2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘chimney’

What You Should Know about Gas Heating and Your Chimney

Monday, December 18th, 2017

gas-furnace-burnerMany people in Minnesota have homes with classic masonry chimneys and wood-burning fireplaces that add charm and elegance to a home. Of course, these older fireplaces produce a lot of creosote, which means they need to be cleaned frequently. This is something most homeowners in our area know.

What some people do not realize, though, is that some gas heating appliances—including fireplaces, stoves, boilers, and furnaces—use the masonry chimney too, and that the chimney still requires just as much maintenance in these cases.

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Is Your Chimney Safe for the Summer?

Monday, June 12th, 2017

chimney-treesYou may have heard before that it’s so important to clean out and inspect your chimney each year. Chimney cleaning is a professional service that can protect your home from fires, but should you really worry about this now that temperatures are rising and you don’t plan to use your chimney and fireplace for several months?

We think so. Spring and summer are perhaps the best times to schedule a chimney inspection and sweeping. You can prevent problems that would cause a potential fire in the colder seasons, and even help to prevent damage to your home that can occur at any time of year. Here’s why your chimney might not be safe for summer and why you should call chimney sweeps this season.

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Busting 4 Myths about Chimneys

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

fireplace-fire-burningChimneys are fairly simple structures when compared to other types of devices we use to stay comfortable. They use the laws of physics to vent smoke outside of the home, and there are not many moving parts aside from, perhaps, a damper you open and shut as needed.

It’s precisely this simplicity, however, that allows for so many misconceptions about fireplaces and chimneys. Many people skip the maintenance necessary to keep a home safe, or decide to try it their own, and this is a huge risk. Below, we break down 4 myths about chimneys that we hear all too often, so that you have the information necessary to keep your household safer.

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Keep Heat in Your Home with 4 Fireplace and Chimney Tips

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

A fireplace is a soothing, comforting source of heat when the whole family is gathered in the living room, playing games or watching television and making the most of a cold evening.

We hope we don’t have to tell you that you shouldn’t be using your fireplace as a primary source of heat. This is expensive, first of all, and it can be unsafe. You should never use a fireplace unattended, and it can only really heat one area of the home anyway.Chimney-Heating-Efficiency

This winter, you may use both your heating system and your fireplace. If so, we want to make sure your home works as efficiently as possible and that you get the most out of both of these comfort systems. Follow these tips to make sure your fireplace and chimney don’t contribute to higher energy bills than you need.

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Why Does My Fireplace Smell?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Most people are not thinking about their fireplace and chimney in the spring and summertime. But if you notice an odor coming from your fireplace when it’s warm outside, then you certainly are. It’s actually a common problem but still something you should get fixed ASAP. This is partly for the sake of your guests, but also because your annoying fireplace odor could actually be dangerous.

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3 Types of Chimney Cleaning

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Winter is finally over in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MN area, and that means one thing for homeowners with chimneys: time to clean. An annual chimney cleaning service can help you keep ahead of build-up and other potential problems, and doing it in the spring leaves your chimney ready to go when fall rolls around and you want to get a fire going again. But not all chimney cleaning services are alike and indeed, which service you need depends on specific circumstances. Here are 3 types of chimney cleaning that you may want to consider this spring – part of keeping your chimney well-maintained.

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3 Myths about Chimneys that Could Put Your Home at Risk

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Many people are fairly unfamiliar with the chimney they make use of every winter. It is such a great feeling to walk into a room kept warm and cozy by the light of a glowing fireplace, that you may not take the time to think about what’s really going on inside of the chimney. Chimneys require a certain level of regular care and maintenance, and believing otherwise could put your home and family members in jeopardy. Today, we’ll take a look at three common myths about chimneys, so that you can get the facts and take the proper steps to keep your unit safe.

Myth #1: Chimneys and fireplaces are a great, maintenance-free source of heating.

One of the most dangerous beliefs about fireplaces is that little needs to be done to keep them in good condition. A standard forced-air heating system such as a furnace contains multiple moving and electrical components, and these must all be in good condition if you want the heater to run efficiently and operate correctly and safely. Although it lacks the mechanical complexity of a furnace, your chimney needs just as much maintenance in the form of annual inspections and cleaning. A dirty chimney can lead to a chimney fire, so be sure to get on a chimney cleaning schedule today.

Myth #2: I don’t use my chimney often, so I can skip an inspection this year.

Chimney fires most commonly result when creosote builds up in the chimney flue. Your chimney is meant to provide a pathway for the dangerous byproducts of combustion to move away from the home. However, as condensation forms in the chimney flue, a residue forms from these byproducts known as creosote. If conditions in your chimney are not quite right—if the damper is not adequately opened, for example—creosote may build up more quickly. So even if you don’t use your chimney very often, you may still have a significant buildup, and it is worth it to get an inspection.

Myth #3: A good chimney sweep will get through the job fast.

If a chimney sweep service promises you fast inspection and cleaning, be wary. A chimney expert will take time to make sure that your chimney is in top shape, something that should take over an hour.

When you decide it is time for quality chimney inspections and chimney cleaning in Minneapolis, MN, 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. is the name to trust. Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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Minneapolis Chimney Cleaning FAQ: What Is that Black Stuff in My Chimney?

Monday, May 6th, 2013

When you enjoy the warmth, comfort, and pleasure of a fireplace, you need to make sure that it is in good shape year round. One of the most common question we hear from customers throughout our Minneapolis is concerning the black stuff in your chimney.  Creosote is the name for that tar-like substance that accumulates on the parts of your fireplace and chimney. It’s imperative that you have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis to keep your fireplace running smoothly. Let’s take a look at creosote. For superior Minneapolis chimney cleaning service, call the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

  • What is creosote? Creosote is that dark brown or black, and often foul-smelling substance that builds up in your chimney.  Its composed of unburned wood particles mixed with condensed flue gases. It is one of the major reasons to have your chimney cleaned. It is toxic and carcinogenic.
  • What causes it? Creosote is typically caused by three major things: incomplete combustion of firewood, cool surfaces within the chimney, and wet firewood. The latter cause is easy to avoid: use only seasoned dry hardwood to build your fires. Depending on your stove or fireplace, there are some things you can do to make sure that your fuel is combusting properly. Use small amounts of wood and stoke often to decrease smoke density in an airtight stove, and make sure you avoid constant smoldering. Burn your fire hot regularly.
  • So what? Our reason for alerting you to creosote is because it poses a potential hazard to the safety of your home. While creosote tends to affect wood stoves more than fireplaces because the former’s exhaust gases tend to be cooler, creosote is an issue in any wood-burning device. As creosote accumulates within the chimney, it can become thick and begin to close in on the draft opening. When such accumulations thicken enough, they can actually ignite; chimney fires can disturb the masonry or metal chimney, but they can also lead to house fires when the framing heats up enough.

We hope this gives you some idea about creosote. For comprehensive Minneapolis chimney cleaning, call 2nd Generation Chimneys today! 

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Minneapolis Chimney Tip: Why Is Chimney Flashing So Important?

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Chimney Flashing is a term for the metal used to wrap exposed parts of your roof and chimney to protect them from water damage. While most of your roof—whether asphalt shingles or metal sheets—is designed to shed water rapidly, the areas at the roof edge, as well as those surrounding vents and chimneys must be protected, for it is in these areas that water tends to seep in. The area around your chimney needs special attention because it is essentially a hole in your roof. Making sure your roofing joins to the outside of your chimney is critical to ensure that water does not cause damage to your roof or create mold problems in your home. For more information about the importance of Chimney Flashing, or for Minneapolis chimney repair, call 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

  • What it is. Chimney Flashing is the name for thin metal sheets that act to prevent water from reaching susceptible areas of your home. It is part of weatherproof construction, which uses impervious materials to make your home shed water effectively. Chimney Flashing can be made out of any sheet metal, including aluminum, copper, zinc, lead, or stainless steel. The choice of material depends upon the application and the budget.
  • Why it is important. Chimney Flashing is important because it protects water from damaging the area around your chimney. As one of the major areas of potential water damage, your chimney needs to be joined to the rest of the weatherproof design on the roof. Improper or inadequate Chimney Flashing can result in major roof and chimney damages. Because your chimney protrudes, it is the first to undergo wind and water during a storm. Chimney Flashing allows a seamless fit.
  • The risk of water damage. If water is permitted to pool in and around your chimney structure, it cannot only require a major roof repair; it can be a breeding ground for mold growth, which can then seep into the interior walls. You need to ensure that your Chimney Flashing material is of high quality and that it lasts long—copper is generally acknowledged to be one of the best materials for Chimney Flashing.

For comprehensive chimney installation, repair, and maintenance in Minneapolis, MN, call 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

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Getting to Know Your Minneapolis Chimney: What is a Chimney Crown?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Using a fireplace or wooden stove to heat a home is an antiquated notion to some. To others, though, there is simply nothing more comforting, relaxing and charming than a fire or wood burning stove keeping your home warm. If you are anything like the Minneapolis chimney experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys, the sound and feeling of a comfortable fire is something to really look forward to.

Of course, the condition of your chimney is integral to the safe, successful operation of your fireplace or wood stove. We believe that homeowners should have some general idea of how their chimneys work and what function the different components serve. Here is some information about the chimney crown that sits atop your chimney and the important job that it performs.

Your chimney is exposed all year long to extreme heat and the iciest cold. That can really take a toll over the years. The function of your chimney crown is to protect the structural integrity of your chimney. Generally speaking, the mortar at the top of your chimney is weaker than at other points. To prevent your chimney from degrading from the top down, your chimney crown protects this vulnerable area from the weather throughout the year.

Many homeowners also opt to include a chimney cap on their chimney. Oftentimes the chimney and cap and chimney crown are confused. While the chimney crown is a mortared section of your chimney, the chimney cap is a roofed addition. The function of this chimney component is to prevent rain, snow, leaves and even vermin from entering your chimney. Ideally, a chimney crown and chimney cap will both be utilized in an effort to fully protect your chimney, both inside and out, from any debris or critters that may compromise its integrity.

For more information about the parts and function of your chimney, call the Minneapolis chimney cleaning and sweeping experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys. Our chimney specialists have the answers to any questions you may still have about the importance of your chimney crown. Contact us today for more information.

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