Maintenance Tasks Needed on Your Gas Fireplace

 

Wood fireplaces are the centerpieces anywhere they exist in the home. However, they aren’t very efficient when it comes to improving the immediacy and cost of heating your home. Next to wood, the most popular fireplace fuel is gas. In order to keep the most effective benefits provided by your gas fireplace, it pays to have regular maintenance performed. Keep your gas fireplace warm and safe by having it professionally cleaned and inspected.

While gas fireplaces require much less maintenance than wood-burning fireplaces, you still want to have them inspected at least once a year. If you use your fireplace a lot, you want to keep it in optimal working order. Although these fireplaces burn cleanly, they still collect debris in the vents, flues, and inside the chimney. This debris needs to be removed before it blocks airflows and spreads a foul odor. Most of the debris in a gas fireplace consists of deteriorating ceramic or faux logs, which clings to the insert and gets trapped inside it.

Other parts that need attention on your gas fireplace include dirty glass doors and frames. Dents or excessive dirt on the glass may interfere with the heat output of your fireplace. You also want to be sure that the inside and outside of your fireplace are kept clean. You can follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning or work with a professional like those at Complete Chimneys. We offer service for gas fireplaces and numerous gas inserts in Baltimore, MD.

 

The Benefits of Chimney Caps

You can compare the chimney cap on the top of your chimney to the front door of your home. You wouldn’t leave the front door open at all times because it would be exposed to pests, wildlife, and inclement weather. The chimney cap performs essentially the same function for your home and fireplace as the front door to your house. In other words, a chimney cap is important to the proper working order of your entire chimney system. The main reasons experts recommend that chimneys have working chimney caps are:

  • Reduction of Moisture. The chimney cap functions as an umbrella that keeps rain, snow, sleet, and hail from coming into your home via the chimney. Moisture rusts stainless steel liners, chimney dampers, and chimney mortar joints. At the same time, it also produces toxic mold and mildew.
  • Restricts Animal Access. The chimney is a warm, out-of-the-wind dark place to build a nest for birds, raccoons and squirrels. Sometimes wildlife goes into the chimney but can’t get out. If they should die inside the chimney there will be extremely odious smells in your home.
  • Blocking of Downdrafts. If the wind blows a strong draft down into your fireplace you could have a smoke-filled living room. The chimney cap prevents windy downdrafts from blowing back into your home.
  • Prevent Sparks and Embers. The chimney cap helps prevent sparks from blowing out of the chimney and landing on the roof or some other area that could catch fire.

Contact Complete Chimneys for service from experienced chimney sweeps in Baltimore, MD. We provide many chimney-related services for customers throughout Maryland.

Problems Caused by a Damaged Chimney Cap

Once you recognize that your chimney cap may be damaged, you need to get it repaired as soon as possible. Our experienced chimney contractors in Baltimore provide speedy, affordable repairs that protect you, your family, and your home throughout winter. It makes sense to have your chimney cap repaired when the damage is still small; otherwise the damage could cause thousands of dollars in repairs that could have been prevented.

A properly installed and intact chimney cap functions as a safety valve for the chimney. Although it’s small in size, it’s important in the uses it performs. For example, a working chimney cap prevents animals such as squirrels and birds from coming down the chimney into your home. If their nests are built in your chimney, they may block the flow and cause harmful gases to back up into your home. In addition it keeps moisture out and ensures that no burning embers escape to start a house fire.

Contact Complete Chimneys for service anywhere in Baltimore, Annapolis, and Pasadena, plus the surrounding areas.  Our chimney contractors in Baltimore are knowledgeable and experienced. Be safe while enjoying your fireplace in the harsh winter climate. Visit CompleteChimneys.com for information on our services or call (410) 544-7600 to make an appointment.

 

 

The Benefits of a Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces are growing exponentially in popularity. In addition to being appealing and compelling additions to any room, they also offer a number of benefits, including maintaining indoor air quality. They come in different styles, sizes, and colors, so there’s a variety of options when you’re ready to shop for one. You can also choose from among traditional, contemporary, and fusion styles.

When you use a gas fireplace your home stays cleaner and your fireplace contributes much less outdoor pollution. In addition, you also can enjoy all of the following features and benefits:

  • Providing zone heating for most-used spaces.
  • Lowering utility bills.
  • Using natural gas fireplace inserts add more heat for less cost.
  • A continually provided heat supply.
  • No need to buy and haul cords of wood.
  • No ashes to clean or unsafe sparks.
  • More than 20% savings on your energy bill.

In addition all you have to do to turn your fireplace on and off is push a button. Once you have purchased your new gas fireplace, be sure to have it inspected and cleaned by the professionals at Complete Chimney.  We perform a 10-point safety and maintenance service as well as serve customers who need a gas fireplace repair in Pasadena, MD. Visit CompleteChimneys.com or call (410) 544-7600 for more information.

 

 

How to Know When to Clean Your Chimney

Keeping your chimney clean and free of a creosote buildup is a safety feature. Chimney fires devastate homes. They often start in the smoke chamber shelf area, which is a critical though hard-to-reach area. If you can reach it with room to use a brush, and your soot buildup is on the light side, you may want to try and clean your chimney yourself.

When there is a heavy creosote buildup, it’s best to call the professionals like those at Complete Chimneys. It’s also best to use the pros if you have a steep roof pitch or aren’t completely comfortable on the roof. There’s a reason why pros always wear safety harnesses.

Creosote expands when it burns. In mere minutes it can engulf a chimney and destroy a building with high heat temperatures. Your chimney should be inspected regularly–at least once a year–by a certified chimney sweep that is trained to locate areas of deterioration, creosote buildups, and venting issues. All of the following signs are indications that it’s time to have your chimney cleaned or inspected:

  • Moisture bubbling at the end of wet (green) logs as they burn.
  • Use your fireplace poker along your chimney liner. If you find a layer of buildup as thick as a nickel contact a chimney sweep.
  • If the buildup has become a hardened layer of buildup.

Visit CompleChimneys.com, leading chimney contractors in Baltimore, MD, to find out more about the comprehensive chimney services we offer. Call (410) 544-7600 for more information.

A Brief History of the Chimney Sweep

Although the chimney sweeper has been around for several centuries, it is still an important profession today.  It was in 16th century England that fireplaces and chimneys began to proliferate. Oftentimes fireplaces were installed in every room of the house to provide heat. In 17th century England coal began to replace wood, which meant there was a lot of soot in the chimney that had to be cleaned off. If the soot was not removed, the backed-up chimney polluted the home with toxic fumes.

In London during this time, Queen Victoria’s mandate was that all chimneys must be regularly cleaned. Orphan boys were often used as chimney sweeps because they could climb inside the narrow chimney flues and sweep off the soot. In 1864, the use of young boys as chimney sweeps was outlawed in England. Around the same time, new methods of chimney cleaning were used, such as an iron ball and rope system that worked its way in the chimney from top to bottom. Also, a set of canes and brushes were invented, which became the first variations of the modern tools used today.

Today’s chimney sweeps, like those at Complete Chimneys in Maryland abide by designated codes and learn the science involved in chimneys and fireplaces. The crew at Complete Chimneys—that provide the services for chimney repair in Maryland—consists of inspectors, construction teams, and repair experts that offer a comprehensive list of chimney services. Review the website at CompleteChimneys.com or call (410) 544-7600 for more information.

Signs Your Chimney Needs Repairing

Everyone loves to sit by the fire and relax, read, or just feel cozy and warm. A fireplace adds appeal to any room and provides a desirable amount of heat in your home during winter. However, if not maintained properly, fireplaces can become dangerous and hazardous.

It’s easy for a homeowner to take the structure of his or her chimney for granted. Climbing up on the roof is not always easy or safe. Following are some of the most easy-to-spot signs that your chimney needs a repair:

•White residue on the chimney is an indication that there is a moisture problem, which causes the mortar to deteriorate.
•If rust is anywhere on the fireplace damper or firebox, it’s a sign that there’s too much moisture in your chimney.
•Damaged mortar joints can cause the chimney to deteriorate, especially from moisture that freezes in the cold weather.
•A crack in your chimney enables rain to leak through. If it is not fixed the water eats away at the mortar and damages any wood in its way.
•Spalling is what happens when pieces of masonry are coming off of the brick, concrete, or stone on the chimney.
•If there are pieces of chimney tile inside the fireplace, shaling may be occuring, which indicates a damaged flue.
•Chimney crown damage can only be seen on the roof. The chimney crown protects the chimney from harsh weather, so if it is cracked, moisture can seep inside and cause considerable damage.

Complete Chimneys is a full-service company that works with customers throughout the Baltimore and Annapolis areas. Our chimney contractors in Maryland are licensed and insured. Visit CompleteChimneys.com for information on our services and contact us for an appointment.