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.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America defines this word as, “Chimney and stovepipe deposits originating as condensed wood smoke, including tars, oils.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “A dark brown or black flammable tar deposited from especially wood smoke on the walls of a chimney.”
In my experience, I find most people do not realize that creosote is the by-product of anything that is burned in a fireplace or wood-burning stove or insert. This material is flammable and is the major reason to have a chimney cleaned.
In most cases, it is impossible to remove all the creosote in a chimney. Creosote can be stone hard and burns into the surfaces of a flue. But creosote is amazing because it oxidizes and changes chemical composition so that hard, burned on material will become cleanable in some amount of time.
The commitment to purchase a gas fireplace insert is expensive. Mind you, you will receive true heat value for years to come once you make that monetary investment. But some people feel they cannot bare that expense and want an alternative choice and many folks would like just to install a set of artificial gas logs.
The manufacturers of artificial gas log sets state clearly in their installation directions that a chimney must be suitable for wood burning.
In order for us to determine if your fireplace and chimney are safe for this use, we must clean and inspect the interior surfaces of your chimney with our remote vision system (a chimney camera). With this tool, we can check the condition of the clay liners and their related mortar joints. If the clay liners in the chimney are fractured or damaged in some way and if the mortar joints are missing or deteriorated the chimney is not suitable for wood burning and in turn not safe for use with a set of artificial gas logs.
If we discover any of these defects our typical recommendations are to line the chimney with stainless steel or recommend the installation of a gas burning or wood burning fireplace insert.
The codes, standards and installation directions clearly state that anytime there is a change in the fuel source in a fireplace and chimney, the chimney must be cleaned prior to the installation of any new product.
This is a fireplace and chimney system that was manufactured in a factory (as the name implies) out of metal. It is a modular system of component parts that was brought to a job site and installed once the wood framing for the house was in place. It has a firebox lined with refractory panels, with a damper at the top of the firebox and lengths of double or triple-walled
chimney place on top to form a complete fireplace and chimney system. The chimney above the roofline may be enclosed by a wooden chase.
It has many slang names (which I refuse to use) but some of you may know this fireplace as a Z-Can, ZC, Zero Clearance fireplace (which is a misnomer) as clearances to combustibles are required. I’ve heard some people refer to it as an insert, which is totally incorrect.
Inserts are either gas or wood burning, could be pellet but we see very few of these in the Bay Area. They are a highly engineered metal box, fabricated in a factory and designed to be clean burning and they slide into the firebox of either a masonry or factory built fireplace.
The manufacturer of each of these inserts will specify the venting materials required for the insert, the clearances to combustibles and provide installation directions for each model they manufacture. These appliances have all been tested and approved by some testing laboratory.
Chimney masonry repair helps to correct damage and restore the structure to the bricks and mortar of your chimney. While masonry repair is an essential task to keep your chimney safe, many homeowners don’t know how to recognize the signs that a chimney masonry repair is due. Here we look at 4 key signs that you need a chimney masonry repair.