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Fireplace and Chimneys
Chimney cleanings are essential to eliminate creosote build-up, which reduces the chances of a chimney fire. Chimney fires can burn hot enough to crack a flue, allowing flames to leap through to combustible areas of your home. Professional cleanings and thorough inspections are at the heart of our services.
Our cleaning methods vary with the styles of fireplace. We typically begin with a vacuum to remove debris, and brush the flue with either poly vinyl or metal brushes. We also have specialty tools for the removal of dense glazing built up from heavy use.
After thoroughly brushing the flue, we sweep the throat, reducer, and firebox. Using a special air gun with 250 pounds of pressure, we clean the smoke shelf, lintel, and damper, as well as areas of the throat where the brush can’t reach. We also inspect key areas to ensure its safety.
No preparation—including furniture and carpet coverings—is required on the part of the homeowner. Our technicians are in-house certified with training materials provided by the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and have serviced thousands of fireplaces. They are fully equipped to do the job properly, professionally, and without making a mess.
Homeplace offers a variety of repairs, such as tuck-pointing, crown repair, and installation of chimney liners. All estimates are detailed in writing and backed by our customer satisfaction guarantee.
Upon request, we will promptly inspect the chimney and provide a free estimate before we leave. Referrals are also given upon request.
Chimney Caps and Animal Removal
Our chimney caps are typically comprised of black painted galvanized steel that features a bird guard and screen to keep squirrels, raccoons, birds, and other creatures from entering the flue. It also acts as a spark arrester, keeping hot particles from hitting the roof. Lastly, the cap has a bonnet that protects the opening of the chimney from rain, but allows smoke to escape freely.
Animal removal techniques vary greatly depending on the species, how sharp its teeth are, and if it is alive or dead. Please call our office for more specifics on this subject.
Utility Flue Relining
When either a visual inspection or a video scan indicate that your flue or chimney liner is damaged, a relining system is necessary for venting either gas, oil, or wood.
More importantly, all gas furnaces and water heaters should be vented through a UL listed metal liner, especially if used with a high efficiency furnace. In fact, current codes require it for all new furnace installations, because industry experience over the last few decades have conclusively demonstrated that venting gas appliances into masonry chimneys results in the rapid breakdown of clay tile liners and the eventual destruction of the overall chimney structure.
The purpose of a chimney liner is to contain the by-products of combustion (heat, moisture, creosote, carbon monoxide, and other dangerous elements) until they are discharged from your chimney. A cracked liner or a liner with missing mortar between the joints cannot perform its intended function.
The National Fire Protection Agency states: “If the flue liner has softened, cracked, or otherwise deteriorated so that it no longer has the continued ability to contain the products of combustion, it shall be either removed and replaced, repaired, or relined with a listed liner system…” (NFPA 211, Sect. 10-9)
We offer a wide range of masonry services, including bricklaying, tuck-pointing, crown repair, firebox repair, and smoke chamber renovation. We are able to execute almost any type of masonry work.
Chimney Crowns Repair
A chimney crown is intended to protect the chimney below from water damage. Any cracks or deterioration will compromise this protection and will lead to more extensive and expensive repairs to the chimney, which could include the tearing down and relaying of bricks and/or tuck-pointing.
After removing the existing damaged crown, we pour a new, 4-6 inch thick concrete crown. This crown will be at least 1-inch wider and longer than your chimneystack to give superior water protection as well as a more attractive appearance. It will be made of reinforced metal and/or fiberglass mesh to limit future cracking. It will also be properly separated from both the chimneystack and the flue tiles to prevent breakage and cracking due to the differential thermal expansion of these chimney components.
If you have loose or damaged bricks in the back or sides of your firebox, we will remove and replace them with new bricks, using refractory bricks and mortar. We will also grind out remaining deteriorated joints and tuck-point them with refractory mortar.
A common maintenance task is the repairing of mortar joints. The longevity of brick far exceeds that of the mortar. Consequently, occasional repair of the mortar joints is expected over the life of the brick masonry.
Repointing deteriorated mortar joints is one of the most effective and permanent ways of decreasing water entry into brickwork.