What Not To Burn In Your Fireplace

While it may seem logical that you can burn just about anything in your fireplace, that is not the case! Burning certain items in your fireplace can result in damaging your fireplace and even releasing certain chemicals and toxins into your home harming you and your loved one. We have made a list of common items that you may have in your home that should never be burned in your fireplace.

Certain Paper & Cardboard Products

  • While it may be very convenient to toss last night’s pizza box in the fireplace, it is not a wise decision as the colored print on the box may actually be painted on and upon burning could release toxic gas or chemicals into your household. The same goes for paper towels with colored print, soda can box, and any other paper or cardboard that has colored print on them.

Anything Plastic

  • It does not matter if your plastic bottle is made of recycled material or not, do not burn plastic anything in your fireplace. This goes for bottles, plastic cartons, or even the plastic bags from the grocery store. Burning plastic will release chemicals that can be dangerous to your health if you breathe them in.

Tree’s & Brush

  • Depending on where you live, it can be a hassle to bag up every small pile of leaves or brush that compile in your yard. However, it is well worth the extra trouble and you may not know everything that you are burning and some plants such as poison ivy, sumac or oak can cause the same allergic reactions when burned as if you were to touch it. The last thing you want in the air in your home is that of a poison brush that can contaminate the air you and your family are breathing.

Painted or Treated Wood

  • This is similar to why you should not burn painted or printed cardboard or paper. Depending on what your wood is painted or treated with, burning it will release toxic chemicals into the air that you and you’re loved will breathe while inside your home.

Free Chimney Estimate

Contact us today for a free chimney estimate on damages that may have occurred if you have burned materials that are on the above list at 770.884.6475or REQUEST AN ESTIMATE ONLINE.

Posted in: Burning Plastic, Painted Wood, What Not To Burn In Your Fireplace

How To Know If My Chimney Has An Airflow Issue

A fireplace is great for your home for several different reasons such as entertaining guests, a centerpiece for your holiday decorations, and even a way to cut your energy cost due to rising electricity and gas costs. However, like with almost everything, with positives, there are sure to be some negatives. We have listed some possible reasons that could be wrong with your chimney if you are experiencing a smokey living room or living space around your chimney.

Blockage

  • If you have smoke coming back into your living area from the chimney, and your chimney is existing for some time, and this is a new problem, the chances are that there is a blockage somewhere within your chimney preventing the smoke from traveling up the chimney. A blockage can be a pretty simple fix such as a bird’s nest, or just a build-up of creosote that needs to be cleaned.

How & What You Burn

  • There may not even be a blockage causing your chimney not to pass the smoke through your chimney as designed. It may actually be what you are burning and how you are burning it.  For example, if you burn paper or pine wood, this will cause more smoke that your chimney has been designed to handle causing a smokey living area inside your home. Also, burning green or unseasoned firewood will also give you a very similar effect.

Poor Draft

  • If you have made it passed the above two concerns, then we may have a more serious issue. If there is no blockage and you are burning your materials within your fireplace, then you may have a design flaw with your chimney. For example, your fireplace may be too short, your flue maybe too small for your fireplace, or you may even need a chimney fan. If you think that you may have a design flaw with your chimney, the best option would be to give us a call as soon as possible.

Free Chimney Estimate

Contact us today for a free chimney estimate on damages that may have occurred during the winter months at 770.884.6475or REQUEST AN ESTIMATE ONLINE.

Posted in: Chimney Damage, Creosote Build Up, Drafty Chimney, seasoned firewood

Make Sure Your Chimney Is Ready For Summer

Wow, what a winter we just had here in Georgia with record-breaking winds and rainfalls. We made it through, and we are hoping that your chimney did as well. However, if it has not made it through and you suffered from a crack or leak, now is the time to give us a call to get your chimney repaired!

If your chimney did make it through the winter time, then guess what? With the summer about to be upon us, now you get to add heat to a mix up of high winds and heavy rains.

We have listed a few things that can go wrong with your chimney during winter weather and winter storms. 

Flue Damage

  • If any protective material is damaged or broken during a storm, this will lead water to the Flue Liner. This can cause your flue liner to rust and deteriorate. As this deterioration progresses, this will cause moisture, heat, smoke and other gases to enter your home. This can cause serious damage to the people inside your home and is a potential fire hazard.

Cap Damage

  • The cap of your chimney is a cover that sits on top of your chimney and is designed to help prevent water, debris, and animals from damaging your chimney. Severe storms and high winds can damage your cap or even remove it completely. Caps are also subject to rusting which can allow for water damage to your chimney.

Flash Damage

  • Flash material is installed where your chimney meets your roof. This material is designed to prevent water and debris from damaging your chimney and the masonry on your chimney. Just like your cap, high winds and heavy rain can damage the flash leaving your chimney open to moisture and erosion. 

