Chimney Crown Repair

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)

MVC-021S copyChimney crowns are a very important part of the chimney. Due to their location high above the roofline where there is very little protection from the elements, chimney crowns often need repaired. Chimney crown repair cost varies from state to state and depends on the size of the crown and how easily a chimney professional can access the crown. On average the cost of repairing a crown would run between five hundred and two thousand dollars.

The disparity in this price range comes from the fact that there are different types of crown repairs for a crown depending on the level of damage it has incurred.

One option is to resurface your chimney crown. This repair is ideal for a crown that has multiple hair line cracks. This repair will seal water out, preventing the cracks from deepening with each new rainfall and also improve its appearance. There are brushable crown repair products available to help make this repair very easy. For more extensive damage, the crown often needs to be completely rebuilt. Replacing chimney crowns is the repair that is going to last the longest without needing to be repaired again, but resurfacing is far cheaper and works when damage is not major.

After any type of repair, whether it be a new crown completely or a resurfaced crown, chimney crown seal is going to extend the durability of the repair. Using a water repellent or other type of sealer will prevent water from damaging the crown and causing the cycle of repair to begin again.

Chimney Crowns in Need of Repair

Chimney Crown Repair Overridden by Moss
This crown is likely to need brushable crown repair after the moss is removed to seal hairline cracks that have likely developed.

This crown is completely taken over by moss and algae growth. Sometimes a chemical cleaner will eliminate this problem.

If the moss has caused water to sit on the crown, cracks underneath the moss may have developed. In this case, depending on the severity of the cracks, resurfacing of the crown or rebuilding of the crown will need to take place.

Chimney Crown With Exposed Brick Cores
This crown will need to be removed and completely rebuilt. The exposed brick will aid in the deterioration of the chimney.

The top course of brick in this crown is exposed to the core. This is a major problem. Water will sit in the brick and pool on top of the crown causing the crack that you see in the corner of the crown.

This crown will need to be completely removed and rebuild. It is not smart to merely lay more material over top of this because the new crown would not have a sturdy foundation.

Products mentioned in this article —–>   www.FireplaceAChimneySupplt.com

CrownCoat Brushable-Grade Crown Repair

CrownCoat Brushable Chimney Crown Repair

This video may help!

Chimney Crown Repair

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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)

Installing a Flexible Stainless Steel Chimney Liner

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)

usa-flex-liner
Flexible Stainless Steel Chimney Liner

Why should you even bother to install a liner? They aren’t cheap, but their benefits definitely outweigh their cost. The liner will protect your flue system, damaged or not, from the transfer of heat in your system to nearby combustibles.

Liners also keep your masonry safe from byproducts of combustion that can be extremely corrosive and damaging to your flue system. The gases produced by combustion will actually eat away at or deteriorate the mortar located in between the flue tiles in your chimney.

Flexible Stainless Steel Chimney Liners

If your existing flue system has been deemed unsafe to burn due to cracked flue tiles, missing mortar joints, etc., then looking into a flexible stainless steel chimney liner may be beneficial. Although rigid stainless steel liners exist, chances are that you may not be able to use this type of liner for your chimney. If your chimney has even the slightest bend to it, then a rigid liner just will not go down into the chimney. Also, you must be sure to use a flexible liner if you are installing for a new woodstove insert because more often than not you are required to bend the liner a little bit to fit it to the stove correctly. Consult a professional when deciding what type of liner will work best for you.

After you purchase your liner in the correct size and material for your particular flue system, carefully remove the liner and lay it out flat on a flat surface. Be cautious, the edges of the liner can be very sharp and potentially cut you. Start by attaching the bottom termination connector. Then tighten the hose clamp, being very careful not to over-tighten it on the liner. After measuring the exact length of the chimney (from the bottom to the very top of the crown,) add twelve to eighteen inches and cut the liner using tin snips. You need to properly install the bottom termination connector.

 

Chimney Liner Insulation
Chimney Liner Insulation

Chimney liner insulation is necessary along the entire length of the liner. To determine the correct width of the insulation, its time for a little grade school geometry: multiply the diameter of the liner by 3.14 (pi) to get the circumference of the circle, and then add on inch to this number because a one inch overlap is necessary to properly insulate the liner. So long as the insulation will fit in the chimney it is not necessary to have this exact number, it just cannot be any less.

