Video: Why It’s Important to Get Your Fireplace Inspected

If you have a fireplace, you might be wondering whether you need to get it inspected and how often. Here at Above All Chimney & Masonry, we have the answers! In this video, you’ll discover why it’s important to get your fireplace inspected to prevent future issues. Please contact our team at Above All Chimney & Masonry if you wish to get your fireplace inspected.

To learn more about our fireplace inspection services, give us a call at 215-664-8884!

Video: We’ll Help You Go Above All

Here at Above All Chimney & Masonry, we want to help you go above all. We offer chimney and masonry services throughout Bucks County and Montgomery County, PA, as well as other local areas, to provide you with a safer and healthier environment. If you looking for any kind of brick or chimney work, you can count on our team. Visit us at Above All Chimney & Masonry or check out our video to learn more!

A Few Pro Fireplace Tips Just in Time for Inspection Season

You probably know about the masonry and brick pointing work we do in and around Philadelphia; after all: We have a reputation for providing superior quality. But, did you know that we are also Philadelphia’s foremost chimney and fireplace repair and maintenance experts, too?

For this post, though, let’s just focus on fireplaces (we’ll talk about chimneys in the near future). Why? Because spring is the best time of year to get your fireplace inspected! Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Why should I care about my fireplace when spring just started?”: You should keep reading so you can learn more about fireplaces!

All jokes aside, we here at Above All Chimney & Masonry thought it would be a good idea to offer a few tips about fireplaces — everything from safety to maintenance — now that the frequency of their use is tapering off as the average daily temperature increases.

Read on to learn more. When you finish, get in touch with us if you’re in Philadelphia and you need fireplace repairs or any other masonry work.

Fireplace Safety

Safety first, people! Before we get into the fun stuff, let’s make sure we’re avoiding the dangerous stuff with a quick overview of proper fireplace management.

Open the Glass; Adjust the Flue

If you have glass doors, keep them open while the fire is burning. Doing so will allow cool air to flow up the chimney. It’s also important to ensure the flue is properly adjusted to allow smoke to escape. Among the many undesirable side effects of having too much smoke in one’s home is the threat of creosote buildup, which is the enemy of all fireplace owners.

Mind the Flammables

Keep the screen closed so sparks don’t jump out onto the rug; and don’t put anything flammable near the fire. Not adhering to those two rules will almost certainly lead to a costly accident sooner or later.

Never Leave a Fire Unattended

This is self-explanatory, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure someone’s eyes are on the fire burning in your home.

Fireplace How Tos

Now that we’ve addressed safety, it’s time to talk about the fun stuff: What you can burn, how to burn it, and what to do with the ashes.

DO NOT burn pine, cedar, spruce, or other softwoods because the fire they produce is especially smokey and leads to excessive creosote buildup. ONLY BURN HARDWOODS, such as maple, oak, birch, fruitwood, and almondwood.

Be sure to get the fires inside your home burning as hot as possible as quickly as you can. Slow-burning fires produce a tremendous amount of smoke over the course of their development, which can lead to — you guessed it — creosote buildup.

Don’t let the ashes in the fireplace get out of control. Needless to say, some ashes on the floor of the fireplace complement the aesthetics as much as they offer protection; however, there shouldn’t be any more than an inch of ash on the floor of your fireplace during fire season. More than an inch can cause premature wear and other damage.

Fireplace Maintenance

We’re not going to sit here and tell you that maintaining a fireplace is easy; we will, however, stand up and shout about how simple it can be if you solicit the services of your local fireplace experts.

Call the Pros Once a Year

Have your fireplace inspected by a professional at least once every year, preferably during spring, as the months immediately following winter (which is when your fireplace is most often used) can give you a head start on making any necessary repairs in time for the following winter. If you have any other questions about fireplace inspections, check out this video we recently created.

Call us today at 215-664-8884 if you need your fireplace inspected. And, if you’re looking for fireplace repair, installation, or other masonry services in Philadelphia, reach out via the same phone number or fill out a contact form and get a free estimate.

