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Signs Your Chimney Needs Professional Attention

Weststar Chimney Sweeps is your local source for chimney services!

Weststar Chimney Sweeps is your local source for chimney services!

When you own a home with a fireplace and a chimney system, you know that regular maintenance can help with keeping any potential problems under control. However, it is very common for repair issues to appear over the years. Sometimes you will know when your fireplace and chimney need repairing, and other times the signs that your chimney needs professional attention will be more subtle. Weststar Chimney Sweeps would like to tell you more about three different signs that can let you know that your chimney is in need of repairing and how we can fix these problems.

UNPLEASANT ODORS

If you happen to notice bad smells in your home coming from the fireplace, you most likely have a problem with chimney draft. Your chimney may not be producing enough draft to pull out the exhaust gasses from within, which causes that air to enter your home. Your flue could be too large for your heating appliance, or you could simply be having issues with how the wind is affecting your chimney draft. If the flue size is the issue, Weststar Chimney Sweeps can install a new stainless steel flue that exactly matches your heating appliance, which will improve both the draft and its performance. We can also install a draft-improving chimney cap on top of your chimney to help your chimney draft issues. This type of cap has vents on the sides that direct the wind to create a driving pressure at the top of the chimney. This driving pressure helps to pull out that smelly air so that it leaves your home instead of entering it through the fireplace.

LOOSE BRICKS

Whenever you notice any loose or missing bricks from the exterior of your chimney, you are seeing a sign of water penetration damage. As the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  says, water is the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney because of the damage it can do. Water can get into your bricks and mortar and erode these masonry materials until they get to the point of cracking and breaking apart. If type of water leak damage is not repaired, it can worsen to the point of the entire chimney structure collapsing. This is a hazardous situation that you definitely want to avoid, so contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps as soon as you notice any water damage so that we can make repairs and protect your chimney from further water leaks.

SMOKE FILLING ROOM

Trying to start a fire only to have a huge cloud of black smoke come back into the room? Most likely, your flue is blocked which is causing the smoke to come back into the house as it cannot exit out of the chimney. You could have debris from nesting materials from birds or animals, leaves, and soot forming a blockage. Sometimes, loose bricks have fallen into the chimney to block the exit. Fortunately, our CSIA-certified chimney technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps are experts at removing chimney blockages. We can clean out your chimney to have it working smoothly again.

Notice any of these problems? Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule a chimney inspection so that we can make any necessary repairs.

By Mike O'Mara on September 30th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment

El Niño Is Coming! Waterproof Your Chimney Today

If you have been watching the news this summer, it has been hard to miss the coverage of the upcoming El Niño weather event. Predicted to be one of the strongest in years, this El Niño has the potential to cause heavy rains and flooding in San Diego and the rest of Southern California. To be prepared for this weather event, Weststar Chimney Sweep provides waterproofing services that can keep your masonry chimney safe from the effects of heavy rains. We would like to tell you more about the coming El Niño event and how a waterproofing treatment can protect the bricks and mortar of your chimney from all of this water.

What exactly is El Niño?

The term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a warming in sea surface temperatures across the central Equatorial Pacific Ocean. El Niño typically affects the weather across North America during the following winter season. These effects include warmer-than-average temperatures over western and central Canada and over the northern and western United States. Heavy rains are also more likely due to El Niño, and NBC San Diego reports that meterologists are saying that the El Niño of 2015 will bring heavier than normal rainfalls to Southern California.

How can this heavy rainfall affect my chimney? El Nino is Coming! - Weststar Chimney Sweeps - San Diego CA

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states that water is the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney, and this is because of the extensive and costly damage it can do. Heavy rainfalls lead to water penetration of masonry materials, and when water leaks into the bricks and mortar of a chimney, it weakens the materials and can eventually cause the structure to collapse.

How can waterproofing protect my chimney from water penetration?

At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we use a formula that is 100% vapor permeable that will keep water from leaking into the bricks and mortar while still allowing vapors to exit the masonry materials and not become trapped to cause more damage. We apply this waterproofing formula to your entire chimney to prevent water penetration. Your masonry chimney will be protected from the heavy rains of El Niño after our waterproofing treatment.

Be ready for the effects of El Niño this winter. Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule an appointment for a waterproofing treatment today.

By Mike O'Mara on September 17th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment