Put Your Tax Returns To Good Use: 3 Ways Your Sweep Can Help

Tax season is in full swing and millions of Americans are filing early to get their returns back before spring comes. One of the best uses of the money is through reinvesting back into one of your greatest assets, your home, and a trusted sweep professional can help. Consider using this extra cash to add some warming upgrades to your space both inside and out. Not only do you benefit from a new relaxing fire but fireplace renovations can also increase the value of your property. New Fireplace

Here are three ways your sweep can help put your tax dollars to good use:ledgestone_trim-251x300

Gas Fireplace Conversion – Tired of storing and hauling firewood? If you find yourself dreading the task of starting a wood burning fire you may want to consider converting it to a gas unit. This renovation can be completed in as little as one day by a certified professional and today’s gas units offer a realistic flame similar to their wood-burning counterpart.

Converting an Unused Fireplace – Whether you prefer not to use your fireplace or it is in disrepair, many unused fireplaces can become useful once again by adding a warming wood stove that fits into the space. Both a free-standing stove and a fireplace insert could be connected to the flue making the space operational once again.

Create an Outdoor Oasis – Adding living space to the outside of the home can often be just as valuable as what you do inside. A big trend right now is combining an outdoor kitchen with a gas or wood burning fireplace creating a “room” right outside your back door.

Whether you are receiving a small or large refund, Lindemann Chimney Service has a solution to fit every budget. We have experience in gas fireplace conversions, wood stove installations and outdoor renovation projects. Let us help you find the perfect renovation for your home.

Tips for Cleaning Your Outdoor Fireplace

Do you know the last time you cleaned your outdoor fireplace? Many homeowners take the maintenance of the indoor unit seriously but forget the importance of taking care of their outdoor fireplace as well. Unfortunately, when a fireplace is forgotten year after year it begins to deteriorate and work less efficiently. Outdoor Fireplace

To ensure your unit is providing warmth all season long, it is vital to keep it in proper working order with regular cleanings. First though you must know what material your fireplace is made of. The material it is constructed of will determine how best to care for it.Outdoor-fp-300x199

Below are four common types of outdoor fireplaces and how to properly care for each:

Aluminum & Steel – Aluminum or steel fireplaces are very durable over time but do require covering during wet months. Use a quality vinyl covering to encase the fireplace preventing moisture from rusting its surface.

Iron – Iron fireplaces are very durable and long-lasting. Although iron is naturally less prone to rust than aluminum or steel, it still needs to be protected from it. One way to defend against rusting is by applying specially-formulated high-temperature paint to rusted areas to prevent spreading. This is also true if your fireplace has a simple iron base with another type of material for the fireplace itself.

Copper – Copper is a beautiful material that naturally responds to the elements aging beautifully with the exposure. If you would prefer to keep the shine and gleam of copper without the patina appearance reduce the exposure it has to the outdoors by storing the fire pit in a sheltered area. A mild detergent and nylon brush can be used to clean the pit after the heating season. You can also use a degreaser for the soot that has accumulated.

Brick & Stone – Outdoor brick and stone fireplaces are by far the easiest to maintain. These units don’t require any special covering or protection from the elements. You do want to brush the hearth out each year with a stiff brush while removing all ash and debris from the area.

If you are unsure on how to best protect your outdoor fireplace, contact our team at Lindemann Chimney Service. We assist our clients with any of their chimney or fireplace needs including their outdoor spaces. Whether you need us to complete the service or suggest the best tools for the job, our team of experienced sweeps is here to help.

Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

The Importance of Refractory Panel Replacement

During your recent chimney inspection did the sweep mention cracks in your refractory panels? While we often want to brush these off as minor issues, simply ignoring them can cause greater problems in the future. All refractory panels should be replaced when the panel is cracked all the way through or pieces are beginning to crumble off. Not only will this replacement provide a safe burning environment, it also will increase your unit’s efficiency creating a more enjoyable fire.

What is a Refractory Panel?

Refractory panels are sheets of brick that are fitted to the back and sides of the fireplace walls. A typical fireplace will have 4 refractory panels. They are constructed of durable materials able to withstand the heat of a fire.

How do Refractory Panels work?

Refractory panels reflect the fire’s heat off their surface sending the warmth back into the room. They also protect the firebox from extreme heat preventing it from being damaged.

What are some advantages of replacing damaged Refractory Panels?

Appearance – new panels will offer a cohesive “brick” look to your fireplace walls.

Safety – cracked, damaged panels pose a fire hazard to a home and also are less able to properly protect the firebox

Efficiency – broken panels cannot reflect the heat back into the room efficiently

Due to the technical nature of the work, panel restoration should always be completed by a professional with experience in the field. After the replacement, homeowners should refrain from using the fireplace for at least 24 hours. This allows the new panels to reach room temperature prior to being heated. Preventing them from cracking, they will also need to be cured by burning several small kindling fires.

If your refractory panels are in need of replacement, contact our expert team at Lindemann Chimney Service. Our specialists can inspect your unit and complete repairs as needed. As a leading chimney sweep in the North Shore area, we offer quality products along with the best in customer satisfaction.

Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Real Estate Season and Chimney Inspections

The Chimney Safety Institute of America had a great blog post regarding chimney inspections when buying and selling a new home.