Spring Chimney Preparation Tips For Michigan Homes

When most people think of preparing their home for spring, they plant flowers outside or get the patio furniture from the garage. However, your chimney needs just as much prep work as anything else. Protecting your chimney from rain, humidity, and other acts of nature will keep it looking and functioning its best. Here are some spring chimney preparation tips for Michigan homes.

Clean The Creosote From Your Chimney

Creosote is a black substance that builds up in chimneys over time. It mostly forms in the winter months when the warm air from your fireplace meets the cold air outside. This causes condensation and the development of a tar-like solution that can smell and reduce your chimney's efficiency. With the winter months coming to an end, it may be time to get a new chimney sweeping. Call Brickworks Property Restoration at (586) 868-3234 to schedule an appointment with a local chimney sweep.

Watch For Rust Damage

Rust damage can occur on any metal components of the chimney, primarily the flashing around the base and the cap on top of the chimney. The metal is treated to stand up against precipitation and moisture in the air, but it can still develop rust after years of exposure. Rust will impact the structural integrity of the flashing, so you want to get it removed as quickly as possible. Thankfully, these types of chimney repairs are quite common and inexpensive.

Invest In Brick Sealant

Brick sealant is great for spring weather in Michigan because it protects bricks from moisture, rain, sleet, humidity, and more. Exposed bricks are made to be durable, but they are also vulnerable to constant exposure to moisture. This is especially true if the water is constantly freezing and thawing like it does in the late winter and early spring months. Brick sealant creates a barrier around the bricks that will prevent water from seeping in, saving you from costly repairs later on.

Get A Chimney Inspection

If you have not scheduled a chimney inspection to go with your chimney cleaning, you may want to do that. The inspector will check for potential leaks in your chimney so you can fill in gaps before they cause problems. If you leave these damages unattended to, you may find yourself dealing with a flood of water in your chimney this spring. The chimney repair experts at Brickworks Property Restoration are here to help you every step of the way.

Increase Energy Efficiency Of Your Fireplace: Chimney Repair Michigan

Your fireplace is a source of warmth in the winter, but it can also be a path for cold air to enter your home. If your fireplace is not set up correctly, you may not fully benefit from the warmth it provides. In this guide, we will look at some ways to increase the energy efficiency of your fireplace so you can enjoy a cozy winter.

Close The Damper When The Fireplace Is Not In Use

If you're not using your fireplace, make sure the damper is closed. Otherwise, warm air from your home will travel up and out of your fireplace. If your damper is old and warped, you may want to get it replaced so it can create a tight seal in your chimney. Our chimney repair company in Michigan can install a new damper for you so you can save money on winter energy bills.

Get Professional Chimney Sweeping

Chimney sweeping serves several purposes. It eliminates soot and oil buildup inside your chimney, and it gets rid of odors caused by creosote. Once the chimney is clean, a chimney sweep can inspect the brick and mortar to make sure there aren't any damages that need to be repaired. Chipped bricks and old mortar create gaps around your chimney, which will leak air into or out of your fireplace. The repairs are usually pretty simple, and they will pay for themselves in energy savings.

Use Your Fireplace Doors

If you have doors for your fireplace, use them! The heat from the fire will be directed through the vents, so you will still get all the warmth. The doors preserve the flames and maximize the longevity of the fire, so you don't have to constantly get new logs for the fireplace. The doors can double as energy protection when the fireplace is not in use because they prevent air from going into the fireplace. This, combined with the damper, will protect your chimney from letting warm air escape.

Close Interior Doors When Using The Fireplace

Close off any doors that lead to other rooms, such as bathroom doors or bedroom doors. These openings will give the warm air more space to travel in, which limits the heat you feel from the fireplace. If you close off the doors, you can ensure that the warmth of the fire goes exactly where you want it to.

To schedule a chimney cleaning or chimney inspection, contact Brickworks Property Restoration at (586) 868-3234.

Chimney Sweeping In Michigan Reduces Fireplace Odors

"Why does my fireplace stink when I'm not using it?" This is a common question we hear from homeowners in Metro Detroit, MI. There are several potential causes of fireplace odors, and each cause has its own unique solution. Here we will explore how chimney sweeping and other services available through Brickworks Property Restoration can help you control your fireplace smell.

