Chimney Cleaning Time Already?

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How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Chimney?

Why Should I get my Chimney Cleaned?

The job of the chimney sweep is to remove soot, blockages and built-up creosote from your chimney liner, firebox, smoke chamber and damper. This cleaning will help create a safer operation of your system during the heating system. It take only a small accumulation of creosote glazing to create the potential for a chimney fire. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside your chimney or liner as a result of burning wood. The rate of accumulation can be higher if you practice poor burning practices or have a burning appliance or stove that is not working well. Different types of wood create different amounts of creosote when burned. Pine causes a rapid build-up of creosote and should be avoided as a regular source of wood. Creosote can also reduce the draw of the fireplace and reduce efficiency.

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To be sure that all of your systems are in working order and operating as they should, it is recommended that homeowners get an annual chimney inspection. Most homeowners opt to have a Chimney Cleaning done every year as well, especially if they use their fireplace on a regular basis. Other venting systems connected to furnaces and stoves should also be cleaned on a regular basis to maintain safer operation. Fireplace, stove, furnace and heating appliance systems are important to your home and families safety and not an area to neglect or cut corners on. Don’t risk the chance that an undiscovered defect could turn into an expensive repair or worse yet – a chimney fire.

If you only have minimal use of your fireplace or stove, an inspection is still advised annually to look at all heating venting systems, chimneys, stove systems and furnace flues. During these inspections any defects or issues that may be found that require action even if cleaning is not needed.

When you have a regular chimney sweep company that you use, they will generally put you on an annual inspection schedule. During these inspections they will advise you if it is time to sweep.

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If you haven’t had your chimney inspected in a year or more, if you are having any performance issues with your chimney, fireplace or heating system or if you have recently purchased the home you should schedule an inspection. Don’t wait – waiting almost always results in additional repairs, and unfortunately sometimes in property loss. Every year in the US homeowners lose over 200 million dollars as a result of continuing to use unsafe systems.

Another important time to get your venting systems inspected is when you have upgraded or changed heating systems or added a stove or insert. An inspection will make sure that your chimney, lining and venting systems are adequate and in working order to handle the new changes.

If you have not used your fireplace in a long time, pests may have built nests that could clog your flue or chimney chamber. Winter freeze cycles and moisture combine to take an annual toll on masonry and liner materials too. Over several years the deterioration will eventually require attention. Normal wear and tear that is left unchecked will affect the performance of your system. The longer the defects go without being addressed, the more expensive the repairs are likely to be. Bottom line is – staying on top of your systems is not only the smartest and safest choice, it ends up being the most cost-effective too.

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This depends a lot on how much you use your fireplace or stove. The National Fire Protection Association says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” So, even if you don’t use your chimney a whole lot – birds, squirrels, raccoons and other critters may have been using your chimney making it unsafe to use without clearing out the accumulated debris from nesting activity.

The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) says that fireplaces should be cleaned when 1/8″ of sooty buildup is evident inside the chimney and flue system. If any glaze is appearing in the flue, cleaning should be done even if there is less than 1/8″ of build up. Any time an appreciable accumulation of soot and creosote occurs it can be enough to fuel a chimney fire that may damage the chimney and even spread to the roof and home. Furnace flue systems also require cleaning, so don’t neglect regular cleaning of those venting systems.

Some heavy use fireplaces produce an incredible amount of soot and creosote during a cleaning. Recently we removed nearly 2 full 5 gallon buckets of material from one chimney! Removing this material is critical to continued safe use of the fireplace and reduced risk of chimney fires that start when this highly combustible material builds up to unsafe levels.

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Ideally, before the start of the burning season during the spring, summer or early fall is a great time to get your chimney inspection and / or chimney cleaning. Before you think about building a fire or starting up your furnace because the weather has changed, is the time to call your chimney sweep. Maybe you forgot the early cleaning before starting to use the fireplace, stove or furnace? Don’t wait until the fall, we can do your chimney cleaning or inspection any time of year.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

 

 

*Re-posted by: https://www.mychimney.com/blog/about/how-often-do-you-need-to-clean-your-chimney/

Prevent Chimney Damage

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Roof

The Roof of your home is the structure and materials that form the top of your home, and which protects your home from rain, snow, sun, etc.

Roof styles include angled (called ‘pitched’ roofs) or flat. And a roof can be made of materials such as: composite or asphalt shingles; slate shingles; wood shakes; tile; rubber rolled roofing materials; metal; thatching; and fabric.

In addition to the materials that cover the surface, your Roof also includes caulking and metal strips called ‘flashing’ that are used to keep things that penetrate your Roof (such as chimneys, sky lights, vent pipes, etc.) from leaking water into your home.

Your roof is exposed to the direct impacts of weather, and proper maintenance is required for it to do its job of shielding from the elements.

Routine Care Task

Inspect and clean roof and eaves

Priority

    

Proper roof maintenance will reduce the likelihood of leaks which can lead to inside water damage, and it also helps extend the useful life of the roof.

Timing:

May (yearly)

How To

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Inspect and repair roof shingles: Using a pair of binoculars, you can walk around and look for obvious problems from the ground. If necessary, climb a ladder and look for damaged or missing shingles. If the roof is slate, look for slate which is broken or with loose nails. If your roof has wooden shakes, look for missing sections or warping. Also inspect for water damage beneath shingles where ice damming may have occurred. Replace or repair any areas as necessary.

Inspect and repair roof flashing: Roof “flashing” are pieces of metal which cover areas where roofing meets objects on the roof, such as chimneys, vent pipes, dormers, other sections of roofing, around the edge of the roof, etc. Check flashing for damage, rusting, or separation. As required, sections should be replaced, re-painted, or re-sealed with caulking compound or roof cement. See your hardware professionals regarding re-painting procedures for your particular situation.

Clean build-up around eaves: Eaves are the areas under where your roof overhangs the outside walls. These areas tend to build-up with debris, insects and other nests, etc. A broom or water hose can be used to clear debris from the area around the eaves. Build-up under the eaves can lead to rotting of wood, and be breeding areas for insects and other pests.

Sweep roof clean: Remove debris from the roof, such as branches, leaves, pine needles, etc. This debris retains moisture and encourages decay, and their build-up can impede water run-off, which can promote water puddling that can lead to leaks. Be careful not to damage the shingles while sweeping, but try to remove foreign material from the space between the shakes or shingles.

Remove mold, mildew, or moss: Mold, mildew, and moss should be cleaned from roofs. Contact your hardware professional for the cleaning methods that applies to your specific situation.

Benefits

  • Avoiding Unscheduled Repairs
  • Maintaining Value
  • Appearance

The benefits of this task are relatively high. Doing this task can help prevent serious damage from water and pests, and will help extend the useful life of your roof.

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    The cost of this task is relatively high. You probably will want to hire a professional service to do this task. Or if you are having a service cleaning your gutters or getting a chimney inspection, you may be able to ask them to do the inspection while they are on your roof.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

*Re-posted by: https://home-wizard.com/roof/overview

Safety Checks for Fall

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Top 5 Tasks for September

If you only do five home care tasks in September, here are the ones that we recommend you do that will help you to save energy, maintain safety, and avoid problems this winter.

FURNACE AND WATER HEATER ANNUAL SERVICE

This task involves scheduling a trained service professional to do a thorough inspection, cleaning and adjustment of your furnace and water heater. There are two important reasons for having this done each year:

  1. Safety
  2. Helps maintain the energy efficiency of these appliances.

This is a task that is best left to a trained professional. However, here is a checklist of questions that you should be sure to ask your furnace service technician furnace questions checklist. We suggest that you do this task in September for two reasons, first because if a problem is found, you will have time to get it remedied before the heating season, secondly, your service provider will likely get very busy as the heating season approaches.

TESTING GFI OUTLETS dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud,  dryer vent installation St. Cloud,  dryer vent service St. Cloud,  fireplace brick repair St. Cloud,  fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud,  fireplace damper repair St. Cloud,  fireplace damper replacement St. Cloud, chimney masonry repairs St. Cloud, chimney repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud

Have you ever noticed that the outlets in your bathroom, kitchen and outdoors have little “test” buttons on them? These are special outlets called “ground fault interrupters” or “GFIs.” They are placed in locations where there can be water present, and their purpose is to automatically shut off if there is a potential for an electrical shock. So for example, if you are using a hair dryer and you are on a wet floor, then rather than shocking you, the GFI will trip off. The problem is that over time, the mechanism inside of the outlet can stop working. So it is very important to test each of these outlets to be sure that they are working properly. To test a GFI outlet, just plug a small electrical appliance into the outlet, and then press the “test” button on the outlet. The appliance should immediately shut off. If it does not, then this outlet should not be used until the GFI has been replaced (helpful accessory: GFI testers).

