Our Company Blog
Replacing your old stove or fireplace has a variety of benefits, including being more environmentally friendly, keeping your family safe, and—best of all– saving money! Older wood stoves and fireplaces are not up to EPA standards, however; the majority on the market today is. You can tell if your stove is EPA certified because it will be labeled on the back. You can also check the EPA’s list of certified wood heaters. Stoves that are not already certified are not able to get certification; if your stove is not already certified, you must buy one that is.
Better Air Flow
Wood smoke is essentially wasted energy. EPA rated products have better insulation and improved air flow. With a properly installed EPA rated fireplace, you will see and smell much less smoke; which means less harmful chemicals in the environment. Because they are more efficient, there will be less creosote buildup in the chimney, lessening the risk of a fire and keeping your family and home safer.
There is also money to be saved when you make the switch. The higher efficiency means that you will spend less time and money replenishing and hauling fire wood. Making the switch means you will use up to one-third less fire wood. In addition, your purchase may qualify for a Federal Tax Credit for Consumer Energy Efficiency. Ten percent of your stove, up to five hundred dollars, may be covered. Make sure that you save all system receipts and manufacturer certifications, in case the IRS asks for proof of your energy improvements. Then, make sure to file IRS form 5695 with the rest of your tax forms.
There are some stipulations on switching your older fireplace. You cannot sell the old fireplace because if someone else is using it, it will not help the environment, which is, of course, the EPA’s main goal. The EPA recommends that the old stove be put out of commission. The new stove must also be installed by a professional. If a certified technician installs it, you can get a rebate and be assured that it will perform properly. Stoves installed by non-professionals can be deceptively dangerous. Problems with the installation may not be initially apparent—and may result in fires. Used, non-certified stoves can either be scraped or traded in with the purchase of the new one.
Deciding on which new stove or fireplace to buy may be difficult. You have the choice of wood, pellet, or gas burning and stoves, inserts, or fireplaces. It depends on your preference, needs, and budget. There’s not a one size fits all solution. Fortunately, you can make an appointment at Chimney Care Co. and we can walk you through the wide array of options. We sell and install stoves and fireplaces, so you can count on us during the entire process. Later on, you can also call us for maintenance and repairs. We do it all! Your wallet, your family, and the environment will thank you.
As your well-built masonry chimney ages, your exterior bricks and mortar are going to naturally suffer weather-related damage. Not only do older chimneys experience deterioration, newer masonry chimneys can also show signs of damage if they are not properly maintained. Unfortunately, the decaying of chimney masonry is a slow, gradual process and not always easy to spot. The biggest signs of masonry decay include cracks, holes, and crumbled bricks and mortar. All of these signs are symptoms of spalling, a term we at Chimney Care Company often have to explain to customers. We would like to take an opportunity to inform you about the causes, impact, and repair of chimney spalling damage.
What exactly is the definition of spalling?
As described by InspectAPedia, an online encyclopedia of building inspection and repair, spalling is the chipping off or loss of surface of any masonry material, including a brick chimney, a masonry block chimney, or even concrete sidewalks.
What causes spalling?
Water exposure and penetration are your masonry chimney’s biggest enemies. Most severe in colder climates, the freeze-thaw process causes major spalling damage. When water penetrates the bricks and mortar of your chimney, that water will freeze in cold temperatures and expand. As the temperatures rise and the ice thaws, parts of those bricks and mortar will break off completely due to the stress of the expansion. The more this cycle repeats in a season, the more spalling occurs, which can cause structural damage to your chimney. Other causes of spalling include masonry products that are soft, porous, improperly made, or poorly constructed.
Other than structural damage, are there other impacts of chimney spalling?
Yes, besides structural damage to your chimney, spalling can cause bricks to fall into your chimney and make it unsafe by blocking the flue. Your flue should always be inspected when your chimney suffers from spalling damage. Furthermore, holes left in your chimney structure from lost bricks and mortar increase the opportunity for water penetration, which leads to more costly damages.
How can spalling be repaired?
If the damage is not too serious, the expert masons at Chimney Care Company can fill in the holes, brick by brick. However, if your chimney has undergone severe spalling damage, it will need to be torn down to a sound level and rebuilt. When a flue has also suffered damage, rebuilding the chimney allows for new flue tiles to be installed.
What are ways to prevent spalling?
Keeping water out is crucial in preventing spalling damage. To stop water leaks, you should be sure you do not have a damaged or missing chimney crown or chimney cap. Damaged flashing also leads to water penetration of your masonry chimney. Our certified technicians at Chimney Care Company can inspect, repair, and install all three of these essential components of your chimney. We can also apply a 100% vapor-permeable waterproofing formula to further protect your masonry from water-caused spalling damage.
If you have noticed signs of spalling on your chimney, contact Chimney Care Company today. Our masons will take care of your chimney and give their full attention to every detail.