Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What If You Don't Use Your Fireplace?

Over the past couple of months, I have received many emails, phone calls and other correspondence from customers who tell me that they haven't used their fireplaces/ chimneys/ wood-burning stoves for a year or so, and thus think and sometimes insist that an annual cleaning and/ or inspection isn't necessary.

Wrong.

Because safety is our priority here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, it is my job as the Marketing Executive to inform all of our customers, friends and family that an unused chimney, fireplace or wood-burning stove is potentially just as dangerous as one that is used regularly.


In the article below, the assistant fire chief of West Pelzer, SC warns that a chimney needs to be cleaned an inspected every year, regardless of how often it was used, if at all.
http://www.independentmail.com/news/2011/dec/25/mans-home-damaged-chimney-fire-christmas/

You never know when you might have a build-up of creosote or burning ash in your chimeny, fireplace or wood-burning stove! This is not something that is a DIY project; it needs a professional.

Be sure to be safe, not sorry. Powers Chimney & Masonry provides that assurance to you. Right now, when you schedule any chimney cleaning, we're giving you a 20-point safety inspection - free of charge. This is a $50 value.

Call us today to schedule your appointment! (360) 691-9828

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From all of us here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, we'd like to wish you a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Inspections and Importance

Below I've posted a link to an article that touches on the fact that chimney inspections are vital when it comes to safety, especially during the winter months.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45667977/ns/local_news-phoenix_az/t/time-sweep-keeping-chimneys-clean-important-winter-temps-arrive/




I took the picture above this morning. It's hard not to be tempted to just light a fire and get cozy when we're cold, and the weather is as frozen as it is outside (though it really is beautiful!)


But the important thing to remember is that safety is the priority.


You can't know whether you have a creosote build-up, or if there's another structural problem unless you have a proper cleaning and inspection conducted. This needs to be done by a professional. Going to a DIY website and viewing some tips on the subject won't get the job done correctly or safely. You could end up with damage to your chimney, fireplace, home or structure in general. Safety hazards greatly increase when you don't have a professional clean your chimney. There are plenty of DIY chimney cleaning tips and tricks out there on the internet, but none of them really explain the dangers in doing that.

First of all, you may not have the proper tools to even clean the chimney. Secondly, without having a professional inspect your chimney, you can't possibly know if there's structural damages, how to fix problems, etc. And last, but certainly not least - it's dangerous. Period.


So here's the bottom line: DON'T do a DIY cleaning job on your chimney; call us instead. We have experienced and practiced technicians to clean and inspect chimneys properly. We can also give you a free estimate for repairs if needed.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC (360) 691-9828

Monday, December 19, 2011

Company Christmas Party

That's our crew at the Santa's Breakfast Company Christmas party!

Sadly, I (Kimi) had to miss out on all the fun because I had a prior engagement that I was committed to the day of the party. The guys had a lot of fun though! The buffet was incredible, and Santa and even Mrs. Claus were there! Included in the festivities were carolers and elves. The crew had a fantastic time.

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mostly Cloudy

...but not raining!

It's the perfect opportunity to have your chimney cleaned and inspected, so you can be warm and cozy when it does start to rain.

Additionally, if you need an estimate for repairs or improvements, we can do that for you - free of charge. When we give you the estimate, our technicians will carefully go over everything with you, explaining every detail and line item, leaving you with a sense of assurance and comfort.

Call us today to schedule your cleaning & inspection or estimate! (360) 691-9828

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beyond Chilly...

It's downright freezing this morning!

I have a 4WD vehicle, but even that was slipping and sliding on the road to the office.

I stopped briefly to take this picture:


It was so cold and icy this morning! This picture shows the moon in the background, and let me just say that it's so dark in the mornings (even after 7:30am!), that the ground is still very, very frozen.

What does this mean for your home? Your masonry? Your loved ones?

In short, there's no time like the present. It's becoming necessary to have our fireplaces going, and without a proper cleaning & inspection (recommended on an annual basis), you can't know whether there's a build-up of creosote, or a problem with your ash dump, or whether your damper is able to open and close like it's supposed to. Get it done today. Additionally, moisture is masonry's silent killer! It's not going to warm up at all, and the more freezing temperatures we have, the more the masonry work on your chimney and home is going to suffer.

Don't wait until you have a chimney fire, or a chimney that's practically falling down before you schedule your cleaning and inspection, or estimate for repairs. Call us today!

(360) 691-9828


Friday, December 9, 2011

Up On The Housetop...

"...Click, click, click! Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick!"

You know the old children's Christmas carol: "Up on the housetop reindeer pause, out jumps good ol' Santa Claus! Down through the chimney with lots of toys, all for the little ones Christmas joys! Ho, ho, ho, who wouldn't go? Ho, ho, ho, who wouldn't go? Up on the housetop click, click, click! Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick!"

Well, Santa Claus is up in the north pole getting ready for Christmas!

Photo courtesy renosantacrawl.com

Yes, ladies and gentlemen; that list is getting checked and double-checked as we speak! (Er, blog).

On Christmas Eve, so many of us will leave out some delicious cookies and milk for Santa, and maybe a treat for his reindeer, too! We'll write our list and set it by the cookies and milk, and try to stay up as late as we can to catch a glimpse of Santa!

Photo courtesy of Kimi Crombie

Now, something that gets overlooked easily every year before Santa comes to town is our chimney! Perhaps we haven't had it cleaned or inspected this year. Maybe we haven't taken the time to get an estimate done on any repairs we need done. What happens when Santa comes down the chimney with a bag full of....creosote?! Or his antiquated suit gets ripped and torn by a stuck flue tile? Maybe there are birds' nests in the chimney, and tuckpoint work needing to be done on the outside of the chimney?

