Chimney Damper

How Different Types Of Dampers Impact Your Chimney

Chimney DamperDid you know that there are different types of dampers out there, and that each of them have a different impact on the overall abilities of your chimney? Chances are you just know how to open and close your damper when your fireplace is not in use. That is all most homeowners know how to do, if they even know that much. Nevertheless, having the right damper on your chimney could have a major impact on your heating bills, your chimney repair bills, and the lifespan of your chimney. Do we have your attention now?

Let's take a look at how different types of dampers impact your chimney.

Throat Dampers

Throat dampers are probably the most common forms of dampers in chimneys today. They are situated at the bottom of the chimney to regulate air flow. While these dampers are great for insulation purposes, they will not last forever. They will eventually warp and rust, which will make their insulating efforts ineffective. If you have an older chimney with a throat damper, it may be wise to invest in a new one.

Top Mount Dampers

Top mount dampers are situated at the top of the chimney, and they're great for providing an extra layer of protection from birds. Top mount dampers are preferred by most chimney repair experts because they do not have as much of a chance of warping or rusting. These products can still be subject to damage over time, but they are not as likely to wear down as throat dampers. They are just as easy to control as throat dampers, but they last much longer.

Chimney Balloons

Chimney balloons are the least common options on this list, but they can still act as a damper when the fireplace is not in use. All you have to do is fill it with air when there is no fire going so that the warm air from the home does not escape. When you want to have a fire, simply deflate the balloon and pull it out. This damper solution is a bit more of a hassle than the others, but it works well for temporary situations while your damper or chimney needs repair.

Consider all of your options when investing in a chimney damper, and you will be able to save some money on your heating bills.

Remove A Bird's Nest From A Chimney

How To Safely Remove A Birds Nest From Your Chimney

Birds will make a home in just about any tight, quiet space they can find. That is why you see so many birds’ nests in store signs and light posts. If your chimney is not properly capped, you may find yourself hosting a bird’s nest on top of your home. This can be a problem if you need to use the fireplace, and the noise alone will surely drive you crazy after a long day at work. Also, birds and other animals can affect the airflow and the structure of your chimney, which can present numerous other problems. Before you start poking around in your fireplace for relief, check out this guide that will help you deal with a birds nest in your chimney. 

Know The Law

According to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, it is illegal to move or remove an active bird’s nest in your home –– even if it is in a bad location or creating a health risk for your family. This law is not widely enforced, but it is something to make note of. If you know there are eggs or baby birds in your nest, you will need to leave it alone until all of the birds have left the nest.

Block Off The Entry

Since you are not allowed to move an active nest from your chimney, you will need to ensure that it is not active. This means blocking off all gaps in the top of your chimney so that the birds cannot get in. It is best to do this early on so they do not lay eggs and make a large nest to remove.

Break Up The Nest

Once you know that the nest is no longer active, you can use metal rods of varying sizes to break the nesting material apart. Wear safety goggles and a mask when doing this because debris and dust will be falling down with every poke. Depending on the size of the nest, it may only take one or two pokes to get the nest to fall down.

Sweep The Chimney

After all of the nesting material is out of the chimney, call in a chimney sweep to clean out everything and get it ready to use again. You may also call a professional chimney cleaner to remove the nest for you if you do not want to do it on your own. As long as you abide by the law and avoid trying to smoke out the birds with fire, you should be able to clear the bird’s nest out of your chimney.

Install a Chimney Cap

Chimney caps are relatively small and cheap products that nevertheless provide great value to homeowners. Chimney caps and covers help prevent fires, improve ventilation, and stop birds (and other animals) from nesting in your chimney. If you’ve recently moved into a home with a chimney –– or you’ve recently had to clear a nest from your chimney –– then call a professional to install a chimney cap right away. 

Contact Us

At Brickworks, we help homeowners protect their homes and ensure their chimneys are in good working order at all times. Chimney safety is serious business, so if you notice any problems with your chimney, then contact a professional ASAP.

Our team has years of experience working with homeowners to find brick and masonry solutions, and we handle all varieties of chimney repair, maintenance, and service. Contact us here at (586) 330-4843 to learn more!

Mixed Mortar To Make Your Historic Home In Detroit

Will My Chimney Repair Match My Historic Detroit Home?

Mixed Mortar To Make Your Historic Home In DetroitIf you have a historic brick home in Detroit, you have to undergo special maintenance solutions to keep your home sturdy and strong. The materials used in newer homes have not gone through the same wear and tear as your home, so they do look as weathered, faded, and aged. In the case of chimney or brick repair, this may cause you to question just how obvious the repair will be. "Will my chimney repair match my historic Detroit home?" It all depends on whom you work with…

Multiple Supply Yards Mean Multiple Chances For A Perfect Match

Most chimney repair companies in Detroit only work with one or two supply yards. At Brickworks Property Restoration, we work with 15-20 supply yards at any given time, giving us a much broader selection of bricks to choose from. No matter how rare or weathered your bricks may be, we have the resources necessary to find a seamless match for you. That is the benefit of having extensive options to choose from. The more choices there are, the better the match is going to be.

On-Site Samples And Brick Comparisons

Another way we ensure you have a perfect or near-perfect match for your bricks is by bringing samples from the supply yards directly to your home. We also take bricks from your home to the supply yards to get the best possible match we can find. Some masonry repair companies rely on photos to do their matching, but pictures can distort the color and texture on a brick. We bring in the real thing to get the best comparison possible.

Mortar Color Matching

Bricks aren't the only components you have to worry about with chimney repair projects. You also have to think about the color of your mortar. Will the new mortar blend well with what you currently have on your home? We offer up-to-date mortar matching to get our mortar as close in color as possible. If there are any noticeable differences in coloration, they will fade after a little bit of sun exposure. We strive to ensure that our chimney repairs go unnoticed to everyone but you. You'll get the repair work you need without worrying about a giant eye sore.

If you work with quality brick repair experts like the ones at Brickworks Property Restoration, your chimney repair can in fact match your historic home.

How To Prepare Your Chimney For Winter

Before the winter months come barreling in, it is important to prepare your chimney to go to work. This will ensure that your home stays warm and toasty through the day to day chills. The preparation process is easier than you might think, and it could save you a ton of money on your heating bill. Check out the guide below to learn how to prepare your chimney for winter.

Get A Professional Chimney Inspection

In a professional chimney inspection, someone from Brickworks Property Restoration will come out to your home and look over your chimney from all angles. We will check for signs of cracking, leaking, damage, etc. If there are any issues that indicate a need for chimney repair, we will let you know what the repairs are, how urgent it is to get your chimney repaired, and how much the project will cost.

Note: You can be a big help in the chimney inspection process. If you have noticed any drafts, odors, or leaks coming from your chimney, point them out to the inspector so he knows what to look for.

Clean Your Chimney

If you have not had your chimney cleaned since last winter, you may need to clean it again before this winter hits. This will make sure that your chimney works at maximum efficiency. If you do not have the tools to clean your chimney on your own, you can hire a chimney sweep to get the job done for you. Assuming that your chimney has been fairly well maintained, this process shouldn't cost you a lot of money. Best of all, it will reveal damage and drafts in the chimney you might not notice when it's dirty.

Close The Damper

When you aren't using your chimney, keep the damper closed. This will prevent warm air from escaping your home through the chimney. Of course, you want the smoke to clear out when you are using the chimney because that could be damaging to your breathing. When you are using your central heating unit though, close the damper until you are ready to light a fire again.

Gather Firewood

This is less of a chimney prep tip and more of a general suggestion. Fall is usually the best time to buy firewood because it is not in high demand yet. You can get a good price on wood that distributors have been hanging onto all summer, and you'll be able to beat the crowd of fireplace owners that need wood in the winter. Start stocking up for winter, and you will be nice and toasty when the cold fronts hit.

Tuckpointing Brick Repair After Picture

How Tuckpointing Can Improve The Life Of Your Chimney

Tuckpointing is a process in which the mortar on your chimney is repaired or replaced. The bricks on your chimney are made to last a lifetime, but the mortar tends to get damaged much sooner than that. This damage can hurt the entire structure of your chimney, which can lead to some hefty costs in the long run. Rather than letting this problem get out of hand, you can use tuckpointing to improve the life of your chimney and save yourself money at the same time. Here's how.

How Tuckpointing Works

Tuckpointing Brick Repair After PictureIn tuckpointing, professional masonry contractors will grind down the existing mortar between your bricks and replace it with clean, color-matched mortar. The mortar is inserted in a way that blends seamlessly with the mortar on the rest of your home, and not of it is left on the brickwork. Think of this like re-caulking your windows once they start to leak. The process is relatively the same, but this one is a little more complex in the end. No matter what, you will get new mortar that looks great and functions much better than the old mortar.

Unexpected Benefits Of Tuckpointing

Tuckpointing isn't just meant to extend the life of your chimney, even though that is its primary goal. This process can also act as insulation from your home by keeping out wind that flies in through the chimney. Furthermore, tuckpointing can reduce the amount of bugs that make their way into your home because there are fewer cracks for those critters to crawl through. This process will even benefit you in the winter when you use your fireplace because it will help direct the smoke where you want it to go. The benefits keep going from there.

When Should You Invest In Tuckpointing?

If you can see visible cracks in your mortar, it's time to look into tuckpointing. You may also want to schedule an inspection for your chimney if your home is old or it has recently suffered some sort of structural damage. A lot of times there are issues in the mortar that you might not be able to see from the ground. Upon closer inspection though, a masonry contractor will be able to let you know if it is time for tuckpointing or not. Spend your money on the right maintenance early on, and you won't have to worry about big expenses in the future.