Our Company Blog

Prepare Your Fireplace For Use!

In Use Fireplace - Littleton CO - Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney Labor Day has passed, football season has started, school is back in session… fall will be here before we know it! After a long spring and summer of disuse, make sure your fireplace system is ready to use again this winter by having it serviced now!

Get your fireplace ready for winter

Once the beautiful weather and warm temperatures of spring and summer arrive, few homeowners continue to use their fireplaces; because of this, most units have not been used in six months or more. To make sure it is safe, clean, and ready to use for winter homeowners should have their chimney and fireplace swept and inspected.

Having your chimney swept and inspected now is the best way to make sure your fireplace is prepared for use this winter. By having maintenance done at the beginning of the burning season, you can ensure your fireplace is clean, free from blockages, and ready to use in the coming months.

Chimney sweepings

A chimney sweeping by a Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweep is the best way to keep your fireplace and chimney clean. The CSIA recommends that all homes have their chimney swept at least once per year. No matter what kind of heating appliance you have, its chimney or vent still needs to be swept; wood burning fireplaces, gas units, stoves, inserts, and manufactured fireplaces all need to have their chimneys swept.

During a chimney sweeping, the chimney technician will use brushes, vacuums, and other tools in order to remove any buildup or debris in the flue. While soot and ash are often easy to remove, flammable creosote can be difficult, especially if it has been several years since the chimney has been swept. A naturally occurring byproduct of fuel burning fires, excessive creosote accumulation can lead to chimney fires if it is accidentally ignited. Because creosote can damage the flue liner in addition to causing chimney fires, it is important to remove it annually.

Chimney inspections

Chimney inspections are another way to ensure your fireplace is safe to use. During an inspection, a certified sweep will check the accessible portions of the interior and exterior fireplace and chimney for signs of damage or deterioration. Often the problems spotted during regular inspections are still so small no performance problems have even started; dampers that have lost their air tight seal, small cracks in the masonry, or damage to the chimney cap are all examples of small problems that only a thorough chimney inspection can spot.

If any problem areas are identified during the chimney inspection, repairs can be recommended and completed as soon as possible. This gets your fireplace back to functioning sooner – and can save you on repairs and upkeep costs in the long run. Finding damage when it is still relatively minor can help prevent major deterioration – and costly repairs.

Regular maintenance can extend the life of your fireplace system, helping it burn safely and efficiently for years to come. This year, make sure your fireplace system is ready to use by having it serviced before winter arrives. To schedule your chimney sweeping or inspection, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today.

By Jake Johnson on September 10th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Repair Winter’s Damage With Tuckpointing

With winter weather finally gone and warm spring temperatures here to stay, most of us are finished using our fireplaces until next fall. Unfortunately, the long winter may have caused damage to the masonry of your chimney.

The combination of freezing temperatures along with moisture from freezing rain, sleet, and snow can all cause serious chimney damage during the winter. Not only that, but these conditions can make existing masonry problems or damage significantly worse. If your chimney was damaged during the winter, tuckpointing may be able to help repair your masonry.

How winter weather causes chimney damageTuckpointing - Evergreen CO - Mountain Man Fireplace

During the winter, the combination of freezing temperatures and moisture can cause damage to your masonry during a process called the freeze-thaw cycle. Because bricks are vapor permeable, they are naturally porous and can absorb small amounts of water. When outside temperatures dip below zero the water in the bricks freezes and expands; this leaves behind progressively larger and larger holes and cracks. Over time, this damage can cause bricks to crack and spall, even to the point of affecting the structural stability of the chimney.

Chimneys that have large cracks, chips, crumbling masonry, or missing bricks may be suffering from water damage caused by winter weather. In these cases, it is important to repair the masonry as soon as possible to avoid further damage and protect the bricks and mortar surrounding the damage.

What is tuckpointing?

The mortar of your masonry is often affected by winter weather damage before the bricks are. Because of this, it is important to repair the mortar to prevent damage to the surrounding bricks. One way to do this is through tuckpointing.

During the tuckpointing process, the old, damaged mortar is carefully removed before new mortar is applied. Tuckpointing can help reinforce your chimney’s structural stability and prevent damage to surrounding masonry. Our technicians also take the time to specially mix mortar specifically for your chimney; this ensures a seamless transition between the old and new mortar.

At Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney, our technicians have the training and expertise to perform this specialized chimney service. With certifications from the National Fireplace Institute and the Chimney Safety Institute of America, we have more than 15 years of experience working on chimneys in the mountains of Colorado.

Preventing future winter weather damage

One of the best ways to prevent winter weather damage is through regular chimney maintenance. Annual chimney sweepings and inspections can help spot minor areas of chimney damage before they progress into major problems. Waterproofing may also help protect your chimney against winter weather damage. Water repellants specially designed from chimneys allow the masonry to retain its gas permeable qualities while keeping moisture off of the bricks and mortar.

Winter weather can seriously damage your chimney’s masonry; thankfully, the tuckpointing process can help repair winter weather damage and leave your chimney structurally sound. For more information on repairing your chimney’s winter damage with tuckpointing, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today.

By Jake Johnson on May 22nd, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment