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Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning Today to Enjoy a Safe Fire This Holiday Season

November is here and it won’t be long until you’ll be smelling that turkey cooking and tasting that pumpkin pie. After a long, happy day of cooking, cleaning up, and visiting with relatives, there’s nothing like sitting down and relaxing in front of a crackling fire. But before that can happen, it’s important to give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call to get that chimney cleaned. Is it really that important, you might be asking? Read on to see why the answer is yes.

What Happens When Your Chimney is Dirty

Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning Today to Enjoy a Safe Fire This Holiday Season - Conifer, CO - Chimney DoctorsNatural fibers in the wood release gases through the smoke and into the chimney. As it gets higher up in the chimney, it hits that cooler surface near the top and condenses. The material that condenses is a thick, brown mass or a black, shiny material that is extremely flammable – creosote. Creosote builds up thicker and thicker through the course of a fire burning season, and any buildup over 1/8 inch is considered dangerous by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. There are some things that you can do to prevent creosote buildup, however. For one thing, the type of wood you use can cause more or less creosote buildup. Softwoods tend to cause a higher level of creosote to build up more quickly, but the type of wood isn’t the only thing to think about. How you burn that wood can also contribute to the amount of creosote buildup. The hotter the fire burns, the less creosote buildup.

Blockages

Another thing that your chimney sweep will be looking for is blockages. Over the course of the summer, animals or birds may try to build nests in your chimney in order to raise their families in a safe place. After the families move out, the nest remains behind, getting dryer and dryer. If one stray spark hits that dry nest, you could be facing a chimney fire. Paper, debris, or dried leaves can also float into your chimney, creating a fire hazard. Qualified chimney sweeps like those at Chimney Doctors of Colorado clear your chimney of blockages and clean out creosote buildup.

Schedule an Inspection and Cleaning

The most important thing you can do to keep your family and home safe is to call Chimney Doctors of Colorado today so that you can get an inspection and cleaning scheduled as soon as possible. Remember, soon it will be time to gather your friends and family around, enjoy food and fun, and relax in front of a crackling fire. Make sure that you can enjoy this time comfortably and worry free, knowing that you’ve hired the best in the business to clean your chimney.

Make Sure Your Firewood is Seasoned

In most cases, when you buy or make something, you don’t want to just leave it sitting around, exposed to the elements. For example, a good loaf of banana bread gets pretty hard and stale if you leave it sitting on the counter for too long. If you buy a new outfit and leave it hanging in the closet for six months to a year before you wear it, you risk it not fitting anymore or going out of style before you wear it. There are some things that just get better with age, however. Fine wines, good cheese – these both get better with age. Fruitcake can sit around for months and just get better and better, right? Another thing you want to make sure sits for at least six months is firewood. In fact, the longer you can let your firewood sit, the better your fire will burn!

Why is Seasoning So Important?Make Sure Your Firewood is Seasoned Image - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors

Fresh cut firewood has a very high water content. Trees basically have a series of watering tubes carrying the water to the branches and leaves. In fact, when you cut a tree, you can have 50% – 80% water content. In order to burn efficiently, you want that content down to at least 20 – 25%, and that can take at least six months of drying time – and a year is even better. If you burn wet wood, first of all, it won’t start or burn as easily, and once you do get it burning, you’ll have a smoldering, slow-burning fire that burns colder than a fire using dry wood.

The biggest problem with this is that this type of fire makes smoke that has a higher moisture content, which means that it condenses and adheres to the interior of your chimney in the form of creosote at a higher level than with a dry wood fire.

How Can I Tell If My Firewood is Well-seasoned?

When you cut your firewood, you’ll want to split it right away to speed the drying process. It will dry best if it dries in the open air, and don’t cover it with any type of tarp. Store the wood on a pallet, if possible, and stack it rather than leaving it in a heap. The more sides that you can have exposed to the open air, the quicker your firewood will dry.

If you buy firewood and want to make sure that it is dry, there are a few ways to test it. For one thing, dry firewood is lighter in weight and grayer in color than wet firewood. It will not have as pungent an odor as fresh cut wood. Dryer firewood will have more cracks in it, especially along the cut end. Also, if you hit two pieces of wood together, dryer firewood will have a more hollow, ringing sound.

Call the Pros

If you’ve been burning wet firewood, give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call and have them check out your chimney for creosote buildup. They’ll fix you up in no time!

