chimney mortar

How We Take Care of Chimney Mortar

Chimney repair can be expensive, so properly maintaining your chimney’s bricks and mortar is important for your checkbook and your home’s safety. Chimney mortar is a paste consisting of a mixture of sand, cement, and lime. In combination with mortar joints, mortar holds bricks together, keeps out air and moisture, and helps prevent the bricks from cracking or spalling (breaking off). Over time, exposure to the elements wears down the mortar, and gaps or cracks may appear. To help prevent and address chimney mortar damage, here are some useful tips from our experts at Brickworks Property Restoration: 

Perform Basic Chimney Mortar Maintenance  

To keep chimney mortar in good condition for as long as possible, there are some general guidelines you can follow. As a start, always clean your fireplace after use, use dry wood, and regularly check for signs of deteriorating or cracking bricks. With proper care, mortar typically has a lifespan of 20-30 years, but regular inspections are still recommended to identify cracks and gaps before more serious damage occurs. 

Schedule Routine Chimney Mortar Inspections to Find Damage Early

It can be hard to tell when bricks on your chimney are cracking or spalling by looking up from the ground, so hiring professionals to inspect your chimney periodically is key for preventing severe damage before it happens. Inspections can also help find if internal chimney damage is present. By identifying cracking or damaged bricks early, the repair process is made much simpler and more inexpensive. Warning signs for chimney masonry repairs include white stains and rust, cracked bricks, excessive or black smoke, and more. Wood-burning fireplaces can also experience an internal buildup of creosote, which is flammable and can lead to house fires. Since it often accumulates inside your chimney, it can be easy to miss, which is why inspections are crucial. 

Our Chimney Mortar Repair Process

Mortar maintenance can only go so far; eventually, at least minor repairs will be needed. To repair mortar, it is first necessary to repoint the bricks by grinding or chiseling away the old mortar and restoring the integrity of mortar joints. Restoring brick mortar joints involves using a  process called tuckpointing, where a pointing trowel or fingers are used to apply mortar between tight joints. 

There are many different types of mortar available, so having an expert analyze your existing mortar to find the right match is important. Mortar is typically only workable for 90 minutes, so quick and efficient work is necessary. Although you could apply mortar yourself, given the complexity and nuances of the steps involved, it is recommended to at least contact experts for advice before beginning.  

Receive Professional Guidance

Although it is possible to perform chimney mortar repairs yourself, it can be difficult due to the materials and techniques required. To avoid costly mistakes, it is recommended to first contact a chimney repair specialist to help you identify your current mortar mixture, your next best steps, and if further interior chimney damage is present. Whether you just need a routine inspection or serious repair work, our masonry experts at Brickworks Property Restoration can help. Call us at (586) 330-4843 for help planning your next chimney maintenance project! 

chimney restoration

The Chimney Restoration Process from Top to Bottom

If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve probably had plenty of free time to contemplate home-repair projects over the past few months. While there are certainly many little jobs that you should be able to complete on your own, it’s generally a good idea to leave chimney repairs to the pros. Here, we’ll explain the chimney restoration process from top-to-bottom and cover every potential issue a homeowner may face. Consider this your guide to chimney maintenance and safety: 

Caps are Crucial

Investing in the right chimney cap (or chimney cover) is essential to maintaining chimney safety. These small caps can prevent sparks or flames from spreading out of the top of the chimney should a fire get out of control. What’s more, they also stop animals like birds from building nests that may block ventilation in your chimney. Similarly, chimney crowns provide cover for the top of the chimney. Though, these crowns often need to be repaired because some builders use cheap mortar to form them. 

Fixing Faulty Flashing

Chimney flashing consists of two sheets of metal that are placed at the base where a chimney intersects with the roof. The primary function of chimney flashing is to prevent moisture from entering at the vulnerable point where the chimney connects to the roof. Unfortunately, leaky flashing can lead to a myriad of issues like brick deterioration and loss of structural integrity. So it’s important to repair and replace flashing as needed. 

