Our Company Blog

Take Care of Chimney Maintenance Now!

With some unpredictable weather left, it’s time to think about the health of your chimney system. A lot can happen to a chimney over the winter, from creosote buildup to cracks expanding in masonry work. While you can expect creosote buildup from regular use, it is a fire hazard. A CSIA-Certified chimney sweep should remove it and inspect the chimney annually. Water intrusion starts to become a problem during in the spring, when newly exposed cracks from freezing and thawing appear. Our CSIA-Certified technicians know the ins and outs of maintaining fireplace and chimney systems in Colorado. This article covers a few chimney maintenance basics

Why should I have my chimney swept & inspected?

Creosote is a flammable by-product of wood combustion that builds up in the chimney. This black, tar-like substance is the most common cause of chimney fires and must be removed from the chimney every year after the regular burning season to ensure continued safe operations. Taking care of creosote buildup as the weather begins to warm in the spring is a great way to make sure it’s done ahead of the autumn busy season, when chimney sweeps experience a rush of business that pushes availability out by a few weeks.

What level of chimney inspection do I need?

A chimney sweeping and inspection on an annual basis keeps your fireplace system running efficiently.
A chimney sweeping and inspection on an annual basis keeps your fireplace system running efficiently.

During your annual service, our CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps inspect the chimney and fireplace to ensure that everything is in safe, working order. We offer three levels of chimney inspection:

  • Level 1: During a Level 1 Chimney Inspection, our technicians will inspect all the readily accessible portions of the chimney system from the fireplace to the flue. We will look for signs of damage, danger, and health hazards.
  • Level 2: During a Level 2 inspection, we perform a video scan of the flue and inspect areas not included in Level 1 such as attics and crawlspaces. We perform this inspection when you are selling a property or when there are changes to your system such as a new liner or appliance.
  • Level 3: During a Level 3 inspection, we go more in-depth, this level involves removing all materials around the chimney system such as doors, drywall and more. We suggest you have this inspection performed after a chimney fire or other problem with your fireplace or chimney.

During your annual service, we perform a Level I inspection. If you have any reason to suspect a safety issue with your system or are about to sell your property, consider a Level 2 or Level 3 inspection for your chimney system.

Why is my chimney leaking?

If your chimney is leaking, now is the time for you to take care of it.
If your chimney is leaking, now is the time for you to take care of it.

As the snow melts, leaks in your chimney may become apparent. Water expands by a factor of between 9% and 10% when freezing. This may not seem like much; however, freezing expansion can exert tremendous force on materials containing or trapping water. In fact, one experiment measured this force at nearly 28,000 psi (≈193,000 kPa). This is a common cause of erosion in the natural world and has more than enough power to expand or create cracks in masonry.

During the freeze-thaw cycle, this physical mechanism can result in new or exacerbated leaks in your chimney system. If you notice water intrusion coming from your chimney, you should address it as soon as possible. Water damage only gets worse and the sooner it’s resolved the less expensive the repairs. Our technicians are skilled in masonry repair and can make sure your chimney system is watertight and protected from the elements.

Get in touch to schedule your chimney sweeping & inspection!

If you need your regular chimney sweeping and inspection, your chimney is leaking, or you are experiencing some other problem with your fireplace or chimney, we can help. We have over 20 years of experience servicing, repairing, and installing fireplaces, stoves, inserts, and chimneys in Colorado. Our technicians are certified by the CSIA or the NFI and can diagnose and repair gas, wood, or pellet appliances. To schedule your appointment contact us, by phone at (303) 679-1601, email at Office@MtnHP.com, or through our contact page.

We have overstocked stoves, fireplaces, & inserts that we are eager to get into your home. Check out our overstocked hearth appliances here!

Originally published on MtnHP.com, our fireplace retail outlet.

Don’t Wait to Fix Chimney Leaks

Ahh, springtime! The snow is melting, the trees are budding, the flowers are blooming, you’re stuck at home; and your chimney is leaking. Have you been spending more time at home and heard a persistent, unfound dripping? After a Colorado winter, with months of snow and ice sitting against your chimney, spring is when we notice the new leaks. Call your local fireplace and chimney experts to fix it.

Our Chimney Safety Institute of America Certified technicians will perform a thorough leaky chimney inspection to determine where the water is coming in, and how to stop it. We are an essential business and are still open to make sure your family is safe and warm. If you suspect your chimney of allowing water into your home, don’t wait, call us today. We can solve your chimney problems!

Exposure to the Elements Causes Chimney Leaks

Most people are unfamiliar with the parts to a chimney system that can allow water in. The weak points of a chimney vary depending on whether it’s a masonry or factory-built chimney. Most parts of the chimney degrade with time, UV rays from sunlight, hail damage, and the repeated freezing and thawing of a Colorado spring. There are usually several suspected weak points when there are signs of water intrusion. This fact makes identifying exactly where the water is coming from a challenge. Often, the location of apparent water damage does not reveal the actual location of the source of the leak.

Weathering in masonry joints and bricks is a common source of chimney leaks in Colorado.
Weathering in masonry joints and bricks is a common source of chimney leaks in Colorado.

Why do masonry chimneys leak?

If you have a masonry chimney you may believe that it will last forever, but that is simply not true. Masonry chimneys are susceptible to degradation and chimney leaks just like any other material. This degradation happens faster than most people expect with the unpredictable winter and spring weather in Colorado. We see damage to masonry chimneys from rain and hail; however, the freeze/thaw cycle is most destructive, that is why it’s so important to keep water flowing off and away from your chimney.

Masonry chimneys are made of flue tiles which are supported by cinder blocks and stone or bricks. They also have a concrete crown at the top. The concrete crown is designed to be the “lid” to your masonry chimney, it keeps water out and sheds the water away from the sides of the chimney. Concrete crowns should have 2-inch overhang with a drip edge which prevents water from running down and eroding the mortar joints between the stones or bricks. If you’re missing a 4-5” thick concrete slab with an overhang and drip edge atop the masonry, that’s a strong indicator of water intrusion problems. We can pour a new concrete crown for your chimney or apply Crown Coat to seal any cracks you may have in your chimney crown.

When your crown isn’t deflecting water away from the sides of your chimney, water seeps through your mortar joints. This problem becomes even larger when the moisture freezes and expands. Freezing water expansion exerts tremendous pressure on surrounding masonry materials, creating cracks which then allow more water in. As this cycle continues, the damage compounds with each freeze and thaw. Eventually there may be no mortar left at all, allowing rain or snow melt directly into your home. Our chimney experts can repair water damage to masonry and mortar, keeping your chimney leak free and maintaining the integrity of your home.

What causes factory-built chimneys to leak?

If you don’t have a masonry chimney, you’re still at risk of chimney leaks. If you have a framed wooden box, called a “chase” enclosing your venting, those materials can also wear out and allow water into your home. The top of a chase system must have a proper cover, chimney cap, and storm collar. The weakest point of the chase is the sheet metal chase cover.

Chase covers are more susceptible to rain and hail damage than masonry chimneys. Over time, dents form and the cover sags on top, collecting water and rusting through. A new chase cover is sloped from the center with drip edges designed to shed water away from chase. If water runs down the sides of your chase, it can enter through gaps in the façade on your chase. Chases are also flashed to the roof line, that can be another area water sneaks its way into your home.

A CSIA-Certified chimney sweep from Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney inspects a chimney for leaks.
If your factory built chimney or the chase around it is leaking, you should seek the help a CSIA-Certified professional like the technicians at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney.

What do I do about chimney leaks?

Whether your chimney is masonry or you have a chase and factory-built chimney, a proper chimney cap is your first line of defense against a leaky chimney. If you look up at your chimney and there isn’t a cap, call us right away! The structure around your flue may be tight but if you’re missing your cap or you have a damaged or improperly sized cap, it allows water straight into the home. Water intrusion from a chimney leak due to a missing cap can damage both masonry and factory-built chimneys. This damage has repercussions that affect not just your fireplace and chimney system but other parts of your home as well.

Our leaky chimney inspection evaluates your entire chimney or chase. If you don’t address damage from a chimney leak quickly, it only gets worse. That’s why it’s crucial that any leaks are located and repaired immediately. If you notice any suspicious water stains, or hear dripping and can’t find the source, protect your home and your investment, call us right away!

Call us if your chimney is leaking!

Our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute. They have the experience to take on your leaky chimney problems and any other fireplace or chimney needs you have. We also have industry specific techniques, such as special flashing for sealing the uneven edge where masonry chimneys meet the roof line. Put our 22 years of experience working on chimneys in the foothills to work for you!

If the one thing about spring that you are not enjoying is a mysterious water leak, we can help! We can also take on your other fireplace and chimney needs from sales and installation to annual service and repairs. As a business that is essential to your home and family’s safety, we’re open for business and booking appointments. Give us a call today at (303) 679-1601. You can also reach us at Office@MtnHP.com.

Originally posted on MtnHP.com, our sister site.

Is Your Fireplace EPA 2020-Ready?

Your fireplace should be safe, warm, and saving you money. If your fireplace is old and outdated, 2020 is the perfect time to replace it. In May, stronger EPA standards for wood burning heaters go into effect. These new standards mean that any wood stove you buy now will be more efficient than ever. Not only that, but modern, efficient stoves are eligible for a tax credit.

At Mountain Hearth & Patio, we’ve been putting modern and efficient fireplaces, stoves, and inserts in homes in the Denver Metro for years. We supply many stoves that comply with the updated standards and our certified professionals can help you find the perfect appliance for your space.

What are the EPA standards?

The New Source Performance Standards for Residential Heaters, or NSPS, went into effect in 1988. These standards were set to regulate the amount of particulate emissions allowable from wood stoves, fireplaces, inserts, and other residential wood heaters. At the time, these appliances were far less efficient and a major source of air pollution.

This traditional-style FireplaceX 44 Elite is a great example of a modern wood fireplace.
Modern wood fireplaces, such as this Fireplace Xtrodinair 44 Elite in Conifer, aren’t just efficient heaters, they’re also beautiful, customizable features for your space.

Over the years, the EPA has updated the standards to require higher efficiency. The most recent update, in 2015, tightened the particulate emissions standard for wood heaters to less than 4g/hr. This May, the EPA will be updating the standard again, tightening the efficiency requirements for these appliances further.

What is the updated EPA standard for 2020?

On May 15, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency will roll out their updated standards for wood burning residential heaters. Where the old standard required that stoves emit less than 4 g/hr of particulate emissions, the new standard will require emissions of less than 2.5 g/hr when burning cord wood.

A wood insert and new finish are great ways to update your existing fireplace. Our NFI-Certified technicians installed this FireplaceX wood insert in Evergreen.
A wood insert and new finish are great ways to update your existing fireplace. Our NFI-Certified technicians installed this FireplaceX wood insert in Evergreen.

These tighter standards are great for air quality. They also come with the added bonus of burning less wood for more heat due to the overall increased efficiency. Modern wood stoves, inserts, and fireplaces achieve this efficiency in several ways. Catalytic stoves use a catalytic combustor to re-burn the byproducts of combustion and increase burn efficiency and heat output. Non-catalytic stoves use baffles to create a longer, hotter path for gases, they also allow more combustion air to flow into the firebox.

Which hearth appliances meet the EPA 2020 standard?

Our wood burning fireplaces, stoves, and inserts are 2020 ready. We have many high-quality, high-efficiency hearth appliances from Fireplace Xtrordinair, Hearthstone, Lopi, and more that meet or exceed the new emissions standards.

These fireplaces aren’t just efficient. They’re beautiful, customizable features for your living space. Modern wood fireplaces, stoves, and inserts allow you to choose from design options such as doors, surrounds, and more to match your style. Whether you’re looking for traditional ambiance or contemporary elegance there’s an EPA 2020 compliant stove for you.

Wood stoves are powerful heaters with a classic attitude. We installed this Hearthstone Manchester in Evergreen, CO.
Wood stoves are powerful heaters with a classic attitude. We installed this Hearthstone Manchester in Evergreen, CO.

What is the Biomass Energy Tax Credit?

When you install a modern, efficient wood hearth appliance, you’re also eligible for a tax credit! As long as you update to a fireplace, stove, or insert that burns wood with 75% efficiency or more. This tax credit can be another way to find savings on your new appliance and installation. If you have an efficient wood burner installed before December 31, 2020, you can take advantage of these savings.

You can burn wood in Denver and the Metro as long as you burn in an EPA-Certified appliance. Our technicians installed this Vermont Castings Montpelier in Lakewood, Colorado.
You can burn wood in Denver and the Metro as long as you burn in an EPA-Certified appliance. Our technicians installed this Vermont Castings Montpelier in Lakewood, Colorado.

If you plan to take advantage of this tax credit, make sure to save the documentation of your purchase and your stoves efficiency. Then, it’s as simple as filling out the IRS Form 5695 and filing with your 2020 taxes.*

Talk to us about your home efficiency!

If you’re a wood burning purist looking for a modern source of heat, Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney can help. Our NFI-Certified sales and installation staff can help you select the perfect fireplace, stove, or insert for your home that meets the latest efficiency standards. Come in to our showroom or check out our product pages to see our wood burning fireplaces, stoves, and inserts.

We also provide high-quality service and repairs. If you’re happy with your fireplace and need repairs or annual maintenance, our CSIA and NFI-Certified technicians will put their experience to work for you.

Contact us on our website, by phone at (303) 679-1601, or by email at Office@MtnHP.com to start your fireplace project. From service and repairs to sales and installation we have the experience and expertise to do it all.

Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney has over two decades of experience with the sales, service, and installation of fireplaces, stoves, and inserts. We work in the Foothills communities, Lakewood, Littleton, Denver, and everywhere in between!

*Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney are not financial advisors or tax preparation professionals. This article should not be considered legal or financial advice. To learn more about this tax credit and to discuss whether it’s right for you, consult with your accountant, attorney, or other tax preparation professional.

Originally posted on MtnHP.com, our sister website.

By Scott Rupe on April 14th, 2020 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

What Kind Of Fireplace Do I Have?

With over 20 years in the hearth industry, we get one question more than any other—“What have I got?” or “Is this a factory-built fireplace or a wood stove insert?” or “Is this a gas log set or a gas fireplace” or “It looks like a wood burning fireplace, is it?” No one in our industry intentionally set out to create a set of descriptions that lack clarity and uniformity, but that’s how it ended up. We’re here to help!

Masonry vs. Factory-built Fireplaces

This is the interior of a masonry fireplace during the installation of a wood burning insert.
This is the interior of a masonry fireplace during the installation of a wood burning insert.

Determining whether you have a masonry fireplace or a factory-built unit can be confusing. Both types can have steel fireboxes and both can have fire bricks lining the inside of the firebox; however, there are a few ways to tell what you have. If you see an orange or gray ceramic flue tile at the top of your chimney, then you have a masonry fireplace. Most masonry fireplaces in Colorado have a steel damper that pivots forward and back via a lever inside the firebox. If you find a round steel pipe sticking up at the top, then you probably have a factory built fireplace.

This newly installed factory-built fireplace is a great example of a wood burner installation.
This newly installed factory-built fireplace is a great example of a wood burner installation.

Fireplace vs. Insert

To be an insert, a hearth appliance must be designed for installation inside a firebox that was built to burn cordwood.

This may be the toughest one for a homeowner to distinguish. While we do “insert” a factory built fireplace into the wall during installation, these appliances are different from “inserts.” An insert fits into an existing firebox that previously burned cordwood. A built-in fireplace commonly has a region of black metal around the firebox – and so does a wood stove insert. If you find that the black panel around the fireplace can move, then you probably have an insert.

Gas Fireplace vs. Gas Logs

Much like factory-built wood burners, hearth appliance installers frame gas fireplaces into the wall. This is distinguished from a gas log set, which we install in a wood burning fireplace. This choice is even more confusing when you add in the difference between natural vent gas fireplaces and direct vent gas fireplaces. A couple of key tell-tale signs: if your appliance terminates horizontally, it can only be a direct vent gas appliance, not gas logs. If there is sand under the logs and you have to reach into the firebox to turn the burner on, then it’s a gas log set.

Our certified technicians installed this beautiful Mendota FV46 Gas fireplace in Fairplay, CO.
Our certified technicians installed this beautiful Mendota FV46 gas fireplace in Fairplay, CO.

Lined or Unlined Wood Stove Insert

Since 1984, the National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 has required wood stove inserts installations to have a pipe running at least up into the bottom of the chimney and it has recommended that a steel chimney liner (a pipe inside the chimney) run continuously from the stove exhaust up to the top of the chimney. If you have a liner that runs all the way up, it’s correct. If your chimney isn’t lined, we will remove the insert from the firebox during sweeping operations to remove the soot and creosote from the flue.

Chimney vs. Vents

Wood burning chimney systems meet a higher standard and degree of protection than vents. Gas and pellet venting cannot properly vent a wood burning fireplace, stove or insert. However, nearly all chimneys are adaptable for venting a gas or pellet appliance.

For more fireplace & chimney help, call us!

With this information, you should be better able to determine what kind of hearth appliance you have. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out or to schedule a chimney sweeping and inspection. For all of your fireplace and chimney safety needs, schedule with us via our website, call us today at (303) 679-1601, or email us at Office@MtnHP.com. Semper Fi!

By Scott Rupe on March 29th, 2020 | Tagged with: | Leave a Comment

What Does Spring Mean To You?

We all know “Spring” in Colorado is more of a concept than a season. Winter holds onto our foothills communities long after we get pictures of flowers and baby animals from our friends and family elsewhere. Spring here is more like “less-winter”, and we get through it by cozying up next to the fireplace.

