During these dog days of summer, many homeowners are making a very expensive mistake. Here in San Diego, homeowners are opening their SDG&E envelopes and getting sticker shock with astronomically high utility bills. What homeowners don’t realize is that by making a very simple change, they can save a great deal of money. So … Continue reading An open fireplace damper is like an open window
Birds in Chimneys
As I’m sitting in my office working, I can hear the high-pitch chirping from some obviously newly-hatched baby sparrows just above my office window. I’m not surprised by the chirping. I’ve been watching the mama bird building her nest on a ledge just above my window for several weeks. During her time building her nest, … Continue reading Birds in Chimneys
Eight Problems with Indoor Dryer Vent Kits
As homes are remodeled and laundry rooms are created where there wasn’t one before, contractors have had to get very creative with how to vent the dryer from the laundry room to the exterior of the home as required by building code. Sometimes it’s not possible to vent to the outside. In this case, contractors … Continue reading Eight Problems with Indoor Dryer Vent Kits
16 Tips To Know About Artificial Gas Logs
Gas logs are so very convenient–no fuss, no mess; instant on-instant off; clean burning to the environment as well as very little creosote build-up in the chimney. Before making that decision, there are several things to take into consideration first. To help you, here are 16 tips you need to know when deciding on artificial … Continue reading 16 Tips To Know About Artificial Gas Logs
Roof rats love your chimney!
Even if homeowners don’t use their fireplace, there are still very important reasons to have a chimney cap. This last week, as a chimney sweep, I received a record number of phone calls from people who had critters in their chimney. This time of year here in San Diego, during the rainy season, it’s not … Continue reading Roof rats love your chimney!
Chimney Caps and Termite Tents
What do chimney caps and termite tents have in common? More than you think! Several times a year, the strong Santa Ana winds hit Southern California. These winds are something we San Diegans dread because it usually brings with it the threat of wildfires. But there’s something else that occurs due to these forceful winds. … Continue reading Chimney Caps and Termite Tents
25 Important Tips to Hire a Contractor
A true story: About ten years ago, a friend of ours decided to do a major remodel on his house, basically doubling the size of his home. He did his due diligence in researching contractors and he narrowed it down to three very qualified candidates. Then he went to the California State Licensing Board website … Continue reading 25 Important Tips to Hire a Contractor
Problems with an Unlined Chimney
As a chimney sweep, the most important part of a chimney that we inspect is the flue lining. In many older homes, there is no flue lining. This type of chimney system is referred to as an unlined chimney. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “Never use a chimney that does not have … Continue reading Problems with an Unlined Chimney
What is a Masonry Chimney?
Just like automobiles that have different manufacturers and models, the same goes for fireplaces and chimneys. Here in Southern California, there are primarily three different types of open fireplace systems–1) masonry chimneys; 2) prefabricated, factory-built systems; and 3) Rampart General Pre-Cast systems. Since I’ve already addressed Rampart General Pre-Cast systems in the past, this post … Continue reading What is a Masonry Chimney?
What do Trees have to do with Chimneys?
How many times do we, as chimney sweeps, advise a customer to contact someone that does tree removal services, a landscaper or a gardener? More often than you think! The rule of thumb is to keep trees at least ten feet from the top and at least two feet below the top of the chimney. … Continue reading What do Trees have to do with Chimneys?