CHECK OUTSIDE DRYER VENT FLAP

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 At least once a year you should check your outside dryer vent to be sure that it is not clogged and stuck in the open position.  When your dryer operates it blows hot exhaust air out of your home through vent piping.  This hot air carries lint with it which can accumulate around the vent where the pipe exits your home.  This vent has a flap that opens when the hot air is blowing, and then closes when the dryer stops blowing the air.  But as lint builds up around the vent flap, it can cause the flap to get stuck open, allowing pests to enter your home, and increasing your energy costs by allowing air conditioned and/or heat to be lost from your home.

OUTSIDE LIGHTING INSPECTION

If any of your outside light fixtures have bulbs that have burned out, then September is a good month to replace them before the weather gets bad, and daylight hours start getting shorter. While you are checking your outside lighting fixtures for burnt out bulbs, you should also take the opportunity to: clear away any dirt and debris; check for any broken connections or fixtures; and clean the glass fixtures so that you get the most benefit from the light bulbs. One last tip is that you might want to consider replacing your bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

SMOKE DETECTOR INSPECTION

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To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242 online at https://sweepdreamschimneyservice.com/

 

Clothes Dryer Vent and Maintenance

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Clothes Dryer

All Clothes Dryers use electricity to rotate the drum that the clothes ride in and for operating the controls that allow you to set cycle times, the amount of drying to be done, etc. But an ‘electric’ Clothes Dryer is a model that uses electricity as the source of heat for drying the clothes as they are tumbling in the rotating drum.

If your Clothes Dryer has natural gas or propane piping connected to it, then it is a ‘gas’ Clothes Dryer. A gas Clothes Dryer burns natural gas or propane in a heating element, which produces the heat that dries the clothes as they are tumbling in the rotating drum.

All Clothes Dryers will have vent piping to the outside of your house, where hot air and lint from the drying process will leave the unit.

Some models of Clothes Dryers are stand-alone units, and some models are integrated with a Washing Machine. If your model has a Washing Machine unit with it, then you have BOTH Clothes Dryer (electric) and Washing Machine as your home features..

The heating element and tumbling action of a clothes dryer creates lint, which can build-up around your dryer and cause problems.

Routine Care Task

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Priority

    

Build-up of lint can cause several problems:

Safety: Lint is flammable, and can be touched off by the heating element in the dryer, or a spark from the motor, switch, etc.

Loss of Efficiency: A clogged vent pipe or stuck flap vent reduces the dryer’s capacity to dry clothes, requiring the unit to run longer, which uses more energy and shortens its service life.

Heat Loss: A flap vent that doesn’t close properly allows heat or cooling to escape from the house.

Pests: A flap vent that doesn’t close properly also leaves an opening for insects and other pests to potentially come through.

Extending useful life: An unbalanced dryer will cause its rotating components to wear out sooner.

Timing:

August (yearly)

Reminders for different tasks and timings in your recommended home care program for your Clothes Dryer.

Routine Care Task

How To

Annual dryer maintenance involves the following 5 tasks:

Clean lint build-up from vent system. Out of the back of your dryer you’ll find a pipe, usually 4-5 inches in diameter, which goes through the wall of your house to the outside. Outside there is a “flap vent” that swings open automatically from air pressure when the dryer is running, then closes when the dryer shuts off. The entire piping and flap vent should be inspected and cleaned of lint or any obstructions.

Seal any hose joints with duct tape. chimney cleaning cost St. Cloud, chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney installation St. Cloud, chimney masonry repairs St. Cloud, chimney mortar repair St. Cloud, chimney relining St. Cloud, chimney repair cost St. Cloud, chimney repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, chimney waterproofing St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud, clothes dryer vent installation St. Cloud

Clean behind and underneath dryer. Moisture, dirt, and lint tend to accumulate behind and underneath your dryer. Pull the dryer out from the wall and wipe these areas with a damp rag.

Scrub the lint trap. Chemical fabric softeners often clog the small holes in lint traps.

Remove the lint trap and scrub it with a soft bristle brush and mild soap or detergent.

Check the balance of your dryer. A dryer that is not level on the ground will cause its’ rotating components to wear out sooner. If the dryer moves, shakes, or is not level, adjust the feet at the bottom of the unit.

