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Improve Fireplace Safety & Efficiency With A Sweeping

Are you ready to ensure your fireplace performs to the highest standards this winter? Schedule a sweeping with the expert team at Mountain Main Fireplace & Chimney! Our CSIA certified staff is ready to help you out soon and, with temperatures dropping more and more with every passing week, you need to make certain you’re ready for anything. Give our qualified team a call today!

Removing Creosote

Improve Fireplace Safety & Efficiency With A Sweeping - Littleton CO - Mountain ManOne of the most important aspects of sweeping a chimney is the removal of excess creosote. Creosote is one thing you don’t want a lot of in your chimney! As you burn fires, more and more builds up, until your fireplace is no longer safe for regular use. It’s best to clean this substance out on a regular basis, so that everything functions as smoothly and as safely as possible all year round.

Why is it so dangerous? Well, creosote is very flammable and, when it catches fire, you’re looking at some pretty serious damages to your chimney’s interior. Chimney fires melt mortar, crack brickwork, and weaken your structure considerably, leaving you with a poor-functioning fireplace and some expensive repair costs.

Chimney fires also put your home and loved ones in danger. Every time you light a fire after a chimney fire has occurred, you leave your home vulnerable to stray flames that now have multiple pathways to escape the chimney and catch adjacent woodwork on fire. Along with this, toxins and fumes that normally exit through the top of the chimney are now able to enter your home, thus affecting the wellbeing of those living in it.

Removing Blockages

Another important part of a chimney sweeping is the removal of any blockages that may be hindering air flow. Dirt, debris, animals, and nesting materials are all things that can clog things up, and they need to be removed on a regular basis to ensure proper functioning. We will inspect your system and ascertain whether or not there are issues that may cause problems for you when lighting a fire.

Failing to remove obstructions will result in smoke and toxins backing up into your home, which is less than ideal and can trigger health issues. Call us in right away, so we can get you ready for the colder months ahead!

Checking For Repairs

We will also look around to make sure there are no cracks, holes, or other issues with your masonry that may cause problems down the line. Fireplaces make a great asset to any home, but when things are not functioning as they should, you’re left with a lot of extra stress. As you bring in this new year, let us help you out by creating one less thing to worry about. Schedule your annual sweeping with us today!

By Jake Johnson on December 18th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Types Of Chimney Repairs

Chimneys are tough structures and last for decades, which is why families love having them in their home! But that doesn’t mean they don’t need care and regular maintenance from time to time…

Despite being highly durable, sometimes repairs are simply inevitable. If you suspect there are issues with your chimney, or if you’re due for your annual inspection, give the CSIA certified staff at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney a call today! We are qualified to address any issues with your chimney, and you’ll be happy you patched things up sooner, rather than later. Learn more below.

Broken Down Brickwork

Types of Chimney Repairs - Littleton, CO - Mountain ManBricks are made from some tough materials, but that doesn’t mean they can withstand anything. Weather, neglect, and years of wear and tear can take its toll on your brickwork, and sometimes tune-ups are necessary. Invest in our tuckpointing services right away! We will take care of any cracks, holes, and worn down brick, so that you can get back to enjoying your fireplace to the fullest.

Leaks & Water Damage

Leaks are another common issue in chimney systems. Heavy rains and snowfall are inevitable, and your brickwork faces the brunt of any bad weather. Tons of moisture gets soaked into the chimney, and it triggers a lot of issues such as clogs, deterioration, rust, rot, stains, and more. Along with this the freeze-thaw process will occur, which puts a lot of extra pressure on your system as a whole.

Addressing water damage as soon as possible will benefit you greatly in the long run. A weakened structure only leads to more issues down the line, and any unresolved problems will only get worse and worse. You could eventually face a settlement or collapse and, in the meantime, your chimney will not function nearly as efficiently as it could. Not to mention, using a damaged chimney puts your home and loved ones at risk, as it increases the likelihood of fires and can causes toxins to back up into your home.

Talk to us today about what we can do to resolve any issues associated with a leaky chimney. Then, ask about our waterproofing services! We have high quality products that will seal your brickwork, protecting it from bad weather while allowing it the ability to breath out necessary vapors. It’s an investment worth making – call today to learn more !

Caps, Covers, & Dampers

What would a chimney be without proper working parts? Your chimney needs to stay protected from outside elements and vent properly to enhance its overall functioning. That’s why we can repair and/or replace various parts of your chimney, as needed. Keep animals out and warm air in this winter by working with our expert team today.

There’s no time to waste… the holidays are coming quick, so set up your appointment with us now. We can’t wait to hear from you soon!

By Jake Johnson on November 1st, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Why Is A Chimney Damper Important?

Your chimney damper is a simple device that plays a huge role in helping your fireplace run smoothly. It works like a flap that can be opened and closed as needed, and it makes building and maintaining fires a much simpler process. Check out some of the benefits you gain when you have a well-built, proper working damper in your chimney.

Why Is A Chimney Damper Important Image - Littleton CO - Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney Inc.Keeps Cold Air Out

A fireplace is great for heating a room, but what about when it is not in use? The chimney provides a smooth path for chilly weather to enter the home, and the last thing anyone wants is a cold draft in their family room. This not only makes for an unpleasant living area, but contributes to high heating and energy bills, as well!

This is where chimney dampers come into play. When your fireplace is not in use, dampers plug up the chimney so no heat escapes through it and no cold air can enter. A good-fitting and clean damper will work effectively to keep winter winds outside of your home where they belong!

Sends Smoke Away

When you decide to light up a fire, you need to make sure all the smoke and other toxins go up and out the chimney, keeping your home and family comfortable and safer. To do this, you simply open the damper and you are good to go! This is another great thing about these devices… While they work hard to keep your home free from cold winds and nasty weather, they can be easily opened to ensure smoke effectively escapes when necessary.

Helps Control Your Fire

Once your fire gets going, a damper is a great tool to utilize when you want to control the intensity of the flame. You can open and close it as needed, so that your fire only receives as much oxygen as you want it to receive. The more oxygen a fire gets, the stronger it will burn… give it less and it will die down a bit. This is why a well-working damper is such a great tool for keeping your fires exactly where you want them to be.

Ventilation Issues?

Are you having some issues with smoke back-up or air flow? No problem! The staff at Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney can help you out. Your damper may be clogged with nasty debris and creosote or maybe it is damaged. No matter the issue, we can inspect your fireplace and resolve any malfunctions.

If you are in need of a new damper, we can do that, too! We can figure out exactly what type of damper you need for your specific type of chimney. Ensuring that it is a strong material and proper fit will make all the difference when it comes to keeping smoke and cold air out.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today. We look forward to doing business with you!

By Jake Johnson on February 7th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Start Working On Next Year’s Firewood

When it comes to firewood, it is important to plan ahead. Did you know most types of wood take at least 6 months to season? And many take one to two years! If you hope to burn lots of fires in 2018, you need to start prepping wood now.

Importance Of Seasoned Wood

Next Year's Firewood Image - Littleton CO - Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney Inc By seasoning your own wood, you are doing yourself and your fireplace a great service! Burning unseasoned fuel results in smoke accumulation, creosote build-up, acidic toxins in the air, and more. By sticking with your own properly dried fuel, your fires will be easier to build and they will burn cleaner and more efficiently. Keep your chimney in good health by burning only seasoned wood from here on out.

If you are ready to start storing and seasoning your own fuel, then we have some great tips to help you get started. Check them out!

Cut It Short

When cutting your wood, the shorter you go the better off you will be. The smaller it is, the quicker it will dry out. You will also want to make it an appropriate length for your fireplace or stove. There’s no use in storing your own firewood, if it will not fit in your appliance! Do some measuring, then cut the logs to at least three inches shorter than the width or depth of your fireplace (depending on how you build your fires).

Be Careful When Covering

You may need to cover your wood to keep it safe during bad weather. Yet, covering it up all the time means less sun exposure and longer drying times. When the weather is good, uncover your wood so more heat can get in and dry out the moisture. Also, never cover up the sides. Just cover the top to keep rain out.

Stack Off The Ground

Leaving wood on the ground leads to mold accumulation and rot. Instead, store the wood on pallets or poles to keep it off the ground throughout the seasoning process. Also, stack the pieces lightly. The more air circulation each piece has, the better the whole pile will vent. A well-vented storage area is ideal for effective seasoning.

Look Into Wood Types

You may also want to keep in mind that certain types of wood burn more efficiently than others. Try for ash, hickory, oak, pine, and similar hardwoods that are known for producing high heat and longer-lasting burns.

Remember, too, that certain trees are more common in different areas. Find which types of wood you have the most access to, so you never have to worry about running short.

At Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney, we want to help you enjoy your fireplace for years to come! Invest in our services for any and all of your chimney-related needs. We look forward to helping you out!

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

Waterproofing The Chimney

When it comes to keeping your fireplace and chimney burning safely and in good condition, few things are as important as regular preventative maintenance. This is especially true of protecting your chimney against water, one of the most damaging force’s to your bricks and mortar. Whether your chimney is in pristine condition or has a few cracks or chips, having it waterproofed can protect it for years to come. Waterproofiging the Chimney-Evergreen-CO-Mountain Many Chimney-w800-h800

Water and chimney damage

Masonry is not a delicate building material; it is built to last and can withstand years of exposure to the elements when properly maintained. However, your bricks and mortar still may be susceptible to water damage caused by the freeze thaw cycle.

The freeze thaw cycle can cause major moisture damage to your masonry in as little as one season. Because masonry is naturally porous, it can absorb very small amounts of water from rain, snow, ice, dew, or exposure to hoses or sprinklers. While this minute amount of water may not affect a chimney in good condition, if there are cracks or holes in the masonry the amount of water that is absorbed will increase.

In cold temperatures, the moisture in the bricks can freeze and expand; the causes progressively larger and larger cracks and holes to form. This damage from the freeze thaw cycle will continue to get worse over time causing large cracks to form in the bricks, spalling, or even structural damage to the chimney itself.

Waterproofing protects your chimney against moisture

While a chimney’s exposure to water is inevitable, there are steps that homeowners can take to minimize damage to your chimney. The most effective way to protect your chimney against moisture damage is by having it waterproofed.Professional chimney waterproofing products are unique and unlike another paints or sealants you can buy at a big box home improvement store. These products are specifically designed for use on porous bricks; they allow the bricks to retain their porous properties without letting new water in.

Having your chimney waterproofed can not only protect a chimney in good condition, but it can also help stop the progress of water damage to your chimney. Even if the masonry of your chimney has already begun to crack or spall, applying waterproofing products can slow the progression of the damage and protect the remaining masonry.

Other ways to protect your chimney

Water can affect more than just your masonry; there are a number of other steps homeowners can take to protect their fireplaces and chimneys against water damage. Chimney caps, which protect the top of the flue against moisture, animals, and debris, should be regularly checked for signs of damage – especially if a chimney leak occurs. Likewise, chimney flashing – or the sealant that protects the seam between the chimney and the roof – should be inspected as the flashing can lose its watertight seal over time.

It is important for homeowners to be proactive in protecting their chimney’s against water damage. If you live around Littleton, Lakewood, CO or the surrounding areas, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney for more information on waterproofing your chimney or to schedule an inspection to check for other signs of water damage or chimney leaks.

By Jake Johnson on March 15th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule A Chimney Inspection To Spot Potential Fire Hazards

Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney wants to keep you and your home safe from potential fire hazards

Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney wants to keep you and your home safe from potential fire hazards

As the temperatures outside begin to cool off, many homeowners are preparing to use their fireplaces for the first time this season. However, after several months of disuse your chimney may not be safe and completely ready to use. Instead, schedule a chimney inspection to spot potential fire hazards.

Common causes of chimney fires

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are more than 26,000 chimney fires each year in the United States. These fires do much more than cause damage to your chimney; chimney fires cause more than $120 million in losses and property damage. Thankfully, many chimney fires can be prevented through regular maintenance and repairs. The following are two of the most common causes of chimney fires.

Creosote buildup

The most common cause of chimney fires is creosote buildup. A naturally occurring byproduct of fuel burning fires, creosote is a corrosive, smelly, and sticky residue that can coat the inside of the flue. Because creosote is extremely flammable, it can easily be ignited by any stray sparks or embers from the fireplace. Having your chimney professionally swept at least once a year is the best way to remove creosote buildup.

Debris

Whether its small twigs, leaves, or birds’ nests, the presence of debris in the chimney is a major potential fire hazard. Debris in the chimney is dangerous in two ways: first, it can block the flow of hot air, smoke, and gas up the chimney. This can cause these byproducts of combustion to flow back into your home. Likewise, just like creosote debris can be ignited by stray sparks or embers, causing a fire. This is especially true of dry or brittle debris such as leaves and birds’ nests that may ignite and burn quickly.

Signs of a chimney fire

A chimney fire doesn’t always mean flames spouting from the top of a chimney. In fact, it may be difficult to notice the damage caused by a smaller chimney fire; oftentimes, homeowners are shocked when a chimney inspection uncovers signs they’ve had a chimney fire. The following are all signs that your chimney may have recently had a chimney fire.

– “Puffy” or “honey combed” creosote
– Warped metal of the damper, metal smoke chamber connector pipe or factory-built metal chimney
– Cracked or collapsed flue tiles, or tiles with large chunks missing
– Discolored and/or distorted rain cap
– Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to the chimney
– Creosote flakes and pieces found on the roof or ground
– Roofing material damaged from hot creosote
– Cracks in exterior masonry
– Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

Preventing chimney fires

Thankfully, it is possible to prevent chimney fires. Simply put, clean chimneys simply do not catch fire. By having your chimney regularly inspected potential fire hazards can be spotted – and removed – before a chimney fire occurs. To schedule your chimney inspection, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today!

By Jake Johnson on October 7th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment

Chimney Crowns Aren’t Just For Aesthetics

Chimney crowns do more for your chimney than you might expect!

Chimney crowns do more for your chimney than you might expect!

Many homeowners falsely believe that their chimney crown is just for aesthetics and that the chimney cap does the majority of the work of protecting the flue. However, the chimney crown is an equally important piece of the chimney that needs the same level of care and upkeep as the chimney cap.

What is a chimney crown?

A chimney crown is a concrete or masonry slab that covers and protects the top of the chimney. The chimney crown is uniquely important in that it protects both the interior and exterior of the chimney. Because of this, chimney crowns should be both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Features of a chimney crown

There are several key features that a chimney crown needs to have in order to function correctly. One of the most important features of the chimney crown is the overhang. Also known as a drip ledge, the overhang should extend an additional 2 to 2.5 inches on all sides of the crown. The overhang prevents water from flowing directly onto the masonry of the chimney, protecting the bricks and mortar from being constantly assailed by water and moisture.

Another important chimney crown feature is the building material used to construct the crown itself. Many chimney crowns, especially those installed by general contractors or masons without experience, are not made of the right materials. While bricks and mortar can be used for the chimney, they should never be used for a chimney crown as they are too porous to serve as a long term protection against moisture. Instead, chimney crowns should be made of a solid slab of concrete, metal, or stone.

Maintaining your chimney crown

Just like the rest of your chimney system, the chimney crown should be regularly inspected to check for cracks, leaks, or other signs of damage or deterioration. Likewise, if you begin experiencing chimney leaks or leaking around interior ceilings or walls, the chimney crown should be checked as soon as possible.

If your chimney crown has begun to deteriorate but is not yet seriously damaged, a specially designed waterproofing product may be able to be applied. These products are specially designed for use on masonry and chimneys and can prevent further or future water damage. Likewise, waterproofing can always be used as a preventative measure against water damage even if your chimney crown is not damaged.

In addition to maintaining your chimney crown, your chimney cap and chimney flashing should also be regularly inspected, maintained, and repaired as needed. Together with the chimney crown, these three chimney components play an important role in protecting your chimney, fireplace, and home against water damage. If any other part of the chimney is damaged, water may be able to find its way in.

If you live around Littleton, CO and you’re worried that your chimney crown is more aesthetic than functional, contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney today. Our expertly trained technicians can evaluate the condition of your chimney crown and help make it both a beautiful and functional part of your chimney.

By Jake Johnson on May 8th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Advantages of Keeping your Chimney Cap Clean and Free of Debris

The chimney cap is one of the most important parts of your chimney. In addition to keeping hot coals and embers from flying out onto your roof, it also prevents animals, debris, and moisture from getting into your chimney.

To keep working well, chimneys and chimney caps should be regularly inspected and maintained. A chimney cap that is clean and free of debris will work more efficiently and minimize potential hazards.

chimney-cap-maintenance-image-evergreen-co-mountain-man-chimney

What is a chimney cap?

A chimney cap is a metal covering designed to protect and cover the top of the flue. Made of clay or metals such as stainless steel or copper, chimney caps also have mesh or wire sides that prevent animals or debris from getting into the chimney structure.

Chimney caps are important in that they protect your chimney. Water entry can cause serious damage to nearly every part of your chimney and fireplace, and debris can clog the chimney and become a fire hazard.

How do chimney caps become clogged?

The same wire or mesh that prevents animals or debris from getting into your chimney is also the reason your chimney cap may be clogged. If the spacing in the mesh is too large, small birds or mammals may be able to squeeze through and into the chimney. If the spacing is too small, it may become clogged from the inside with creosote, soot, or ash.

Likewise, over time leaves and debris may blow onto the outside of the chimney cap and get stuck, restricting airflow. During winter storms, the mesh may also be blocked by accumulating ice or snow.

Advantages of keeping your chimney cap clean

Because chimney caps play such an important role in protecting your fireplace and chimney, it is important that they receive regular upkeep and maintenance. A chimney cap that is clean and free of debris allows open airflow into the chimney. This allows fires enough oxygen to start quickly and burn fully. Likewise, a clean chimney cap reduces potential fire hazards as there is no creosote to be accidentally ignited by stray sparks or embers.

Chimney caps that are clean and free from blockages also prevent smoke or gasses such as carbon monoxide from backing up into your home.

How can I tell if my chimney cap is clogged?

Identifying a clogged chimney cap may be difficult because of their location. However, there are a number of signs that you may be experiencing a clogged chimney cap. Because a clogged chimney cap restricts airflow into the chimney, homes where the cap is partially or fully blocked may have issues starting or maintaining a fire in the fireplace.
Homeowners may be able to identify a clogged chimney cap without getting on the roof. Excessive creosote buildup on a chimney cap may cause discoloration to the surrounding bricks and mortar. Likewise, if the chimney cap is visible from the ground, you should be able to see light through the screen. If it is opaque or if there is visible debris on the exterior of the chimney cap, it is most likely clogged.

If you think your chimney cap is clogged or simply need to have an annual chimney sweep or inspection performed, contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney today!

Have Your Chimney Cleaned In Time for Santa

As the holiday season approaches, the fireplace often becomes the focal point of many family celebrations. Fireplaces have even made their way into several of our most popular Christmas songs and stories as we roast chestnuts over an open fire and hang our stockings by the chimney with care.

Often the most important role fireplaces play during the holidays is to aide in Santa’s arrival. To help the big man in red slide down your chimney without getting covered in ash and soot, have your chimney cleaned in time for Santa’s arrival!

clean-your-chimney-for-santa-evergreen-co-mountain-man-chimney

How often should chimneys be cleaned?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, “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.” Additionally, the Chimney Safety Institute of America also recommends that all fireplaces, flues, and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected at least once per year.

Even for fireplaces and chimneys that are only infrequently or seasonally used, an annual cleaning is an integral part of making sure your fireplace system is still able to safely operate. Likewise, most homeowners lack the training, expertise, and tools to be able to correctly clean their chimney systems themselves. Even contractors, roofers, and other handymen may not have the appropriate knowledge to ensure your chimney is properly swept. Instead, homeowners should only trust their chimneys to certified chimney sweeps who can completely remove creosote, soot, ash, and other debris. This allows your fireplace to be able to burn more efficiently and with a greatly decreased risk of chimney fire.

The importance of chimney inspections

Even homeowners who regularly have their fireplaces and chimneys swept should consider having a chimney inspection. A chimney inspection will be able to identify any emerging issues or pinpoint the cause of ongoing problems such as leaks or drafts.

Most homes with well maintained chimneys and fireplaces receive a Level I inspection. During this level of inspection, technicians will inspect the accessible areas of the interior and exterior of the chimney structure. This includes the firebox, masonry of the chimney structure, and fireplace hardware such as the damper and flue. If any additional problems or areas or damage are discovered, a more intensive Level II or Level III inspection may be recommended.

Why is preventative maintenance important?

Homeowners often wait until they are experiencing problems to have their fireplaces or chimneys cleaned or inspected. By this point, however, there may already be extensive damage that will cost considerable time and money to repair.

Instead of waiting until there is a problem, homeowners should have annual preventative maintenance completed. Doing this lengthens the life of both the chimney and fireplace, allowing them to be safely enjoyed for years to come. While an annual cleaning or inspection may seem like an unnecessary expense or a service that homeowners can do themselves, investing in annual preventative maintenance can save you money in the long run by identifying issues before they become major problems.

At Mountain Man Chimney, our CSIA certified chimney sweeps will be able to clean and inspect your chimney in order to keep them in their best possible working condition. If you have not yet had your chimney swept this year, and live around Littleton, contact us today to get your fireplace and chimney in pristine condition before Santa’s big arrival!