Don't delay these projects, folks! Call us today to schedule your annual chimney cleaning and inspection, or a free estimate for repairs and improvements. (360) 691-9828

Make Santa happy this year. Be responsible with your chimney & masonry work.

Photo courtesy geekmom.com

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stagnant Weather Pattern

Well, the Pacific Northwest region has had an Air Stagnation Advisory in effect for the better part of this week.

Essentially, that means that the air isn't moving around much, and pollutants that would normally be dispersed are just hanging around.

This would be the ideal time to schedule your annual chimney cleaning and/ or an estimate for any repairs that need to get done before the holidays. It's not as cold outside as it's been for the previous week, which means it'll be easier to get repairs done and use your chimneys/ fireplaces sooner.

Have a safe and cozy December; call us today to schedule an appointment (360) 691-9828.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tis The Season...

"...to be jolly! Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la!"

But boy, oh boy - does that frosty weather make us chilled to the bone! It's hard to be jolly when it's so cold outside, isn't it? The Weather Channel app on my computer shows 21 degrees Fahrenheit this morning at the office. Yikes! Time to bundle up and get cozy with slippers and a warm fire!

Before you light your fire, as yourself 3 very important questiosns:

1) When was the last time my fireplace was cleaned and inspected?
- If the answer is anything over a year (regardless of how often it's used), or that you don't know, it needs to get done before you light a fire. It's the best and safest way to warm your home.

2) If I haven't lit a fire for awhile, why is that?
- Sometimes, we stay away from comforts when they are problematic - like fireplaces. Maybe you've had smoke coming in your home, or you know there's a dead flue that needs to be dealt with. You can't really comfortably use that fireplace until those things are handled.

3) Is it important to me to use my fireplace?
- A high percentage of us would say yes! The Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association reported in 2006 that fireplaces are utilized approximately 32 times per year (22 in the winter season!) Got a woodstove? Those averaged usage at 108 times (57 in the winter season!) You're getting the most use out of your stove or fireplace during the winter, hands-down.

So, what does this all mean for you?

First, call to schedule your annual chimney cleaning & inspection. We'll be able to take care of any creosote build-up, ash, etc. Additionally, if you need improvement or repairs, we'll write up a free estimate for you, and go over it thoroughly with you.

Second, don't put this off! Obviously, based on the statistics aforementioned, you're going to need that fireplace - especially when it's as cold as it is outside today! We've got an Air Stagnation Advisory in effect here until 11am this morning - that means, pollution will be hanging around and it will be hard to have a good air quality in the Puget Sound Region until it warms up a bit. You'll want to be warm and cozy inside!

Last, we want you to be safe. We're currently running a special for this reason: With any cleaning scheduled this week, we'll give you our 20-point safety inspection free of charge.

Call us today! (360) 691-9828

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's That Time Of Year...

If you haven't already scheduled your annual chimney cleaning & inspection, now is the time to do it.

With the autumn holidays officially behind us, it's now time to turn our attention to winter weather, safety and preparedness. So many of us love a cozy fire in our fireplaces this time of year, especially after a long day of work, running the kids around and various shopping excursions. Here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, we want you and your family to be winter-ready, so you can enjoy those warm, inviting fireplaces.

Call us today to schedule your annual chimney cleaning, and we'll give you our 20-point safety inspection - free of charge. If your chimney and/ or masonry work needs any improvement or repair, we'll have our technician write you up an estimate detailing the necessary adjustments. (This estimate would be free of charge). We'd be happy to talk to you about scheduling any work you need to have completed, as well.

Don't wait until it's too late! Call today to take advantage of this limited-time offer. (360) 691-9828

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's a Blustery Day...

....and it's not going to get any warmer, either!

7-Day Forecast
Photo courtesy of king5.com

This forecast doesn't look too promising.
Is your chimney and/or masonry ready to withstand the test of winter weather in the Pacific Northwest?

Currently, with any cleaning, we are providing the 20-point safety inspection free of charge ($50 value). Call us today to schedule your annual chimney cleaning & inspection. (360) 691-9828

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Before & After - What We Can Do For You

Brrr, it's definitely a chilly morning in the Pacific Northwest! Here in Arlington, the temperature dipped to below freezing last night.

This weather is not going to get any warmer. It's best not to delay any home improvement projects that have to do with keeping your home cozy and warm - especially those that have to do with your fireplace and masonry.
Dave F. Before #1

Dave F. Before #2
Here is an example of some work we did for Dave F. earlier this month.

Note the roof flashing especially in the left picture. It's basically rotting away, and rusting. This is bad news bears for any masonry work. Moisture is the silent killer of masonry. There's no faster way to have major damage to your chimney, fireplace and home than to let a project like this go. Dave called us, and we were able to save a great deal of trouble for the future by simply replacing the roof flashing. This will prevent moisture damage, keep the heat in better, and most of all protect the integrity of the masonry on his chimney.



Here is what his chimney looked like when we were finished:
Dave F. After #1
Dave F. After #2
Note the flashing looks consistent, clean and dry. There is no more rust or wear, and the masonry is fully protected. Now, the flashing works with the chimney instead of against it. A vast difference from what was there before!










The next example is of a complete rebuild and tuck-pointing work that we did for Debbie N.
Debbie N. Before #1
As you can see, these two chimneys Debbie had were in a state of disrepair. There's moss, a lot of wear and tear on the grout, and evidence of efflorescence.
Debbie N. Before #2





In order to get these chimneys into proper working order ASAP, we had to first take care of the moss and efflorescence problems. Then, we did a rebuild on the chimney that was beyond repair, and did tuck-pointing on the other one to repair the grout that was severely hindered by a lack of proper care.