Spring cleaning for your fireplace!

We can fix your broken fireplace (you know you’re
still going to need it for a few more weeks).

To you, Spring may mean the perfect season for catching up on overdue maintenance, deep cleaning, and organizing in your home. To us, that’s what it means too! We can help you cross your fireplace and chimney off your Spring to-do list—and you can help us make some room in our store!

We can fix your broken fireplace (you know you’re still going to need it for several weeks yet), we can perform the necessary annual service on your hearth appliance, or we can replace your outdated fireplace, stove, or insert.

Save on a new stove & help us with our spring cleaning!

Mountain Hearth & Patio (our fireplace retail store) is doing some Spring cleaning too! For our Spring Cleaning, we have several overstocked models we are eager to get into your home. Not only can you have the fireplace, stove, or insert of your dreams, it will also be safe, beautiful, warm, and saving your money on your energy bills.

If you’ve ever thought about that room in your home that is consistently chillier than you’d like- we have a solution for you! A new Hearthstone Stowe gas stove can warm that space with its thermostat settings, keeping your room consistently comfortable. This stove heats up to 800 square feet (74.32 m²)! We have this model on overstock in beautiful matte black finish which will compliment any style.

Is your outdated wood stove leaving you out in the cold? We can help you fix that! We have EPA-compliant, high-efficiency wood burning stoves, inserts, and fireplaces! These units are designed to heat your home and look good too. Replacing your inefficient wood burning hearth appliance with one that heats better, uses less wood, and is better for air quality is easier than you think.

A new wood stove comes with a tax benefit!

Does Springtime make you think of tax season? Taxes are nearly always dreaded, but it doesn’t have to be that way! We have good news that will make Springtime a little brighter. There is a new tax credit available for those who purchase a 75% efficient or higher solid fuel hearth product. We have many wood and pellet-fueled appliances that qualify! Some qualifying appliances are overstocked in our showroom right now! With a new biomass fireplace, stove, or insert purchased before 12/31/2020, you can get up to a $300 tax credit. Learn more about the biomass stove tax credit.

Our NFI-Certified installers put this Heartstone Shelburne into a home in Evergreen, CO.
Our NFI-Certified installers put this Heartstone Shelburne into a home in Evergreen, CO.

Get in touch with Mountain Man for all your fireplace & chimney needs

If you’re happy with how your fireplace is holding up, make sure you take care of it after it has kept you comfortable all winter. Spring is the best time for annual maintenance! Not only do you avoid the long wait times of Autumn, but there is a scientific advantage to getting your chimney cleaned in the Spring. The soot and creosote that accumulates during the burning season is highly acidic. Combined with the humidity of Spring and summer, this is corrosive and causes degradation to your chimney system. Getting your chimney cleaned right after the burning season ends is the best way to prevent this damage.

Do you think that because you don’t burn wood you don’t need an annual cleaning? You are mistaken! Your gas fireplace, insert, or stove also needs an annual Spring Cleaning and inspection. This helps to maximize your appliance’s performance and keeps your home safe too.

Our NFI-Certified installers put this Heartstone Shelburne into a home in Evergreen, CO.
Our NFI-Certified installers put this Heartstone Shelburne into a home in Evergreen, CO.

You may wonder, how do you service something that burns gas? The process is different but just as important. With a gas unit, our certified technicians clean the glass, logs, inside the firebox, and refresh the burner media. We also perform an inspection on the appliance to check that all the components, like the pilot and thermocouple, are working well, and we check for gas leaks to keep your family safe.

Our technicians are certified for specialties in wood, gas or pellet fuel. For basic repairs, we may even be able to solve your problems that very same day. You can be confident in our technicians, who are always in uniform, with ID badges and lettered trucks. Every day, our certified technicians are keeping families safe and warm with these fireplace services.

Come by our showroom to find out more!

This Spring, we’ll help you check your fireplace and chimney
off your Spring-Cleaning list!

This Spring, we’ll help you check your fireplace and chimney off your Spring-Cleaning list! Get your chimney cleaned, your hearth appliance evaluated, a leaky chimney inspection, and discuss a new appliance with just one phone call to Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney at (303) 679-1601. We have been servicing and installing fireplaces in the Foothills and Denver Metro for over 20 years.

You’re invited to see for yourself! Visit our showroom at 7001 Highway 73 in Marshdale. Give us a call at (303) 679-1601 or email Office@MtnHP.com.

