Our Company Blog

Summer Is An Ideal Time For Masonry Repairs

Is your masonry looking worse for the wear? You’re not alone. Many love the look and design of a masonry chimney or fireplace, but will begin to notice some cosmetic issues when the structure isn’t regularly inspected and maintained. Unfortunately, these cracks, holes, and crumbling pieces can lead to bigger issues that eventually put your home and family at serious risk. Summer Is For Masonry Repair - Littleton CO - Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney

Our team of experts is ready and able to help people all throughout our service area maintain stronger and longer-lasting chimneys and fireplaces. If you need help call on the CSIA certified crew at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today. We’re ready and eager to help you out!

Why Is Now A Good Time?

Fall is only a couple of short months away, so it won’t be long until our schedule books start to fill up. Many homeowners put off maintenance until right before the burning season begins, but this doesn’t always work out in an ideal manner. Because time slots fill up fast, finding the perfect appointment time based on your schedule isn’t typically an easy thing to do. We love it when we can perfectly accommodate homeowners, but this becomes increasingly more difficult the busier we get.

Between planning around busy time frames and addressing countless masonry repairs throughout the area, it could end up being quite some time before we get in, get the work done, and give you the okay to light your first fire of the year. We want your holiday season to be as festive as possible, which is why we urge you to call us now while we’re still in our slower time of year. We’ll get your masonry issues addressed in no time!

Many find the satisfaction of crossing chimney care off of their to-do list a huge incentive for calling our team in right away, but that’s not the only reason why summer-time repairs are encouraged. This time of year also offers an ideal temperature range for these types of jobs because the materials we use need to be applied in certain weather in order to cure properly. If you put off maintenance too long, we might advise you to wait until spring comes back around to get your work done-.

Let’s work together now to get your masonry looking and functioning great before fall and winter arrive. We’d love nothing more than to offer you the peace of mind you’re looking for regarding your fireplace, and we know you won’t regret calling us in early when you’re lighting up a fire on that first cold day.

Don’t Let Crumbling Masonry Bring You Down Any Longer

When it comes right down to it, a broken down chimney isn’t especially fun to come home to and it’s dangerous to light fires when damages are present. Your risk for house fires and gas leaks increases significantly, and you may eventually face a collapse which could cause injury and cost you hundreds in damages. Don’t take any chances. Give our team a call now!

By Jake Johnson on August 10th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Issues With Damaged Chimney Flashing

Flashing is a vital part of your chimney’s construction. It protects the area where your roof and chimney meet, so that no water enters your home and causes damage. Your ceiling, walls, and more could be left vulnerable if flashing isn’t installed or if it is need of repair. Luckily, the staff at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney is trained and certified to help you out!

How Does Flashing Work?

First of all, let’s review how flashing works. The area where your roof and chimney meet needs extra protection due to the different materials that are present. The roofing materials and your brickwork expand and contract at different rates, thus creating small openings for water to enter.

Flashing works by sealing this area, while allowing these parts the flexibility they need. It’s typically made from a strong, metal material, and it will be custom fitted to your unique set-up. Then, caulking will be applied to ensure added protection and durability.

Typical Forms Of Damage

There are a few ways your flashing can be damaged. The first is corrosion. As time passes, you may eventually notice rust, holes, and similar types of wear and tear throughout your flashing. This is obviously not a good sign, and it should be addressed as soon as possible. When issues like this occur, water can enter fast, and your home will be left vulnerable. Give us a call and we get your system back to normal in no time!

Another problem comes in the form of loose parts. Bad weather and strong winds can sometimes cause parts of your flashing to detach, leaving you with open pathways for water to enter. Let us take a look at the problem, and we’ll see what we can do to repair any damage.

Bending is also a problem at times. If your flashing comes into contact with heavy items, the metal may bend, which will eventually lead to even more damage down the line. If water gets into the bent area, it will simply sit there until rust and corrosion occur. Also, the flashing itself will be weaker in the bent spot and cracks will eventually form in the affected areas.

What Can We Do?

We will do our best to repair your flashing so it looks and functions as good as new. If repairs cannot be completed, that’s no problem. We can install new flashing so that your home stays protected for years to come! We can also work with you to find the best fit and materials for your home and budget. No matter what, your home will be safer after the job is done!

Learn more by giving us a call. We can answer any questions you may have, then set you up with an appointment. Gain the peace of mind you deserve and get this maintenance done now, so you can rest easy. We looking forward to helping you out soon!

By Jake Johnson on June 21st, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule a Chimney Sweep this Summer

Summer is a great time to get a jump start on your annual chimney sweeping!

Summer is a great time to get a jump start on your annual chimney sweeping!

As summer’s hot temperatures continue to rise outside, very few homeowners are using their fireplaces for anything other than decoration. While it may still be too hot to enjoy a fire, fall will be here before we know it! This year, schedule your chimney sweeping for the summer to make sure your fireplace system is ready to use in the fall.

Why choose summer chimney maintenance

Very few homeowners pay attention to their fireplaces when the weather outside is warm. What many may not know, however, is that the warm months of summer make for one of the best times of year for chimney maintenance!

Because the temperatures outside are warmer, few people are using their fireplaces. This means that homeowners experience no breaks is usage while the chimney is being swept or when waiting for repairs. Likewise, some masonry repairs cannot be done in cold or wet conditions, making the summer the ideal time for chimney maintenance.

If all you need is a chimney sweeping, summer is the ideal time of year to schedule your appointment. Summer is traditionally considered a “slow” season for chimney sweeps; for homeowners, this means shorter wait times and greater availability of convenient appointments!

Why having a chimney swept is important

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that all homeowners have their chimneys swept at least once per year. Even if you take excellent care of your fireplace, use an alternative fuel such as gas, or rarely use your fireplace it is still recommended to have an annual chimney sweeping.

If you use your fireplace as a primary heat source or keep it burning for most of the winter, your chimney may need to be swept more than once per year. In addition to a regular annual sweeping, fireplaces should be swept anytime the sooty buildup in the flue is greater than 1/8th of an inch. This amount of buildup typically occurs after burning one full cord of wood; if you use more than this amount each season, talk to you technician about scheduling additional chimney sweepings.

Having your chimney regularly swept is an important part of ensuring your family’s health and safety. When chimneys are swept, creosote buildup within the flue is removed. Created by fuel burning fires, creosote is extremely flammable; when ignited by sparks or embers from the fire, creosote ignition is the leading cause of chimney fire.

Excessive creosote buildup can also cause chimney odors, especially during the warm and humid months of summer. In addition to creating an unpleasant odor within your home, this can also affect the air quality. This is especially dangerous for those with respiratory problems such as asthma.

While very few homeowners use their fireplaces during the summer, we shouldn’t forget our chimneys just because the weather outside is hot. This year, schedule summer chimney maintenance in order to prepare your fireplace system for the fall. Contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney here today to schedule your summer chimney sweeping!

By Jake Johnson on July 31st, 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.

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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!

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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!