Here are the results of our work:


Debbie N. After #2
The chimney was cleaned, tuck-pointed and also had a new cap installed. As you can see, it looks a lot healthier than it did before! The life of the masonry work will also be extended due to the work we did on the chimney.

Says Debbie of our work: "The technician was very calm, helpful and polite. Great crew, great work, and everyone was very nice. I had a good experience! Everything looks fine from the ground."

Is your chimney or masonry work reflecting some of the problem areas as pictured in the "Before" shots in this blog post? Are you not sure if your chimney is ready to stand the test of winter? Call us today to schedule a free estimate. Our technicians will tell you exactly what needs to be done, how much it will cost and exactly why the work needs to be done. If you want, you can also schedule a 20-point safety inspection instead ($50), and we'll be able to give you an estimate for repairs from the safety inspection. If you schedule the work with us, we'll refund your $50 20-point safety inspection fee.

Don't wait until you're already cold, and your masonry is falling apart. Call us today. (360) 691-9828.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

1st Annual Company BBQ

As Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC celebrated our first anniversary last week, we got together for a company BBQ on Saturday.


We had a blast celebrating together!

One of the fun activities we did was an "Iron-Man Competition." Any of our crew who wanted to participate could do so.

This is Ryan, hauling a wheelbarrow full of concrete. (1st step of the Iron-Man Competition.)

Here's Kyle, hauling two buckets of bricks (2nd step of the Iron-Man competition).

Scott definitely got props for enginuity! He put the two buckets of bricks on the wheelbarrow's handles!

Here's a closer view of Scott with his master idea.
This is my (Kimi's) husband, Robert. He definitely doesn't do this for a living, but he gave it his best shot!
Rohn, from CAMP, giving the Iron-Man Competition a 100% effort.


Here's Steve, our General Manager, hauling that wheelbarrow back to the finish line!

This is Steve and Daisy, his wife.
Kyle was officially declared our winner!!! To the right of him is Zack, our Owner/ Operator.

We had a blast cooking out, too! Michelle, Zack's fiance, is on the right.

Just thought we'd share some pictures from our fun-filled Saturday with our readers. :) Thanks for being a part of our very successful first year in business!

Pictures courtesy of Laurie Williams.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One Year Anniversary!

This day in history:

On November 1, 2010, Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC ventured into business from a garage.


Today, we are an industry leader, as a reliable and honest company.

If you call us for an estimate (which is always free), you won't get an astronomical figure that you can't comprehend along with an estimate that you don't understand - you will get a friendly and efficient technician who is willing to explain everything in detail to you, and an estimate that doesn't include any unnecessary improvements or repairs. We are straight-forward and concise in our efforts to provide you with answers to any questions, detailed information regarding any repairs or improvements needed, and friendly, accurate service.





When it comes to a masonry job, we've got the best masons on our crew to service your needs. Whether we're rebuilding a retaining wall, rebuilding a chimney from the ground up, or even doing tuck-pointing work, they're always spot-on with precision and care. Additionally, if our crew comes across something that is in need of repair or replacement that wasn't on the original estimate as they are working, they'll let you know right away - no hidden costs or fees; just up-front information, and integrity behind our work.




Scheduling a cleaning is always hassle-free. We can go from the Pierce County Line to Skagit County, from Monroe to Camano Island. Currently, we're adding a 20-point safety inspection to any cleaning scheduled free of charge. That's a $50 value! Our safety inspections go over everything in depth, from the damper to the crown, the mortar to the hearth protection. When our technician finishes, they'll be sure to clean up any mess or debris left behind before they leave your home. (If you scroll down on the left-hand side of the page, you'll see a review by Terry M. in Duvall that says, "The price was great, and you got us in quickly, and did the job fast and efficiently. There wasn't even a spec of ash left behind! It was a great job. The work that needed to be accomplished in the near future was clearly stated and understood, and the crew is fantastic!")



After one year in business, Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC would like to thank all of our customers, vendors and suppliers for the fantastic first year we've had. We credit our success to you, as we could not have done this without you.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Average: To Be Or Not To Be?

According to the Komo Forecast, we've had a fairly "normal" month as far as weather goes. The unusual part of this past week was obviously 3 days of sunshine. (We're not going to see a 4th day, according to their site). Additionally, we're going to see some wind gusts in the Puget Sound area.

The question to ask yourself at this point is simple, "Is my masonry/ chimney up to the test of a change in weather?"

Sometimes, you don't notice a problem with your masonry or the structural integrity of your chimney until the weather has already damaged it. It's free to schedule an estimate with Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, if you know you need something done in the way of repairs or rebuilding.

We also can schedule a 20-point safety inspection for you (call for pricing).

You don't want to have a "just average" chimney during the winter months. You want to be sure that it's built for stability and endurance, as well as ensuring that it's properly maintained.

Call Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC today to schedule a cleaning, inspection, and/or estimate (360) 691-9828.

Monday, October 24, 2011

45 And Not Exactly Holding

This morning on the radio, I heard that it was 48 degrees Fahrenheit in Seattle.

Here at the office, it was only 39 degrees.

Since that time about 3 hours ago, the temperature has only come up to about 45 degrees, and based on the forecast, it's really not going to stick around long.

It appears that we're barely going to be hitting the low to mid 50s for the rest of this week, and every day except today and tomorrow, we have rain expected.

That being said, what condition is the masonry on your property? Maybe you have a retaining wall, or some dry stacks with illumination at the front of your driveway? Have you checked it lately? If you see moss, crystallization, etc., it's in need of help.

Call Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC today to schedule an estimate of repairs before the rain comes on strong! Estimates are always free. (360) 691-9828

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Do I Do If....

This post is similar to an FAQ post.

Basically, we receive several questions a week about various curiousities, general questions, and problems.

The bottom line of this post is given to you now: Call us to schedule an annual cleaning and 20-point safety inspection of your chimney/ fireplace ASAP. All of these questions can be answered after we've cleaned and inspected your chimney/ fireplace.

What Do I Do If.....

....I notice some crystalization on my chimney?

That's called efflorescence. It's an indication that water is somehow intruding on the structural integrity of your chimney. It needs to be taken care of right away, especially before the winter comes on strong. If it's not taken care of in a timely manner, it can lead to deterioration of your masonry. We can schedule a free estimate for you if you're noticing crystalization, and we'll be able to tell you specifically how to fix it, what it will take, and how much it will cost.

....I see smoke coming into my home when I light a fire?

That could be a number of things, or a combination or problems. A possibility is that the top mount damper isn't open. Another answer could be that there is a clog somewhere. The only way to really know for sure and have it fixed accurately is to schedule an appointment for a cleaning & inspection and we'll give you a free estimate of repairs to solve the problem(s).

....I want to light a fire, but I haven't had my chimney/ fireplace cleaned and inspected this year?

It's really not a safe choice to make. We recommend an annual cleaning and inspection for any chimney/ fireplace/ insert. You never know when something could sneak up on you - like creosote - and start a fire you don't want, or damage your masonry work.

.....I see moss on the outside of my chimney?

It's probably a result of moisture, and a lack of protection (sealant) on your chimney. That can easily be cleaned by us, and we can seal the chimney for you as well.


.....I'm pretty sure we've had a chimney fire recently, but how do I know for sure?

The long and short of it is to have us come do a cleaning & inspection for you. We'll be able to tell you if there's been a chimney fire, and what needs to be done to fix the problem(s).


Call Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC today to schedule your annual cleaning and inspection. (360) 691-9828

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Won't Be Long...

.... Before we start hauling out our heavy winter jackets, boots and gloves.
As you can tell from this picture I just took this morning, the clouds are rolling in. There might be a thin layer of blue sky above the clouds, but it's definitely cold outside. The last several mornings, my arrival at the office has been accompanied by temperatures in the high 30s to low 40s.
This morning was no exception.

According to the forecast for the remainder of the week (from Komo 4 News), we're supposed to be seeing showers off and on throughout the weekend.. Not  a big threat, but an important note to make is that the temperatures are steadily dropping.

This really isn't a big deal to most of us, so long as we've had our chimney and/ or fireplace inspected recently, as a means of keeping up on the annual recommended "check-up" on our masonry and fireplaces. Moisture is masonry's silent killer. As it gets colder outside, the rain will turn to snow. Snow + masonry + no annual inspection & cleaning and/or estimate for repairs = bad news.

Don't be one of the many who don't have an annual cleaning & inspection; call us today to set that up for you. We'll also do a free estimate for any repairs or maintenance that needs to be conducted before the cold season really hits, and we'll let you know in a clear, concise manner what needs to be taken care of and how it should be done.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC is your resource for all chimney, fireplace and masonry needs this fall and winter. (360) 691-9828

Monday, October 17, 2011

Unpredictable Weather

It may be sunny outside this morning, but it's sure not warm.

My weather app shows 43 degrees Fahrenheit with 87% humidity, and the dew point at 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yesterday was totally different. It started out sunny and even somewhat warm, and then around 12:00pm, the sky clouded over, and it got significantly colder out.

As we approach the end of the month, the weather is going to start to become more and more unpredictable. It might be sunny now, but it's probably going to get cloudy later, and possibly rainy.
With the dew point where it is currently, we could even see snow earlier than typically expected for the Pacific Northwest.

Simply put, we're going to be colder faster. It'd be nice to have our fireplaces all ready to go for the cold season, with no fuss.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, is your resource for all chimney cleanings, inspections and masonry work. Currently we're running a special: when you book any cleaning, we'll include our 20-point safety inspection free of charge. That's normally a $50 value. Additionally, we'll do any estimate for any repairs or improvements that need to be done for free.

Call us today to schedule an appointment - before the weather really turns on us. (360) 691-9828

Thursday, October 13, 2011

If This Is What Your Window Looks Like, Imagine Your Chimney...

When I got out of bed this morning and went through the house opening the blinds, I found this on the window of my den.

Yes, folks; it's condensation.

Now, this is a result of water (in vapor form) which is an element of the air in any home. Essentially, the contrast between warm air in your home and cold air outside will produce condensation, because the house is designed to be sealed completely. But when the temperature of the glass drops, the dew point changes. When the dew point changes, we see condensation.

Now, imagine what your chimney looks like today. It's 39 degrees Fahrenheit this morning at my house and at the office. That means, it's already getting colder outside. If we had moisture-retaining clouds this morning, we could see snow. It doesn't have to be 32 degrees Fahrenheit to snow; the drier the air, the higher the chances are that it can be warmer and snowing at the same time.

Here's an example of a chimney that was really neglected:
Simply put, there was no care given to this chimney in a reasonable amount of time. You can see moss, evidence of efflorescence, and it's obvious that this structure is in desperate need of some tuck-pointing.
Don't let your chimney and masonry work end up like this!
Call us today to schedule your annual chimney cleaning & inspection! When we come out, we can give you a free estimate on any work that needs to be done to keep the integrity of your chimney and masonry throughout the winter season.

