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

Fireplace Maintenance Tips for the Summer

Friday, May 30th, 2014

We don’t have much call for our fireplaces in the summer, when temperatures are high and your air conditioner tends to see a lot more use. That actually makes this the ideal time to perform some maintenance and upkeep on your fireplace. Since you don’t have need of it, the technician can perform the operation whenever your schedule is open (as opposed to the fall or winter, when the weather is cold and the need for your fireplace is much higher). Summertime upkeep also means that your fireplace is ready to go the minute the mercury starts to drop. Any service that offers fireplace repair in Eden Prairie can usually perform maintenance services as well. Here are some fireplace maintenance tips for the summer.

  • Schedule a creosote cleaning. Creosote is a sticky substance, a little like tar, that builds up in your fireplace and on the sides of your chimney. It’s flammable, which means it constitutes a significant hazard unless it’s cleaned up. A professional chimney service can do the job safely and effectively, leaving your fireplace ready when the fall arrives.
  • Check for cracks. Old-fashioned fireplaces with brick or stone chimneys can suffer the full brunt of our Minnesota weather – summer and winter alike – and after time, fissures can form in the surface. A chimney inspection can spot those cracks while they’re still small and fix them before they become a major headache.
  • Test the fireplace. Every few months, it pays to start a small fire in your fireplace and just check to see if there are any problems or blockages. If the smoke comes back into your home, or you notice smoke emerging somewhere it shouldn’t, it’s probably a good idea to call a repair service and get the problem properly sorted out.

The experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. can help you out with fireplace maintenance tips for the summer. We handle fireplace repair in Eden Prairie, and we have the skills and experience to perform a full-bore maintenance service with confidence and pride.

We’ll leave your fireplace clean and ready to go when the temperatures start to drop again. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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Why Dryer Vent Cleaning Is Important

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Whenever you place laundry into a clothes dryer, what’s one of the important steps to take? Clean out the lint trap, of course. Without this air passage kept clear in the dryer, the machine will heat far less efficiently and end up making clothes damp instead of dry, all while draining the same amount of power.

However, the lint trap isn’t the only part of your clothes dryer that requires cleaning. The dryer has a ventilation system to the outside to prevent extra heat from entering your home, as well removing other debris plucked from the clothes. The dryer vent needs to stay clean, and with regular visit from specialists, you’ll have a dryer that runs without draining power, gets your clothes dry, and… most important of all… won’t create a fire hazard.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. does more than chimney sweeping and restoration. We handle dryer vent cleaning to take care of lint and the exhaust hose. When you’re looking for top people for dryer vent cleaning in the Twin Cities, MN, make us your first call.

Why dryer vent cleaning is necessary

Before we get to anything else, we want to share a frightening statistic: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 15,000 house fires occur every year because of obstructions inside dryer vents. The lint from clothing is highly combustible, and once enough gathers in the vent hose between a dryer and the outside of a house, it doesn’t take much heat to cause it to ignite. It’s vital for the safety of your home and family to have the dryer vent clean of flammable material.

The safety issue is enough reason to schedule dryer vent cleaners, but there are other advantages as well. Basic energy efficiency increases with a clear passage, the same way that a clean air filter makes for a more efficient air conditioning system. Lack of venting of moist air from the dryer means the moisture trapped inside with the clothes makes it harder for them to lose additional heat. You can expect your clothes to keep coming out damp, no matter how high you run the dryer. (Damp clothes are a good warning sign that you must have the dryer vent cleaned.)

How often should I clean the dryer vent and how do I do it?

The frequency that a dryer vents needs cleaning varies. When you notice damp clothes or the need to run the dryer for longer, or if the top surface of the dryer becomes extremely hot, then you are due for cleaning. If you don’t recall ever cleaning the vent before, then it’s definitely time to take care of it. In general, get into the habit of having cleaning twice a year.

Instead of spending hours trying to access and clean your dryer vents, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. and schedule a dryer vent cleaning in the Twin Cities, MN.

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3 Signs You Need Fireplace Restoration

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Fireplaces are among the most durable of fixtures in a home: they have to be in order to deal with the high temperatures they experience any time they are used. But no fireplace is invincible, and sometimes they can sustain damage due to age or accidents that will require the work of professional restorers to fix.

Here are three indications that you need to call for fireplace restoration in Eden Prairie, MN.

Do not use your fireplace again until you have professionals make sure it is safe once more. Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for fast service from experienced and licensed fireplace professionals.

3 warnings you need fireplace restoration

  1. Cracking in the masonry or liner: One of the most severe problems you can encounter with a fireplace is cracking along the masonry or the liner, whether in the chimney, the firebox, or anywhere else. Cracks aren’t restricted to older fireplaces, either: moisture that seeps into a fireplace then freezes will cause bricks and masonry to begin to split apart. These cracks allow heat to escape from the confines of the fireplace and reach combustible building material, possible causing fires. Restoration requires the work of masonry experts who can fill in and smooth over the cracking to keep the heat of a fireplace where it belongs.
  2. A chimney fire: A chimney fire is when combustion occurs within the chimney, instead of down in the fireplace hearth. This is a major emergency, and if your fireplace experiences this, it will need to have major restoration work done afterward to replace and restore tile and clay chimney liners that will endure heavy damage because of the fire. The restorers will also find the cause for the fire in the first place and make sure that the restoration work addresses it.
  3. A leaning chimney: No, that’s not an optical illusion… the chimney is actually starting to lean toward or away from the house. A leaning chimney usually occurs because of deterioration in the chimney’s foundation. Restorers will need to repair the foundation in order to balance the chimney once more. This is an urgent repair job: a leaning chimney poses a safety threat if it collapses, and can cause enormous damage to your home from the stress it will place on construction material.

Fireplace restoration is a highly specialized task. To handle this work, call on technicians with proper certification and training. At 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we have a staff of Certified Chimney Reliners and superintendents certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. These are the qualifications you can trust for proper fireplace restoration in Eden Prairie, MN, as well as for any other fireplace repairs and sweeping you need.

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What to Do if You Spot Cracks in Your Chimney

Friday, May 9th, 2014

One the eeriest sights you can see is to come across a wilderness spot where a town stood many years ago. The homes will have long rotted or burned away, but the tall brick and masonry chimneys continue to stand, making a forest of stacks marking the spots where people once lived. This is evidence of the durability of a well-constructed chimney.

However… chimneys are not invincible. Although the brick and masonry may keep the chimney standing upright, the combination of heat and moisture they often encounter—especially in a place with cold and snowy winters like Minnesota—can lead to cracking along the chimney interior. We’ll look into what you should do if you encounter this in your home’s chimney. Our maintenance program is also a great way to spot issues such as cracks in your chimney.

When you know it’s time for chimney repair in Minneapolis, MN, call the experienced and CSIA-certified team at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

What you need to do when you see cracks in your chimney

First of all, do not use the fireplace. Until the issue is resolved, you can cause serious damage to your home if you light the fireplace. Cracks in the chimney liner will allow heat from the fire to escape to combustible material outside, possibly igniting a blaze. Stay safe and keep the hearth cold for the time being.

Next, you need to call for chimney repairs from certified chimney re-liners who also offer masonry services. Fixing cracks in chimneys isn’t a simple task that involves a layer of plaster. Fireplace repair technicians with the proper training and certification from the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) and as professional chimney re-liners will tackle the job of restoring your chimney with repairs that will last.

The chimney re-liner is responsible for protecting the rest of the chimney and the materials outside it. If the liner has suffered too much damage, technicians can reline it. Other ways of repairing cracks include sealing and resurfacing, which will help waterproof the chimney to avoid more cracks in the future. (The most common cause for cracking is when moisture enters the bricks, then freezes and expands.) Skilled repair technicians will use tuck-pointing masonry repair to fix cracks while matching the original surface texture.

What you should not do when you see cracks in your chimney

You should never ignore a chimney crack—or any damage to a fireplace. Although chimneys are sturdy, they must remain in top shape to prevent them from allowing the escape of heat or blocking proper ventilation out of the flue.

The best work you can find for chimney repair in Minneapolis, MN will come from contractors with the proper experience and certification.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has a staff of Certified Chimney Reliners with CSIA certification, so you know you’ll receive the finest quality repair work.

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3 Things to Look for with a Chimney Inspection

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

A chimney is no more dangerous to your home or your family than any other heating system you might have installed. However, just like a furnace or a boiler, a chimney needs to have regular inspections to keep it safe. You should schedule regular chimney sweeping service every year. As part of it, your chimney technician will provide a Level 1 inspection to make sure that your chimney is in excellent shape. Level 2 and Level 3 inspections may be necessary for chimneys that have sustained damage or received recent upgrades. Your chimney sweep will tell you which level you need.

But which chimney sweep do you need? You can call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. today to receive inspectors with all the qualifications necessary to give you the chimney inspection in Minneapolis, MN that will keep your fireplace safe and pleasant all year round.

3 qualities to look for in a chimney inspection service

  • Superintendents certified by the CSIA: This is the key quality to look for in a chimney inspection company. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is a non-profit educational organization that has existed for 30 years promoting quality among chimney and venting professionals. Through rigorous testing, the CSIA certifies chimney sweeps and inspectors to perform the three levels of professional inspection. This is considered the industry standard and the first qualification you should look for in anyone who services your chimney.
  • Certified by the CCP: Certified Chimney Professionals is the other important industry certification along with the CSIA. Like the CSIA, it demands the highest standards from the people it certifies, requiring passing a test and regular re-certification every two years.
  • Extensive chimney services: A company that offers chimney inspections should have a wide range of services to offer chimney owners. This shows a company that has experience and can bring in hands-on knowledge that goes beyond traditional education. (It also means it’s easy for you to schedule repairs from them—no matter what the repair is.)

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. is a comprehensive chimney and fireplace service that handles installation, repairs, masonry work, sweeping, and inspections.

We are certified with the CSIA and CCP, and receive 95% of our business from referrals. You can put your trust in us when it comes to your Chimney inspection in Minneapolis, MN.

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