Post originally published on MtnHP.com, our retail site.

By Scott Rupe on February 26th, 2020 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

More Than 60% Of Home Buyers Prefer A Home With A Fireplace

A great fireplace brings great value and desirability to a home. Here in Colorado, a fireplace can be a crucial source of heat for many homeowners looking for energy savings and a source of beautiful ambiance for those seeking a classic Colorado-living experience. In a study by Angie’s List, 63.15% of home buyers surveyed reported that the presence of a fireplace was an important factor in their decision whether to buy a home. It’s not just that; 40% of participants said they’d pay more for a home with a fireplace than without a fireplace. The value of a modern fireplace goes beyond just the sale of the home, often generating a significant return on investment in savings on energy costs over time.

FireplaceX DVS installed by Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney in Golden

How does a fireplace effect home value?

The National Center for Real Estate Research states that “fireplaces have a strong, positive effect on selling price with each fireplace adding about 12 percent.” Other studies have produced dollar amount estimates, with Angie’s List reporting that home buyers were willing to pay between $1,000-$10,000 more than they would for a comparable home without a fireplace, depending on the location of the fireplace and the quality of the fireplace itself.

Mendota FV46 installed by Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney in Fairplay

The value that a fireplace adds to a home is not just monetary. It’s hard to argue against the benefits that a fireplace brings to a homeowner when it comes to ambiance and energy efficiency. This can be an important point to bring to a buyer’s attention in the selling process, especially in Colorado.

According to the Angie’s List study, wood burning fireplaces are the most popular type of hearth appliance by far. These appliances may require a bit more maintenance and care to burn properly, but they are a draw for many potential home buyers. Contrary to popular belief, you can still burn wood in Denver. However, for home buyers who want more convenience, a gas fireplace is a great option, offering easy startup and consistent heat in thermostat mode.

When selling a home, how do you prepare the fireplace?

If you’re about to list a home with a fireplace, it’s important to have the fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected. Doing this work before you list a home can save you a lot of time and money later in the process, catching issues in the flue or in the appliance before they throw a wrench into the works at closing time.

Getting repairs done and ensuring that the fireplace is functional and safe prior to selling the home can make or break a purchase for some buyers

We provide central Colorado with three levels of inspection:

Level 1 Chimney Inspections (Also Our Pre-Listing Inspection)
During a Level 1, or Pre-Listing, Inspection we inspect all the readily accessible interior and exterior portions of your chimney system (from the firebox to the flue) will be inspected closely, and checked for signs of damage, danger and health hazards (such as carbon monoxide intrusion).

Level 2 Chimney Inspections
When a property is being bought or sold, it is necessary to have a more thorough Level 2 inspection, which includes access to areas that aren’t included in a Level 1 inspection (like attics and crawl spaces) and video scanning of the flue. You’ll also opt for a Level 2 inspection if there’s been a change to your system, like a new flue liner or a new appliance.

Level 3 Chimney Inspections
If a problem is found in a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection, you may need an even more in-depth Level 3 inspection, which can include the removal of materials around the chimney system, like doors or drywall, for a more thorough look into the system.

As with any other part of the home, getting repairs done and ensuring that the fireplace is functional and safe prior to selling the home can make or break a purchase for some buyers, especially those who make the fireplace a priority. Not only that, having the fireplace inspected can prevent last minute costs to the seller in the selling process.

Get in touch with Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney, Inc.

If you’re planning to sell your home or you’re a realtor preparing a home for listing, don’t forget the fireplace! Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney and Mountain Hearth & Patio have spent over two decades executing top-quality fireplace sales, service, and installation in Central Colorado. Our technicians are certified by the CSIA and the NFI and specialize in the maintenance of wood, gas, and pellet burning appliances.

Contact us through the form on our website, give us a call at (303) 679-1601, or email us at Office@MtnHP.com to schedule your appointment.

By Scott Rupe on January 22nd, 2020 | Tagged with: | Leave a Comment

Should I Switch My Fireplace’s Pilot Mode?

Let’s talk about your gas fireplace. There are two types of ignition systems, standing pilot or millivolt and electronic ignition. In the millivolt systems, the pilot can be on 24/7; if that’s what you have, you’re all set! However, most new gas fireplaces, stoves, and inserts have electronic ignition systems with multiple pilot modes.

These systems have two modes for your pilot light: Intermittent Pilot Ignition (IPI) and Continuous Pilot Ignition (CPI). For those of you who have an electronic ignition system, it’s time to put your fireplace in continuous pilot mode. Not only does CPI make your appliance easier to start in the cold, there are other benefits:

Benefits of Continuous Pilot Mode

A fire burns in a FireplaceX 6015 gas fireplace with glass burner media and driftwood logs. Installed in Hiwan in Evergreen, CO.

Continuous Pilot Maintains Draft in Your Chimney

Keeping your pilot mode set to continuous during the colder months helps maintain a draft in your direct-vent gas system. Direct vent gas units are sealed systems and do not mix air with your living environment. This means that when it’s cold outside, the firebox of your fireplace is colder than the interior of your home. A hot flue is a happy flue. It is easier for a fireplace to ignite and better for the components when the pilot warms the firebox and creates draft.

Choosing the Right Pilot Mode Reduces Moisture in Your Fireplace

Additionally, when it is cold outside and your pilot is off, moisture collects in your fireplace and venting. This is evident on a cold start when you can see condensation on the glass front. Water vapor is a normal byproduct of combustion. When your fireplace doesn’t exhaust the water vapor using a continuous pilot, droplets collect in your fireplace and venting. The internal electrical components in the fireplace can become rusted and damaged due to this condensation.

Continuous Pilot Keeps Your Chimney Cap Clear of Snow

If it is snowing and your pilot light is on, the warmth from the pilot will melt the snow off your termination so it is not covered in snow.

CPI Increases Fireplace Reliability

Finally, in CPI, your fireplace can start during a power outage. Electronic ignition systems require electricity to light the pilot. If the pilot is already lit during a power outage, your fireplace burner can start right up and heat your home! Although newer units often have a battery backup that can light the pilot during a power outage, keeping your fireplace in CPI mode is the most reliable way to keep your unit up and running in a pinch.

A fire burns brightly in a Kozy Heat Chaska Gas insert that we installed in Evergreen, CO.

Keeping your pilot on during the winter is the best way to ensure your fireplace will start right when you want it to and to reduce wear and tear on the unit. If you need assistance changing your fireplace from IPI to CPI, check your owners manual, watch this helpful video, or give us a call at (303) 679-1601. If you’re looking for a new fireplace, stove, or insert, visit our retail showroom, Mountain Hearth & Patio, at 7001 Highway 73 or visit the Mountain Hearth & Patio website at MtnHP.com.

By Scott Rupe on October 30th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

HomeSaver Chimney Caps

Protecting your chimney is essential in promoting fireplace health and keeping your system strong. Whether it comes in the form of rain, sleet, or snow, moisture is one thing that will damage your flue and brickwork in a hurry! How can you keep it out of your chimney’s interior? Simple. Have our team install a HomeSaver chimney cap.

A chimney cap is installed at the top of your chimney, and it provides a sturdy cover to ensure bad weather and excess water stay out. HomeSaver has a long list of dependable and durable options for you, and there are a variety of styles to choose from, as well. They’ve been our trusted brand for years, and we guarantee satisfaction when you allow our CSIA certified team to handle the job. Call today to learn more.

Chimney Cap BenefitsHomeSaver chimney caps can protect your  chimney from water.

Chimney caps are essential for keeping water out of your fireplace. In fact, in order for a chimney liner to meet the standards of the Underwriters Laboratories, there must be a chimney cap installed on the unit. Chimney caps play a key role in keeping your flue better protected!

Along with this, chimney caps block animals from entering your chimney. Those four brick walls are quite appealing to many woodland critters, especially throughout the colder months, but this can lead to some big problems when you go to light a fire. Their nesting materials, or sometimes the animals themselves, can easily clog up your system and affect airflow.

Along with this, some bird species, like the chimney swift, cannot be removed once they settle in. Because they are endangered, intentionally removing them or their young is illegal, and it could land you with some hefty fines. You’ll have to wait until they migrate away before putting your system to use again, which could take some time .

Chimney caps also keep excess debris from blowing into your chimney, and they are known for preventing downdrafts. Worried about sparks landing on your roof? Chimney caps stop those, too. Their protective seal ensures that everything outside of your chimney stays out, while sparks and stray flames stay in. There is simply no reason not to have yours installed as soon as possible.

Our Team is Trusted Throughout the Area

We have over 20 years of experience, and we hold certifications and memberships with a number of esteemed organizations. When it comes to installing, repairing, and maintaining safer and longer-lasting products, there is simply no better team to trust in Littleton and its surrounding areas. Join our long list of customers in the area, and contact us right away for better care, no matter what. We are ready to tackle any and all of your chimney concerns!

