The Return of the Chimney Swift

February 23, 2019 | Chimney Care

Did you have a problem with birds in your chimney last year? Make sure to have a proper chimney cap installed before the Spring this year to avoid that problem again. You may have read in one of my previous blogs about the chimney swift, a migratory bird that is very prevalent in our area. As much as we would like to protect our Chimney Swifts, it is not healthy to have them in your chimney.Dangers of Birds in Your ChimneyThe number one danger that comes to mind is Histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is a type of lung infection. It is caused by inhaling Histoplasma capsulatum fungal spores. These spores are found in soil and in the droppings of bats and birds. This fungus mainly grows in the central, southeastern, and mid-Atlantic states.Bird Mites – A tiny mite that is only half-millimeter long in size is often carried by Chimney Swifts. Once established, these mites can be very … Continued

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Remodeling Dangers – Potential Issues With Factory Built Fireplaces

February 23, 2019 | Chimney Care

Avoiding Issues with CombustiblesWhen remodeling a home with a fireplace, certain safety issues arise if proper care is not taken during the process. Factory built (prefabricated) fireplaces all come with very specific instructions as to where combustibles can and can’t be placed. This is where having or obtaining the manufacturers installation instructions is key.Fireplace Remodeling Step oneStep one should always be finding the installation manual specific to your fireplace. The easiest way to find your installation guide is looking inside of the fireplace firebox for the data plate. Your data plate will provide you with the manufacturer and model of the fireplace and then you can typically find the manual online. If the data plate is no longer visible, painted over, or not found, contact your local chimney professional and they may be able to help.Fireplace Remodeling Step TwoNow that you have your manual, make sure to follow the clearance … Continued

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Stages of Wood Combustion

February 19, 2019 | Information

Stage 1: The Evaporation of MoistureAnyone who has ever tried to burn wet or unseasoned wood will find this stage very frustrating. During the moisture evaporation stage, instead of producing heat, heat is absorbed. Water trapped inside of the wood is turned into steam and removed from the wood. Once this process is complete, it leads to Stage 2.Stage 2: The Vaporization of Hydrocarbon CompoundsStage 2 we still are not into the heat producing phase (maybe a tiny bit) but we are close! At this point, we are over five hundred degrees and temperatures are on the rise. The chemical structure of the wood starts to break down and the process of pyrolysis begins. Pyrolysis “liberates organic gases and leaves carbon rich charcoal”. This process also creates a mixture of hydrocarbons in the form of liquid tar droplets and combustibles gases, and digging in is very complex. At this point we have … Continued

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End-of-Season Special!

February 1, 2019 | Promotions

Ahh, February.The major holidays have passed. The rush of New Year’s resolutions has begun to simmer down. And the winter chill will soon be gone.And what better way to say ‘Sayonara’ to cold season than to cozy on up to your fireplace while you still have the chance? Now through the end of February, Chimney Champions® is offering *$25 off of any Sweep, Level 1, or Level 2 inspection. Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy using a clean and safe fireplace.  Contact Chimney Champions® at 904-268-7200 today, and mention “Winter Exit” for your savings! *Limit one per household; may not be used on previous orders.Offer valid on new sweep/inspection orders scheduled by 2/28/2019.

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All About Firewood!

January 23, 2019 | Fireplaces

Ahh, nothing quite like the crackle of a fireplace, or the warm and welcoming heat of a wood-burning stove or furnace. And, just like any other appliance, the type of fuel you choose for your wood-burning appliances matters.In this article, we’ll discuss the basics about choosing the proper type of firewood, storing it, burning it effectively, and more. Let’s get started.Choose Seasoned, Dry Firewood For Maximum Heat And Efficiency First things first, you’ll want to make sure that you burn seasoned, dry firewood in your furnace, stove, or fireplace. Seasoned wood will create heat more efficiently, and create less creosote, which helps keep your flue safe and clear.All firewood contains water, but fresh wood contains up to 45% water. While it may burn, a lot of energy will be used to vaporize that water and dry the wood before it burns, which means less heat in your home.Dried wood (often called … Continued

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A Brief History of the Fireplace