Why Is My Fireplace Smelly?

One of the most common causes of smelly fireplaces is a buildup of creosote. This is a chemical that is emitted when a fireplace is running. The smell may be worse on hot or humid days, like during the summer or right before a fall rain storm.

Another cause of fireplace odors is air coming in from small cracks in the chimney. If you have air channels in your brick or mortar, odors from outside can seep into your home. Depending on the air quality in your area, it could make the whole house smell just as bad or worse than it does outside.

Moisture coming into the fireplace can also cause it to smell. This could be the result of cracks in the chimney or an insufficient rain cap at the top of the chimney flue. The water will make the smell of the creosote much more potent, and it can also make the fireplace smell like mildew. Either way, you'll end up with an unpleasant odor in your midst.

How To Fix A Stinky Fireplace

The first step in getting rid of fireplace odors is to invest in a thorough cleaning from a professional chimney sweep. Brickworks Property Restoration in Metro Detroit, MI offers full-service chimney sweeping to get your fireplace working and smelling its best. Our chimney sweeping process will remove the excess creosote in your chimney and significantly reduce the odors coming out of the fireplace.

In addition to getting your chimney swept, you should consider getting a chimney inspection to check for cracks and areas where moisture and air can get in. If you need tuckpointing, brick repairs, or anything else along those lines, you can get them now so you don't have to deal with as much odor in the future.

Creosote can absorb into masonry, so a thorough chimney sweeping may not be enough to fully remove the smell. There are deodorants you can buy for your chimney to eliminate the leftover odor, or you could use products like baking soda and cat litter. We can go over all of these solutions and others during your professional chimney sweeping.

Wood Burning Tips From Chimney Repair Experts In MI


Want to get the most out of your fireplace? We don’t blame you! One of the biggest reasons why people buy homes with fireplaces is so they can enjoy the warm glow of the fire on a cold winter day. This can become an expensive and labor-intensive task if you don’t approach it the right way though. Worse, improper wood burning techniques can put you and your family in danger. So check out these wood burning tips to keep your fireplace running strong and safe at all times.

Only Burn Dry, Seasoned Firewood

The wood you use in your fireplace should go through about a year of seasoning before it’s ready to use. This gives the wood plenty of time to dry out so it burns well. In order to test if the wood is ready to burn, smack two pieces together. They should make a loud cracking noise. If the noise you hear sounds more like a thud, there is still moisture in the wood that needs to be dried out.

Do Not Burn Non-Wood Materials

Never throw plastic, magazines, wrapping paper, or other trash in your fireplace. Many of these items release toxic chemicals in the air as they burn. The same goes for painted wood, plywood, or particle board. While these objects are flammable, they are not designed to go into a fireplace. Using inappropriate burning materials could cause the fire to spiral out of control, putting your property and your family at risk.

Store Wood Slightly Above Ground

Do not stack your wood directly on the ground. It will absorb moisture from the soil, and it will not have access to air circulation to keep it dry. Ideally, you should store it in a sheltered area that still has plenty of air circulation, like on a covered patio. If you do not have a place to store the wood like that, make sure to cover it on days when it is supposed to rain or snow.

Bring In What You Need

Wood intended for the fireplace should be stored mostly outside. Only bring in what you need and one backup batch so most of the wood can stay outside in the air. The moisture drying out of the wood will get released into your home, which will cause it to feel humid and muggy. Most of our chimney maintenance clients have firewood storage near their homes so they can easily get to their wood without having to bring it all inside.

Keep Your Chimney Clean

Having a well-cleaned chimney ensures that your fireplace is working properly. It’s just like getting an oil change for your car or cleaning out your dryer vent. Brickworks Property Restoration offers affordable chimney sweeping in Metro Detroit, MI, along with a wide range of chimney repair and brick restoration services. Contact our team here at (586) 330-4843 to learn more!

Michigan Chimney Repair: What NOT To Burn In Your Fireplace

The weather in Michigan is getting colder, which means it's almost time to start warming up the fireplace. As you prepare for this season, it's important to understand what you can and cannot burn in your home. We have handled a number of brick repair and chimney repair projects in the past as a result of burning the wrong items in a fireplace. You can avoid such catastrophes with the tips below.

Gift Bags And Wrapping Paper

Your fireplace may seem like a convenient place to throw gift wrap after a birthday party or holiday celebration, but that is never a good idea. Wrapping paper is extremely flammable. It ignites faster than the chimney can handle, which means that the flames will start spilling out of the front of the fireplace. Even with a screen in front of your fireplace, the flames will be too large to contain. Not only will this damage your walls, carpeting, mantle, and other home elements, but it will also put your family at risk. When it comes to gift wrap, trash it – don't burn it.

Styrofoam Packaging And Packing Peanuts

Another item you may be tempted to throw in the fireplace is Styrofoam packaging, like what you might get in a box for a new microwave or television. Packing peanuts can also be a nuisance to throw away, so you may decide that the fireplace is a good alternative. The problem here is not so much the speed in which the foam burns as much as the chemicals it emits when it does burn. These chemicals are incredibly toxic and bad for the environment. Most of them will go up through your chimney, but some will float inside your home. You may also have pieces of black, burnt foam in the air, which will be a big hassle to clean up.

Pizza Boxes And Cardboard Boxes

Pizzas boxes are clunky and they take up a lot of space in a trashcan. The same can be said for cardboard boxes, like the ones you may use when you move or get food from the store. These are not items you want to put in the fireplace because they burn quickly. Much like with the wrapping paper, the flames can come out of the front of the fireplace and put your home in danger. The best thing to do is to break down the boxes and make them as small as possible for the trashcan.

If you need chimney repairs or chimney cleaning in Michigan as a result of burning the wrong items in a fireplace, contact Brickworks Property Restoration at (586) 868-3234.

Complete chimney rebuild.  Shelby Twp. 

Customer had a chimney fire in one of the flues.   All new Belden frost white brick and complete new flue system.   Hammer and Daryls team did an excellent job.  Thank you guys.

Chimney rebuild Oakland Twp

Hammer, Ricky and Daryl. Long day but great job

chimney sweep

Top 4 Reasons To Hire A Chimney Sweep

chimney sweepIn order to keep your chimney performing its best, you need to clean it regularly. The frequency of your chimney cleaning will depend on how often you use your fireplace, but the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that most chimneys be cleaned at least once a year. While you could choose to do this on your own, there are a number of advantages that come with hiring a chimney sweep to complete your cleaning for you. Listed below are the top 4 reasons to hire a chimney sweep so you can determine if this is a wise investment for you.

Get A Professional Inspection With Your Cleaning 

A chimney sweep does more than just clean your flue. He is there to assess the state of your chimney and alert you if any repair work is needed. An annual chimney inspection will ensure that your chimney is repaired at the first sign of trouble, which you can save you a significant amount of money in repairs and energy bills later on. The chimney sweeping will practically pay for itself.

Identify Problems In Your Chimney Installation And Construction

During the inspection your chimney sweep performs, he will review how your chimney was installed and constructed. Your flue may not be the right size for optimum output levels, or your liner may not be sufficient for your fireplace, stove, or furnace. Whatever the case may be, you can get the professional advice you need to correct current and future problems with your chimney when you get it cleaned.

Have Your Chimney Cleaned With The Right Equipment

Chimney sweeps have the tools, equipment, and expertise necessary to ensure your chimney is properly cleaned and maintained. They know what it takes to clear out a chimney safely without causing damage to your brickwork, furnace, fireplace, etc. All of the masonry experts here at Brickworks Property Restoration are trained with the best equipment on the market, so you know your chimney is being well taken care of. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

Avoid Safety Hazards Associated With Chimney Sweeping

Chimney sweeping often involves getting up on roofs, ladders, and high-rise equipment that could put you in danger. Professional chimney sweeps know how to use this equipment to complete their work safely and effectively. They will make sure your chimney is thoroughly cleaned while you remain safe on the ground. There is no reason to put yourself or your family at risk.

home mold prevention

Use Chimney Repair For Home Mold Prevention

home mold prevention

Chimney repair is an important part of home maintenance, but most people do not realize just how many benefits come from this service. Did you know that chimney repair can be used for home mold prevention? It’s true – by fixing and sealing your chimney on a regular basis, you can protect your family from extensive health problems associated with mold spores. Let’s take a look at how your chimney affects mold development in your home so you can see the true value of fast-acting brick-and-mortar repairs.

