Wriiten by: North Eastern Chimney

Excess moisture in a home is not a good thing. It is very important to identify the cause when you have a leaky chimney. There are numerous reasons it is never a good idea to put off the repair of a leak, especially a chimney leak.

Problems Caused by Moisture

Moisture caused by leaks creates numerous problems, and some are very costly to repair. Others are bad for your health. The following are among the problems caused by excess moisture from a leaky chimney:

  • If the water gets into the walls, it destroys or seriously damages every type of finish, including plaster, wallpaper, paneling, and paint.
  • Mold thrives on moisture. If there is a leak in your chimney, one thing that can happen is that you could end up with moldy wood, which can eventually cause a negative affect the health of everyone in the home.
  • Moisture causes wood to rot. Not only will the wood need to be replaced, but the moist wood attracts carpenter ants, rodents, and dreaded termites.
  • Water leaks are not static. The moisture easily spreads around an causes damage to other parts of your home.

Causes of Chimney Leaks

There are other potential culprits, when a home has problems caused by leaks, but here we focus on chimney leaks. As our chimney professionals are well aware, leaky chimneys are not uncommon. There are numerous possible causes of chimney leaks, and the following are a few of them:

Faulty Flashing

The metal part of the chimney, which is meant to form a waterproof seal between roof and chimney, is susceptible to leaking for several reasons. First of all, flashing is difficult to correctly install. Secondly, flashing tends to rust and develop leaks. The flashing should be inspected regularly. This feature of the chimney is less durable than probably any other component. Leaks can develop where the nails are or toward the top, if there isn’t an effective waterproof seal. Flashing leaks often cause a lot of damage before they are detected. Our chimney professionals recommend checking the area around the chimney as seen in the attic. These leaks can cause serious structural damage, which can be very expensive to repair. The sooner the leak is identified, the less costly the needed repairs are likely to be.

Deteriorating Mortar

The life of the mortar that cements masonry and holds it together is not usually any longer than 25 years, while the bricks or stone lasts well over a century. When the mortar begins to deteriorate, moisture is allowed to pour into the chimney structure. The saturated masonry freezes and thaws in winter; and all of the movement causes the masonry face to pop or flake off. If the mortar isn’t replaced, the chimney can lean or collapse.

No Chimney Cap

A chimney cap is an accessory, but it performs a vital function. The chimney cap prevents rain from pouring directly into your chimney and causing various moisture problems.

Cracked Crown

The cement surface at the top of the chimney is the crown, and it sometimes needs to be replaced or repaired. When cracks develop in the crown, water gets between the flue lining and the chimney, which can cause damage to ceilings and walls.

One of the most important reasons to schedule an annual chimney inspection is to get the expert assessment of a pro who knows how to identify leaks in a chimney. Contact our chimney technicians today for an inspection, and put a stop to any hidden or obvious leaks in your chimney.

Elite Fireplace is a professional chimney cleaning and chimney repair service that has the knowledge and experience to thoroughly fixing your chimney of water leakage.

 For safe and reliable fireplace and chimney services, count on the experts at Elite Fireplace. To schedule an appointment or know more about our services, call us at (610) 489-4274 or contact us online. 

Continue Reading

Written by: Paul Dreher

Chimneys, in particular, require upkeep.

A chimney that is dirty, blocked or in disrepair can inhibit proper venting of smoke up the flue, and can also cause a chimney fire. Nearly all residential fires originating in the chimney are preventable, according to the New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

Chimney fires account for  75% of home heating fires , meaning homeowners should actively monitor their chimneys. Homeowners looking to avoid damage to their property and increased premiums should prepare for fires by checking their smoke alarms and updating their emergency plan.

The  Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends  looking for these signs of a pending chimney fire: a loud cracking and popping noise; a lot of dense smoke; or an intense, hot smell.

