Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cleaning your Chimney: Preparing for Winter Months



How often your chimney needs cleaning depends on how often you use the fireplace, the kinds of fires you build in the fireplace and the type of wood you use for your fires. Generally, a chimney cleaning is recommended at least once per year. During the winter months, if you are burning a fire every day or for several hours per day, then you might need a chimney sweep as often as once per month.

Signs your chimney needs to be cleaned


  • Burned wood odors come from the fire place even when it’s not being used 
  • Fires burn poorly   
  •  Fires dump smoke into the room. Smoke back drafts can also be caused by poor chimney construction—it's best to have a chimney repair or masonry professional take a look at your chimney if this is happening
  • While a fire is burning, step outside and look at the smoke coming from the outside of the chimney, if it’s black this is also means it’s time for a cleaning   
  •  The damper is located right above the firebox, and it's is easy to see and reach. If it’s black or has a buildup of creosote or soot on it, both indicate that it’s time to have your chimney cleaned 
  • Prior to getting your chimney cleaned, there must be no fire for a minimum of 12 hours

Facts about Chimney Cleaning


  •  Freshly cut woods tend to build up creosote faster than hardwoods  
  •  Creosote is a carcinogen that can be deadly 
  • Creosote can form when wood is burned incompletely  
  •  As soot builds up over time, it can narrow or block the chimney 
  • Creosote is incredibly flammable, which is why a dirty chimney is a fire hazard
  • A stove fireplace chimney, woodstove chimney and wood-burning fireplaces require cleaning more often than regular fireplaces, usually more than once per year 
  • The location of your chimney on your house makes a difference on how often it needs to be cleaned also   
  •  Even if you don’t burn wood or coal, oil or gas-burning stoves and fireplaces still need to be swept regularly too
If you are in Washington State and would like to have your chimney cleaned or inspected, please contact Powers Chimney and Masonry!

206.718.8532 - Eastside
206.909.0166 - Seattle
360.691.9828 - Northend






Friday, November 2, 2012

What to Consider for a Custom Masonry Fireplace Design



The days of boring, standard brick fireplaces are out and creative, original, custom looks are in style. With winter around the corner, it's time to curl up on the couch by the fire and design your dream fireplace. Here are a few things to consider as you go about designing your new fireplace; it’s as easy as 1,2,3!

Location

If you currently have a fireplace in your home and are looking to restore or update it, first decide if you want to keep the current size or expand it. When considering the size of the fireplace, think about the size and shape of the room, also consider how much heat is going to be radiated into the room. This can help to determine the fireplace size. A U.S. Department of Agriculture publication says a fireplace 30-36 inches wide is generally suitable for a room having 300 square feet of floor. Local zoning regulations, building codes and wind direction will also dictate the location and acceptable chimney height.

Materials and Design

When designing your new fireplace also consider the material choice. An inefficient material choice can mean more heat goes up and out, instead of warming your house. It’s also important to consider the materials for design and matching the rest of the d├ęcor in your house. Different types of masonry can create unique looks using materials like brick, stone, stucco, veneer, rock, tile and decorative concrete.

Style

Here are a few different style samples to gain inspiration from, including: Southwestern, Mediterranean, Modern and Traditional and varying mixtures of materials.


 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Traditions

"In the days when enormous fires were lighted, and great yule-logs blazed upon hearths, it was usual to have all chimneys swept before the festive season, in case of fires." - Mairtin O' Griofa, A Celctic Christmas. 

Here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, we believe in providing full-service cleanings that include 20-point safety inspections (the inspections are free with any cleaning purchased), and we don't think that it's a tradition of the past to have your chimney swept this time of year.

In fact, for the best practices in safety and clean burning, we recommend that you have your chimney cleaned once annually. This should be done regardless of frequency of use, as hidden dangers can be lurking in any chimney.

This is the reason we provide our 20-point safety inspections free of charge when you schedule and pay for any cleaning. Our thorough, professional technicians will go over everything from the hearth to the chimney cap, and provide you with a copy of the safety inspection when they're finished, as well as explain verbally the results of their inspection. Should there be a need for any repairs or replacements, the inspection will be the path to discovering such needs, and the technician will go over this in depth with our customers.

Remember, now is the time to schedule your annual chimney cleaning & safety inspection - before the weather turns, and the holiday season is upon us!

Call today to set up an appointment (360) 691-9828.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chimney Inspection and Repair

Chimney Inspections

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends a chimney inspection once a year, and for good reason. A dirty or clogged chimney could fill your home with acrid smoke or even cause a chimney fire when you start a fire this winter.


A Chimney Cap Protects Your Chimney

Over time, soot can build up in the inside of your chimney, restricting proper airflow. Regular chimney cleaning keeps air flowing and can even prevent chimney fires. If your chimney doesn't have a protective weather cap, it could become clogged even more easily, because wind and rain can push leaves or other debris into the mouth, blocking smoke from leaving your chimney.

The professional chimney sweeps at Powers Chimney & Masonry can make sure your chimney is in peak condition, while also checking for other dangers, like a broken or cracked liner.

How Chimney Liners Can Help

Chimney liners expel hot flue gases into the atmosphere, and a damaged one could potentially endanger the structural integrity of your chimney and even threaten your home.

The Seattle chimney repair experts at Powers Chimney and Masonry can fix a broken liner in no time, and ensure the safety of your home.

We also offer Seattle chimney restoration services.

Need some help with your chimney? Just give us a call at 206.718.8532 

or, visit us at our website, here.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Restorations

Do you ever walk outside and look at the front of your home, look up at your roofline, and notice that everything looks great - except your chimney?

This is not an area of your home to neglect. Rather, this is a focal point which draws the eyes up. Especially if you are buying or selling a home, the chimney will need attention.

Here are some before and after pictures of a recent restoration we did:

Before 1

Before 2

Before 3

Before 4

After 1

After 2

After 3

After 4


As you can see, here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, our priority is to leave you satisfied. We take pride in our quality work by the best the business can offer.

Call us today! (360) 691-9828

Friday, February 17, 2012

Proven Craftsmanship

Here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, our priority is your safety and comfort. We're a company that is devoted to our clients all the time, in any season.

Our technicians have been working diligently to provide superior service to our clients.

Below are some recent pictures of our chimney and masonry work:

Before
After


Chimney (Roofline Up) Before 1
Chimney (Roofline Up) Before 2
Chimney (Roofline up) After

Chimney needing help before 1
Chimney needing help before 2 (counter flashing)
Chimney no longer needing help! After 1
Chimney no longer needing help! After 2

These are just a few examples of our proven craftsmanship. Let Powers Chimney and Masonry be your contractor of choice, and you'll experience the best service, from our office staff to our technicians.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dryer Vents Really DO Eat Socks!

Yes, the old adage of "the dryer eats socks," actually does have some truth to it.

Photo courtesy http://bit.ly/z8xzq4.

A few weeks ago, we got an inquiry from a customer who mentioned that it was taking him up to 5 dryer cycles to get a small load of laundry dry. We scheduled an appointment to come out and clean it for him, and found about half a dozen socks in the dryer vent, and enough lint to stop it up!

The client was very thankful that we were able to take care of the problem for him, and mentioned twice that he was so thankful that we cleaned his dryer vent, because he was certain that we prevented a fire, and made it possible for him to dry a load of clothes in less than an hour - something he'd not experienced since purchasing the home!

Here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, our priority is your safety. Read more about dryer vent cleaning on our website or call us to schedule a dryer vent cleaning!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Welcome, Sunshine!

No, I'm not talking about the weather.

Sunshine is the newest member of the Powers Chimney and Masonry team. She comes to us with 18 years of experience in an office setting. Being born and raised in Kodiak, AK, Sunshine started her early years of construction training with her dad. She has worked in a wide variety of fields, including: office, bookkeeping, furniture sales, hazmat removal, asbestos removal, roofing and hospital emergency/ outpatient/ inpatient admitting. Sunshine is also a certified EMT.

Everything she does is for and about her family. Sunshine and her husband, Aaron, have been married for 13 years, and live in Anacortes with their 4 kids, ages 8,9, 10 and 12, and she adores them with all her heart. Sunshine also teaches acting classes in her local community and participates in community theater as well.

We're all very excited to have Sunshine here working with our team at Powers Chimney & Masonry! Welcome, Sunshine!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cold Snap

During this past week, the Northern Puget Sound Region has experienced more snow, ice and dangerous traveling conditions than has ever hit in recent years.

Governor Christine Gregoire has declared our area to be in a State of Emergency, which means the National Guard could be involved. (See the link to King 5 news for more information).

It's times like these when people really see problems with heating their homes, keeping their family safe, and making sure everything is in proper working order. Usually, you don't know something is wrong with your chimney or fireplace until you need it. 

Here at Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC, our priority is your safety and satisfaction. Be sure to call us today to schedule your annual cleaning and inspection, dryer vent cleaning, or even an estimate for repairs! (360) 691-9828

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rainy and Cold - We're Here For You

Even when we have a forecast that looks as bleak as the one for the remainder of this week (see picture below), Powers Chimney & Masonry is still here for you as your chimney & masonry contractor of choice.
Photo courtesy king5.com










 The rainy, cold weather can be really uncomfortable for you if you don't have a fireplace in working order to keep you warm. Whether you have a wood-burning stove or a traditional masonry fireplace, it's a good idea to get your annual chimney cleaning and inspection done now so that when you need it, it will be ready and safe for your use.

Don't wait until you're already shivering! Call us today to get everything in proper working order for you. Need more than just a cleaning and inspection? Maybe an estimate for repairs? No problem. We can do that, too.

Call us today to schedule an appointment. (360) 691-9828). Ask for Kimi or Michelle. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Contest

Happy New Year, everyone!

To celebrate, we are having a contest this month.

Here is how it works:

You can have a maximum of 3 entries. Entries are obtained in 3 ways:
           1) Follow this blog. Leave a comment on this blog post saying that you are a follower.
           2) Re-post the link to this blog post on Facebook. Leave a separate comment on this
               blog post saying that you did so.
           3) Tweet the link to this blog post on Twitter. Leave a separate comment on this blog post
               saying that you did so.

There will be 3 prizes for 3 separate winners drawn randomly. (One entry per household, please).

1st prize: Stainless Steel Chimney Cap w/ installation ($140+ value)
2nd prize: Chimney Cleaning & Inspection ($100+ value)
3rd prize: Powers Chimney & Masonry T-Shirt and Baseball Cap

This contest begins on 01/02/2012 and ends on 02/03/2012 at 11:59pm PST. All entries must be received before then.

Good luck!