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

3 Reasons to Plan Chimney Cleaning in the Spring

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Your fireplace can be an invaluable (and romantic) way of keeping warm in the cold of winter, and even those chilly spring days could benefit from a cozy fire in your home. But summer is definitely on the way, which means that your fireplace probably won’t see a lot of additional use until the fall. That means you should probably plan for a thorough chimney cleaning from a qualified professional. When it comes to chimney cleaning, St. Paul MN residents, and those throughout the Twin Cities have a reliable option to call upon. And frankly speaking, the sooner you can schedule a cleaning session the better.

3 Reasons to Schedule Chimney Cleaning in the Spring

  • The timing is right. We don’t need to tell you how cold it gets around here in the winter, which means your chimney has doubtless seen a lot of use. That means that creosote has probably built up along the sides of the chimney, along with other detritus such as bird’s nests and the like. Now that you’re not using it as often, you can get all of that cleaned up immediately, which means you don’t have to worry about it when heating season comes around again next fall. Your chimney will be clean and ready to go in September as soon as the air gets chilly.
  • Bigger problems. Similarly, if your chimney is experiencing more significant problems, such as crumbling masonry or a blockage in the shaft, then a cleaning session is an ideal way to spot it. You can then schedule a repair session and get it taken care of before you need your fireplace again.
  • You have maximum flexibility. If you wait until the fall, you may need to scramble to get the cleaning in on time. That means rearranging work, school and other parts of your busy schedule to handle it. Here in the spring, however, you have lots of time before you need the fireplace again, allowing you to find a cleaning date that fits your schedule rather than the other way around.

We have the tools you need to do the job right and our skill levels are second to none. Give us a call today!

For more reasons to plan chimney cleaning in the spring, or to schedule an appointment for chimney cleaning, St. Paul residents can call on 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

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3 Types of Masonry Services

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Chimney and fireplace repairs often involve far more than fixing broken dampers, cleaning out layers of creosote, and clearing clogged gas lines. Sturdy fireplaces need masonry services to repair any damage they can suffer from time and the elements. Masonry services from trained specialists will take care of cracks and breaks, full restorations, leaning chimneys, and more.

When your chimney needs masonry services in Minnetonka, MN, only call on fully qualified technicians.

At 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we have a staff that includes chimney repair specialists who can handle masonry jobs from sealing cracks to extensive restorations. Call us today!

3 types of masonry services we provide

  • Tuckpointing: Also known as re-pointing, this is a masonry repair technique using a mortar that resembles the original to fill in gaps. It is commonly used on old masonry that has begun to deteriorate due to weathering. This is a rare trade and requires specialists who can correctly match the texture and color of older brick and mortar material with new mortar to create a seamless illusion that enhances the look of the older masonry without giving it the appearance of being “patched.”
  • Repairs to flashing and fire stops: Metal flashing is what seals the point where a chimney meets the roof, and the masonry here needs special care should it become damaged and loosened over the years. Fire stops protect your ceilings and crawlspaces, which often contain flammable material, from the heat in the chimney. The masonry sealing along here must be re-sealed or replaced should it suffer from damage and create fire hazards.
  • Brick fireplace repairs: The fireplace must be free from cracks along the bricks and mortar to prevent moisture of any kind from seeping in and causing damage, which will create even larger cracking. If the damage enters the firebox—the place where the fuel in the fireplace is combusted—it will turn into a major hazard that can allow toxic gases to enter your home or fire to reach the building material adjacent to the fireplace. Any time you see mortar chunks missing or cracks along the hearth bricks, call for masonry services to repair the area right away.

Maintain regular fireplace inspections

Some masonry damage to your fireplace you can identify on your own with a simple examination of the hearth. Others are more difficult to detect. For this reason, you should schedule regular fireplace inspections to catch places where you need repairs. A Level I inspection done once a year will identify any spot where you need masonry services in Minnetonka, MN for your fireplace.

Make sure that the hearth in your home remains a place of safe, cozy enjoyment for your whole family. Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for all the repairs and inspections necessary to keep your fireplace in excellent shape, no matter its age.