In honor of National Chimney Safety Week 2018 — held Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 — here are 10 tips to prevent chimney fires:

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a professional, and more than that if creosote builds up on your chimney walls more rapidly.
  • Consider installing a stainless steel liner that will withstand even the highest temperatures and will keep the embers contained.
  • Watch out for soot buildup. Soot is softer than creosote, but is also flammable and should be cleaned up regularly.
  • Between the professional inspects and cleanings, be sure to check and monitor your wood-burning fireplace for signs of buildup or other problems.
  • Clean the interior of your fireplace, including the floor, regularly. Sweep or vacuum up cold ashes.
  • Your chimney has a cap on the top of it with open sides (usually covered in mesh to keep rain, birds, squirrels and debris out). Make sure this cap is regularly inspected and replaced when necessary.
  • Check the interior of your fireplace for creosote buildup. It is flammable, therefore too much buildup is a fire hazard and should be cleaned away with creosote remover as soon as possible.
  • Any time there is smoke indoors from your fireplace, troubleshoot and immediately correct any problems you find. Possible causes are a dirty chimney, soot or creosote buildup, other debris, a sample that isn’t open or fully opened, or wood not building completely.
  • To improve your fireplace’s efficiency, you should also consider installing heat-proof glass doors to protect against heat loss and a fan or blower to direct heat into the room.
  • If possible, burn hardwoods like maple, oak, ash and birch. These woods burn hot and long, are cleaner to handle, and have less pitched and sap. They also tend to leave less creosote buildup but can be more expensive.

Contact Elite Fireplacetoday. Our dedicated team of professionals will get to know your personalized needs and provide you with options to make an informed decision.

Give us a call today at 610-489-4274 to or have one of our professionals answer your questions, or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve the residents of Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester County, PA.

Continue Reading

 

Written by: Lindstrom Air

Keeping your dryer vents clean is important for a number of reasons which include not only energy savings but safety.

A dryer works by pushing out hot, moist air so your clothes can dry. If your dryer vent to the outside becomes blocked by lint, the air will not be able to expel moisture like it was designed to do. The result will be trapped moisture that takes more heat energy to evaporate.

If you start to notice any of these things, it’s likely you have a lint problem.

It takes longer to dry clothes

With hot, moist air kept inside the dryer drum, it takes much longer and more heat to dry the clothes. This is hard on your dryer, your clothes, and reduces the life of both.

Clothing is hot to the touch

Clothing is supposed to be hot and fresh from the dryer, right? Wrong. If your clothes – or your dryer are noticeably hot to the touch at the end of a cycle, it means the dryer is not exhausting through the vent properly. Everything overheats – and overheating is never a good thing.

You smell something burning

Bad news – lint is very flammable, and when it builds up in the exhaust vent, lint trap, and drum casing, it can actually catch on fire. Between 2010 and 2014 there were almost 16,000 home fires reported to U.S. Fire Departments – and the majority of them were caused by dryers.  In a third of the dryer fires, lint build up was a leading factor. 

The vent hood doesn’t open

If the dryer duct hood flap doesn’t open, you likely have lint build up there and in the dryer hose. This is a good time to clean out the lint – or have a professional do it for you.

When your dryer is properly installed, lint shouldn’t collect excessively in the exhaust vent or dryer hose, especially if you’re cleaning the dryer vent screen regularly after every use.

Your dryer drum shouldn’t need cleaning unless you regularly dry pet items or sandy, gritty clothes. Always proactively shake out any hair or grit, and maybe wipe down the drum with a damp cloth after drying these items.

Lint build-up does happen, however – and should be taken seriously. You should check it yourself regularly – or better yet have an HVAC professional give you a hand.

At Elite Fireplace, we use the best products on the market. One product we use while cleaning your dryer vent is HEPA vacuum equipment. HEPA vacuums, or high-energy particulate air, filter up to 99.7% of particles.

Give us a call today at 610-489-4274 to or have one of our professionals answer your questions, or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve the residents of Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester County, PA.

 

Continue Reading

10 Tips for Wood Burning Fireplace Maintenance

Written by:  Marshall and Sterling Insurance

Who doesn’t love a nice, warm fire in the fireplace during the cold weather months? There can be many advantages to a wood burning fireplace, including saving money on heating costs and supplementing your main source of heat. At the same time, maintenance and service of your fireplace is of utmost importance. Some homeowners may not be aware of the exposures associated with fireplaces and chimneys until it’s too late and becomes a very costly repair. 

To help you avoid the risk of a chimney fire, here are ten tips for wood-burning fireplace maintenance courtesy of DIY Network2:

  1. Have your wood burning fireplace inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep at least once a year and more often if creosote builds up on the chimney walls rapidly.  Depending on where you live, this can cost anywhere from $100 to $200.
  2. Between professional inspections and cleanings, monitor your wood burning fireplace for signs of buildup or other problems.
  3. Your chimney has a cap with open sides usually covered with mesh to keep rain, birds, squirrels, other animals, and debris from entering the chimney. The cap should be inspected regularly and replaced when necessary.
  4. Check the interior of your wood burning fireplace’s chimney for creosote buildup.
  5. Also watch for soot buildup in the chimney of your wood burning fireplace. Soot is softer than creosote, flammable, and should be cleaned out of the chimney regularly.
  6. If possible, burn hardwoods like maple, oak, ash, and birch. The advantages of hardwoods are that they burn hot and long, have less pitch and sap, and tend to cause less creosote buildup. On the other hand, they generally are more expensive than softwoods.
  7. Anytime there is smoke indoors from your wood burning fireplace, troubleshoot and immediately correct any problems that you find. Possible causes of smoke are a dirty chimney with creosote or soot buildup, other debris in the chimney, a damper that isn’t open or is only partly open, or wood that is not burning completely.
  8. To ensure wood burning fireplace safety, consider installing a stainless steel liner that will withstand even the highest temperatures and will keep the fire and its embers contained.
  9. To improve your wood burning fireplace’s efficiency, consider installing heat-proof glass doors to protect against heat loss and a fan or blower to direct the heat into the room. Doors are also a safety feature, since they can keep live embers from escaping the fireplace into the interior of the home. Glass doors should be cleaned regularly with a paper towel and glass fireplace door cleaner.
  10. Clean your wood burning fireplace’s interior, including its floor, regularly. Sweep out or vacuum up cold ashes. Wear a dust mask and gloves when cleaning the fireplace.

The best fireplace maintenance!

To schedule an appointment or if you have any questions, give us a call at (610) 489-4274 or click here  to contact us online. Once you have submitted your request, a representative will be in touch with you soon.

 

Continue Reading

By: Home Advisor

According to an article we found on the Center for Disease Control’s National Ag Safety Database website, “[A chimney cleaning] schedule can range from once every couple of weeks to no less than once a year. How often you clean the chimney depends on the amount you use your stove, the type of wood you burn, the type of wood-burning unit you have and the way you operate the unit.” However, most fireplaces are not used with enough regularity to justify cleaning them every couple weeks. Unless you are using your fireplace as a primary heat source (the way that some folks use their wood stoves) and have wood burning many times a week, once a year is likely to be a more appropriate cleaning schedule.

For professional chimney and fireplace services in and around Philadelphia, choose Elite Fireplace. Our certified and licensed technicians have the right equipment and training to conduct fireplace inspectionschimney sweeps and chimney restoration and repairs.

For safe and reliable fireplace and chimney services, count on the experts at Elite Fireplace. To schedule an appointment or know more about our services, call us at (610) 489-4274 or contact us online. 

 

Continue Reading

Story by:Vince DeCrisci  

Having your chimney  cleaned  and  inspected  on a regular basis provides numerous benefits, including ensuring your fireplace and chimney operate efficiently and safely.

In fact, according to the  Chimney Safety Institute of America , fireplaces and chimneys should be   inspected  annually for “soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearance.” Cleaning, the organization says, should be performed as necessary.

Annual cleanings and inspections will:

  • Clear any debris from your chimney that could block toxic smoke from venting away from your home. Dead leaves and branches are popular culprits, but animals also can use your chimney as a home, bringing in nesting materials and more. Adequate cleanings and inspections will keep your chimney clear.
  • Remove creosote, a dangerous and toxic by-product of burning fires. Creosote adheres to the interior walls of your chimney during fires, and, in intense heat, can catch on fire and spread to the rest of your home.
  • Make sure your chimney is in good working order and free from cracks or excessive wear. If considerably damaged, water from rain storms can seep into your home, damaging walls and contributing to the formation of mold. Additionally, cracks in your chimney will allow noxious smoke into your home.

 is a professional chimney cleaning and chimney repair service that has the knowledge and experience to thoroughly clean your chimney and inspect it for any deficiencies. We can repair all parts of a chimney or fireplace, and offer chimney lining installation, chimney caps and more.

To schedule an appointment or if you have any questions, give us a call at (610) 489-4274 or click here  to contact us online. Once you have submitted your request, a representative will be in touch with you soon.

