Chimney Spring Cleaning Tips

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As winter finally moves on along and spring arrives once again, it’s the season when many people start getting active.  One great active move you can make every spring is taking a few minutes to look over your chimney and fireplace.

Winters are hard on these structures, particularly if they’ve been used a lot in the cold season just ending, and especially if you’re using them to burn wood.  A chimney and fireplace inspection include some tasks virtually any homeowner can perform, as well as a few that are best left to the professionals.

320-252-6242

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 Here’s a checklist to follow

1. Chimney cap: Make sure it fits securely and has no draft obstructions from any kind of debris.

2. Chimney crown: Check for cracks, which can allow water to seep in and cause plenty of damage.

3. Chimney exterior: As with the crown, inspect the entire outside of the chimney structure for cracks and crumbling masonry/brick.  You can buy special sealant to cover very small cracks, but larger cracks could mean that the chimney is seriously compromised and needs professional repair.

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4. Chimney flashing: This is the material that seals the gap between the chimney and the roof.  Look for damage and faulty seals that can let in water.

5. Flue: You won’t be able to adequately inspect the inside of your chimney, so call in a certified chimney sweep.  This person will use specialized equipment to determine the level of creosote buildup and any structural damage that might be present.  The technician also can clean your chimney.

6. Damper: Make sure the damper opens completely and closes completely.  Over time, these units begin to wear and need replacing.

7. Firebox: Your firebox should be free of cracks and rust.  Either of these signs could point to a serious problem for which you should consult a professional.

Is your chimney leaking?

The problem with leaks in a chimney is that homeowners often don’t catch them before costly damage has occurred.  Here are some signs of leaking.  If you see any of them, address them right away or call someone who can.

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• White patchy areas on bricks

• Any kind of foliage/growth sprouting in mortar cracks

• Dust, small chunks or any other sign of brick and mortar deterioration

• Rusty areas

• Discoloration of a brick or a section of bricks

• A musty, damp smell

• Water in the firebox

 Spring is a good time to get this inspection taken care of, especially when looking for leaks.  Upcoming rainy weather and storms will only make the problem worse, so don’t delay in scheduling repair work.

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.

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*Re-posted by: https://www.mychimney.com/blog/spring-cleaning-checklist-chimney/

Dryer Vent Cleaning Tips

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Dryer lint is the most combustible material in your home, making regular and thorough cleaning of the dryer vent and ducting system critical. Lint buildup occurs in many different areas of the dryer itself and the venting system. This buildup results in the unit having to work harder and longer to appropriately perform its function, decreasing energy efficiency and increasing the risk of fire. In addition to lint, some dryer vents (especially those that are damaged or uncovered) allow opportunities for animal entry, and with that the potential for nesting debris, increasing the fire hazard.

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Recommended Frequency 

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The more often you use your dryer, the more often the vent line should be cleaned. However, the method of venting also plays a role. If the dryer vent line is relatively long or has multiple or sharp turns – a setup more inviting to clogging – it should be cleaned more frequently. Most experts agree that having the dryer venting system cleaned every 500 loads or so should suffice, but you should have your dryer vent professionally inspected at minimum once a year. Additionally, you should clean out your dryer’s lint trap after every load of laundry. ​

The Process 

There are many ways residential clothes dryers are vented, which plays a role in the method of cleaning utilized. Sometimes the dryer venting is only a few feet long and a straight shot from the unit to the outside vent, resulting in a relatively simple job. Some systems can be very long and have several twists and turns, making the cleaning process more labor-intensive. A dryer line that vents above the first floor or onto the roof elevates the level of risk and difficulty and must then be performed by one our rooftop specialists.

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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. 

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*Re-posted by https://www.twincitiesfurnacecleaning.com/dryer-vent-cleaning.html

Schedule Spring Chimney Cleaning

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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 takes 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 loses 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, but it also 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 the 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

A Better Sealing Clothes Dryer Vent

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Have you ever noticed your clothes dryer feeling cold in the winter and warm in the summer? If so, your dryer’s vent pipe is likely not sealing properly, and you are wasting energy as outside air leaks into your home. To prevent this, you should consider installing a new style of dryer vent chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney repair cost St. Cloud, fireplace damper replacement St. Cloud, chimney cap repair St. Cloud, chimney design St. Cloud, fireplace cleaning St. Cloud, fireplace damper repair St. Cloud, local chimney sweeps St. Cloud, chimney cleaning cost St. Cloud, mortar repair St. Cloud, chimney mortar repair St. Cloud, fireplace brick repair St. Cloud, dryer duct cleaning cost St. Cloud, clothes dryer vent installation St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloudclosure.

