Our Company Blog

Home Fireplace Options

Fireplaces are known for enhancing the aesthetic of any living space. Nothing quite beats a quiet evening cozied up in front of a warm fire, especially once outdoor temperatures drop. And they always set the perfect mood for any holiday gathering. Not to mention, homes with fireplaces tend to be greatly desired by potential future buyers. Many say they would be willing to pay more money for a home with a fireplace installed!

If you’re looking to add or upgrade a fireplace, the staff at Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney can help you out! But first, you need to know what type of fireplace you want to purchase. Let’s review the more common options below.

Wood-Burning Fireplaces Home Fireplace Options Image - Littleton CO - Mountain Man Chimney

Wood-burning options are an obvious choice and are what most people think of when they hear the word fireplace. These types of are fueled with actual wood logs that you need to light up your yourself. Learning how to build a fire takes some practice, but nothing quite beats the atmosphere offered by this more traditional fireplace style.

The downside of wood-burning options are that they take some work. Between hauling fuel, lighting fires, scooping out ash, and maintaining the fire while it’s lit, you’ll definitely have your hands full! Many enjoy this extra work, but if you have a busy lifestyle wood-fueled options may not be the best fit for you.

Gas-Fueled Fireplaces

For those who are constantly on-the-go, gas-fueled fireplaces are great. All is takes is a flip of a switch and you’ve got yourself a fire! When you’re ready to leave or go to bed, just flip the switch again, and you are good to go. It’s easy and still offers the unbeatable appeal that fireplaces add to any home or living space.

To top it all off, there’s no clean-up involved. Just invest in your annual inspection every year, and your system will stand strong for years to come. You couldn’t ask for anything easier!

Factory Built or Masonry?

You’ll also have to decide if you want your system built into your home (masonry) or factory built. Masonry options are sturdy, durable, and are known for looking great in a home. That being said it’s a process that takes time and will end up costing you a lot more than the factory built options.

Factory built fireplaces are lighter in weight and much more cost effective. Since they are built without a footing needed, they can be installed in more places throughout your house than masonry options. Many prefer this type due to their flexibility, inexpensive cost, and faster installation time. Both are great choices, so discuss your needs with our technicians, and we’ll find the best option for you!

For more information, give us call. At Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney, we are here for you!

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

What Causes Chimneys to Leak?

Chimneys are designed and built to withstand constant exposure to the elements. However, even the best built chimneys can be damaged or deteriorate over time. Chimney damage often leads to chimney leaks; with so many different components, it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of a chimney leak.

Prevent Leaky Chimney - Littleton CO - MountainManCauses of chimney leaks

Diagnosing the cause of a leaky chimney can be difficult; because of this, we recommend having a chimney inspection done by a certified professional to identify the cause of the lea. Finding and repairing the source of the chimney leak first can prevent additional water from getting in after chimney repairs are made. The following are four of the most common causes of leaky chimneys.

– Chimney cap: The metal top and mesh sides of the chimney cap keep moisture, animals, and debris out of the chimney. However, if the chimney cap is improperly fitted, incorrectly installed, or damaged, water can easily flow into the top of the flue and down into the rest of the fireplace system.
– Chimney crown: The stone or masonry of the chimney crown is the slab that surrounds the flue and covers the top of the chimney structure. Because of their location, chimney crowns often bear the brunt of the chimney’s exposure to the elements; this can cause them to deteriorate faster than other chimney components. When this occurs, water can seem into cracks or holes in the chimney crown.
– Flashing: Chimney flashing creates a watertight seal on the joint between the roof and the chimney. Flashing can lose its seal due to overexposure to the elements, damage from storms, changes to the surrounding roofing materials, or improper installation. Leaks caused by flashing are often misidentified as roof leaks because the water appears on ceilings and walls instead of inside the chimney.
– Masonry: Water from rain, ice, snow, and even sprinklers can cause masonry to deteriorate over time. Damaged masonry can chip, crack, and spall because of overexposure to moisture. Not only does this let water into the chimney, but it can also affect the structural stability of the chimney structure.

How to prevent chimney leaks

While it is impossible to keep your chimney away from water, it is possible to help prevent chimney leaks. One of the easiest – and most important – ways to prevent a chimney leak is by having regular sweepings and inspections. This annual maintenance allows minor chimney problems to be identified and repaired long before they create serious damage.

In addition to regular annual maintenance, masonry can also be waterproofed in order to prevent water damage. During the waterproofing process a specially designed water repellant is applied to the masonry; this allows the bricks and mortar to retain their semi-porous nature without letting water be absorbed by the masonry. Waterproofing may also be able to stop the deterioration process on chimneys with existing water damage.

If you have a chimney leak – no matter how small – don’t wait for the leak to get worse before calling a chimney sweep. Contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today to schedule an inspection; our certified technicians can find and repair the source of your chimney leak!

