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

How Modern Chimney Sweeps Do Their Jobs

Monday, April 22nd, 2024

In the quaint imaginations of many, chimney sweeps conjure up images of soot-covered figures dancing atop rooftops, reminiscent of scenes from classic literature or movies. (A certain Disney film comes to mind.) Yet, the reality of modern chimney sweeping is far removed from these romanticized depictions. As a leading chimney contractor, 2nd Generation Chimneys is here to shed light on the evolution of chimney sweep services and how we do our jobs in the 21st century.

Gone are the days of manual labor and primitive tools. Today’s chimney sweeps are equipped with advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure thorough and efficient cleaning. At 2nd Generation Chimneys, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of industry advancements, delivering exceptional service with every sweep.

So, what exactly sets modern chimney sweeps apart from their predecessors? Let’s delve into the methods and tools that define our profession today.

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Why Stick With a Wood-Burning Fireplace?

Monday, February 26th, 2024

In our previous blog post, we talked about the benefits of switching to a gas fireplace the next time you need a fireplace installation in Plymouth, MN. Today, we’re going to do the opposite, because although there are many advantages to gas-burning fireplaces, the traditional wood-burning fireplace has plenty to offer as well. If you have an old wood-burning fireplace and you’re looking to have it replaced, you may want to consider having a new wood-burning fireplace put in its place. It’s not always a bad idea to embrace the traditional.

We can help you weigh your different options, and we can handle the installation of whatever type you choose. We’ll make sure that your new fireplace is a true upgrade, no matter if it’s gas, wood-burning, or electric.

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Just What Is Chimney Sweeping?

Monday, July 3rd, 2023

Because people often have an old-fashioned image of soot-covered men with brooms in Victorian London in their mind when they hear “chimney sweeping,” they often dismiss this job as old-fashioned and unnecessary. But chimney sweeping is just another way of saying “chimney cleaning,” and this is absolutely something a chimney needs to receive on a regular basis.

We offer chimney sweeping in Plymouth, MN and throughout the Twin Cities, and we’d like to take this opportunity to give you a short primer on just what chimney sweeping is and why it’s important.

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The Benefits of Regular Chimney Sweeping

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

Millions of homeowners in the US rely on chimneys to keep their homes warm and comfortable during winter. However, you need to maintain and clean the chimneys properly. Neglecting the fireplace and chimneys can cause you unnecessary stress and it can lead to property damage that requires thousands of dollars to fix. 

In this blog, we cover the many benefits of regular chimney sweeping in Plymouth, MN that help keep your home nice and comfortable throughout the year.

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Come to Us To Get Your New Fireplace Set Up

Monday, July 19th, 2021

Having a fireplace can be one of the most wonderful investments you can make in your home. When people are looking to build a new home or going through a renovation to make significant home improvements, the addition of a fireplace can often be seen as an excellent addition.

From wood-burning fireplaces to gas fireplaces, having this system in your home can make the space amazing, create a great environment, provide you with affordable heating, and make the holiday season in your Plymouth home more cozy and comfortable.

Of course, fireplace installation in Plymouth, MN is no joke. Unlike other home improvement projects, fireplace installation is not a task you should handle yourself. It is always a good idea to seek professional help. We will discuss some of the reasons why it is better to hire a professional company for fireplace installation so that you can get the best value out of your investment.

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What Happens During a Chimney Cleaning?

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Soot and creosote can build up in your chimney over time. Not only do they interfere with your ability to enjoy your fireplace, but they can constitute a danger to your household. When it comes to chimney cleaning, Plymouth MN and other communities in the Twin Cities need a reliable service in order to make full use of their fireplaces during our long, cold winters. But what happens during a chimney cleaning? The specifics depend on the type of fireplace and the nature of the build-up or damage, though a few general steps are universal.

It starts with an inspection to determine the state of your chimney and note the specific levels of soot or creosote build-up. After that, the chimney sweep lays down tarp and other protective coverings to keep your home clean and safe during the cleaning process. From there, the cleaning can proceed in earnest, using one of three basic methods:

  • The rod method uses flexible rods with sweepers on the end. The chimney sweep brushes the interior sides of the chimney to clear off the build-up. The deeper he needs to go into the chimney, the more extensions he can add to the rods to extend them. The rod method can be applied “top down” from the roof or “bottom up” from the interior of the home, depending on what’s most effective.
  • The weight method applies heavy weights to the brushes, then lets gravity help do the scrubbing. The chimney sweep can raise or lower it using a system of pulleys.
  • The dual line method involves two chimney sweeps: one at the top of the chimney and one at the bottom. They push and pull on a line running the length of the chimney with a brush attached to scrub down the sides of the chimney.

