The Irish Sweep is still accepting calls to answer questions and schedule any service needs. However, no on-site visits are currently being conducted pursuant to the government's stay in place order. Please feel free to contact us at 510.521.4088 to get answers to your questions or schedule a future appointment.
Your chimney plays a very significant role in the secure use of your fireplace or wood-burning heater. Many homeowners are amazed to hear that poorly-maintained flues and chimneys are in reality one of the common causes for home fires. When it comes to your firewood or gas-burning machine, there are plenty of parts that go into keeping your home safe, including the chimney liner.
HOW DOES IT GET DONE?
Ceramic coating sprayed within your chimney blocks and plugs any gap or cracks, and coats an even ceramic layer which provides the correct passageway for the smoke and any harmful emissions to disband from the fire directly out the crown of your chimney. It also controls any further acid corrosion and prevents damage being done to the flue which not only ensures your chimney is protected to use but also puts your mind at rest that no expensive repairs will be needed.
It is applied with a sprayer. On the vertical walls, i.e. most of the chimney, it should be applied from base to top because as the material comes out of the sprayer it runs down the chimney and gets absorbed into the chimney underneath the area is working on. The top requires extra attention or it’d only obtain one pass. Afterward than you come to an end about 15 minutes’ worth, do it another time just to make sure the entire structure gets a good soaking.
BENEFITS OF CERAMIC COATING
Avoid Overheating of the Chimney and Lengthens Its Lifespan
Seals crack preventing heat loss, considerably saving heat energy
Excellent resistance to powdering
Forms gas-tight surface
Increases the security of a home, advance the operation of the fireplace and guard the smoke chamber
SEALING THE CHIMNEY BREAST
Since the chimney breast has a more brutal exposure to rain and particularly snow, it needs more coats of Ceramic coating. Most Ceramic coatings used these days are water-based material. This is for many reasons: First is that water-based materials cost significantly less than solvent-based materials. They are safer to dispatch, store and use and they are completely adequate to the task. The exception to the advantages is on non-vertical surfaces.
SEALING A CHIMNEY CROWN
The chimney crown is a nearly flat surface and it’s completely made of concrete or mortar. It shouldn’t be made of mortar, but there is a good possibility that it is anyway. Based on what you’ve just read about ceramic coating the chimney breast, you’d logically think that you’d just use a solvent-based waterproofing material there.
For Ceramic Coating services contact Irish Sweep today!
You might be looking at your old chimney and thinking about its removal. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it first seems, and there are so many factors to think about before you begin. When you wish to get rid of the chimney for purely aesthetic reasons, the effort required may prove more than it’s worth.
There are numerous reasons for wanting to get rid of the chimney, including:
Poorly damaged stack
Local pollution regulation
No plans to use it in the future
State of disrepair
Takes up too much space
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
There are five important factors to consider when it comes to a chimney dismantle task. Understanding these terms is essential for deciding on the suitable actions and calculating costs.
The chimney breast is equally the most visible and fundamental portion of a chimney. The brick walls encase the flu and other functional parts, providing extra insulation and major structural support.
Regrettably, the breast tends to protrude into all the places it passes through. In the occasion you desire to repossess this space in a room, it is achievable to remove only that section of the breast instead of the whole chimney.
When people consider a chimney, this is the element they tend to picture. It is the part which protrudes from the peak, ending in a cap. Leaks and structural damage are the most familiar reasons for wanting to remove a chimney stack, and in this case, you will have the choice of simply covering over the rest of an unused chimney when you expand the roof over the gap left by the stack.
Whether you do the task yourself or hire a contractor, be aware that removing a chimney is a time-consuming task, particularly traditional brick ones. A brick chimney must be cautiously disassembled one brick at a time to avoid structural damage.
Simply removing the stack may not generate a lot of garbage, but if your plans involve taking out the chimney breast in one or more areas, you may be looking at a large quantity of brick and tile. This is not only costly to dispose of, but may require special permits.
Be sure to fully investigate local disposal regulations and see if there are masonry companies who may be involved in salvaging the materials. In the latter case, the disposal may be low-priced or even free, depending on the company and state of the bricks you remove.
Chipping away at older masonry one brick at a time is a long and unsafe job. Be sure to have sufficient head and body protection, and be conscious of the high levels of dust you will be creating that could affect your lungs or vision.
Contact the Irish Sweep today to dismantle your chimney.
Those who have wood burning fireplaces or stoves know the advantages to a wood burning fire. They are beautiful, warm, and give you a sense of calm. However, with wood burning fires, the buildup of creosote occurs. This goes through some tips to reducing creosote.
WHAT IS CREOSOTE?
When wood is burned, creosote builds up from the transformation. This builds up along the lining of the stove or chimney and becomes a hidden issue for the home. Just like the ash from the bottom of a fireplace needs to be cleaned up regularly. Creosote should be removed occasionally for the safety of the home and those living there. This is why annual chimney inspections are recommended.
These are some recommendations for reducing creosote buildup:
USE THE RIGHT WOOD
Wood that has less moisture and/or seasoned is the best wood to use. When the wood is in such a state, the fire will burn hotter and create less creosote. If the wood has a lot of moisture, it will still burn but at a lower degree. This leads to more smoke and creosote.
KEEP THE FIRE HOT
When a fire struggles to find its fuel (oxygen), it has a hard time getting hot enough to burn all the materials. By having a fire that is low in temperature, creosote buildup is higher.
DON’T LET IT DIE ON ITS OWN
It is common for fires to just be allowed to burn out. By having them die down, the fires are at a low temperature for a long period of time. This causes more creosote and a higher safety issue.
Creosote is a safety issue. Low temperatures and moisture increase creosote production. Therefore, use the right wood that is very dry and avoid having fires at low temperature. If you have questions or need a clean up, talk to our experts at The Irish Sweep.
Homes that have chimneys and/or fireplaces are ones with parts that may seem simple but with parts that are unfamiliar. Most only know of these two and maybe the flue and/or damper. However, there are other areas of your chimney that are even more important like the fireplace insert, liner, or even smoke chamber. These are the areas that handle the smoke created by your fires.
As with anything with fire, there is always a danger. Having proper lining and airflow are critical to your safety. If there is buildup, it provide fuel for a potential fire. When the key areas are damaged, parging is required.
THE SMOKE CHAMBER
For instance, this space is shaped like an inverted funnel to direct air up into the flue. It also features a wall that is straight up, and one that is at an angle and a shelf called a “smoke shelf” which prevents the smoke from falling back into the fireplace. The smoke chamber walls should be parged
A chimney is generally angled towards a flue to ensure maximum airflow. The surrounding area is then covered in a protective layer to have a smooth coat. This is called parging. By creating this smooth area that goes towards the flue, it creates the ideal flow of air through the chimney system. In addition, it allows the surrounding area to be protected and keep temperatures manageable to protect against a fire hazard.
An annual chimney inspection particularly one using a camera allows a full scale analysis of your fireplace and chimney system to ensure the coating is still there and any other damage that may exist within the area. This is a preventive mechanism to protect against fire hazards and other concerns.
The camera inspections could uncover several things. For instance, if the chimney has cracks or water damage, it would show. If the parging is damaged or non-existent, the camera inspection would show the need to reapply.
At The Irish Sweep, we strongly recommend annual inspections to ensure yours and your family’s safety. If you have questions or have doubts, contact us today.
If you have a fireplace, then you have use for storing firewood. There is something rustic and cozy about having your own woodpile to feed winter fires. But the time to start saving wood is not winter! The time is now, so that your wood can dry and cure before you burn it.
Curing happens when wind and sun are allowed to dry out moisture, preventing mildew and mold growth. This also creates ideal conditions for burning.
Whichever storage method you choose, pile your wood in a way that air can move between the logs and dry timber completely. To aid in this, it helps to split wood, but it’s not necessary to debark logs or to split small diameter branches. One of the best ways of piling wood is in alternating directions, so that each layer lies at a 90 degree angle to those above and below it.
There are several effective ways of storing firewood outdoors. However, they’re all designed for the same two key purposes: The primary objective when storing firewood is to keep it dry. Dry firewood is not only easier to burn but it also produces more heat and less creosote and smoke. The second purpose is to protect the wood from weather that would re-wet it and from critters. Common firewood storage solutions include covers, storage sheds, and firewood storage racks.
Firewood racks are raised log holders especially designed to increase airflow around and under your wood. Because of this, they allow sun and wind to more quickly and easily cure firewood. Since racks create space separating wood from the ground, they also help keep critters from making nests in the wood. However, racks have their limitations. They don’t provide protection against snow and rain. That’s why firewood racks are often used with covers.
WEATHER PROTECTIVE COVERS
The primary benefit of firewood covers is that they protect wood by keeping off wet weather. These waterproof covers aren’t designed for seasoning purposes, because they can restrict air flow. To get the most advantage from a firewood cover (or tarp) cover your woodpile right before rain, hail, or snow, and remove it when adverse weather has passed.
FIREWOOD STORAGE SHEDS
Firewood storage sheds can be both attractive and very functional! The structures can be built with 4, 3, or 2 walls, but always require a roof or overhang to protect wood from weather. If you’re creating a non-enclosed structure, make sure to place walls carefully to protect wood from inclement weather. A wood rack can be extremely useful in conjunction with a shed or structure, to keep protected wood off the ground.
Whatever tools or techniques you choose to utilize, the important focus is to dry your wood and protect it from threats like insects and mold. Be sure to split logs and choose a stacking technique that maximizes air flow, and you’ll do great.
If you have questions on the best way to store firewood, contact The Irish Sweep and talk to our experts.
Your home is likely to be the most important asset you have. Having a fireplace increases the value of that asset, and adds a quality to your life that is hard to measure. Taking care of your fireplace, or – more specifically – your chimney, is critical for both the financial and cozy values of your home. In terms of chimney maintenance, there are three things fireplace users need to know:
1. Use the fireplace properly: make sure the damper is fully open when in use, make sure the grate is against the back wall, only burn dry firewood or manufactured logs.
2. Clean the firebox: ash build up in your fireplace restricts airflow and can cause smoke in your home.
3. Have trusted chimney sweep.
Why would you need a trusted chimney sweep? Well, they’re the ones who do the real work when it comes to taking care of your fireplace and chimney.
First, they clean. Chimney cleaning is not a Do It Yourself type of project.
It is, however, imperative to have your chimney cleaned regularly because of the flammable material that collects along the inside of the chimney. So, how often is “regularly” in the chimney sweep business?
The rule of thumb is after every 75 uses; but who really counts? If you are burning a couple of times a week during cooler weather, figure on calling in a professional once a year. Once on-site, the sweep can give you abettor estimate.
Second, they inspect.
While there is some amount of inspection during the cleaning process, a Level II inspection combines cleaning and thorough camera inspection of your chimney.
You want to have one of these inspections:
Before re-facing the fireplace, remodeling or adding on to your home, or selling your home.
After an event that might damage the chimney –especially earthquakes.
If you suspect water damage.
If you think something is wrong. It is better to know that everything is all right than to ignore a problem that could result in losing your home.
Third, they may repair.
This is where the “trusted” part really comes into play. A reputable chimney sweep is a certified chimney sweep. In California, if the sweep installs, demolishes, replaces, or repairs, then they must have a contractor’s license as well. If your sweep does not have a contractor’s license, or cannot manage your specific job, they are sure to offer you referrals to qualified professionals.
Good chimney health not only ensures the continued value ofyour home. It protects your home from loss by fire.