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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.

Ready To Light Your First Fire? Have Your Chimney Inspected First

It’s getting colder, leaves are falling, and homeowners everywhere are anxious to get their fireplaces going. We totally get it! Fireplaces add the perfect ambiance to the fall and winter months, and they make holiday parties more festive than ever. It’s no wonder so many homebuyers look for them in potential future homes!

We hope that all of our customers enjoy their fireplace to fullest throughout the months ahead and create lasting memories with loved ones at they gather around their hearth.

But before you gather that firewood, we want to remind you to invest in an inspection done by a certified professional. This is an important step in keeping your chimney strong and your family safe. Avoid any hiccups or hazardous situations this winter by giving the staff at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney a call today!

Do You Need Repairs?

One major reason why inspections are necessary is to check for necessary repairs. If your system is facing cracks, holes, or other malfunctions it will leave you in a big mess this upcoming holiday season. On top of that, these damages leave the door open for gases and other toxins to escape into your home.

When it comes right down to it, putting off repairs will only lead to more damage and more expenses down the line. You’ll end up paying more in energy bills (due to a lack of efficiency and heat output) and the cost of fixing any structural damage will only increase as things get worse. Invest in us now, and let us set up you right!

What About A Cleaning?

Another reason why inspections are necessary is to determine whether or not you need a cleaning. Going without regular cleanings leads to creosote accumulation, which puts your home and family at risk for fires. Creosote is very flammable, which is why it needs to be cleared up before it can trigger lots of damage to your home and chimney.

There are many reasons why creosote may be accumulating at an increased rate, and we can help you minimize this build up. Whether your airflow is restricted, you’re not using the right type of fuel, or something else, we are certain we can resolve the issue and help you run your fireplace safer and more efficiently.

Why Call Now?

If you’re ready to take the next step and invest in better care for your appliance, we encourage you to give us a call now! Why so soon? Well, our busy fall season is starting to take off, so the earlier we get you in, the better! If your system is in need of large repairs, we’ll need to schedule further appointments and, as our books fill up, it may be harder to find a spot that’s convenient for you.

Call now, so that you’re all set when the temperatures drop!

By Jake Johnson on September 19th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Benefits Of Scheduling A Chimney Sweep Early

Since spring has finally arrived, most of us have cleaned out and shut up our fireplaces for the season. Even if you don’t plan on using your fireplace again until things cool down in the fall, springtime may be the best time to have your chimney swept! Benefits of Scheduling a Chimney Sweep Early- Evergreen, CO- Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney inc. -w800-h800

Having your chimney swept early helps you beat the rush in the fall – our busiest season – and ensures that your fireplace is ready to use when you’re ready to use it. Below are just a few of the benefits of scheduling a chimney sweep early.

The importance of annual chimney sweepings

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, homeowners should have their chimneys swept at least once per year. Likewise, National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 also states that, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

Annual chimney maintenance like sweepings and inspections are an important part of keeping your fireplace burning safely and efficiently. During a chimney sweeping, your certified chimney sweep will use special hoses and brushes to remove ash, soot, and creosote that has built up in the flue after a year of use. Removing creosote is especially important as this byproduct of combustion is extremely flammable; creosote ignition is the leading cause of chimney fire, and removing it during an annual sweeping is one of the best ways to prevent chimney fires from occurring.

Chimney inspections can also keep your fireplace burning safely. During an inspection, your certified sweep will check all accessible interior and exterior parts of the chimney for signs of damage or deterioration. Inspections can help identify minor problems before they require serious – and costly – repairs.

Benefits of scheduling a chimney sweep in spring

Even if you aren’t currently using your fireplace, spring is a great time to have your chimney swept. Below are just a few of the benefits of scheduling a chimney sweep early.

– Have your chimney ready in the fall. By having your chimney swept in the spring, there will be no delay waiting for services when temperatures cool off again in the fall.
– No delays in repairs. Many masonry repairs can only be done in mild weather conditions ; this can cause delays in getting repairs done during the fall and winter. Mild temperatures and a lack of severe weather can keep repairs on track.
– Convenient appointment times. Because spring is a typically “slow” season for chimney sweeps, customers are more likely to get a convenient appointment time. This also means you most likely won’t have to spend weeks waiting for an appointment to open up.

Don’t wait until fall to have your chimney swept! Schedule your chimney services during the spring and have your fireplace be ready to use again in the fall. Contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today to schedule your spring chimney sweep appointment.

By Jake Johnson on April 26th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Add Chimney Sweeping to Your Spring Cleaning List

After months of ice, snow, and freezing temperatures, spring weather is finally on the horizon. During this time of year, many homeowners plan spring cleaning projects to refresh and declutter their homes. This year, add a chimney sweeping to your spring cleaning list!

Spring Chimney Cleaning - Evergreen CO - Mtn Man Chimney

The spring is the perfect time to have your chimney swept. After a long winter of use, chimneys need to have soot, ash, and creosote removed. Likewise, chimney inspections can be performed to identify if your chimney was in any way damaged over the winter.

Winter weather and your chimney system

Although chimneys are built to last for decades on end and stand up against the elements, there are two things that can severely damage them in as little as one year: water and freezing temperatures. If water finds its way into the masonry of your chimney it can freeze and expand, creating gradually larger and larger holes and cracks. This freeze thaw process is extremely harmful to bricks and can cause them to crack, spall, and fall way from the chimney structure.

In addition, animals may have damaged your chimney structure without your knowledge. Many animals view chimneys as a warm place to hide from winter weather, and will attempt to “break in” by clawing, scratching, and biting chimney caps or flashing. Over time, this kind of damage can allow water into your chimney system, potentially damaging the flue lining, damper, interior walls and ceilings, and other parts of your fireplace and home.

The importance of chimney maintenance

Regular maintenance is one of the most important things homeowners can do to extend the life of their chimney systems. Chimneys are an appliance, and just like washers and ovens they need regular care and cleaning to work their best.

An annual chimney sweeping is extremely important in keeping your fireplace system in excellent working condition. According to National Fire Protection Association Standard 211, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

The main purpose of a chimney cleaning is the removal of soot, ash, and creosote from the chimney structure. This greatly reduces the risk for chimney fire and helps your fireplace burn more efficiently. In addition, our sweeps take the time to ensure that none of your interior furnishings are damaged during the cleaning process.

Along with a chimney cleaning, a chimney inspection should also be performed each year. “A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the Chimney Safety Institute of America. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”

During a chimney inspection, which can be performed at the same time as a chimney sweeping, a certified technician will inspect and assess the interior and exterior portions of your fireplace and chimney. Doing this can help identify any new damage or deterioration before it turns into a major safety concern. In this way, an annual chimney sweeping and inspection can save you thousands of dollars on potential costly future repairs.

To schedule your spring fireplace sweeping, contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney today. Our certified technicians can get your fireplaces cleaned and ready to use again for next fall.

By Jake Johnson on March 23rd, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment