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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

When building or remodeling, pay special attention to your chimney!

We’re willing to bet that your dream house would feature an attractive and functional fireplace and chimney. We would go so far as to say if you are building a new house or renovating the one you have, reviewing chimney designs plays a key role.

Placing a chimney in the right location, and building it the right way with the right materials, gives greater assurance on performance, safety, and aesthetics. As experts, we can tell your home builder what we have witnessed regarding what works best – and suggest how to overcome chimney challenges that new construction projects pose.

What about full-scale (or partial-scale) home renovations? Don’t let your chimney be an afterthought!

Let Old Smokey’s take a close, professional look at your chimney.

We’ll give you an honest appraisal – and recommend design options for your renovation. We will offer recommendations on repair, repointing, restoration, or rebuilds.

If your home is a historical structure, Old Smokey’s specializes in the restoration or rebuilding of historical structures. Let our experienced masons replicate – and surpass – your chimney’s original beauty and functionality.

If your renovation focuses on repair, we’re there for you. Your brickwork might need routine maintenance, or something more radical and substantial. For example, a poorly built chimney may function improperly, and it will not last as long as a properly built structure. Old Smokey’s frequently encounters poorly designed or built chimneys that cause unforeseen problems. A renovation affords an opportunity to have us review the quality of your chimney construction, and to discern the need for repairs.

We will also inspect for leaks so that we can undertake chimney repairs, if needed, in a thoroughly professional manner.

Your chimney brickwork is constantly under attack, from season to season. Old Smokey’s experts will walk you through repair options geared toward renewed life for your venerable chimney.

Similarly, we can perform repointing during a renovation if we find it is needed. Repointing removes eroding mortar joints and replaces them with smooth, new mortar.

We are proud of the artisans who make up our team.

For 20-plus years, Old Smokey’s has delivered excellence to homeowners in northern Indiana, northern Ohio and mid-Michigan. Folks from Elkhart in the west to Ypsilanti in the east, from Lansing in the north to Defiance and Fort Wayne in the south know Old Smokey’s as a premier go-to resource for all things chimney.

Call us at 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539 or click here now to schedule an appointment.

Our solid experience testifies to the trust Old Smokey’s has built throughout the region. We are proud of the thousands of satisfied customers we have capably served.

Closing Out Your Fireplace for the Season

“Closing time.”

Those are two words revelers don’t want to hear when they are in the midst of merry-making. However, in the same circumstances, “closing time” may be music to the ears of wait staff at the place trying to close.

Even though your fireplace and chimney are still getting a good workout, it’s not too early to think about their closing time. Since we at Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney know what is needed to open or close or maintain a fireplace and chimney, we are pleased to share the wisdom we’ve accumulated over the years.

As with many things, there are practical things you can do yourself, and there are other things best left to professionals like Old Smokey’s. This holds true for closing out your fireplace and chimney for the season.

First of all, let’s state the obvious:

Shut down the fire, let the embers cool, and don’t start any more new fires. Once you are done for the season, stick to your decision.

What next? You can do some of the required cleanup work yourself. Once those embers have become stone-cold and safely disposed of, you can remove soot or ash from the bottom of the fireplace by using an industrial vacuum cleaner. As for the chimney, have a certified chimney sweep properly remove soot and creosote that has built up over the winter and its many hours of fire burning. By the time spring weather arrives, it is time to remove deposits in the chimney. You don’t want them to emit unpleasant odors.

When you hire a professional chimney sweep like Old Smokey’s, ask for an overall inspection. Have us inspect for residue buildup and assess all the chimney components for cracks and leaks. This includes inspecting your flashing, the chimney cap, the chimney lining, and the damper. While we’re at it, we’ll make sure no critters, dead or alive, are in any part of the chimney system.

Be sure to close your damper. When your fireplace goes unused for any significant duration, close the damper. Doing so prevents air and odors from entering or exiting the house.

What else?

If you have a gas fireplace, turn off the pilot light when you are done for the season. This will save on energy use and cost. If you’re unsure or skittish about how to do this, we’ll be glad to do it for you.

These simple and sensible steps will protect your home and make things that much easier in the next burning season.

Maybe you have some tips of your own to share! We’re always glad to hear from customers.

For more than 20 years, Old Smokey’s has served homeowners in northern Indiana, northern Ohio and mid-Michigan. We serve folks from Elkhart in the west to Ypsilanti in the east, from Lansing in the north to Defiance and Fort Wayne in the south.

Old Smokey’s highly trained technicians are CSIA-certified, assuring that we have the skills and tools to inspect and service your chimney according to the strictest standards and practices.

Call us at 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539 or schedule an appointment online.

Even though spring is not quite here, bookmark this reminder for later reference.

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