With anything there are different levels of inspection or repairs depending on a need and the severity of a situation or condition of an object. It is no different with your home or fireplace. The Chimney Safety Institute of America describes three main levels of inspection to consider when having your fireplace inspected and checked by a professional. Inspection level one is your basic inspection. This level includes a thorough examination of the accessible portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. A professional will be inspecting the soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. During the inspection a professional will be able to make sure your chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits like creosote. Level two is more intense than level one. A level two inspection includes everything involved with a level one inspection plus the accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior including attics, crawl spaces and basements. It will allow a professional to properly clear all combustibles in any accessible locations. There is no demolition of your home or fireplace during a level two inspection. It is also important to note that a level two inspection is what you will need before you buy or sell a home. Level three includes inspections similar to level one and level two. However, if a hazard is suspected the removal of some doors, panels, or coverings may need to be removed so that the professional can gain better access to the potentially hazardous areas. Level three is a worse-case-scenario and will not be required for every inspection. A professional will be able to better assess your fireplace and determine what level of inspection you will need and will be able to explain what you can inspect with your inspection.
With the sort of weather we have been having it might be time to have your chimney inspected for water damage inside and outside of your chimney. If a cap has been removed there could be moisture buildup inside your fireplace. Debris from leaves and animals may also start to negatively affect your fireplace. Spring is just around the corner and now is a great time to have your chimney and fireplace cleaned and inspected by a professional. A professional will be able to assess what your needs may be to repair any damage and get your fireplace ready before the next fall and winter season hit again. We offer a variety of services that will ensure that your fireplace is working properly and will keep your family safe. A proper cleaning is always the best route to go to begin. It is imperative that you have any debris or creosote buildup removed. Creosote is highly flammable and must be removed to prevent any fires from igniting in your fireplace. Next you’ll want to have a professional come out and waterproof and make any necessary repairs. This would include repairing leaky flashing to tuck-pointing and masonry repair to relining the flue and chimney. During an inspection if there is water damage this can also be fixed. This situation can easily be remedied by reconstructing the back walls of the fireplace and returning them to their original pristine condition. We at TJ’s Chimney Service, offer a whole range of services that will help repair your fireplace to its original condition. Some of our repair services include, waterproofing/repair and restoration, rebuilding fireplaces, rebuilding crowns, install chimney caps, and replace chase tops. Whatever your repair needs may be we are always happy to help! If you are unsure of what repairs you may need done we would be happy to talk with you! Give us a call 317-462-4759.
As years pass houses and buildings are renovated and undergo some drastic changes. One such drastic change is the boarding up of fireplaces. Many times these fireplaces are covered and boarded up and remain that way for centuries and even decades. Over the years Museums and individuals have purchased these older homes and buildings and have begun to uncover artifacts that have been left and buried in the old fireplaces. The Tenement Museum located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan purchased a building that was built in 1863 and conducted at least two excavations of the building. Once they removed the boards of the fireplaces they found crumpled checks, antique cosmetics containers, and two decrepit doll heads. These artifacts have allowed the museum to piece together the history of the building. The crumpled check allowed the museum to map out where the main bank was located during that time period, who may have owned the building and what the property was used for. Another excavation uncovered a bottle of musk crystals, a half filled bottle of musk oil, and a nearly empty bottle of nail polish. These artifacts led the museum to believe that cosmetics and perfumes could have possibly been sold in this building in 1863. After research the museum was able to piece together the full story. The lower level of the building was used as a store front and also was used as housing on the upper levels of the building for immigrants. In 1863 the Lower East Side of Manhattan was the place immigrants started a new life, worked, and set up businesses. The building was used until 1934 and was left abandoned until the late 1980’s when the building was purchased by the museum. It would be interesting to know what other artifacts could be uncovered in other older buildings and fireplaces around the country and even right here in Indiana.
It may be unclear as to how often you should have your chimney and flue inspected, cleaned, and the process involved. If you use your fireplace often you may want to have your chimney inspected every few months. If you do not use your fireplace often the National Fire Protection Association Standard states that, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Clearing, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” It’s also a good idea to have your chimney inspected even if you do not use it often to remove any animals that may have built a home in the flue, or to remove any other kind of debris that may have fallen. Most importantly it is a good idea to have you chimney checked and cleaned to remove any creosote each year. Creosote is flammable and can cause a fire in the chimney if not properly clean and removed.
Having a professional, like TJ’s Chimney Service, is an easy process. Professionals can inspect a variety of chimneys including oil, wood, and gas. During the inspection professionals, like TJ’s Chimney Service, will not only clean the chimney but will inspect the chimney and check for any problems that could restrict the functionality of the chimney. With each inspection you will also receive a recommendation as to what is needed to improve the performance of your chimney.
Professionals will also check for water damage or leaks in or around your chimney. Water damage can be fixed by rebuilding the walls of the chimney or fixing the source of the leak. No matter what the outcome a professional chimney service is able to assess the condition of your chimney and flue and recommend the right services to get your chimney working at its highest level of performance.
There are many decisions that need to be made when building a home or starting a remodeling project. If including a gas fireplace insert is a part of your building or remodeling plan there are many options to choose from. According to fireplaces.com there are 5 things to consider first when choosing the right gas fireplace insert to fit your needs for your home.
First, start with deciding which style of fireplace you want for your home. There are many options from classic looks to more contemporary inserts.
Gas inserts also come in small, medium, and large sizes. We have many options available in our show room and would be happy to help you decide what will work best for you.
Once you have chosen the style and size you can move on to expectations for heating requirements, if you want a direct vented or unvented gas fireplace, your budget, and the return on investment. Did you know that gas fireplaces can help reduce heating costs for your home? It cuts down on the fuel consumed by your furnace and can help to reduce home heating bills by 20
to 40 percent, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association. Not only does a gas fireplace add to the beauty of the home but they are a great investment to cut costs as well.
With so many options out there making a decision can be overwhelming. Asking questions and getting a professionals opinion can ensure you get the right product. TJ’s Chimney Service can help make that decision easier for you. We are dedicated to helping you find the right fireplace insert that will work best for you. Stop by our showroom anytime and we can walk you through the options that are available or give us a call today 317-462-4759.
The burning of the Yule log has been around since about the 12th century. The tradition has certainly evolved over the decades but the true meaning has stayed in tacked. When the tradition of the Yule log first got it starts it was customary for the family to chop down a tree and drag it home. It was expected to find a tree big enough to burn through the twelve days of Christmas. It was usually women or young daughters who would light the tree with splinters from the previous year’s Yule log. The family would gather around the Yule log sing Christmas carols, tell stories, and say special prayers for the upcoming year. While the Yule log was burning family members or servants were not required to work but to enjoy the special time and festivities. The Yule log was said to protect homes from lightning and evil. The Yule log was also a way to burn or release personal faults, mistakes, and bad choices and allowed the individual to have a fresh start in the New Year.
In the 1800’s iron stoves began to replace giant hearths and the Yule log tradition began to change. It was no longer customary
to burn big logs but to burn smaller ones or to decorate them with festive decorations and candles. Over time chefs created beautiful cakes in the shape of Yule logs.
The Yule log is still a big part of Christmas traditions. Now days you can create your own Yule log and decorate it with burnable ribbons or holiday plants. If you don’t have a fireplace you can watch a Yule log burn on YouTube or you can watch it on some television channels on Christmas.
During this Christmas season all of us at TJ’s Chimney Service would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in the coming New Year.
In this day and age many chimneys are used to add character to a home. They haven’t always been for decoration though. Chimneys have evolved over the decades and have become more detailed over the years. According to the article “Quick History: The Evolution of the Chimney” written by Anna Hoffman, the first chimney was an open hearth in the middle of the room that was used to cook meals and were huddled around for warmth at night.
Fast forward a few decades and we start to see the chimneys that we are used to seeing today. As buildings were made larger they had to adapt and rethink the chimney concept of heating a building. Intricate ventilation systems were created to allow smoke out while still heating each room in the house or building. Chimneys have come quite a long way and have improved over the years. With the use of flues they were able to prevent homes from filling with smoke and causing health risks for the residents. Many other improvements have been made over the years as well.
