Our Company Blog

What We Look For in a Chimney Inspection

Many national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that homeowners have their chimneys professionally inspected. The most important reason for this recommendation has to do with your safety. For over 15 years, Aelite Chimney Specialties has provided professional chimney inspection services to residents in the Chicago area. We follow the guidelines set by the NFPA in their three levels of chimney inspections when performing this service. You can trust us to look for anything that could cause your chimney to be unsafe. We would like to tell you more about some of the things we check for in a chimney inspection.

Water DamageChimney Inspection Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney

Masonry chimneys are tough and durable, but they can suffer extensive and expensive damage from water penetration. One example of water damage that we look for in a chimney inspection is deteriorating or missing bricks and mortar joints. Cracks and gaps in the masonry work of a chimney allow even more water to get into the chimney, and if neglected, the entire structure of your chimney could be in serious jeopardy.

Carbon Monoxide Risks

During a chimney inspection, our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will carefully check to be sure there is nothing present in your chimney that could possibly lead to the toxic gas, carbon monoxide, leaking into your home. We will look to see that nothing is blocking the flue that could force carbon monoxide back into your living spaces. We will also take a close look at the chimney liner to see if there are any cracks, gaps, or other damage that could allow this poisonous gas to get into your home.

Chimney Fire Risks

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, your chimney most likely has creosote deposits stuck to the inner walls. Creosote develops 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. During our inspection process, we will look for any excessive creosote buildup that could cause your chimney to have a dangerous fire hazard present. We will also look for signs of any chimney fires that may have previously occurred.

If we do find any type of damage during our chimney inspection, we will provide you with photos of the damage and a written estimate of the necessary repairs to make your chimney safe again. Beat the fall rush, and contact us today at Aelite Chimney Specialties to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney inspection services.

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How to Build an Efficient Fire in Your Fireplace

Forming an Adequate Fire Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesWhile many love the sensory experience of a wood fire, not everyone loves the chores involved with burning wood. Having to bring in more firewood from outside to keep a fire going can be tiring, especially when the weather gets freezing cold. Knowing how to build an efficient fire allows you to spend more time enjoying the cozy flames instead of trudging outside to get more fuel. Aelite Chimney Specialties loves helping our customers learn how to build better fires, and we would like to tell you how to build a top-down fire, which is recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). This method of building a fire will give you longer lasting and warmer fires without spending a lot of time maintaining the flames.

Start with the largest pieces of firewood.

Although you may have learned to place your largest logs on top of the fire, a top-down burn build starts with those pieces on the bottom. Do not place the firewood parallel to the opening of the fireplace. Instead, place the ends of the logs facing the front and back of the fireplace.

Add layers of smaller logs.

Once you have your base of larger pieces of firewood, you can then stack layers of smaller pieces on top until you have reached half of the height of the firebox. You want to make each level smaller as you stack higher.

Place kindling and wood shavings on the top.

You will want to build a mini-version with your kindling of what you just built with the firewood. At the very top of your kindling stack, place wood shavings. You will want to stop building just below the fireplace opening.

Light the fire!

If you have struggled with lighting wood fires in the past, you will appreciate how simple it is to get a top-down burn fire started. Typically, you will only need a single match or the flame from an automatic lighter to ignite the wood shavings. You can also roll up a newspaper and light the end to start the fire.

A top-down burn will give you a fire that produces less smoke and creosote. You will also notice fewer ashes on the floor in front of the fireplace because you will not have larger logs falling on smaller pieces of firewood. Aelite Chimney Specialties also recommends that you only burn seasoned firewood. Contact us to learn more tips for building the best and most efficient wood fires this winter.

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Aelite Chimney Specialties Is Looking for Help

Aelite Now Hiring Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialties If you live in the Chicago area and are looking for a job, Aelite Chimney Specialties is hiring. We would like to add a laborer to our team who is committed to providing a whole new level of service. This is a basic level job to help us with transporting materials and products. We also need assisting with chimney duties. We would like to tell you more about this position.

What are the qualifications for this position?

Since you will be responsible for providing your own transportation, it is essential that you have a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record. We will not consider anyone with a history of DUIs or non-reconciled traffic violations for this position. Because you will be carrying materials up to roofs, you should not be afraid of heights, and you should be able to lift up to 80 pounds. Finally, we are looking for someone who can work well both individually and in a team environment.

Do I need any certifications?

For this position, you do not need any chimney industry certifications. However, if you are interested in being promoted to a chimney sweep, we can help you obtain certification from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). We can tell you more about this process if becoming a chimney sweep interests you.

What else should I know about this position?

While previous experience in working for a chimney is not required, it can definitely be a plus. Being familiar with our service area, which includes Lake, McHenry, and Cook Counties, is also helpful.

Since 2005, Aelite Chimney Specialties has been taking care of the chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs in the Chicagoland area. We are proud of our team who strives to provide the best chimney and fireplace services possible. If you would like to join this team or learn more information, contact us today at aelitechimney@yahoo.com.

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Be Ready to Light Your First Fire!

Light Your First Fire Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialties LLCWhile it may seem hard to believe, cooler weather will be here before we know it. This time of the year is the best time to get your home ready for winter, and one of the most important things you can do is to schedule an appointment to have your chimney professionally swept and inspected. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and other national fire safety groups all recommend having these professional chimney maintenance tasks done before you light the first fire of the year. You can trust Aelite Chimney Specialties to make sure your chimney will work efficiently and safely this fall and winter. We would like to tell you why it is so important to have your chimney checked out by our CSIA-certified chimney professionals before the temperature drops.

Prevent chimney fires

If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, your chimney may have quite a bit of creosote accumulation on its interior walls. Creosote develops naturally during the combustion process of burning wood, and this residue sticks to the walls of the flue. These deposits can be very hazardous as creosote is extremely flammable. The CSIA even names creosote as a leading cause of chimney fires. When Aelite Chimney Specialties sweeps your chimney, we take great care to remove every bit of creosote from the flue. We make sure that your risk of a chimney fire is greatly reduced.

Prevent carbon monoxide leaks

When Aelite Chimney Specialties inspects your chimney, we look for damage and problems that could cause your chimney to be unsafe. One of the hazards we look for is a flue blockage that could force the byproducts of combustion, including smoke and toxic gases like carbon monoxide, back into your home. If we find debris blocking the chimney, we will remove it so that it will exhaust properly. We also look for other possible things that could cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, such as a cracked chimney liner. If we find this type of damage, we will provide you with photographic evidence and a written estimate of the repair work needed to make your chimney safe again.

Make sure your chimney is safe to use this fall. Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection today.

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Make Sure Your Chimney Is Ready for Fall with a Video Inspection

Inside your chimney, dangerous hazards can be lurking that could lead to serious situations. To be sure your chimney and fireplace system is safe to operate before you light your first fire this fall, a professional chimney sweeping and inspection is recommended by national fire safety organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). You need certified and experienced chimney technicians to look closely at the condition of your chimney, and you can count on Aelite Chimney Specialties because we have been taking care of the chimneys in the Chicago area for over 15 years. Our chimney sweeps have been trained and certified by the CSIA to properly maintain chimney and venting systems, and we provide video chimney inspections to guarantee every inch of the inside of your chimney has gotten a close up look. In order to be able to enjoy your fireplace on the first cool day this fall, we suggest you make your appointment with us for this essential maintenance service before summer ends. Once September arrives, our sweeps are booked through December to sweep and inspect chimneys, so you could have a difficult time scheduling our services on the date that is the most convenient for you. The longer you wait to contact us, the longer you will have to wait to safely use your fireplace. We would like to tell you about a couple of the biggest dangers that could be hiding inside your chimney and how we can reduce your risk so that you can enjoy safe and warm fires this fall and winter.

Chimney FiresAll About Chimney Fires - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney

You may think that if there were a fire inside your chimney, you would obviously know. However, not every chimney fire is dramatic enough to have smoke and flames coming out of the top of the chimney. The CSIA warns that slow-burning chimney fires can cause just as much damage as a visible one. Just because the lack of air and fuel keep these flames from being seen, the temperatures can become hot enough to spread to the combustible parts of your home that surround the chimney. To reduce your risk of a chimney fire, you need to have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year to remove all of the accumulated creosote from the inner chimney walls. Creosote develops naturally during the combustion process of burning wood and can build up as large deposits that are very hazardous. This residue is so extremely flammable that it can easily ignite a fire when the internal temperature of your chimney reaches a high enough point. In fact, the CSIA has named creosote as the leading cause of chimney fires. You can count on Aelite Chimney Specialties to get rid of every bit of creosote when we sweep your chimney because we use video cameras to be sure every inch has been scrubbed clean.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

When Aelite Chimney Specialties inspects your chimney, we look closely to ensure nothing could cause toxic combustion gases like carbon monoxide to be able to get into your home. We make sure the flue contains no blockages from debris that could force this poisonous gas back into your living space, and, by using the video camera, we can get a close look at the condition of the liner to be sure there are no cracks or gaps that could allow leaks. If we do find damage, we will provide you with video evidence, along with a written evaluation and an estimate of necessary repairs.
Ensure the safety of your home and family this fall. Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney sweeping and video inspection.

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