Our Company Blog

Common Chimney Problems For San Diego Homeowners

Do you live in San Diego or the surrounding areas? Well, there are a few common problems we, as sweeps, notice more frequently throughout the area. If you own a home with a fireplace in it, then you know how important it is to invest in annual inspections, maintenance, and repairs. If you are experiencing any of the following issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to the crew at Weststar Chimney Sweeps right away!

Chimney Leaks

chimney on fireA strong, sturdy chimney structure will raise your home’s value, raise your curb appeal, and provide countless warm, cozy fires to enjoy. Unfortunately, when your masonry isn’t waterproofed or when you have broken down or unprotected parts, this is often due to water damage.

Leaks in your chimney need to be addressed as quickly as possible, or you’ll be facing all kinds of frustrating issues such as rusted flashing, clogs, cracks in your crown, and crumbling brickwork. Fortunately, our crew can resolve your leaky chimney problems in a hurry and provide waterproofing services to protect your masonry for the long run.

Masonry Stains

When in good condition, your fireplace can enhance the aesthetic of your home tremendously. Unfortunately, the smoke and fumes created by your fires can stain your fireplace front, leaving you with a focal point that is not pleasant. If your frustrated with an unsightly fireplace and no amount of scrubbing has helped, ask us about our Paint “N” Peel stain removal process. We’ll get you the high-quality results you’re longing for.

A Damaged Flue Liner

A damaged or poorly installed liner can affect the safety and efficiency of your chimney in multiple ways. Your liner is responsible for protecting your brickwork and mortar from the high temperatures your fires produce. They also prevent acidic gases from breaking things down in your chimney. Along with this, if your structure breaks down and there is no liner present to protect it, your adjacent woodwork could catch on fire in just a matter of hours. Our team can repair or reline your chimney, so you don’t have to worry when you do light a fire.

Creosote Accumulation

There are a number of things that can contribute to creosote accumulation. Burning unseasoned wood and poor draft or airflow are both huge contributors. Other times, your fires may simply not be burning hot enough. No matter the case, creosote is extremely flammable and needs to be removed promptly to reduce your risk of experiencing a chimney fire.

Annual inspections are essential for noting buildup and damage. Our team is here to help with any problems your fireplace is experiencing. As far as excess creosote is concerned, we can tackle that with a thorough cleaning. If glazed creosote is an issue, you can count on us to get it out without damaging your structure throughout the process. Ready to work with a team that puts your needs first? Give us a call today!

All About Creosote Deglazing & Why It’s Necessary

Creosote is a substance that builds up inside of your flue as fires burn in your fireplace. it is known for being very flammable. While a little of it doesn’t pose any real threats, a lot of it can trigger a chimney fire, which could weaken your structure significantly. Chimney fires also put your household at risk, and because they often occur quietly, many homeowners aren’t aware that damage has happened!

Now, creosote comes in a few forms. One is light and flaky (typically the easiest to remove), another is sticky and tar-like, and then there is glazed creosote. No matter what type you have inside your chimney, you must get it removed from your chimney to stay safe. Fortunately for the folks throughout the San Diego area, our team is equipped to help.

What Is Glazed Creosote? Is It Dangerous?

sweep on roof cleaning chimneyGlazed creosote, also known as stage three creosote, is hard, shiny, and difficult to remove. It is more likely to form when airflow is restricted. If you are burning unseasoned wood in your fireplace or if the fires you burn aren’t hot enough, you will face more problems with your system. Avoid these scenarios can help your system run safer and more efficient.

All creosote is dangerous, but glazed creosote is especially so. If it catches on fire, the flames will be hot and hard to control, causing a lot of damage to your chimney. Your home could also be at risk if the flames spread to adjacent woodwork. Because of this, we strongly urge homeowners with creosote in their flue to refrain from using their fireplace until everything is thoroughly swept and cleaned out.

An important thing to note with glazed creosote is that it cannot be removed with basic sweeping methods. Doing so could actually result in a lot of damage to your chimney. In these cases, it is imperative to trust in a team of experts that know what to do and can get the job done right – that’s where we come in!

How Can Weststar Chimney Sweeps Help?

At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we have both the training and the equipment necessary to effectively and safely remove any glazed creosote from your chimney. The tools we use will give us the ability to break down this hardened substance in a way that won’t bring harm to you or your chimney so that you can feel good about lighting fires again.

We urge homeowners in the San Diego area to give our team of CSIA certified sweeps a call now so that you don’t need to stress when fall comes around. Our books fill up fast as the holiday season approaches, so schedule your appointment today to beat the rush. Our experts are ready to provide you with the long-lasting, reliable care you deserve!

The Many Jobs Of A Chimney Cap

The chimney cap may not look like the most impressive part of your chimney’s anatomy, but the truth is you would be in rough shape without one. This device plays a big role in keeping your chimney better protected, and it ends up taking on a lot of different jobs in the process.

Concerned that your cap is missing, damaged, or incorrectly installed? Get our team on the job. We would be happy to check things over and set you up right. In the meantime, learn more about the many jobs of your chimney cap below.

Preventing Water Damagechimney with cap

Your chimney liner, smoke shelf, brickwork, mortar, and everything inside of your chimney need to stay in good shape to ensure your fireplace functions as safely and as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the water to find its way into your system and wreak havoc, causing all of these parts to break down and deteriorate.

When your structure has holes, gaps, and cracks, your risk of experiencing house fires and gas leaks increases significantly. Because of this, it is vital to do everything you can to keep water out. The chimney cap completely covers your flue opening, making a big impact on your system’s ability to keep water out.

