It’s very important to keep up with dryer vent cleaning, as the built up lint is a fire hazard that endangers your house and everyone in it. Call Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule an inspection and cleaning of your dryer vents to help you maintain a safer and more efficient dryer.
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The exterior wall of your chimney is typically made of masonry. It cannot stand up to excessive heat well, so your flue liner does the job of protecting it.
Don’t Let It Accumulate
Did you know that the ash that is produced after burning combustible materials can still be used in other places? Did you also know that it’s not good to completely remove the ash? Despite the many toxins, there are still components in ash that make it beneficial and useful.
But Wait, There’s More
Ashes are made after burning combustible materials. They are powder-like and are not something you’d like to smell especially for people with sensitive noses. They are harmful to people but they can still benefit you if you have a garden. There are materials in the ash that can contribute to a healthy growing plant.
The ash should not be taken out completely, especially when you are constantly using your fireplace. This is because it might be difficult to start out a fire once you use it again; more time, more effort, less fire, less heat. An inch thick of ash will suffice. This can help protect the area in your firebox.
But removing ash in the fireplace is still something that needs our attention. It can cause all sorts of health hazards and can eventually end up starting a fire. Our company specializes in keeping your fireplace and chimney at optimal functioning level so it’s important to let us do our job. But in any case, you should also be aware of the things you need to do to successfully remove ash.
Removing the Ash
Get your metal trash bin, metal dust pan and broom ready for sweeping. Make sure that the ash is cool before you attempt to do any cleaning. The reason is to make sure that no hot coals are present. Once cooled, take out the firebox and sweep it and put the ash in the dust pan and into the trash bin. This step-by-step process should be done at least three to four times a week depending on the number of times you use your fireplace.
It’s good to let a CSIA-certified sweep do the cleaning. This is usually done when you have your inspection and clean-up. We’ve been serving the people of San Diego County for fifteen wonderful years, so feel confident with our certified techs. Feel free to contact us. We are happy to help.
Serving all of San Diego, California, West Star Chimney Sweeps offers an array of services to our customers. From chimney sweeping to dryer vent cleaning, we do everything we can to keep our customers secure, healthy, and confident in the safety and efficiency of their appliances. One of the things most frequently required of us are chimney part replacements. We often swap.
Why Your Chimney Needs to Be in Good Condition
Before we tell you about the chimney parts we replace most often, we want to tell you why it’s important to keep your chimney and all of its components in great working order. Simply put, a chimney that’s worn out may:
- Become a fire hazard
- Begin to leak and cause water damage
- Become clogged and unable to vent properly
- Vent toxic gases into your home
- Deteriorate beyond repair and require total replacement
West Star Chimney can make sure that your chimney and heating appliance are in great condition so that you don’t have to worry about any of these things happening.
Chimney and Fireplace Parts West Star Chimney Replaces Most Often
Among other replacements, we are often required to replace the following five parts on fireplaces and chimneys around San Diego:
- Chimney Caps: A brick and mortar chimney without a cap is like a house without a roof. Chimney caps play lots of important roles, including keeping water out, keeping birds and bees out, keeping sparks in, and eliminating downdrafts. By keeping the wrong stuff out and the right stuff in, you’ll protect your chimney from accumulating fire hazards (think leaves and limbs, nests, trash, and other debris) and reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fire. You’ll also be protecting your chimney, assuring its longer life, and safeguarding your home from expensive water damage.
- Chase Covers: If yours is a prefabricated, factory-made, or metal chimney, you will need to cover the top of it with what’s known as a chase cover. Chase covers serve the same purposes as chimney caps, as outlined above. The standard steel chase cover that comes with a prefabricated chimney is prone to rust and corrosion, which can lead to waterlogged ceilings and walls as well as mold problems. Luckily, there are lots of beautiful and durable replacement chase covers to choose from, in a variety of finishes.
- Dampers: Chimney dampers are perhaps our favorite chimney part to tell homeowners about. This is because we get to tell them how we’re about to save them money by installing a top-sealing damper atop their chimney. After all, having a chimney without a damper is not unlike leaving a window open year round; just imagine how much you’d spend on extra energy costs if you left a window open all the time. A damper will keep water and debris out of your chimney, but it’s most notable for the fact that the homeowner can open and close it, creating an airtight seal when the heating appliance is not in use.
- Prefab Panels: Prefabricated refractory panels are what comprise the firebox in your factory-made or prefabricated fireplace. If your panels are beginning to show signs of wear and tear, it’s likely that they need to be replaced with properly sized panels installed by a pro. If your panels have cracks that are the thickness of a nickel or if the panels have been reduced by a quarter inch or more in thickness, then it’s time to have them replaced. We’re happy to do that for you at West Star Chimney.
- Hearth Screens: Whether or not you already have a hearth screen, West Star Chimney is happy to equip your fireplace with one. These screens offer lots of advantages, including peace of mind that if an errant spark flies out of your fireplace it will stay in your fireplace. It will also help keep pets and small children away from your fire and can update the look of your fireplace.
Have questions about caps, chase covers, dampers, prefab panels, hearth screens, or any other chimney component? Call us at 619-338-8116 or schedule an appointment with us today using our online form.
Over 25,000 chimney fires in the U.S. last year were responsible for over $120 million in property damage. Chimney fires can quickly spread into house fires in a relatively short period of time. No one ever wants to experience a chimney fire, or worse yet a fire in the chimney that spreads to other areas of the home. This is an important issue, and there are things everyone can do to protect themselves and their families from the chances of a chimney fire ever affecting them.
Most chimney fires happen for one simple reason: improper usage and care of wood-burning appliances. The importance of yearly chimney inspections and sweepings cannot be understated, as they are the one true way to minimize the likelihood of a chimney fire sparking in the first place. The fact is that clean chimneys simply don’t catch fire.
What Causes Chimney Fires?
When wood is burnt, the emissions are expelled into the chimney. As these gases rise, they cool down and form creosote — a tar-like substance that sticks to your chimney or chimney liner. Creosote is extremely flammable and can be lit by even a small spark or floating ember from the fire below. The three most common causes of chimney fires are:
- Burning wet or unseasoned wood can increase the production of creosote.
- Failing to have your chimney swept often enough.
- Blockages in your chimney that can restrict air flow.
Knowledge is key to reducing the potential of a chimney fire happening in your home.
What can I do to Prevent a Chimney Fire?
Your first line of defense is always prevention. Make sure you have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in multiple locations within your home. Make sure you only burn dry, seasoned wood. Make sure you get your chimney swept at least once a year (more frequently is you use your fireplace more heavily). Make sure you never burn trash, cardboard or other types of waste, as these are more likely to produce sparks.
Chimney fires are a dangerous and serious problem to have, but the good news is that they are almost entirely preventable. Homeowners must be careful to only burn materials that are ready and meant to be burned. While using the correct fuel is important, a chimney fire can still occur even after taking all of the necessary precautions. This is why annual chimney inspections and sweepings are a critical part of your home maintenance routine. If your chimney is clean, the chances of a chimney fire occurring are slim-to-none. Don’t wait to call to schedule your inspection and cleaning. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will help to ensure that you and your family have a safe and happy heating season.