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Chimney Maintenance Tips For the Fall and Winter

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We don’t think about it too much in the warm weather, but we should. Your home's fireplace and chimney can be a major source of cold air leaks and other issues in winter. So the chimney and fireplace need to be checked out before winter comes along.

If it has been a long time since you had your fireplace chimney cleaned, you should have it done by a professional chimney sweep. Definitely not a DIY project.

  • Be sure that the chimney is clear of any nests from birds, squirrels or other animals.
  • Check flue damper operation. Make sure it opens and closes fully, and that it is able to be locked in the open or closed position.
  • Check chimney draft. Make sure the chimney will draw up the fire and smoke properly. Test this by taking several sheets of newspaper and rolling them up. Then with the fireplace damper in the open position, light the newspaper in the fireplace. The smoke should rise up the chimney. If it doesn't, you have an obstruction and need to call a professional in to clean the chimney of creosote and ash and possible debris.
  • Also, have the fire brick in the fireplace inspected. If you see any open mortar joints have them repaired immediately! A fire can spread into the stud wall behind the masonry fire brick through open mortar joints.
The Fireplace Showcase is your one stop shop for all services and products related to chimneys, fireplaces, stoves, inserts, and hearth accessories.  We can install, maintain and repair your heating appliance or fireplace and chimney system.  

Summer is the perfect time for Chimney Cleanings and Inspections

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 03, 2011

Summer is just around the corner and thank goodness we aren’t using our fireplaces for a while. This is the perfect time to schedule your chimney cleaning or inspection.

A clean chimney is a safe chimney. The type of wood you burn plays a large part in if you need to have your chimney cleaned. Burning green, wet wood makes your chimney need cleaning more often than dry, seasoned wood. However, chimney sweeping is an unregulated business. For this reason, people need to ask some questions, understand more, and be very vigilant when contracting someone to clean their chimney.

Your chimney should be cleaned and inspected every year to ensure that it is functioning properly, free of blockages, and safe for use. Additionally, if you are purchasing a new home, you are surely having a home inspection, consider a chimney inspection as well.

Even if you don't plan to use the fireplace, you should still have an expert inspect the chimney to make sure there aren't any leaks. If you are using central AC or heating, air could slowly escape through the chimney, leading to high utility bills. There are many potential dangers with chimneys, the most obvious problem in an older home being deterioration. The chimney itself or the flue liner could be slowly decaying. If you are planning on using the chimney, you want to fix a decaying chimney so gases cannot leak into your home and to keep flames and sparks contained within the fireplace and chimney.

At Fireplace Showcase our trained, knowledgeable, and licensed technicians have the knowledge and experience to handle any job, big or small.

Chimney Caps Protect Your Chimney from Nesting Birds

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The warmer weather is on its way, and like many in Massachusetts, you love your hearths, but cannot wait to stop heating your home and open the windows. For many, the time to shut down and clean up the fireplace is just as fun as the first time we light it for the season.  It is time to clean out and clean up your fireplaces, stovesinserts and chimneys.
 
Chimney Caps are an integral part of the venting system for your fireplace and the venting system is an integral part of your overall fireplace system. The weather and the wildlife are the biggest enemies of your chimney. The birds are out and trying to find a great place to make their nests, what better place than your cozy, dark chimney. Birds and other animals contribute to your chimneys’ demise. All kinds of animals like to make their homes in chimneys especially if the fireplace has not been used for a couple of years.
 
When chimneys are not correctly sealed, moisture gets into the cracks and seams and can ruin the chimney. Brick chimneys are extremely susceptible. This is where chimney caps can provide extra protection. Chimney caps protect against all types of weather and wind, all of which can erode a chimney. Chimney caps can really prolong the structural integrity of a chimney.

If chimney caps are not in place this spring, the risk from weather and animals is dramatically increased. There are different kinds of chimney caps for masonry or stainless steel chimneys. And Fireplace Showplace can help you decide which style is best for your home.

Make Sure You Wood Stove Enthusiasts Follow Proper Safety Measures

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Fireplaces and wood stoves are used  to help heat homes all across the country during the chilly months of the seasons. And if you have a wood stove then you know that wood heat is a renewable energy source that has many benefits. However, if not careful the use of wood heat can result in problems. So we want to provide some safety tips to remember during the winter time.

The first thing to do each and every year is to have a chimney sweep clean the flue. This will remove the creosote that had built up. Creosote is the black substance that condenses in the flue or stove pipe. Check the clearance of combustible materials from the fireplace or wood stove. The needed clearance will vary depending upon the model of the wood stove. Hearths should extend at least 18 inches on the floor in all directions and of course be non-combustible. The clearance from the wall depends upon use or not of a heat shield. A good rule of thumb is keeping combustibles 36 inches away.

Care should also be taken with the wood that is intended to be burned. Firewood should not be stored directly next to the house or inside. To do so risk bringing in wood destroying insects such as carpenter ants, termites and powder post beetles. It is better to bring in the wood as you need it. Always burn suspect wood immediately once brought inside to kill any bad bugs. Wood stoves are a great investment and if you’re like many Americans who love the feel and smell of a wood burning stove, then we have the perfect stoves for you. Contact us today to find out how you can get your very own wood stove, or even if you need any accessories for your fireplace needs. We have a wide selection of stoves, fireplaces, and accessories, so be sure to check them out!

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