Spring Safety Checks Your Home

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Top 5 Home Maintenance Tasks for Spring

 

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

FURNACE, FIREPLACE 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. It helps maintain the energy efficiency of these appliances.

This is a task that is best left to a trained professional.  We suggest that you do this task in spring 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.

For Fireplace and Chimney Inspections contact us today at 320-252-6242.

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Hassle-Free Estimates, 320-252-6242.

TESTING GFI OUTLETS

 

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 hairdryer 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 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. Cloudplug 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

 

 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, chimney inspection St. Cloud, chimney mortar repair St. Cloud, chimney repairs St. Cloud, chimney sweeping St. Cloud, cleaning dryer vent duct St. Cloud, dryer duct cleaning cost St. Cloud, dryer exhaust cleaning St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning cost St. Cloud, dryer vent cleaning service Sauk Rapids, dryer vent installation St. Cloudallowing 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 April/May is a good month to replace them.  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 & buildout, or dryer vent cleaning & repair and duct cleaning & repair, contact Sweep Dreams Chimney & Ducts today at (320) 252-6242. 

 

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.

320-252-6242

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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