In and around Lake County, Indiana, the winters can be harsh and long. Home and business owners in our service area often depend on their fire appliances for supplemental heating during these long months—and we’re only through a part of them. If you live in our area and have a chimney and fireplace system, you are likely using it every day or at least multiple times per month. This means it needs routine maintenance to ensure it’s working properly and safely throughout winter.
Dangerous and Dirty Chimneys
When fires burn, whether in stoves, inserts, or traditional open fireplaces, byproducts are created and deposited into the flue system. Wood-burning fires produce carbon, soot, and creosote which can build up in the system every time a fire is burned. While carbon and soot may be harmless, creosote mingles with these materials and sticks to itself because of its sticky nature. Along with being sticky, creosote is also highly flammable because it’s made up mostly of tar. If this material isn’t cleaned from the chimney system regularly it will build up in the flue, obstructing airflow and creating a fire hazard. As airflow slows, the hot air from the fire heats the creosote and the water molecules evaporate, transforming the flaky and sticky creosote into a hardened, glazed mass of concentrated fuel. The resulting “glazed”, or level three creosote is the cause of many flash fires in flues across the nation each year. These fires are high pressure, high heat fires that can ignite and go out on their own, destroying the liner, masonry, and other parts without the homeowner even noticing.
The only way to prevent a creosote fire is to prevent creosote buildup. A standard chimney inspection will identify a creosote buildup and a sweep will remove creosote from the flue lining to return your chimney to safety and proper function.
Safe Chimneys in Lake County, Indiana
Whether you have a wood-burning or a gas fireplace, your chimney will be at risk of malfunction and fire if it isn’t properly maintained. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) agree that the safest and most efficient chimney systems are those that are cleaned regularly and inspected annually. That means even creosote-free systems like those that burn gas need regular services to maintain safety and efficiency. Gas fires produce soot and water vapors that take a toll on the flue system over time. To ensure your gas fireplace is safe this winter, it needs to be serviced by a professional no matter how often it is used.
Northwest Fireplace and Chimney Services in Lake County
For over fifteen years, Octavio De La Vega has been working in the chimney and fireplace industry to keep residents and home and business owners safer each winter. In 2010, He brought his values to the Lake County area to provide excellent customer service and expert craftsmanship. Since its founding, Northwest Fireplace and Chimney have provided these expert services to customers in Porter, LaPorte, and Lake counties, earning us the Angie’s List Super Service Award in 2014 and 2015 and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
As part of our mission to bring safety and comfort to our friends and neighbors in our service area, we send out a certified chimney sweep for your diagnostics and services. Your repairs are made by master masons and your installations are completed by certified experts. You won’t find this quality through a general contractor. Only a certified chimney sweep has the know-how and classroom and field training to get the work done and stay within national and local safety codes.
What to Expect Before and After Your Chimney Service
You can expect the utmost professionalism from our team. We’ll show up on time on the appointed day and have clear identification. We do not take it lightly when our customers let us into their homes and entrust their homes and families to our expertise. We start by using drop cloths to protect flooring and furniture. Then we use specialized tools to clean the flue of soot and creosote. All the mess is collected and contained in an industrial vacuuming system and you’ll never have to see it! For inspections, we use a special video scanning system to access and diagnose the most hard-to-reach spaces and damages. Once your service is complete, you will get a written report from your technician for your own records and for your attorney, realtor, or homeowner’s insurance.
The best part? Once you’re on our books, we will send you reminders when it’s time for your necessary chimney services and you’ll never have to guess whether or not your fire is safe. Don’t leave your chimney safety up to chance. Leave it up to the professionals!
Call Northwest Fireplace and Chimney at 219-413-2349.