Three Stages of Creosote

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

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R: 142 G: 255 B: 186 X:39852 Y: 0 S: 0 Zs: 0 Zp: 0 F: 678 I: 1 ImgVer:08.05.07.23The number of calls that we receive from customers who call us the day after a chimney fire saying that their neighbors came knocking on the door to let them know that their chimney is on fire is concerning but not necessarily surprising for those in the industry. When certain conditions exist, a chimney fire is able to burn slowly as opposed to explosively making it such that the fire is hardly detectable from people inside the home. A chimney fire that burns explosively is what is generally described as a chimney fire. When a rapid burning fire occurs in the chimney there is a loud rumbling noise similar to a freight train.

<——–This one cracked the chimney right up the middle.

<——-  Look down this chimney flue and you will smell it.

 

Creosote in the chimney flue makes having a chimney fire of any kind more likely.

Creosote Comes in Three forms

1st Stage: Flaky, Dusty

This type of creosote can be easily removed with a chimney’s sweep brush because of the looseness of its deposit pattern.

2nd Stage: Crunchy or Tar like

This type of creosote is more difficult to remove and often requires stiffer brushes or even a scraper to remove.

3rd Stage: Glazed, Gummy or Hard

This type of creosote acts like candle wax. When stage 3 creosote gets to a certain temperature it drips.

Creosote Build Up
There has likely been a chimney fire which caused the creosote on this cap to melt like candle wax and clog the flue system.down the walls of the flue and dries a hard, glossy, black mass.

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.
Creosote buildup, no matter what stage it is in, has a very ” pungent odor ” and has the ability to permeate an entire house, especially if your chimney also has drafting issues. Any slight downdraft will force these odors into the home.

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Wood, the Green Option for Heating your Home

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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Wood Burning Stove
Wood burning stoves such as this old one add character and charm to any room.“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”.

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.  

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 7.02.34 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-09 at 7.06.04 PMAn 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.
Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 7.01.34 PM

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

Grate
Using a fireplace grate helps your wood to burn more thoroughly by allowing air to enter the fire from the bottom.carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) absorbing trees to be planted. When they are burned as firewood and products of combustion are released into the environment, the same amount of carbon dioxide that they absorbed during their lifetime is released.

 

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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”.

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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

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Masonry Firebox . . . . tuck-pointing repairs

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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

AZ sitting on hearth with chamber tech 2000 all over himself 2Masonry 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. Fireplaces 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

Fireplace FirebackWhen your chimney professional comes out to inspect your chimney, make sure that he takes a good look Fireplace Firebackat the firebox as well as the rest of interior of your chimney.

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.

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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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

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

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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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

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.

brick-mortar-cleaner__02200.1413907696.600.600

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.

SaverSystems “Brick and Mortar Cleaner” can be purchased at here.

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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.

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Before

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 .

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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.

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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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Wood Stove Installation Guide

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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Installing a Stainless Steel liner or a wood stove it must always be done according to the manufacturers instructions and follow all building codes and any fire codes in your area.

How to Install a Stainless Steel Chimney Liner.

** Be-sure and watch my second … “Ask The Chimney Sweep “ video *”Chimney Fires” at the bottom of this posting!

That being said, this guide can give you insight as to the basics on how you would go about installing a wood stove to see if it is a task you are willing to take on for yourself. One of the most important factors in installing a wood stove is making sure that you have a chimney that is suitable to vent whatever type of stove you elect to purchase. If you have an existing masonry chimney you will need to be sure that it is in good working order and properly sized for the new appliance.

Have your chimney sweep video inspect the interior of your chimney to check for cracked flue tiles or missing mortar joints. If the chimney is not safe to hold the products of combustion or properly sized you will need to install your wood burning stove with a stainless steel liner. Remember that stainless steel chimney pipe cannot pass through a wall, window, etc. unless a professional is consulted and UL listed equipment is utilized. The least amount of creosote buildup is obtained by having an insulated stainless steel chimney pipe vent your wood burning stove.

Installing a wood stove into an existing masonry chimney that is cleared for use still requires pipe to be installed although it does not need to go through the entire length of the flue system according to NFPA 2:11.

Your local building codes may require the whole flue to be lined.  Five feet of chimney liner pipe must be installed from the back of your stove up through the smoke chamber. This is the least efficient option and my company rarely operates on this technique. Generally speaking installing an insulated, stainless steel liner up through the entirety of the chimney is the best way to go. We always recommend the entire flue system be lined.

How to Install a Stainless Steel Chimney Liner detailed information on installing a stainless steel liner into your chimney, please visit my chimney liner section of this blog. In short, you must first wrap the necessary length of stainless steel liner pipe in insulation. This insulation will actually help to reduce creosote buildup by keeping the flue system warmer.

Connecting your liner to the stove or installing the stove into the chimney without a liner can be dangerous. 

After insulating your stainless steel liner you will drop it down the chimney to be connected to the wood stove or wood stove insert.
After insulating your stainless steel liner you will drop it down the chimney to be connected to the wood stove or wood stove insert.

The stovepipe itself can be single walled or double walled and come in varying thicknesses. Single walled stovepipe have a greater clearance requirement than double walled and double walled stove pipe is generally more efficient than single walled. If you are having a tough time achieving necessary clearances you may want to check out different manufacturers of stovepipes to see if there are any double walled stove pipes that will fit in with the clearances that you have currently.

This stove pipe is going to connect to your existing liner or be inserted up through your chimney. A Liner kit will come with termination kits that will actually attach to your existing stovepipe and form a rigid, tight seal. Usually three screws are needed for every connection.

Check with your *insurance company before tackling a project like this; some insurance companies do not cover damages caused by a stove that was not installed by a professional and often manufacturer’s warranties are void if the product is not installed professionally. Check with your local fire department or chimney professional to determine what firebox clearances are required in your area. Floor protectors are needed in some cases

Chimney Fires

 

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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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Wood Burning Basics

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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Spark guards can be ornate, like the one pictured, or plain but are a great wood burning tool because they contain sparks.
Spark guards can be ornate, like the one pictured, or plain but are a great wood burning tool because they contain sparks.

The burning of wood is a huge biomass burning industry used to spin turbines, cook food, and heat the homes of people like you. Correctly burning wood is a skill that can save you a house full of smoke or any number of other problems. The first step is to make sure that the fireplace or wood burning stove is clear of any debris from a previous fire.

Scooping any excessive ash down an ash dump or cleaning out a wood burning stove is the first step, although an inch or two of ash can actually help the new fire burn more successfully. Keep any grates in the fireplace clean to prevent smoking problems. It can take ash up to an entire day to cool completely.

 

 

 

I recommend starting the fire using some paper and kindling and adding in seasoned wood. I do not recommend burning wood that is still green or wet because it will cause a lot of smoke. Seasoned wood burns the best. Open the damper half way, not all the way. VL Small Safety Grate 26432This gives the fire an air source while still venting any smoke. Place the paper underneath your grate and kindling wood on top of the grate after the fire is lit. If your fireplace is prone to smoking problems or has a poor draft caused by other factors, carefully (using gloves) holding lit paper up into the flue system to warm it can help increase the chimney’s draft. Stack your seasoned logs on top of the kindling strategically to allow the kindling to burn fully. Open the damper completely once you have the fire really going.

As time goes on it may need adjustment or additional wood to be added to keep it burning. Using fireplace tools can help immensely

Wood burning tools such as these not only add to the look of your hearth, they also come in handy when a hot long needs to be handled.
Wood burning tools such as these not only add to the look of your hearth, they also come in handy when a hot long needs to be handled.

in getting a proper burn. A fire poker or a pair of tongs are very helpful for when this needs to happen. If a log is smothering kindling or it just needs stirred up a bit these tools are great to have. Scooping ash out of a wood burning stove can be cumbersome so purchasing a high powered ash vacuum can save you the trouble and the mess. An important thing to remember is to not leave a fire in a fireplace or a wood burning stove unattended for a very long time. A fire that is nicely contained in your firebox can wreak havoc should it start to burn up in the flue system. Paying attention to the fire the entire time it is lit is one way to ensure that if this should happen, damage is minimized.
100_1408Close the damper once the fire has completely stopped burning and smoking. Keeping the damper closed keeps the air you paid to heat from floating up through the chimney and heating the whole neighborhood. Fireproof mesh/ Screens is a great idea to place in front of the fireplace to prevent embers from hopping out and burning family members or lighting a fire. There are also fireproof rugs available for purchase to be placed in front of the firebox.

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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

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How to Repair a Cracked Chimney Flue Tile

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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Your chimney’s flue system is used to vent the products of combustion. This fact alone makes it prone to cracks.

Your chimney’s clay flue tiles will crack if the flue system becomes too hot. This would occur if a chimney fire occurred. A chimney fire occurs when the fire in your fireplace is no longer contained strictly in your fireplace.

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If the fire is able to move up the chimney into the flue system the extreme heat will most certainly crack your chimney flue tiles.

This vertical cracked flue liner should be repaired using HeatShield or a stainless steel liner.

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In some cases if only one flue tile is broken near the top of the chimney and it is accessible enough for replacement, then it can be removed and replaced.scan0024Using a masonry hammer you would remove the ENTIRE flue tile.

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  Strike it only a few times to crack it further and remove the pieces by hand for best results.

 

HeatShield Chimney Liner Repair System
HeatShield Chimney Liner Repair System is another method for repairing chimney flue tiles is to use a HeatShield chimney liner repair system. HeatShield involves winching a foam piece up through the flue system, smoothing heat resistant mortar through all the cracks and open mortar joints.

Stainless steel liners are the most expensive repair for the flue system. These are insulated and dropped into the flue, creating a whole new flue system for  the fireplace to vent through. This method is a surefire way to repair your cracked chimney flue tile. Always consult with a professional about what repair is most appropriate for your chimney flue liner. Follow any manufacturer instructions and follow all fire and building codes in your area. Consulting with a professional before and after you complete the repair will ensure that the work you’ve done is up to code and safe for use


 

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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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Chimney Flue Cap Reviews

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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Chimney professionals all over the country recommend that any chimney flue be capped.This chimney is properly capped to avoid debris or nesting material from making the chimney a CO hazard.Caps are extremely useful in that they protect the flue system from rain that falls straight down. Chimney CapAlthough this is rare, rain falling with no wind, that water that falls straight down into the flue system will greatly increase creosote production. Chimney caps also prevent birds from nesting in your chimney and racoons from entering as well. They will bring in loads of extremely flammable nesting material which can cause a fire to occur in the actual flue system of your chimney as opposed to in the firebox. Even if you are not burning your fireplace these critters carry disease.

Here are three stainless steel chimney caps. The customer could have elected to use a multi-flue cap in this situation as well.
Here are three stainless steel chimney caps. The customer could have elected to use a multi-flue cap in this situation as well.

You can actually run yourself into a problem if chimney swifts enter your chimney for the season. These are federally protected birds, and if chimney swifts decide to take up residence in your chimney you will have to let them be from early spring til late summer. Chimney companies or other pest removal service can be fined per bird or egg removed from a chimney.

Standard, single flue stainless steel chimney caps are generally to install and relatively cheap. These run generally about$200, assuming your chimney flue system is near average size (approximately 12″x12″). Larger flue caps may need to be special ordered by a company and prices vary greatly.  If you are purchasing a multi-flue cap and having installed by a professional it can cost you up to about $600. These multi flue caps have less of a likelihood of blowing off in wind storms because they are generally more heavy than smaller caps.

This multi-flue stainless steel chimney cap protects both of these flue systems from debris and animals.
This multi-flue stainless steel chimney cap protects both of these flue systems from debris and animals.

Not all caps are the same however, and generally you get what you pay for. Here at my chimney sweeping operation we always recommend stainless steel chimney caps. Whether you need a single flue cap or a multi-flue cap, stainless steel is worth the cost because it will not rust over time and is very resistant to deterioration. It is very difficult for racoons, squirrels, and other critters to chew through the stainless steel mesh that protects the chimney flue from debris and unwanted visitors. I also recommend never installing a cap which has been painted, especially painted black. These caps will rust! The rust will stain the entire top of your chimney, crown and brick alike. This stain is very difficult to remove and you often have to call in a professional to do so.

This top sealing damper will save you money monthly on heating and cooling costs as well as prevent critters from getting in and nesting.
This top sealing damper will save you money monthly on heating and cooling costs as well as prevent critters from getting in and nesting.

With the economy not turning around at the rate that the average consumer would prefer, people are still looking for any and all possible ways to save money and stay on top. People are cutting back in ways like we have never seen; at the grocery, at the gas stations, and summer vacations. What if there was a way to increase your savings on energy each month all year round? If you could pay between $500 and $600 dollars to keep your heated and cooled air from floating up out of the chimney, would you take advantage of the technology? When no fire is lit in the fireplace, there is no reason to have your damper open. With the damper open you are merely allowing the air that you paid to have heated or cooled to rise up and out of the chimney!

Having an old or broken damper in your chimney it is like having a window open all year round. You especially feel the effects of this air exiting the chimney in the winter months because the warm air rises  up and out of the chimney. Here in Cincinnati, my service technicians recommend the installation of a Lock-Top or Lock-Top II damper. As stated previously these generally run between five and six hundred dollars installed but will enable savings year round for as long as you live in the home. For more information on chimney flue caps, check out our other article Chimney Flue Caps 101.

imgres-1You can find a reputable Chimney Sweep in your area by using this link to the National Chimney Sweep Guild locator : http://www.ncsg.org/search.  Also be sure and go online and read their customer reviews from Google, BBB and AngiesList. I’m never impressed with those cheaper “Swab and Rob companies

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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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Chimney Liner Installation Cost

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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

This type of chimney liner is used when clay tiles fail. Generally used to vent solid fuel burning appliances and fireplaces
This type of chimney liner is used when clay tiles fail. Generally used to vent solid fuel burning appliances and fireplaces

Customers continually are shocked at the cost of relining a chimney. Chimney liner cost can be surprising. There are a variety of factors that play into how much a chimney reline with installation costs, including your area of the country, but on average the cost to have your chimney professionally relined runs anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000. Lets explore the option of purchasing a chimney liner kit and installing it yourself.

 

The hardest part about relining your chimney is fitting the chimney liner. You need to properly size the liner in order for the chimney to draft properly. Remember that there will be an extra inch or so around the liner due to the insulation. Chimney liner insulation is extremely important and actually helps to reduce creosote build up by keeping the chimney liner warmer. Chimney liner kits vary in price based on the diameter and length of the liner, but a basic, UL listed 6″ diameter 20′ long chimney liner kit, complete with connector pipe, tee end cap, and top kit can be anywhere from $400 – $600. Chimney liner insulation kits, complete with all of the supplies needed to properly wrap your chimney liner pipe in insulation, can run between $200-300.

images[1]As you can see you are saving yourself major expenses incurred from installation fees, but with that you are taking in some risk as well. Lining your own chimney can be very dangerous. You need to be absolutely sure you have enough manpower to handle this large, sometimes heavy liner or else accidents can happen

Wood Stove Installation carbon Neutral

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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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)