Chimney Cap Cleaning

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Chimney Cap Cleaning
This chimney cap needs to be cleaned because the creosote is preventing the fireplace from venting which could cause harmful gases to back up into the home. This is often the result of a chimney fire.

Each year before you begin to burn your fireplace, it is prudent to inspect your chimney cap. After a year, animals may have gotten debris stuck in the wire mesh that keeps animals out of the chimney in the first place or creosote may have clogged it up in extreme cases. You want to inspect it or have a professional inspect it because a clogged chimney cap will cause the chimney’s draft to drastically decrease. To inspect the chimney cap you will need to get up to the top of the chimney. A safe ladder set up is necessary, and it is wise to have a buddy hold the ladder for you just in case. If you do not feel safe climbing up to the top of your chimney to inspect the cap, do not have the proper tools to reach the cap, or are just generally unable to, your chimney professional who comes out to sweep your chimney will be able to inspect it for you.

You should clean your cap, especially after a long winter of frequent burning. Generally speaking you will save money by performing this service by yourself. It is not difficult; the most difficult part is safely accessing the chimney top. After you’ve reached the top of the chimney, use an appropriately sized wrench to unscrew the screws holding the cap to the top of the chimney. If you have a stainless steel cap,  detergent and water is the first

Stainless Steel Cap
If you do not have a cap on your chimney, it is very important to get one installed. This cap actually seals off the chimney at the top when the fireplace isn’t in use.

method of cleaning you should try. You can use a stiff bristle brush to try and scrub away any creosote buildup on the cap. Vinegar is another great cleaner that may come in handy if the detergent doesn’t work; while working on the ground soak a cloth in a vinegar and water mixture and let it sit on the cap so the vinegar can break down the creosote.

Some folks who actually do go through with the cleaning of their cap do so because they have a copper chimney cap which will turn greenish over time without proper maintenance. These caps are more expensive but really do look great on the home. To clean a copper chimney cap you can either pour vinegar on the cap and dump salt on it, rubbing the salt with a dry rag and rinsing dry with water or you can make a paste from salt, white vinegar, and flour. This paste should not run but be viscous enough to spread onto the cap. It will need to sit for about an hour on the cap, rinse with water and towel dry to prevent water marks from forming.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Types of Chimney Brushes

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

When you call a chimney sweep out to your home for your yearly cleaning you may be interested to know about what equipment he may use. Here in Cincinnati at American Chimney Company, we utilize a few main different kinds of brushes. Depending on what type of flue you have will tell us what type of brush material to use. There are two main kinds of material that chimney brushes can be made out

Sweep Tools
Copperfield Chimney Supply  . . . This chimney sweeping brush is a poly brush and is used primarily for sweeping stainless steel pipe.

 

of, metal bristles or a plastic material known in the sweeping world as polypropylene.

If you have a traditional masonry chimney that has a clay flue tile liner, the metal bristle brush is the ideal type to clean. The heavier bristles are appropriate for cleaning this type of chimney because they will not damage the flue tiles and are most efficient at removing creosote and debris that tends to build up in masonry chimneys more than a chimney lined with a stainless steel liner. There are heavier duty wire brushes made specifically for glazed creosote or stubborn creosote buildup but these are used sparingly. These are known as flat wire brushes.

A chimney lined with a stainless steel liner, so long as that stainless steel liner pipe is insulated, generally has less creosote buildup.

The insulation around the liner actually helps to keep the pipe warm making it a less conducive environment for creosote to build up. For a stainless steel chimney liner, we utilize the polypropylene brushes. These brushes are more gentle and will not damage the liner but are still effective at removing creosote.

The shape of the brush your service man uses may vary. We use mostly square brushes. These clean most any size and shape of flue efficiently and are generally capable of getting into the corners and crannies that some flues present. The way I train my servicemen is to pick a brush based on the size and shape of the flue they are out to clean. If you have a 6″ round stainless steel flue pipe, my service man will select a brush between 6″ and 7″ in diameter made from polypropylene.

Chimney Sweeping Tools
For heavily glazed creosote, we utilize glaze removal chains which can aid in removing stubborn creosote.

Some do-it-yourselfers may use a plastic or similar material rod for their brushes, but we use only high quality fiberglass rods for brushes. These rods are flexible enough to reach up in awkward chimneys but durable. After a chimney sweep we run a video inspection of the entire flue system. A video inspection entails the service man running a camera on a rod up into the chimney flue to check the now-clean flue tiles for missing mortar joints or cracked flue tiles. This provides the homeowner with picture documentation should we deem the damage in the flue as having been caused by a chimney fire; they will be able to submit a more thoroughly documented insurance claim.

