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

 

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.