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Do I Need a Chimney Cleaning This Winter?

As a leading provider of chimney cleaning near Philadelphia, Above All Chimneys understands the importance of a properly working chimney. Winter may have just begun, but it’s never too early to have your home prepared for the cold weather and snow. Take a look at this infographic on why you should get your chimney professionally cleaned before snowy weather is in full force. Continue reading to learn even more about how Above All Chimneys can keep you and your family safe all year long.

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Get Your Chimney in Tip-Top Shape for the New Year

Brick chimneys are excellent additions to homes for adding warmth and elegance to a kitchen, dining room, or living room. They add luxury to a building and serve as a social hub were families and friends can gather and enjoy the warmth that they provide. As the leading provider of chimney cleaning in Philadelphia, we know how essential it is to keep chimney areas maintained for safety and aesthetic purposes. Below are some advantages of regular chimney maintenance.

Increased Safety for Home Heating

Creosote is a byproduct of the combustion process within a fireplace. As this material is deposited inside your chimney, the efficiency of the structure decreases. As more cool air circulates, the energy efficiency of your chimney continues to decline, meaning that you have to burn more wood to stay warm.

Additionally, insects, rodents, and small birds can get trapped in the flue, preventing toxic fumes from escaping your home. This increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is also known as the ‘silent killer.’ 

Every year, more than 200 people die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America. By scheduling a professional chimney cleaning, a chimney sweep can clear out all the creosote and blockages, increasing the efficiency of your fireplace and lowering the risk of toxic fumes entering your home.

Prevent Expensive Repairs

Wood burning fireplaces can climb to temperatures of over 1100°F. This heat creates bits of wood, ash, soot, and particles that are all byproducts of the combustion process and can smother the flue liner, damper, smoke shelf, and masonry with grime, dirt, and contaminants.

By working with a professional chimney sweep, you can reduce levels of wear and tear on all components, decreasing the chances of needing costly repairs and replacements. Additionally, a thorough chimney cleaning can help to identify any masonry problems before they become larger, more expensive repairs.

Don’t leave your chimney area unsafe this winter, schedule a professional inspection and cleaning. These services take less than an hour to complete and could potentially save lives.

For additional information, or for fireplace repairs in the Philadelphia area, contact a member of our team today.

3 Fireplace Safety Tips for the Fall

As the leading chimney cleaning service in Philadelphia and Bucks County, Above All Chimneys knows what you need to do to avoid fireplace disasters in your home. In our last blog post, we outlined a few tips to help you prepare your fireplace and chimney for the fires you will have during the fall — but even once your fireplace is prepared for action, there are still other safety considerations to keep in mind while having a fire inside of your home! Let’s take a look at three ways to be as safe as possible before, during, and after you enjoy a fire. 

Make Sure the Flue is Open

This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many homeowners and their families forget this crucial step. The flue is what allows air (and smoke) to enter and exit your home through the chimney, and it can be opened by flipping a lever inside of your fireplace. The first thing you should do EVERY TIME you have a fire in the fireplace is to check to see if the flue is open!

Clean Out Ash After Using

So, you know what to do before the fire — but what about after it’s done burning? Instead of simply piling more wood onto the burnt ashes in your fireplace, you should clean out all of the old ash that was left behind by the fire. Just make sure that the ashes are not burning — or even hot, for that matter — before you throw them in the trash!

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

Now that we’ve covered what to do before and after a fire, let’s talk about a key safety measure that you must account for during the fire — you must keep a fire extinguisher on standby at all times during fireplace season. If you want to be as safe as possible, keep the fire extinguisher close to the fireplace (but not too close), as this is where it will be most needed during the colder months. 
Another way to keep your home safe during fireplace season is to keep your chimney clean! If you need help with chimney cleaning near Bucks County, PA, reach out to Above All Chimneys to schedule an appointment with our team. 

Tips to Prepare Your Chimney/Fireplace for the Fall

Did you know that fireplaces and chimneys play a part in 42% of all home-heating fires? The colder months are fast approaching, and natural gas prices can add hundreds of dollars to heating bills. For this reason, many homeowners will be using their wood-burning fireplaces this fall. As the leading provider of brick pointing in Philadelphia, we’ve provided this video to advise homeowners of some essential tips to help prepare their fireplace area for fall conditions: 

Hire a Chimney Sweep

Before you light the first fire of the season, schedule an inspection with a professional, certified chimney sweep. These experts can make sure that all accumulated creosote deposits have been removed, helping to avoid the possibility of a fire. Professionals will check the seals on all the gaskets to prevent air leakage. They can also replace any broken brickwork that could cause damage and test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Check for Additional Damage and Cap the Chimney

On top of thoroughly cleaning your chimney and fireplace, chimney sweeps should inspect the structure for any loose bricks, cracks, or missing mortar. The chimney liners should be checked for deterioration. And a cap should be fitted at the top of the chimney. Caps have wire-mesh sides covers that stop rain, squirrels, birds, and debris from entering your home. If your cap is missing or damaged, we recommend getting it replaced. 

Burn Seasonal Hardwoods and Don’t Overload the Chimney

Use dense woods, like oak, that has been split and stored in dry environments for at least six months. Greener wood and resinous softwoods such as pine will produce lots of creosote. Creosote is a flammable by-product of the combustion process that can quickly build up in the chimney. Smaller fires create less smoke and less creosote buildup. Also, fires that are too hot or large can cause damage to the structural integrity of a chimney.

Build the Fire Correctly

Be sure to place logs near the rear of the fireplace on top of a metal grate, Also, use kindling instead of flammable liquids to get the fire started.
For additional information, and to schedule brick repairs in Philadelphia, visit our website today.

How to Know Your Chimney Is Overdue For a Sweeping

Here at Above All Chimney & Masonry, our experts are the people homeowners in Philadelphia call for chimney repairs. But there are some effective ways to avoid the need for chimney repair, and one of the best is by hiring a chimney sweep. 

But maybe you’re not sure whether this service is really necessary at this time. To find out, here are some signs that you can look for. If you’ve noticed any of them, it’s time to call us. 

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