Your house is an investment and safe place for you and your family to live, and your chimney is apart of your house, making your chimney a priority when it comes to protecting the value of your home and family.

Free Chimney Estimate

Contact us today for a free chimney estimate on damages that may have occurred during the winter months at 770.884.6475or REQUEST AN ESTIMATE ONLINE.

Posted in: Chimney Damage, Chimney Preparation, Summer Time Chimney Prep

Time for a New Fire Place?

Most fireplaces in homes built before 1970 are masonry and will probably last as long as the house still stands. But homes built after 1970 usually contain prefabricated fireplaces. Prefabricated fireplaces were (and still are) less expensive than building a masonry fireplace. The downside of prefabricated fireplaces is their lifespan. According to industry standards, prefabricated fireplaces have a lifespan of only 10 to 30 years. Not to mention that some manufacturers use cheap “tin” materials to construct the fireplaces. Even if installed properly they are not built to sustain wear and tear for numerous decades.

Types of Prefabricated Fireplaces

Here are some options when considering a new prefabricated fireplace:

  • Woodburning fireplaces:  For those who enjoy wood fires. These prefabricated models are made with energy efficient combustion designs with upgraded chimney systems that can withstand higher temperatures and provide substantial heat when needed.
  • Gas fireplaces:  Prefabricated gas fireplaces are easier to maintain and won’t leave you with the messy cleanup that wood burning fireplaces do. They have a modern, contemporary look and still give off real flames as the woodburning fireplaces. What’s more, they work during power outages, and you’ll always get the same consistent amount of heat whereas the heat output on the woodburning fireplaces depends on the amount, condition and type of wood being used. Another great feature of the gas fireplace is that they are designed for maximum heat production, so there is no chance of overfiring. Some of the higher end models come with thermostat control to regulate the flame to adjust the heat so that you are always comfortable. Direct vent models use outdoor air for combustion and provide venting options that a woodburning fireplace wouldn’t.

Fireplace Safety Concerns

Whether you have a masonry fireplace or a prefabricated fireplace, you must have your chimney inspected and swept every year.  If it’s time for you to replace your prefabricated fireplace, make sure you have a certified professional install your fireplace. Improper installation can result in fires and damages to your home.

If your fireplace needs maintenance or replacing, contact us today for a free estimate.

 

Posted in: fireplace safety, Gas fireplace, Gas Fireplaces, Prefabricated Fireplaces, Uncategorized, Woodburning Fireplaces

Can A Wet & Cold Winter Ruin My Chimney?

We rarely ever see snow in the Atlanta area. However, this winter has been colder and wetter than normal. Our close to freezing temperatures this winter, mixed with all the rain that we have received will cause your chimney to expand and contract. This expansion and contraction will create cracks, gaps and even deteriorate your mortar. Prolonged exposure to water/moisture like we have had this winter will cause water to seep in your bricks, which will weaken them.

When these bricks weaken, water will leak down your chimney and can cause many different types of damage including: 

  • Your interior walls can be stained
  • Your chimney exterior can be stained
  • Your entire chimney stack can become crooked or even collapse
  • Bad odors from water mixing with creosote from your chimney

What Can I Do?

  • Have A Chimney Cap Installed
    • A chimney cap is the most inexpensive method for preventing water from saturating your chimney. Without a chimney cap, much larger amounts of water will enter your chimney than with a chimney cap. Also, chimney caps have multiple purposes such as keeping animals and other wildlife from entering your chimney as they include a mesh wall around them.
  • Have A Cricket Installed
    • Cricket is an excellent tool that will keep water that lands on your roof away from your chimney. Of course, it all depends on where your chimney is located, but sometimes a chimney may be found in a place where water steadily hits your chimney structure. A cricket will help ensure your chimney is not bombarded with water year round.
  • Have Your Chimney Waterproofed
    • Chimney materials are very porous and tend to absorb large amounts of water, so waterproofing depending on the location of your chimney and the amount of water that your chimney structure comes in contact with will depend if waterproofing will be effective or is the right decision for your chimney. We will be happy to discuss waterproofing options with you.

Schedule An Inspection

If you are concerned about your chimney due to the wet and cold weather that we have been experiencing this winter, ADVANCED CHIMNEY SWEEPS OF MARIETTA, GA can provide the service you need. As certified chimney specialists, we provide complete repair services for chimneys suffering from cracks, gaps or crumbling mortar.

CONTACT US TODAY for a chimney inspection. Call 770.884.6475 or REQUEST AN ESTIMATE ONLINE.

Posted in: Chimney Caps, Chimney Cricket, Chimney Inspection, Chimney Inspection and Natural Disaster

Do You Need A Chimney Liner?

If you have drafting problems with your chimney or wood burning stove, you may want to consider getting or replacing your chimney liner. Not many people are aware of how important a chimney liner is to keep the fireplace hearth safe. The liner is responsible for helping combustion material from the fires in the hearth escape up the chimney and prevents the development of dangerous residue such as creosote.

Not all chimneys have liners. If you live in an older home, the chimney may have originally been constructed without a liner, or you may have a damaged liner that needs replacing. If this is the case, you should definitely contact Advanced Chimney Sweeps and have us help you choose and install a chimney liner.

Chimney Liner Benefits

Having a chimney liner will increase your home’s energy efficiency. Liners form a layer of insulation inside a chimney that reduces the downdrafts during times when there is no fire in the hearth. This means less cold air getting into your home and forcing you to run your heater or furnace more often. It also means more efficient burning of fuel inside the fireplace.

Chimney liners prevent creosote and moisture. Creosote is the shiny black substance that forms from unburned wood energy that gathers due to poor venting or wood that is not burned thoroughly. Creosote is highly combustible and the leading cause of chimney fires. A liner prevents creosote from building up by helping with proper venting. The liner also stops water moisture from becoming trapped in the chimney, which is a significant danger because it will cause cracking when it freezes during winter.

Most importantly, chimney liners protect your home from fire damage. One of the most important functions of a chimney liner is to keep the heat inside the chimney from reaching the combustible material outside. For older chimneys with cracks in their masonry, it’s easy for heat to escape to areas such as the second floor or the roof and start a fire. In fact, the majority of house fires in the U.S. start this way. A liner keeps the heat inside the chimney where it belongs.

Whether you need to line an old, unlined chimney or reline a chimney with a damaged or failing system, Advanced Chimney Sweeps of Marietta, GA can provide the service you need. As certified chimney specialists, we provide complete installation and service for chimney liners and flue repair. We offer several types of chimney liners including stainless steel and cast in place systems.

Contact us today for a free chimney liner installation estimate. Call 770.884.6475 or REQUEST AN ESTIMATE ONLINE.

Posted in: chimney liner, Chimney Services, Drafty Chimney, fireplace safety, Hearth Safety

Choosing the Right Firewood

Newer homes come with gas fireplaces. That’s because they are cheaper to build, easier to install and don’t require firewood. All you have to do is turn on a switch. But if you live in an older home with a built-in fireplace, you can only use real wood. Nothing compares to the atmosphere traditional fireplaces bring to any room.

So when it comes to building a wood fire, what type of firewood should you use? Each wood species has its own set of burning characteristics, and there are a lot of choices out there. Here are some of the most popular and available firewood types.

SOFTWOODS

Pine is widely available and extremely sustainable in northern climates. Pine seasons faster than hardwood varieties, is easy to split, and easy to start. The downside of pine is that burns very quickly and doesn’t produce the heat of hardwoods. Also, burning pine will cause the sap pockets to explode which causes sparking; this is a safety issue because the sparking will cause creosote buildup in your chimney. Many people like to use softwood like pine to get a fire started before switching over hardwoods once the fire is hot.

Fir, particularly Douglas Fir has a medium heating value and does not produce too much ash. Older trees are easy to split and easy to start. Fire does produce a moderate amount of sparking.

HARDWOODS

Oak is abundant in the United States and is considered one of the best species for firewood. When properly dried, it can produce a very slow-burning and hot fire. Oak needs to be seasoned and aged in a dry area for at least one year to ensure proper burning.

Hard Maple is available in the Northern US and Canada. It is extremely dense and heavy, which allows it to burn very slowly, even in comparison to other hardwoods like oak and hickory.

Birch gives off a lot of heat, but it burns fairly quickly. While it’s easier to find and cheaper than other hardwoods, it burns rather quickly. Birch is best mixed and used in combination with other types.

What to look for and how to store your firewood

Most any wood that has been seasoned properly will burn well. However, even the best firewood will not burn well if it has not been seasoned. If the moisture level in wood is too high, energy is consumed evaporating water instead of throwing heat out. Wood that has been seasoned properly will appear grayish in color on the outside and weigh less than a new piece of wood of the same species. If you split it in half, it should be white on the inside.

Whatever firewood you choose to burn, make sure to store your wood in a well-ventilated outdoor area that is protected from the elements. Indoor temperatures can encourage any bugs in the wood to become active. Bring in only as much firewood as you plan to use in your fire.

Posted in: firewood, seasoned firewood, types of firewood, Woodburning Fireplaces

Protect Your Chimney From Fires

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your chimney can prevent fires. Chimney fires are explosive. Oftentimes they go unnoticed or undetected. Flames shoot from the top of the chimney. This can cause additional fires in or around the home.

Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are designed to contain wood-fueled fires while providing heat at the same time. The job of the chimney is to expel the substances produced when the wood burns. These substances include:

  • Smoke
  • Water vapor
  • Gases
  • Unburned wood particles
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Tar fog and associated minerals.

When these substances leave the fireplace or wood stove a condensation occurs. The residue that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney is called creosote.

What is creosote?

Creosote is a crusty black residue that has a sticky, tar-like composition. It is extremely combustible and continuous build-up could result in a chimney fire. Creosote build-up can be caused by:

  • Low air supply in the chimney
  • Unseasoned wood
  • Extremely cool chimney temperatures

How Can You Tell If Your Chimney Has Had a Fire?

A damaged chimney can endanger your home and your family. Chimney fires go undetected. You should have your chimney inspected at least once a year and especially if you use your wood stove or fireplace regularly during the winter months. Signs of a chimney fire include:

  • Cracked or collapsed flue tiles
  • Discolored or distorted rain cap
  • The warped metal of the damper
  • Creosote flakes and pieces found on the roof or ground
  • Roofing material that has been damaged from hot creosote
  • Crack in the exterior masonry
  • Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

If you notice any of these signs contact us so that we can inspect your chimney. Advanced Chimney Sweeps, Inc. is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® company. We will evaluate your chimney and make recommendations to bring your system into compliance with safety standards.

Posted in: chimney fires, Chimney Sweeps, Fire Safety Tips, Fireplace Cleaning, Fireplace Tips, Uncategorized

Prepare Your Home For Fall

Fall is right around the corner. Don’t wait until the fall weather is knowing at your door before you make some much-needed adjustments to your home. September is the perfect time to prepare your space for the upcoming fall weather.

For your convenience, we have listed a few key tips for preparing your home for the fall weather:

  • Expect the exterior of your home for damage. Maybe you noticed a crack in your siding or a window that doesn’t close all the way, you may want to consider putting in a work request to get those issues resolved before the cold weather. Addressing any structural problems now can prevent further issues in the future.
  • Clear out your gutters. When the gutters are clogged with debris, they can’t function properly. Be sure to clean or your gutters and inspect them for any damage.
  • Make sure your seal any openings to prevent pests from entering your home. Usually, pests look for warm places to nest during the colder months; you want to do what you can to ensure your home is not one of those places.
  • Schedule a chimney cleaning. Over the summer, pests or debris may have found their way into your chimney. You want to be sure that your chimney is debris free so that you can enjoy a warm, cozy fire. You also want to reduce your risk of chimney fire. Chimney can occur for a variety of different reason, but one of the most common is due debris build-up.

Schedule An Appointment

Professional chimney sweeps know and practice the latest safety standards to keep you and your home safe from harmful creosote, dust, and other particles. Advanced Chimney Sweeps stays up to date with current codes and regulations throughout the North Georgia area and is fully licensed and insured to provide you with chimney service you need. To schedule an appointment, call 770.884.6475 or request an appointment online.

Posted in: chimney cap atlanta

Is Your Chimney Leaking?

Chimney leaks can be detrimental to the foundation of your chimney. In advanced cases, chimney leaks can be a safety hazard for your home. In this post, we will discuss some of the ways to determine if your chimney is leaking.

Advanced Chimeny Inc offers a variety of services to repair your damaged chimney, To learn more about our service, request an appointment online.

  1. Missing Chimney Cover: If your chimney cover is damaged or missing, you are susceptible to experiencing chimney damage. Water, debris, and animals can enter your chimney and cause damage to the foundation.
  2. Improper Flashing: Flashing creates a watertight connection between the roof and chimney. Over time, the metal flashing becomes less effective and may become more susceptible to leaks.
  3. Cracked Brick or Mortar Joint Damage: Damaged brick or mortar joints can cause leaking. In most cases, when your brick or mortar joint is damaged, they hold in moisture more effectively.
  4. Damaged Chimney Crown: Rain can run through a cracked chimney crown and cause damage to the foundation.  If a damaged chimney crown is left untreated, it can lead to extensive damage which may require a complete replacement of your chimney.

If you suspect your chimney might be leaking, contact a professional as soon as possible.   At Advanced Chimneys Inc., we offer a full range of services to help repair or replace a damaged chimney. We recommend that homeowner undergo chimney inspections at least once a year to ensure their chimney is up to standard and running safely and effectively.

Advanced Chimney Sweeps offers free no obligation estimates along with their recommendations to address your chimney leak. Our team will create a repair plan to have your chimney up and running. To learn more about our services or to receive a free quote, contact Advacned Chimneys Inc.

Posted in: Acworth Chimney Inspection, Chimney Caps