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

3 Chimney Problems That You’ll Want to Avoid!

Monday, November 12th, 2018

chimneyPeople think of fireplaces and chimneys as being simple. They may not feature some of the modern technology that today’s most advanced HVAC systems boast, but that doesn’t mean the fireplaces and chimneys are as straightforward as you think. It’s not just a hole in a wall with a pipe on top to let the smoke out, after all! There is a lot more to fireplace and chimney installation and design than may meet the eye—and a lot that escapes your eye.

Today we’ll look at 3 potential problems that you may encounter with your chimney. Are these meant to scare you off of using your fireplace, or having a new one installed? No, of course not. After all, any heating system has the potential for a dangerous situation to develop. We just want to remind you of how important it is to work with Minneapolis, MN chimney and fireplace professionals. In other words, we want you to work with us!

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You Need Chimney Repairs? You Need Great Masonry Services!

Monday, June 25th, 2018

chimneyChimney services are not as cut and dry as they used to be. These days, we are nearly as likely to respond to calls regarding gas fireplace inserts or gas log fireplaces as we are masonry chimneys. That being said, brick and mortar chimneys are still a major part of our service offerings, and they are still a major responsibility!

When you need chimney repairs, you need professional masonry services in Minneapolis, MN. You just cannot trust your local handyperson or maintenance worker with the type of services that masonry chimneys demand. There is a lot more to it than slapping up some fresh mortar. Schedule your masonry services with us, and know that the job is done right.

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Common Structural Problems with Chimneys

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

When you’re buying a home that is several decades old, you might assume that it’s in pretty good shape. After all, it’s lasted for this long without any problems, right? The worn look of an old chimney is not something every homeowner is concerned with, and it might give the home a rustic, vintage feel anyway. But structural issues with the chimney can actually cause you a lot of trouble, and it may even make your home unsafe.

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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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3 Common Problems Found in Old Chimneys

Friday, March 21st, 2014

It’s not uncommon for chimneys to endure beyond the buildings in which they stand; a solid masonry chimney can survive for over a hundred years with the right care and attention to problems that might develop. If you live in a home with an older chimney, take care to look for repairs that it may need. We’ll list three of the more common troubles that can afflict a chimney that has vented smoke for many decades.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. is your one-stop service for all your needs for chimney restoration in St. Paul, MN. We handle fireplace installation, repair, and maintenance as well.

Here Are 3 Problems We See With Old Chimneys

  1. Leaning chimney:
    No, it’s not an optical illusion. The strange slant you see on the chimney that you never noticed before is the chimney beginning to lean away from the house. The cause of this is usually deterioration in the chimney’s foundation, and it will require masonry work to prop it back up. This is an urgent job: a leaning chimney places enormous stress on the side of your home, and when the chimney does fall, it can take large chunk of the wall with it. Of course, a collapsing chimney is immensely dangerous as well to anyone who might be nearby when it happens.
  2. Cracking in bricks and masonry:
    No matter how sturdy bricks or masonry may appear, the ravages of weather, heat, and moisture can damage them. The most insidious problem they encounter, especially in Minnesota with our snow-covered winters, is moisture entering into the flue and seeping between bricks. Even without sub-freezing temperatures, water can cause cracking in bricks; but it’s much worse when the water turns to ice and expands, forcing gaps in the bricks and masonry. Make sure you have regular maintenance on your old chimney to see if it needs restoration due to cracked bricks. You should also invest in a chimney cap to keep away moisture.
  3. Cracks in the chimney liner:
    The liner of the inside of a chimney is crucial for how it vents. Older chimneys often do not have liners, and you should have installers put one in. As the chimney ages, older liners can fall apart because of creosote damage, and this can lead to heat getting through the exposed bricks and into places it shouldn’t. Have certified chimney reliners take care of this for you.

Our staff at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has extensive experience and the proper certification to relieve your worries about chimney restoration or chimney repairs in St. Paul, MN. We are certified chimney reliners and members of the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Call us today for any concerns you have about your home’s chimney or fireplace.

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Reasons You May Need to Repair Your Fireplace

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Because fireplaces and chimneys are usually made of stones or bricks (and other durable materials), they don’t seem like they should need repairs. What could possibly go wrong with them?

Many things, actually—especially if you haven’t scheduled regular fireplace inspections and chimney sweeping. This doesn’t mean your fireplace is particularly dangerous; it’s no more so than any other heating system in your house. But it does mean you need to arrange for repairs whenever you notice a problem. We’ll list a few of the common reasons for scheduling fireplace repair in Minneapolis, MN.

For fast and professional service for your fireplace’s troubles, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. We have fireplace technicians ready 24/7 to service your hearth.

Common Reasons For Fireplace Repair

  • Cracks in the firebox:
    The firebox is the section of your fireplace at the floor level of a room where fire is combusted. It’s made of firebricks that can withstand extreme temperatures. If cracks appear in the firebrick, it can turn into a major fire hazard that will allow heat to reach combustible material. For this repair work, you’ll need a fireplace masonry expert to remove and replace the firebricks and provide mortar to the joints.
  • Gas line problems:
    For fireplaces with gas logs, you need to have a gas line in good repair or it could cause the fireplace to stop working, or worse, lead to carbon monoxide leaking. Although CO is naturally odorless and colorless, suppliers often add a taint to it to make it easier for homeowners to detect when it is leaking. If you smell a strange odor from your fireplace, hear a hissing noise when it isn’t operating, or if your gas line simply won’t light, call for repairs immediately. Do not tamper with a gas line on your own!
  • Broken/stuck damper:
    The damper at the top of the fireplace that leads to the flue must be in good condition so it can properly vent smoke and combustion fumes to the outside. If the damper breaks and either becomes stuck in an open or closed position, do not use your fireplace. Instead call for professionals to come to your home and repair the damper so your fireplace won’t waft exhaust into your house or suck out all the heat from your living room.

Fireplace Repair Should Be Left to Professionals

You can locate “do-it-yourself fireplace repair guides” all over the Internet. However, because fireplaces consist of heavy masonry or other durable construction material, there is usually little you can (safely) do to repair a major fireplace issue. Leave this task to professionals certified with the Chimney Safety Institute of America—like our staff at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Give us a call for quality fireplace services in Minneapolis, MN.

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What Is a Top Sealing Damper?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

If you’ve lived with a fireplace in your home, you are familiar with the damper. You keep it shut when the fireplace isn’t in use so that no extra heat from your home escapes up the chimney, and you open it when you light a  fire so the exhaust fumes from the fire don’t flow into your home but instead vent safely to the outside.

However, you may not have heard of a “top sealing damper” or know if your fireplace even has one installed. We’ll take a look at this important component of fireplace venting in this post. When you need fireplace repair in Minneapolis, MN for a chimney damper or anything else, call the CSIA-certified technicians at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

The Top Sealing Damper

As the name indicates, a top sealing damper is installed at the top of a chimney, as opposed to the standard damper that is in reach from the fireplace hearth. Pull-cables operate top sealing dampers, and when shut the dampers can completely close off the chimney top. This increases your protection against heat loss through the flue than with a standard damper alone. Top sealing dampers are 90% more efficient than standard throat dampers if they use a silicone rubber gasket for their seal.

An added benefit of a top sealing damper is that, with a screened cap, they provide protection from animals and debris such as branches and leaves from entering and blocking the chimney.

We highly recommend top sealing dampers for wood-burning fireplaces, so if your chimney does not have one, you should consider scheduling installation.

If you already have a top sealing damper, please make sure that you do not attempt to repair it yourself should it become stuck, loose, or develop leaking along its edges. Repairs require going up on the roof, and this is discouraged for all but professionals. Chimney sweeps have experience with these sorts of repairs, so call up a licensed professional service that does fireplace repair in Minneapolis, MN—before you try to find a tall ladder!

We Can Help You with Your Chimney and Fireplace

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has many years of work on chimneys of all kinds, from sweeping to repairing masonry. We are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild and have properly certified-technicians with the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Call us for top sealing damper repairs and installation.

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Signs You Need Chimney Restoration in Minneapolis

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

In the cold weather we’re currently having, a good fireplace is one of the best features you can have in a home: a cozy central spot that gives you the direct warmth you usually can’t get from a standard home furnace or boiler.

However, if the chimney that vents your fireplace has damage, that cozy spot might become hazardous. Although chimneys are built to withstand many stresses, they sometimes need restoration work. Here are some signs that you may need to contact a company like 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. to restore your chimney in Minneapolis, MN.

Signs to look for that indicate a need for chimney repair

  • Smoke or fumes entering your home: If your chimney starts to shows signs that it has venting trouble, and the issue isn’t related to a closed damper or obstructions like animal nests, then you may need to have restoration done to flue to make sure it has the proper lining and sealing. Relining is often necessary to avoid having to fully re-build a damaged chimney.
  • Leaning chimney: It may at first look like an optical illusion, but if it turns out that your chimney is indeed starting to tilt, you need restoration work immediately to right it. A leaning chimney will put heavy stress on the building material of your home and will tear the lining and possibly allow fire and exhaust into the upper levels.
  • Missing bricks and stones: Although chimneys are built to handle both weather and internal heat, over time their mortar can begin to wear down and the bricks loosen. If you notice missing bricks or stones on your chimney, restoration is necessary—and it needs to be done soon, because each missing brick will cause the structure of the chimney to weaken even further.
  • Spalling bricks: When water enters a brick or stone and causes the surface to peel or flake off, it’s called “spalling.” If you notice bits of masonry falling off your chimney, then it’s probably spalling. If this continues without repairs, it could cause the whole chimney to collapse.
  • Damaged wallpaper: One of the best ways to recognize a chimney that is leaking excess moisture is to look at the wallpaper in the areas near the chimney. If you notice lumps, warping, or peeling, then you should call for chimney repair right away, since this moisture could come from damaged masonry or broken liners.

Please don’t allow the apparent sturdiness of your chimney to make you think it can survive without repairs. No one has yet built an invincible chimney that can resist all the effects of time and weather. Chimney repair requires experts in venting and masonry, so hire only certified chimney reliners approved by the Chimney Safety Institute of America for the job. If you want skilled chimney restoration in Minneapolis, MN, call on 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

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Small Repairs now Save Money in the Long Run

Friday, June 28th, 2013

We know the weather doesn’t always cooperate year round in St. Paul, MN, even during the summer. But at 2nd Generation Chimneys, staying on track and doing the job right is our top priority. Our certified and experienced technicians provide outstanding customer service and work hard to meet our deadlines despite the summer showers. Whether your chimney requires a minor repair, masonry repairs, or a partial replacement, you can rely on us to get your chimney in top shape for this winter.

St. Paul’s extreme weather conditions make chimneys susceptible to structural wear and potential long term damage to the chimney’s lining from extensive use. Repairs such as chimney relining and sealing are more cost-effective than having to replace the entire chimney. Keep in mind that routine inspections and annual cleanings can help catch little cracks or other problems early to prevent extensive damage and costly repairs.

To request an estimate or to schedule service, call 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

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Twin Cities: The Importance of Chimney Resurfacing

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Check out our video of one of our certified technicians performing smoke chamber resurfacing. As part of our chimney repair services, resurfacing is an important part of maintaining and preserving your chimney and masonry work. Don’t wait until your chimney becomes irreparable to schedule a maintenance call. We service the Twin Cities area so Schedule an appointment today!

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