Interior & Exterior Chimney Problems

It may not always be obvious that a chimney is becoming unsafe. That’s because many issues related to chimney safety are easy to overlook. For one, creosote buildup can cause chimney fires to burn dangerously hot. But identifying creosote within the chimney itself usually requires a full inspection. (This is also why an interior flue lining is so important.) In addition, some homeowners may not notice loose bricks, flue-lining deterioration, or darkened smoke when they light a fire –– all of which may indicate significant chimney damage. 

Water-Based Issues

As with any brick structure, chimneys are most susceptible to damage from extensive exposure to water (this also includes ice and snow). Over time, water can cause bricks to crack, split, and become loose. And when this occurs on the inside or outside of a chimney, the integrity of the structure can become compromised. Note also that while new brick structures will typically last decades with relatively little upkeep, the mortar in between bricks is more vulnerable to erosion. As such, homeowners may need to invest in tuckpointing or spot tuckpointing to fix potential chimney problems. 

Base & Tile Cracks

The tiles around your chimney’s base should be solid and secure. If the tiles around the fireplace become cracked or damaged, it could create other issues within the chimney. 

Chimney Fires 

Even if you don’t use your chimney often, consistent maintenance is vital. That’s because chimney fires are surprisingly common and, predictably, damaging. Indeed, there are over 25,000 chimney fires per year, and they cause around $125 million dollars in property damage. 

Due to the danger of chimney fires, it’s recommended that homeowners follow safety best practices when using their fireplace. In addition, they should also schedule several chimney inspections and cleanings –– one before and one after the winter –– to ensure any major issues can be identified and addressed before regular use. 

Contact Us

At Brickworks, we have years of experience working with homeowners and businesses in the Detroit metro area. Our team is professional and detail-oriented and we only use the highest-quality masonry materials when we take on a project. If your chimney is overdue for an inspection  –– or if you need repair help right away –– give us a call today at (586) 330-4920 to schedule an appointment. 

chimney crown

The #1 Reason Why You Need A Chimney Crown

There’s lots to love about a well-maintained chimney. If you’ve ever curled up in front of the fireplace on your couch on a cold, winter day, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. Indeed, a fireplace and chimney can add several thousand dollars to the valuation of a home. However, even the best-made chimneys occasionally require maintenance from time to time. One of the most important things that a homeowner can do to protect their chimney is to add a chimney crown. Here, we’ll explain what chimney crowns are and why they matter so much: 

What are Chimney Crowns? 

A chimney crown is a large slab that covers the top of the chimney. They are often made from leftover mortar from the chimney construction itself. Don’t confuse chimney crowns with chimney caps, though. Chimney caps are metal or plastic coverings that prevent birds or other animals entering your chimney. 

Why Are Chimney Crowns Important? 

Chimney crowns mostly serve to prevent water from entering through the top of a chimney. While this might not sound like much, it’s crucial to maintaining the structural integrity of the chimney. Unfortunately, water damage can not only affect how a chimney looks, but how it functions. Water damage can cause bricks to come loose, or baseboards or walls to become warped. If allowed to deteriorate over time, water damage can even cause chimneys to become unsafe or susceptible to fires. And that’s the last thing any homeowner wants to hear!

Installing/Replacing a Chimney Crown

Almost all chimneys already have a chimney crown. However, if for whatever reason your chimney doesn’t have a crown, it’s crucial to contact a professional to install one immediately. 

More often, though, builders will use cheap mortar to create a chimney crown. This can present a problem. While some mortars will hold up well over time, others may begin to break down, develop chips, or crack. When you notice this occurring, it’s time to take action. 

Repairing Chimney Crowns

Sometimes, professionals may be able to fix chimney crowns before they become damaged beyond repair. Otherwise, a full replacement may be in order. The good news is that replacing a chimney crown can be a cost-effective way to ensure the safety of your chimney for many years. Quality masonry repairs may last for decades. 

Scheduling Regular Inspections

A chimney crown is an integral component of chimney safety. Yet, it is just one aspect. Thankfully, by scheduling regular inspections, homeowners can guarantee that their chimney works perfectly every time. Plus, annual inspections will allow professionals to diagnose and amend issues before they become massive –– and costly –– problems. 

Contact the Pros

At Brickworks, we can offer homeowners quality, professional advice and chimney maintenance. We only use the highest-quality materials during our repair projects, and our team members are trustworthy and experienced. If you’re concerned about the safety of your chimney or fireplace, or if you’re overdue for an inspection, then contact us here. Don’t wait until it’s too late, call now.

chimney flashing repair

The Chimney Flashing Repair Process: What We Do

Leaks within a chimney may not be immediately obvious. In fact, without regular inspections, homeowners may not notice chimney leaks until they cause bigger issues like wood rot and/or roof damage. Left long enough, chimney leaks can affect the structure of the entire fireplace system. What's more, broken or worn chimney flashing often allows chimney leakage to occur. Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know about chimney flashing, chimney flashing repair, and what you can do to protect your home from water damage. 

What is Chimney Flashing?

Chimney flashing consists of two sheets of metal that are placed at the base where a chimney intersects with the roof. These sheets are layered –– one placed in an L-shape over the chimney and connecting roof area –– with the other placed over the L-shape sheet to cover mortar joints and shingles. The primary function of chimney flashing is to prevent moisture from entering at the vulnerable point where the chimney connects to the roof.  Also, professionals may use copper, lead, or steel chimney flashing. 

Signs of a Leaky Chimney

In many instances, a compromised chimney flashing will lead to leaking within the chimney. A few subtle signs of a leaking chimney include: 

  • Condensation in the firebox
  • Water dropping in the chimney
  • Moisture stains on the walls connected to the chimney
  • Musty chimney odors. 

If you perceive any of these issues, schedule a chimney inspection ASAP. 

Repairing Chimney Flashing

Repairing and/or replacing chimney flashing can be an intricate process. And it’s important that professionals install chimney flashing correctly–– otherwise your home could be vulnerable to further water damage. At Brickworks, we follow this process to repair and replace chimney flashing: 

  • Inspect the caulking around the chimney flashing. Occasionally, chimney leakage can be stopped completely just by re-caulking the area between the flashing and the chimney stack.
  • Remove old chimney flashing. Take away all of the old metal, wood, and mortar connected to the chimney stack. 
  • Measure the area for accuracy. 
  • Use purified and soldered metal (to protect against oxidation). 
  • Tuckpoint the area around the chimney stack where the flashing will be installed. 
  • Install the flashing one sheet at a time. 
  • Install a chimney cricket –– if needed. (Typically only for houses with chimneys located on the downslope of a roof.)

How to Prevent Chimney Leaks

In addition to faulty chimney flashing, other factors can cause chimney leaks. Worn mortar joints, spalling bricks, and broken chimney caps may all allow for moisture to enter your home through your chimney. That’s why we recommend all homeowners with chimneys schedule inspections twice a year. Keeping tabs on any small issues with your chimney now could eliminate the need for big home-repair payments later.  

Final Thoughts

At Brickworks, we have years of experience working with homeowners and businesses in the Detroit metro area. Our team is professional, thorough, and we only use the highest quality materials when we take on a project. If you’re concerned about a leaky chimney –– or if you’re overdue for an inspection –– give us a call today at (586) 330-4920, and we’ll schedule an appointment time that works for you.

chimney crown repair

Chimney Crown Repair: What You Need To Know

Chimney crowns are, perhaps, the area of a chimney most susceptible to external damage. Chimney crowns are located at the top of the chimney. They sit on top of the brick structure, and they’re sometimes made from leftover mortar that was used to build the chimney in the first place. Because chimney crowns face high levels of exposure to winds, rain, sunlight, (etc.) they may deteriorate faster than other parts of a chimney. Here, we’ll explain everything you need about chimney crown repair –– from spotting damage to preventing issues from ever occurring in the first place:

