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

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.

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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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Is a Leaning Chimney a Serious Problem?

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

A chimney leaning away from the house, slanted at an odd angle, is an image pulled from a Victorian storybook or a Gothic movie. It’s stylish and strange. But, you don’t want that happening to your chimney. Not only does it put the whole appearance of your house off-kilter, it can pose other problems for you.

But how serious is it? If the chimney only leans a bit and seems in no danger of immediately crumbling and taking out a wall, are there any urgent reasons to repair it aside from cosmetic ones?

Yes, there are. In this post we’ll explain why you need to call immediately for masonry services in St. Paul, MN when you have a chimney that’s turning into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., where we offer masonry services that will take care of the problem for you.

The dangers of leaning chimneys

The usual leaning chimney is one that appears to be separating away from the side of the house. Even if it seems like the chimney isn’t about to topple over (sometimes the lean can look almost like an optical illusion), this tilt puts tremendous strain on the construction material of your home, and over time can cause significant structural damage. Just because the lean looks small doesn’t mean that it isn’t putting enormous stress on the material around it: most chimneys weigh many tons, and your home’s frame was not built to stand this level of pressure. Masonry repairs to shore up the foundation of the chimney will eliminate this problem.

There’s also the danger of toppling bricks. The tilt can start to dislodge bricks which will crash onto your house, and possibly right through your roof. This is obviously something you never want to happen, and masons can make sure your bricks are all still mortared in tightly after straightening the chimney.

The pressure from the lean can do significant damage to the interior lining of a chimney. The lining is responsible for helping to safely vent exhaust from the fireplace. Breaks in the liner can cause combustion gases to enter your home, and also leads to a major fire hazards.

Call for chimney masonry services

Even if the lean only seems minor, if you notice your chimney starting to tilt you need to have the problem dealt with immediately: there are too many potential dangerous outcomes. Call for masonry service in St. Paul, MN for your leaning chimney. At 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we provide full services for all kinds of fireplaces and chimneys, and we can help you straighten up your home.

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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.

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What Is the Process for Restoring My Chimney?

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Does your fireplace no longer work as it once did? Do you find that your heated air does not effectively radiate into your living space, but escapes through the cracks in the chimney? Has your chimney been damaged by fire? There are various ways in which your chimney can be damaged over the years, whether by wear and tear or by fire and water damage. As an integral part of your fireplace, and therefore directly linked to the comfort of your home during the heating season, your chimney needs to be serviced by a professional. While routine fireplace maintenance tasks like chimney sweeping can be helpful, some problems are so severe as to warrant complete chimney restoration. The scale of this job depends on what the problems are, but we can find a unique solution for your home.

Call 2nd Generation Chimneys today for all of your masonry service needs in St. Paul.

Here are some aspects to consider when dealing with chimney restoration in St. Paul.

  • Crown. The crown or mortar cap as it also known is the top of the chimney that prevents water from seeping into the chimney over time and down into the firebox. It is critical to ensure that your crown is in good condition at all times. Whether yours has been damaged by fire or water, it can be detrimental to the integrity of your entire chimney, thus putting your home and your comfort at risk.
  • Mortar damage. The mortar is the material that holds your chimney together. Without it, your dry bricks would simply collapse and the chimney would not be properly sealed. While it tends to last a long time when professionally pointed, it will not last forever. Moisture, as well as fire, can both damage the condition of your mortar joints. When this occurs, your entire chimney is at risk. We can provide comprehensive inspection and repointing as well as sealing to prevent the wear and tear of water over time.

Let 2nd Generation Chimneys take care of your masonry services so that your fireplace and chimney are restored to full functionality and energy efficiency.

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Why You Should Fix Crumbling or Cracked Masonry

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

The chimney and surrounding masonry of your fireplace is vital to the effectiveness and efficiency of your heating system. Over time, your masonry will be subject to the effects of temperature fluctuation, rain, snow and wind, as well as any accidental damage caused by debris. You should always keep your masonry in top condition, whether it’s your fireplace or another part of your home. There are several different techniques that our professional masonry service technicians in Wayzata, MN use to ensure that can restore your home in no time. In today’s post, we’d like to look at some reasons why fixing crumbling or cracked masonry immediately is so critical to the future comfort of your home. Call 2nd Generation Chimneys today.

  • Air leaks. Your fireplace is only as good as the masonry that encases it. This is not only an efficiency issue but also a safety one. Incomplete combustion can lead to the production of carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that is highly toxic. Any crumbling or cracked masonry may lead to leaking exhaust in your home.
  • Water leaks. Perhaps even more dangerous to your fireplace and chimney is a water leak. When water is allowed to penetrate into your brickwork, it may actually expand when frozen, thus leading to further damage.
  • Heat. Crumbling or cracked masonry can also lead to problems with the effectiveness of your heating. If you rely on your fireplace for more than just its looks, then repairing such issues can help you keep your fireplace in good working condition. Such issues tend only to worsen over time. If you are in need of chimney repairs for your Wazata home, then call 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

Our masons use only time-honored and long-lasting repair techniques. The action of using mortar to fill and repair cracks in the mortar is known as repointing. The “pointing” is the external surface of the mortar joints that hold the bricks or stones of your fireplace together. Hence, repointing is the process by which your pointing is restored. It involves assessing what parts of your mortar joints are damaged and removing them. Then, our masons can match new mortar to the color of your existing chimney or fireplace.

Call 2nd Generation Chimneys today for excellent masonry services throughout the Wayzata, MN area.

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