Our Company Blog
As summer begins to quickly fade away, it’s time now to bring attention to your chimney before winter is upon us. Among all the repairs and other activities associated with the warmer summer months, it is hard to think about preparing the upcoming winter. That feeling is completely understandable! However, there are a few reasons why you should focus some attention on your chimney at this time of the year.
Why should I have to get it repaired?
Your chimney, built in the masonry style, is built of porous materials such as concrete, brick, mortar, and stone. Think of it similar to a sponge in the way they hold water. Though they appear to stand the test of time, without proper care they can begin to crack as the processes of freezing and thawing expands, and then contracts, the masonry. Over time this leads to bricks loosening, and eventually the entire chimney will collapse. As you can tell, winter can be very hard on your chimney. With the addition of intense use of your fireplace during those months, it can amass a variety of problems… that are then ignored over the summer months as it goes unused. It is a vicious cycle!
Besides the expansion and contraction that occurs when water freezes and then thaws in the masonry, water also causes a lot of damage and deterioration to any metal or wood materials that it accesses on the interior of your chimney and in your fireplace such as:
- Flue lining system
- Proximal wood flooring and wall coverings
- Fireplace accessories
What can I do about it?
Preventing water from damaging your chimney is absolutely essential for the long life of your chimney. Well-designed chimney caps are made of enduring, reliable material that can resist corrosion as well as keep birds and other animals out and off of your chimney. Though there are options that only provide partial coverage, a full coverage chimney cap is an investment that will provide the most protection long-term.
For masonry that does lose mortar during the hard winter months due to temperature fluctuation, tuckpointing is a relatively simple process of tucking mortar into damaged areas. Not only does it reinforce the structure of your chimney, but it is more aesthetically pleasing as well.
Chimney Crown Replacement/Repair:
The crown is absolutely essential in directing water away from the flue and to the edge of the chimney so that it won’t erode any mortar or brick. If your crown is cracked or damaged in any way, the rate of chimney degradation gets increasingly higher.
We have learned that water is very damaging to both the exterior and interior of your chimney. Using a waterproofing treatment is a preventative measure against many of the above issues, as well as allows your chimney to release water vapors that it contains in the masonry while keeping additional water out.
Make your appointment online with us and learn more about your chimney at billysweetchimneysweep.com.
When you consider the safety and efficiency of your fireplace unit, you might forget one of its most important elements: your chimney cap. Many homeowners and consumers fail to recognize the vital protective measures offered by a functioning chimney cap; they might also be unfamiliar with the tell-tale signs of an issue with their caps.
A chimney cap is a small, relatively inexpensive addition to your home’s fireplace system, yet offers an important degree of protection from various threats.
A chimney cap prevents critters, wind-borne debris, moisture and other elements from entering your chimney and home. It also prevents burning embers from escaping through your chimney and landing on your roof, causing a potential fire. It’s important to ensure that your chimney cap is in proper working order before colder weather arrives.
Here are a few signs that your chimney cap needs repair or replacement.
Moisture causes more damage to fireplaces each year than mismanaged fires, and, left unchecked, has the potential to cause serious, irreparable damage to your unit and home.
If you notice dripping or pooling water in or around your fireplace, moisture has gained an access point in your chimney, and you need an immediate inspection. A working chimney cap will prevent excess moisture from accumulating in your chimney and home.
If you notice that your chimney isn’t venting properly or is sending excess smoke into your home, you might have a broken chimney cap that is allowing blockages to build up in your flue.
If your chimney cap becomes clogged with creosote or debris, it won’t vent properly and will send smoke and particulates from the burning fire back into your home.
There are many dangers attached breathing this contaminated air, including smoke damage to your home and severe illness.
Critters or Debris Entering Your Fireplace
Another of the main functions of your chimney cap is to prevent animals or debris from entering your chimney and causing blockages or creating disturbances in your home.
Squirrels, raccoons and birds will often mistake an uncapped or open chimney for a hollow tree; they often get stuck inside the chimney or decide to build a nest in the space, creating a very dangerous situation for themselves and the homeowners.
If you hear frantic scratching or clawing in your fireplace, you may have an issue with a trapped or nesting animal. This is a sign that you chimney cap has significant damage and needs to be replaced or repaired.
Additionally, if you notice leaves, sticks or other debris gathering in your fireplace, your chimney cap is not working properly and needs to be repaired or replaced.
Ensuring That Your Chimney Cap Is In Working Order
If you’ve noticed any of these issues with your fireplace, it’s important that you have your chimney cap inspected by a professional.
A certified chimney inspector will ensure that your chimney cap is in working order, that there are no issues with venting and that you can safely use your fireplace without fear of hazards.
It is recommended that you have your chimney inspected once a year by a certified chimney sweep. Because fall is the most popular time for chimney inspections, you might consider making your appointment before the rush, to avoid delays or wait times.
Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep serves all of the Boston area with professional, certified chimney inspection and installation services.
Call today for an appointment.
Summertime is here, and homeowners are switching on the A/C, spending time outdoors and searching for ways to fight the heat. It’s no surprise that the state of your fireplace is probably the last thing on your mind; after all, you won’t be utilizing it again for at least a few months.
Once September rolls around, however, the temperatures can drop sharply, leading homeowners to consider utilizing their fireplaces for warmth and relaxation.
Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of the importance of having their chimney swept before starting that first autumn fire.
Check out these important reasons to get your chimney swept before the fall.
Avoid the Rush
Once fall arrives, chimney sweeps are very busy; their schedules are typically backed up for days or even weeks at a time. Waiting until fall to schedule your sweeping could mean a long delay or having to shop around for another company that can accommodate you.
You can avoid the rush by getting your chimney swept before fall arrives. You won’t have to wait for an opening, and you can head into the colder season knowing your fireplace is ready for use.
Prevent Chimney Fires
Your chimney functions as the avenue through which dangerous flue gases and other fireplace by-products can pass safely out of your home.
These by-products include water vapor, hydrocarbon, wood particles, smoke, and tar fog, among others. As these by-products flow up through your chimney and mingle with the cooler temperatures at the top, condensation occurs, resulting in a tar-like coating on the walls of your chimney known as creosote.
Creosote is highly combustible, and building a fire in your fireplace when it has an excess buildup of creosote on its walls puts you at serious risk for a chimney fire. Getting your chimney swept regularly, and especially after a long summer of not using your fireplace, is the easiest way to get rid of creosote and prevent a chimney fire.
Prevent Unpleasant Odors
One of the main reasons homeowners invest in a fireplace is to add ambiance and luxury to their home; unfortunately, for homeowners who fail to keep their chimney clean, an unpleasant odor may begin seeping from their fireplaces into their homes during the summer months.
The heat and humidity of summer weather can cause reactions in the creosote and by-products of a dirty chimney, causing the emission of a sour, burnt odor that no homeowner wants to experience.
Getting your chimney cleaned during the summer can help minimize the presence of these bad odors and keep your home clean and comfortable.
Prevent Life-Threatening Gases from Accumulating in Your Home
A blocked or malfunctioning chimney is one of the leading causes of the accumulation of carbon monoxide in homes; in fact, carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for 200 deaths in the United States each year.
It is essential that you get your chimney swept on a regular basis, to ensure that your flue is venting and functioning properly. A regular sweeping will also prevent the accumulation of creosote, acidic water vapors and soot that can cause chimney blockages and thus the dangerous accumulation of noxious, life-threatening gases in your home.
Extend the Life of Your Fireplace
The accumulation of fire by-products in your chimney can cause damage to the structure of your chimney, your home and your fireplace. You’ve made an expensive investment and deserve to enjoy its benefits for years to come.
North Shore, Massachusetts encompasses the area between Boston and New Hampshire. The area is beautiful and coastal. Describing the North Shore must include a special and rich culture in addition to stunning and diverse geography. That’s why the entire staff of Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep loves serving the North Shore.
Here is a list of the cities and towns included in the North Shore area:
- West Newbury
Geographically, the region has a rocky coastline, marshes, wetlands, beaches, and harbors perfect for recreation, wildlife, and inter-coastal commerce.
One of the best known cities in the North Shore region is Salem, well known for the tragic Salem Witch trials of 1962. The Salem Witch Museum provides an insight to that unique time in our history. The Peabody Essex Museum includes the Ying Yu Tang house which was originally located in southeastern China and depicts the life of the many generations of the Huang family who lived in the home for over 200 years. Gloucester, a fishing town, was venerated in “The Perfect Storm” by Sebastian Junger. Newburyport is the quintessential coastal town with a boardwalk, red-brick downtown, and active commercial wharf. The North Shore area includes activities such as whale watching and harbor cruises, beaches and lighthouses, theatre and restaurants, contemporary and historic architecture. And yet, there is so much more.
Sports fans of the North Shore breathe black and gold in honor of their beloved Bruins. Babies in the North Shore towns (or to parents who once lived in North Shore) are mysteriously born with a Red Sox logo tattooed on their chest. We’re kidding, but the dedication and spirit of Red Sox fans is undeniable. And no matter what happens, The New England Patriots will never lose favor with their devoted fans in North Shore even when the rest of country is badmouthing the team.
Patriotism is also abundant in the area. North Shore is the birthplace of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. The Atlantic Ocean fosters international commerce as well as provides the freshest and finest seafood in America, which diners enjoy along with their favorite craft beer. Local breweries are abundant. Donut aficionados say the only donut worth eating comes from Dunkin Donuts. If you are lost and ask for directions, if you are told “it’s just past the Dunkin Donuts”, you better ask someone else. Dunkin Donuts is so popular in North Shore you will find one on practically every street.
Residents of North Shore speak with a unique Revere accent. The surest way to unintentionally insult a resident of the North Shore is to remark on their “Boston” accent. It’s not Boston; the speech pattern is a local dialect exclusive to the North Shore.
Ultimately, it’s the people who make the North Shore so special, it’s always been about the people and always will be. Past and present residents of North Shore are strong, determined, loyal, full of community spirit, enterprising, generous, and fun loving. The people of North Shore have learned from the mistakes of their ancestors and work diligently to secure a prosperous and praiseworthy future for generations to come.
“We love serving the North Shore”, is the mantra of the team of Billy Sweet Chimney Service and are proud to bring our chimney services to its residents.
At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, we love serving the greater Boston area. We think Boston is a great place to live and feel grateful for the opportunity to serve the homeowners of this beautiful city year after year. From exciting nightlife and sports to beautiful historic homes, there are plenty of reasons why we love working and living in Boston. Here are some of the things we think make this city great.
Sports In Boston
Fenway Park, need we say more? Boston is home to one of the most historic baseball fields in the United States, and the Boston Red Sox is arguably one of the most famous baseball teams in the major leagues. But Boston doesn’t stop there. We are also home to the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots. If you are a sports lover, Boston is a great place to visit and live.
Nightlife In Boston
From shopping and dining, to shows and concerts there is no better place to take in the sights than in one of the most historic cities in the United States. We have the Boston Symphony and the Boston Opera House and great concerts all over the city, the Boston area is a great place to take in a show.
Historic Theaters In Boston
- Cutler Majestic Theater
- Wilbur Theater
- Shubert Theater
- Wang Theater
History In Boston
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Early European settlers came to America in the 17th century and created a prominent city for the earliest colonists. Boston was also home to monumental historic events such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, as well as Paul Revere’s famous Midnight Ride. These historic events make Boston an interesting and exciting place to live and visit, even if you are not a history buff.
Living In Boston
Boston defines itself by its beautiful neighborhoods and at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep we love serving every vibrant neighborhood. The vibrant economy and unique neighborhoods truly make Boston a beautiful place for families to live. Each neighborhood has its own feel, which makes it a diverse place for young entrepreneurs, families and retirees.
Neighborhoods In Boston
- Hyde Park
Taking Care Of Your Boston Home
If you live in Boston, you already have great pride in where you live and what your home looks like. Take that pride a step further by using a local company to care for and maintain your chimney and wood-burning heating appliances. At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, we have years of experience sweeping, inspecting and repairing chimneys in different types of homes.
When you live in Boston, you have a respect for the economy that keeps our great city going. Employ a local company with certified professionals that will come to your home and make sure your chimney is in top working order. Not only will you be supporting a local Boston business, but you will also be keeping your chimney and your home in top working shape. Contact Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep in Boston to find out more about our chimney sweeping services.