FAQ: How Does Ceramic Coating Work For My Chimney?

Your chimney plays a vital role when it comes to the safety of your fireplace. Many homeowners are amazed to hear that poor chimney maintenance is a leading cause of house fires, but it’s true. So, here are some things ceramic coating can do for your chimney and why it’s worth considering this season.

How Does Ceramic Coating Work?

When ceramic coating is sprayed into your chimney, it seals any existing gaps or cracks. This means that the smoke traveling through your chimney will have an efficient passageway up and out of your home. All harmful emissions can exit directly from the crown of your chimney. It also helps to control acid corrosion and prevent damage. Another benefit of investing in ceramic coating is that it can also help you to avoid costly chimney repairs.

The Application Process

Ceramic coating is applied with a special sprayer. In most cases, it should be applied from the base to the top. This is because the spray runs down the chimney and can extend beyond the desired target range. The top area requires delicate attention, but the whole process can be finished within an hour. This step is generally repeated to ensure maximum results.

Benefits of Ceramic Coating

  • Prevents overheating

  • Extends the lifespan of your chimney

  • Seals gaps

  • Minimizes heat loss

  • Saves energy

  • It’s cost-effective

  • Improved fire safety

Sealing the Chimney

Since certain parts of the chimney are more exposed to weather conditions like snow and rain, they may require extra layers of ceramic coating. In particular, this includes the chimney breast. Most ceramic coatings are water-based. One of the main reasons for this is that water-based materials tend to cost less and they’re simply the most ideal option for this task. Also, they’re generally safer to dispatch.

Contact Us Today

When the colder seasons finally arrive, we all love to gather with family and friends around a warm fire, but poor chimney maintenance can lead to catastrophic consequences. Taking care of your chimney maintenance now means you can enjoy your fireplace all year long.

To learn more about ceramic coatings for your chimney, contact us at The Irish Sweep by calling (510) 521-4088, or fill out the easy contact form on our site. Just click here to get started.

3 Things to Do Before Chimney Inspection and Repair

One of the best things about the cold season is gathering around the fire with friends and family to enjoy a cup of tea or some hot chocolate. But without proper chimney inspection and repair, you risk the safety and security of your household due to a fire. Did you know that several things can damage your chimney? For example, the age of the building, wildlife, or extreme weather are just some of the reasons a chimney may need repairs.

The ideal time for chimney cleaning and repairs is just before autumn. But once you’ve booked your appointment, you may be wondering what to do before the experts arrive? With that in mind, here are 3 steps to take to prepare for your chimney inspection.

1) Clear Off Your Mantel

If your mantel is crowded with knickknacks, photo frames, or any other home decor, make sure you remove all of it before the chimney technicians arrive. Why is this important? It prevents anything valuable from being accidentally broken, and it also helps your technicians to get the job done faster because nothing is in their way. Also, put aside anything around the hearth while you’re at it.

2) Cover Nearby Furnishings

The chimney technicians who do this job should cover the area surrounding your fireplace in order to protect it from soot. The process of cleaning a chimney is much more meticulous than it used to be. The whole process is done with the help of a modern industrial vacuum that does not raise dust. Although, if you have delicate items near your fireplace, we strongly recommend that you cover them with sheets or plastic to protect them.

3) Write Down Your Questions

Before the pros arrive, write down any questions you may have. You can ask them during your appointment to gather all the information you need about taking care of your fireplace and chimney. This way, you won’t have to call the company later to ask any forgotten questions.

Schedule Today

Autumn is here, and winter is on its way. If you’re ready to schedule chimney inspection and repair services, give us a call at The Irish Sweep at (510) 521-4088, or fill out a quick contact form by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chimney Cleaning

Fireplace chimney cleaning is an important maintenance task in order to ensure your chimney is clean, safe, and functioning at its best. Scheduling your appointment early in the season prepares your home for the cold months ahead and gets it out of the way, so you can focus on the holidays with your loved ones. But if you’re wondering what fireplace chimney cleaning entails, here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Why does a chimney need cleaning?

One of the reasons a chimney needs to be cleaned regularly is that burning wood produces a combustible product called creosote. This buildup of creosote poses a fire risk for your home.

How often should my chimney be cleaned?

According to national standards, a chimney should be cleaned at least once a year, even if you don’t use your fireplace often. For peace of mind, it’s best to have it checked annually.

How long does it take to clean the chimney?

There are certain things that can cause a fireplace chimney cleaning to take longer. For instance, damage to the flue, the presence of nests, or a heavy layer of creosote. The time it takes depends on the inspection. But, in general, expect a technician to be on the job for about an hour.

Will there be a mess in my house?

A professional chimney company will take special precautions when they’re in your home. It’s helpful if you move furniture or personal items away from the fireplace, but a pro will bring their own tools and materials to protect your living space.

What do chimney sweeps do?

An experienced chimney sweep will check the condition of your fireplace and chimney. This includes things like the condition of the flue, and whether or not there are any nests. Your chimney will be inspected for buildup, structural damage, or any interior obstructions, and also cleaned.

Should I worry about carbon monoxide poisoning?

As you probably already know, carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is especially dangerous because it’s odorless. It’s always a good idea to keep a carbon monoxide detector in your home. This safety hazard can be caused by poor ventilation due to a clogged chimney that isn’t properly expelling toxic fumes.

Is it still necessary to clean the chimney if I use Duraflame Logs?

Even if you only use packaged wood products, the chimney still has to be cleaned. This is because creosote is still being created.

My fireplace contains a set of artificial gas logs. Does my chimney need cleaning?

Due to flame impingement, carbon builds up on the artificial logs, and that carbon is also spread into the smoke chamber, as well as the chimney. This carbon deposit is flammable and should be removed in order to prevent a chimney fire.

When is a good time to clean the chimney?

It’s best to schedule fireplace and chimney cleaning before the winter cold sets in. We recommend cleaning your chimney before the busy holiday season.

Fireplace Chimney Cleaning

To schedule your annual fireplace and chimney cleaning, contact us at The Irish Sweep. Our experienced team is available to answer all of your questions. Give us a call at (510) 521-4088, or fill out this quick contact form.

 

How to Tell When You Need Fireplace Repairs

The fireplace is the centerpiece of your home. It should be a comforting and familiar focal point. But if you’ve skipped maintenance on your fireplace for a few years, then you might have begun to wonder if it’s really necessary. Many homeowners just aren’t familiar with the signs of fireplace damage, so it’s all too easy to let it deteriorate. Investing in fireplace masonry repair early, however, can keep your fireplace looking and working its best for years to come. So if you’re wondering how to spot whether fireplace repairs are needed, here are the three most obvious signs that you need to repair your fireplace.

1. Cracks in the Mortar Joints

A definite sign that you need a fireplace masonry repair is that the mortar joints are beginning to crack. The stones or bricks used in the masonry will absorb moisture over time. This can eventually lead to crumbling and cracking if it’s not repaired. Once you start to see these cracks appearing, it’s time to think about calling a professional. A simple fireplace masonry repair doesn’t take long, and your home will look a lot nicer once the cracks are dealt with.

2. A Damaged Chimney

The moisture that damages the brick around your fireplace may come from rain. Your chimney exists to protect your fireplace masonry from this rainfall, but if it becomes damaged, then it won’t do its job. In particular, take a look at the chimney crown. This is a piece of concrete that shields the fireplace below. If this is cracked, then rain can easily get through. In this instance, a masonry fireplace repair is almost certainly required.

3. Chimney Fires

Has your chimney caught fire recently? Obviously, this shouldn’t happen. The flames are supposed to be contained within the fireplace, with only smoke going up the chimney. If combustion happens within the chimney itself, then it’s likely that there’s a buildup of flammable creosote, or that the fireplace isn’t working correctly. Something may be damaged, so you should have it looked into as soon as possible.

Fireplace Masonry Repair

Don’t let your fireplace become damaged beyond repair. Schedule yearly maintenance with us at The Irish Sweep, and learn to spot minor issues before they become expensive repairs. This will keep your fireplace looking and performing at its best. Contact us at (510) 521-4088.

