Written by: Home Stratosphere

This is believed to be ‘the’ standard type of chimney that is typically built using materials like bricks, cement, mortar, blocks or stone. Masonry chimneys are usually accompanied by masonry fireplaces that are simple indented walls where you create fire on logs of wood.

All the heat and smoke passes upwards through a tunnel-like channel to the roof and then out into the atmosphere. An interesting feature of this type of chimney is that often the bricks that are used in its construction have the ability to absorb heat. This comes in really handy, especially during the winter season as some of the absorbed heat radiates to other rooms and keeps them warm.

Furthermore, the fireplaces of these chimneys have amazing aesthetic value and sense which can greatly make your space look incredible. If the masonry fireplace in your house is one of those elegantly and stylishly constructed types, chances are that it will have an excellent resale value.

Masonry chimneys are really durable and can last as long as your house, given that you ensure proper maintenance, regular cleaning and use the right kind of accessories. However, masonry chimneys require a super concrete and solid foundation during construction because it typically weighs around 6 to 7 tons.

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


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Written by: Angie’s List

While having a fireplace is a cozy way to relax after a hard day or stay warm on cold a night, it also brings with it extra work and responsibility. Maintaining your fireplace is a vital part in keeping your home and family safe, as well as keeping energy costs low.

The National Fire Protection Agency recommends a yearly fireplace inspection and cleaning. Finding a qualified chimney cleaner who is knowledgeable about fireplace safety is the first step in starting your inspection. Often, that professional will also offer repair services for anything he or she finds that could be unsafe or in poor condition. While you can clean your own chimney and fireplace, it’s a dirty and laborious job.

Learning what to look for during an inspection is something that the professional is trained in, not the average homeowner. Further, a fireplace service professional is often a one-stop shop for servicing your fireplace. When hiring your professional, be sure to ask if he or she offers cleaning, inspection and repair services.

A clean fireplace should also make your home more safe. The crackling fire you enjoy produces an oil called creosote that deposits on the walls of the fireplace and chimney via the smoke on the way up and out of the house. Over time, the creosote will build up and if it becomes thick enough, it can become flammable and catch fire. Further, heavy creosote buildup can hinder the escape of carbon monoxide gas out of the home, which can be deadly.

Working together with an experienced fireplace professional can help you be sure that your home and family are safe and sound. You can enjoy your crackling fireplace and cozy atmosphere with confidence that you’re not putting your family in danger.


Reposted by: Elite Fireplace

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

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Written by: Efireplace Store

The authenticity of a wood fire cannot be beat, and a wood-burning insert is still a popular option. If you have access to plenty of wood, or are looking for the highest amount of heat for your home, or are often without power, a wood-burning insert is a good choice. Nothing can match the warmth from burning quality firewood, and many of our inserts can provide primary heat for your home.

When searching for the right wood-burning insert, one of the most important considerations is the size of the firebox chamber. Most of our inserts list the ideal log size on their respective item pages (usually under the “Features” section), but if you need assistance finding what size logs will fit in any insert, we will be happy to assist you. In almost every case, this information can be found in the downloadable owner’s manuals, also on each insert’s item page.

Admittedly, the savings of wood over gas heating can vary. It depends entirely on when you would buy the firewood for your wood-burning insert. If you buy your firewood in the off season, you will get the lower prices for your wood. If you were to buy the firewood in the season you need it prices might be as high as half a grand. It entirely depends on when you buy your firewood as to how high your savings are.

Choose a best professional fireplace company in helping you make the best decisions for your wood burning fireplace needs

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



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Written by: Chimney Solutions

A chimney that never or only occasionally gets cleaned can lead to some very serious problems.  Some of these problems are expensive to remedy, while others can pose risks to the health and safety of everyone in your home.  Let’s look at how to avoid all this and discover five important benefits of a clean chimney.

  1. Easier to inspect

A chimney that’s free from large soot and creosote buildups makes it easier for a chimney sweep to perform an accurate and thorough inspection.  In addition to the chimney liner, soot and creosote can attach to the smoke shelf and damper, obscuring these areas and making it difficult to spot problems in their early stages when repairs would be minor and less expensive.

  1. Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

A buildup of smoke byproducts as well as other obstructions such as twigs, leaves, animal nests and the animals themselves will hinder airflow through the chimney.  When this happens, dangerous carbon monoxide may be pushed into the home.  This gas is invisible and odorless, and it can be deadly at high levels.

  1. Decrease the likelihood of smoke reversing its direction

While you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, you most definitely can see and smell smoke that’s backing up into the room.  An  obstructed chimney  can easily cause this to happen.  Nobody wants to inhale smoke, and nobody wants smoke and ash getting all over rugs, furnishings and clothing.