3 Summer Masonry Projects That Will Enhance Your Yard

Summer is without a doubt the best season of all. When you’re not relaxing on the beach down the shore, at the ballpark watching the Phillies, or out soaking up the sun, you’re probably on the patio grilling up some franks while enjoying the scenery that your backyard has to offer.

Or maybe the scenery back there is less than meets the eye…

Not to worry. Although summer is only weeks away, it’s not too late to get going on a project or two that will turn your yard from drab to fab. Consider one of the following ideas, then give us a call and we’ll help you get going on your Philadelphia-area home’s masonry project that you will enjoy this summer and the many to come.

Patio

The choices you have when installing a backyard patio offer a variety of options. With the number of designs and materials available, it’s easily possible to achieve a final product that is unique and all your own for an affordable price.

One important consideration to take when you’re deciding on a patio is the context. What kind of home do you own? What does the rest of the yard look like? How will the patio be primarily used? While sandstone may look great in that one yard you saw on Pinterest, maybe brick will do better in the context of yours. When researching ideas, try to find things that work in the context of homes similar to your own.

If you’re struggling to come up with something, we’re also here to help. With years of experience in masonry, we can assist you in curating a setting that serves its purpose with beauty and functionality.

Retaining Wall

A masonry retaining wall will go a long way in transforming a bland landscape into a captivating backdrop.

If your backyard features any areas with sloped terrain, building a retaining wall is all it takes to turn a boring incline into a charming layered area full of character—not to mention it will serve a functional purpose. Sizes and proportions can vary depending on your desires and the terrain you’re working with.

Repointing

If you already have a brick driveway, patio, or house itself, but it looks like it hasn’t seen any TLC since the Lincoln administration, it’s probably time for brick pointing.

You’ll be amazed at how much a repointing will do to make your brick look as good as new. While some jobs are more extensive than others, a backyard patio repointing will be fairly easy, yet do much to enhance your yard.

Get in touch today and we’ll get your backyard started on a summer makeover!

6 Great Benefits Of A Fireplace

There are plenty of benefits to having a fireplace in your home, and here are six of them:

 

Romantic Setting – A fireplace provides a romantic setting to sit with a loved one. Few features in the home offer an instant escape from reality like a fireplace. Dinner and wine by the fire can be just as enjoyable as a date night with a lower cost. No need to make reservations at that new fancy restaurant in town.

Cozy Fires – There is a huge difference between being warmed up by your house heater compared to a fireplace. Fireplaces provide a place to gather around with the friends and family, to read a good book, to take a nap and to just enjoy countless other indoor activities.

Fire For Cooking – A wood burning stove gives you the added benefit of being able to cook on it. Not having to use your microwave or stove to reheat food saves you money on your bills. No need to worry about cooking when the electricity goes out, with a wood burning stove, you can still cook even during a storm that knocks out your power. Even with an open-hearth fireplace, the family can still gather around to roast marshmallows and hot dogs.

Energy Independence – Fireplaces create less dependence upon utility companies. You take responsibility for your own fuel source. You can also decide how much you pay, due to various options as far as where and how much firewood you are looking to buy. If you live on land with a lot of trees on it, you may even have an endless supply of free firewood. Channel your inner lumberjack and go chop down a couple of trees to heat your home.

Eco-Friendly Heating – Today’s wood burning appliances are incredibly eco-friendly, producing a plethora of heat to warm your home. Some of the newer models even make it possible to distribute heat throughout the entire house using existing ductwork. Also, burning wood leaves zero carbon footprint. Wood is a sustainable energy source, opposite to fossil fuels.

Ditch The Utility Companies – It seems like electricity costs continue to rise all over the country every single year. A lot of people are sick of it and are ditching the energy company and using fireplaces as their primary heating source. It cost less to buy firewood that warms your home than it depends on fossil fuels through the utility company.

 

As much as a fireplace is beneficial to have in your home, a fireplace is still a fire hazard at the end of the day. An important safety measure is to make sure your chimney is clean and inspected by professionals. Above All Chimney & Masonry is the best place to get a chimney sweep in Philadelphia, and is also the leading choice for masonry in Philadelphia. Give us a call today 215-664-8884.

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