The Value Of A Chimney Inspection

It’s easy to see the value of some things. You get a good education so that you can further your career. Having your car serviced on a regular basis keeps it running smoothly. You treat your friends and family right so you can share in the good times – and get comfort and help in the bad times. Something else that can have value beyond what you know? Having your chimney inspected and cleaned!

 Value Of A Chimney Inspection Image - Conifer CO - Chimney DoctorsThe Value Of Annual Inspection

Why is it so important to have your chimney inspected? Really, what’s the big deal? Your chimney is a big structure, so the chances of a chimney fire are really slim, right? Actually, that’s not true. Your chimney may seem like a big structure on the outside, but if you try to look up and into it, you’ll soon find out that it’s actually pretty narrow.

When you burn a fire in your fireplace, the smoke goes up into the chimney and out of your home. This is great; smoke in the room can cause burning, itching eyes and breathing and lung problems. A problem with the smoke, however, is that smoke can contribute to creosote buildup. Creosote is a brownish or blackish, nasty smelling substance that builds up on the inside of your chimney, especially closer to the top where the vapors in the smoke hit the colder surface of the chimney and condense there. Creosote is highly flammable and can contribute to chimney fires. That’s one reason you should burn seasoned wood, too; it’ll burn with less smoke and hotter, which builds up less creosote.

So, can’t you just clean this out yourself? You can give it a try, but chances are, you’re not going to be able to get high enough to reach all the creosote buildup that exists inside your chimney. Calling a CSIA certified chimney sweep company like Chimney Doctors of Colorado is a good idea; they have the experience to know how to remove that creosote, plus they have the tools that make the job easier and more effective.

Structural Damage

Another thing that Chimney Doctors of Colorado inspectors look for is structural damage. Wear and tear over time can have a deteriorating effect on your chimney, and these professionals know just what to look for to determine if repairs need to be undertaken. Although your chimney might look just fine on the outside, there can be damage evident only from the inside of your chimney, and Chimney Doctors of Colorado have video inspection equipment that can be used if they believe further inspection is needed to determine if damage exists.

Have Your Chimney Inspected Soon

Now is the time to schedule your chimney inspection, before the cool days of fall arrive. Go into fire burning season confident that your chimney is safe and clear of potentially dangerous creosote buildup!

National Fire Safety Week – October 8-14

There are so many events, people, and occasions that deserve special consideration. September is National Baby Safety Month. This brings attention to the the important issue of educating parents and caregivers about keeping their babies safe through the early years of life. National Earth Day emphasizes the importance of environmental protection. National Teacher Appreciation week gives credit to the hard work that teachers put in during the year. There’s another important week coming up in October – National Fire Safety Week, from October 8-14!

National Fire Safety Week - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors of ColoradoPreventing Fires

When you use your fireplace, the last thing you want to think about is a chimney fire. But statistics show that this is something that every homeowner should be thinking about. Over the course of a year, over three thousand people die each year in a house fire. Although not all house fires are started by a dirty fireplace, this is responsible for some. Add to that full dryer vents, electrical fires, cooking fires, and other types of heating appliance fires. You can see that this is not a subject to make light of!

Although this is a serious topic, it’s a good one to think about. There are ways to prevent house fires. It’s important that you are aware of precautions you can take to make sure you aren’t caught unaware.

First, it’s extremely important to know what to do in case there is a fire in your home. Figure out the best exit paths, and then make sure that every person in the house knows how to get out – no matter what room they may be in. Practice this route periodically, and make sure you set a meeting place so you are sure everyone is safe!

Another thing you can do is to make sure that you have working fire and smoke detectors in place, and that the batteries are working. You should check the batteries once a month and change them at least once a year.

Keep Your Fireplace Clean

If you’re a fireplace owner, one thing you can do is make sure that your fireplace and chimney are kept clean. Do you use your fireplace a lot? If so, you can be sure that you have a certain amount of that highly flammable substance, creosote, lining the interior of your chimney. If you don’t call in a CSIA certified chimney inspector to take a look, you’re just asking for trouble! A certified professional like those at Chimney Doctors of Colorado will know exactly what to look for by way of repair or cleaning. By doing so, they will be able to clean and repair exactly what needs. This way, you can enjoy your fireplace knowing that you are keeping your family safe.

In the meantime, spread the word that National Fire Safety Week is October 8-14, and encourage everyone you know to take the proper fire safety precautions!

Does Your Chimney Need A Facelift?

When you think of doing a remodeling job, you probably think big. An updated kitchen, complete with new appliances. A beautiful new bedroom set, bedding, and curtains in the bedroom. Bright, soft carpet and new furniture in the living room. It is just such a good feeling to walk into a room that you have completely remodeled. It fits the exact picture that you had in your mind. However, when you’ve thought of remodeling, have you considered redoing your fireplace? There’s nothing that can change the look and feel of a room quite like a fireplace remodel can!

Chimney Need A Facelift - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors of Colorado Getting Started

There are basically two reasons that a fireplace needs to be redone: because it needs repairs, or because it needs updating. Either way, it’s important to figure out exactly how much money you may need to spend before you start to look at ideas. This task can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be.

After you’ve determined your price range, begin to look at the different materials you might use to complete the work. The materials you choose will have a big impact on how much you end up spending.

Is money is no object? You might want to consider using a slab of some solid surface – such as granite or marble. This creates a unique effect that will make your fireplace the centerpiece of the room. Be aware, it will end up costing more, so be sure to pick the perfect piece for your room!

Another good option is steel. Building codes will probably require that you have a certain width of noncombustible material for the surround and the hearth. Therefore, steel can be an excellent option! Or, if you like the look of a metal but want a truly unique look, try copper. This will give a beautiful, glowing finish with the added bonus of changing looks as time passes.

Tile is another great choice when considering a front for your fireplace. Tile has the advantage of coming in many colors and styles. In addition, these tiles can be arranged in innumerable patterns! This ensures that you will have a completely unique fireplace that matches whatever style you’re trying to achieve. Not only this, but you can determine how much you spend by picking a less or more expensive tile.

Bring in the Experts

It may seem like an easy job to make over your fireplace, but don’t be fooled: your fireplace is too important of a focal point in your room to leave to anyone but experts like the technicians at Chimney Doctors of Colorado. They have had years of experience and know just what to do to get the results you’re looking for. Trust your fireplace facelift to the National Fireplace Institute certified and Chimney Safety Institute of America certified experts and you’ll soon have the fireplace of your dreams!

The Importance Of Burning Seasoned Firewood

Have you ever sat in front of a fire that just isn’t burning right? Is it hard to keep burning, isn’t producing a lot of heat, and/or is super smoky? If so, chances are the wood you’re trying to burn is too green! That doesn’t mean the wood is actually green colored; it means that it’s too fresh and hasn’t been allowed to dry for as long as it needs to.

The Importance Of Burning Seasoned Firewood Image - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors Of ColoradoWhy Not Use Green Wood?

When you first cut your firewood, it contains about 50% water content. It’s pretty much common sense why that won’t work; water doesn’t burn, right? Until you let the firewood sit and dry out to about a 20% water content, it won’t burn properly. That’s not to say it won’t burn, but you will have a lot of smoke! Needless to say, this isn’t a pleasant atmosphere to relax in.

An even more important problem with burning unseasoned wood? It causes creosote to form more quickly than dry wood does. Due to the water content in the wood, more steam is released. This makes a secondary burn null and void. Unfortunately, this means that your heat output is cut, so the smoke that is released is more water saturated and heavy. As it gets farther up the chimney, it cools quickly. The cooling results in a higher level of creosote which condenses onto the inside of the chimney. This is a highly flammable material and can cause a dangerous chimney fire!

How Can You Tell if Your Firewood is Green?

There are several ways to tell if the wood you’ve purchased or cut is dry enough to burn properly. Use your senses! One way is by looking at it. Properly seasoned firewood will be darker in color, even gray, and will have cracks in it. It will have a hollow sound if you hit two pieces of wood together, and dry wood will be lighter in weight than green wood. Green wood also has a sweet, sappy smell.

How To Dry the Firewood

There are ways to season your firewood if you buy it – and it’s green. One thing to do is to cut it into smaller chunks and split it instead of leaving it in round log form. This gives it more surface area to dry. After it’s been cut, stack it on pallets so that it isn’t touching the ground. Don’t stack it too tightly; it needs to have air circulating around it to allow it to dry. Also, it’s a good idea to let it set for at least six months. Some hardwoods take longer than this; you are better to err on the side of letting it season too long instead of not long enough!

Have Your Chimney Cleaned Annually

Whether you use dry wood or green wood, creosote buildup is inevitable over time. Make sure that you have your chimney inspected and cleaned on an annual basis by CSIA professionals – like the professionals at Chimney Doctors of Colorado!

Preparation For Having Your Chimney Swept

One part of your house that you never have to worry about cleaning yourself is your chimney. Thank goodness, right? Of all the messy jobs, chimney sweeping has got to top the list. To really do the job right, it’s best to hire a professional. Why? They have the right training and the right equipment to make sure the job is done correctly! You should have your chimney swept on an annual basis to keep it safe, and to reduce the risk of chimney fires.

Preparation For Having Your Chimney Swept Image - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors of ColoradoHave you have neglected this advice? If so, it’s probably time to get a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep company. Just like the CSIA certified pros at Chimney Doctors of Colorado! If this is your first experience with having your chimney swept, you probably have some questions about what to expect.

Pick The Right Sweep

If you’re looking to pick a chimney sweep, there are some things you’ll want to check out about the company first. One of the first things you’ll want to look at is if the company is certified by CSIA. CSIA is an organization that has worked for decades to educate chimney and venting professionals. Knowing how to best keep homes safe from chimney and vent fires, you can be sure that professionals that are CSIA certified. They have been trained in all the latest techniques to get your chimney cleaned and make sure it is safe for use.

Another certification that is desirable is from the National Fireplace Institute (NFI). This organization also works to make sure that all educational materials are up-to-date with the latest in industry standards and procedures. Make sure that any company you pick to work on your chimney has professionals who are CSIA and NFI certified.

Another thing which you should ask? If the company you are considering will give references from other customers. They should be happy and excited about showing you how other customers feel about the service they will be providing. Check to make sure that there aren’t complaints against the company that haven’t been satisfactorily resolved. In addition, also ask if the company carries valid business liability insurance!

Get Your House Ready

Once you’ve got an appointment scheduled, you might be wondering if you need to take special precautions, as far as furniture and flooring are concerned. If you hire quality professionals, you shouldn’t have to worry about protecting your carpets, furniture, or draperies! Your chimney care professionals should take care of covering what needs to be covered. They will also make sure that your fireplace room is just as clean as when they started. If you feel more comfortable covering furniture, by all means do, but it isn’t necessary. You might want to remove anything that’s sitting on the hearth or mantelpiece, just to avoid any accidents.

Call Chimney Doctors of Colorado to have your chimney sweeping needs covered. They’ll make sure your chimney is clean and safe and will leave your house just as clean as before they started!

Upgrade Your Backyard With An Outdoor Fireplace

Summertime is so much fun! There are so many great activities that you can participate in when you’re living in Colorado. You can hike in the mountains or wander around the Garden of the Gods. Needless to say, it’s easy to find something to do. At the end of the day, all you want to do is come home and relax. What better way to relax than to light a fire in a beautiful backyard fireplace? Just sitting in a lawn chair watching the flames crackle and pop are the perfect way to wind down after a busy day. Wouldn’t it be great to upgrade the value of your backyard by adding an outdoor fireplace?

Backyard With An Outdoor Fireplace Image - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors of ColoradoBuilding a Fireplace

There are many do-it-yourself websites out there that will show you step by step how to go about putting in an outdoor fireplace. There are many steps to follow. Finding the right spot to choosing the right materials to choosing the manner of fuel you’re going to use. However, when it comes right down to it, who really has the time for all that? Beyond the time and labor involved is the responsibility of knowing that you have created something. Not only that, but something that is safe and efficient for the family to use. Sounds like a lot of work and worry! There are some things that are just better left to a professional. Building your outdoor fireplace definitely seems like one of those things.

When you think about having an outdoor fireplace, you probably instantly think of a wood fire. Having said that, there are other ways to go about getting the pleasure of sitting around a fire. For ease and convenience, you may want to consider using propane or natural gas as an option for your outdoor fireplace. There are pros and cons to each. Propane will come in a tank, which means your fireplace can more easily be moved. On the other hand, natural gas will be directly hooked up to your gas line. This means, although more convenient, you won’t be moving your fireplace anytime soon! Also, propane is more efficient, but natural gas is less expensive.

What Happens Next?

After considering fuel source, you may want to start thinking about location and size of the area where you are considering building. Both of these factors will directly affect how big of a fireplace you decide to build. If you have a large backyard, you may want to consider building a bigger fireplace. Even if it’s just for aesthetic purposes. You’ll also want to find an area where your yard is relatively flat. This is not just for the placement of the fireplace, but also for placement of seating for your guests.

Get Professional Help

When you want the job done right, you’ll want to call in people with experience and technical knowledge. Just like the professionals at Chimney Doctors of Colorado! They are NFI and CSIA certified and can not only expertly install your backyard fireplace, but can give great advice on which fireplace best suits your needs.