The exact method depends on the type of chimney, the cleaning required, and the proclivities of the chimney sweep. When you need a chimney cleaning in Plymouth MN, we can help. 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. can explain what happens during a chimney cleaning, then clean yours with thoroughness and courtesy. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.

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Plymouth Chimney Sweeping: Tools of the Chimney Sweeping Trade

Monday, January 21st, 2013

When most people think of chimney sweeping they most likely think of Bert from Marry Poppins leaping across rooftops with a black wire brush filled with soot2nd Generation Chimneys provides complete Plymouth chimney sweeping services. While we still to use metal brushes on poles, there are many other tools that we have at our disposal to get your chimney nice and clean.

Why Are Chimney Cleaning Services Necessary?

If you have a fireplace in your Plymouth home, you may have never thought about getting it cleaned. Here are a couple of the benefits of getting your chimney cleaned.

  • Safety – Most people think that once the fuel they put in their fire burns that there’s no risk to them. In reality, the soot and creosote that gather on the inside of your chimney are still flammable. If soot and creosote build up in your chimney they can ignite again. Chimney fires can cause tremendous damage to your chimney and to your home.
  • Efficiency – When you have a fire in your home, you want it to burn as efficiently as possible. If you let soot and creosote build up inside your chimney, it can hinder the flow of smoke, heat and air out of your chimney.

Chimney Sweeping Tools

Here are some of the tools that our skilled Plymouth chimney sweeping professionals will use.

  • Brushes – One of the best tools for chimney sweeps is still a long wire brush. The flexibility and strength of wires brushes allows us to get into tight spaces and scrub out any deposits.
  • Vacuums – Chimney sweeping is a dirty job. We use vacuums to remove any pollutants that enter the air as a result of our cleaning processes. We also make sure to clean up any mess that we make.
  • Chemical soot removers – Sometimes, a brush isn’t enough to get the soot or creosote off of your chimney. In some cases, we use a chemical cleaning agent to remove those deposits.

If you’ve never had your chimney cleaned, it might be a good idea to think about calling 2nd Generation today. We have many years of experience offering chimney cleaning in Plymouth. Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys today!

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Plymouth Chimney Sweeping FAQ’s

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

There are few things more relaxing than making use of your fireplace on a chilly night. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that because it is not a primary heat source your Plymouth chimney does not need to be inspected and cleaned, though. Any use of your fireplace requires basic maintenance to keep it safe. Here are some common questions that people have regarding chimney sweeping.

How Often Should I Clean My Chimney?

Fire safety experts generally agree that yearly maintenance is necessary for a safe chimney. Remember, even though it is not heavily used your chimney could have poor ventilation from animal nests or suffer from a damaged liner or flu. A yearly inspection and cleaning will keep your chimney safe and functional.

How Long Does A Sweeping Take, and Is There a Mess?

Generally a chimney sweeping should be done in about an hour, though if problems are discovered it can take longer. As for a mess, yes, chimney sweeping is messy business. Thankfully a professional service like ours always has the appropriate equipment to leave your fire area cleaner than when we got there.

Why is Video Inspection Necessary?

A video inspection is, simply put, the most thorough way to ensure that your chimney is in safe working order. If our professional chimney sweepers notice any warning signs or safety hazards, the best way to evaluate the level of concern is with video inspection. The accessible parts of a chimney are only part of a complete inspection.

Can I Install My Wood Stove Insert Directly Into My Fireplace?

Maybe. Some prefabricated wood stoves require a specific chimney that is installed with the insert. Some are adaptable to existing fireplaces, but it is important that a qualified contractor do the installation to ensure that the stove and chimney are compatible as well as to properly insulate and seal the components.

If I’ve Had a Chimney Fire Can I Still Use My Fireplace?

The only way to be sure that your fireplace is safe to use is by having it professionally inspected. If you have a tile or clay liner, for example, you may need to have a new liner installed as these materials are very susceptible to heat. If any insulation or other materials are exposed through a crack it is very possible that another chimney fire may occur.

We at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. hope that this information has cleared up a few questions you may have had. Remember, we’re here whenever you need us, so if you have a question that was not addressed or have any other concerns, call us now. We’re here to help with any issues your Plymouth chimney is experiencing.

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How to Prevent Cracks in Your Plymouth Chimney

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Checking for cracks on the exterior of your chimney is something that any Plymouth homeowner can and should do.  Depending on the size of the crack and the potential soot around it anyone can determine if chimney repairs are needed.  Here are a few characteristics of chimneys in need of inspections, and ways you can prevent future damages.

One of the primary steps contractors and homeowners should know to take is leaving space between the chimney flue and the brick exterior.  This space needs to be present because of the heat expansion that occurs within the chimney while it is being used.  Without this additional space the chimney flue will expand and crack the brick exterior, which will lead to potential smoke leakage and further chimney damage.

Chimneys must be made to withstand some amount of movement, especially in towns that are known to have seismic activity.  Contractors should also be particularly careful of the soil that the place the chimney on, so that the foundation of the chimney is not resting on unsecure ground.  If your chimney does experience some movement it is important for homeowners to check the mortar joints, or the area where the chimney protrudes out of the roof, for gaps between the roof and the chimney.

One quick way homeowners can avoid any chimney sealing and resurfacing issues is by installing a chimney damper or cap.  During the colder months, if water travels down your chimney, and freezes, there is a good chance that the expansion of water to ice will crack your brick mortar exterior.  Right now 2nd Generation Chimneys is offering a discount on chimney inspections and cleanings when homeowners purchase a chimney damper.  By taking advantage of this deal people will be able to save money on their heating bills by restricting air flow through their chimney, reduce water from entering their chimney, and receive a discounted chimney inspection.

To learn more about ways to reduce chimney cracks, and increase chimney efficiency please call 2nd Generation Chimneys today.

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Plymouth Chimney and Fireplace Tips: Ten Fire Safety Tips

Monday, May 21st, 2012

If you utilize your fireplace frequently in Plymouth, there are some preventative chimney cleaning and maintenance tasks that you should follow to avoid safety hazards. Even if you heat your home with a gas furnace or rarely use your fireplace, chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks are still major concerns. Your chimney is part of your home’s ventilation system.

To maintain proper ventilation and prevent hazards, follow these guidelines:

1. Annual Inspections
The general consensus among fire safety experts is that chimneys should be inspected once a year by a certified chimney inspector. A qualified professional will inspect and clean your chimney to prevent air flow problems, fires, or carbon monoxide poisoning due to blockages and creosote buildup in homes heated with wood.

2. Burn the Correct Fuel
If you have a wood-burning application, such as a wood stove or fireplace, you should only burn wood that has been properly dried and stored properly for at least six months prior to burning. Never burn wood that has high amounts of resin, such as pine or other evergreens, and if you have a pellet stove, make sure you are burning pellets from a trusted source.

3. Chimney Cap and Cage Are Important – Without a chimney cap animals and birds will make your chimney their home.  These unwanted guests could lead to fires and poor ventilation for your chimney smoke.

4. Trash or Debris Do Not Belong in Your Fireplace– Burning trash or debris in your fireplace is never a good idea because the smoke could produce increased levels of creosote, or toxic smoke.  The smoke could also be highly pollutant.

5. Build the Fire Correctly – The first step to having a safe and efficient fire is to build the fire right.  Make sure that the logs are piled up towards the back of the fireplace, make sure the screen is ready to cover it up, and do not use flammable liquid to start the fire because if the liquid gets anywhere else in your home that could be dangerous.
6. Keep the hearth area clear – Remember that the fire in your home is still an open fire, and can throw out hot ash or embers that can ignite other flammable materials. Keep other materials at least 4 feet away from the fire in order to avoid this issue.

7. Install a Fireplace Screen – In order to avoid hot ash and embers from flying out of the fire, and things falling into the fire put up a fire place screen anytime you have a fire going. This will reduce all interactions with the fire, and make for a safer environment.

8. Smoke and carbon monoxide Detectors Save Lives. Smoke and carbon monoxide is definitely dangerous for the health of a family, but can sometimes go unnoticed until it is too late.  Installing a smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is incredibly easy and could save lives.
9. Pay Attention to Your Fire – Always extinguish your fire before going to bed or leaving the house.  A fire is unpredictable and potentially very damaging.  Even if you are in the house make sure to keep an eye on the fire so children or animals do not wander too close to it, especially if you do not have a fireplace screen.

10. Safe Distance from Chimney Flue – When smoke leaves your home it is warm enough to catch trees on fire over time.  Make sure to keep an eye on trees growing around your home to make sure they are not creeping closer to the top of your chimney.  Try to keep a fifteen to twenty foot distance between the top of your chimney and trees.

If you would like us to service your chimney or you have any questions please call 2nd Generation Chimneys.

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