Vintage Chimney Crown

These show a before and after chimney crown. This type of chimney was built in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and into the 70’s. It is a typical problem we see on chimneys of this vintage. The repair is fairly inexpensive and comes with a 15 year warranty on material.

Crown in Disrepair Crown Repaired

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

Factory Built Chimney Flue

These before and after pictures of a factory built chimney flue. That ugly matierial you see in the before is creosote. Creosote is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of wood, typically most prevalent when first starting a fire and when burning unseasoned wood. Creosote is very flamible and where large deposits accumulate in a chimney, a chimney fire is very possible and extremely dangerous. The normal temperature in a chimney during a regular fire would be around 500 degrees. When a chimney fire occurs the temperature can go as high as 1800 degrees. When they occur, they can destroy the chimney and set the house on fire. Removing the hazardous creosote and inspecting the chimney for safety and integrity are the two main purposes of a chimney sweep.

Factory built flue dirty Factory built flue cleaned

Traditional Masonry Chimney Flue

These before and after pictures of a traditional masonry chimney flue. That ugly matierial you see in the before is creosote. Creosote is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of wood, typically most prevalent when first starting a fire and when burning unseasoned wood. Creosote is very flamible and where large deposits accumulate in a chimney, a chimney fire is very possible and extremely dangerous. The normal temperature in a chimney during a regular fire would be around 500 degrees. When a chimney fire occurs the temperature can go as high as 1800 degrees. When they occur, they can destroy the chimney and set the house on fire. Removing the hazardous creosote and inspecting the chimney for safety and integrity are the two main purposes of a chimney sweep. I get calls regularly from people who have had a chimney fire. It is commonly observed, when flame is shooting out the top of a chimney like a giant torch, with flame reaching 10 feet in the air. Quite a sight. Another call i get is people thinking a jet engine buzzed their house. When a chimney fire occurs it can make quite a roaring inside the house. I sometimes make the possibly poor joke, that a chimney fire can suck up small animals and children up the flue, so much air flow occurs to support the fire.

Masonry Chimney Dirty Masonry Chimney Cleaned

Dryer Vent Fires

The stuff you see in the photo is dryer vent lint. And in this case the dryer vent was completely stuffed. Dryer vent fires are more common events than one might think. But if you look at it not necessarily unexpected. When you dry your clothes, you are using flame and very hot air, in the case of a gas dryer. Dryer vents can get full of a very fine lint, which is extremely flammable, that combination can produce “dryer vent fires”.

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