One that we particularly like is the heartland 21000 Dryer Vent Closure. The Heartland 21000 is a good buy for under $38. Installing this type of tight-sealing dryer vent can save you up to 1% on your home’s energy bill or about $14 annually. So this is an investment that can pay for itself in under 3 years.

This easy-to-install vent lets your dryer’s hot air exhaust escape when the dryer is operating and uses gravity to seal it tight to keep outside air from leaking into your home when the dryer is not operating. The way this vent closure works is that inside the cylinder part, there is a plastic cup-like apparatus that rises when hot air is flowing out of your dryer. And then when the flow of hot air stops, the cup floats back creating a nice seal which prevents outside air infiltration. And further, it tightly blocks the path for insects or pests which might try to crawl in.

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The Heartland 21000 dryer vent closure is simple and effective, but it does require some maintenance from time to time. You will need to remove the vent lid periodically to clean out any lint built-up, especially as it may affect the free movement of the floating cup.

To schedule a dryer vent cleaning, repair or duct cleaning or repair, contact us today at (320) 252-6242.

Clothes Dryer Safety and Energy Tips

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Did you know that dryers are the second highest energy-consuming appliance in most homes? And lint build-up is one of the major causes of the over 15,000 dryer fires that occur each year.

This article gives you tips for keeping your dryer safe and for saving energy too.

Why Is Dryer Care So Important?

Washing and drying clothes is not typically a task that most people enjoy. It never ends, and if you have a large family, your washer and dryer are dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud, dryer vent service St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning cost St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning service Sauk Rapids, Chimney Installation St. Cloud, Class A Chimney Installation St. Cloud, Dryer Vent Installation St. Cloud, Dryer Vent Installation Cleaning St. Cloud, Furnace Duct Cleaning St. Cloud, Chimney Masonry Repairs St. Cloud, Chimney Relining St. Cloud, Chimney Repairs St. Cloud, Chimney Sweeping St. Cloud, Chimney Video Inspection St. Cloud Chimney Waterproofing St. Cloudlikely running constantly. And a dryer takes a lot of energy to operate. The annual cost for operating a clothes dryer is about $85 a year and can go up to $170 a year depending on the frequency of its usage. In most homes, the only household appliance consuming more energy is the refrigerator. Further, your dryer is an expensive item to replace, and as we mentioned above, the risk of a dryer fire is all too real.

The good news is that there are things that you can do to keep your dryer operating safely, reduce energy consumption and extend its useful life. So read on.

Safety Tips

You may have heard the truly scary stories of clothes dryer catching fire because of lint accumulation. Here are some things you should do for the safety of your dryer.

  • The first is to clean your dryer’s lint filter trap after each load. In addition to helping keep your dryer safe, it also helps keep it performing efficiently.
  • clean your vent pipe of lint Also check your vent pipe. It is recommended that you use the straightest and shortest duct available. Flexible ducts can be a potential safety concern as they can be crushed or restrict the airflow, and may not be able to withstand high temperatures from the dryer.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the same room as the clothes dryer, near the door where you can access easily in an emergency (see costs and reviews of fire extinguishers).
  • If you are not confident of how to properly clean your dryer, check your vent pipe, etc., Then do not hesitate to call in a professional to give your clothes dryer a thorough cleaning and inspection.

 

Energy Savings Tips

Unlike most appliances, clothes dryers do not display “Energy Guide” labels. This is because dryers don’t vary much from model to model regarding the amount of energy used. But there are a number of things you can do to save energy when using your clothes dryer:

  • Reducing the frequency of use of the dryer is a sure way of reducing the energy used by your dryer. For larger families who run their dryer nearly every day, consolidating loads to reduce usage to three times per week can save them approximately $84 per year.
  • If you are looking to buy a new dryer, then it is recommended to buy one with a moisture sensor. This allows the dryer to automatically stop when the clothes are dry and thus saving energy since it prevents “over-drying” your clothes.
  • Use the retained heat of the dryer to do consecutive loads.
  • Use a dryer vent closure where the vent pipe exits your house, which will save you on your heating and cooling bills.
  • And of course, the biggest energy-saving step is to not use your dryer, and instead use an old-fashioned clothesline. This can save you around $100 on your annual energy bills.

 

Extending Your Dryer’s Useful Life

A clothes dryer is an expensive appliance, and so you should consider ways to extend its useful life. Here are some tips for you:

  • Sort the clothes according to their thickness. This way the dryer will dry it in a shorter time, dry more evenly, and will also leave fewer wrinkles.
  • Clean the lint filter trap after every load, so that the dryer can be operated optimally (in addition to helping maintain its safe operation, as mentioned above).
  • On the days when it is warm outside, dry your clothes on a clothesline. This will give your dryer a much-needed rest and extend its life.

To schedule a dryer vent cleaning, repair or duct cleaning or repair, contact us today at (320) 252-6242.