Keeping Out Wildlife

Water isn’t the only thing your cap keeps out. It also prevents birds, raccoons, bees, and other types of creatures from working their way in and causing problems throughout your home. Not only can these critters be loud and annoying, but their nesting materials can also clog up your flue and create fire hazards, too. Keep them out by having your chimney cap installed and save yourself a lot of stress and hassle.

Preventing Downdrafts

Are downdrafts swooping into your home, affecting the temperature inside and causing your energy bills to skyrocket? A chimney cap helps keep those cold drafts out for good, so you stay as cozy and as comfortable as possible. This also ensures that nasty creosote-related smells won’t be sent through your home – a win-win!

Stopping Excess Debris

When your flue is left uncovered and vulnerable, it is easier than ever for leaves, twigs, dirt, and more to blow into it. Not only do these things eventually build up and cause clogs, but they could end up causing a chimney fire, as well. A cap will keep these materials out, so your airflow isn’t affected.

Serve As Spark Arrestors

Lastly, chimney caps are able to effectively stop any stray sparks or embers from sneaking up your chimney and landing on your roofing materials. If one of these would land in the wrong spot, a fire could easily ignite, putting your entire home and family at risk. Don’t take any chances – have your cap installed today!

We Can Help

The Weststar Chimney Sweeps team is ready to set you up right, so book your appointment with our CSIA certified crew today. We would love to do all we can to keep your home safer, more comfortable, and free of stressful situations. Call now!

What Is The Function Of The Chimney Crown?

Located at the top of your chimney is something called the chimney crown, and it plays a big role in keeping your masonry safer and better protected. Crowns should be made from a strong, cement-based mixture to ensure they stand the test of time, but unfortunately, many were originally constructed using a mortar mix which is prone to crack and break down.

Because of this, working with the right team from the very start is a must when it comes to keeping your crown in good shape for the long haul. Learn more below about what these parts do, why they are important, and why you should trust in the certified crew here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to help you every step of the way. Our crown repair and rebuilding services will ensure you are always taken care of, no matter what!

Preventing Water Damagemodern home with red brick chimney

The reason crowns are so important to chimney health is due to their ability to protect your masonry from water damage. An appropriately built crown will extend slightly past the edge of your chimney, and it will slant downward. These aspects ensure rainwater is directed away from the chimney masonry.

Because your brickwork is so absorbent, keeping water away is a must. Without a chimney crown, decay is inevitable. Avoid decay and deterioration by having our sweeps come in to check things over. We can examine your crown and determine whether or not repairs are necessary

Is Your Crown Suffering?

If you have been noticing leaks throughout your chimney or if your brickwork and mortar is breaking down and crumbling, there is a good chance that a faulty crown is to blame. Fortunately, our team members are qualified to fix it up right with a product called CrownCoat. CrownCoat works to fill in cracks and gaps so that your crown won’t continue breaking down. Trust us – once we are through, your chimney will be looking and functioning better than ever!

Now, from time to time we come across crowns that have faced so much damage that basic repair work is not an effective solution. In these cases, we will recommend a rebuild. This may seem a bit daunting, but never fear because our crew is equipped to handle it. You will have a well-functioning chimney crown in no time.

Don’t Wait… Call Today!

The holidays are well behind us, and it will be quite some time before they come back around again, so call us in now while your burning season is still on hold. Not only can we check on your crown, but we can inspect your entire structure to determine whether or not you may need further maintenance.

If you do need work completed, we would be happy to help you every step of the way! Reach out today, and we can get started.

We Recommend Addressing Your Chimney Issues Now

If you own a fireplace, then you are well aware of how important it is to invest in regular care and repair work. Your fireplace and chimney work hard throughout your burning season, taking on a lot of heat and wear and tear to keep your family warmer and more comfortable. By investing in annual inspections and regular cleanings, and by addressing any damages promptly, you can rest easier knowing your system is in tip-top shape whenever you feel the urge to light a fire.

That being said, many feel that the warmer spring and summer months aren’t the time to worry about chimney care, so they put any required services on the backburner until temperatures drop again. Unfortunately, this means they are missing out on the many advantages of addressing these issues early.

Learn more below, then give the experts here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps a call today. We’d be glad to set up an appointment with you soon!

Saving You Moneyman on ladder next to chimney

By investing in chimney care and repair work right away, you save money in more ways than one. First of all, we offer a $30 discount for homeowners who invest in a sweep and inspection before October 1st. Not only will you get this necessary maintenance well out of the way before you burning season begins, you will get it done at a lower rate, too. It’s a win-win!

Generally speaking, taking care of damages right away is always a more cost-effective option, as well. If your system is showing signs of decay or deterioration, these problems will only worsen as time goes on and cost you more money to fix. Water damage is especially detrimental and should be taken care of right away to avoid problems throughout your masonry.

Invest in the care you deserve, then ask us about preventative measures to ensure you don’t face problems again down the line. For example, some flashing and a new chimney cap may be just what you need to avoid chimney leaks throughout the rainy season. Whatever you need, we can set you up right.

Making Your Life Easier

There is no doubt that chimney sweeps get quite busy as the days grow colder. The closer we come to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the more desperate homeowners are to get their maintenance and repairs completed, which means our schedule books fill up fast! By getting your work completed now, you avoid the hassle and guarantee a spot that works well for your schedule.

You won’t be forced to put off the start of your burning season and your loved ones won’t be left disappointed with no fire to enjoy over the holiday season. While your neighbors are scrambling, you will be relaxing in front of a fire, glad you got your fireplace care out of the way in the summer.

Ready to get started? We would love to work with you! Call today, and we can set something up.