Decrease Your Energy Bills – Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned

People are always looking for ways to save money. We all love finding clothes on the half price rack at the end of a season! It’s a good idea to make sure you have your car serviced on time to make sure that everything keeps running smoothly. Getting an extra night at a motel after staying there five nights is awesome. Plus. who can resist getting two cheeseburgers for the price of one? There are also some great ways to save money on your energy bill. Keep the furnace set at 66 degrees during the winter and 72 in the summer. Don’t stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open. Yet, there’s one way to save on energy costs that many people don’t take advantage of. What is this, you may ask? Getting your dryer vent cleaned!Full Lint Screen

Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned Image - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors of ColoradoFull Lint Screen

When you wash your clothes, little bits of fiber break off from the fabric. However, they are basically stuck on the fabric because it’s wet. When it gets in the dryer, the water is removed from the fabric. This releases the bits of fiber as well. The air in the dryer then blows those lint fibers off and as the air goes through the lint screen, the lint fibers are left behind on the lint screen. This is great – if that lint was allowed to go through, it would get stuck in the dryer vent. Considering the large amount of lint that is loosed, you’d be facing a dryer vent fire in no time! That’s one reason it’s so important to clean your lint screen every load or two of clothes.

Keeping your lint screen empty is very important. Fortunately, there’s another thing you can do that will help prevent possible dryer vent fires and also decrease your energy bills. Have your dryer vent cleaned professionally!

Higher Energy Bills

There are several things that happen as your dryer vent fills with lint. Even if you clean your lint screen frequently, some particles still get through and make their way into your dryer vent. These particles stick to the sides of the dryer vent, which makes it easier for more particles to stick. As the vent fills, it gets harder and harder for the air to move through because air circulation is blocked. This causes the motor to work harder. In turn, it takes longer for your clothes to dry, which uses more energy. This, in turn, equals is a higher electric or gas bill!

Get Your Dryer Vents Cleaned

When it comes to cleaning out your dryer vent, you will definitely want to trust the job to the professionals. It’s recommended that you have your dryer vent cleaned at least yearly. The technicians at Chimney Doctors of Colorado have the proper equipment and training to make sure that your dryer vent is completely clean. It’s important to do whatever you can to keep your home safe. Cleaning your dryer vent is a great step to take. The lower energy bills are frosting on the cake!

Keeping Animals From Entering Your Chimney

Keeping Animals From Entering Your Chimney Image - Conifer CO - Chimney Doctors LLCIf you are out in the great outdoors and you want to find a place to hunker down and settle in, what is it you’re going to look for? Probably a place that’s warm, out of the strong breeze, and you’ll want a place that’ll keep you safe from predators. If you’re a bird or a small animal, the perfect place to hunker down and settle in just happens to be your chimney. Although you may not think that this is a big deal, there are reasons that you don’t want these uninvited guests to set up residence in your chimney.

Keeping Animals Out

There are a couple of good options when it comes to keeping critters out of your chimney. One of these is a chase cover. If your chimney is enclosed by another piece of construction, you have a chase – a structure that is used to enclose another piece of equipment. A chase cover is a cover that fits over the chase and works to keep water, animals, leaves, twigs, or other debris out of your chimney. If you have a chase cover, make sure it is properly fitted so that animals don’t get into your chimney. Another thing to keep in mind is that what your chase cover is made out of will have a direct effect on how effective it is at keeping things out. Look for a chase cover that is made out of stainless steel so that you won’t have to worry about rust eating a hole in your chase cover, rendering it useless.

Chimney caps are another effective method of keeping animals out. A chimney cap is also a covering for your chimney, and it also serves the purpose, like a chase cover, of keeping precipitation out of your chimney. It can also prevent animals from getting into your chimney, whether by accident or because they are searching for a safe place to raise a family. When looking to buy a chimney cap, Best Pick Reports.com suggests that you buy one with protective screening that will keep animals as well as moisture out of your chimney. Also, there are many different types of chimney caps available, and you will certainly be able to find one that fits your chimney.

Importance of Keeping Animals Out

It may not seem like it is so important to keep animals out of your chimney. The most they can do is to make some noise, which isn’t really reason enough to go to the expense of trying to keep them out, right? According to the Animal Control Specialist website, there are other problems that can be caused by animals in your chimney. They can carry fleas and flies, and the urine and droppings they leave behind can cause offensive odors in your chimney. Worse yet, animals can get stuck and die in your chimney, which means immediate removal is necessary.

Call the Experts

When you need advice on how to keep animals out of your chimney, give the experts at Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call. They’ll be able to set you up with what you need to keep your chimney animal free!