Our Company Blog

Be Ready to Host Your Family This Holiday Season with Warmth

Family Holiday Hosting Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesTime flies when you are busy, and the season of fall can be of the busiest times of the year. It may be hard to believe, but the holidays are just around the corner. If you have not had time to get your home ready for visits from friends and family during the holidays, you need to get started as soon as possible. One of the most important things you should do is make sure your fireplace and chimney are working efficiently and safely. Many fire safety organizations, including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), recommend that you have your chimney professionally swept and inspected before you light the first fire of the season. Aelite Chimney Specialties can help you get your fireplace ready before the holidays, and you can trust us to make sure everything is safe because we have been taking care of chimneys in the Chicago area for over 15 years. We would like to tell you what to expect from our professional chimney maintenance services.

Chimney Sweeping

Avoiding chimney fires is one of the most important reasons why you need to have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year. You need this maintenance service to have the creosote removed from the inside of your chimney. Creosote is produced naturally during the combustion process of burning wood, and it is so flammable that the CSIA has named it as a leading cause of chimney fires. When Aelite Chimney Specialties arrives to your home to sweep your chimney, we begin by protecting your home from soot and dirt by laying down drop cloths and sealing off the area around your chimney. To make sure that we remove all of the creosote from your chimney, we use special rotating brushes and rods to scrub the entire inside of your chimney. After about an hour, your chimney will be less of a chimney fire hazard.

Chimney Inspection

You need to have your chimney professionally inspected annually to make sure there is no damage or other problems that could lead to hazardous situations. We check to see if anything is blocking your flue and can remove any debris that could force toxic gases like carbon monoxide back into your home. We also look for damage to parts of the chimney, including the liner, that could also lead to carbon monoxide leaks. The exterior of your chimney is also inspected to check for any masonry damage that could allow water penetration or could jeopardize the structure of your chimney. If our CSIA-certified chimney technicians find any problems, we will provide you with a written estimate of the repairs that are needed to make your chimney safe to use.

Are you ready to host your family with warmth this holiday season? Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties today to schedule an appointment to have your chimney swept and inspected.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Why an Annual Chimney Inspection Is Necessary

Annual Chimney Inspection Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesHaving a fireplace comes with some important responsibilities to ensure your home is free from dangerous safety hazards. Not only do you have the obvious risks involved with fire to think about, but you must also consider the potential problems that could be hiding inside the chimney. Before you light your first fire of the year, national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that you have your chimney professionally inspected and swept. These annual professional chimney maintenance services are necessary to make sure your fireplace and chimney system will work safely, efficiently, and effectively all winter long. Aelite Chimney Specialties is proud to offer these services to the residents of the Chicago area from our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps who have years of experience and training in inspecting and sweeping chimneys. You can trust us to make sure your fireplace and chimney do not pose any safety hazards. To help you understand the importance of an annual chimney inspection, we would like to tell you a bit more about the hazards that can occur from damage to your chimney.

Chimney Fires

One of the most important reasons why you need your chimney professionally swept and inspected at least once a year is to remove all of the creosote deposits from the inside of your chimney. When you burn wood, creosote develops naturally during the condensation process that occurs as the byproducts of combustion exit out of the cooler walls of the upper chimney. This residue sticks to the inner walls of the chimney and can accumulate into large deposits, which create an increased risk for chimney fires. If the internal temperature of your chimney gets hot enough, those creosote deposits can quickly and easily ignite into flames. Creosote is so highly flammable that the CSIA has named it as a leading cause of chimney fires. After our chimney technicians sweep your chimney, Aelite Chimney Specialties will inspect the inner walls to be sure all of the creosote deposits have been removed. If we find stubborn creosote accumulations, we will recommend a more thorough mechanical cleaning that will be sure to get all the creosote deposits out of your chimney to reduce your risk of a chimney fire.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

When Aelite Chimney Specialties inspects chimneys, we take great care to examine every component to look for any damage that could allow toxic combustion gases like carbon monoxide to leak into your home. One of the most common causes of these leaks is a damaged chimney liner. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will be looking for any cracks or gaps in the chimney liner where these gases can escape into your home. We also check for flue blockages that could force carbon monoxide back into your living space. If we find a blockage, we will remove the debris from the flue to open it up to allow poisonous combustion gases to be exhausted through the chimney.

Our experienced chimney sweeps will also inspect the exterior of your chimney to look for damaged bricks and mortar that can be prime spots for water leaks. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for this essential annual chimney maintenance service. We can get your chimney ready now before cold weather arrives to the Chicago area.

Are Odors Coming from Your Chimney?

As the weather becomes more humid over the summer, you may start to notice unpleasant odors coming from your fireplace through the chimney. Warmer temperatures tend to stir up certain chimney odor sources, and your air conditioner could be causing a draft problem in your chimney that makes it easy for stinky smells to enter your home. Our staff at Aelite Chimney Specialties has over 15 years of experience in dealing with bad chimney odors. We can identify the source and provide a solution that prevents smelly chimneys. We would like to tell you more about chimney odor sources, how we can stop them, and what you can do yourself to keep your home smelling its greatest this summer.

Chimney Odors - Chicago IL -  Aelite Chimney Specialties What causes my chimney to stink?

While several things can be the source of chimney odors, creosote and soot are the most common causes. After a long and cold winter, a lot of residue from these byproducts of combustion will be stuck to the walls of your chimney. The heat and humidity of summer will make the scent of creosote and soot even stronger. The odor can be compared to asphalt or bad barbecue. Another thing that could be stinking up the air in your chimney is water. Any water that has leaked into your chimney will give off an unpleasant musty odor. The worst-case scenario for a chimney odor is a dead bird, squirrel, or other wild animal inside the chimney.

How can Aelite Chimney Specialties prevent these stinky smells from invading my home?

We strongly recommend scheduling your annual professional chimney sweeping and inspection with us in the spring or summer to make sure all of the creosote and soot have been removed from your chimney. To prevent water leaks and wild animal invasions, we can help you select a chimney cap and professionally install it on top of your chimney. Both of these important chimney maintenance services will also keep your chimney working safely and efficiently.

What can I do to freshen up the smell in my home?

The smell of fireplace ash can linger, and SFGate advises a thorough spring cleaning of your fireplace and the room it is in after you have put out the last fire of the year.

 

Keep your home smelling sweet this summer! Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties today to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney sweeping and inspection services.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment

Chimney Inspection Levels

Levels of Chimney Inspection

Having a fire inside a home or any enclosed space is dangerous due to the fire and smoke hazards to the building and personal health. It is good to know the inspection procedures and levels of inspection performed by chimney professionals. There are three levels of inspection when it comes to inspecting chimneys according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Inspection is done to ensure safety of fireplace and chimney operation, but the procedures of the inspection become more in depth and involved with each level of inspection.

A certified chimney sweep checks several vital parts of your chimney to ensure safety.

A certified chimney sweep checks several vital parts of your chimney to ensure safety.

Level 1

Level 1 inspection is the most basic inspection of a chimney, but there is nothing basic about it. Routinely, a level 1 inspection will be conducted during annual evaluations and/or cleaning or sweeping and if the system is being maintained. The Level 1 inspection is limited to accessible portions of the fireplace/appliance and the chimney venting system. The flue is inspected to ensure proper operation and is free from blockage or restriction. This type of inspection is the most routine and if a chimney professional sees something not consistent for proper use can lead to a more detailed Level 2 inspection.

Level 2

A Level 2 inspection is routinely carried out when the use of the system is changing, when there was damage to the system, before a flue relining, or when a Level 1 inspection reveals the need a closer look. This type of inspection is also typical during the home inspection when buying or selling a home to protect the buyer and seller of chimney operation and if any repairs may be necessary. Level 2 inspection includes everything in Level 1 inspection, but other more inaccessible areas are inspected that might include the roof, the crawlspace, attics, basements, etc. Level 2 inspection will also include a video scanning of the chimney system and flue to reveal potential problems or issues. No property will be disturbed or destroyed while performing a Level 2 inspection.

Level 3

A Level 3 inspection must include both Level 1 and Level 2 inspection, but occurs only when Level 2 cannot reveal adequate information about the system to the chimney inspector. In these rare cases, parts of the system must be destroyed to gain access to these concealed areas that cannot be gained by other means.