  1. Prevent a chimney fire

Every time a wood fire is started in a fireplace, creosote is created.  This substance is sticky, concentrated and highly flammable.  It doesn’t take a lot of creosote to start a small chimney fire, and every little fire causes progressive damage to the inside of the chimney.  A large chimney fire can be a catastrophic event.

  1. Increased burn efficiency

In order for wood to burn thoroughly and efficiently, there needs to be a clean channel for air coming into the firebox to get out of the firebox.  When airflow is compromised, insufficient oxygen will reach the burning wood, decreasing the heat of the burn.  Fires will burn at peak efficiency only in an environment that allows for proper ventilation of air.

What happens during a chimney inspection and cleaning?

When you have a professional out to your home to perform inspection and cleaning of your fireplace and chimney, many important tasks will take place including:

  • Thorough inspection of the chimney’s bricks and mortar to detect signs of chipping or cracking
  • Complete cleaning of the inside of the chimney, followed by inspection to determine if there’s any internal damage
  • Inspection of the chimney crown and chimney cap to look for deterioration
  • Inspection of the flashing that seals the gap between the chimney and the roof
  • Evaluation of any discoloration that may appear on the chimney bricks
  • Inspection of the damper to make sure it opens and closes correctly


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

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Written: Turnbull Masonry

Crumbling mortar or a spalling brick chimney? Issues such as these require immediate repairs to protect your home and those who live inside of it. If you notice bricks falling off your chimney, this issue is known as spalling. Prior to spalling, there is usually some weakening of mortar joints. You may notice joints are soft to the touch and may even crumble with the push of your finger. As soon as mortar joints lose their durability, they are no longer functional at supporting your brick chimney. As a result, the surrounding bricks take on excess pressure and eventually succumb to spalling. Moisture is a leading cause of these issues, although a variety of other factors may contribute as well.

Main Causes of a Crumbling or Spalling Brick Chimney:

  • As mentioned above, water damage is a common culprit. Water may come from leaking gutters, as well as leaks in windows or on the roof. It may also result from driving rain or a lack of proper drainage systems.
  • Living in a cold environment like Toronto, moisture becomes trapped inside of bricks where it freezes (expands) and then thaws (decreases in mass) over and over. This puts a lot of pressure on brickwork and mortar, eventually leading to cracks.
  • The use of salvaged bricks or improper building processes
  • Using a sandblaster or power washer to clean brickwork, which can result in removal of the waterproof sealant applied to bricks.

Why is Brick Spalling Dangerous?

There are a few reasons why a spalling brick chimney is dangerous if left untreated.

1. Chimney Fires are More Likely

The leading cause of chimney fires is a buildup of creosote, the black tar from smoke that sticks to the sides of your chimney flue. Without regular cleaning, creosote continues to build up in thick layers. If a spark from your fireplace hits this flammable substance it can spark a chimney fire.

Although, any discrepancies or weaknesses in your chimney can increase the risk for improper functioning, which can lead to a chimney fire. For instance, if the flue is impacted, it may not contain and funnel out heat and smoke as it should. Thus, allowing heat and possibly even sparks of fire to reach other parts of your home that are not able to withstand high temperatures like your chimney flue.

That’s why it’s important to check the bricks on the inside of your fireplace box as well as the outside. If these bricks are spalling, or if masonry joints are crumbling, sparks may reach the wooden parts of your home and cause a fire.

2. The Problem Will Only Get Worse

Ignoring crumbling mortar or bricks doesn’t do anyone any favors. In fact, it won’t even help you save money. Instead, it does just the opposite. That’s because it will not get better or even stay the same. Instead, it will progressively get worse. Cracks in mortar or brick allows moisture to enter at a quicker rate, and all of this trapped moisture will go through freeze and thaw cycles that put additional pressure on brickwork. As a result, you’ll notice additional spalling.

3. Your Entire Chimney Could Fall Down

Sure, it’ll take some time, but eventually if you don’t correct spalling brickwork, the entire chimney structure can become compromised. It’s always more affordable to fix spalling bricks or cracked mortar compared to rebuilding an entire chimney. That’s why we highly recommend taking care of issues right away, preferably before winter ever sets in.

Fix Your Chimney for a Safe & Warm Winter

Elite FIreplace has the experience necessary to identify and solve existing chimney problems. It’s important to fix the damage, as well as to find the underlying cause of the damage so that it doesn’t happen all over again. We are here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to set up a consultation. 

 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

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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. 

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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. 


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