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    Answers to FAQs About Chimney Safety

    Last updated 2 days 20 hours ago

    Enjoying a blazing fire in the fireplace when it is cold and dark outside is a glorious experience. The safe operation of a fireplace and chimney does, however, require regular maintenance and care. If you have questions about caring for and operating your chimney in the safest manner possible, you may be able to find the answers you are looking for below.

    What does it mean if my fireplace stinks?

    Creosote has a strong, oily scent that is most pronounced in humidity and high temperatures. If a bad smell emanates from your fireplace, particularly in the summertime, you should hire a professional to clean your chimney.

    Can I clean my chimney myself?

    The National Fire Protection Association strongly recommends hiring a professional to inspect and sweep your chimney on an annual basis. Cleaning your fireplace once the ashes have cooled is something you can and should do after every fire you burn, but chimney sweeping is best left to the professionals.

    Is it important to have a chimney liner?

    Chimney liners offer a layer of protection that may be described as invaluable. The lining helps to contain combustion products and direct them into the atmosphere, protecting the chimney walls and the home. A properly fitted and installed chimney liner is an important component of any safe fireplace and chimney system.

    If I have a gas fireplace, do I still need to have my chimney inspected?

    Gas is a clean-burning fuel and gas fireplaces have several advantages over wood-burning fireplaces, but they still require maintenance and care. Hire a chimney contractor to inspect your gas burner chimney once a year to ensure that everything is in proper working order.

    Serving Long Island and the New York City area, Em & Em Chimney & Masonry offers chimney repairs, chimney cleanings, chimney liner installations, and other chimney services. If your fireplace or chimney needs attention or you have additional questions about chimney safety and steps that you should do to make operation of your chimney safer, call (516) 342-7606.

    Examining the Link Between Poorly Maintained Chimneys and Carbon Monoxide

    Last updated 10 days ago

    Colorless, odorless, and tasteless, carbon monoxide (CO) is a terrifying poisonous gas that unfortunately claims the lives of hundreds of Americans each year. To learn more about carbon monoxide poisoning and how it can be prevented through proper chimney maintenance and other safety precautions, continue reading below.

    Creosote Buildup

    Creosote buildup is an inevitable side effect of using a wood-burning chimney. As long as you have your chimney swept regularly by an experienced and thorough chimney cleaning professional, this is not much of a problem. Heavy creosote buildup prevents smoky air from escaping easily, posing dangers in a home. Since creosote is flammable, heavy creosote buildup also increases the risk of a fire leaping from the fireplace to the chimney.

    Improper Flues

    Ensuring that your chimney flue is fully open before you burn fire indoors is one of the most essential rules of chimney safety. To get the most from your chimney flue, it should not only be properly sized and installed but also inspected at least once annually. In addition to heavy creosote buildup, wasp nests and other animal interference can partially or fully block a chimney flue. Regular inspections can detect these problems before they become major.

    Maintenance and Monitors

    There is no substitute for proper chimney maintenance, but carbon monoxide monitors are a great complement. They cost little, require only occasional tests and battery changes, and can save lives.

    Hiring a chimney contractor to clean and inspect your chimney annually will reduce the likelihood that a member of your household will suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning, but there are other conduits through which CO can find its way into your home. To make the worst-case scenario all but impossible, install a CO detector in your home and familiarize yourself with the symptoms of CO poisoning in addition to hiring a chimney service professional to inspect and clean your chimney on a regular basis. To arrange to have your New York home’s chimney cleaned or inspected, call Em & Em Chimney & Masonry at (516) 342-7606.

    A Closer Look at Gas Burning Chimneys

    Last updated 15 days ago

    Gas burning chimneys offer an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wood burning fireplaces. In some places, they are also easier on homeowners’ wallets. If you are considering having a gas burning fireplace installed in your home, there are a few things that you should know.

    First, routine inspection and maintenance of gas burner chimneys is essential in keeping carbon monoxide levels from reaching dangerous levels in a home. A carbon monoxide (CO) detector should also be installed to alert a homeowner to the risk of CO poisoning before it is too late. Additionally, gas burning chimneys require protective caps to keep wildlife and nature from infiltrating and blocking the flue.

    Are you a Long Island resident who thinks that your home and your household will benefit from the acquisition and installation of a gas burning chimney? To speak with a skilled and experienced New York chimney contractor, call Em & Em Chimney & Masonry at (516) 342-7606.

    Smart Strategies for Avoiding Chimney Fires

    Last updated 22 days ago

    Since chimneys are designed to safely facilitate the flow of smoky air from an indoor fireplace to the atmosphere, they must be fairly fire-resistant. Still, the accumulation of creosote on chimney walls and improper ventilation make chimney fires a very real risk for home and business owners whose chimneys are not well-maintained.

    For a look at some steps you can take to reduce the risk that a chimney fire will break out on your property, watch this brief video clip. In it, a chimney specialist discusses the importance of sweeping soot and ash from the fireplace after each use and hiring a professional to inspect and thoroughly clean your chimney at least once each year.

    Servicing the New York tri-state area, safety and fire prevention are top priorities of Em & Em Chimney & Masonry. To arrange to have your chimney serviced by one of our experienced professionals, call us at (516) 342-7606.

    Upgrading and Maintaining Your Fireplace Box

    Last updated 1 month ago

    A fireplace box fits into the area around your fireplace to provide insulation. To clean your fireplace box, use a mixture of half a cup of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and one gallon of hot water. Always wear protective gloves and clothing when handling chemicals. Use a scrub brush and the solution of TSP to clean away grease, soot, and other debris from your fireplace box. Once you are done scrubbing, repeat using a second solution of one cup of TSP and one gallon of water. Rinse the fireplace box with warm water and allow it to dry. When painting your fireplace box, use one to two coats of high-temperature paint to prevent melting. To maintain your newly-painted fireplace box, wipe down the surface with warm water after every use and repaint as needed.

    A beautiful and functional fireplace is an asset to any home. If you need help with chimney maintenance or repairs, contact E.M. & E.M. Chimney & Masonry at (516) 935-6215. We are a fully-licensed and insured chimney and masonry company serving New York. Click on our blog for more fireplace and chimney maintenance tips.

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