Why Chimney Caps Are Useful

Chimney caps are a cheap and easy addition to your home. If you do not have a cap on your chimney, then you need to understand that they can be useful in three important ways. If you are getting a chimney cap, be sure to get one that will protect your home and family from all three of these problems listed below.

3 Reasons to Get a Chimney Cap

Weather: All forms of precipitation (rain, snow, ice) and even dew can get into your home through your chimney unless you have a cap over it. The moisture from this water can cause serious damage to your chimney. It becomes even worse when it mixes with the soot that sits on the walls of your chimney. The structure of the chimney will deteriorate and may even crack, which will require a very expensive repair. This is just one reason professionals recommend chimney caps.

Animals: Even large pests, such as squirrels and bats, can get into your home through the chimney. These pests pose a serious danger to your home and the people in it because they carry disease and will damage your home just by being there. They may make a nest in your chimney and have easy access to the rest of your home. In addition, their nest can block the passage for smoke when you set a fire, which will cause the smoke to back up into your home—this can result in smoke damage to the home and carbon monoxide poisoning to the people inside. A chimney cap with a strong mesh wiring over it will keep pests out of your chimney.

Fire: On rare occasions, an ember can fly out of your chimney onto your roof, starting a fire. Because even the smallest spark can start a house fire, it is smart to have a cap in the way to keep these embers safely contained.

9/15/14

5 Chimney Safety Tips to Protect Your Household

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, there are an average of 24,300 structural fires every year originating from the chimney or fireplace. The best way to prevent this from happening is learning safety tips that you can use to help maintain your chimney and protect your household.

Conduct Frequent Inspections

Hire a certified company with trained professionals to conduct an inspection for obstructions. They should make sure that the flue is capped to prevent rain, animals, and debris from getting inside.

Hire Chimney Sweepers

Every year, have chimney sweepers come to your home to clean away the soot (also called creosote). The soot can pile up in your chimney and, since it’s flammable, can become very dangerous to you and your home.

Install Smoke Detectors

Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Although you can find plug-in units, ones that hang close to the ceiling would be ideal to detect the problem quicker.

Fuel Choice

Choose seasoned hard wood to prevent out of control fires. Don’t use your Christmas tree, pressure-treated wood, painted scrap pieces, or liquid starters.

Room Design

When it comes to laying out your furniture around the fireplace, make sure that everything is at least 36-inches from from your fireplace. Over time, the heat can cause furniture to become more flammable, so protect yourself by moving the furniture back.

Above all else, never leave your fireplace burning unattended. You should always watch it closely, so you can protect your family and your home if anything happens.

9/15/14

Gas Vs. Wood Fireplaces: A Comparison

A fireplace is a great addition to any home. It can be an efficient heating system, provide a place to cuddle up on a cold night, and can be a great center of a room. As you look at fireplaces, you will need to choose between two popular options: a gas fireplace and a wood-burning fireplace. Look at this quick comparison to help you decide which option is best for you.

Gas Fireplaces

A gas fireplace is very easy to turn on and control the temperature. You simply need to flip a switch and set the fireplace to a desired temperature. Once the fireplace heats the room to that temperature, it will keep it there.

A gas fireplace does not require much maintenance either. Once you are done with your fire, you must simply turn it off and walk away. You may need a professional to look at it occasionally. However, a gas fireplace does have a few cons. They often cost more to operate, and you don’t get the “real fire experience.”

Wood-Burning Fireplaces

A wood-burning fireplace is cheaper to operate. Fueling a fire with wood rather than gas is much more cost-effective, and it also has a less damaging impact on the environment. If you are careful about your carbon footprint or want to save money, this is the better choice.

A wood fire takes more time to heat up the room because it takes a while to start and most of the heat escapes out of the chimney. It is also more difficult to control the temperature of the room. You will need to clean out the ashes after the fire is done.

A real fire provides an ambiance that cannot be provided with any other fire. You can hear the crackle of the logs, watch the flames dance, and smell the wood burning.

9/15/14