Check out this “Ask The Chimney Sweep” video

Chimney Fires … stove Installation

https://youtu.be/c4UmhJV_OBA

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Flue Repair

HeatShield Chimney Liner Repair in Cincinnati

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Flue Repair
This is the actual HeatShield repair of a damaged flue system.

Here in Cincinnati, when a chimney liner is in need of repair HeatShield can sometimes be installed to resurface the chimney liner without having to install a stainless steel chimney liner which is more expensive. If there are missing mortar joints in the chimney, the HeatShield® Joint Repair System can be an option for repair. You of course must have a professional evaluate the integrity of the chimney to see if a HeatShield® repair is appropriate for your chimney.

Missing mortar joints are extremely dangerous and can cause chimney fires. It is not up to code to burn a fire in a fireplace with missing mortar joints. If there are loose or open mortar joints the extreme heat from fires int he fireplace can reach combustibles and cause a chimney fire to occur. It is very difficult to diagnose whether or not you have missing mortar joints if your chimney professional does not run a video inspection of the flue system. The video inspection will be able to spot missing mortar joints that a professional may miss by doing a visual inspection alone after cleaning.

Another use of the HeatShield® System is to resurface the entire flue system. Here at American Chimney and Masonry in Cincinnati,

Video Scan Chimneys

if we are going to utilize the HeatShield® System we will resurface the entire flue system, not just the missing mortar joints. If there are widespread cracks in your flue system, multiple mortar joints are missing, or flue tiles are spalling, your chimney professional may deem HeatShield® resurfacing an appropriate repair.

The HeatShield® System works by attaching a custom-sized foam applicator is positioned at the bottom of the chimney so that it can be pulled up from the bottom to the top. A tie coat is the first coat to be applied to the flue system. It cleans any remaining dust or other debris and prepares the chimney surface for the HeatShield®. After this primer is applied, HeatShield® Cerfractory® Flue Sealant is squeegied up the flue system as well. The foam insert smooths the material up through the flue system easily using the “slip cast” system. After the material has had a chance to dry another video inspection is run to ensure that the repair is complete and that there are no holes. The repair must be smoke tight.

Remember that not all chimney liner repairs are the same, and for very severe flue system damage often times a stainless steel liner is the more appropriate option. Chimney repair is not anything to mess around with and following professional and manufacturer instruction plus local building and fire codes is absolutely necessary. Please visit the Cecure Chimney website for further information and graphics on the Heatshield® System.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Outside Air Sources

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Outside Air Source
This air vent may alleviate smoking problems.

If you are having a problem either keeping your fire lit or having smoking problems, installing an outside airsource may be beneficial. Keeping a fire lit takes different factors including air and fuel for burning. The products of combustion include water vapor and carbon monoxide, so being sure that the fireplace will vent properly is very important to the safety of the home as a whole. One way to improve air flow is to install an outside airsource. An outside air source is a vent that provides fresh air to feed the fire.

For years building codes in most parts of the country have required these to be installed during new construction and most homes already  have them.They look like a small rectangle iron grate, and most often located on the back wall of the firebox , these normally slide to the right and left to open or close Their is a verity of styles found  around the country some being round in shape. They to supply air from the outside so as not to rob  air from the living space of the home. My experience is that many don’t open as they have been rusted shut or the homeowner is not familiar with how and when to open or close them. We have all  sealed our homes up as tight as an envelope with air tight windows, doors, weather stripping, and attic insulation and our appliances are air starved.  That is why building codes require outside air to be supplied to all  gas  fire appliance including fireplaces, hot water heaters, and furnace equipment

A fire that burns well will actually increase draft. In order for a chimney to draft properly, there must be a good air flow from the firebox to the top of the chimney. The fire in the firebox warms the flue system so that the products of combustion will flow up and

Fireplace Smoking Problems
Installing a SmokeGuard is simple.

out of the chimney. If the flue system is too cold the outside air coming down the chimney may be heavier than the products of combustion coming up the chimney which can cause a smoking problem. If installing an outside air vent does not solve your problem, a less intrusive repair would be to install a SmokeGuard which makes the size of the firebox smaller so that the products of combustion may be vented more efficiently.

An outside air source can make getting a fire started in your chimney easy even for beginners. With ample outside air and a good set up of kindling and good, seasoned wood, anyone can get a nice fire burning. One thing I will caution you about when it comes to outside air sources is to watch them being painted over. Whether the vent is an outside air source or simply a vent on the front of a wood stove feeding the fire in the stove with air from the room, if you get the area painted be sure that the air vents are not painted or sealed shut. This can cause problems, especially if it is a vent on the front of a wood burning stove that requires the air in order for the wood to fully combust.

