2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Archive for the ‘Chimney Inspection’ Category

What Are the Benefits of Masonry Chimney Cleaning?

Monday, July 14th, 2014

When people think of chimneys, it is almost inevitably the masonry chimney that springs to mind: a tall tower of sturdy red bricks mortared together. Masonry chimneys have existed for centuries because they are durable and can stand against tough weather conditions. However, they still need regular care and cleaning to protect them from damage and long-term wear and tear. For this service, you need qualified chimney sweeps.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. is certified with the Chimney Safety Institute of America to perform chimney cleaning and Level 1–3 chimney inspections. For your masonry chimney cleaning in Coon Rapids, MN, make us your first call.

Why you should have cleaning for your masonry chimney

  • Reduce the chance of a chimney fire: A major danger for a chimney is the development of creosote, a shiny black substance that is the result of poor venting and inefficient wood burning. (This is one of the reasons you should not put green wood in a wood burning fireplace.) Creosote is highly combustible, and if enough develops inside your chimney it could catch on fire and do damage to the chimney and possibly the upper floors or roof of your home.
  • Allow for proper venting: If the interior of your chimney becomes too dirty, it will vent improperly. This can lead to exhaust like carbon monoxide entering your home and inefficient heat emanating from the fireplace. As mentioned above, it will also lead to the development of creosote. Cleaning will also take care of major blockages like animal nests.
  • Allow for a thorough inspection: Before a chimney can receive a full inspection to see that it isn’t suffering from chipping and cracking along the masonry or other structural damage, it must have sweeping. We advise that mortar chimneys have cleaning once a year to make inspections easier.

After we have completed cleaning, we provide a Level 1 inspection so you will know that the chimney is safe for use.

At 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we combine both chimney cleaning and safety inspections. For masonry chimney cleaning in Coon Rapids, MN Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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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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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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The Benefits of Regular Chimney Inspection

Friday, December 20th, 2013

If you’ve ever seen pictures of old, deserted towns where many of the wooden buildings have long since crumbled away, you’ll notice that the only parts that survive are the chimneys. These towers of stone and brick are the sole reminders that, perhaps a century past, houses stood in those spots. Chimneys are as sturdy and durable as almost any part of your home.

However, this hardiness doesn’t mean you can leave your chimney alone and without regular inspections. A chimney can cause problems if it doesn’t receive care from professionals and routine cleaning. We’ll explain how you can benefit from scheduling regular inspections for your chimney.

When you need a trained and knowledgeable chimney inspector in Minneapolis, MN, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Our name speaks for our years of experience.

Why you should have regular chimney inspection

  • Creosote detection: The number one threat to your chimney and fireplace is creosote. This is the unburned wood energy that builds up because of poor venting and the burning of green wood. Even with excellent venting and care, creosote can still develop inside your chimney. Creosote is highly combustible, and can cause fires to break out in the upper parts of your home, such as the second floor, and most worrisome, the roof. If an inspector finds too much creosote accruing along the interior of your chimney, you will know it’s time for thorough cleaning.
  • Finding problems with flue dampers: You should open the flue damper when you have a fire going to allow smoke to vent, and close it when the fireplace is not in use so heat from your home won’t escape. If the damper becomes damaged, it may have trouble opening and closing all the way, leading to improper venting. Inspectors will catch this and know how to repair it.
  • Locating issues with flue lining: The lining of your chimney, which is made from clay, ceramic, or refractory cement, is responsible for containing the combustion byproducts of the fireplace and properly venting them to the outside while protecting the rest of the chimney from fires or corrosion. Damage to this lining can lead to fire and poor venting. Chimney inspectors will locate places where the lining needs to be replaced.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends you have an annual inspection done for your chimney from a certified CSIA chimney sweep. 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has a staff of CSIA-certified inspectors to take care of your chimney. When you need a Minneapolis, MN chimney inspector, make us your first call.