When and How Often Should You Get a Chimney Inspection?

Scheduling a chimney inspection is a great way to stay proactive and avoid future problems. Failure to maintain your chimney can lead to a variety of issues and cost you a lot of money over time. Reaching out to professionals to inspect your chimney before the winter season will keep your chimney working well and ensure the safety of your home and your family.

Frequency of Chimney Inspections

Typically, you should have your chimney inspected yearly for the best results. Safety is the number one reason for scheduling an inspection, as chimneys are the second most common cause for house fires. Creosote is a highly flammable substance inside your chimney that tends to build up over time. It can catch on fire if it’s not cleaned out. Carbon monoxide poisoning is another major safety concern. An annual inspection plays a key role in keeping you and your family safe.

While experts recommend a yearly inspection, you may opt to have your chimney cleaned more often if it’s used frequently. The more a chimney is used, the more creosote builds up. Because creosote is the substance that can present a fire hazard, it should be cleaned away whenever it begins to coat the flue. You should also have your chimney inspected if you’re experiencing any performance issues.

Benefits of a Chimney Inspection

While safety is the number one benefit of having your chimney inspected, there are additional advantages to be gained. For example, a professional inspector can identify any structural issues due to an obstruction in your chimney. Checking for structural issues on your own isn’t an easy task for most homeowners. Chimney inspection professionals use the latest equipment in the industry to ensure your chimney is working optimally.

What if I Don’t Use My Chimney?

Even if you don’t often use your chimney, it should still be inspected once per year. This is because small animals sometimes make homes in chimney openings. Alternatively, debris may have found its way into the chimney, making it dangerous to use. A chimney inspector is able to identify and remove obstructions, maintaining the soundness of your chimney, and ensuring that it’s safe for use.

Contact Us

At The Irish Sweep, we understand the importance of fireplace safety and strive to meet the unique needs of each customer. Our team of experts follows national standards. Your comfort and safety are our number one priority. Contact us today at 510.521.4088 to learn more about our professional chimney inspection and cleaning services.

4 Tools You Should Have In Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

Keeping your dryer exhaust vents clean is absolutely crucial for the safety of your household. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, the leading cause of dryer fires is the accumulation of lint, which is highly flammable.

It’s recommended to clean your dryer vents on a regular basis, at least once a year. Cleaning your dryer vents can also help maintain your dryer’s efficiency and save money on utility bills. Clothes taking longer to dry is a telltale sign that your dryer vents need cleaning.

If you choose to clean your own dryer vents, here are 4 tools your dryer vent cleaning kit should include.

Dryer Lint Brush

This flexible but not very long brush comes in handy when the amount of lint accumulated in your dryer vent is not excessive. To clean deeper into the dryer vents, you’ll need to attach it to a nylon brush rod, which is fairly long.

Dryer Vent Vacuum

This is especially useful when your dryer vents are clogged due to excessive lint buildup. It works by sucking the lint and other debris out. Make sure the hose you attach to the vacuum is long enough and fits into your dryer vents.

Flexible Crevice Tool

This tool should be used together with the dryer vent vacuum. Thanks to its flexibility and angled tip, a long crevice tool helps you to access hard-to-reach, tight areas in your dryer vents.

Air Compressor

A powerful air compressor can help you remove lint a lot faster and easier, but it’s more expensive than other tools. It uses bursts of air to blow the lint out. You will need a good hose attachment to effectively use an air compressor for dryer vent cleaning.

Call a Professional

Even if you have these tools in your dryer vent cleaning kit, there is only one way to make sure your dryer vents are properly cleaned and the risk of fire is minimized. This is to have your dryer vents regularly inspected and cleaned by a certified dryer vent cleaning expert in your area.

If you’re looking for professional dryer vent cleaning services in Alameda, Oakland, Concord, Lafayette CA, or surrounding areas, contact us. At The Irish Sweep, we can be reached by phone at (510) 521-4088 or by email at staff@theirishsweep.com. We are certified to clean dryer vents by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and adhere to multiple national standards.