Having an outside air source installed is generally not a costly process, but consulting a professional over where to systematically place the vent is recommended. The professional The professional should  discuss with you both indoor and  outdoor variables such as other competing appliances in the home, large hills, trees, or other obstructions that possibly may be a factor for a sluggish draft.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

How to Apply a Brick Paver Sealer to a Brick Patio

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Best Driveway Sealer
This paver sealer is the best on the market for sealing brick and concrete pavers.

Although brick pavers are usually more durable than poured concrete or wood when it comes to patios, they are not maintenance free. There are a few steps that you can take every few years to maintain your patio and keep it looking like new. You may find that after a few years your patio has faded, become stained by rust or dirt, or is just generally looking dull. If you take your time to treat your patio you will have a patio that looks like it was just installed in no time flat.

You are going to need to wash your paver surface before you can think about applying a sealer. Using a masonry cleaner like MasonrySaver Safer Masonry Cleaner clean the patio of any stains and rinse thoroughly. Power washing is an option but a garden hose is also acceptable if the stains have been completely removed before rinsing. If you choose to power wash refer to this article for exactly how many pounds per square inch (PSI) is safe for rinsing the pavers without damaging them. Regrouting the stones is usually a step that must be taken because over time the grout may erode away. Play box sand works great so using a push broom sweep sand so that all the joints between bricks are sealed completely.

Your patio needs about 72 hours with no rain and a lot of sun to try and remove as much moisture from the pavers as possible. There is a small percentage of water in the form of vapor that naturally exists in the pavers, however hot and dry it is outside. After the patio has had time to dry sufficiently you can safely seal your patio, sealing the grout as well. This will protect water from damaging the patio as it expands and contracts with temperature changes and will prevent standing water from eroding the patio.

I recommend MasonrySaver Paver Sealer, which does alter the look of the pavers a slight bit, giving them a rich and silky look after the product dries. This product is water based so that cleanup of the materials is just soap and water. It seals the sand in between the pavers as well. It is important to remember to wash the patio before applying the sealer because you will not want to seal any stains onto the patio permanently. To apply this product you will want to use a sprayer, whether you use an airless sprayer or a pump sprayer is up to you. When it comes to how much to apply you should follow these standards: one gallon of MasonrySaver Paver Sealer covers 150-200 sq. ft. of clay pavers or 75-150 sq. ft. of cement pavers. If you finish applying the product and you have more left than your calculations say you should you’ll want to apply more. The finish may make the patio slightly slippery when wet but not excessively so if you apply the product correctly.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

The Best Concrete Driveway Sealer

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Apply Water REpellents
Makes application of water repellents easy.

Sealing your concrete driveway is a task that many folks do with more than one goal in mind. Sealing your driveway not only protects the concrete from water damage and prevents existing cracks from worsening with freeze/thaw damage, sealing your driveway, when the right product is used, can protect the concrete from salts that erode away the pavement. Salt that you put on your driveway to melt away the snow can be hard on the concrete, but even if you do not use salt and shovel the driveway only your vehicles still drag salt from the street onto the driveway. This salt being brought onto the driveway from the street lasts all winter long.

Driveway sealing can be time consuming, especially if you have a particularly large or long driveway, but by using a quality product the number of times that you have to seal your driveway can be reduced greatly. DEFY All Purpose Heavy Duty Water Repellent is a

Best Driveway Sealer

water repellent containing SaltShield. This water repellent is strong enough to protect even horizontal concrete areas which are plagued by sitting water. This product is also a brick driveway sealer because it protects brick pavers from de-icing chemicals that come with the winter months.Water that sits on the driveway from rain or melted snow can make existing hairline cracks a huge problem. As the temperature decreases over night the water will freeze and expand from its contracted form in the day. This expansion and contraction process is known as freeze/thaw damage and it affects areas all over the home. The top of the chimney crown, for example, may develop cracks which can fill with water and worsen due to the effects of repeated freezing and thawing.  One cold winter is all it takes for hairline cracks to become deeper and wider, and de-icing chemicals can actually eat away at your concrete or brick driveway.

DEFY All Purpose Heavy Duty Water Repellent covers approximately 125 sq. ft. per gallon and carries a seven year warranty if applied by a professional. An interesting aspect of the product is that it is completely vapor permeable. A small amount of water naturally exists in and on top of the concrete even on a dry day with low humidity. The breathable formula that DEFYhas developed allows these vapors to move freely so as to not trap them in the masonry surface and add to the effects of freezing and thawing. Instead it allows them to move out of the brick or concrete whenever possible while not permitting larger water molecules to enter. A pump or airless sprayer is the recommended application method for this product and you should allow an hour or two for the product to dry before driving or walking on it plus at least six hours before rain.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

How to Diagnose Chimney Leaks

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Peeling Paint on a Chimney
Painted chimneys almost always cause problems because the paint holds in vapor, promoting water problems.