Clean and inspect burner (gas models). For dryers that heat with natural gas or propane, the burner should be cleaned and inspected according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Helpful Accessories

Benefits

  • Health & Safety
  • Avoiding Unscheduled Repairs
  • Maintaining Value
  • Energy Savings

The benefits of this task are very, very high. Doing this task can help you improve safety, save money on energy, prevent damage by pests, and extend the useful life of your dryer.

Costs

    The cost of this task is relatively low. It is estimated that this task should only take about 30-60 minutes to complete, and the task is relatively easy to do. However, if you have a model that uses natural gas or propane, then you will need to hire a professional to clean and inspect your burner. chimney cleaning cost St. Cloud, chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney installation St. Cloud, chimney masonry repairs St. Cloud, chimney mortar repair St. Cloud, chimney relining St. Cloud, chimney repair cost St. Cloud, chimney repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, chimney waterproofing St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud, clothes dryer vent installation St. Cloud

 

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

 

 

 

*Re-posted by: https://home-wizard.com/electric-clothes-dryer/overview and https://home-wizard.com/electric-clothes-dryer/care/clothes-dryer-annual-care

Waterproofing a Chimney Might Require Professionals

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Best Way to Waterproof a Chimney

Asking what’s the best way to waterproof a chimney or what are the best waterproofing products are both understandable enough questions, but they’re also too broad for a simple answer. Best way to waterproof what kind of chimney? Are we waterproofing a vertical wall or the breast of the brickwork? There are brick, concrete block, stucco and stone chimneys and there are different considerations for all of them – meaning you might use different products on different types of chimneys. Let’s peel this back like an onion.

Choosing the Right Waterproofing Product

Before getting started, please understand that the less a waterproofing product costs, the less likely it is to do you any good. One major brand costs fairly little but lasts a rather short amount of time because it breaks down in with UV exposure (sunlight.)

You want a product that uses poly siloxanes or silanes. Basically, that means that it doesn’t use solids to block up the pores of the masonry, rather it sets up an electrostatic charge that outside water can’t overcome. At the same time, if the masonry has trapped moisture in it the day you decide to waterproof (and it very well may) the head pressure of the water inside will be able to overcome the electrostatic charge and escape. In other words, water can’t get in, but it could get out if need be. The good stuff does cost more – not prohibitively more – but it is oh so, so worth it.

Sealing Brick Chimney dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud,  dryer vent installation St. Cloud,  dryer vent service St. Cloud,  fireplace brick repair St. Cloud,  fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud,  fireplace damper repair St. Cloud,  fireplace damper replacement St. Cloud, chimney masonry repairs St. Cloud, chimney repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud

Since about 99% of the people reading this have brick chimneys, let’s start there (I will address non-brick chimneys later). One of the central issues concerning waterproofing is the porosity of the material being waterproofed. This makes sense: you don’t have to waterproof steel or vinyl because water doesn’t penetrate them in the first place. While bricks are generally less porous than many other materials (like a cinder block) different types of bricks vary in porosity themselves.

This explanation is to set the stage for understanding that sometimes you have to waterproof a chimney more than once. You should know this too: though we don’t like to admit it, the fact is that sometimes professionals misjudge how much waterproofing a chimney needs and wind up coming back when they get a complaint. We sure don’t like that, nor do we like people being dissatisfied with our work, but where waterproofing is concerned, it seems to be a fact of life. Moral of that story is 1) ask your water proof service to go over it twice just for good measure (even if it costs a bit more) and 2) don’t be too tough on your guy if you have to call him back. I thank you on behalf of all the guys who ever get caught in that squeeze! And please look below for special information concerning re-applications.

A last item before moving onto specific information: If you have spalling brick, i.e. the faces of the brick are popping off, don’t bother to waterproof the chimney; it’s too late. Instead kick yourself for not having done it ten years ago and have the brick structure rebuilt. Then waterproof it so it doesn’t happen again.

Now for some specific information, still with bricks:

How is chimney waterproofing applied?

Waterproofing is applied with a sprayer. On the vertical walls, i.e. most of the chimney, waterproofing should be applied from bottom to top because as the waterproofing material comes out of the sprayer it runs down the chimney and gets absorbed into the chimney below the area being working on. It sort of amounts to doing it twice. Obviously, the top needs extra attention or it’d only get one pass. And as mentioned before, I’d do it twice. After you finish about 10 minutes’ worth, do it again just to make sure the whole structure gets a good soaking.

Special considerations should be given to breast walls, re-application, the crown, the flashing area and the mortar joints. The breast wall is where a chimney doesn’t go straight down to the ground, rather goes around something (almost always a fireplace.) They aren’t usually outright horizontal areas, a 30°-60° angle is pretty common. These areas should get different treatment.

Sealing the Chimney Breast

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One way to deal with a non-vertical surface is to waterproof it over and over and over. Another is to use a solvent-based material, still with polysiloxanes, because it soaks deeper into the substrate. For a chimney with a breast below, opt for the more expensive solvent-based waterproofing.

A special note about re-applications. If one needs to re-apply waterproofing after the water-based material has already dried, solvent-based waterproofing should be used. This is not common knowledge, even among the trade. Whether re-applying the next day or ten years later, use solvent-based waterproofing. Don’t be alarmed that if after reading this article you know more than the people you hire to do the job; most people don’t know all this. Just patiently insist on getting what you ask for.

Sealing a Chimney Crown

The chimney crown is an almost flat surface and it’s made of concrete or mortar. It shouldn’t be made of mortar, but there’s a good chance that it is anyway. Based on what you’ve just read about waterproofing the chimney breast, you’d reasonably think that you’d just use a solvent based waterproofing material there. But that is not so: a crown requires more than ordinary waterproofing.

The crown is rather porous. If you’re lucky the crown will be made of concrete and will have been worked in a way that makes the top quite smooth and non-porous. But on average, crowns are fairly porous and have more exposure to rain and snow than all of the rest of the chimney, and accordingly more problems (e.g. leaks) that the rest of the chimney as well.

There are coatings made specifically for crowns (the two major brands are Weather Tight and Saver Systems and both are generally available to the trade only.) Regardless of the brand being used, crown preparation is key. All the moss and dirt must be wire-brushed away. The crown should be wet down before the material is applied. Crown coatings applied to dry surfaces don’t develop the necessary bond you’re looking for. Large cracks should be caulked with high resin filler before the crown coat is applied.

A note on horizontal surfaces which are not chimney crowns, such as driveways etc. Siloxanes are not the best choice here because driveways are made of concrete. A similar material (silane) is appropriate in order to get proper bonding with the substrate. It’s not that chimney waterproofing material won’t work; it’s just that silanes will last longer in this instance.

The flashing area needs special attention. dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud,  dryer vent installation St. Cloud,  dryer vent service St. Cloud,  fireplace brick repair St. Cloud,  fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud,  fireplace damper repair St. Cloud,  fireplace damper replacement St. Cloud, chimney masonry repairs St. Cloud, chimney repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud

Traditional flashing, which 99.9% of all of us have, is not actually so great. I’m sure traditional in-the-mortar-joint-flashing was a huge improvement over whatever was before it a hundred years ago, but don’t imagine it keeps water out the way you wish it did.

There are terrific flashing products which, in my opinion, are sadly underused. Flash Seal and Flash Tight (once again, Saver Systems and Water Tight products) are high-resin coatings specifically for this purpose. To waterproof the flashing really well, ask for one of these products. Your sweep may or may not even know what you’re talking about, but don’t hold that against him. In this case you’ll be educating him. As I said, they are still under-appreciated products at this point.

Now for the big one: the mortar.

Since most leaking occurs at the joints, you want to be extra sure you soak them real well with the waterproofing. You should know that as a rule mortar joints are often not as well bonded as you might think they are, and there are actually small cracks in the mortar (usually not visible though.) The joints themselves have different properties on different chimneys depending upon whether mortar cement or Portland cement was used, not to mention the particle size of the sand used and the pH of the water that was mixed to make the mortar.

How long does chimney waterproofing last?

Before moving on, let me answer another FAQ. The question is how long does chimney waterproofing last? Answer is, as a general statement, probably about 20 years for most people. If you have the wind blowing sand at your chimney a lot, perhaps in the desert or by the sea, the brick surface can wear away, but most people don’t have that. There are guarantees, generally about 10 years. When those guarantees were instituted they were basically guesses from studies done in wind tunnels and freeze-thaw cycles. After a lot of years of observation, 20 years seems to be a generally good answer. Having it redone every 10-15 years is reasonable maintenance.

What is the difference between beading and repelling water?

A related subject: there’s a difference between “beading” and repelling water. Right after anything is waterproofed, there is a very satisfying effect called beading. This is where you see beads of water just sitting on the surface, kind of like seeing water sitting on oil. As neat as it is to see, at effect is temporary. I don’t know why, but the fact remains that waterproofing remains effective for many, many years beyond the beading effect is gone.

How to waterproof chimney cinder block

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Polysiloxane waterproofing material is still the superior technology, but for pores this big, you might do well to outright seal them. You can do that with stucco or by using a waterproof paint. Boat paint might be overkill, but it should work like a charm. There’s also a special hybrid product from Saver Systems that has some solids in it (Chimney Saver for Concrete Blocks).

Stucco chimneys are a bit trickier.

(Disclaimer: I know less about stucco than I do about bricks) Old stucco was made with gypsum and I can’t help you with what kind of waterproofing material, if any, should be used. Modern stucco for plastering a chimney however would be made with Portland cement. Porosity would be “not too bad” so you could use a waterproofing material on it, i.e. – it will bond to it.

That said, I’m not sure it’s necessary as I believe stucco is pretty good at keeping water away from the surface below. It’s applied almost an inch thick and it’s pretty good at drying out. I suppose there is the danger of several days of rain and the stucco getting saturated; again I don’t know enough about stucco to comment on how long it will hold how much water. My observation in life is that most stucco surfaces are not falling apart, yet it seems that freezing and thawing should destroy them. Sorry to be of so little help here.

How to waterproof stone chimneys

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To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

 

Re-posted by: https://www.highschimney.com/how-to-waterproof-a-chimney/

August Home Maintenance To DO’s

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If you only do five home care tasks in August, here are the ones that we recommend you do, that will help you to save energy, improve indoor air quality, keep things safe, and looking nice.

CLOTHES DRYER: Annual Cleaning & Maintenance

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One of the most important maintenance tasks that you can do for your home is to clean and inspect your dryer’s vent pipe. Lint build-up is one of the major causes of the over 15,000 dryer fires that occur annually, so you will want to be sure to do this task at least once per year.  You can read our tips for improving the energy efficiency and ensuring the safety of your dryer in our article here: Clothes Dryer Safety and Energy Tips

LAWN: Summer Fertilizer and Insect Control

August is a good month to apply summer fertilizer and to apply insect control if needed (helpful accessory: insect repellent/control). And to protect your lawn and personal and family safety, you can read our lawn mowing tips here: Lawn Mowing Tips for Healthy Lawns & Personal Safety

DRIVEWAY: Apply Sealant

If you have an asphalt driveway, you should check its condition to see if it needs sealant. Routinely sealing your driveway will help prevent very small problems from turning into bigger problems, which are more expensive to repair.

MATTRESSES: Rotate Mattresses

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FIREPLACE: Check Firewood Supplies

And finally, if you have a fireplace or woodstove, August is a good time to check your firewood supplies. First, you will want to check to be sure that your firewood is being properly stored away from your home, elevated off the ground, and covered on the top (but open on the sides).  And if you find that your supply of firewood has gotten low, then you should consider lining up additional supplies now, before prices rise as we get closer to the winter.

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To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build-out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

 

 

 

*Re-post by Home Wizard at: https://home-wizard.com/article/preventing-dryer-fires

Summer Chimney and Fireplace Maintenance

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Even though you do not use your chimney and fireplace in the summer, you should still take care of a few maintenance fireplace brick repair St. Cloud, fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud, furnace duct cleaning St. Cloud, mortar repair St. Cloud, dryer duct cleaning cost St. Cloud, chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney masonry repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning cost St. Cloud, dryer vent service St. Cloudtasks to be sure the system will be ready to use in the fall. Making sure your fireplace and chimney are kept clean during the summer is important for the system to work safely and efficiently. To help you maintain your chimney and fireplace during the summer, Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts would like to share a few tips with you that will ensure your fireplace will be ready to enjoy in the fall.

 

 

Schedule an appointment for your annual chimney sweeping and inspection.

The summer is the best time to have your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected. You will easily be able to schedule the visit on the date and time that is most convenient for you, and your fireplace will be ready to use in the fall. National fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend  having your chimney swept and inspected before lighting the first fire of the fall. Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts promises to remove all of the soot and creosote from your chimney and to find any damage that could make your chimney unsafe to use.

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Start by removing all of the ashes from the firebox. Be sure the ashes are completely cool before you begin. You can use either a vacuum or a shovel and bucket to get the ashes out of the firebox. After you have removed the ashes, you can clean the fireplace with an even mixture of cleaning solution and water. You need to be sure that the cleaning solution you use is not flammable because there is the potential of remnants of the solution to remain inside the fireplace and cause issues when you use the fireplace again in the fall. Don’t forget to clean the glass fireplace doors as well to remove any buildup of soot and creosote.

Make sure the damper is closed.

You want the air conditioned air to stay inside your house and not escape out through the chimney, so be sure the damper is completely closed. This will also help prevent any chimney draft issues causing unpleasant odors from the chimney entering your home.
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Have your gas fireplace serviced.

If you have a gas fireplace, summer is a great time to have it serviced to be sure there are no loose connections that could cause gas leaks. Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts can service and inspect your gas appliance to ensure it is working safely.

Take care of your chimney and fireplace this summer. To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

 

*Reposted by: Ace Chimney Sweeps at https://acechimneysweeps.com/chimney-fireplace-summer-maintenance-tips/.

Tuckpointing: Why is it Needed on Chimneys?

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Tuckpointing and Why is it Needed on Chimneys?

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If you have a fireplace or chimney, as you probably know, you have a beautiful design feature which increases the value and appeal of your home and provides opportunities for enjoyable moments by a cozy fire.  But did you know that all masonry chimneys need repair at some point?  The mortar joints become damaged due to harsh weather conditions, particularly excessive amounts of water.  Moisture can even damage rock masonry when water gets in due to weakened mortar joints.  “Tuckpointing” is a repair process which stops the destructive process and provides numerous benefits.
Is Tuckpointing Necessary?
While bricks on a chimney last about a century, mortar has a much shorter lifespan.  Depending on how exposed the masonry is to excess water and other harsh conditions, mortar lasts about 25 years.  It’s sometimes highly recommended that homeowners install a cricket, which is a compact diversion roof that prevents the chimney from being deluged in rainy weather.  The layout of the roof and the position of the chimney affect how much or little water drainage contributes to an erosion of the mortar joints.
When mortar joints become damaged, the most cost-effective action that a homeowner can take is to repair affected areas via tuckpointing.  The alternative is to allow the mortar joints to deteriorate to the point that the chimney collapses, which makes a complete rebuild necessary–of course, the cost of a rebuild is far greater than the cost for repairs.
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How is Tuckpointing Done?
The basic idea behind tuckpointing is that damaged mortar is removed, and it is replaced with fresh mortar.  Tuckpointing a red brick chimney involves the following basic steps:

• Grounding or routing out the old mortar at a uniform depth.

• Filling in red mortar in the newly routed grooves.

• Cutting thin strips down the middle of the red mortar, to form grooves.

• Filling in the grooves with a mortar color which matches the original mortar on the outside of the structure.

Benefits of Tuckpointing

The appearance & stability of the chimney is seemingly brand new after tuckpointing has been completed.

Tuckpointing is really a crucial procedure, to preserve the life of a chimney.  Some of the benefits of performing needed  tuckpointing on chimneys follow:
  • Corrosion of the mortar joints is stopped.
  • Structural stability of the chimney is restored.  Failing to repair mortar joints will result in a weak chimney structure which will eventually begin to lean or collapse.
  • Tuckpointing helps to prevent water from entering into the chimney system.  If the mortar joints are not repaired, water will seep down the chimney and sometimes between the chimney and the flue lining.  Moisture can do a serious amount of unseen damage, such as cause mold, mildew, and rotting wood.  Moisture can also cause the ceiling and wallpaper around the chimney to become stained.
  • Tuckpointing is far more cost-effective than a complete tear-down and rebuild.  The procedure allows you to avoid the expense of completely replacing the chimney structure.
  • Your chimney’s masonry materials are restored to their original condition.
  • The value of your home is improved when the masonry is in top condition.fireplace brick repair St. Cloud, fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud, furnace duct cleaning St. Cloud, mortar repair St. Cloud, dryer duct cleaning cost St. Cloud, chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney masonry repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning cost St. Cloud, dryer vent service St. Cloud
One of the best reasons to contact our chimney professionals is so that you can be confident about the advice you are given.  The chimney sweep profession is currently unregulated, which means that anyone can set up shop to perform the work, even if they have no experience or knowledge.  It also means that scammers work hard to dupe consumers into paying up front for repairs they say are necessary, and then the work is never done.  We will provide a reliable assessment and answer any and all of your questions about your chimney and venting systems and about tuckpointing and why it is or is not needed on your chimney.

 

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out.  Or have a dryer vent that needs cleaning & repair, duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

 

*Re-posted by: My Chimney at https://www.mychimney.com/blog/about/what-is-tuckpointing/

Wood Stove: What You Need to Know

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A Wood Stove is a closed metal box with a high-temperature clear ceramic window that burns wood logs to create heat.  A Wood Stove can be a free-standing unit, or it can be a ‘fireplace insert’ which sits inside of a traditional fireplace.

A Wood Stove is different than a wood-burning Fireplace, which may have glass doors, but is not a closed metal box.  And it is different than a Pellet Stove, which also has a closed metal box, but rather than burning full logs, a Pellet Stove burns special pieces of formed wood material called “pellets.”

Many homeowners who are concerned about rising oil, gas, and electricity prices have wood burning stoves to help reduce their heating costs, others like the aesthetic value of a wood stove.  A wood burning stove must be properly installed and maintained to ensure safe operation.

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Routine Care Task

Clean and inspect stove and stovepipe

Priority

Chimney fires can be very dangerous, and this task helps to prevent them.

Timing:

June (yearly)

How To Prevent

A professional chimney sweep will thoroughly clean your fireplace and chimney and will check for defects.  Or you can do the work yourself, if you have the proper brushes and vacuums and don’t mind the mess or hassle.

The tasks include:

Inspect for creosote deposits in the flue.  If greater than 1/8″ in thickness, then the chimney flue should be cleaned.

Check the firebox for damaged brick or mortar.dryer vent cleaning service Sauk Rapids, dryer vent service St. Cloud, fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud, furnace duct cleaning St. Cloud, chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning cost St. Cloud

Check the damper for operation and snug fit.  Also inspect for cracks, pitting or rusted-out sections.

Check the flue for broken or damaged bricks on the flue liner.  Cracking is a sign that there has been a flue fire and is a potentially serious problem.

Benefits

  • Health & Safety
  • Avoiding Unscheduled Repairs
  • Maintaining Value
  • Energy Savings

The benefits of this task are high, as it helps prevent dangerous and costly chimney fires.

 Costschimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning cost St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning service Sauk Rapids, dryer vent service St. Cloud, fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud, furnace duct cleaning St. Cloud

The cost of this task is moderate, and requires the scheduling of a qualified chimney sweep.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

 

Re-posted by: Home Wizard

 

Fireplaces: Homeowner’s Checklist

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Fireplace (wood-burning)

A wood-burning Fireplace is a traditional fireplace which may, or may not, have glass doors.

Chimney fires can occur when creosote builds up on the inside of the chimney flue.  Creosote is a black or brown residue which comes from the smoke of burning logs in the fireplace.  Creosote is highly flammable and, if allowed to build up, can catch fire and burn at temperatures approaching 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.  These temperatures can crack flue liners and allow heat to ignite nearby wood or other combustible materials.

A wood-burning Fireplace is different than a gas Fireplace, which uses either natural gas or propane as the fuel source, and whose ‘logs’ are fake.

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 Routine Care Task

Clean and inspect fireplace chimney

Priority

Chimney fires can be very dangerous.  This task will help prevent them.

How To Prevent

Typically a professional chimney sweep will thoroughly clean your fireplace and chimney and check for defects.  Or you can do the work yourself if you have the proper brushes and vacuums and don’t mind the mess or hassle.

The tasks include:

•Inspect for creosote deposits in the flue. If greater than 1/8″ in thickness, then the chimney flue should be cleaned.

•Check the firebox for damaged brick or mortar.

•Check the damper for operation and snug fit.  Also inspect for cracks, pitting or rusted-out sections.

•Check the flue for broken or damaged bricks on the flue liner.  Cracking is a sign that there has been a flue fire and is a potentially serious problem.dryer vent cleaning service Sauk Rapids, dryer vent service St. Cloud, fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud, furnace duct cleaning St. Cloud, chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning cost St. Cloud

Benefits

  • Health & Safety
  • Avoiding Unscheduled Repairs
  • Allergy Control

The benefits of this task are high, as it helps prevent dangerous and costly chimney fires.

Costs

The cost of this task is moderate, and requires the scheduling of a qualified chimney sweep.

To schedule a chimney inspection, cleaning, repair & build out, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242.

 

 

Re-posted by: Home Wizard