Lay the insulation on the ground with the foil side facing the ground and place the stainless steel liner in the middle. After the liner is wrapped, use foil tape over the seam to keep it snug. After it is secured use one long piece of tape the length of the liner as a whole to cover the seam. This continuous piece of tape will secure the insulation the best.

Wire mesh is also necessary when it comes to insulating the liner. If this was not in place then the insulation itself can be damaged when being lowered into the chimney. Make sure your mesh covers the entire length of the liner. Do not forget to encapsulate the bottom connector piece as well. Hose clamps are the best for attaching the mesh, and they are usually included in the liner kit. Use the clamps to attach the mesh to one end of the liner. Pull the mesh on the other end of the liner until it fits tightly and use the hose clamp to secure it. For safety reasons, use the same tin snips as before to cut away any extra.

Click here for a complete chimney liner insulation kit that has everything you need to install a chimney liner.

Nose cone for pulling liners
Nose cone for pulling liners

Working on a roof, no matter what you are doing, takes many safety precautions. Be sure that you take all of these precautions and you have enough people to safely install the liner. You will be, basically, dropping the liner down through the top of the chimney and feeding it the whole way through to the bottom. It may become necessary for a rope to be tied to the bottom of the liner and someone standing inside the home pulling from the bottom. Be sure to keep the liner as centered as possible while dropping it down into the flue system. This will prevent any damage to the insulation or the liner itself.

After your liner is in the correct position, it is time to cut the top of the liner to fit correctly. Be sure to leave four extra inches showing on the outside of the flue system so that the liner is equal to the height of the crown. Hold the bottom connector in place firmly and apply silicone caulk to the top of the first terracotta flue tile or the chimney crown itself. Then, place the top plate over the liner and press it into the caulking. Tighten the connecting clamp or band around the liner to secure the liner to the top plate. Then, install your stainless steel cap by placing it over the collar of the top plate.

If you are connecting your liner to the appliance vertically, simply connect the appliance connector to the liner and bottom termination point. If you are using a vertical connection then you are finished! If you are connecting horizontally, decide upon the point where the pipe will come through the wall to connect to the tee body. Cut a hole through the insulation and mesh to indicate where the tee snout and tee will connect. Secure the snout and body of the tee using a metal band that should be attached and wraps around the tee body’s backside. Insulate the snout of the tee and fill the hole around the snout with brick and mortar.

Be careful to follow any given directions for your particular flue liner, keep the edges of the stainless steel smooth and be cautious of working with anything on the rooftop of any structure. You can buy a chimney liner kit online here.

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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)

Eco-Friendly Fire Starter Logs

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)

firestartersToday, there are many options available to consumers when it comes to burning fire starter logs. If you frequently use DuraFlame or similar brands of logs to start your fires or even primarily burn them, then you will be happy to know that they have stopped coating their logs with a petroleum waxes and switched, instead to a natural base that burns “cleaner than wood.” They claim to recycle wood waste like sawdust, fruit pits, and nut shells to produce its product.

However, beware that there is an oil present in the logs that is enticing to dogs. The logs are toxic if ingested, so keep them out of the reach of any animals around the house. Also, customers complain of a strong odor emitted by these logs, even when they are not being burned. DuraFlame Stax, a brand of DuraFlame logs, are the first firelog safe to be burned in a woodstove.

Another interesting solution is brought to us by a company called Java-Log. These logs are made of recycled coffee grounds and natural vegetable wax and burns 80% cleaner than normal wood. As opposed to the harsh odors of the DuraFlame logs, these logs give off the calming scent of coffee as they burn. These eco-friendly logs won’t break the bank either, six logs cost about $11 and can be bought online or at select retail stores.

CleanFlame Fire Logs and TerraCycle firelogs make use of unrecyclable cardboard. Waxed carboard is used to keep perishable shipments of food from damaging moisture. This particular type of cardboard isomer cannot be recycled and is virtually non-biodegradable due to its extremely slow rate of deterioration.

No matter what type of logs you are using, whether they be eco-friendly or regular wood logs, you must be sure to keep your chimney very clean or you will not only increase the amount of toxins you are releasing into the air as the smoke collects chemicals from the creosote baked onto the walls of your flue but also put yourself at risk for chimney fires and other expensive and dangerous damage.

