Fire and Ice Chimney wants to ensure that your chimney runs safely and effectively. We will bring any potential problems to your attention. We do a 12-point fire and safety inspection, inspecting your fireplace or heating system, the chimney or flue pipe, the spark arrestor, and other related components. If there are any problems, we will make recommendations for remediation. We not only take the time to ensure your fireplace is properly cleaned and repaired, but we also go the extra mile to protect your home during the entire process.It is advised that homeowners clean their chimneys annually when using oil, gas, wood or other solid fuels for warmth and hot water. Failure to maintain your annual cleaning will result in a corroded flue and usually requires a repair or replacement.
Water causes more damage to the chimneys on our homes then fire. When there is continued exposure to the freeze/thaw process during which moisture penetrates the masonry materials, freezes and expands, which causes stress. Water inside the chimney also weakens it and in some instances even destroys the metal parts of your chimney.
If your home or chimney is penetrated by water, both interior and exterior damage can be caused including:
Broken brickwork and/or spalled brickwork
Metal or masonry firebox assemblies may become damaged by water exposure
Damper assemblies may become rusted
Central heating systems may deteriorate due to water or excessive moisture exposure
The mortar between the bricks that are in essence the façade of your chimney can crack and weaken the joints between bricks
Flue liner systems can crack
Our company offers a wide array of masonry repair techniques including rebuilding, restoration, and tuckpointing. We have experience with masonry repairs on all sizes and styles of chimneys. If the masonry is affected, the structural integrity of the chimney would be compromised. Our experts are here to ensure that your masonry is fixed correctly and safe for your home and family.
With prolonged use, your firebox can build up wear and tear. We will repair and restore damage to your mortar or firebricks. Depending on the situation, we can handle anything from a repair of the existing structure to a complete rebuild.
A safe, compliant chimney lining is mandated in most fire codes as a result of extensive testing by the National Bureau of Standards (NBS).
Clay tiles - Inexpensive, easily obtained, and high on performance, clay tile chimney liners are the most popular choice for liners in today's' marketplace. They are, however, vulnerable to splits and cracks, and must be checked regularly and repaired if necessary.
Metal chimney liners - Used primarily in liner upgrades and repairs, stainless steel or aluminum liners provide safety, performance, and durability. Stainless steel liners are used for wood-burning fireplaces, oil or gas furnaces. Aluminum is used as an inexpensive alternative for medium efficiency gas furnaces. High heat-resistant insulation is used with metal liners to help ensure safety and enhance performance.
Cast chimney liners - Cast-in-place cement liners create a smooth, insulated passageway for flue gases. This form of liner can actually improve the integrity of older chimneys and is for use with all types of appliances and fuels.
There are standards and codes established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regarding home heating appliances (NFPA 211). Inspection levels are as follows:
In a Level 1 inspection, we will examine easily accessed portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible components of the chimney connection. We will examine your chimney structure, flue, appliance installation, and connections as well as check for combustible deposits and obstructions.
A Level 2 includes the requirements in a Level 1 inspection and may include a visual/video inspection to examine internal surfaces and flue liner joints. During Level 2, we explore accessible portions of the chimney, plus attics, basements and crawl spaces.
A Level 3 includes all the items checked in Levels 1 and 2 and then goes beyond to access concealed areas of the chimney or flue. It is performed with special tools and may entail removing or destroying some permanent portions of the chimney or building, which will likely require masonry repairs.
CHIMNEY CAPS & DAMPERS
A properly installed chimney cap decreases your chimney's exposure to damage by keeping most of the water out. Excess moisture from rain and snow getting inside the chimney slowly damages the chimney lining. The chimney's structure can be weakened by water pooling at the base. Expansion damage can be caused by repeated freeze/thaw cycles of water inside the chimney.
Animals can be kept out by a cap that is fitted with a screen mesh barrier. Animals choose chimneys to nest in because of the warmth they provide. The results of such creatures settling in your chimney can be both hazardous to your health and potentially dangerous in the risk of your chimney getting clogged.
Some chimneys have caps that are made of stone, concrete or brick and are on stone legs or bricks above the top of the flue. Metal caps are most common with those manufactured of copper or stainless steel offering the highest level of durability. Your fireplace damper is located just above the firebox in most masonry chimneys. The damper is meant to seal the fireplace shut when you are not using it. Most fireplace dampers are made of metal and seal against metal which will eventually allow warm air from inside your home to leak. The metal plates that make up your damper warp due to expansion and contraction from heating and cooling by your fireplace, due to the warping this metal to metal seal worsens, allowing an increase in the volume of warm air leaked from your home, in turn resulting in your heating system having to work harder to keep you warm which will cost you more in dollars spent on fuel annually.