Our Company Blog

How To Properly Dispose Of Ashes

Have a wood-burning fireplace in your home? The atmosphere that accompanies these units is incomparable, and the smells and sounds associated with them often play a big role in setting a festive mood throughout the holiday season. But with these fuel types comes a bit of extra work, and one thing we like to remind homeowners of is the importance of safely clearing out your fireplace ash.

Clearing out ash helps keep your fireplace grate in better shape and it leaves you with adequate room for putting in more fuel down the line. Too much ash could eventually block the flow of air, as well, and you definitely don’t want it spilling out into your living space! That being said, it’s beneficial to leave behind a small layer, around one or two inches thick, as this encourages future fires to light up easier. A small layer of ash also helps to protect your firebox floor.

Staying Safer When Clearing AshProperly dispose of ash and find new uses for it

When your ash pile gets too high and the time comes to clear it out, it’s vital that you take the proper safety precautions when removing it. Why? Well, ash can stay hot for days at a time, and many times stray embers get trapped inside. Ash that isn’t properly disposed off could easily ignite, triggering a fire within your home!

So, here’s what you can do to feel more at ease when scooping ash out of your fireplace. First of all, use a metal scoop when removing it, then transfer it into a metal bucket. A bucket with a handle and a slightly raised bottom is ideal. Also, the bucket should have a tight-fitting lid that will seal the container securely once filled.

Once the ash is safely out of the fireplace, it’s wise to store it for a few days to give any embers the chance to die out. Store it outside of your home on a non-flammable surface, such as concrete or brick. After enough time has passed, you may dispose of them.

What To Do With Old Ash

If you’re looking for ways to recycle your ash, there are many options! A lot of people use them in their gardens for a way to enrich their plant life. Certain plants, like tomatoes, will benefit greatly from some ash in their soil, so do some research and see which items would do well with this little extra boost!

Others sprinkle ash around their gardens to keep out pests, like snails and slugs. This provides an easy and effective barrier for keeping your veggies and flowers safer! Other uses for fireplace ash include shining silver, making soap, washing stinky smells off pets, melting ice, washing fireplace doors, and more. There are tons of ideas out there, so consider saving your ashes this burning season!

Call On Us For Advice

Have questions about your fireplace? Give us a call! We’re here to assist and educate the public however we can, so that our customer base can enjoy their holidays worry-free year after year. Also, be sure to invest in your annual inspection and sweeping this fall, so you know everything is ready to go for any festivities you have planned. The time to give our team a call is now!

Prevent Leaky Chimneys With a Chimney Cap

Are you concerned about leaks in your chimney? Well, there’s no doubt that water and excess moisture can do a lot of damage quick. However, Weststar Chimney Sweeps is here to help every step of the way, so contact us soon if you start to notice issues. There’s no better team to trust than us!

A wonderful solution to chimney leaks is a chimney cap. It is an easy, efficient, and inexpensive way to seal the top of your chimney. Don’t let the stress of a broken chimney ruin your burning season. With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, the time to call on our team is now.

Perks Of Owning A Chimney Cap

raining and rainbow outside a windowChimney caps are great for preventing leaks and water damage, but did you know that they do a lot more than that? They are also great for keeping out debris, wild animals and nesting materials they may bring in with them. As you can imagine, this saves our customers a whole lot of trouble down the line!

Chimney caps also help to block downdrafts. If the weather is colder and windier than expected, you won’t have to worry about chilly outdoor air entering your home with a chimney cap. Finally, chimney caps stop stray sparks from landing on your roof, which lowers your risk of house fires. Keep your home safer and more comfortable by investing in a chimney cap today.

Have You Already Experienced Water Damage?

As we’ve said, chimney caps are great for preventing water damage, but what if the damage has already been done? Well, don’t fret because our team is here to help with that too! We offer a wide range of chimney repair services, so you can rest easy.

We can trace the cause of your chimney leaks, then patch everything up, so you don’t have to stress any longer. Once we’re done, we’ll set you up with a  chimney cap, so you’ll be good for the long haul. We know our customers deserve the best care, which is why our team never cut corners or take the easy road.

Appointment Tips For Fall

Do you have your fall inspection on the books? Or maybe you’ve scheduled some repairs or sweepings with our team at Weststar Chimney Sweeps? No matter what we’re coming in for, preparing your fireplace and chimney for us is always appreciated, and it makes our lives a whole lot easier and safer.

Guarantee a smoother appointment by following our tips. We’re eager to help out our customer base this fall and winter, and these guidelines help us do our job to get you up and running again in no time! With the holidays approaching, there is no time to lose.Cleaning the room before chimney sweepings protects your home and our techs

Our Guidelines

Before we arrive, please remove all ash from your firebox and discontinue use of the appliance 24 hours before the appointment. These steps reduce the risk of any of our sweeps getting burned and guarantee we will be working with a system that has completely cooled.

We also ask that you clear the area surrounding the fireplace. Any valuables and/or breakable items within 6 feet should be pushed back further or moved to different area until the job is complete. This step will keep your possessions safer and cleaner, and it helps us complete the job in a smooth and efficient fashion, as we won’t have various items to work around.

Do You Have Pets?

Another thing to keep in mind is to ensure pets are safely kept away, so we don’t risk letting them outside accidentally. We may need to move in and out of your house throughout the process to get equipment, and it’s all too easy for curious dogs or cats to escape as our team is entering and exiting.

Keep your critters safe and sound by putting them in another area of the home while our team is at work.

Take Our Advice Seriously

Hearing bad news regarding the health or construction of your chimney isn’t always easy to take in, but ignoring suggestions for sweepings or repair work should never be an option. Sweepings are done when excess creosote has taken over, and they decrease your likelihood of experiencing a dangerous chimney fire significantly.

Repair work is essential, too, as cracks, clogs, crumbling, and broken down parts can hinder performance and put your home and family at risk. Your chances of experiencing a chimney or house fire will increase, as well as the possibility of carbon monoxide exposure. All of these are very dangerous situations that can cause death, injury, and illness – not something you want to mess around with!

We’re ready and eager to help you out, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. Make this burning season your safest and most enjoyable one yet… Depend on Weststar Chimney Sweeps for it all!

Why Heat Reflectors May Be Right For You

Keeping your fireplace and chimney safer and better protected is important this time of year. As the holidays near, people light fires more and more often, as it sets a cozy and peaceful aesthetic for any gathering or event. If you want to guarantee your fireplace stays in tip-top shape and projects adequate heat, then we have solutions for you.

One way to do this is to install heat reflectors into your firebox. Learn more about this process below, then contact us right away with any questions. We’re happy to help!

More About The Fireboxfireplace

The firebox is the area of your fireplace where the fires are built. This is a sturdy and strong part of your chimney’s anatomy, and it’s designed to take on a lot of heat and wear and tear, but that doesn’t mean adequate protection isn’t necessary to ensure a longer lifespan. The firebox takes on a lot, so doing what you can to help it better do its job is always a good idea.

Investing in some great products and services can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your firebox strong. Hiring us for affordable preventative maintenance now is always a better option than shelling out lots of money for expensive repairs down the line. Save yourself time, money, and hassle later in life by talking with our experts today about installing heat reflectors in your fireplace.

What Do Heat Reflectors Do?

So, one issue that many experience with their firebox is that the back wall absorbs a lot of the heat the fire produces. This results in less warmth for your home, which can lead to a lot of frustration on the part of the homeowner, especially on cooler evenings. Heat reflectors stop the firebox from absorbing so much of this warmth and, rather, pushes the high temperatures back into your living space, resulting in 20-40 percent more heat for you and your loved ones. That’s quite a difference!

These products also help protect your firebox, exposing it to less of that intense heat from the fire. Firebox repairs can take up a lot of time and they tend to cost you a lot, too, so anything that delays wear and tear is a plus! Keep your mortar in good shape and talk to us about taking this easy step today. It’s an investment you definitely won’t regret.

Are You Ready For Fall?

Installing heat reflectors is a great way to prepare for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, but there’s more that needs to be done, as well. The CSIA recommends investing in annual inspections, and if there’s excess creosote built up, then that needs to be removed, as well. Let us check things over to ensure you don’t need any repairs, sweepings, or other maintenance before kicking off your burning season.

Once we’re through, you’ll be all set and ready light fires with the peace of mind you deserve. The time to give our expert staff a call is now. We’re ready to serve!

Bees In Your Chimney? Don’t Smoke Them Out!

It’s not uncommon to discover some unwanted visitors in your chimney from time to time. Birds, squirrels, raccoons, and, yes, even bees are known for setting up camp in this warm, strong structure and it can lead to a lot of hassle on the part of the homeowner. You’ll be forced to put off your burning season until the problem is resolved and then clean up any messes that the critters left behind. All in all, it’s a big issue and investing in professional help is typically the best route to take to get fast and efficient results.

Many chimney companies will handle the removal of certain creatures, but bees are not usually one of them. Well, we like to set ourselves apart from the rest here at Weststar Chimney, which is why we’ll remove bees and their hive, so you can get back to enjoying your system to the fullest. Learn more below!Bees In Your Chimney - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

Why Lighting A Fire Won’t Work

It’s not unheard of for people to consider simply smoking the bees out. For some reason this is a proposed solution that people have passed down for years but is actually a very ineffective method for getting rid of the issue. Most assume the smoke and flames will encourage the bees to leave, after which they can simply remove the hive and get back to their day-to-day routine. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

What will actually happen is the honey will melt and spread down the sides of your chimney, enhancing the smell and attracting more bees down the line. Once the honey melts down the walls of your chimney, getting rid of it is a lot more challenging, and you’ll be facing some strong smells (and likely, more bees) well into the future.

Trust our professionals to safely remove the hive, so you don’t have to stress. All you’ll have to do is make a simple phone call to our team, and we’ll handle the rest. After we’re done, you’ll be free to enjoy the upcoming burning season to the fullest! It’s the right choice to make, so get in touch with us today.

Preventing The Return Of More Bees

So, our experts removed the pests, and now you’re eager to get your fireplace up and running. We don’t blame you! But first, make sure you’re adequately protected from any future invasions by having a chimney cap installed. Chimney caps have a great reputation for keeping out bees and all types of other curious creatures, as well, so you won’t need to worry about bad odors, clogs, or any other similar issues down the line.

Chimney caps also keep out rain, block downdrafts, limit debris build up, and serve as spark arrestors. All in all, they’re a great and highly affordable investment. Well worth it!

We also install top-sealing dampers, so if you’re looking to upgrade your throat damper now is the time to get it done. These units do everything expected from a damper, along with working alongside your chimney cap to keep out bad weather and animals. They seal tight, so you can say hello to a cozier home and goodbye to high energy bills – a great investment all around!

Ready to work with the best? Give us a call now.