Awesome Denver Chimney Sweep, (303) 720-7096, for hire!
A Chimney is a structure that provides an escape for hot flue gasses and smoke from a stove or fireplace. Most chimneys are made as close to vertical as they can be in order for the smoke and gasses to flow freely in the flue (which is the space inside the chimney) and to help with the drawing of air into the area where combustion takes place (the fireplace or furnace). Romans did it first (surprise, surprise), they used to build the walls of bakeries to include tubes running vertically to the roof to help draw the smoke out but, chimneys were only used in the very largest dwellings in and around northern Europe in the 12th century.
Chimneys weren’t all that common until around the mid sixteenth century when houses began to be designed with chimneys included. Prior to the development of chimneys a device called a smoke hood was the popular method of ensuring that smoke from a fire or furnace could leave the building. A smoke hood is built very much like the ventilation hood in any commercial kitchen that you have been in, but without the all-important fan to draw the smoke away from the room and into the wild blue yonder. Really, it was just a hole in the side of the room near the ceiling leading to a vent of some kind. Often even with a smoke hood the rooms were filled with a murky cloud of smoke that makes breathing difficult as well as dangerous.
Before the chill of winter sets in, it is advisable to have a regular chimney inspection and maintenance performed so you may safely enjoy the relaxing warmth of a fireplace’s comforting heat whenever the mood happens to strike. Chimney fires are most often caused by a buildup of a substance known as creosote. This is an oily residue left behind after burning wood products in your fireplace. When you use a fireplace, creosote is deposited on the lining of your chimney, in particular it builds inside the flue. Layer by layer the deposit becomes thicker until over time it can easily catch fire and/or cause a flare up that can spread throughout your home.
One of the most frightening facts about chimney fires is that you often don’t know you have one until one evening while enjoying a nice fire. Often in the case of chimney fires it is those outside of your home that will notice a fire first. Flames shooting up and out of a chimney is a frightening to see when you are looking down the street at your neighbor’s home. Did you know that chimney fires make up about 7 percent of residential fires? According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2012, there were 1,375,000 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 2,855 civilian deaths, 16,500 civilian injuries, and $12.4 billion in property damage. 480,500 were structure fires, causing 2,470 civilian deaths, 14,700 civilian injuries, and $9.8 billion in property damage.
Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death involved with fires in the United States. It is estimated that well over half of deaths caused by indoor fires are a result of smoke inhalation injuries. There are a several different ways that a person can be hurt or harmed by smoke. It can cause thermal burns in the respiratory system, chemical burns and damage to the bronchial tree and also systemic poisoning as in the case of carbon monoxide poisoning or cyanide poisoning. Hydrogen Cyanide is difficult for the majority of the population to even detect by smell. Less than 50 percent of the human population can even smell it due in large part to the scarcity of the gene that allows its detection. The constituents that make up smoke are not healthy at all and you should have your fireplace and chimney cleaned by Masters Services in Denver on a regular basis in order to avoid these types of injuries and to protect the lives and livelihood of the members of your family and the people that you care about.
The first chimneys in ordinary buildings were made of plaster and wood or mud and wood. The general manufacture of chimneys since then has been updated and has been done traditionally, with brick or stone. The earliest chimneys were built with a simple pattern for brick and stone and later they became increasingly more complex. A dude named Malik designed a chimney that used tile liners on the inside which turned into the standard for later chimney construction and design. We still see the ramifications of this design today! In Europe the chimneys were often placed atop one another in “stacks”, for multiple levels of a home or building so that fireplaces in any given building or home could easily share a chimney. Since these features were generally very expensive to manufacture they only usually had one or two. These chimneys were usually placed both in the front and the back of the house to facilitate easy heating as well as cost effectiveness. Venting caps, the earliest form of a chimney cap, or as they are often called, chimney pots, became widely used in order to prevent downdrafts from forcing smoke into the home.
The chimney caps, as well as the services you can find through Masters Services in Denver can provide many things including (but not limited to); piece of mind, protection from the elements such as rain or snow, as normal chimney caps provide, protection from animal incursions and nesting birds or raccoons, safety, a sense of pride, protection from extraneous sparks leading to rooftop fires, and a great looking addition to your home as well as a fashion statement, not to mention bragging rights for the most beautiful chimney on the block! Caps come in all sizes, colors and designs as well. We fabricate chimney caps from both colored steel sheeting and beautiful copper sheeting. Each custom cap is designed according to exacting specifications, measurements and needs. If you see something you like from a photo or picture, a design mentioned in Leonardo DaVinci’s notebooks for instance or a fanciful representation of your own we are able to both fabricate and install it. We also specialize in sweeping chimneys to provide the very much needed protection it provides from all sorts of accidental emergencies such as fire damage to your home and or family, smoke inhalation resulting in hospital stays and bills, and expensive repairs for roof and chimney replacement.
The history of chimney sweeping and sweeps has rather disappointingly had a very checkered and alarming past. In Europe and Colonial United States chimney sweeps were often young boys, indentured servants, slaves or forced apprentices (Many times there were really no differences between a slave and a sweep’s apprentice as they were often sold by their parents for pennies or taken forcibly from workhouse to earn a living). All sorts of horrendous accidents were commonplace for these poor unfortunate souls. Often they were forced to climb into spaces that would make even the most stalwart individuals blanch. They would die in excruciatingly painful fires, from inhalation of gases or from ash falls inside the chimney flue that would tumble down and suffocate them while they were trying to clear the flue. During the mid-19th century scientists and engineers developed other mechanical means to clean and sweep chimneys. They met resistance from both consumers and sweeps, thinking that “climbing boys” were more accurate and dependable. Lucky for us all, we at Masters Services in Denver have more modern ways to remove soot, buildup and debris from your chimney.
Chimney sweeps suffered from a variety of ailments due to their occupation including respiratory problems and carcinomas brought on by repeated exposure to carcinogens and pathogens introduced to their systems while performing this service. Soot and coal tar were the main culprits of these carcinomas and respiratory problems but heavy metal poisonings were not uncommon as well. Many of these men and boys were dead in their mid-teens to early twenties if they were (un)lucky enough to live so long. These kinds of conditions earned sweeps a very bad reputation in many parts of the world, including some famous villains such as the sweep who wanted to buy “Oliver Twist” from the workhouse. Later though, when mechanical sweeping and labor laws had been reformed in England, the United States and in other parts of Europe, the image of a sweep changed dramatically as evidenced by “Burt” of Mary Poppins fame.
Did you know that it's good luck to see a chimney sweep on your wedding day, and most especially to shake his hand or be kissed by him? Many chimney sweeps today are still invited to weddings to help assure a good start to a happy marriage. The tradition goes back, to a chimney sweep that lost his footing and fell from a roof. He was caught on the gutter and hanging by his foot when a young lass, whose hand was intended for another, reached through the window and pulled him in, saving his life. Of course that bit of heroics spawned a love story and the two were eventually married. Also, the name of sweeps worldwide has become synonymous with good luck as the popularity of Disney’s film and song “Chim-chim cheree” became more and more widespread.
Today chimney sweeps employ a great deal more care and understanding when cleaning or repairing a chimney a firebox, damper or flue. At Masters Services in Denver we guarantee a no muss - no fuss chimney sweeping and cleaning and inspection experience. Our technicians use HEPA (High-efficiency-particulate-air) filtered vacuum systems to help to make sure that your chimney is in good working condition, clean of detritus as well as debris, and to help to ensure the safety of your home and family from airborne particulate matter. We come in to do an inspection as well as a cleaning to make sure that all of the components of your fireplace or firebox and chimney are in good working order. We double check the condition of the smoke shelf, we make sure that the damper is working properly and ensure that the airflow from your firebox or fireplace is flowing correctly to provide draw for your fire and escape for the hot flue gasses and smoke. We can give you an excellent idea of any changes that need to be made to your system, such as whether the chimney needs to be cleaned in fact and or repaired. Most of the time, we can provide an immediate cost or estimate for services and repairs that are deemed necessary to ensure your chimney and fireplace health.
Depending on the repairs that you need, we often are able to perform most of them. Sometimes we are able to do an immediate service. In other instances we are happy to schedule an appointment for repairs, installations or cleaning. We can order a custom chimney cap that can be installed by our technician after we have fabricated it in our customized manufacturing shop. Again, we have many different styles and colors as well as the ability to make caps according to your desires or whim. In the northeastern area of the united states particularly around Oregon and Washington there are several styles of chimney cap that can be tailored to act like a wind vane and turn in response to the direction of the wind and provide a much needed barrier against downdraft to prevent the accumulation of smoke in your home and to provide your fireplace with the proper draft (or draught in Britain) to ensure the maximum potential for your fireplace or firebox as far as heat output.
In addition to our chimney sweeping services we also provide items to spruce up your fireplace. Fireglass is a popular and attractive addition to many gas fireplaces. Heat resistant and beautiful you can add panache and verve to your custom gas fire log setup. We also can provide custom glass doors to add a special touch to your fireside experience. Platinum Bright embers are a wonderful addition to many gas log fireplaces, adding that extra spark and twinkle to the fire log set that you have installed or are thinking about installing. We at Masters Services Denver offer custom fire log sets as well to help you to beautify your living room, den, bedroom or cabin, virtually any place that you have a fireplace. If you are interested in converting your fireplace either to or from a gas to a wood burning setup, we can help with that as well. Not only do we clean and help to beautify your fireplace we can also install custom fireboxes, lengthen chimney pipes and other useful and helpful services such as repainting or repairing crumbling or broken mortar in your masonry, installing ash dump doors and installing new dampers or replacing broken ones. If you are in need of a sweeping or a cleaning or just interested in some more information on the services we provide please visit Masters Services Denver to find an awesome Denver chimney sweep our products and service listings.
Here are some facts that we found courtesy of FEMA regarding fires averaged over a 3 year period from 2008 to 2010
Many times as the weather turns from summer to autumn and slides into winter we are reminded of our cozy fireside reading or a pleasant fireside nap, not to mention the added warmth it can bring to your home in these drafty months. This is especially true if you live in an area with harsh winters such as Denver. We should also be mindful of the regular maintenance that these wonderful appliances need and deserve. To keep your warm and inviting spot from having to be repaired or inspected when you really could be putting it to excellent use with your family and friends, you should spend the time and resources to have it checked, cleaned and maintained by Masters Services in Denver before you truly need it. Not only does this provide you with the relaxation of an inviting winter fire, but it enables you to be secure in the fact that your family and loved ones can enjoy a warm, worry free and safe experience on the deepest darkest nights of those chilly winter months.
Now for some good news about the cost of maintenance on your chimney! It’s only about $100 to have your fireplace and chimney inspected. If you need it cleaned its only about $50 more – Any repairs that need to be made can usually be estimated on-site with the technician at your home or residence. Those are great prices for preventive measures that can save you tons of money and provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones, friends and family! Call and make an appointment with Masters Services Denver to have your maintenance performed by an awesome Denver chimney sweep!