Chimney Crown Damage

Chimney crowns are most often damaged over time by the elements. Indeed, many chimney crowns will begin to develop cracks as they age, and, if ignored long enough, they may begin to crumble bit by bit. It’s important for homeowners to inspect their chimney regularly. Spotting and treating chimney crown cracks early on can help homeowners save thousands of dollars on repairs.

Sealing Chimney Crowns

The most effective way to repair most chimney crowns is to seal the surface. If the structure isn’t completely compromised, it’s possible to apply a sealant to caulk cracks and prevent further degradation. In addition, some homeowners may elect to seal their chimney crowns as a short-term solution during the winter. This isn’t to be recommended, though.

Chimney Crown Repairs

Chimney crowns that are too damaged to fix with a quick sealing will require more extensive repairs or total replacement. Just how long a given chimney crown will last can be difficult to predict. For one, varying climates will affect brick-and-mortar structures differently. In general, though, the wetter the area, the worse brick structures fare. Second, the material used to create the chimney crown will also have an influence on its durability. Sometimes contractors will use cheap mortar to form a chimney crown in order to complete a project quickly. When this is the case, chimney crowns won’t last very long. Depending on the extent of the damage, a chimney crown repair or replacement could cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Chimney Maintenance Best Practices

A busted chimney crown can cause a myriad of issues. Cracks or holes in the crown can allow moisture to enter the chimney interior, and thus, quicken the erosion of the structure. In addition, crumbling chimney crowns won’t allow for proper ventilation, and they may also fail to properly contain chimney fires. Because chimney crowns are required to ensure proper chimney safety, we recommend that all homeowners get their chimneys inspected at least once a year. This way, a professional will be able to detect any potential problems and deal with them before they get out of hand.

The Bottom Line

Contacting a professional to take a look at your chimney crown won’t just give you peace of mind –– it’s likely to save you a good amount of money too. At Brickworks, we specialize in all aspects of chimney repair and maintenance, and we’re happy to help you complete your next masonry project. Contact us here for more information or to schedule a chimney inspection today!

Chimney Cover

How to Choose The Right Chimney Cover

A chimney cover –– also known as a chimney cap –– is a small metal attachment that fits on the top of a chimney flue. Chimney covers serve multiple purposes. For one, they help prevent fires by containing sparks, debris, and flames that may rise out of a chimney. In addition, many improve a chimney’s ventilation and prevent downdrafts. They also keep out pests and birds and stop them from creating nests in your chimney, which can obstruct airflow. Lastly, chimney covers help mitigate against snow, ice, and rain entering your chimney and affecting the brick structure within.

Clearly, chimney covers are important. But how can you find the right chimney cover for your home? Below, we’ll explain everything you need to know about purchasing chimney caps and help you make a smart decision without any hassle:

Flue Shape & Size

Most chimney caps resemble a small metal box, but they do come in different shapes and sizes. The reason for this is that chimney flues can be round, ovular, squared off, or rectangular. And different chimney caps are designed to fit into different flues. Before you purchase a chimney cap, it’s important to first inspect your flue and determine its shape and size. Take a precise measurement of the flue –– otherwise you could end up buying a chimney cap that doesn’t fit at all!

Types of Chimney Covers

All chimney covers are made of some form of metal –– typically steel, aluminum, or copper. In broad terms, copper chimney caps tend to be the most durable, (but the most expensive); aluminum caps are cheap, but can be prone to bending; and stainless steel caps are generally the most balanced option of the three.

