AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Follow along as we repaint a 3 sided fireplace for a customer.
Follow along as we repaint a 3 sided fireplace for a customer.
If you are planning on buying a fireplace, consider these, 7 questions to help you determine some of the features you might like.
For this job, we’ll be installing a ” direct vent ” gas fireplace.
Regency , offers beautiful and innovative options for outdoor fireplaces!
This video highlights the sleek and stylish contemporary gas fireplace models offered by . . . . Regency Fire.
A video highlighting some of the beautiful traditional style fireplace designs offered by . . . Regency.
<——–This one cracked the chimney right up the middle .
Creosote in the chimney flue makes having a chimney fire of any kind more likely.
<——- Look down this chimney flue , and it stinks
Excessive buildup of stage 1 creosote makes for plenty of fuel for a slow burning chimney fire to occur up in the top portion of the chimney. When glazed creosote occurs, there is a good chance that a chimney fire has also occurred. When chimney fires occur, the flue tiles often crack vertically due to the rapid temperature change in the flue system. The stage 3 creosote drips down covering such damage and hardening, hiding a potentially dangerous situation. Creosote has the tendency to build up at various parts in the chimney itself, specifically the in the smoke chamber and near the damper.
There are AntiCreo-Soot chemicals on the market that work to reduce the smell and volume of creosote in the chimney, but these often take many applications in order to eliminate the smell entirely.
Check out these two “Ask the Chimney Sweep” videos and other blog posts from Ask the Chimney Sweep.
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The United States as a whole has, as of late, pushed for increased awareness of reducing our dependence on non-renewable resources such as coal and natural gas and turning to “green” options.
An affordable option that many folks have been turning to in response to this cry to make our country more sustainable is burning woodOne concern is that wood, when not properly combusted, can contribute to particulate matter in the air which is considered a pollutant.
A very hot fire that burns the wood completely reduces the risk of particulate matter entering into the air as a by-product of burning wood.
This being said, the worry concerning particulate matter is a small price to pay considering the amount of carbon dioxide produced when gas or coal is burned.aspect of burning wood that people like is its affordability. Turning the furnace down and instead burning wood for at least part of the time during the winter will save you money and make your household a more sustainable household.
Wood is renewable. Although removing trees at a greater rate than they are replanted has been a concern in the past, there are forests planted specifically for harvesting as lumber or firewood.
Coal and natural gas are non-renewable and will eventually run out, increasing in price as the supply diminishes.Another reason to use wood to heat your home is that not only is it renewable, but supporting the firewood industry causes more
This makes burning wood a neutral process in terms of carbon dioxide
As opposed to burning coal which releases not only carbon dioxide but other pollutants and greenhouse gases in addition.
Coal is largely made of carbon and burning it, like burning natural gas, is taking carbon dioxide that was buried deep in the earth for millions of years and causing it to contaminate the atmosphere.
. . . .”The same amount of Carbon Dioxide is released when the wood is burned, as would happen if the tree were … left in the forest to decompose”.
With grates coming in different materials, different sizes, and different levels of durability there are a few things to consider.
<——————————- (*Best )
This is a very sturdy one piece deep gate
First, when choosing between grates made from stainless steel and grates made of cast iron, you need to consider what type of use your fireplace experiences.
If you are the very occasional burner and are lighting up fires for the holidays and other occasions throughout the winter, a lighter stainless steel grate should fit the bill. If you have a fire burning most or all of the time then a cast iron grate would be more appropriate for your needs. Cast iron grates are usually more heavy than stainless steel grates and therefore will not burn out as quickly.
Grates come in one piece, meaning that you will not have to worry about accidentally knocking the grate over when shifting or adding firewood. Grates that are “not one piece” units could be a fire hazard. Similarly, grates that are shapedsuch that the wood sits extremely close to the fire, nearly touching the embers, is a great choice especially for folks who just want to let their fire sit and burn because there is a decreased likelihood of logs falling out of the fireplace as they shift as the fire is burning. (*Better)
<— Expensive or (cheap) grates burn out much quicker ! <———- (*Good )
After measurements are taken, select a grate that leaves approximately two or four inches between the edge of the grate and the walls of the firebox. You will want to leave additional room if your fireplace has glass doors closing off the front of it.
If you do choose to install a grate, you should consider also purchasing a spark screen. Such a screen is made of a fireproof material and arrests the sparks that fly out from the fire. Since the actual fire will be sitting up those added inches due to the grate, the sparks have a greater chance of exiting the firebox and reaching nearby combustibles such as rugs or furniture. Remember when purchasing your grate, however, that the grates that weight more are going to last longer than lighter grates in general.
Masonry fireboxes, meaning that the fireplace is not a prefabricated or metal chimney, can deteriorate over time. Repairing your firebox is a job that is generally doable by the average homeowner, but professional consultation is always advised.
Older masonry fireboxes were often constructed with regular old Portland cement. This cement “is not” specially formulated to withstand the heating and cooling process that the firebox undergoes with every lit fire. As the firebox heats up, the cement stays pretty solid, but over time the cement will deteriorate such that only fire clay and sand remain in the joints. These loose joints will fall out easily and have occurred if your chimney professional states that you have ‘open or loose mortar joints’ in your masonry firebox.
Different localities have different regulations on exactly how the joints between firebricks in the firebox should be tuck-pointed. NFPA 2:11 has recently stated that refractory mortar is what is appropriate for filling the mortar joints between firebricks.
Local building codes have slowly started to adopt this specification as well. Portland cement, even with fire clay, is not appropriate due to the face that no matter what it is mixed with the Portland cement will deteriorate over time, leaving you with open mortar joints that become a fire hazard. joints in the firebox should never exceed a fourth of an inch. Larger mortar joints are prone to coming loose and falling out. The products of combustion from the fire in your fireplace are extremely hot and will seep through any cracks in the firebox. This leads to the possibility of combustibles in the frame of your chimney catching fire.
There is premixed refractory mortar and hydraulic refractory mortar. Premixed refractory mortar dries as opposed to hydraulic refractory mortar, which cures. Hydraulic refractory mortar has been approved for outdoor fireplaces and premixed refractory mortar has not. Similarly, only use the hydraulic refractory mortar when setting clay flue tiles. This is due to the fact that premixed mortar will dissolve with water and the acidic fumes that are the products of combustion. If you have questions as to which kind of mortar a particular refractory mortar is, consult the manufacturer or a professional because using the right type of mortar is key to making a lasting repair or strong first construction.
Protecting Your Firebox
Any missing mortar joints, whether in the firebox or elsewhere in the chimney, are dangerous and not according to code.
You can protect the back wall of your firebox as well as increase the efficiency of your by investing in a cast iron or stainless steel fireback. These firebacks cover nearly the entire back wall of the firebox and will deflect the heat from damaging the back wall and radiate it out into the room. Stainless Steel firebacks are less expensive than Cast Iron firebacks , so I would encourage you to look into both kinds before making a final purchase. What the stainless steel fireback lacks with its lower price is the intricate designs present in cast iron firebacks.