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Chimney Repair – Done the Old Fashioned Way

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Even with as much technology as we have access to these days, sometimes we still have to get down and dirty and “dive in” to a job. In this case, our technician is climbing into the chimney to finish tiling for a chimney repair job. We stop at nothing to ensure our work is done right! From inspection, to cleaning, to repair and installation, 2nd Generation Chimneys is know for our expertise and craftsmanship in all that we do. Give us a call today!

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Scaffolding Done Right for Chimney Repairs

Friday, February 8th, 2013

What separates us 2nd Generation Chimneys from the other guys? Experience! This video offers terrific perspective for what correctly installed chimney scaffolding should look like. Proper scaffolding ensures that we can clean, inspect or repair your chimney efficiently and safely.

Give 2nd Generation Chimneys a call today to set up an estimate for a chimney clean, repair, or inspection. Your safety and comfort is our top priority!

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We are your Minneapolis full service Chimney Sweep

Friday, January 25th, 2013

The Pixley family has been know for generations for our high quality service and that has not stopped with 2nd Generation Chimneys. We offer full service when it comes to your all your chimney sweeping needs. No need to call on a second company to rent equipment…we have our own! We will arrive at your home prepared with the tools needed to sweep, clean, repair, inspect or replace your chimney. We are certain that you will agree you are making the right choice by calling on the Pixley experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys. Your safety and comfort is our priority! Give us a call today at 1-866-PIXLEYS or complete a service or estimate request online.

 

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Why Do I Need an Inspection for an Insurance Claim?

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Enjoying a fire in the fireplace in your living room is one of the most soothing, enjoyable experiences available in your Minneapolis home. However, certain precautions must be made to ensure that your fireplace is safe to operate. Make sure that you can use your fireplace safely and with confidence by calling 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. today.

At 2nd Generation Chimneys we work hard to guarantee that our clients’ fireplaces and chimneys are as safe and efficient as possible. It is up to you, though, to call us and schedule the services you need for your chimney. In addition to keeping your chimney clean and safe our inspection services may also be necessary when you need to file an insurance claim.

Sometimes a chimney fire or other occurrences will lead to damage in your chimney, and that damage will require professional repair services. Most homeowners will find that their insurance covers these damages. However, you need the help of a qualified chimney service technician to ensure that your insurance claim process goes as smoothly as possible.

An expert on our team will document any damage that your chimney has incurred as well as the date that it was first discovered. The circumstances of the discovery will also be documented. Usually this occurs during routine chimney maintenance service, making this situation just one more reason to keep up to date with chimney maintenance.

While damages from chimney fires or lightning strikes may be covered by your insurance it is less likely that problems including general wear and tear or clogs will be covered. Issues stemming from poor maintenance practices will not be covered by your insurance company. Make sure that you do not wind up with damages to the chimney in your home due to a lack of regular, professional maintenance.

Whether you are concerned about the operation of your chimney, safety or insurance issues, professional chimney maintenance service is a must. There is no better way to protect your Minneapolis home from damage and dangerous situations stemming from your chimney. Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. to learn more.

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Chimney Fire Top to Bottom

Friday, November 30th, 2012

If you have experienced a Chimney Fire, the Pixley family at 2nd Generation Chimneys is here to help you with the repairs and restoration. We are experienced in walking our clients through the insurance process and ensuring piece of mind with quality restoration from our expert technicians. Maintenance and inspection is the ideal way to prevent chimney fires, so remember to call us to schedule an appointment!

Here are a couple photos from a home that experienced a chimney fire. This is what it looks like inside from top to bottom:

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Documentation Is Key!

Friday, November 16th, 2012

The chimney repair experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys know that the only way to be certain that your chimney is clear of debris or damage is if you can see it with your own eyes. This is why we use the Chim-Scan to photograph our chimney inspection work. This device also allows us to scope your chimney for visual assistance that cannot be attained with the use of a flashlight or natural sunlight. Check out the images below and to “see” the difference:

 

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