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Why Your Fireplaces Firebox Needs Cleaning

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

When thinking about cleaning and maintaining your fireplace, it’s helpful to remember that a “fireplace” isn’t just the area where you see the flames coming from wood logs or gas jets. It’s a whole system that includes the hearth, the chimney, the mantle, the dampers, and the flue.

One of the most important parts of this system is the firebox, the place where the actual fuel for the fire is combusted. The size of the firebox differs depending on the type of fuel the fireplace burns, but they have one thing in common: they need regular cleaning to make sure the fireplace burns its fuel efficiently and safely.

Firebox cleaning is part of the regular professional fireplace maintenance you should have scheduled for your home’s fireplace every year. The best contractor to take care of your fireplace sweeping in Wayzata, MN is one dedicated exclusively to the care of fireplaces.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. employs certified chimney sweeps with the Chimney Safety Institute of America and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild. Call us today to set up an appointment. 

The importance of keeping a clean firebox

Fireboxes will accumulate the leftover, unburnt product or fuel, and this residue must be removed regularly. For a wood-burning fireplace, the firebox will begin to accumulate creosote, which is a shiny black substance that is essentially unburned wood energy. Creosote is also highly combustible and will easily catch fire and can escape from the hearth.

Ash that collects in the firebox will eventually clog it up enough that the fire will not burn as efficiently. Although you can remove much of the ash yourself, a large amount will stain the firebricks, and they can eventually cause cracking, which can be very bad news for a fireplace. This ash contamination will need professional sweepers to remove.

Chimney sweeps will always check for cracks during cleaning. Aside from excess ash, these cracks can occur because of repeated expansion and contraction over time from the intense heat in the firebox, as so even gas fireplaces are susceptible. Cracks can lead to hazards, since they will allow heat to get out of the firebox and toward combustible construction material. You should hire masonry services to repair the firebox damage before you use the fireplace again.

Regular chimney sweeping and inspections

A chimney sweeping takes care of your whole fireplace, not just the firebox. To make sure you have a safe fireplace, technicians can perform Level 1, 2, or 3 inspections, depending on the amount of damage your fireplace may have. Our chimney sweeps at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. are certified to perform all levels of inspections and comprehensive fireplace sweeping in Wayzata, MN, so make us your choice for regular chimney cleaning and maintenance.

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Treat Creosote Build-Up This Spring

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Creosote is a byproduct of regular fireplace use: a tarry, flammable substance that coats the interior of your chimney. It’s very natural and as long as you have your fireplace maintained regularly, you shouldn’t have any problems with it. Eventually, however, creosote will build up to sufficient levels to constitute a fire hazard, and even when it doesn’t, it can block the flow of air through your chimney, severely reducing the effectiveness of your fireplace. In terms of chimney repair, St. Paul MN has the experts to handle creosote build-up.

If you need to treat creosote build-up, don’t hesitate to give the fireplace maintenance experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys a call. You’ll be glad you did! 

Why Spring is Ideal For Treating Creosote

It’s tough scheduling  fireplace cleaning in the winter, because it means giving your fireplace a rest during the coldest parts of the year (as well as opening your home to the frigid temperatures outside). As spring blooms, you’ll have the luxury of scheduling a cleaning session at your convenience. It also makes a golden opportunity to clean up any creosote that has built up since last fall, making your fireplace clean, safe and ready to go when the next heating season rolls around.

Furthermore, spring is an easier time than others to tackle creosote problems. Temperatures are warmer and yet the mugginess of summer hasn’t set in yet. Treating creosote is fairly simple, though it requires specialized brushes provided by chimney sweeps a well as the training and experience to make sure the creosote is all cleaned up.

All of which is a round-about way of saying that you should probably treat creosote build-up every spring, not just when you really need it.  And if you’re looking to address issues related to chimney repair, St. Paul MN has ready-to-go experts in the form of 2nd Generation Chimneys. We’ve been in business since 2001 and have built a strong and successful company based on the quality of our referrals. That means quality work performed for satisfied customers, whether it’s creosote removal or something more substantial.

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