January 23, 2019 | Fireplaces

Have you ever wondered how the modern fireplace came to be? In this article, we’ll take a brief look at the history and development of the fireplace.Prehistoric Times – Ancient Cave Fires And In-Dwelling FiresThe first “fireplaces” weren’t fireplaces at all! Early humans first started making fires in holes in the ground, and in caves, where they could enjoy the warmth and shelter from the elements.As we began to build more permanent dwellings, humans started building fire pits inside their huts, and in tents and other movable homes. Most huts had holes for ventilation, but there was still a high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke building up inside.Still, fires built in huts in this way were very popular, and we continued to build indoor fire pits like this until the Middle Ages.The Middle Ages – The Hearth And The HallThe hearth was a raised fireplace that was usually … Continued

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The Rumford Fireplace

January 23, 2019 | Fireplaces

The Rumford Fireplace – An Early Modern Fireplace DesignThe Rumford Fireplace, invented in the late 18th century, was one of the most important innovations in fireplace technology at the time. Learn more about its history and how it works now!The History Of The Rumford FireplaceThe Rumford Fireplace was first prototyped by Sir Benjamin Thompson, also known as the Count of Rumford. He was an American-born British physicist, who was very interested in studying heat and convection.He created this fireplace in the 1790s, by creating a shallow, small fireplace with widely-angled sides to reflect heat into the room more efficiently. The fireplace quickly became a sensation in London and spread throughout the world.How It WorksBeyond its angled sides, the principal innovation of the Rumford Fireplace was the idea of restricting the chimney opening using bricks. This, in turn, resulted in a stronger updraft due to the rising hot air, and counter-circulation … Continued

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Lower Temps, Higher Risk!

January 22, 2019 | Information

When it’s chilly outside, it’s nice to make your home warm inside.  This is the time of year when everyone looks to use their fireplaces for quick warmth and relaxing ambience.  Unfortunately, however, this is also the most common time of year for house fires caused by dirty fireplaces. Just this past weekend, Savannah Fire Rescue had to cut holes in a Tatem Street home to put out a chimney fire. The fireplace was dirty, and long overdue for a professional cleaning and inspection; however, it was used anyway.Firefighters everywhere see this sort of problem more than you may realize – even in Florida!This is a common danger that can be easily prevented by having your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected by a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep, and making sure it is safe BEFORE using it. Call Chimney Champions® at 904-268-7200, or book online to schedule your service today!

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Advantages of Zinc Coating

January 22, 2019 | Information

If you are replacing exterior components of your chimney system (especially in close proximity to the ocean) one of the best materials to use is zinc-coated steel. Using a zinc coated product for chimneys has several great advantages:Protection from rust and corrosion – Unprotected steel can corrode easily, particularly when exposed to temperature fluctuations and moisture. Untreated steel may become damaged and unserviceable within just 2 years. With a zinc coating, however, a protective barrier is made between the atmosphere and the steel material. This layer helps protect the structural properties of the steel base material, and ensure that it remains protected from corrosion and rust.Longer lifespan – Zinc-plated steel can easily last 30 years or longer without any major deterioration or significant corrosion, and remain functional for many more years. This longer lifespan makes zinc coatings a great investment, which will pay off in the long run.Lower maintenance costs – Even when … Continued

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The History of the Chimney Sweep

January 22, 2019 | Information

The History Of The Chimney Sweep: An Overview Have you ever wondered how chimney sweeping began? Let us discuss the history of the chimney sweep in both the UK and the US, and how the modern profession of chimney sweep came into existence. Let’s get started!1700s – Industrialization And The Creation Of The Chimney SweepIn the 1600s, chimneys were typically wide, and buildings were not very high, or grouped together very closely. Because of this, they were easy to clean, even by non-professionals. However, after the Great London Fire and industrialization, chimneys became much narrower and more difficult to clean.14 inches by 9 inches became one of the most common standards.This had the unfortunate side effect of making it difficult – if not impossible – for an adult man to clean the chimney. So, boys as young as the age of four years apprenticed with adult chimney sweeps. These young boys … Continued

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