Chimney Cap Installation

Chimney cap installation may be extremely straightforward or rather tricky, depending on the cap and the flue. Some caps require screws or bolts to be placed into either the flue or the crown (the small area around the flue at the top of the chimney). Conversely, other chimney caps simply “slip on” within a chimney flue. Often, the size, quality, and specifications of a chimney cap will determine how complicated installation proves.

Chimney Cover Prices

As we’ve explained above, chimney covers come in all shapes and sizes, are made of various materials, and require different levels of installation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, chimney cover prices vary wildly as a result. For instance, you can get some very inexpensive chimney caps for as low as $120. On the other end of the spectrum, specialized chimney caps can go for as high as $2,000. What type of chimney cover you eventually decide to buy should reflect what you want from it. Do you want one that’s extremely durable or are you comfortable replacing it in a few years? Do you want one that matches your home’s exterior design or is that not a priority? It’s important to answer these questions first before you break out your checkbook.

A Word from The Pros

Researching, buying, and installing a chimney cover all on your own can be a daunting task. Thankfully, when you contact the professionals at Brickworks, we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect chimney cap for your home. We have years of experience working with homeowners to find brick and masonry solutions, and we handle all varieties of chimney repair, maintenance, and service. Contact our team here at (586) 330-4843 to learn more!

chimney repair

6 Signs You May Need Chimney Repair Help

As we’ve covered before, chimney fires can cause massive amounts of damage to a home. And it goes without saying that they also can be incredibly dangerous. However, chimney fires are just one problem that can affect a chimney. Indeed, you may need chimney repair help now and not even realize it. In order to protect your family in your home, make sure to keep an eye out for these six signs that could indicate you’ve got a problem with your chimney:

#1 Damaged Mortar Joints

It’s easy to miss damaged mortar joints on your chimney, but anything that upsets the structure of the chimney could affect its performance and the overall stability of your home. Cracked, worn, or faded mortar joints require tuckpointing to restore. On the plus side, you can check out this blog to learn everything you need to know about tuckpointing.

#2 Spalling Bricks

Bricks that are cracked, coming loose, or “caved in” are usually a sign of some form of structural defect. Obviously, you don’t want your chimney leaning one way or another; so take action to prevent it by replacing or repairing spalling bricks as necessary.

#3 Cracked Tiles

The tiles around your chimney’s base should be solid and secure. As such, noticing any cracks in the tiles around your chimney is typically a harbinger of worse issues down the road.

#4 Moisture Issues

Water is the enemy of brick fixtures everywhere. Though bricks are extremely durable, they are also porous, which means that water can enter through them. Unfortunately, this means brick chimneys are vulnerable to excessive moisture. Some signs that moisture is affecting your chimney's performance include:

  • Rusted dampers or rust on metal chimney appendages.
  • Efflorescence –– a white stain left on bricks as a by-product of water damage.
  • Bowed walls around the chimney. In addition, water may affect wallpaper on walls adjacent to a chimney.

#5 Damaged Chimney Cap

Chimney caps are vital because they ensure proper ventilation and prevent animals from nesting within your chimney. If your cap has been removed or compromised in any way, make sure to replace it quickly.

#6 Excessive Smoke

Thick, black, billowing smoke coming from your chimney is –– obviously –– not a welcome sight. The bad news here is that excessive smoke is often the result of a chimney fire. Often, creosote will build up within the chimney after long periods of time and contribute to these dangerous fires. If you experience heavy black smoke coming from your chimney, exit the house and take all necessary precautions to protect yourself.

