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Billy’s Little Blog

We hope you enjoy our informative articles about Chimney, Fireplace & Stove topics!

Why Fireplace Repair Is a Job Only for Professionals

Do you like to “tinker around” with cars or other mechanical components?  It can be a lot of fun doing your own repair and maintenance work, and it can save you some money, but it’s important to have the experience and tools you need to get the job done safely and correctly.  There are some home repair projects that take the knowledge and training of a professional and should Read more…

How to Identify Chimney Discoloration

Have you noticed any kind of discoloration on the outside of your chimney?  If you have, you may be seeing something that’s just a normal part of the “wear and tear” a chimney exposed to the elements goes through.  But discoloration could point to a problem that will become more serious over time if left unattended. Below we’ll present a basic primer on how to identify Read more…

The Advantages of Installing a Solar Attic Fan

Keeping your home cool during Texas’ hot summers can force your AC to work overtime. Adding a solar attic fan can make its job easier and reduce your energy costs. Do you realize that your attic can get up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer? Even if you don’t use your attic, these uncomfortably high temperatures can affect you by increase the overall Read more…

Why Annual Chimney Inspections Are Critical

According to every home-safety and fire-prevention organization, chimneys connected to wood-burning fireplaces should be inspected at least once a year.  This is not erring on the side of caution, but rather going with statistics.  Among the thousands of house fires every year in the U.S., a high percentage of them start as fires in chimneys. What takes place during an annual chimney inspection? A Read more…

How to Know if Your Chimney Chase Cover Should Be Replaced

If your chimney was factory-built (as opposed to constructed on-site), chances are it has a chimney chase cover.  If you’ve been operating your fireplace/chimney for many years, there’s also a good chance that the chase cover is showing signs of damage and needs to be replaced.  How can you know if this is the case? Because the chase cover sits at the Read more…

A Tilting Chimney Can Be a Sign of Foundation Problems

Have you noticed that your chimney seems to be leaning off center? If you take a closer look and notice that there is a gap between the chimney and the siding of your house, it is a clear indicator that your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you: your chimney is tilting. You might have to climb up into the attic to get Read more…

Are Chimney Cleaning Logs a Good Way to Clean Your Chimney?

Have you heard of the “Creosote Sweeping Log”?  If you’re a homeowner with a wood fireplace, you may have.  It’s a log product that’s marketed as “the best way to keep your fireplace or woodstove in good condition.”  This is one of those situations where, technically, it’s a good idea, but in practice it may not be all it’s fired up to be, no pun intended. What Read more…

What You Need to Know About Chimneys in the Winter

For all the good things a chimney can do, it’s not invincible during cold weather.  Cold affects the structure of a chimney.  Animals and blowing debris can create flue obstructions.  Backdrafts of cold air can happen at the most inopportune times.  Luckily, our expert chimney sweeps offer tips for how to help. Chimney structural damage from rain Under the best of circumstances, bricks and mortar Read more…

Don’t Burn These Items in Your Fireplace!

It may be called a “fireplace,” but that doesn’t mean that any kind of fire that can be burned in it is suitable and safe.  Every year, we hear about house fires and health issues that stem from using fireplaces as “burn-all” appliances, rather than what they were intended for: seasoned (dry) wood, and nothing else. Here’s a checklist to remind you of the types Read more…

How Often Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned?

The recommended chimney-cleaning schedule is stated in different ways by different fireplace/safety institutions, so it’s not always easy to know exactly how to proceed if you’re a homeowner who operates a fireplace.  Here are some guidelines in simple terms. Why is it so important to have your chimney cleaned? Using a fireplace – particularly a wood-burning fireplace – sends gases and toxins up the chimney.  Over Read more…