By Jake Johnson on June 21st, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

How To Tell There’s A Problem With Your Fireplace

Because so much of the chimney is inaccessible or located in difficult to reach areas, many of us do not know what state our fireplace systems are in. However, there are often a number of signs that there may be a problem with your fireplace. By learning how to recognize early signs of damage, you can call a chimney professional before a minor issue turns into a major problem. Below are a few of the most common signs that there may be a problem with your fireplace.How To Tell There's A Problem With Your Fireplace - Evergreen CO - Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney

Water in the fireplace

Water in the flue or firebox should never be ignored; while chimneys and fireplaces are built to withstand significant heat, water can quickly wreak havoc and cause damage throughout your fireplace system.

One of the most common causes of chimney leaks is a damaged chimney cap. Chimney caps are designed to cover and protect the top of the flue against animals, debris, and moisture. However, if the chimney cap is damaged in any way water can freely enter the flue and cause damage throughout the chimney system.

Fireplace odor

A strange smell coming from the fireplace is more than just an inconvenience; it can affect your home’s air quality or create smells that permeate every room of the house. Because there can be many causes of fireplace odor, a professional fireplace inspection may be needed to pinpoint the exact cause; however, there are three of the most common causes of chimney odor.

  • Animals: Sudden sharp or rotting odors often indicated that animal has gotten into your chimney. If the smell is accompanied by animal cries, scurrying, or clawing sounds it is important to have the animals professionally removed as soon as possible. Homeowners should never attempt to smoke out animals; the smoke and heat from the fire can cause animals to become disoriented or die before they exit the chimney.
  • Creosote: If it has been several years – or longer – since your chimney has been swept, your chimney odor may be caused by creosote. Odors caused by creosote often come and go and may be stronger during warm weather, when the air conditioner is running, or if it is extremely humid.
  • Water: Water in the fireplace or flue can cause mold or mildew to grow. If caused by mold growth, this musty, damp smell will continue to worsen and can eventually affect the air quality in your home, especially for those with respiratory issues such as asthma.

Damaged masonry

The state of your fireplace’s masonry may reveal an underlying issue. Masonry that is cracked, chipped, or crumbling may be deteriorating due to water damage. Likewise, interior or exterior bricks that are excessively stained may be due to a drafting issue.

Knowing how to recognize signs of fireplace problems can help you know when it’s time to call in the chimney professionals for help. If your fireplace is experiencing any signs of damage or deterioration and you live around the Denver area, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney to start your appointment today or call 303-679-1601!

By Jake Johnson on February 16th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment

We Do More Than Sweep Chimneys

There's more to us than just being chimney sweeps!Regular chimney maintenance, such as chimney sweeping, is an important part of keeping your fireplace and chimney working safely and looking beautiful. While many of our customers use us for our chimney sweeping services, we can do much more than that!

At Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney, we specialize in masonry rebuilding and repairs. Keeping your home’s masonry in good condition can not only make sure your fireplace system is structurally safe, but can also keep the exterior of your home looking beautiful.

Our masonry repairs

There are a number of things that can cause your masonry to fail. One of the most common causes of masonry deterioration is water damage. Rain, ice, and snow can all penetrate the brick, causing it to expand and crack when the water freezes. This can lead to cracked and spalled brick, as well as damage to the surrounding masonry or underlying building materials.

Masonry can also be damaged by a number of other causes including severe weather, settling, or lack of maintenance.

To keep your masonry looking beautiful, we are proud to offer our customers a variety of high quality masonry repair services. Below are just some of the masonry services we offer.

  • Chimney crowns: The chimney crown is a masonry slab that covers and protects the top of the chimney surrounding the flue. A damaged chimney crown is often the cause of many chimney leaks, and can also lead to water damage to the masonry of the chimney.
  • Tuckpointing: Tuckpointing is the delicate process in which the mortar joints of your chimney are replaced without affecting the surrounding brick. When done correctly, tuckpointing can strengthen your masonry structure while also seamlessly blending in with the existing mortar joints.
  • Rebuilds: Whether your chimney has been severely damaged or you simply want a whole new look for your fireplace, a chimney or fireplace rebuild can revitalize the look and feel of your home. A chimney or fireplace rebuild gives you control over the design as well as allowing you to take advantage of modern building materials and techniques.

Why Choose Us

When choosing a company for your home’s masonry repairs, it is important to work with someone who not only understands masonry work but is also experiencing working specifically on fireplace and chimneys. Because the masonry in your firebox and chimney need to withstand high heats and exposure to smoke, gas, and the elements, installing it can be very different than the masonry you find elsewhere on your home.

If done incorrectly, masonry repairs can further weaken your damaged chimney or fireplace instead of strengthening it. Likewise, it is also important to make sure the masonry repair matches and blends in well with the existing masonry. If not, the repaired or patched section of masonry may stand out worse than it did when it was damaged! At Mountain Man Chimney & Fireplace, our expert masons have the necessary experience to create a safe and beautiful masonry repair.

No matter what your chimney or fireplace needs are, Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney can handle it all. In addition to keeping your chimney clean, we can repair or rebuild any damaged masonry. If you live in the Littleton, CO area, give us a call (303-679-1601) to schedule your fireplace or chimney appointment!

By Jake Johnson on June 9th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment