Reinvesting In Renovations

Is your tax return refund making its way through the system yet?

Make a strong choice this year, and reinvest your tax refund into your home. Why invest your refund into your home rather than a vacation to a sunny tropical beach? Your home is likely your largest asset – it pays to take of it, literally. Spending some time and money on your home improvements can increase your comfort and enjoyment, not to mention add to your home’s value.

For instance, did your heating bills sky rocket this past winter season? It’s likely time to upgrade your fireplace. Older masonry fireplaces often have efficiency ratings as low as 0-20% and consume copious amounts of room air and fuel with little heat output – most lost through the chimney. Read more about our High Efficiency Inserts here.

Or perhaps it’s just time for a fresh look, refinishing your fireplace can drastically change this critical focal point. With our wide variety of refinishing products, your fireplace doesn’t need to stick out amongst a room you’ve recently redecorated. Contact us today, we are offering a free in-home estimate for a limited time.
By Rob Lindemann

Chimney Caps For Every Architural Style

We understand the variety of architectural home and chimney styles here in Northern Chicago and we have the perfect chimney cap for you! Whether you want a basic, galvanized single-flue cap or a multi-flue top of the line copper cap we will match your style!

If your chimney has one flue, a single-flue cap is an option. If you have a fireplace, an Energy Top Plus will provide you with an attractive cap with a top-sealing damper (it has easily-to-use controls in the firebox).

If your chimney has multiple flues or if you have one flue and want to protect the entire crown (chimney top)with the cap, then a multi-flue cap is your best option. They are also available in black galvanized, copper and stainless steel. We can even get customized caps such as the cap below with a hip and ridge lid which looks just like a mini roof.

At Lindemann Chimney Service, our goal is to provide you with the ultimate in customer service. As a result, we go the extra mile to get special custom caps to make your chimney stand out or blend in with its surroundings. If you want a “Tudor” style look we can get you a clay chimney pot with either a clay or copper top. If you want more “luxe” a chimney pot made of 100% copper is available. If you want to retain the copper finish, a special coating can be applied. We strive to serve your every need.

The Benefits Of a Waterproofed Chimney

Many homeowners often forget how harmful water penetration can be to a chimney’s masonry work. In fact, except for stone, much of the materials the chimney is constructed of will experience accelerated deterioration with constant exposure to water. This prolonged contact not only leads to problems within the flue but can also extend to other areas of the home. It is important for homeowners to take a proactive approach to preventing water damage.

Water penetration can lead to many problems within the chimney including:

  • Stained exterior surfaces
  • Deteriorated or decayed exterior chimney mortar
  • Tilted chimney structure
  • Damaged firebox assembly (both mortar and metal types)
  • Rusted damper accessories
  • Water staining on the interior walls
  • Weakened or cracked flue system
  • Unpleasant odors permeating from the area
  • Not only are the damages listed above costly to repair, they also pose a serious health risk to the home’s inhabitants. The best way to protect your home against water damage within the chimney’s flue is by taking preventative steps to protect it. Below are some options to consider.

Waterproof the Chimney – Masonry can be very porous allowing water to penetrate into the surface. As bricks continue to soak-in more and more water they eventually become waterlogged as they wick moisture into the interior of the home. To keep the moisture away, a waterproofing solution can be applied to most masonry chimneys. There are several products on the market today specifically designed to treat exterior masonry chimneys such as ChimneySaver Waterproofing.

Installing a Chimney Cap – Chimney flues can allow large amounts of rain and snow to penetrate the home’s interior. Top the flue with an inexpensive chimney cap to prevent water from entering. Not only will the cap protect against water damage but also keep animals, birds, and leaves from causing blockages within the flue.

Be Proactive on Repairs – To prevent major leaks from occurring, it is important to stop smaller ones as soon as they are detected. An annual chimney inspection can help to uncover them. Some typical problems to watch for are: deteriorating mortar joints, a damaged chimney crown, and flashing in need of repair or replacement.

Not sure on how protected your chimney is from water damage? Call Lindemann Chimney Service today to schedule your chimney inspection. Our certified technicians are trained to look for common repair issues such as cracked mortar, damaged flashing and more. We can also further protect your chimney by installing a new chimney cap or applying a waterproofing treatment to the area.

Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

5 Ways To A More Efficient Fire

When using the fireplace, homeowners want it to burn as efficiently as possible while also keeping the heat and electricity bills in between fires. While a fire can never be as flameseffective at heating the home as a standard furnace, there are ways for you to utilize the fireplace to its highest capacity.
Here are five ways you can make a more efficient fire:flames-01-300x255

1. Building your fires right can help you enjoy a roaring fire for hours. Stacking wood in layers, also known as the log cabin method, is one of the best ways to arrange the wood for the best burn.

2. Using dry, seasoned hardwood can create a fire that not only burns cleaner but also produces a more efficient fire— keeping the space warmer.

3. Add a fireback to the back of your fireplace. Although this sheet of metal’s main purpose is to protect the firebox, it also helps reflect the heat back into the room.

4. Consider installing a fireplace insert for a considerably more efficient fire. They fit right into an existing masonry fireplace and greatly reduce the amount of heat lost through the flue.

5. It is important to also think of ways to make your unit more efficient when not in use. A tight-fitting damper can be installed to close the chimney top when you are not using the fireplace. This prevents heated or cooled air from escaping outside.

At Lindemann Chimney Service, we want you to get the most out of your fireplace. To keep our customer’s units running at peak efficiency, we offer quality chimney cleaning and inspections. For those looking to upgrade, we also install and service fireplace inserts. Next time one of our technicians are onsite, ask them how you can make your fireplace as efficient as possible.

Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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.