Continue Reading

Earlier the Better, Say the Experts

As the days become shorter and the cool evenings stretch into long, dark nights, a lit fireplace is like a warm and cheery hug that we all need from time to time. Just the thought of gathering friends and family around a crackling fire brings a certain joy that beats all your winter blues. While prepping for the chilly weather ahead and making plans for Christmas and New Year, did it just occur to you that you missed scheduling a routine chimney cleaning service after the last heating season? In case you are wondering whether to wait until the next spring, experts say the answer is no, it’s not too late! Arrange for a chimney clean up right away, before you light the first fire of the season.

The Basics of Chimney Cleaning 

  • Why Do You Need A Chimney Sweep or Cleaning? With regular fireplace usage, your chimney, liner, damper and smoke chamber will be at the receiving end of the flammable creosote build-up. Moreover, seasonal elements such as dirt, debris, twigs, pine cones and dried leaves, or birds, critters and other wildlife could have taken refuge inside the chimney, creating risky situations. Any type of blockage or sooty build-up will have a devastating effect on your fireplace’s efficiency and safety. A chimney sweep involves the complete removal of any obstructions that inhibit the performance of your wood burning hearth, or have the potential to cause chimney fires. 
  • How Often Should You Schedule a Cleaning? While most people prefer to schedule an annual chimney sweep, at times, you may need more than one sweep in a year. Plan a cleaning service when there is a minimum of about 1/8th inch of deposit in the chimney. However, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) advises that if you notice any glaze in the flue, cleaning should be done right away, even if the soot build-up has not reached the minimum threshold of 1/8th of an inch. 
  • When Should a Cleaning be Scheduled? Ideally, the best time to arrange a cleaning service is late spring, just after the heating season is over, or early fall, before you start lighting fires again. However, if you notice any performance issues with a newly installed fireplace or chimney, call a service technician immediately. If you wait it out till the season turns, it may result in expensive repairs.
  • Why Book an Inspection? Each time you use your fireplace, the combustion process releases an acidic material that gets deposited along the chimney walls. Over a period of time, this can weaken or deteriorate the masonry or the metal flue liner. Sign up for an annual fireplace and chimney inspection to ensure that such damages are detected and repaired in a timely manner. The technician will also check all the components of the fireplace to make sure they are in proper working condition. If you have installed a new wood burning fireplace, get it checked midway through the first heating season as well.

For professional chimney and fireplace services in and around Philadelphia, choose Elite Fireplace. Our certified and licensed technicians have the right equipment and training to conduct fireplace inspections, chimney sweeps and chimney restoration and repairs.

For safe and reliable fireplace and chimney services, count on the experts at Elite Fireplace. To schedule an appointment or know more about our services, call us at (610) 489-4274 or contact us online. 

Continue Reading

Your Trusted Chimney and Fireplace Company Responds…

There is no denying the joy of a crackling fire, the aroma of burning wood and the peaceful feeling of flames dancing in your traditional, wood burning fireplace. While the delightful sizzle and charming sight creates a warm and welcoming ambience for friends and family to gather around your hearth, maintaining a wood burning fireplace involves a fair bit of effort. This includes gathering or buying the firewood, stacking and storing the logs, bringing them to the hearth, and kindling and tending to the fire. You will also have to clean up the ashes and arrange for periodic inspections and chimney sweeps. Moreover, if you have young children and pets, you need to maintain a constant vigil near a lit fire, even if there are protective screens around the firebox.  

Continue Reading

Get in the Know of Common Chimney Problems and their Solutions

Whether you are a renter or a homeowner, you will agree that ‘leak’ is a dreadful four-letter-word, and you would do anything to avoid any leaky problems in your home. Depending on the type of leak and how quickly you identify its source, you may be able to minimize damage to the floors, walls, roofs and other sections of your home. However, a water damage situation is usually accompanied by scare, confusion and a significant dent in your wallet.

Continue Reading

In just a couple of months from now, you will be sitting around a crackling fire, warming your tippy toes, sipping hot cocoa or wine, and taking in the familiar smell of firewood burning. When you find yourself wrapped comfortably in your favorite fleece blanket, or surrounded by family or friends on cold, winter evenings, you will be thankful for the wood logs that you collected and prepped ahead of time. 

Continue Reading