Dangers Of Mold Spores

Mold growth can lead to a slew of health problems, including:

  • Nasal Stuffiness.
  • Wheezing.
  • Difficulty Breathing.
  • Skin Irritation.
  • Eye Irritation.
  • Fungal Infection Of The Lungs.
  • Other Respiratory Symptoms.

People with asthma, COPD, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and similar respiratory conditions are more likely to react poorly to mold spores, but even people without these conditions can be sensitive to mold. Rather than figuring out which group you fall into, you might as well do all you can to prevent mold from forming in your home.

How Chimney Repair Contributes To Home Mold Prevention

Mold spores develop in areas of high moisture because mold needs water to grow. When excessive moisture is available, the mold has more to feed on and it grows even faster than normal. Cracks in your chimney’s bricks and mortar can let in rain and moisture from your home’s exterior, which could lead to mold in the future. Simple processes like tuckpointing and brick sealing can drastically reduce the amount of moisture that leaks in through your chimney, which will in turn stop mold development. 

Note also that brick structures like chimneys are susceptible to water damage because of their porous nature. Excessive moisture can lead to a host of structural problems in your home. In fact, water-damaged chimneys may be too dangerous to operate safely. And finding mold in a basement or crawl space could indicate even bigger structural issues. In short, never ignore the presence of mold in or around your home!

Warning Signs Of Mold To Watch For

If you are worried about mold forming in your home, watch for these signs of mold spores so you can get assistance right away:

  • Visible Mold Spores, Typically Black Spots And Speckles On Walls, Ceilings, And Floors.
  • Trouble Breathing In Your Home, Particularly In Cooking Areas and Bathrooms.
  • Musky Smells And High Humidity Levels.
  • Strong Asthmatic Reactions.

As with most home-maintenance issues, the sooner you identify and act to address mold spores in your home, the better off you’ll be. So save yourself time, money, and stress by making regular chimney maintenance a priority!

Contact Us

The best way to control mold is to prevent it from ever forming. Get a chimney inspection from Brickworks Property Restoration right away to check for problematic leaks before they ever turn dangerous. We can repair your chimney and keep your home well-insulated for years to come. With the right home maintenance over time, you may never have to worry about mold development inside your house. Contact our team here at (586) 330-4843 to learn more!

Protect Your Chimney From Spring Storms

spring stormsA damaged chimney is a portal for rain, insects, moisture, and other problems in the middle of spring storms. If you want to protect your home and the integrity of your chimney, it is important to invest in chimney repairs before the rainy season hits. Michigan has an average rainfall of 33.42 inches per year, and every one of those inches could put your bricks and energy bills at risk. Here are a few ways you can protect your chimney from spring storms.

Get A Chimney Inspection

One of the first steps in preserving the structure of your chimney is getting a chimney inspection from masonry experts in your area. A professional will come out to your property to assess the current state of your chimney. If there is any noticeable damage or deterioration, your inspector can provide a quote on the spot for the repairs. Then you will know what it will take to get your chimney back in good condition.

Note: If you live in the Metro Detroit area or one of our other service areas, we will gladly come out to your home to conduct a free chimney inspection. Call (586) 868-3234 to learn more.

Seal Your Bricks

With brick sealants, you can shield your bricks from excessive water and help the rain drain right down to your roofing. Water has a tendency to wear down bricks over time, so sealing will preserve your masonry as long as possible. Think of this like wax for your car. It will not last for the entire lifetime of the bricks, but it can add years to their lifespan and save you a ton of money in chimney repairs down the road.

Invest In Tuckpointing

Tuckpointing is a process that replaces old, worn mortar with new mortar, color matched for a seamless appearance. If you invest in tuckpointing throughout the lifetime of your chimney, you can preserve its insulating abilities and minimize damage to your bricks over time. Tuckpointing will also help your home in the winter because it will keep the heat from your chimney inside your home, rather than letting it seep through the cracks. This is a simple, affordable, and effective way to protect your home from spring storms and cut down your energy bills at the same time.

Prepare for spring before it gets here and you will be set up for success no matter how much rain may fall.