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Chimney Cleaning 101: Everything You Need to Know About Chimney and Fireplaces for your Home or Business in Dallas, TX
If you have a chimney or fireplace in your home or business in Dallas, 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 Dallas, TX, or the greater Dallas 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 Dallas 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 Dallas 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 Dallas, 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 Dallas, TX
Dallas, colloquially referred to as Big D, is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the largest city in and seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With a 2020 census population of 1,304,379, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U.S. and the third-largest in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.5 million people.
Preceded by thousands of years of varying cultures, the Caddo people inhabited the Dallas area before Spanish colonists claimed the territory of Texas in the 18th century as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Later, France also claimed the area but never established much settlement. In all, six flags have flown over the area preceding and during the city’s history: those of France, Spain, and Mexico, the flag of the Republic of Texas, the Confederate flag, and the flag of the United States of America.
In 1819, the Adams–Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain defined the Red River as the northern boundary of New Spain, officially placing the future location of Dallas well within Spanish territory. The area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain, and the area was considered part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, Texians, with a majority of Anglo-American settlers, gained independence from Mexico and formed the Republic of Texas.
A postcard of the lynching of Allen Brooks in downtown Dallas, 1910
Three years after Texas achieved independence, John Neely Bryan surveyed the area around present-day Dallas. In 1839, accompanied by his dog and a Cherokee he called Ned, he planted a stake in the ground on a bluff located near three forks of the Trinity River and left. Two years later, in 1841, he returned to establish a permanent settlement named Dallas. The origin of the name is uncertain. The official historical marker states it was named after Vice President George M. Dallas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, this is disputed. Other potential theories for the origin include his brother, Commodore Alexander James Dallas, as well as brothers Walter R. Dallas or James R. Dallas. A further theory gives the ultimate origin as the village of Dallas, Moray, Scotland, similar to the way Houston, Texas, was named after Sam Houston whose ancestors came from the Scottish village of Houston, Renfrewshire. The Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845 and Dallas County was established the following year. Dallas was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1856. In the mid-1800s, a group of French Socialists established La Réunion, a short-lived community, along the Trinity River in what is now West Dallas.
Useful links for Dallas, TX
Directions from Dallas, 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