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Aardvark Newsletter


Inside this issue:                                                      

  • Why get your Chimney Cleaned?
  • Why do I need Chimney Repairs?
  • Why do I need a Chimney Cap?

Why should I have my chimney cleaned?

The purpose of chimney cleaning is to remove flammable deposits such as soot and creosote from the interior walls of a chimney. If these deposits are allowed to build up, they will eventually ignite and cause a chimney fire. During the winter months, in many areas, chimney fires are the #1 cause of house fires. Chimney fires damage chimneys, cause fires within other areas of the home and cause millions of dollars in property damage annually. In the United States well over 50,000 homes annually catch on fire due to the use of solid fuel burning appliances. (The majority of solid fuel used by homeowners is wood, but also includes coal, wood pellets and biofuel.)

How often should I have my chimney cleaned?

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends that a chimney be inspected annually to determine if cleaning or repairs are necessary. Many condominium and apartment complexes in the United States require annual cleaning and inspections. It is also a legal requirement in many countries in Europe. If you are a heavy user of a wood, wood pellet, coal or biofuel appliance such as a solid fuel stove, pizza oven, furnace or fireplace, many manufacturers recommend inspecting the chimney every 2 weeks to see if cleaning is needed. After periodically inspecting your chimney, you will get a better idea how quickly soot and creosote builds up and you can schedule cleaning your chimney accordingly, but remember certain factors such as frequency of use, duration of use, moisture content of the wood, type of wood, the individual characteristics of your appliance and how you have it adjusted can greatly affect the soot build up within your chimney.

Adjustments include damper settings, outside air vents, interior air intake settings, and the use and positioning of glass doors on fireplaces and stoves.

Strange as it may sound, in many cases greater buildup of soot occurs during periods of infrequent and shorter burn times such as fall and spring than it does in the middle of the winter when far more fuel is burned. This is because the chimney walls stay cool during short time frames and condensation occurs much more rapidly on cool surfaces. ERR ON THE SIDE OF SAFETY, IF IN DOUBT HAVE YOUR CHIMNEY INSPECTED IMMEDIATELY.

What is the best time of year to have an annual inspection?

If you are an infrequent or moderate user of an open fireplace and you burn dry seasoned wood, you may opt for an annual inspection and cleaning as a routine procedure. This can be done at any time during the year.

Cold Weather CrownCoat Features and Benefits

Here's how the homeowner will benefit from an application of Cold Weather CrownCoat:


  • The work can be done in colder weather – they don't have to put up with a leaking crown until the weather warms up.
  • A crown covered with Cold Weather CrownCoat is like putting a rubbery type "umbrella" on the chimney crown to prevent leaks and minimize deterioation from the elements.
  • Having CrownCoat applied avoids the costly process of having to completely replace the original crown (as long as it's still structurally safe). So it saves money.
  • Cold Weather CrownCoat is "green friendly". It is solvent-free and won't harm the environment.
  • It has a ten year warranty.
  • When applied correctly this product will remain permanently flexible. It won't crack and peel like other products and remains waterproof.
  • Just filling in the cracks in the crown with other materials is a temporary fix – like putting a band-aid on a broken leg and if the crown is absorbing water the problem is still there. CrownCoat is flexible so it moves with the crown and since it's applied to the whole crown it provides a waterproof protective cover.

So in essence, when you are talking to a customer about the need for Cold Weather CrownCoat, you will be saving them money by preserving their original crown and protecting it from water intrusion.

Why use a Chimney Cap?????


Do you find that you have too much draft coming through your flue? Or too little? Are your energy bills too high because of a drafty chimney? Or do you find that you have water damage around the path of your chimney? Chimney caps are an inexpensive guard against many problems that might occur in relation to your chimney.

A chimney cap serves many functions. A decent chimney or stove will have its own protection against some of these things, but they all still leave a gaping hole into your home that allows anything from bats and mice to rain and wind to get through. Rather than having a flue guard too low in your chimney, it of course makes sense to have a cap on top.

Do All Chimneys Need a Cap?
Chimneys come in all shapes and sizes—brick, stone, metal, or from a pipe to a wide opening and more. Some people use a chimney for a gas fireplace or a wood fireplace, some for a wood-burning stove. All of them need the same things though: access to oxygen, protection from excessive elements like rain and wind, and a way to keep unwanted visitors out. All three of these needs can be met by having a cap, but choosing the right cap has everything to do with the type of chimney you have. To figure this out, climb up onto your roof, count the number of flues (often a square of stone or one or two metal pipes) and write down a good description of each (Do pipes stick up out of the base? How far? etc), and measure each with your handy tape measure. Or, if you're not feeling so daredevilish, ask your chimney sweep or other professional chimney service to come by and take a look for you.

Specific Functions of a Chimney Cap
There are almost as many variations of chimney caps as there are chimneys. Some offer a simple grate, others a set of barriers and blocks that optimize airflow while keeping everything else out. Other caps have an integral damper mechanism, necessary for draft houses or older chimneys that might be missing a damper mechanism. Some are meant to disappear in your home's design, others are meant to accentuate it. Each of these potential functions should be considered in balance with another to optimize energy efficiency and the flue's protection.


Please remember to have your chimney inspect and or cleaned. Hope everyone has a GREAT week! 


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Aardvark Residential and Commercial Services | 13015 6th St | Grandview, MO 64030 | (816) 945-6070