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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 Operate a Gas Fireplace

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)

Gas fireplaces, whether designed for beauty or heating, are factory built boxes enclosed by glass doors so you can see the fire. Your gas fireplace should be checked as frequently as a wood-burning fireplace because even though gas generally burns clean, your chimney can still be obstructed by birds’ or other animals’ nests and become a fire hazard. The ease of owning a gas fireplace has appealed to many homeowners who want to quit splitting the wood and hauling it inside the home. Many gas fireplaces operate even when the electricity goes out, which can be a great relief in the presence of a winter storm.You also do
not have to worry about cleaning up ashes from the burned wood.

Both Yellow and Blue flame gas fireplace logs are available.

imgres-3• Blue flame gas logs are approved to be used without a ventilation system, whereas yellow flame gas logs must have a venting system. Blue flame logs are the cleanest and most efficient flames to have in your home.

 

• Yellow flame logs can produce soot and carbon, both of which can build up on your gas logs and in the chimney. There may be orange streaks in the flame; an indication of dust or other particles in the firebox.

 

This is generally acceptable. If you have logs that are blackened by soot or carbon, try using  a product called ACS Gas Log Cleaner. It removes carbon and soot buildup on gas logs without harming or discoloring them.

Can be purchased here.

imgres-2

Be sure when choosing a gas fireplace, that it is going to serve your needs. Although there are countless styles and shapes available, some are designed for décor and others for actual heating of the home. Modern gas fireplaces may even come equipped with remote control starters, allowing you to adjust the flame height, heat output, etc. with the touch of a button. Some units burn propane and others natural gas. Whether you choose an ultra-modern unit or a

more contemporary piece, and no matter where it is installed and what type of gas it burns, you should always work with a professional as much as possible.

The two main types of gas fireplaces are vented and vent-free.

Vented gas logs that are “vented” are able to take the place of wood in a traditional chimney. These are vented such that any dangerous gases like carbon monoxide will exit the home. However, merely converting from a wood burning apparatus to gas logs will not solve the problems of a deteriorated chimney. Any deterioration, damage, or buildup in the chimney must be treated the same with gas logs as would be with wood.

Vent-free gas logs, despite their similarity to a real, wood burning fire, can be dangerous to the respiratory system. Since the products from this particular flame are not vented up and out of the home, the chance of carbon monoxide, a lethal gas, entering and building up inside the home are increased. Vent-free gas logs are also deemed not safe or up to code in two states due to the increase in likelihood that small children or elderly will develop respiratory problems.

Through technology and the modern world’s need for easy and comfort, new technologies in the realm of gas fireplaces are popping up left and right. Not only are there gas fireplaces but gas fired inserts have been designed to be installed inside a fireplace. Gas fireplaces can even be installed without an existing fireplace. Always remember to follow manufacturers installation methods and be sure that all work done measures up with your area’s codes. However, once a safe, up-to-code gas fireplace is working and functional, there is no limit to the joy and beauty it can add to your home.

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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 Fireplaces – How to “stop cold air” from coming in fireplaces

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)

Although wood burning fireplaces are aesthetically pleasing, they can be very inefficient. With rising energy costs, a wood burning fireplace is a great alternative to save money on home heating costs. Although fireplaces radiate heat, they can also allow some of the heated air to be pulled back out of the home. If you have a metal flue and/or a metal damper, this can make this inefficiency even worse.  Here are a few things you can do to increase the efficiency of your fireplace and show you how to stop cold air from coming in fireplaces.

1. Use a top sealing damper

The purpose of a top sealing damper is to act like a storm door to keep your heated or conditioned air in the home. It is placed on the top of the chimney much like a cap but it is easier to install and comes with a rubber attachment piece to keep it air tight.

The cool or hot air outside the home will be kept out. When not burning the fireplace, this small investment will pay for itself and then some in a very short while through the money you’ll save in heating and cooling costs.

imgres-1LockTop sealing dampers can replace throat dampers. Throat dampers are installed just above the firebox. They do not create an airtight seal, and are made completely of metal. While they will prevent some draft, over time these dampers will warp or rust, making them less efficient. While top sealing dampers are preferred, either of these options are better than having no damper at all.

2. Install a fireback

Another inexpensive way to increase your fireplace’s efficiency is to install a fireback. A radiant fireback is a cast iron plate designed to protect the firebox from damage. Decorative designs also add to your home’s décor.

