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

What Problems Can a Chimney Cap Prevent?

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

We may still be enjoying summer, but fall is right around the corner, and with it comes a new season of heating with your fireplace. Your chimney is the outlet for your fireplace’s smoke and burning embers, so keeping it clear and safe is a priority. One of the easier ways to help keep your chimney safe is with the installation of a chimney cap to your North Oaks property. For over a decade, 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., has installed chimney caps for a multitude of customers, and we can help you with your installation.

What Is a Chimney Cap?

A chimney cap is a small cover for the opening of your chimney. Chimney caps come in a variety of styles to both protect and compliment your chimney and home.

What Are the Benefits of Installing a Chimney Cap?

There are several important benefits to installing chimney cap:

  • Block animals from nesting in your chimney – there are a variety of animals, including birds, squirrels and raccoons, that like to nest in chimneys. By covering the top of your chimney with a cap, you prevent these critters from making a home there.
  • Reduce water damage from wet weather – chimney caps significantly reduce the amount of water that enters your chimney. Rain, snow, sleet and ice can easily enter your chimney through its opening. When water gets into your chimney, it can get into the masonry, and as the water freezes due to winter temperatures, can crack the masonry. If left unattended, water damage can eventually weaken your chimney’s structure.
  • Block hot embers from the roof – burning embers from your fireplace can make their way up the chimney and onto your roof, potentially causing a fire. A chimney cap can prevent these hot embers from escaping.

Why Hire a Professional?

An improperly sized, designed, or installed chimney cap can reduce a chimney’s backdraft, which can lead to the poor burning of fuel and/or smoky rooms in your home. The best way to avoid this is to hire trained professionals, like the ones at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

Chimney caps can protect your chimney and your home from some potentially serious damage. Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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What Are Chimney Fires?

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Although you expect to have fires blazing inside your fireplace, you don’t want those flames to go any farther than the hearth. You may think that a fire moving up into a chimney isn’t necessarily a problem, but a chimney fire like this can be extremely destructive and require that you have special repair work done to avoid causing a house fire.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. is a full-service chimney and fireplace company with the training and certification necessary to handle any chimney restoration in Wayzata, MN that you may need. If you believe you’ve experienced a chimney fire, call our technicians right away for an inspection.

Chimney fires and their dangers

Conventional wisdom holds that chimneys are essentially invincible and maintenance-free. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If a chimney becomes dirty and filled with creosote, the trouble it has venting can cause a chimney fire to break out: an intense fire that ignites the combustible material collected inside the flue. Chimney fires can be extremely loud and create cracking, popping, and rumbling sounds—sometimes even audible from outside a home! But they can also go undetected if they are slow-burning. Either kind of chimney fire is destructive: they can reach 2000°F, enough to cause severe damage to any material inside the chimney.

These high temperatures are enough to cause mortar to melt, tiles to crack, and liners to collapse. This will lead to a dangerous situation, since it will permit the heat that vents through the chimney to escape to the building material surrounding it. A damaged chimney can cause a fire to start on the second floor of a home or up on the roof.

Watch for the following signs that can warn you a chimney fire has broken out: excess creosote, a warped metal damper, fallen tiles, a discolored rain cap, damaged roofing material, cracks on the outside masonry, and marks of smoke escaping through mortar joints and tiles.

If you think you have experienced a chimney fire in your home, you should schedule a Level 2 chimney inspection from a technician certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). This thorough inspection will determine what repairs and restoration work are necessary. In most cases, the fireplace restorationists will need to replace the chimney liner to ensure that heat cannot escape through broken tiles and clay liners to reach the combustible material outside.

You can have all your chimney problems taken care of through one contractor: 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. We are certified with the CSIA and can take care of all your needs for repairs and chimney restoration in Wayzata, MN.

Call us today to set up an appointment, and keep us in mind for your regular inspections and chimney sweeping that will help you avoid chimney fires in the future.

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How to Prepare for Chimney Sweeping in Minneapolis, MN

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Your fireplace chimney should have annual sweeping service from certified chimney sweeps (certification is from the Chimney Safety Institute of America) to keep it clean and safely venting exhaust fumes out of your home. Your chimney sweeps will also check for any safety issues from damaged components, such as a faulty chimney damper.

When you receive chimney sweeping in Minneapolis, MN from the certified team at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., you will receive a Level 1 chimney inspection along with the cleaning. This visual inspection will make sure that you do not have potential trouble from creosote, debris, or flue damage. We are a full service company for fireplaces and chimneys, and you will have a hard time finding more experienced technicians for caring for your home’s hearth.

When you schedule a chimney sweep visit, there are some ways you can prepare that will make the cleaning process easier and faster:

  • First, clear away the area around the fireplace, in particular the mantle. You don’t want to have any valuable decoration you have on the mantle to receive any damage.
  • Second, clean out the fireplace itself of any unburnt wood or fuel that is still in it. Remove excess ashes as well. It is advisable that you do not use the fireplace for 24 hours before the sweeping appointment.
  • Third, to protect your furnishings that are near to the fireplace (sweeping can produce a large amount of soot) you should either cover them or remove them from the area. The chimney sweeps will take care of laying down floor coverings that will protect your carpet, rugs, floorboards, etc. from damage.
  • Fourth, if you are concerned about other parts of your home, you may wish to lay down papers from the door to the fireplace. However, if you have hired a quality company with proper certification, the chimney sweeps will do everything they can to respect your home and wear protective, disposable covers on their shoes.
  • Fifth, contact your chimney sweeps if you have additional questions regarding the service or what you can do to help prepare.

The actual sweeping service will go speedily and will create minimal disruption on daily activities. If you have 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. performing your chimney sweeping in Minneapolis, MN, the technicians will provide you with the findings from the Level 1 inspection. They will recommend whether you need a Level 2 or 3 chimney inspection, as well as recommendations for any repairs you may need.

Make us your first choice when it comes to any service you may need for your fireplace and chimney. Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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When Would I Need a Level 3 Chimney Inspection?

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

A home fireplace is a source of both warmth and beauty for your household. However, the chimney of your fireplace requires routine maintenance and sweeping to keep it safe and properly venting the smoke, heat, and other exhaust. Regular maintenance from certified chimney sweeps involves chimney inspections that will see that your chimney does not have damage or blockages inside it that can lead to safety issues.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) handles the certification of chimney sweeps to perform these inspections. The CSIA categorizes the inspections into three levels. In most cases, a chimney will only require a standard Level 1 inspection to see that it is in good shape and not in need of relining, masonry repairs, or other services. But there are times with a chimney must have additional inspections.

Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. when it is time for your annual chimney inspection in St. Paul, MN. We are fully certified with the CSIA for all three inspection levels, and we can provide any repairs you need to keep your fireplace and your home safe and cozy.

When the Level 3 inspection is necessary

Level 3 is the most extensive of the inspections, and most chimneys will not require one except in extreme cases. The Level 1 inspection covers the chimney basics and any examination that does not require tools to reach unexposed parts of the chimney interior. Level 2 inspections are needed when you make a change to your fireplace, such as switching to a new fuel source or relining the flue. Level 2 inspections are also appropriate when the chimney has suffered a fire or if a storm may have caused damage to it.

A Level 3 inspection is necessary when either a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection indicates that there are hidden problems in the chimney or that special tools are needed to reach concealed areas. These inspections may require accessing the chimney through construction material around it, such as tearing out drywall. In any situation where the certified inspectors suspect that there are potential serious safety hazards within the chimney, they will recommend a full Level 3 inspection.

When a Level 3 inspection is completed, the technicians will be able to tell you what work needs to be done to keep the fireplace safe. You should not use your fireplace until you have had the work completed and another inspection has checked that the chimney no longer presents immediate safety concerns.

Never trust chimney inspections to anyone who lacks CSIA certification. The issues of safety are too important for you to allow amateurs to work on your fireplace or its ventilation system.

Call on professionals like the trained and certified technicians at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for your chimney inspection in St. Paul, MN.

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