Chimney Care Company's Blog
Gas fireplaces, inserts and heating stoves are valued for their ease of use, but just like their wood-burning counterparts, they require regular maintenance and care, as well as occasional servicing. At The Chimney Care Co., we clean, inspect, repair and install all types of gas heating appliances!
Gas appliance maintenance
Like any heating appliance, your gas fireplace, insert or heating stove should be cleaned and inspected at least once per year. The Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) recommends that gas heating appliances be inspected annually by CSIA-certified chimney sweeps like our sweeps at The Chimney Care Company. According to the HPBA, the pilot light, burners, fan, vents and thermostat should be inspected to make sure that they are all operating properly. Our technicians also will clean all components of your fireplace to keep it working well and looking its best.
Gas appliance repair
There’s nothing more frustrating than flipping the switch of your gas fireplace or heating stove on the first chilly day of fall only to find it won’t light. When that happens to you, you can call The Chimney Care Co. Our technicians service all brands and models of gas heating appliances, and we can locate the source of your problem and have your gas fireplace or heating stove ready to provide you with a winter full of comfort. While failure to light might be the most common reason for calling for gas fireplace repair, you also should have your fireplace serviced if you notice soot stains around your gas appliance, a foul odor coming from your appliance or if the fire in your fireplace or stove doesn’t stay lit once you turn it on.
Gas appliance installation
Gas fireplaces and heating stoves are becoming the most common types of heating appliances, as they can be installed virtually anywhere within the home, can be turned on with the flip of a switch or the press of a button, require little maintenance and provide a clean and efficient source of heat. At The Chimney Care Co., we can replace your old gas heating appliance, fit your wood-burning fireplace with a gas insert and install a new gas fireplace or heating stove in your home. The Chimney Care Co. carries top-of-the-line gas appliances from Hearthstone, Avalon, Lopi and Fireplace Xtrordinair. Whether you are looking going for a classic looking fireplace or stove that mimics the look of a wood-burning appliance or for a clean, modern gas fireplace that will stun your home’s visitors, The Chimney Care Co. can help you find the make and model of gas appliance that fits with your vision for your home and that will provide the best heat source for your family.
If your existing gas fireplace, insert or stove needs routine cleaning and maintenance or isn’t operating properly, or if you are ready to install a new gas heating appliance in your home, call The Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today!
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to your home’s chimney, prevention begins with chimney inspections. A chimney inspection guarantees your chimney is free from leaks or weaknesses that can cause damage to the chimney structure and your home structure, or that can put your home at risk of a dangerous chimney fire. Chimney inspections are so important in keeping your chimney and your home safe from fire or damage that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that all chimneys are inspected annually.
Not all chimney inspections are the same. The CSIA breaks chimney inspections down into three levels. Your chimney’s unique situation will help determine which type of chimney inspection you need.
Level 1 inspection
A Level 1 inspection is a base-level chimney inspection. If you have a fireplace or heating stove that you have used for years, and you plan to continue to use it in the same manner, the CSIA recommends and annual Level 1 inspection. During a Level 1 inspection, a certified chimney sweep examines the easily accessible portions of your chimney on the inside and outside of your home, as well as the easily accessible portions of your heating appliance. If you have your chimney swept and inspected annually, a Level 1 inspection should be what your chimney sweep performs.
Level 2 inspection
A more detailed Level 2 inspection is recommended when a change is made to the chimney or the heating appliance. Some of those changes include chimney relining or changes in heating fuel types. Level 2 inspections also are recommended upon the sale of a property that includes a chimney, or when a chimney has been susceptible to structural damage, such as from an earthquake, severe storm or chimney or home fire. A Level 2 inspection should include a video scan of the chimney flue, all of the same checks as a Level 1 inspection and inspection of the portions of the chimney that can be accessed through attics, basements and crawl spaces.
Level 3 inspections
Level 3 inspections are performed when severe chimney damage that constitutes a hazard is suspected but can’t be observed with a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection. A Level 3 inspection involves all of the checks of Level 1 and Level 2 inspections, but the chimney technician will go further by removing parts of the chimney or building structure to better access and assess chimney damage.
If your chimney is overdue for an inspection, if you suspect your chimney is leaking or damaged, or if you are buying or selling a home with a chimney, call the Chimney Care Co. to schedule your inspection today! We can help you determine which level of inspection is appropriate, and we can help you prevent any further damage or dangers from unchecked problems in your chimney.
More than any other chimney repair, a leaky chimney should never be ignored. When leaking chimneys are neglected, they continue to allow water into the chimney system, or even into your home’s structure, causing major structural damage over time. A small chimney leak that is ignored now can mean a big home repair later.
If your home has a chimney, there are several signs of a chimney leak you should be on the lookout for:
Discoloration on your chimney’s masonry.
If your chimney is turning a funny color, that can be a sure sign that water is doing damage. White staining indicates that water is penetrating the chimney’s masonry, while black, blue or green stains can indicate mold or algae growth on your chimney’s masonry due to water penetration. Rust stains down the sides of your chimney can mean a rusting and failing chimney cap or chimney chase cover.
Water pooling in the bottom of your fireplace.
A puddle forming at the bottom of your fireplace is a clear indication that water is finding its way into your chimney’s interior.
Rusting firebox components
Rust in your fireplace means moisture is getting in somehow, likely by leaking in through your chimney. If you notice that your damper, fireplace doors or fireplace grate are rusting, your chimney should be inspected for a leak.
Cracked or spalling bricks
Masonry materials are highly porous, and the brick in your chimney will draw in moisture from rain, sleet and snow. When temperatures drop, that moisture freezes and causes the bricks to crack and crumble. If that breakdown is allowed to continue, it can lead to a larger and more problematic chimney leak, or to the structural breakdown of your chimney.
Sagging or discolored ceilings and walls
If you have water damage within your home and you think your roof might be leaking, check your chimney! Leaks around the base of the chimney can cause damage within your home, including staining on your ceiling or walls, peeling wallpaper or sagging ceilings. If left unchecked, the leak could cause wood rot and structural damage to your home’s supports.
If you notice these or any other signs of a water leak in your chimney, it is crucial to have your chimney inspected now! Any water damage will only get worse with time. Summer is the best time for chimney repairs, because the warm temperatures and sunny weather afford chimney experts the time to work and masonry materials the time to cure properly. And by scheduling your chimney repairs this summer, you can have your chimney ready to operate, and ready to resist wetter weather, before fall comes.
If your chimney is leaking, call the Chimney Care Company to schedule an appointment today! We can assess your leak and plan and execute the repairs needed to keep your home and chimney safe from further water damage.
At The Chimney Care Co., we are proud members of the Cincinnati community. For more than 25 years, we have been providing the best in chimney and fireplace care to Cincinnati, southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky. We offer a lineup of fireplace, chimney and vent services designed to keep your hearth and your home working safely and effectively.
Chimney and fireplace sweeping and inspection
To keep your home safe from dangers like chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, your fireplace, heating stove and chimney requires annual sweeping and inspection. At The Chimney Care Co., our technicians are trained and certified at clearing debris away from your chimney, servicing your fireplace or heating stove, and inspecting all of the components of your fireplace, stove and chimney. We are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Fireplace and chimney repair
At The Chimney Care Co., we can solve any of your fireplace or chimney problems! We can reline your chimney flue, repair cracked or crumbling bricks on your chimney, replace a damaged chimney cap or damper, shore up a leaking chimney and service the mechanical parts of your fireplace or heating stove. We also provide preventative chimney maintenance, like chimney waterproofing!
Sales and installation
If you are looking for a new fireplace, a fireplace insert or a heating stove, The Chimney Care Co. is the company to call in the Cincinnati area. We sell and install all types of fireplaces and stoves, including wood-burning, pellet and gas appliances. We carry a range of types and styles of fireplaces, fireplace inserts and heating stoves from the best brands in the business, such as Hearthstone, Lopi, Avalon and Fireplace Xtrordinair. We also sell and install gas logs.
Dryer vent cleaning and repair
The Chimney Care Co.’s services don’t stop at fireplaces and chimneys. We also clean and repair clothing dryer vents. Dirty or damaged dryer vents keep your dryer from running efficiently and pose a fire and carbon monoxide risk to your home. We use specialized brushes and powerful vacuums to clear away any debris, and we inspect dryer vents to ensure that they are free from obstructions and damage. If our cleaning and inspection turns up a problem with your dryer itself, we can order parts and repair your dryer so they entire dryer and ventilation system once again runs safely and effectively.
If you are looking for a company in southwestern Ohio or northern Kentucky to clean, inspect or repair your fireplace, heating stove, chimney or dryer vents, look no further than The Chimney Care Co. We are proud to serve our neighbors in the Cincinnati area. Call to schedule your appointment today!
Summer is peak real estate season, when eager sellers put their houses on the market, and anxious buyers hit the streets looking for their next homes. If you will be buying or selling a home with a chimney this summer, make sure a real estate chimney inspection is part of the process.
Real estate inspection for sellers
If you have a home with a chimney you are planning to sell, a real estate inspection can be an asset in marketing your home. Most buyers love fireplaces and list them as one of their top preferred features in a home. At the same time the chimney can be a source of anxiety for homebuyers. Potential buyers may worry that chimneys aren’t structurally sound, are overdue for a sweeping or require costly maintenance. When you have your chimney swept and inspected before you sell your house, your realtor can use the inspection and sweeping to assure buyers that the fireplace they admire doesn’t come with any hidden complications.
Real estate inspections for buyers
Real estate inspections protect buyers in several ways. First and foremost, they ensure that the fireplace and chimney are safe for use. A new homeowner should not use a fireplace and chimney without first have an inspection to protect against the risk of a chimney fire, home fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Secondly, real estate inspections protect a buyer’s investment in a new home. A new house is the largest investment most people will ever make. A real estate chimney inspection helps protect buyers from purchasing a home with a structurally unsound or otherwise damaged chimney, which could mean thousands of dollars in repair costs.
The real estate inspection difference
Most home sales include a home inspection, but that is not the same as a real estate chimney inspection! Home inspectors are not chimney experts, and while they may take a glance at the fireplace and chimney, they do not have the tools or the knowledge to prove that a chimney is sound and in good working order. At The Chimney Care Co., our real estate inspections include a video inspection of the chimney flue to reveal any cracks, evidence of past chimney fires or other deterioration that might jeopardize the safety of the chimney. We also inspect all chimney masonry, the firebox and the damper to make sure there are no other defects. When we’re finished, we provide you with the video, still photographs and written recommendations for any necessary repairs, so you have a full report to present to the sellers.
If you are buying or selling a home with a chimney this summer, call The Chimney Care Co. to schedule your real estate inspection today! As a seller, the inspection gives you a valuable marketing tool, and as a buyer, it protects your investment and leaves you confident in your decision to purchase a new home.