The Importance of Having Your Chimney Inspected

Chimney There’s nothing like coming home at the end of a long day and building a fire in the fireplace inside of your house. It can create a relaxing environment for you and your family and keep your home warm in the wintertime. Nevertheless, if you plan on using the fireplace in your home on a regular basis, you need to have your chimney inspected and maintained properly every year. It could prevent a catastrophe from taking place. Here are three reasons you need to have your chimney inspected.

A chimney inspection can prevent a chimney fire from taking place.

Over time, the inside of your chimney can get clogged up with creosote, a substance that looks a lot like tar and is a byproduct of burning pieces of wood in a fireplace. If this creosote builds up enough, it can actually catch on fire and produce a chimney fire that you may not even detect until it’s too late. Chimney fires can cause damage to the walls of a home and the roof, and if you don’t catch them in time, they can even burn down your entire home. A chimney inspector will be able to detect the buildup of creosote and do something about it.

A chimney inspection can keep carbon monoxide out of your home.

If your chimney is clogged up with creosote or the flue inside of your chimney isn’t working properly, the carbon monoxide that is created when you start a fire won’t have any way to get out of your home. Therefore, it will often build up inside of your house, and it can cause serious illnesses and sometimes even death. Thousands of people die due to carbon monoxide poisoning every year, and many of those deaths are tied to chimneys. It’s why you should have your chimney inspected before using your fireplace regularly.

A chimney inspection can stop smoke from doing damage to your fireplace.

In addition to putting your family at risk for a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning, a malfunctioning chimney can also cause smoke damage to your fireplace. A chimney that is backed up with creosote and soot will often send smoke back into a home. This smoke can damage the front of your fireplace as well as any furniture and carpeting surrounding your fireplace. It can result in a big mess inside of your house.

All of these chimney issues can be very serious. Fortunately, you can prevent them easily by having a chimney inspection done. Roofing by Bruce can inspect your chimney for you, clean it, and perform any repairs that need to be completed. Call us at 570-424-7250 today to set up a chimney inspection.

Ice, Snow, Cold and Your Chimney

Chimney Inspections Now that fall has arrived, winter isn’t too far away and with it will come colder temperatures, ice and snow. Not only will these elements become problematic for the roads we travel and our driveways, but they could wreak havoc on our homes as well, particularly our roofs and chimneys.

What causes the damage to on top of our homes is the water that makes up the ice and snow. You might think with that in mind that water is the biggest threat to chimneys all throughout the year – which is in many ways true. However, winter brings the freeze and thaw cycle for moisture, which makes water most threatening during the winter season.

Bricks are naturally porous, meaning water can infiltrate them easily. These holes in the bricks are all over, including the sides that are held together with cement. When water gets inside bricks from snow and then freezes in the low temperatures, it expands, which leads to cracks which become larger and larger as more water gets in and freezes.

All of this water getting in can cause not only the chimney to fall apart or cause damage to your roof, but can lead to water getting inside of your home. This can damage or destroy attic insulation, lead to ruined wall coverings in your home, cause water stains to ceilings, or allow mold to form and grow.

Fortunately, this damage is preventable through preventative maintenance. Waterproofing the chimney can go a long way in keeping it from falling apart. Another great way to prevent water damage is to get your chimney regularly inspected once a year to assess any signs of damage and have them repaired when necessary. Getting an inspection performed in the fall or spring annually can help you stay ahead of any damage and make sure that your chimney and roof are in good condition, protected from the elements and ready for the seasons ahead.

If your chimney or roof has taken a beating and you are in need of a new installation or repairs, we can help. Roofing by Bruce can help inspect and repair issues with your roof, while Bruce’s Chimney Service has got all of your chimney and masonry repair needs covered. For more information, call our team today at 570-424-7250!

When to Replace a Chimney Liner

Chimney LinerIt is important to have your chimney and its liner inspected at least once a year, especially if you use it on a regular basis. Chimneys need to be checked regularly to ensure that everything is working well and that your liner is in good condition.

Your liner is essentially a conduit made of clay, metal or ceramic that contains the combustion by products from your and protects the walls of the chimney from corrosion and heat. If you are new to chimney maintenance, here are a few tips to keep in mind regarding chimney efficiency and the benefits of a sturdy liner.

Consider it When Switching from Heating Oil to Natural Gas

There are many reasons that you may decide to change from using a heating oil or burning wood to a natural gas option stove or heating system. For one, natural gas can burn more completely, meaning that your furnace can be much more efficient. If you are looking to save money, natural gas rates have also come down significantly in recent years, with as much as 84 percent of natural gas on the market today produced right here at home. Plus, some utility companies offer rebates to owners who switch to gas.

Still, even though there are so many advantages to getting gas, the issue, of course, is that you may have to replace your chimney liner. If you don’t have a liner at all, some states and municipalities require that your chimney be properly fitted with an acceptable liner to handle natural gas. This is because natural gas fumes can condense in a cool chimney, creating acidic solutions that can eat away at your brick or masonry.

Many Other Reasons to Change Your Liner

No matter how you decide to heat your home, it is important to know that having a clean and intact chimney liner is essential for other reasons. First of all a well-kept liner can reduce the chance of a chimney fire or carbon monoxide leak. Liners keep hot embers or noxious fumes contained, moving them through the chimney and safely away from your home.

If you are looking to have your chimney inspected or your liner repaired or replaced, look no further than the professionals at Bruce’s Chimney Service. We specialize in all sorts of home, roofing and chimney repairs including chimney relining, waterproofing and more. Give us a call at 570-424-7250 today.

How Long Does Chimney Masonry Last?

Now that spring is here, many homeowners will head outside to work on their home as well as checking for any damages from winter. One of the areas that should be looked at, especially if your home is older, is your chimney.
 
If your home’s chimney was built in the 1950s, chances are your chimney is a brick and mortar style. Since the ground is regularly moving – slight fluctuations during temperature changes, moisture levels and even small earthquakes – chances are good that your chimney has moved as well. Houses are a bit elastic in the sense that if there is a little bit of movement, the house will follow. However, after a while – say, five decades, for example – the combined years of stress can take a toll on the bricks, causing them to crack and potentially need to be replaced.
 
Chimney MasonryThat’s why it is important to inspect your chimney often, and if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, contact an inspector or roofing company to come and take a look. Roofing experts like the team at Roofing by Bruce can make sure that your chimney is either in good shape or is need of attention, and can identify what problems might be in need of repair. The last thing you want is for loose brick to come loose unexpectedly, damaging your roof or – worse – hitting a car or even a unsuspecting person who could be below.
 
The elements can also be very damaging to these older chimneys. Sun, windstorms and rain all can cause mortar to wear out, meaning that you’ll need to rebuild your chimney or re-pointing it, which is grinding out broken pieces of mortar and replacing them without removing any bricks. An inspector will be able to identify damage to the chimney from the weather and can put you on the right path in regards to fixing it.
 
At Roofing by Bruce, our full range of roofing services includes inspections and repairs. We’ve helped countless clients throughout the Pennsylvania Poconos, and are standing by to help you at your home. If you would like more information on our services, give us a call at 570-424-7252 today!