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Question: Why do chimney's need cleaned?
Answer: Harmful particles and creosote build up that can cause fires and nasty odors.

Question: Why should I get my chimney inspected?
Answer: Any time you are dealing with fire it is always better to be safe than sorry. The Chimney Safety Institute of America as well as most fireplace manufacturers recommend your chimney be inspected once a year. Many potential dangers could be out of your normal viewing area as well as hard to recognize to the untrained eye.

Question: Will cleaning my chimney cause alot of dust around my house?
Answer: No, we lay tarps down to protect your floor and hearth, and use a shop vac to clean all creosote and dust. A good proffesional chimney sweep can clean a chimney and leave your house exactly the way it was when we got there "Minus the creosote that was in your chimney".

Question: What is a Chase Cover?
Answer: A chase cover is a metal top that covers the top of your chimney or "chase" used with prefabricated metal fireplaces. It is what keeps the rain from going in your chimney and causing damage to your chimney, drywall, and framing structure as well as anything else that could be damaged from water. They generally last about thirty years but time can vary. Eventually they rust out and need replaced. It is much better to find out if it needs replaced before it gets to the point that it is leaking. "one good example of why you should get inspected every year". Here is a picture of a chase cover:

Houston Texas Fireplace Chimney Cap

Question: What is a Mortar Crown?
Answer: A mortar crown or crown is similar to a chase cover. It covers the top of your chase as well, but it is made from mortar and is generally used on masonry style chimneys "or chimneys made from brick and flue tiles". Over time the mortar can crack and start to fall apart. It can be repaired by applying a new coat of mortar over the current cracked crown or in some cases completely redoing the entire crown. Here is an example picture of a mortar crown:

Houston Fireplace & Chimney Repair

Question: Why do I need a Chimney Cap?
Answer: Chimney Caps serve a few purposes. They keep rain from going down your flue. They keep birds and animals out of your chimney, and they also help stop any sparks coming out of the flue from causing fire. There are two types, masonry caps or prefab caps. Masonry caps are usually rectangular or square and come in a few different sizes depending on the flue size of your masonry fireplace. Prefab caps are generally round and also come in different styles and sizes. Generally with prefab caps you need to use a cap that is made from the same manufacturer as your prefabricated fireplace. Here is a picture example of both types:
                                   Masonry Chimney Cap

Houston Fireplace Chimney Cap

 Prefabricated Chimney Cap                        
Houston Texas Fireplace Chimney Cap
Question: What are the different types of fireplaces?
Answer: There are a few types of fireplaces. Masonry fireplaces, Prefabricated fireplaces (wood-burning, and gas). Masonry fireplaces are all brick built fireplaces with ceramic flue tiles inside to draft the smoke. They are designed for burning wood but if you have a gas line run into it, can be converted to gas logs. Prefabricated fireplaces are factory made metal fireplaces that take a round metal flue and are ideal if you want to save money (they are much cheaper and usaually have less problems). Prefab's come either woodburning or gas. Most woodburning prefabs can be converted to gas logs. Gas prefab fireplaces are gas only units. Most come with their own gas logs. Direct Vents are another style of prefab. They come with a air tight glass over the front. Direct Vents are often used when you don't won't to spend alot of money to build a chimney because they often times can vent straight out an exterior wall in your house. They are also one of the most efficient fireplaces. Here are some example pictures:
Prefabricated Wood Burning Fireplace
Houston Texas Wood Burning Fireplaces
Masonry Fireplace              
Houston Tx Brick Fireplaces
          Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
Houston Tx Gas Fireplaces

Question: Why does my chimney smoke?
Answer: There are several things that cause chimney's to smoke. First always check your damper and make sure it is fully open. If damper is open and there is no blockage such as a screen on top completely covered in creosote, then the height of the chimney or fireplace box opening needs to be checked. Stopping a smoking chimney is often a process of elimination starting with the most obvious down to trial and error tests.

Question: Why won't my damper open or how do I fix a broken damper?
Answer: Sometimes on masonry fireplaces debris and bits of mortar or brick can fall down behind the damper. This can cause the damper to not open properly. Sometimes it can be cleaned out by reaching in behind the damper and cleaning it out. Other times it may take pushing the damper back and forth and breaking the mortar and debris until you can get it loose. If nothing else will work or the handle is broken where it is unable to be repaired a new damper may be required. On masonry fireplaces to install a new damper it requires to completely tear out the brick in the firebox "see what is a firebox" because the damper is built in with the chimney. Often on these I suggest a top locking damper. A top locking damper is a damper that goes on the top of the chimney with a metal wire that runs down the chimney. The wire bolts to the side of the firebox and you can open and close the spring loaded top damper from here. This is often much cheaper than completely tearing out and rebuilding your firebox. Here is a picture of a top locking damper:

Top Mounting Damper            
Fireplace Damper Repair Houston Tx

Question: What is a Firebox?
Answer: A firebox is the inside part of the chimney you see when looking from inside your home (Where you burn your wood). The firebox is a common place that you can have dangerous problems. If the bricks have cracks or holes in them or are starting to fall out this is a common fire hazard. It happens over time and with heat from the fire on the bricks and mortar joints. If you catch it early enough then the firebox can just be regrouted (have the mortar joints refilled with a special fireplace mortar). If the bricks are falling out then it needs to be rebuilt. Often times after I rebuild or regrout the fireplace I like to paint it black with a special high tempature paint to give it a brand new look. Here is picture of a firebox:

Houston Fireplace Brick Repair

Question: What is Flashing and why can it be a problem?
Answer: Chimney flashing is the metal around the chimney underneath the shingles. It prevents the water from going underneath the shingles and from going into the attic or walls of your house between the area where your chimney and roof meet. I prefer to use what is called stair step flashing because it is the best way to fully protect you. Step flashing is metal shingles or plates used in a stair-step pattern under regular shingles. Alot of times what I have seen here in houston is one solid piece of metal under the shingles. This is not the proper way to flash around a chimney because the water can run right under the shingles. Here is a picture of step flashing:

Chimney Step Flashing            
Houston Chimney Flashing Repair

Question: What are Fireplace Gas Logs?
Answer: Gas logs are fake logs that go in your fireplace that are gas burning but made to look real. They have a burner which is a metal pan that connects to gas line for fuel and burns a fire. Then they have fake logs, sand, and embers. Embers are a non flammable material that looks like coals burning when fire is directly applied. Here is an example of gas logs for your fireplace:

Fireplace Gas Logs                     
Houston Gas Logs for your Fireplace & Chimney

Question: Why should I water seal my chimney?
Answer: Chimneys often take a lot from the elements. Wind, water, and fire. Over time this can wear your mortar joints, crown, and the bricks themselves can actually have water seep through them as well. I use Chimney Saver water seal it is the best you can buy as far as water sealers go. The manufacturers offer a 10 year warranty. With a good water seal on your chimney you can give your chimney protection from all the elements and save yourself from costly repairs later on down the road.

Well, I hope this faq has helped you and answered any questions you may have? If you have any more questions or would to schedule service or have more questions please contact:

2014 Westlake Way
Houston, Tx, 77084

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