The fireback absorbs heat from the fire and radiates it back into the room. A fireback prevents heat from being absorbed by the liner of the flue and gives your fire more bang for your buck.

3. Fireplace heaters

Fireplace heaters are another option to increase the efficiency of your fireplace. These are closed circuit heaters that take air from the room, circulate it through a chamber heated by the fire, and then release it back into the room as warm air. Since it is closed circuit, no smoke will be pouring into the room.

4. Fireplace Glass Doorsz-door

Making an investment in fireplace glass doors for a chimney offers another level of safety for your home by protecting pets and children from the flames, as well as increasing the efficiency of your fireplace. Installing these doors yourself can help save on some of the cost of purchasing them. If you have an open, wood burning fireplace, it is wise to make an investment in a mesh screen to protect carpet and family members from the burning embers that are frequently shot out of the firebox. Some of the most modern doors are crafted beautifully and can really add character and charm to any living room. Since the fireplace is using less inside air from combustion with the doors closed, the doors increase your fireplace’s efficiency.

5. Grate heaters

Grate heaters are another great option to increase your fireplace’s efficiency and can be used in conjunction with glass doors. Hollow tubing from grate heaters get hot from the fire and a fan blows this heat into the room. Some are controlled by thermostats, others are manually controlled. This is a relatively inexpensive way to help heat your home.

If you plan on heating your home with a fireplace, these small investments can increase the efficiency of your investment and save you money. Look into a few of these options, you’ll be amazed at the savings you’ll find!

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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 Fix a Fireplace Smoking Problem !

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)

There is nothing worse than spending time to get a fire roaring in your fireplace  . . . . only to have a room filled with smoke moments later. :-((

Smoking problems are a major complaint amongst many home owners. There are many different ways to go about fixing this problem, but you must have patience. Sometimes the answer is simple, other times it’s more complex.

 

The warm air should rise out of your chimney, including the smoke produced. If your flue system is not warm when lighting the fire then you can alter the ability of the fireplace to draw properly, creating potentially harmful smoking problems. A warm air siphon must be created before a fire can burn properly and draw correctly.

Tip #1: Crack a window

The quickest and easiest tip to creating a good draw for your chimney is to crack a window in the same room you are lighting the fire in. This will bring pressure into the room, causing air to be drawn up the chimney and allowing the smoke to move upwards and out, not into your living room.

Tip #2: Pre-heat with some newspapers

Pre-heating your flue system is another quick and easy tip to getting a roaring fire. Rolling up five or six newspapers and lighting them in the fireplace will help to warm up the flue and create a good siphon. This process may take five or ten minutes but can be critical to having a properly drawing fireplace. Also, make sure your damper is propped wide open or the smoke won’t be able to escape.

Tip #3: Install a Smoke-Guard

smokeguard
      BLACK, Smoke-Guard

If these quick fixes are still not helping your situation, you may need to look into some more expensive but effective solutions. One of the easiest of these is the Smoke-Guard. If your firebox is too big for your flue system, more smoke can accumulate in the firebox than can safely draft up the chimney. The excess smoke has nowhere to go but back out into your house. Install a Smoke-Guard, a strip of metal to decrease the size of the opening of your chimney can immediately solve smoking problems. This makes the ratio of the fireplace opening to the flue size more compatible.

Here’s how to tell if your fireplace opening is too large for your flue:

  1. Determine the area of your flue. If it is rectangular or square, multiply the flue’s length by its width. If it is a round flue, use the radius (half of the diameter.) Multiply 3.14 x radius x radius.
  2. Determine the area of your fireplace opening. Multiply the height of your fireplace opening by its width.
  3. Compare them. If the area of your fireplace opening is more than 10 times the area of your flue, your smoke problems may stem from your fireplace opening is too large for your flue. A smoke guard will effectively reduce the size of your fireplace opening.

Tip #4: Extend your chimney

If your chimney does not extend high enough above your roofline, or there are nearby trees or other flue systems, this can cause competition for proper drafting. Negative pressure can build up into a tightly sealed home very quickly, which means that the air pressure outside the home is greater than inside the home. If the chimney is not tall enough, air and smoke can easily enter the home to fill the discrepancy between the two pressures. Extending your chimney by a few feet can be costly but may be the only way solve a chimney smoke problem

Smoking Fireplace Problems

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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 Odors . . . are big Problem!

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)

creosote 3rd stage clogging cap2Chimney odor are a particularly nasty problem that can be increased by extremely wet or hot and humid weather.
A foul smell in your living room is an unpleasant but not unsolvable problem.
Home owners must realize that odor in your chimney is always present. But usually the draft created by the cold weather outside the flue and warm weather inside the home carries the odor up the chimney. This prevents it from entering the home. Odors will also increase when it is raining because moisture amplifies the odor. Much like a dog smells worse when it is wet. The porous brick will get wet and retain odor for a longer period of time.
The first, most obvious step in dealing with a smelly chimney would be to have your chimney cleaned. This removes as much of the odor causing creosote and soot as possible.

Creosote buildup2.jpg
Glazed creosote, however, causes a particular problem seeing as it is very difficult to remove and produces the worst odor due to its high moisture content. A chimney sweep can remove the surface build up of creosote, but the odors will remain absorbed into the masonry surface.
Installing a chimney cap will also help prevent odors from entering your home by keeping the interior of the chimney dry. It cannot, however, keep the humidity out. Many different deodorants are available on the market or through your chimney sweep company to combat the odors as well.

A quick fix may be to simply open a window in the room with the fireplace. If your chimney odor is being caused by air flow reversal, this opening of a window may allow the negative pressure in the home to be released, helping your chimney draft properly and vent normally, sending the odor out of the home.

Calling out a professional will help you in diagnosing what it is that’s causing your particular chimney odor problem. However, following these quick tips can usually cure most situations!

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

ALSO…

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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 Creosote and What is 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

Latest posts by Clay Lamb (see all)

Creosote
Looking up or down a chimney flue, you may see this: creosote glazing and scorch markings.

What is Creosote?

Creosote is a flammable and corrosive substance that can build up on the walls of your fireplace and chimney. Creosote forms when unburned wood particles, fly ash and other volatile gasses combine as they exit the chimney. If there’s a poor draft, these unburned particles and gasses can condense and build up on the walls of your chimney. Over time, these e or soot buildups can become a danger as they can potentially result in a chimney fire.

Causes of Chimney Creosote Problems

Smoke, or better termed, flue gas, releases by the initial fire, or primary combustion. Burning wood, no matter when releases pollutants in the form of gasses and particulate matter. Flue gas, comprised of steam and vaporized but unburned carbon based byproducts (vaporized accumulation). If smoke exiting the chimney is cools to below 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the gasses liquefy, combine, and solidify to form that tar compound. A flue too large for the woodburning appliance may increase the likelihood that creosote will build up. Restricted air supply, unseasoned or rain-logged wood, and cool surface flue temperatures also encourage creosote to build up.

Creosote Stages:

Condensation: In an attempt to save fuel, many people reduce the amount of air entering the combustion chamber, causing the appliance to smolder. This has serious side effects. Smoke then cools as it rises in the chimney, not having enough heat energy to escape the stack. The flue gas then condenses on the inside of the chimney and the sap/resin turns into creosote.

Creosote
This swollen creosote is very fragile and brittle. It can block the flue and cause tremendous smoking problems. Not uncommon if you’ve experienced a chimney fire.


Liquidation
: This sap/resin turns liquid and can seep into mortar joints or cracks in the flue tiles. The corrosive property held by creosote destroys masonry work and jeopardizes the life of your chimney.

Solidification: As temperatures fall and rise within the chimney, causing the heating and cooling of the creosote. This quickly enables build-up, reducing the amount of space the flue gas has to exit the chimney and, in extreme cases, blocking the flue completely. This build up can look like tar and is frequently termed “tar build-up.

Fragile State Creosote: When the solid creosote is burned, all volatile oils are removed leaving a residue that appears very similar to honeycomb which is crisp and easy to sweep from chimneys.

Creosote
Often creosote will accumulate at the top of the chimney over longer periods of being unattended to during the events.

Creosote Glazing

Glaze forms in the solidification stage and occurs when new layers of creosote build so quickly that the layers below it have no time to dry. These fresh layers then insulate previous deposits so it eventually solidifies creating the rock-like substance known as glaze.