Schedule an Inspection Today

The best way to handle chimney repairs is to be proactive and avoid them in the first place. Thankfully, just by scheduling regular maintenance and inspections, you can prevent many of the issues that commonly plague chimneys. While chimney fires happen most often during the winter, chimney damage can come about at any time. So if you’re concerned about a set of spalling bricks or a busted chimney cap, then contact the professionals at Brickworks today. We’ll be happy to address your problem, and we’ll work with you to find the best solution possible. Don’t wait another minute –– call today at (586) 330-4843.

chimney fire

The First 5 Things To Do After A Chimney Fire Occurs

Chimney fires are a serious threat to homeowners, and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. In addition to the millions of dollars in property damage chimney fires cause every year, they are also incredibly dangerous. With that in mind, all homeowners who have and regularly use their fireplace should understand some basic chimney-fire safety tips. Here are the first five things you should do in the case of a chimney fire:

#1 Ensure Safety

It’s most important to protect your family and yourself in the event of a fire. So rather than trying to put out the fire, alert everyone in the home and exit in an orderly fashion. Chimney fires may stay contained within a chimney –– or they may spread to the rest of the house. Regardless, your first action should be to get out of the house. From there, call the fire department. If possible, it may be a wise idea to close the damper on the fireplace to “smother” the chimney fire. (No oxygen, no fire.) However, don’t put yourself in danger by attempting to close a damper or put the fire out yourself. Safety is the first priority!

#2 Hose Down Your Roof

Chimney fires are most dangerous when they spread to your roof, so if you notice the tell-tale signs of a chimney fire like dense, black smoke or a loud, train-like sound emanating from your fireplace, go outside and spray water on the areas around your chimney. And remember, once you're outside, stay there until help arrives. 

#3 Inspect the Damage

Only begin to inspect your chimney after the fire has completely gone out. At that point, look for damage in the interior and on the exterior of your chimney. Some chimney fires may also cause damage on the roof. Furthermore, you should keep an eye out for creosote build-ups within your chimney. More often than not, this sticky, flammable substance is the cause of a chimney fire.  

#4 Call a Professional

All chimney fires happen for a reason –– so don’t use your chimney after a fire! Instead, call a professional first to inspect your home and your chimney. They’ll be able to 1) diagnose the problem that started the fire and 2) clean/repair it. It’s a wise idea to schedule regular chimney inspections annually, but it’s absolutely imperative to talk to a professional in the wake of a fire. Otherwise, you could put you, your family, and your home at risk again!

#5 Practice Fireplace Safety in the Future

Thousands of chimney fires happen every year, and, in some instances, homeowners may not even be aware that they’ve had a fire. Certain fires are slow-burning and self-contained, but they can still cause a great deal of damage to your home. That’s why it’s important to always follow basic fireplace safety procedures. Properly cleaning your fireplace and scheduling regular inspections will help you avoid dangerous fires. For a more in-depth look at how you can prevent chimney fires, check out our blog here.

To Wrap Up

Chimney fires are an unpleasant, but all-too-common occurrence. Fortunately, when you partner with a company like Brickworks, you can rest easy knowing you’ll receive the best possible masonry service. We handle a wide variety of brick and stone projects, and we’ll help you return your chimney to its former condition after a fire. Call us today at (586) 330-4920 to get started!

chimney repair

When Is the Right Time for Chimney Repair?

Just because you can’t see a problem, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Such is the case with chimneys. Indeed, many homeowners may not realize that their chimney is in dire need of either repair or maintenance –– simply because the issue exists within the chimney itself. However, not addressing a problem with your chimney could increase the risk of dangerous chimney fires and/or the release of gases into your home. Given that fact, today we’re going to explain when homeowners should schedule chimney inspections and maintenance and how best to go about chimney repair:

How Often Should I Get my Chimney Inspected?

The short answer to this question is at least once a year. If you use your fireplace often, though, you may want to ask for multiple inspections both before and after the winter. In addition, it’s a good idea to call a professional for an inspection if you suspect you may be at risk for a chimney fire. It’s also possible that you’ve had a chimney fire and not realized it. Some signs of a contained chimney fire include:

  • Dense smoke
  • Loud cracking and popping noises from the fire
  • Damaged flue tiles
  • Creosote build-ups
  • Damaged brick on the exterior of a chimney
  • Damaged sections of roof

If you notice any of these issues, you should stop using your chimney and contact a professional as fast as possible. Chimney fires can be extremely dangerous and costly.  

When is the Best Time for Chimney Repairs?

Typically, the best time of the year for chimney repairs –– or any sort of masonry or brick work –– is after the winter. During the winter months cold weather can affect brick exteriors and make them difficult to amend properly. Furthermore, since people use their chimneys most often in the winter, it makes sense to get any repairs done in the spring, or alternatively, in the fall before the cold sets in. However, as mentioned above, it’s wise to call a professional if you’re concerned about the safety of your chimney.

Basic Chimney Maintenance

Of course, it’s best to avoid chimney repair altogether! Thankfully, by following some basic chimney maintenance tips, you can. Always clean your fireplace after use, use only chimney-safe wood, and schedule regular inspections. For a more detailed look at how you can avoid chimney fires and chimney-repair issues, check out our blog here. Not only will keeping up with your chimney protect your home, but it will also save you money in the long run!

Contact a Professional

There’s nothing better than curling up next to a fire on a cold winter’s day. To make sure that you and your family can enjoy your fireplace and chimney –– and not fret about its safety –– contact a professional for maintenance and inspection. At Brickworks, we specialize in chimney repair, and know how to restore the interior and the exterior of your chimney. Plus, we handle all variety of masonry projects! If you’re worried about the safety of your chimney, or if you’re ready to schedule an inspection for next month, call us here at (586) 330-4887 We’re ready to help!

fireplace safety

8 Fireplace Safety Tips To Keep You Safe This Winter

There are few things more enjoyable than curling up in front of a warm fireplace on a snowy winter’s day. And considering that large parts of the Midwest and Northeast have been hit by some major snowstorms already this season, people have had plenty of opportunities to do so. However, as wonderful as fireplaces are, it’s essential that all homeowners follow these eight fireplace safety tips in order to protect themselves and their home. Check them out here:

Only Burn Dried, Cured Wood

Burning substances other than firewood (like paper) in a fireplace is both dangerous and unnecessary. Don’t try to start a fire with foreign materials and don’t use wood that’s wet. Wet wood and other objects produce dense smoke when they burn, and dense smoke contributes to creosote build up within the chimney, which is a major catalyst for chimney fires.

Store Your Wood Properly

Above all, keep your firewood dry. It’s not a bad idea to purchase your firewood for next year months in advance so that you can ensure that it’s stored properly.

Install a Chimney Cap

Chimney caps prevent downdrafts, animals building nests within your chimney, damaging moisture from entering your chimney, and chimney fires from spreading to adjacent buildings. There's no reason not to install one. 

Never Leave a Fire Unattended

Though it may seem obvious, it’s extremely unwise to leave a fire burning unattended. And never leave a fire burning around unsupervised children!

Purchase Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you plan on using your chimney regularly, then items like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential. Remember to always replace the batteries for these detectors because they just might save your life one day.

Keep Your Damper Open

It’s imperative that you keep your damper open until the fire is completely out. You can check the effectiveness of your damper by lighting a match and seeing if it flickers or not.

Clean Your Chimney Area Thoroughly

After a fire is out, make it a point to sweep away any ash, debris or embers. What’s more, never leave flammable materials –– like a rug –– next to a fireplace when in use.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Even if you strictly adhere to every fireplace safety practice, it’s essential that you call a professional to inspect and perform maintenance on your fireplace and chimney regularly. (Experts recommend at least twice a year.) Though you may not realize it, it’s possible that loose bricks caused by moisture or creosote build-ups are threatening the safety of your chimney –– and by extension –– your home.

Contact a Professional

No one likes to think about the possibility of chimney or house fires, yet tens of thousands occur every year. The good news is, by contacting a professional you can protect your home and your family. At Brickworks, we have decades of experience providing home-masonry solutions. From chimney maintenance to foundation repair, we’re ready to take on any project. So don’t wait –– call us today here at (586) 330-4920.