A leaky chimney can be difficult to diagnose. It can be frustrating to pinpoint exactly where the water is entering your home because there are so many possible points of entry. Water can enter the home through the flashing which seals the connection between the roof and the chimney, through cracks in the chimney, through cracks in the crown, or via the roof itself. With all of these factors, I recommend starting with the least expensive repair first because the first repair may not always resolve the issue.What may appear as a fireplace leak may actually be entering the home through a number of different places.

Chimney Water Problem
Looking at your chimney after rainfall may help indicate where water is entering.

One good way to try and pinpoint a general area through which the water is entering is to do a water test. It is very simple to conduct a water test on your chimney on your own. Taking your garden hose start soaking the chimney from the bottom of the chimney to the top, stopping every few feet to let the water soak in for about fifteen minutes. Journal about times and whether you are soaking the left or right side of the chimney. By using this method you will be able to see about how high above the ground the water is entering your home. If there is not further water damage that occurs by this test you may be able to rule out the chimney as the point of entry for the water.

Cracks in the crown must be sealed to prevent further damage from occurring through freeze-thaw damage. Similarly, cracks in the

brick of the chimney itself must be sealed also. Apply a sealant to the cracks in the crown and then apply water repellent over the repair to attempt to arrest chimney crown leaks. I recommend ChimneySaver Water Repellent which is great for use over their crack repair products.

Cracks in a Brick Chimney
Cracks in masonry structures may allow water to enter the home.

If sealing cracks and waterproofing the chimney and crown does not resolve the issue you’ll want to evaluate your flashing. If the flashing is rusted or has pulled away from the roof or the side of the chimney you will need to replace it. This is the most durable repair and it is fairly inexpensive. If you see no visible points of entry for water you may still try to arrest the problem by sealing the flashing using FlashSeal. This product is painted on and you can use the reinforcement fabric for extra protection. Although the most durable repair is to replace the flashing completely sealing your flashing is less expensive and more easy to do by yourself.

If you are really having trouble diagnosing your water problem you may want to have a professional come out to evaluate the job for you. Diagnosing chimney leaks is always a process of elimination and I always recommend going with the least expensive repair first to see if that will arrest the issue. If a chimney company comes out and suggests rebuilding the chimney without bothering to try any less expensive repairs I would be wary.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

CrackMagik Repairs Chimney Cracks

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Chimney cracks are very dangerous. What starts out as a hairline crack will continue to grow from freeze and thaw damage and deepen and widen until what you are left with is a very serious masonry problem. Whether the cracks appear on your brick chimney or on other parts of your home, CrackMagik is a product that has been tested and true. CrackMagik is unique in that it can be used to waterproof cracks up to 1/8″ wide. Cracks much larger than that are probably going to require some rebuilding or tuckpointing of the chimney or other brick area. This chimney crack repair product is what I send my masonry crew out with.

Over the years I have found that using CrackMagik directly over the cracks on the masonry surface, allowing it to cure, and using

Applying crack magic vertically or horizontally with a stiff bristle brush (included) is a cinch!
Applying crack magic vertically or horizontally with a stiff bristle brush (included) is a cinch!

ChimneySaver Water Repellent over the crack and the surrounding area produces a very water tight

CrackMagik is available in 1/2 gallon containers and recommended for use with ChimneySaver Water Repellent.
CrackMagik is available in 1/2 gallon containers and recommended for use with ChimneySaver Water Repellent.

seal. This type of repair is ideal if you are having a leak and are trying to solve the water issue. Instead of rebuilding the entire suspected masonry area, this less expensive repair (CrackMagik and ChimneySaver Water Repellent Application) can help you identify if a crack in the masonry is indeed the offending part of the home or if you need to dig deeper for an answer by assessing the roof or the flashing on the chimney. Brick chimney repair is expensive and going with the least expensive repair first is encouraged.

