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It’s never good news to hear you have a leak, whether it’s in your car’s radiator hose or your kitchen sink. If your chimney is leaking, the same is true. Chimney leaks can be messy and odor-causing, but they can also cause deeper damage to your fireplace and chimney system. If you suspect you have a leak, it’s important to call Chimney Doctors of Colorado right away. We will find the source of that leak before the damage gets so deep that major repair work is necessary.
Some of the earliest signs that your chimney is leaking may be cosmetic. Take a look at the ceiling near your fireplace. If the ceiling has brown spots on it, or if it is spongy or soft, it’s a very good possibility that there is a leak in your chimney. The same is true for your walls. Stained, mildewed or peeling wallcoverings or softened areas indicate water damage. Rust is another sure sign that there’s a leak somewhere. Take a look at any metal parts of your chimney, such as the damper system or fireplace accessories for signs of rust or warping.
Take a walk outside your home and pay close attention to the condition of the brick and mortar. If you see flakes and flecks of white on the ground around the chimney, you have a condition called spalling. This is when water gets into the pores of the bricks and causes the top surface to flake away. Another problem to look for is efflorescence. Take a look for sparkling brick, or a layer of crystal-like material forming on the surface. This is another sign of cracks in your bricks because that sparkle and crystal are salt deposits blooming out of your brick and mortar.
Cause for Concern
Any of these signs of water leakage should be a cause for concern. If there are cracks or fissures in your brickwork, the structural integrity of your chimney is at stake. When these cracks exist, the purpose of your chimney, which is to expel the byproducts of combustion out of your home, is not being fulfilled. This means that dangerous chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, may be lingering in your home, harming the health of your family. Your fireplace will also not be performing at its maximum level of efficiency, and that means more money spent on heating bills.
Now is a great time to give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call and have us in to check out the condition of your chimney. We’ll look for the source of any leakage and get those leaks fixed before they cause any long-lasting damage that will end up in costly repair bills.
Now that summer is finally here, building a fire in your fireplace is probably the last thing you think about. This also means that you aren’t giving much thought to the possibility of a house fire, either. However, summer is the time to think about house fires and things you can do to prevent them. At Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we have some tips to help you stay far away from ever having a house fire, learn more below.
Causes of House Fires
Although we often think of chimneys and fireplaces being causes of house fires, there are other causes too. One example of how a house fire can start can be from electrical appliances around the house. These include a space heater, a slow cooker, or even a toaster with a frayed cord, and if the wires are uncovered, they could easily spark to cause a fire. Even outlets with too many things plugged into it is a huge fire hazard.
There are countless fire hazards around the house, especially if you are not careful. Candles that are left burning or are placed too close to flammable materials. Leaving a gas stove burner on unattended. If this happens and the flame blows out, gas could leak; all it takes is a spark to cause a major house fire. In all of these circumstances, a little prevention is all it takes. Be aware of the condition of the items you plug in and be careful when using anything that includes a flame. The most important thing, however, is to make sure that your smoke detectors are working, and you have working fire extinguishers that are easily accessible on every floor of your home.
Vents and Chimneys
Two major causes of house fires are your chimney and clothes dryer. One of the natural byproducts of the combustion process for your chimney is creosote. This condensed form of smoke can adhere to the interior of your chimney. Creosote is extremely flammable. If you have even as little as an eighth of an inch of buildup, and a spark or ember floats up to your chimney, it could easily ignite into a chimney fire. Sometimes, this results in a catastrophic home fire, but most often a chimney fire goes undetected, causing damage to the chimney that the homeowner is unaware of.
Your clothes dryer is also a danger zone when it comes to house fires. Most people are aware of the importance of cleaning the lint tray after every load or two of clothes. Unfortunately, some lint still does get through that screen, where it floats through the dryer vents to the great outdoors. Because it is moist from the drying process, it can easily adhere to the interior of the dryer vent on the way out, and a buildup of lint. Lint is highly flammable, and all it takes is a spark, and you have a full-fledged house fire.
For both of these potential fire hazards, a call to Chimney Doctors of Colorado is the best prevention. Our chimney inspection and cleaning process ensure that your family is safe from the dangers of creosote buildup, and we do dryer vent cleanings as well! Give us a call today!
Summertime is a particularly beautiful time when you live in Colorado. It’s time to get out and enjoy some summertime activities that Colorado has to offer! Whether you enjoy water sports, hiking, picnics, or mountain climbing, summer in Colorado is a wonderful time to enjoy these activities. After a long day, there’s no better way to end the day than a cozy evening outdoors around a fire with your family and friends in your backyard. Or why wait until evening? There are plenty of good things you can make using your outdoor fireplace, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even dessert!
Hanging Out With Family and Friends
The best thing about summertime is hanging out with the people you love. Why not use your outdoor fireplace? Don’t limit yourself to just evenings, either. Host a family breakfast and cook over your outdoor fireplace, just like when you go camping! Let the fireplace take the chill out of the morning air, and gather the kids around to play games outdoors. Everything is more fun when you’re outdoors, and a crackling fire offers a great opportunity to sit and relax.
Did you know you can cook in many different ways using your outdoor fireplace? For some food, you may need to purchase some accessories. However, for simple foil packet meals, all you need is heavy duty aluminum foil. Throw in some meat, whether it’s hamburger, steak, chicken, or seafood, add some cut up veggies like potatoes, carrots, onions, asparagus, or whatever your favorite is, add some butter or oil and seasonings, and seal up the packet. Place this in the hot coals at the bottom of your fireplace and let it cook and you’ve got a tasty meal with no mess. You can also make things really simple and grab the roasting forks and roast some hot dogs, polish sausages, or brats over the fire. When you’re done with the main meal, get out the marshmallows, graham crackers or cookies, and candy bars and let your guests come up with their own version of a s’more for dessert.
Fun Around the Fireplace
No matter how you decide to feed your guests, a great way to end the evening is gathering around your outdoor fireplace with the people you love. It can be chilly in the evenings, so slip on a sweatshirt, pull the lawn chairs up close to the fireplace, and enjoy the night. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy or update your outdoor fireplace, give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call today!
One of the great things about spring is that it smells so good! It feels wonderful to open the windows and let the sweet springtime breezes blow through the house, getting rid of the stale odors of winter. If you are still noticing a bad smell near your chimney, its time to have it swept. When you call the Chimney Doctors of Colorado, we’ll find the source of the odor and make sure to get rid of it!
As you use your fireplace every winter, the byproduct is smoke. But what’s in that smoke? Mainly it’s moisture which is being burned out of the wood you’re burning, with lots of chemicals that are released through combustion mixed in. Most of the smoke is directed out of the chimney, but some of ends up condensing onto the cooler part of the interior of your chimney, especially closer to the top. As it condenses, it forms a layer of gunk called creosote. This builds on top of itself the more you use your fireplace, and that’s dangerous because it’s highly flammable. If it doesn’t get cleaned out, you could be facing a dramatic chimney fire, or even a not-so-dramatic fire that will cause damage to your chimney. Although this is the worst problem associated with creosote buildup, there are others, and one of those is odor.
Creosote smells, there’s no doubt about it. But when you mix creosote buildup with the warm spring air, then you really have a smell. Creosote has a strong smoky smell at best, and at worst, it smells like fresh tar. That smell flows down the chimney and actually permeates your furniture, your carpet or rugs, and even your curtains. To get rid of that smell, give us a call and we’ll get all the creosote out, and along with the creosote, the odor.
Culprit #2: Animals
Another thing that can cause odors in your home is animals. Your chimney is a critter magnet because it’s warm, dark, and out of the way of wind, bad weather, and predators. It’s a perfect place to have babies and raise them until they’re ready to be out on their own. The problem is, those animals leave droppings and fur or feathers, or in the worst case scenario, they can die and rot in your chimney. All of that leaves a bad odor, and that means you need us to come in and get rid of that odor. While we’re at it, we’ll check your chimney cap and make sure it’s in good shape to keep those animals out of your chimney.
To get rid of all those chimney odors, and to take care of all your other chimney needs, give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call today!
A fireplace is a real selling point to a home. In fact, for many people, it’s the deal-breaker. Luckily, there are many ways that you can add a fireplace to your home. You can go the traditional route and have a brick and mortar fireplace added. Keep in mind that there are certain problems that masonry systems bring. From weight to costly materials, a brick and mortar fireplace is a big decision. If you really want to add a fireplace to your home think about adding a prefabricated chimney to your home.
The biggest perk of adding a prefabricated chimney to your home is that it is made of lightweight materials right in the factory, ready to be installed in your home. Because these materials are so lightweight, it opens up other possibilities for your fireplace, the main one being placement. Most people think of a fireplace being in the living area, but with a prefabricated chimney, you could consider other rooms, such as the kitchen or bedroom. Wouldn’t it be cozy to relax in your bed in front of a warm fire? With a prefab chimney, you can do just that!
Another benefit of prefab chimneys is cost. Adding a brick and mortar chimney will be very costly. Besides materials and building costs, it will be expensive to add the components necessary to support that extra weight. Because your prefabricated chimney is made in the factory of lightweight materials, the cost will be considerably lower.
The biggest concern among homeowners is safety. A prefabricated chimney is a safe option, but it must be installed exactly according to factory instructions. That’s where Chimney Doctors of Colorado comes in. Our expert technicians have the experience and the knowledge to make sure that everything is installed correctly so that your family is kept safe from all dangers of chimney fires.
As with brick and mortar chimneys, it is important to have your prefab chimney inspected on a yearly basis, and Chimney Doctors of Colorado can handle that job as well. So whether you’re thinking of adding a chimney to your home, or if you have one that needs to be inspected, give us a call soon!
Winter may start out with beauty but by May you may be ready for a spring breeze to replace the winter chill. The green buds blooming on trees is a welcome sight this time of year and the last thing you want to think about is the fireplace. But while redecorating for spring this year, consider updating your hearth! From a new surround to new mantels and glass doors, consider talking with the Chimney Doctors of Colorado this year.
One way to really dress up your fireplace is to start with the fireplace surround. Over time and use, your fireplace surround can become dingy and drab looking, and there are different ways you can dress it up to make it a bright focal point of your room. Did you know you can paint over the surround]? Before you begin, however, examine your fireplace. If it’s made from some kind of stone, painting it is not a good idea, because the paint won’t stick to this surface. A brick fireplace, on the other hand, is a perfect candidate for painting. Pick white for a striking contrast to colored walls, pick black for lighter walls, or go with any color that contrasts with your walls and adds color and pizzazz.
An easy way to make your fireplace take on a new look is by adding glass doors. Glass doors are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also play an important role in keeping your fireplace efficient. When you burn a fire in your fireplace, warm air from the room is drawn up the chimney. Some of this is okay because it helps with combustion, but when your fireplace isn’t in use, the heat loss can be costly. One added protection from losing warm air up the chimney is by closing your fireplace doors. You can choose from a wide variety of styles to add ambiance to your room.
A great way to add a fresh new look to your fireplace is to change up the look of your mantel. Whether you decide to paint your old mantel or find a new one, this will add a great focal point to your room. Another way to change the look of the mantel is to add new items on top. Family pictures can add a nostalgic appeal, especially when accompanied by a charming vase and fresh flowers. Just use your imagination to add your own flair to the room.
However you decide to change up your fireplace, if you have any questions or are just looking for solid advice, give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call today!
Everyone knows what Chimney Doctors of Colorado does, right? It’s pretty clear from the name that we are experts in all things chimneys, whether that’s inspecting, cleaning, or any type of chimney repair jobs. We also offer a wide range of heating appliances and accessories, and our employees are highly qualified to offer advice on taking care of your chimney or what type of heating appliance will work best for your home and your heating needs. But did you know that we offer another service as well? That’s right, we also offer dryer vent cleaning. Although this service isn’t as familiar as chimney inspection and cleaning, it is equally important to have done on an annual basis, and here are three reasons why!
First, by having your dryer vents cleaned, you’ll be lowering your energy bills! When you wash your clothes, some small pieces of fiber come off the clothes. Your dryer is just basically a spinning drum with tumblers inside. Those tumblers carry the clothes from the bottom to the top, at which point they fall back to the bottom. Warm air is pushed through the drum and the clothes fall through the warm air, which dries them. The air goes out through the lint screen and through the dryer vent, into the outside air. But the fibers that got washed off blow through the lint screen as well and get caught there, forming a blanket of lint. Some get through, however, and that’s what can line the inside of the dryer vent, making the hole that the air goes through getting smaller and smaller. That causes stress for the motor of the dryer because it makes the motor push harder to get the air out. When you clear out the lint, it makes the motor work less hard, and that means that your electric bills will go down!
Reason Number Two
Another reason to have your dryer vents cleaned is that you don’t want a vent fire. That lint blanket that is forming on the inside of the dryer vent is highly flammable, and if even a small spark from your dryer gets through and lands in that buildup, you could have a devastating fire that could quickly spread to the rest of your home.
Reason Number Three
Cleaning out the dryer vents speeds up your drying time. Have you noticed that it’s taking longer to dry a load or that you have to run the dryer twice to get a load of clothes dry? This might be because your dryer vent is getting full. This can add up on your electric bill as well.
Three good reasons to have your dryer vents cleaned. Three good reasons to give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call today! We’re not only experts at chimney work, but we’re also experts at cleaning out your dryer vents, too. We pride ourselves on keeping your home clean while we clean out your vents. That’s service you can count on!
There’s no place like Colorado to enjoy these beautiful, warm spring days. After a cold, snowy winter, it feels so good to take a long walk in the warm sunshine, or to go on a hike and hear the birds singing a happy tune, just as happy as you are to be out in the beautiful weather. But the sun doesn’t always shine every spring day; there are also days of rain and wind. The combination of wind and rain and hot sunshine can have some pretty devastating effects on your chimney. And if it’s not the wind and rain causing damage, there’re always critters there to cause breakdowns to occur.
When you’re a kid in elementary school, you learn about the effects of weathering on the environment, and those same effects can occur to your chimney. Just the steady beating down of rain against the mortar can cause it to wear away, and the driving wind can have the same effect. But even more damaging is the freeze-thaw cycle, especially in the early spring days, when the temperature can go from warmer during the day to below freezing at night. During the rainy spring weather, the moisture will permeate into the porous brick and mortar, and when the temperatures dip below freezing at night, that moisture will freeze and expand, causing bigger pores. These can fill with moisture again, and as the freeze thaw cycle continues, those cracks get bigger yet. Over time, this can cause structural damage to occur, and with enough time, it can cause a tilted or collapsed chimney structure.
Another force that can cause damage to your chimney in the springtime is the creatures that are looking to start their families. Spring is the time for babies in nature, and birds, squirrels, even raccoons are looking for safe, warm, dark, and dry places to raise those babies. They also want a spot where predators that are looking to get rid of those babies can’t find them. The perfect spot for them is right in your chimney. This is especially true if your chimney cap isn’t in the best shape. A chimney cap fits on top of your chimney and is designed to keep the rain out of your chimney. It has a sloped roof, and the sides are made of grated steel to let smoke out of the house while keeping animals from getting in. If there’s been rust or other damage to the chimney cap, it could give animals or birds easier access into your chimney. Once in, they can build a nest and raise a family of little ones that can make lots of noise and cause your quiet evenings to be not so quiet. Another problem with this is that the nest, when dried out after the family leaves, can cause blockages or kindling for a chimney fire.
If you are worried about some of the problems that springtime can cause for your chimney system, give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call. We’ll conduct a chimney inspection and cleaning and leave you worry free to enjoy the spring and summer fun!
There’s something about the four seasons that is wonderful. But a Colorado winter can be long and cold, and when that warm spring breeze starts to blow, it is a relief. Fix up your hearth and mantel to bring the feeling of spring inside.
Once you get your fireplace all cleaned out after a long winter, it’s time to turn it into a springtime showpiece. You can do this by bringing some of those early spring flowers or plant-life into the home. First, your mantel and the area above it. Look for something to hang above the mantel; a picture that highlights the colors of springtime in Colorado would be a nice touch, or, if you prefer, a picture that reflects some of the beauty of nature that only Colorado holds. If you’re not into paintings, a mirror can add another level of depth to the room. Finding a mirror with a frame that matches your room’s decor will make a beautiful addition to the room. After you’ve found the perfect piece for the wall, look to the mantel.
Spring Decoration Ideas
You can add color to the room by filling a vase with some of the flowers of springtime in Colorado and setting it on the mantel. Some great choices for a tall vase would be tulips or daffodils. Snapdragons or pansies can fill a lower vase and add a cheery touch to any room. If you don’t feel like changing out fresh flowers, go to your local hobby store and buy some silk flowers instead. If you’re not a flower person, candles can make a beautiful decorative statement, especially when lit in front of a mirror. Pictures of family members are a conversation piece as well.
As a final touch, since you won’t be using your hearth for a while, find something to put in front to fill that empty space. You can carry the plant theme by finding a large basket and filling it with more silk flowers! Tulips are a great option, but really, anything that makes you feel happy is a great option. Or if you’d rather, add a fireplace candle holder and some chunky candles. As well as being decorative, this can keep odors down during the summer months.
Before you let your imagination soar and get that fireplace decorated for spring, give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call and have your chimney inspected and cleaned so that it’s ready for summer! We’ll have you fixed up and ready in no time!
Now that it’s March, another cold, snowy Colorado winter is almost over. Spring is in sight and we’re looking forward to spending some time outdoors. Whether you are into mountain climbing, hiking or walking, you’re ready for the feeling of warm sunshine. Another thing to look forward to is inviting your friends over and doing some entertaining. How much fun it is to plan a day out doing outdoor activities and then keep the fun going with some good food, drinks, and conversation around a crackling fire. Entertaining is so much easier when you can sit outside, and you can invite more people over because there’s more room to put them! If you really want to add to the fun, now’s the time to think about installing a beautiful outdoor fireplace.
Whether you have some sort of firepit already but want to upgrade or you’ve just been thinking about it for a while, springtime is a perfect time to think about installing one and Chimney Doctors of Colorado is the perfect company to call to do the installing. We have the experience, the equipment, and the wide variety of merchandise needed to get you just the outdoor fireplace that will make your backyard a welcoming place to entertain. But you might be wondering what some of the benefits of an outdoor fireplace might be.
First, just being able to get your guests outdoors is a definite benefit. Everyone is ready to just be out in the fresh air, and this is a great way to do it. Today’s fireplaces are designed to be useful and aesthetically pleasing, so you don’t have to worry about just having a ring of rocks or bricks in the middle of your yard. No matter what look you’re wanting, whether it’s more rustic or a more sleek, modern design, we can set you up. Add some chairs and decorative side tables, and you’ve got the makings of a great party!
We can Handle Gas Line Installation
Another thing you might be worried about is adding a gas line. This is another reason that hiring Chimney Doctors of Colorado is a great idea. We can handle installing a gas line, whether it’s natural gas or propane. Our qualified professionals know all the regulations and will make sure that everything is done properly so that you need never worry about the safety of your family and friends.
Whether you have a big space or a small backyard, we can find the perfect backyard fireplace for you. Colorado has so much natural beauty that it’s a shame to waste a minute indoors. Making the decision to have a new fireplace installed is the hardest part! Just give us a call today and we’ll have you outdoors, entertaining all your friends before you know it!