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Chimney Sweep in Bellaire, TX 77401
Chimney Cleaning 101: Everything You Need to Know About Chimney and Fireplaces for your Home or Business in Bellaire, TX
If you have a chimney or fireplace in your home or business in Bellaire, TX, or are considering installing one, there is much you need to know. An improperly maintained chimney or fireplace can be extremely dangerous to those who live or work on your property. If you are unfamiliar with the ventilation system in your building and don’t know the first thing about how to clean a chimney, consider contacting a professional chimney sweep in Bellaire, TX, or the greater Harris County area, such as the staff at Masters Services. However, you should still learn as much as you can to protect yourself as well as your family or employees. Here is some essential information that everyone with a fireplace or chimney should know.
Chimney and Fireplace Vocabulary
To start, you should be familiar with the components of a fireplace and the connecting chimney. Firstly, the box-like chamber where the fire sits is called the hearth. The hearth is constructed differently depending on if the fireplace is a traditional wood-burning fireplace, or a gas or electric one. The hearth should be lined with panels designed to direct heat back into the room and prevent any fire from escaping to another part of the building. Most fireplaces have glass doors to prevent sparks from flying out as well. Connecting the hearth to the chimney is the smoke chamber, which can be closed off by the fireplace damper. The smoke chamber is intended to direct smoke up into the chimney flue, while the damper is a small door that can close off the smoke chamber from the fireplace. The damper opens to allow smoke and ash to exit the fireplace and closes to prevent cold air from coming into the building through the chimney when the fireplace is not in use. The chimney flue is the tube-like space through which smoke travels to exit the building. The flue, like the hearth, is lined with panels that protect the rest of the property from dangerous fires. Finally, the chimney cap is a cover placed over the chimney on the outside of the building to prevent wind, rain, leaves, and wildlife from entering the flue.
How Chimneys and Fireplaces are Cleaned
Cleaning out the fireplace hearth and chimney flue is a complicated and messy process, which is why you should consider contacting a professional if you have a fireplace at your Harris County property for chimney cleaning services. To clean out a fireplace and chimney, first you need to remove the logs and the grate (the metal frame upon which the logs sit). This is so you can sweep out ash and other debris from the floor of the hearth. Next you will need to scrub the floor and lining of the hearth with a thistle brush and a cleaning solution. You can either buy a solution at a home improvement store or make your own. You will also need the solution to clean the lining of the smoke chamber and the chimney flue. You can clean out the chimney flue using a flue brush. Finally, it is necessary to occasionally go up to the roof of the building and clean off the chimney cap and other exterior portions of the chimney. This is a lengthy process and if you are not 100% confident you are capable, you should invest in professional chimney cleaning.
The most important thing when it comes to fireplace and chimney maintenance is safety, both yours and that of the people around you. An inefficient or dirty fireplace can cause dangerous chimney fires that can spread to the rest of your home. Cracked panels in the lining will not be able to properly confine the heat of the fire to the chimney flue itself. Other broken or missing pieces of the fireplace can lead to the same results. An uncleaned flue can be dangerous as well; over time, ash and soot will build up inside the chimney and form a highly combustible substance called creosote. Furthermore, there are several safety concerns you should be aware of while cleaning your chimney or fireplace. You should wear gloves, goggles, and a mask to protect your eyes from ash and debris and prevent yourself from inhaling these substances. If you are cleaning the chimney cap, you need to be careful walking across the roof of the building. These safety concerns are another reason to consider hiring a Harris County professional – the experience and expertise of the chimney sweeps at Masters Services will protect all those involved.
Installations and Replacements
Some chimney sweeps and businesses that offer chimney cleaning will also offer installation and replacement services for the entire fireplace and chimney or individual components. If you don’t have a fireplace in your home but are interested in one, it will be good to talk to someone who can manage an installation and help you learn about fireplace maintenance. You will need to learn about replacements that need to happen regularly; for example, if there are cracks in the lining of your hearth big enough for you to fit a dime, it is time for the lining to be replaced. Look for a professional who can replace individual components of a fireplace, such as the panels, doors, damper, flue lining, or chimney cap.
If you have decided to hire a professional or are even considering becoming a certified chimney sweep yourself, you should know about the different certifications and qualifications that are out there. If you are looking at a company or business, you should look for approvals from Better Business Bureau® and Home Advisor. Both organizations promote consumer trust by pre-screening and certifying business so potential clients know who they can trust. Individuals can carry certifications as well as businesses, such as the Master Chimney Sweep Professional Certification. If you want to know more about a businesses or professional’s certifications or qualifications, don’t hesitate to ask!
If you have decided to contact a professional for chimney cleaning services in Bellaire, TX, consider calling Masters Services at 972-877-4650. We are a local business staffed with knowledgeable professionals who also put our clients’ safety first!
Some information about Bellaire, TX
Bellaire is a city in southwest Harris County, Texas, United States, within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. As of the 2010 U.S. census, the city population was 16,855. In 2019, its estimated population increased to 18,971. It is surrounded by the cities of Houston and West University Place. Bellaire is known as the ‘City of Homes’, owing to its mostly residential character; but it has offices along the I-610 Loop within the city limits.
Bellaire was founded in 1908 by William Wright Baldwin, who was the president of the South End Land Company. Baldwin, a native of Iowa, was well known as the vice president of the Burlington Railroad. Bellaire was founded on what was part of William Marsh Rice’s 9,449 acres (38.24 km2) ranch. Baldwin surveyed the eastern 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of the ranch into small truck farms. He named them ‘Westmoreland Farms’. Baldwin started Bellaire in the middle of ‘Westmoreland Farms’ to serve as a residential neighborhood and an agricultural trading center. South End Land Company advertised to farmers in the Midwestern United States. Baldwin stated that the town was named ‘Bellaire’, or ‘Good Air’ for its breezes. Bellaire may have been named after Bellaire, Ohio, a town served by one of Baldwin’s rail lines.
Six miles of prairie were a buffer zone between Houston and Bellaire. Originally, the town was bounded by Palmetto, First, Jessamine, and Sixth (now Ferris) Streets. In 1910, Edward Teas, a horticulturist, moved his nursery to Bellaire from Missouri so he could implement Sid Hare’s landscaping plans. Bellaire was incorporated as a city with a general charter in 1918, 10 years after its founding. Bellaire had a population of 200 at the time. Because of the 1918 incorporation, Houston did not incorporate Bellaire’s territory into its city limits, while annexing surrounding areas that were unincorporated.
Bellaire’s population had reached 1,124 in 1940. After 1940, Bellaire had a rapid population explosion in the post-World War II building boom. On December 31, 1948, the city of Houston had annexed the land around the city of Bellaire, stopping the city of Bellaire’s land growth. Bellaire remained independent of Houston, and adopted a home rule charter with a council-manager government in April 1949. By 1950, the city’s residents had numbered 10,173, wih 3,186 houses. Each subsequent year for the next two years, though, an additional 600 to 700 new houses were added. Due to the resulting population increase, several schools, including Bellaire High School, Marian High School, and two elementary schools, were established in that period, and Condit Elementary received a new addition. In the 1960s, 250 houses in Bellaire were demolished to make way for the right-of-way of the I-610 Loop, which bisected the city.
Directions from Bellaire, TX to Masters Services
Here are some masonry-related links:
- The International Masonry Institute
- Mason Contractors Association of America
- The Masonry Institute
- The Masonry Society
- National Concrete Masonry Association