When applied by a professional the CrackMagik product comes with a 10 year warranty. The product carries no warranty if you make it a do it yourself job. This breathable formula will not trap water that is found naturally in the masonry but will prevent water from actually entering the masonry. CrackMagik is applied with a small brush directly on the crack to seal it and takes a few hours to dry. This product is a paintable caulk and it dries to a milky white color but does not significantly change the color of the chimney or other masonry surface. Each half gallon container of CrackMagik covers approximately 100 sq. ft. of wall space and should be applied in temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

How to Clean Mold off Brick Surfaces

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Mold needs something organic, like dirt, leather, cardboard, or food in order to grow. It takes a lot of moisture for some types of

Folks will have false flue tiles installed but the water that pools in them will often cause moss to grow and cracks to form in the crown.
Folks will have false flue tiles installed but the water that pools in them will often cause moss to grow and cracks to form in the crown.

mold to grow where others need very little. There are tens of thousands of molds that have been discovered. Not all of them are toxic but some can produce lethal allergic reactions in people who have weakened immune systems or have other compromising health factors. Some molds are just plain molds. There are mold spores in the air we breathe and mold in some of the foods we eat.  Mold is a part of life as we know it but at the same time mold on your brick surfaces can be very unsettling and unsightly.

Removing mold is not difficult. Safety is key; you will want to wear goggles that do not allow air in for ventilation and rubber gloves to prevent the mold from getting on your skin. Black mold, dark green mold, and virtually every other type of mold is able to grow on brick surfaces. Brick patios, which will

Moss is growing on this crown and down into the brick below it. It can be removed by the ChimneyRx Safer Brick and Masonry Cleaner.
Moss is growing on this crown and down into the brick below it. It can be removed by the ChimneyRx Safer Brick and Masonry Cleaner.

have a thin layer of dirt on them even if it cannot be seen, are especially prone to mold growth. The mold is not actually growing on the brick but on the dirt. If there is moisture that sits on a particular part of your home, especially after rain, you may get mold growing on the actual brick on your home.

One cleaner I recommend for cleaning brick in general whether you have dirt stains, rust, mold, or mildew is the ChimneyRx Safer Brick and Masonry Cleaner. Muriatic acid was once recommended for cleaning brick but that can bleach the brick and stain it in other ways. If you would prefer you can go to your local Home Depot or garden store and get a weed killer. You’ll want to saturate the mold and let it sit for a period of time to allow the formula to work. Scrub the area with stiff bristle brush and rinse. You may have to repeat this process many times especially if the mold is very developed. Be cautious by not getting any chemicals on your skin or in your eyes.

If you have more than ten square feet of area covered in mold you may want to consider bringing in a professional who will be able to assess why the mold is growing there and help you prevent it from coming back. If you have mold growing inside your home, especially in your bathroom you want to take care of that as quickly as possible for health reasons.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

How to Remove Rust Stains from Masonry Chimneys

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

If you installed a cap on your chimney that was not stainless steel there is a likelihood that you have rust stains on on the top of your chimney which are very unsightly.

Removing rust stains and removing the source of the rust are both very important because if the rust is not remove it can deteriorate your brick over time. Removing rust is not difficult but you also want to avoid staining the brick with a strong acid or even eating away at the face of the brick. If the stain is at the very top of your chimney and your chimney is very tall you may want to call a professional to clean it.

Your safety is the number one priority in an endeavor such as this and if you do not have a ladder that will safely reach the top of your chimney or you don’t have any safe way to access it then you should have the stains professionally removed. Do not power wash your brick to get rust stains off, especially if the brick is old or crumbling because that will not only further destroy your brick but more than likely “will not” remove all of the stains.

brick-mortar-cleaner__02200.1413907696.600.600 SaverSystems “Brick and Mortar Cleaner” can be purchased at —-> www.FireplaceAndChimneySupply.com

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                                                                                             Before       &          After    

There are products on the market that are specifically designed to remove rust stains. The SaverSystems  . . . “Brick and Mortar Cleaner” is a Professional grade cleaner that removes rust, mildew, algae, dirt, mortar splatter, and creosote stains. This product can also be used for removing rust stains from concrete. It is safer to use than muriatic acid which was once recommended for cleaning rust off of masonry surfaces.

Muriatic acid can burn the and could eat away at the face of the brick as well. While protective eye wear and gloves should be worn whenever handling any masonry cleaners.

SaverSystems  . . . “Brick and Mortar Cleaner”product is safer than muriatic acid and will help in rust stain removal.

If the rust stains were caused by a chimney cap that was painted black or was of poor quality metal it may have caused this rusting .scan0005 (2)

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                                                      Before       &          After  

stainless steel chimney cap is key to preventing rust stains from occurring again. Remove the offending cap immediately and replace it with a top mounted stainless steel cap, which sits on top of the flue, or a top sealing damper and chimney cap combination, like the LockTop system which not only keeps birds and other critters out of the chimney it also seals off the chimney at the top forming an air tight seal when the damper is closed to keep warm air in the home and cold air out when the chimney is not in use.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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2
Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb