation is a job that requires years of training. Fireplace technicians must know how to set up a fireplace that will burn safely and properly vent exhaust—whether it uses wood, gas, or pellets.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc is a full-service fireplace installation company: we handle everything from wood burning to free-standing fireplaces, and also perform chimney sweeping and masonry repairs. We are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and belong to the National Chimney Sweep Guild. You will have a harder time finding another company that delivers the same level of service for fireplace installation in Edina, MN as we do.

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