By Jake Johnson on January 28th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

We’ll Help You Fight Against Chimney Leaks

If you’ve noticed excess water in and throughout your fireplace, a rusted damper or flashing, or crumbling brickwork, then you are experiencing a leaky chimney. Leaks in your chimney need to be addressed immediately, as it can lead to bigger issues like clogs, mold accumulation, deterioration, and more. It’s vital to get your leaks repaired by a team of certified experts though, and our crew is here to help!

However, once your chimney is repaired and back in shape, it’s important to invest in preventative maintenance to ensure it won’t suffer leaks down the line. We have the tools and expertise to ensure you chimney is leak free from the beginning, let our team help!


a lovely chimney capOne chimney service we strongly urge our customers to invest in is waterproofing. Unfortunately, your masonry is extremely absorbent. If your brickwork starts to crumble, your entire chimney structure is compromised, so it’s vital to keep your masonry protected. Waterproofing stops water from getting in, while also allowing your chimney to vent out fumes and moisture. Let our professionals help waterproof your chimney today!

Chimney Caps

Chimney caps are another necessity  to keep your chimney and fireplace in good shape. These devices keep water out of your flue, along with excess debris and animals. They work to ensure your system avoid all kinds of damage during your burning season. They are also known for stopping sparks from landing on your roof and blocking downdrafts. Overall, they are an affordable and worthwhile investment that make a huge impact on the health of your system.

Crown Repair

Your chimney crown works to send water out and away from your masonry. It sits on the top of your chimney, and its slanting structure and overhang ensure your brickwork gets as little water exposure as possible. Unfortunately, not all crowns are constructed properly and many show wear and tear earlier than the homeowner anticipated. We can restore or rebuild your crown, then seal it with a waterproofing agent to give it long lasting protection year after year!

Flashing Installation

One area of your home that is especially vulnerable to water damage is the place where the roof and the chimney meet – the flashing. Why is this spot so prone to leaks? Since your roof and chimney are made of different materials, they expand and contract at different rates, leaving openings where water can enter. Flashing consists of pieces of metal that seals this area, and it works to stop excess moisture in its tracks. We install and repair them!

Leaky chimney repair is not something you should put off. Call our team right away if you suffer from any of the above chimney damages. We’ve got the tools and training to help restore your chimney and fireplace!

By Jake Johnson on January 9th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Is There A Draft Coming From Your Fireplace?

If you’re noticing cold drafts swooping through your fireplace, you likely want to get the issue resolved in a hurry. Not only is this problem unpleasant and uncomfortable, it puts a strain on your energy bill too. Fireplaces are meant to provide a more affordable heating source for your home, but this doesn’t work so well if downdrafts are cooling down your home.

Fortunately for homeowners in and throughout Littleton and its surrounding areas, Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney has solutions for you. Learn more below, then give us a call for the fast, effective results you deserve.

Do You Need A New Damper?Is-There-A-Draft-Coming-From-Your-Fireplace

An effective way to stop downdrafts is to update your damper. Most fireplaces are equipped with throat dampers that have worked well in the past, but now it grows faulty over the years. They provide a metal-on-metal seal and, if too much rust or corrosion occurs within the chimney, it may not be keeping your cold air out effectively. At Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney, we recommend our customers to switch to a top-sealing damper instead.

Because dampers are essential for controlling draft and airflow, having one that does the job is vital to blocking downdrafts and saving money this winter. A top-sealing damper is installed at the top of your flue, which ensures no cold air enters your chimney. They also have a rubber gasket, which guarantees a tight seal. With a top sealing damper, you’re sure to save money!

Have You Considered A Fireplace Door?

Having a fireplace door installed is another way to stop cold air from entering your home, and they also provide other great benefits. Along with keeping cold air out and warm air in, they stop stray sparks from jumping into your living room to hurt family members or ruin rugs and furniture. They even look great, too! It’s easy to find a door to match your style and decor, which ensures you get that high-quality look this holiday season. Need some installation help? We can help with that too!

Is A New Fireplace The Way To Go?

Sometimes, investing in a new fireplace or upgrading to an insert is a great if you want more heat and save energy. For example, putting a gas insert into a wood-burning fireplace eliminate major issues with draft. Inserts are known for high heat output and comfort.

However, you must have your unit installed by a team of certified experts, and our team from Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney is here to help! We have the tools and guarantee a safer and more comfortable season year after year. Ready to get started? We are, too! Don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 303-679-1601.

By Jake Johnson on December 28th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment