2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog: Archive for the ‘Masonry Fireplace’ Category

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.

Continue Reading

Can a Mason Fix My Cracked Fireplace?

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Fireplaces often cause unnecessary worry in homeowners: they feel concerned about the safety of having open flames in their house, whether from burning wood or gas logs. However, a fireplace is no more or less safe than any other heating system you can have in your home. As long as you take care of it and have repairs done as soon as they are necessary, your fireplace should pose no major hazard to you or your family and instead do its job of creating a cozy setting for the winter.

An important part of fireplace safety is sealing up cracks. Cracks will not only lead to dangerous conditions—especially if they occur in the firebox—but they will also prevent your chimney from burning fuel effectively. These gaps and holes allow heat to escape, and they expose other construction material to the high temperatures inside the hearth.

To take care of this job, you should seek out masonry services in Eagan, MN that specialize in fireplace and chimney repair. 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has many years of experience with installing, repairing, cleaning, and maintaining fireplaces throughout the Twin Cities area.

Masons are experts with sealing up damage in stone work. They have knowledge of how bricks are made and which types work best for heating insulation inside a fireplace. They can properly mix the kind of mortar that your fireplace needs to seal up the cracks and then layer it on with the correct tools. Masonry is a specialized skill, and requires training to do it properly. Make sure you entrust your fireplace repairs to technicians with the appropriate masonry skills.

When you have a mason over to repair cracks in your fireplace, you should also have him or her inspect the fireplace and the chimney for additional damage, such as repair needs for the damper or an excessive build-up of creosote. If you hire a company with a wide range of chimney inspection and repair experience, you can find out all the potential troubles and have them fixed before the heavy winter snows sweep in.

As our name states, 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has two generations of experience working on all kinds of chimneys: standard wood burning hearths, fireplace inserts with gas logs, freestanding wood and pellet stoves. If you need chimney repairs in Eagan, MN, or if you are thinking of having an insert put into your old hearth, call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. today to schedule an appointment.

Continue Reading

How to Tell If You Need Minneapolis Masonry Services

Monday, April 15th, 2013

If you have a fireplace in your home that you use regularly then you’re likely enjoying comfortable and efficient heating for your home. Even though chimney and fireplaces can sometimes last up to 100 years they will eventually need repair. For all your Minneapolis masonry services call the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys. If you’re having any issues with your home’s fireplace or chimney make sure that you call for a professional immediately. Here are a few of the signs that you should keep an eye out for that could indicate that you need Minneapolis masonry services.

Inefficient Chimney or Flue

If you’ve started to notice smoke coming out into your home from your fireplace it could mean that you need to call 2nd Generation for Minneapolis masonry services. This can sometimes mean that you’re having an issue with your flue or that there are cracks in your chimney letting air in. It may also indicate that there is blockage or creosote build-up inside your chimney. Not only does this mean that your chimney isn’t working well but it could also fill your home with smoke.

Water Leaks

If you see water dripping down into your fireplace then you probably need the Minneapolis masonry services of 2nd Generation Chimney. This problem likely indicates that there are leaks and cracks in your chimney or in the flashing around the chimney that is letting water or melted ice drip down into your chimney. This problem can be remedied by re-sealing the flashing or filling in the holes and cracks that are in your chimney.

For all your Minneapolis masonry services call the friendly specialists at 2nd Generation Chimney. We have years of experience working with all different types of chimney systems and problems. We’ll be able to quickly diagnose the problem and get it fixed for you as soon as possible. Call us today to talk with one of our expert chimney sweeps.

Continue Reading

Mendota Heights Chimney & Fireplace Tips: Saving Energy with Masonry Heaters

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Most energy experts agree that masonry heaters are one of the most efficient, durable, and easy to use fireplace or wood stove systems you can have in. If you are considering building a masonry heater in your Mendota Heights home, you should understand how they work so that you are familiar with their benefits.

Masonry heaters are distinguished by their structure, design, and ability to burn wood or pellet fuel efficiently. Masonry heaters are also referred to as Russian or Siberian fireplaces, and they look similar to brick ovens because of the masonry structure that is built around the firebox or stove insert. Inside the masonry, a complex and carefully designed system of smoke channels distribute the heat throughout the home over a longer period of time, which means it does not need to be loaded often like traditional fireplaces.

Because Russian fireplaces can also withstand extreme temperatures, they only need to be re-loaded once or twice a day. Once the load is burned, the heat is stored in what is known as the “masonry thermal mass,” which provides you with one of the most efficient radiant heating systems available. Masonry heaters are also ideal during the times you only need a small amount of heat because you can burn a smaller load to meet your heating needs.

If you have an existing fireplace, you have the option of modifying your fireplace or stove with a custom-built masonry fireplace installation. However, any type of masonry heater should be installed by an experienced professional.  Installing the masonry heater incorrectly can create fire hazards and will be less efficient.  In addition, you will need to know how to properly stack and burn the wood (unless you are using a pellet stove) so that the wood burns rapidly enough to provide clean fuel. When you burn wood or fuel too slowly, it can produce tars and other combustion pollutants. If you aren’t sure what the “critical burn rate” is for your wood or pellet-burning appliance, you will need to know this before installing a custom masonry heater.

You can always call 2nd Generation Chimneys if you aren’t sure whether a masonry heater is right for your Mendota Heights home. We’re always glad to answer questions and offer our expert advice.

Continue Reading