It's very important that you don't procrastinate on this. The longer you wait, the easier it is for moisture to sneak in and cause irreparable damage. Schedule your appointment now, while you still have a little bit of time to get repairs done if they are needed.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC (360) 691-9828

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Time to Winterize!

So far, Seattle has seen 11 straight days of rain since September 30th, and autumn officially began on September 23rd. In fact, Scott Sistek (meteorologist for Komo 4), just tweeted this morning: "Your odd weather stat du jour: ties 1997 record for having measurable rain for 1st 10 days of October."

That weather doesn't look good, folks. Especially for your masonry work on your chimney.

Moisture is the silent killer of masonry. Most people don't realize that your chimney and masonry work need to be adaquately protected for the autumn and winter seasons, especially here in the Pacific Northwest.

I get a lot of questions about what needs to get done on your chimney for the autumn and winter seasons, as well as what is necessary. Basically, this is what we - as an industry leader in chimneys & masonry - recommend:

1) Annual cleaning & inspection of your chimney & masonry. This will prevent creosote from becoming a hazard to your chimney, and it will provide you with an exact listing of any work that needs to be done to protect the life and integrity of your masonry and chimney.

2) If you have a cleaning and inspection done, and we recommend getting something repaired or replaced, do it now. You don't want to wait until you're bundled up and still cold in your home, unable to use your fireplace because of repairs that are necessary to keep your fireplace and chimney in working order. Don't worry; we won't come out and give you an estimate on things that you don't need. We're straight-forward and honest, and our #1 priority is your safety during this cold season.

3) Even if you're unsure of whether it's time to get your chimney cleaned, at least schedule an inspection so that we can tell you whether you're ready for winter or not. We conduct a 20-point safety inspection that is very thorough, and we'll be able to tell you whether it's safe to light a fire in your fireplace or not, and if not, what work needs to be done before you do so.

Simply put, Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC is your resource for fall and winter readiness.

In addition to cleanings & inspections, we also specialize in complete rebuilds, partial rebuilds and veneers. Check out our website and other blog posts here for pictures and examples of our work.

Call us today so we can get an appointment scheduled for you. (360) 691-9828

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Days Without Sunshine

The number of days without sunshine in the Pacific Northwest are growing every week.

When you look outside, you see nothing but gray skies with clouds, or a few scattered showers.

This is pretty much how the rest of the year is going to look.

How does your chimney look? Most of us don't really know. We only know that it's there, and that it heats our homes during these chilly months.

Here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, we want you to get the most out of your chimney and fireplace, especially during these months when we need it the most.

That's why we provide a 20-point safety inspection with all of our cleanings.

Call us today to schedule an appointment to make sure you're ready for the cold season! (360) 691-9828

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cold Season Approach FAQ

For today's post, I decided to include some Frequently Asked Questions regarding the cold season - which is coming on hard and strong.

Below are some common questions relating to chimneys, fireplaces, moisture, cold weather, etc., and my answers to them. I hope this helps shed some light on what you can do during the month of October to protect your home, and keep warm!

1) "I just had my chimney swept and inspected last year. Do I need to do it again this year?"
- Absolutely. Even if you didn't use your fireplace often, you never know when creosote could be forming, or moisture could be seeping in through your masonry work on the outside of your chimney. Basically, this is a safety precaution. Before you use your fireplace for the first time this season, you want to make sure it's in proper working order.

2) "Why is autumn a good time to get my chimney cleaned?"
- Excellent question! When it comes down to it, we generally don't use our fireplaces/ chimneys during the spring and summer months. After our heating source has sat dormant for a year, it's necessary to have it cleaned and inspected prior to use. Since this is the time of year that our fireplaces and chimneys get the most use, it makes sense to have the cleaning and inspection done now.

3) "I know my crown needs to be replaced, but how long can it last before I absolutely have to do it?"
-  The function of a chimney cap is essentially to protect the structural integrity of a chimney. There really is no telling how long a crown can last, especially having the knowledge that it needs to be replaced. To be safe, I'd recommend doing it ASAP if you know it needs to be replaced.

4) "I know your company does cleanings & inspections, but what exactly does the inspection include?"
- Another great question. Here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, we perform a 20-point Safety Inspection. This includes 4 sections: Fireplace, Chimney, Wood stove and Other Fire Safety. Everything from the ash container and damper to flue tiles and flashing, from brickwork to stove pipe condition and smoke detectors is checked. Also, currently we're running a special on this inspection: When you schedule any cleaning, we'll do this safety inspection for free (a $50 value).

5) "What do I do if I've already used my fireplace/ chimney this season, and I haven't had it cleaned yet?"- Not a big deal. We can still come out and clean and inspect it for you. This is the time of year when moisture can sneak in and cause structural damage to your chimney, which we want to prevent. We'll be able to tell you if your chimney and/ or fireplace needs any work, and can provide you with an estimate of any work that needs to be done.

Bottom line: Don't let the cold season sneak up on you. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a cleaning and inspection! (360) 691-9828

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moisture In Your Chimney

Is that dew on the grass? Most definitely.

What does this mean for the coming months?

Bottom line: "You want to keep moisture away from your chimney, bar-none," says Steven Scott, General Manager for Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC. "Moisture is masonry's nemisis. Anything you can do to protect your chimney's integrity from moisture is necessary at this point of the year."

Let me educate you a little bit about the different forms of moisture this time of year. The following are some key words that I'm going to briefly discuss: Dew point, relative humidity, snow, rain.

Basically, the "dew point" is the temperature that an allotment of air has to be cooled at constant pressure for water vapor to be condensed into water. (Which is, of course, dew). Looking outside this morning at the office (pictured above), you can see that the dew point was reached in this area.

Relative humidity is important to be aware of as well, this time of year. The higher relative humidity is, the closer the dew point is to the existing air temperature. When relative humidity = 100%, the dew point is the same as the temperature, and this means maximum water in the air. Obviously, this time of year, we experience higher relative humidity (especially in the early mornings and late evenings), than any other time of the year. (Hense, the higher propensity for rain and snow).

What does this all mean for your chimney & home?

Well, first and foremost, it means that you need to have your chimney cleaned and inspected before the colder weather sets in any more than it's already starting to. It won't be long before the dew will turn to frost, and the roads will be slick with ice. Let's expand on this a bit: Moisture in the air this time of year is a given; whether it be dew, frost, rain, or snow. When you light a fire in your fireplace, you're going to increase the temperature of your chimney from the inside out. Thus, frozen moisture will melt and find its way in. (Yep, that means any other moisture will get in much faster).

Second, it's a good idea to get your chimney sealed for the winter, to protect your masonry from the damages that moisture in the air can cause. This picture shows evidence of on-going lack of moisture protection: moss, evidence of efflorescense, and this particular chimney is in a state of disrepair.


Lastly, you may need an estimate on repairs. Don't let it go this far. There are preventative measures you can take to protect the integrity and life of your chimney.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC can help you with all of the above. We don't just give you estimates on repairs/ replacements that you don't need.

Just give us a call, and we'll get you scheduled with an appointment today. (360) 691-9828

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Get ready for winter - now!

Hi everyone,

Just a brief, friendly reminder that the weather is changing - quickly!

It's time to get your annual chimney cleaning & inspection done. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment! (360) 691-9828

Friday, September 23, 2011

Don't Forget: Specials This Week!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to remind you to call today to schedule your chimney cleanings and inspections today! Today is the last day that we're running our specials! ($20 off any cleaning and a free 20-point inspection when booked with a cleaning!)

(360) 691-9828

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cloudy With Definite Rain

Have you looked outside today?

Most of Northwest Washington is under a dreary layer of gray skies, and some areas are getting plenty of rain, too.

Even though it's not exactly cold out yet, this kind of weather starts to turn our moods towards comforting things: a cup of apple cider, a warm blanket, and maybe a fire in our fireplaces.

The important thing to remember before you get a fire going this autumn is to have your chimney cleaned & inspected. If you have a build-up of creosote (which one of our technicians can tell you), it can potentially be hazardous. Don't be surprised by a chimney fire before you even get to enjoy it this year; call today to schedule your annual cleaning & inspection. You won't be sorry for winterizing before the cold season really hits.

(360) 691-9828

Monday, September 19, 2011

Limited-Time Offers!

This week, Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC is offering not one, but TWO very valuable specials!

When you call to schedule your annual chimney cleaning with us this week (September 19th - 23rd, 2011), we'll give you $20 off when you mention this blog post.

Additionally, we're running a special on our 20-point safety inspections - they are FREE when scheduled with any chimney cleaning this week! ($50 value)

That's $70 in savings!!

Don't wait to get your appointment scheduled; call now. (360) 691-9828

Monday, September 12, 2011

Autumn Is Upon Us/ Blog Follower Special This Week

I don't know where exactly all of our readers are located, but if you're anywhere near the northern Puget Sound Region, I'm sure you looked outside this morning and saw skies that don't look very promising. It's also evident that our climate is significantly cooler - it's barely 60 degrees outside, and we've recently been experiencing a streak of temperatures in the 80s.

Quite frankly, it is not getting any warmer, and that means most of us are going to be turning to our fireplaces and chimneys to keep us warm during the coming weeks and months, and we need to be prepared.

It's the perfect time to schedule your annual cleaning and inspection with us, and we do have openings as early as tomorrow!

Because it's my job as the Marketing Executive to make sure our customers are fully satisfied with our services and efforts, I want to offer something special to our blog followers only this week: $20 off any chimney cleaning. When you book a cleaning and inspection together, we'll give you an additional 5% off the work order total.

This offer is good for this week only, and for blog followers only.

Snag it up before it's too late! Follow the instructions below to receive your discount:
1) Follow this blog. (Either on the right-hand side by email, or in the upper left-hand corner click "Follow").
2) Call between September 12th-September 16th to schedule your cleaning/ inspection.
3) Mention the title of this blog post when you schedule your cleaning/ inspection.

That's it! Have a fabulous Monday, everybody!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Our work with CAMP

This post is primarily about something that most of our readers aren't aware of.

The Central Area Motivation Program, or CAMP for short.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, is an O.E.S. (Other Energy Services) vendor for CAMP. As a vendor in the chimney & masonry industry, we are responsible for helping service and repair heating systems, chimneys, fireplaces, etc. Additionally, we check to ensure proper carbon monoxide detectors are installed in any home we service.

These carbon monoxide detectors are important and essential to any home that has a heating source, regardless of whether it is a fireplace or furnace. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and tasteless gas, and it can affect the brain within less than a minute. The detectors Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC installs are designed to detect high levels of carbon monoxide gas, and sound an audible alarm to alert the resident of the problem, very similar to a smoke detector.

CAMP is a service that is federally-funded, and also funded by the State of Washington and private donations. The history link on the CAMP website begins with this statement: "For over 45 years, Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP) has provided essential human services to meet the needs of Seattle’s poor." (See the information here.)

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC has found this work to be rewarding and fulfilling. Please, check out the CAMP website when you have a moment.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

30-Day Anniversary and questions from YOU!

As of the start of this week, this is my (Kimi's) 30-day anniversary with Powers Chimney & Masonry.

I just wanted to take a couple minutes and write about my experience here. (This will be a little more of a personal blog post than anything.)

My first day here was a bit different than any of the other days I've come in to work. I was on the road with Steve, the General Manager for most of the day. We were doing everything from errands to checking on the guys in the field to make sure they had what they needed. That first day was also unique because I worked a full 8-hour day (I'm generally only in the office from 8am to noon). It was a lot of fun, and I ended up learning so much in that one day!

As the weeks have gone on, I've gained a sense of what happens on a day-to-day basis around here. The flow of the day has become more natural to me, and I'm not as nervous about my participation in the work load, either. It's almost become second-nature to walk in on any given day and know what needs to be accomplished. As with any job, I generally check with my superiors (the GM and owner) to make sure I'm doing everything that needs to be done, and asking for anything more that we can do in a day. But for my part here, I have a to-do list for every single day of the week. (Those of you who know me personally probably understand the concept of my list-making a little more than someone who's unfamiliar to me).

Generally speaking, nothing ever goes 100% according to plan. I always have to be on my toes, and not plan for things going in a straight path, but instead I have to have a backup plan, as well as information to support the plan. For instance, I could be in the middle of AP/AR tasks, and I could get 3 phone calls in the middle of it, have a question from one of our crews in the field, and end up taking an hour up dealing with the immediate tasks at hand before I can tend to what I started with. That's a typical day!

My responsibilities here are widely spread, and include everything from paying bills to marketing ventures. I'm enjoying the research I'm doing for all aspects of my position, and I love putting it into action. I'm very much enjoying myself here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, and I love the crew and office staff!

Some things I've learned in the past 4 weeks:
* Things aren't always what they seem. Always dig for more information.
* It's much easier to go with the flow while having a plan as a goal, than focusing solely on that plan.
* Always be ready for anything.
* Research is beneficial in all aspects of my job.

That's me and my hubby, Robert in Maui in 2010. :)
Anyway, those are just a few notes about my time here so far, and I hope to get the opportunity to answer any questions you might have for me! If you have a question you'd like me to answer personally, just leave a comment on this blog, and I'd love to see what you're curious about and answer you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chimney and fire safety, and your children

Most of us are very familiar with this: It's a lock placed on a cabinet to protect young children from accessing what is inside.
Typically, the things we'd protect children from are everything from cleaning products to sharp objects. This Mr. Yuk sticker is an indication of such in many U.S. households, and has been since the 1970s.
In the United States, millions have used the Mr. Yuk sticker as a source of warning for their children regarding toxic chemicals, cleaning products, etc.

Additionally, it's common to allow kids to be responsible for fixing at least one meal per day on their own. Parent News reports that it's best to provide children with simple, easy-to-prepare meals that don't require a range or oven when they are home alone, due to the dangerous nature of such appliances.

Which brings me to ask the question: If you can go to all the trouble of labeling cleaning supplies with the Mr. Yuk sticker, lock them away in a cabinet that can easily be reached by small hands, and walk away feeling secure - why wouldn't you protect your children from fires?

It seems a bit trite, I'm sure. But to be more specific, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission labeled the 4th most common cause of chimney fires to be "Structural damage to the chimney caused by the ignition of creosote (a black tar-like substance that builds up inside the chimney in normal use)." (See article here.)

Left to their own devices, especially in winter months, kids are likely to keep the house warm by doing what they see their parents doing: starting a fire in the fireplace. But if you haven't had the chimney cleaned, there could be a dangerous layer of creosote building up that could cause a fire.

It's better to be safe than sorry, as the adage states. Always instruct your children on proper fire safety, get your chimney cleaned and inspected every year, and make sure that you have proper procedures articulated to your entire family about heating your home via the fireplace.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC can help you by scheduling an annual cleaning/ inspection. Call us today for more information: (360) 691-9828.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More than just a chimney specialist

As mentioned in our Meet The Crew post, Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC has a crew staffed with individuals who know this business well, and strive to provide the best customer service in the industry.

You may be asking yourself, "What exactly does that mean?"

Allow us to elaborate.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC is simply your mason and chimney specialist: We are a company that wants to be known for quality and integrity. We are striving to become an industry leader you can count on when needed.

During any season, let Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC become your contractor of choice year-round. We will be there for you - rain or shine. Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC is known for high quality work and honest, straight-forward estimates.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC is there to diagnose and solve the problem from its root cause. Also, we do preventative maintenance and help avoid expensive repairs in the future!

Let Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC provide you with a good, honest, high quality, and noble service that is important to your home’s safety and energy efficiency.  Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC can also assist you in bigger custom jobs as well such as decorative concrete, patios, pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens, just to name a few.

Remember, estimates are free!

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC is introducing the “Powers Care Package” Call today, and ask how we can prevent problems and maintain your masonry starting as low as $25.00 per month.

Basically, we are a company that cares about your unique needs and desires, and we're here to implement quality work, done with integrity.
Let us know how we can serve you!
Also, visit http://www.powerscm.com for more information on the services we provide.
 

Monday, August 29, 2011

VIP Special: 10% off for blog followers ONLY!

That's right; we're running a VIP special this week.

10% off any chimney cleaning & inspection scheduled this week (Mon., August 29th through Mon., September 5th).

To qualify:
1) You must be a blog follower. (Click "Follow" in the upper left-hand side of the screen)
2) Mention this blog post via email to kimi@powerscm.com, or phone (360) 691-9828 to receive your discount when booked.
3) Provide us with your email address when you call or email so we can verify that you are a blog follower.

That's it! Thanks for being awesome customers!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New pictures and more!

Have you "liked" Powers Chimney & Masonry on Facebook yet?

If not, you missed out on seeing a great photo from one of the jobs we did! But, because you're reading and/or following this blog, we're going to post the picture here as well:

This is a veneer lit up with a center block.

This is just one of the many services Powers Chimney & Masonry can offer you.

To see more photos - before & afters, veneers, tuck points, etc. - simply go to Our Facebook Page, and click "like," on the top, located right next to our company name.

Additionally, you can find Kimi's bio and picture, as well as other new additions to our website at www.powerscm.com.

Call today to schedule your chimney cleaning for $20 off! Don't forget to tell us how you found us. :)

(360) 691-9828

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Prepare NOW! $20 off any chimney sweep

It's a beautiful morning in northwest Washington. The sun is shining, and it's already over 60 degrees. The clouds in the sky are white and fluffy, set against the most beautiful periwinkle blue background.

On days like today, it's difficult to think that we might be bundling up in layers soon. Searching for scarves, winter coats, boots and mittens are the farthest things from our minds.

Yet, eventually - probably on the first day the temperature hits below 55 degrees - we'll be fumbling around in the closets for our boxes of winter attire, digging out the boots from the garage, and making sure we always have slippers ready to wear.

One small task that can be overlooked is considering your fireplace and chimney.

You probably don't consider your fireplace or chimney at all until you're too cold to stay warm, or your house gets that winter chill that you so desperately want to get rid of.                               
It's not something that should be delayed even that long, though.

Now is the time to be preparing for that day when you want to snuggle up in a cozy chair with a blanket, a cup of hot cocoa, and a beautiful fire blazing.

Which leads me to my next point.....our discount :)

For a limited time only, we're offering $20 off any chimney sweeping. The size or shape of your chimney doesn't matter.

Take advantage of this deal while you can. Protect your home and your loved ones by scheduling your chimney sweeping today. Don't wait until it's too late. You're going to want to use that fireplace very soon, and you don't want to use it when it hasn't had it's yearly inspection and/or cleaning. There are dangers that can arise from creosote build up (see previous posts for more information), such as fires.

Let Powers Chimney & Masonry help you prepare for the cold season ahead of us. Call today to schedule your appointment (360) 691-9828.

Monday, August 22, 2011

3 NEW SPECIALS!!

3 AMAZING new specials just announced from Powers Chimney & Masonry!

$20.00 off ANY chimney sweep/ cleaning!

$20.00 off top mount damper!!!

$1000 for any complete fire box rebuild with ash dump!!

Our caps and top mount dampers are protected by a lifetime warranty!!!

Call today to schedule your appointment!! (360) 691-9828

Don't be a statistic; schedule your chimney cleaning & inspection NOW!

It's a bit chilly out this morning!

I know when I left the house this morning to come into the office, I made sure I had a nice, hot cup of coffee to accompany me. The gray skies and cooler-than-usual breeze made me instantly think about warm beverages and bundling up.

Most of us have those trains of thought as soon as the skies begin to turn to gray on a consistent basis here in the Pacific Northwest. Generally, we like to be cozy and comfortable at home during these colder months which are upon us. One simple thing that we turn to in order to keep those warm feelings could be detrumental if we don't care for it, though - our fireplaces.

According to the US Fire Administration, 86% of residential building heat fires are attributed to confined heating sources (chimneys, flues, fuel boxes, or boilers).* 
                                                                            
It may not be common knowledge, but it ought to be.

That statistic is staggering, especially considering the fact that we generally have mild to moderate winter climates here in the Pacific Northwest. But don't be fooled. Don't think that chimney you use occasionally in the winter months doesn't need to be cleaned as often as any other chimney: all chimneys should be cleaned and inspected on an annual basis to keep their working condition safe and hazard-free.

 Before you go to light that fireplace for the first time this season, call today at (360) 691-9828 to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection! (This is NOT a DIY project. See our blog post on chimney fire prevention for more information.

Also, for all blog followers, we have a limited time offer of 10% off any chimney cleaning! (This means you must click the "Follow" link on the upper left hand side of your screen, and the blog reader will prompt you to input your google account information so you can be added to our list of followers). This offer is only available for blog followers from August 19th - August 26th, 2011.

How to get this deal:

1) Follow the blog (instructions above)
2) Leave a comment on this blog post saying that you're a follower.

*source credit: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v6i3.pdf

Friday, August 19, 2011

More about us & a special deal for blog followers

If you haven't already, we highly recommend you check out our website.

http://www.powerscm.com

The site has pictures of recent work, testimonials, and information on how to get in touch with us.

We take pride in our work, and so do our customers. Our goal is always to leave a jobsite knowing that the customer was completely satisfied. The testimonials on our site go into further detail about that end result coming up time and time again.

Also, we've recently added a decorative concrete division to our company. (Pictures can be found on the website).

Also, for all blog followers, we have a limited time offer of 10% off any chimney cleaning! (This means you must click the "Follow" link on the upper left hand side of your screen, and the blog reader will prompt you to input your google account information so you can be added to our list of followers). This offer is only available for blog followers from August 19th - August 26th, 2011.

How to get this deal:

1) Follow the blog (instructions above)
2) Leave a comment on this blog post saying that you're a follower.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wood Chip Smoker Boxes now available!

That's right; for a limited time we'll be offering heavy duty SS smoker boxes with lids!!

We have two options:

8 3/8" long x 3 1/2" wide x 1 1/2" deep, OR 16 3/4" long x 2" wide x 1 1/2" deep.
These make GREAT gifts, especially for the end of summer, or even for the upcoming holidays. Get your shopping done early!

Both boxes are stainless steal and are a fantastic way to smoke foods the simple way!

$29.99 for the long box and $19.99 for the short box.



Calls us today at (360) 691-9828 for more details!