 

 

 

 

How to Remove Creosote Glaze

To remove this hard-as-a-rock glaze, it must first be broken down chemically. The two best products to use To remove this hard as a rock glaze, it must firare Anti-Creo-Soot Liquid spray or ACS Powder. ACS in liquid form is a chimney creosote removal spray that can be applied directly onto the fire or used to pre-treat the wood before burning. The vapor goes up the flue and attaches to the glazed creosote and chemically modifies it. This converts it into a harmless ash that can easily be swept out with a chimney sweep brush. ACS in powder form is a little bit more powerful. This powdered chimney creosote remover is applied to the chimney walls and up the flue.

When you start a fire, the temperature needs to reach 300 degrees F. When this happens, the ACS Powder causes the creosote to expand and contract at a different rate than the flue it’s attaches to, causing it to pee
l away from the flue liner. Both of these products contain unique chemical catalysts that break down the creosote over time. They are the most powerful when used in combination. Use the ACS Powder for the first 2 weeks to break down the really heavy duty creosote. Then use the regular ACS liquid spray every time you have a fire. Give it 5-6 sprays each fire to reduce creosote buildup and keep your chimney creosote-free.

In conclusion, after you solve your creosote problem, it’s a good idea to check the rest of your chimney and make sure it’s in good shape. Keeping your bricks waterproofed and performing chimney crown repair if needed are essential steps to take to keep your chimney in proper repair.

After this, remember to check out our Youtube channel and other blogs!

Make sure you check out our YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/askthechimneysweep

And other blogs such as this one: https://www.askthechimneysweep.com/2015/12/creosote-odors-fireplace-problems/


Affiliate Disclosure

I NEVER recommend a product or service that I don’t personally use (and love) myself but just to be totally transparent you should know that some of the links on my site ARE affiliate links and I DO make a small commission from any sales that are made. Thanks for your support!

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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 Waterproofing – Can Water Damage Really Destroy Your Masonry Chimney?

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)

crown1 016Here in Cincinnati, I’m sure I don’t speak for myself when I say I have a new respect for hurricanes. We recently experienced hurricane force winds that caused more damage to chimneys than this city has seen in a while. When someone thinks of a hurricane, lots of water comes to mind, and when it comes to chimneys, few things are more detrimental to its life and quality than water damage. Not to mention there are few things more aggravating than the drip, drip, drip of water entering the chimney, resonating through your home and eventually through your very soul… Well, it may not be that annoying but no one wants to have to write a check for a major chimney overhaul due to moisture damage when it is easily preventable.

crown with moss growingWater Damage: A $1 Billion Per Year Problem

This damage comes in the form of staining, loss of insulation value, freeze-thaw damage, deterioration, and ultimately, structural failure. In light of this, I’d like to discuss a few systems, products, and techniques to ensure your family is safe, warm, and dry this hurricane or winter season, whichever you are preparing for.

Masonry chimneys are more prone to water damage than the rest of your home because they extend far above the roofline, unprotected from the elements. Waterproofing is a good idea because it protects the mortar joints from moisture entry and helps a repair last longer.

Waterproofing and Sealers

As far as waterproofing goes, Chimneysaver© is a ” Professional Grade ” product we use out in the field. It’s important to know the difference between waterproofers and sealers. ChimneySaver is not a sealer. Sealers and silicone coatings form a water resistant surface film which traps water vapors. If these vapors cannot escape, they will add to the deterioration of your brick.

Your chimney needs to breathe, which is why we use Chimneysaver©. It’s 100% breathable, or vapor permeable, meaning water vapor trapped inside the brick can easily pass through it. This is a non film-forming water repellent that will penetrate and line masonry pores to prevent water from deteriorating the brick.

Visit our web-store   —->  www.FireplaceAndChimneySupply.com

Mortar Joint Repair

crackmagik-buynowBefore you waterproof, make sure all the mortar joints are in good condition. If there’s any cracks or missing pieces of mortar, you may need to do some tuckpointing. If the cracks aren’t severe, you may be able to apply a brushable product called Crack & Joint Sealant. Think of it like a brushable caulk that dries semi-clear. This waterproofs the gaps and cracks in the mortar up to 1/8″.

Waterproofing your masonry chimney can preserve your chimney and prevent water damage and deterioration. A good water repellent normally only needs to be applied once every 5-10 years and will save you the headache of having to replace or rebuild your chimney.

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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)