Our Company Blog

What We Look For In A Chimney Inspection

The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) is a nationally recognized non-profit that has been training and certifying chimney sweeps for years. Chimney companies all across the country know that holding these certifications gives them a step up in chimney knowledge. And at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney we take pride in maintaining these certifications year after year!

The CSIA strongly recommends scheduling at least one chimney inspection per year. This not only ensures your chimney stays healthy… it also keeps your home and family safer. Give us a call today, and know your fireplace is clean and in great condition with every season that passes you by!

The Inspection Process

First things first, we’ll find out what exactly you need based on your unique situation. When it comes to fireplaces, everyone is different! Some are newer, while some have been in a home for decades. Some have been completely restored, while others have a more traditional look and feel. Whatever the case is, we need to know what type of inspection you’re going to need.

Once we have that figured out, we will proceed with either a level 1, level 2, or level 3 inspection. A level 1 inspection is pretty basic. If your system is well-maintained and no serious changes or issues have occurred recently, then this type of inspection is likely all you’ll need. We’ll make sure everything is still running smoothly and that no new issues have popped up over the course of the last year.

If your chimney or fireplace has seen some renovation, a level 2 inspection will be the best option for you. This inspection is a little more in-depth and will ensure that everything is still functioning normally, despite any changes that have occurred. Also, if you are buying or selling a home, a level 2 inspection will be in order before any final decisions are made.

Lastly, there are level 3 inspections. These are far less common and are typically only required in more extreme circumstances. If special tools are required or certain parts of the chimney need to be removed, then we’ll opt for a level 3 inspection.

We Can Do It All!

At Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney, we can perform all three levels of inspections, so you know that you are covered, no matter what. We take pride in what we do, and we really strive to do it all for our customer base.

If you are due for a chimney inspection, there is no time to lose! With our busy fall and winter season soon approaching, you’ll want to get something scheduled as soon as you can. Give us a call anytime to get on the books!

By Jake Johnson on July 20th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Is Your Chimney Ready For Santa?

Santa Chimney Clean Image - Littleton CO - Mountain Man FireplaceWith Christmas just weeks away, homeowners everywhere are facing some long to-do lists. Between gift wrapping, meal prep, decorating, and more, it can be hard to find the time to get it all done! That’s why you should count on the experts at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney to set you up right this holiday season. We can ensure your chimney is clean and soot-free for Santa’s arrival. Schedule your annual inspection and cleaning today!

Benefits Of A Clean Fireplace

Impressing Mr. Claus is not the only reason to have your fireplace and chimney checked out. There are countless reasons to get your cleaning in right away.

  • Clearing Blockages: When temperatures start to drop, birds and other outdoor creatures start scoping out warm places to store food and nest down for the cold winter months. Unfortunately, chimneys are an ideal spot for these little critters. The more these nesting materials pile up, the bigger issues you will face when trying to light a fire.

A certified chimney professional knows where to look and how to remove these things as efficiently as possible. They will ensure nothing is blocked off, so you can gain the peace of mind you desire when lighting your fires. Kiss smoking issues and harmful toxins good-bye by calling us in right away!

  • Preventing Fires: Cleaning out creosote on a regular basis is vital for maintaining chimney health. It is a highly flammable substance and having a lot of it puts your chimney and home at a heightened risk for fire. When most think of a chimney fire, they picture a big, obvious event, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, these will occur without anyone realizing it!

Regardless the situation, an out-of-control fire will cause lasting damage to your chimney and puts your family in harm’s way. Don’t take the risk – schedule your cleaning today.

  • Impress Guests: Keeping your home and family safe is always our number one priority, but we want to make sure your décor looks good, too! Fireplaces are often considered the focal point of a room or living area. Have yours cleaned today, so that your home will be in great shape for any holiday parties or events.

Friends and neighbors will rave about your great taste for weeks on end, and you can relax and enjoy your evening, knowing your fireplace is in the best condition possible. Pick up the phone and give us call, so we can set you up right.

If you are ready to get that cleaning in, depend on Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney. We have been serving this area for 15 years and we continue to receive great reviews from countless satisfied customers.

Impress your friends, family, and, most importantly, Santa Claus by getting your professional chimney cleaning in now. Thanks for working with us!

By Jake Johnson on December 8th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Modular Fireplaces and the Importance of Inspections

Not having your modular fireplace inspected could lead to a house fire

Not having your modular fireplace inspected could lead to a house fire

Since their introduction to the market nearly 25 years ago, modular fireplaces have been seen as a more affordable option to a traditional masonry fireplace. And while modular fireplaces can work safely for decades, they do come with a number of safety risks and hazards.

Even if you have a modular fireplace, is it still important to have an annual chimney cleaning and inspection. Having an inspection ensures that your modular fireplace remains in good condition, free from any damage that could potentially put you and your family at risk.

What is a modular fireplace?

Modular fireplaces are often viewed as less expensive alternatives to full masonry fireplaces. Because they can be installed without the use of a mason, homeowners can save considerable time and money when installing their fireplace.

Modular fireplaces can typically be purchased from a number of big box home improvement stores. Sold in kits that include several large fire bricks along with the chimney and firebox pieces, most modular fireplace pieces are created by compressing lava rock, concrete, and other stones. These pieces can then be fit together at the building site, much like building blocks or Legos. In addition, many online retailers specialize in the sales of modular fireplaces. Units are available in a wide variety of finishes in addition to having the choice of gas or wood as a fuel source.

When choosing to add an outdoor fireplace to their yard or patio area, many homeowners choose modular fireplaces over their masonry counterparts. Because outdoor fireplaces are typically used less, homeowners feel more comfortable installing a less expensive modular unit.

Modular fireplace safety

When regularly cleaned, inspected, and maintained, modular fireplaces can be just as safe as their masonry counterparts. However, sometimes modular fireplace undergo subtle shifting or settling that may impact their performance and safety.

“The reality is that many of those things remain hidden until someone does some serious investigation,” said the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s Director of Education Ashley Eldridge. “It’s not uncommon for a component to get missed. If it comes at no additional cost, nobody’s ever going to notice.”

One prime example of this is the baseplate on which modular fireplaces are installed. If the baseplate becomes cracked or damaged due to issues such as overuse or settling, it can leave the plywood subfloor underneath exposed to the heat from the firebox. If left unrepaired, this can lead to an accidental house fire.

Importance of modular fireplace inspections

In order to ensure that your modular fireplace is safe to use and free from damage, homeowners should have annual chimney and fireplace inspections performed. These inspections can help uncover hidden problems – such as a cracked baseplate – before they become major safety concerns.

If you have a modular fireplace that has not been recently swept or inspected, contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney today. Our trained team of certified chimney sweeps can make sure your modular fireplace is clean, safe to use, and free from any hidden safety issues. Serving Littleton, CO and the surrounding areas – call for more information!

By Jake Johnson on March 5th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Choosing the Right Firewood for Your Fireplace

For most homeowners, buying firewood is an annual, necessary chore that is done without much thought or consideration. However, many fail to realize that the type of wood you purchase can have an effect on not just the quality of your fires but also on the overall upkeep of your fireplace.Choosing-the-Right-Firewood-for-Your-Fireplace-Evergreen-CO-Mountain-Man-Fireplace

Types of firewood

Although it might seem like all wood will burn the same, each tree has its own distinct set of burning characteristics. Some are naturally smokier, have stronger odors, burn faster, or are harder to split. Firewood tends to be divided into two main categories: hard woods and soft woods.

Hard Woods

Hardwoods tend to be dense, heavy woods; because of this, most experts agree these woods make much better firewood compared to softwoods. While there are a number of hardwoods to choose from, the best woods for home fireplaces are considered Ash, Birch, and Oak.

Ash burns at medium to high, produces little smoke, and is easy to split. Birch also gives off a considerable amount of heat, but does tend to burn a little quicker. However, it is often easy to find and relatively inexpensive compared to other woods, making it an ideal firewood choice. Oak, when dried properly, is a long-burning wood that produces a medium-high heat.

Soft Woods

Softwood comes from pines, spruces, firs, and evergreens. Although it lights quickly, making it ideal for kindling, softwoods tend to produce a large amount of smoke. Because of this, they are often more suited for outdoor fires or activities such as smoking meat.

Pretreated Woods

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, homeowners should “never burn coated, painted, or pressure-treated wood because it releases toxic chemicals when burned.” This includes plywood, wood used for decking, fencing, and playground equipment, or any wood that has come in contact with paint, wood glue, or other chemicals.

Seasoned Firewood

Seasoning firewood is simply the process of allowing the wood to dry; by removing moisture, the wood is able to burn more efficiently with less smoke and hotter temperatures. Seasoned firewood should only have a moisture content of 15-20%, as opposed to the nearly 50% of freshly cut wood. Properly seasoned firewood should feel lighter, appear cracked or split at the ends, and when two pieces are banged together, the resulting sound should be hollow.

For some firewood, the seasoning process can take more than a year. For this reason, when buying pre-seasoned firewood, be sure to ask when the wood was cut. Even the wood in trees that are dead or have been felled needs to be split into logs before the seasoning process can truly begin.

Storing Firewood

Wood that needs to be seasoned should be split, stacked in a single row, and placed in an area where the sun will help dry it out. In addition, it’s recommended that wood not be stacked directly on the ground, as this can cause ground moisture to seep in, thereby rotting the wood.

Storage for firewood in the cold fall and winter months should still be outdoors, but should be in a place where the wood is protected from rain and snow. Homeowners should only bring in as much wood as they immediately need; wood stored at room temperature can sometimes cause any remaining bugs to become active.

By Jake Johnson on August 16th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

The Science of Combustion

What are the elements that make up a well-lit fire? How do you keep the flame alive? These can all be answered by the science of combustion.

By knowing how the combustion process works, you are guaranteed safety, efficiency, and comfort.

By knowing how the combustion process works, you are guaranteed safety, efficiency, and comfort.

Dryer Vent Safety

Dryer vent cleaning is an important and oft overlooked checklist item that improves your home’s energy efficiency, reduces costs and can extend the life of your dryer. Let the service pros at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney handle all of your service needs.

With things like carpools, soccer practices, and other family-related activities with which to contend, it should come as no surprise that some things, often through no fault of our own, take a back seat to everything else that’s going on. Please don't let having your dryer vents cleaned become one of those things!

With things like carpools, soccer practices, and other family-related activities with which to contend, it should come as no surprise that some things, often through no fault of our own, take a back seat to everything else that’s going on. Please don’t let having your dryer vents cleaned become one of those things!

By Jake Johnson on May 10th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Fire Safety 101

Does everyone in your household know what to do in case of a fire? Are you taking all possible steps to prevent this? This should help you get prepared.

Get ready and stay ready. Don't risk your home or your loved ones.

Get ready and stay ready. Don’t risk your home or your loved ones.