Buying a Home? Three Reasons to Insist on a Fireplace Inspection

When choosing a home to purchase, today’s home buyers have many important decisions to make. When any home being considered has a fireplace, wood stove, or flue, insisting on a thorough inspection of these features is critical, especially when buyers intend to use these features as a supplemental or emergency heat source. If your are considering the purchase of a home with a fireplace, wood stove, or flue, here are three excellent reasons to get them professionally inspected by a certified inspector first.

1. Fire Safety

Because these features deal with heat and open flames, fire safety is the most important reason to insist upon a thorough inspection. Flues for wood stoves and fireplaces often have buildups of a substance called creosote.

Highly flammable, creosote results when there has been an incomplete combustion of the wood used to make a fire, and is a leading cause of chimney and flue fires. This can happen when the firewood has not been correctly seasoned before use, or when the fire has not received the proper amount of oxygen to allow it to burn hot enough to prevent creosote from forming.  Continue reading

How can a sweep help me to maintain a safe home?

Employing the services of a qualified chimney sweep is essential for maintaining the safety of your home. A professional chimney sweep not only cleans your flue, which can prevent the build-up of hazardous creosote as well as obstruction from nesting animals and debris, but he will inspect your chimney as well. A thorough inspection of your chimney is vital in order to prevent ghastly costs and safety issues that could result from untreated damages that might be lurking in your chimney. Failure to have your chimney swept and inspected by a qualified sweep can result in:chimney-sweeper-158077_640 Continue reading

What is Creosote?

How does it get in the chimney and why is it dangerous?

When you burn wood in your fireplace or wood burning stove, it creates pollutants- often in the form of gases and small particles. The gases are expelled from the burning wood with the smoke. When the gases cool to a temperature that is below 250˚ F, they will begin to liquefy, combine and condense. When they combine and condense they create what is commonly referred to as creosote- a foul smelling corrosive that is extremely combustible. Continue reading

Fireplaces of the 80’s

Fireplaces installed in most homes in the 80’s til now are no longer masonry. They are called zero-clearance or factory built fireplaces. They have a metal firebox and metal flue and typically a stucco chimney with a metal chase cover. In the business, they are often, derogatorily, called temporary fireplaces, especially if they are located near the ocean. What happens is that the salt air and higher humidity causes the chase cover and cap to rust and decay fairly rapidly. When they deteriorate they allow water inside the chimney, causing more problems. This is a replacement we did in Manhatten Beach, using copper which in time will patina that lovely shade of green.

Custom Decorative Shroud