Fireplaces have become less common in newer homes. Instead residents depend on central air or gas fireplaces to heat their homes. Gas fireplaces have allowed homeowners the opportunity to have a fireplace without having to worry about the upkeep of a wood fireplace, but still are able to create the same warmth and feel. If a home does not have an existing fireplace a gas fireplace allows the homeowner the ability to add one without any extreme home renovations.
Here at TJ’s Chimney Service we offer a list of options to fit your needs. Whether you are looking for a wood fireplace, gas stove, or gas fireplace we would be more than happy to assist you and find the right product to fit your needs .
Mention the words “chimney sweep” to most people and the first thing they typically think of is Burt, the character played by Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. It’s a wonderful family movie, no question about it. And Burt’s a fun guy. But the similarities pretty much end with the job label.
The following are things I’ve never done during the course of a job:
1) Sang and danced (talk about dangerous!) on a rooftop – though I’m not immune to quietly
humming some of my favorite tunes while hard at work
2) Laughed so hard I levitated off the ground
3) Created a chalk drawing world that I jumped into for a fun afternoon outing
4) Taken a break to put on a one-man band skiffle show for commuters in a neighborhood park
5) Worn a top hat while on a job. Seriously – how inconvenient!
No, more often than not, the job is significantly less glamorous. The following are steps I frequently complete on a job:
1) Using vacuums and brushes to clean out harmful build-up and trash from the interior of a chimney
2) Removing past or current remnants of animal habitation
3) Fixing cracks in the foundation of a chimney
4) Repairing the flashing surrounding the chimney
And the list goes on.
The point to consider here is this: The chimney sweep stereotype and the realities of the job are two completely different concepts. That said, I love the job and the ways I can help home owners get the most out of their chimneys.
Now back to work! Step in time . . . ahem.
As homeowners, we’re always pleasantly surprised when a do-it-yourself project ends well. Building a bookshelf, installing a light fixture, or replacing a faucet – there’s a substantial amount of pride in that kind of accomplishment. But some areas of home upkeep and repair are best left to the experts, including chimney cleaning.
A Minnesota town recently purchased several chimney sweep brushes for the public to use. While the idea is noble and well-intentioned, there’s a big difference between knowing the basic steps of cleaning a chimney and being trained to complete the job properly.
Alone, you may be able to clean some of the build-up inside your chimney, but it’s unlikely that you’ll do a thorough job. An experienced technician, on the other hand, can administer a correct cleaning that will not only take care of all the debris within your chimney, but also complete a full inspection.
Your chimney has several components that, if not maintained, can become safety concerns. Improper cleaning and inspection can lead to fires or an inability of smoke and hazardous waste to escape your home. When it comes to the safety of you and your family, consider what’s most important. Would you prefer to be frugal and increase your risk or spend the money to have a certified chimney sweep do the job correctly? What’s the value of peace of mind?
By no means are we saying you should abandon your desire for DIY home improvement. But when safety is a concern, you’re better off relying on an expert.
It’s January and the snowflakes are swirling. The worst weather of the season will likely hit within the next two months. If you haven’t done so already, the sudden frigid temperatures could make you more inclined to get that fireplace and chimney primed for use. If that’s the thought running through your mind, make sure you avoid the chimney cleaning scam artist and hire a certified professional.
Unfortunately, some people use the severe weather shifts to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Residents of Bangor, Maine were recently approached by a fly-by-night operation showing up at their front door offering a cheap deal on a chimney cleaning. Upon what they were told was a thorough inspection, the homeowners were informed that they had a bad liner and couldn’t use their furnace again until it was replaced. The cost of this “life-saving” information: $1500 in cash, up front.
Reading this, you may think, “Well, I know better than to believe that kind of con game.” Hopefully, that is the case. But many people, whether they realize it or not, allow unsubstantiated, fear-based selling tactics to work. The fear of no heat or a fire hazard that could endanger loved ones is compelling. The best way to combat these con games is to be informed and proactive.
If you do intend to use your fireplace these next few months – and it’s been more than a year since your last inspection – give us a call. For more than 32 years, TJ’s chimney service has been providing central Indiana residents with unmatched service. You’ll get what you need at a fair price, backed by our professional guarantee. If a chimney cleaning scam artist does knock on your door, you’ll be prepared to send them away confidently.