Home is Where the Hearth Is
Keeping Your Family Close and Warm
When the Power goes out we keep families safe and warm
Most of us are lucky to have never suffered a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning in our homes.
Portland Fireplace and Chimney was founded to provide homeowners with the best education on the principle of prevention. We have seen the catastrophic losses of fire up close and never want this to happen again to our friends, families and community, if we can help it. Your family’s safety is our top priority and the true value we have to offer.
It is a fact that most fires and operating malfunctions can be easily prevented by proper education of your system and simple maintenance on a yearly basis. This includes getting your chimneys and your dryer vents inspected and cleaned.
Many homeowners don’t know how many chimneys and vents they have in their homes. These systems must be capable of containing toxic gases through the walls that pass by living rooms, and bedrooms. Hot water heaters, gas furnaces, oil furnaces, boilers, dryer vents, gas and wood systems of all shapes and sizes require annual maintenance and inspections. Not just Fireplaces.
Use of any system can cause normal wear and tear deterioration to the interior lining of these vents and chimneys. Obstructions of any kind in a chimney can eventually cause a fire. But more commonly slow deterioration of a system leads to a blockage of the draft. The most common is the silent killer CO2 poisoning and contamination of your indoor air quality. Obstruction in your dryer vent or exhaust is even a larger danger to starting a fire and almost all of us have dryers in our homes.
When you call us out to your home, we take a holistic approach and aim to handle the problems in such a way that you will not have to face any chimney or vent repair again. After we have restored your system you can request to be added to our annual maintenance list and advance schedule your annual maintenance and inspection. Ensuring your systems are performing in an optimum fashion is our highest value we can offer you as it ensures your family will always be safe.
We are Portland’s one stop shop for anything fireplace, chimney and vent related.
Inspecting your fireplace and chimney is essential to keeping them running properly and safely. Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc performs NFPA Level 2 Fireplace and Chimney inspections.
We can build or rebuild a chimney from the ground up.
- Full chimney removal
- Full chimney replacement
- Full chimney addition interior/ outdoor living
- Chimney seismic retrofit
- Historical home masonry siding – all types
- Masonry veneer custom flashing
- Masonry exterior ruck-point repair
- Masonry exterior rebuilding
- Masonry wall seismic retrofit
- Masonry exterior cleaning
- Masonry exterior waterproofing spray
- Masonry exterior elastomeric painting
- Full exterior remodel and renovation
See what some of our customers have to say.
“Could not be more happy with the work.”
Louis was personable and taught us a lot. The work was impeccable. I cannot believe how clean the chimney was. Louis kept the rest of the room so clean. We have cream colored carpet and not one bit of the chimney material made it on the floor with the shroud he built. Portland Fireplace and Chimney you have made a lifelong customer.
– Michael C.
“The entire team was exceptional.”
Nate and Bailey rebuilt our chimney from the ground up and Niles did the tile on the hearth and surround. The craftsmanship and attention to detail were outstanding. Everyone was professional and the results are beautiful. I would highly recommend Portland Fireplace and Chimney.
– Holly S.
“Really professional and nice to work with.”
Louis, Caleb and Mark helped us update our dilapidated chimney and modernize with a gas insert. They were all really professional and nice to work with. The new fireplace really makes a difference and they even offered to fix some masonry on the property. I now have the peace of mind that our chimney is no longer a hazard and am enjoying the new fireplace so much.
– Kelly L.
Looking For More Contractor Work?
We are glad to help with all your construction needs.
Many of our customers have such a hard time finding a good contractor they can trust who is going to give them the experience they desire and high quality craftsmanship. When you are in the business of fireplace and chimneys you must have a versatile crew because fireplace and chimneys are built and designed in many different ways. We are Versatile Craftsmen that can offer many additional products to improve your home. People often don’t realize a fireplace and chimney in itself is a fireproof building. Essentially we build a structural, fireproof, watertight building through your entire house and it comes in contact with every trade, from the roof to the foundation. In that respect we are more of a GC not just a chimney company.
About Portland Fireplace and Chimney
Are you looking for a reputable, locally-owned company with a history of professional service and customer satisfaction?
Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc. provides outstanding service to thousands of customers every year. We have been serving the Portland-Vancouver area since 2007.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a chimney sweep do?
When a Chimney Sweep cleans a chimney, he uses brushes to remove all the build-up of soot and creosote from the flue system. These deposits of soot and creosote are responsible for chimney fire damage that totaled an estimated $4.7 million in Oregon during 1986. Now it is an average of 1 Billion per year in fire related damage per the NFPA.
How often should I have my chimney swept?
The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” This is the national safety standard and is the correct way to approach the problem. It takes into account the fact that even if you don’t use your chimney much, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be swept at 1/8″ of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system. This is considered to be enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney or spreading to the home. Factory-built fireplaces should be swept when any appreciable buildup occurs. The logic is that the deposit is quite acidic and can shorten the life of the fireplace.
What’s the best time of year to clean my chimney?
Spring to Summer is the best season to clean a chimney for several reasons: Any problems uncovered during cleaning/inspection can be repaired in time for the next burning season. You’ll prevent the foul odor that occurs when hot, humid summer air reacts with creosote in a dirty chimney.
You can usually get an appointment right away instead of waiting weeks for an appointment during the busy Fall/Winter months. (OUR BUSY SEASON)
I heat with gas. Should this chimney be checked too?
Although gas is generally a clean burning fuel, the chimney can become non-functional from bird nests or other debris blocking the flue. Modern furnaces can also cause many problems with the average flues intended to vent the older generation of furnaces. We suggest you check the areas on gas and carbon monoxide for more information.
What’s safe to burn in the fireplace?
Only seasoned wood.
What is your position on chemical chimney cleaners?
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a non-profit, educational institution focused on the prevention of chimney and venting hazards, is concerned about the consumer use of chemical chimney cleaning products to the exclusion of conventional chimney inspections and cleaning.
These products are often promoted for their ability to remove a portion of the creosote from a masonry or metal chimney interior through catalytic action when burned in a fireplace or wood stove. The CSIA believes that the use of these products alone is not an adequate substitute for mechanical chimney cleaning and inspection because it does not provide the same level of protection to the chimney system. Current promotional claims for some of the products may be creating a false sense of security among consumers.
It is the consensus of qualified experts that chimney maintenance is best achieved through annual inspections, and mechanical sweeping, by trained professional chimney sweeps as frequently as needed.
What is chimney relining?
Simply put, relining means installation of a new flue liner. However, the process is far from a simple undertaking and requires a professional to do the installation work.
If you have been told that your chimney needs to be relined, the reason may be that the flue liner is damaged, misaligned, missing mortar joints, it is sized incorrectly, or that there is no flue liner at all.
Do you only work on fireplaces and chimneys?
From estate restoration projects to basic fireplace, stonework, stucco, veneer, columns, brick mail boxes, beautiful back yard fireplaces, brick patios as well as stone and concrete pavers , we can handle it all. If you can dream it, we can build it. We would love to help you make your home, your dream home.
Repairing Fireplace Structural integrity
We find many chimneys have severe saturation decay, from the PNW wind-driven rain and freezing temperatures. This expansion and contraction changes your solid chimney into a loose pile of bricks with mortar falling out and onto the roof. We have performed thousands of structural rebuilds, seismic retrofit’s, tuck-pointing and custom fabrication all with an artisan perspective. We enjoy our work and the history we uncover. You will find on our jobs that the bricks are re-used if possible or replaced with the exact match to preserve the homes historic integrity. The mortar is just as important. It is ugly to see a chimney with a bunch of miss matching mortar because the mason didn’t take the time to sample his mix of cement color, sand size and die ratio to achieve a perfect match. We take great pride in our work because it should last at least 100 years.
Fireplace Safety and Functionality
Our interior firewall inspection uncovers many mysteries about the internal workings of your fireplace, but also provides evidence of the history of usage. Have you ever tried to light a fire and smoke just billows out of the fireplace into the room? Chances are, the chimney has no firewall liner. Or it could be that it was improperly built from the start. We find cracked interior walls, a lack of refractory mortar, exposed red clay bricks or celled concrete block, blockages, damage from past chimney fires, or malpractice from uncertified inexperienced chimney sweeps.
It’s important to understand that a chimney sweep who is certified is educated on internal performance specifications of a fireplace. Value is found in an inspector who understands and can catch these unsafe areas that are commonly overlooked by an uncertified chimney sweep. A company that offers chimney sweeping only, is doing a dis-service to the consumer, and likely indicates the company is not certified.
Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc is also CSIA certified. We strictly follow all NPFA 211 code specs to design a safe and functional interior fireplace firewall, smoke chamber, chimney liner, damper, and proper chimney caps. That way you know you and your family are going to be safe enjoying a fire in your fireplace.
Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc performs a preventative maintenance package on every project we complete. The reason these chimneys are in such bad shape in the first place is for two main reasons.
- Lack of a proper chimney cap
- Not having a full water seal treatment.
1. Lack of a proper chimney cap.
A proper chimney cap is designed out of 24 gauge stainless steel so it will never rust and will last a lifetime. Our caps are locally fabricated by a small family business metal shop who has been in business for 40 years. Our cap designs will shelter and protect the footprint of all the masonry of the chimney to divert all water accumulation from the crown, with a proper roof structure to drip water completely off the chimney crown. If all chimneys had a proper cap for its design, we would not see so much need for chimney repair.
2. Water seal treatment.
A chimney repair must cure for approximately 28 days. When it is dry and above 50 degrees, we make our last trip out to your home to apply two coats of our industrial grade masonry water seal treatment. A chimney constructed of porous brick and mortar will take on water. When you drop a brick in a bucket of water it will bubble as it sucks up water, just like a sponge and it gains a considerable amout of weight. In our climate, a brand-new chimney will absorb water even with no cracks. It will load up with water just like a brick in a bucket of water. If a chimney becomes fully saturated it will dissipate water into the attic of the house.
In my early years, I would get call backs to try to figure out how the chimney was leaking. It wasn’t until I found out that water proofing was the actual finishing aspect of masonry that I was able to solve the problem. Just like any other porous building material, siding and trim boards, for example, must be finished with two coats of paint to seal it. Bricks are the same, they just require a clear paint known as siloxane.
With a proper chimney cap and water seal treatment we guarantee our work and satisfaction with a 100% no leak guarantee.
Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc is also a dealer of many fireplace manufacturers. We supply and install wood and gas stoves, manufactured wood and gas fireplaces, hybrid systems, masonry heaters, gas log sets and custom fireplace doors.
Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc has an army of skilled artists so you can be certain your fireplace remodel will be as unique as your dreams. We have craftsman who have been building masonry fireplaces for 45 years. Our gas plumber has been running gas lines for 35 years, our remodeling foreman has 30 years of experience and knows all that Portland has to offer.
Portland Fireplace and Chimney is your Local Chimney Repair Company
Lastly, we are all born and raised in Portland. Our owner Louis Lee was born at home in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. He attended Portland State University on an economics scholarship and played basketball in the Division I NCAA college basketball tournament. Since college, Louis has been an entrepreneur investing in property and many local businesses. He has been restoring the historical integrity of Portland homes for his entire professional career. But his passion is to bring families together around the warmth of a fireplace, because that is where his father shared with him the most valuable life lessons. Louis Lee is the youngest president of the OCSA in the history of the association and was voted into position by the elders after only 4 years of membership.
Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc is your top notch pick for a fireplace and chimney company in the greater Portland metro area.
Your home is the first place you want to be certain of the safety of your fireplace and chimney. It is our top priority to ensure the safety of your home and loved ones. It is our passion, livelihood and love of the community around us that inspires the excellence in trade knowledge and customer service we provide.
We look forward to providing outstanding service from your initial call to completion of work. We pride ourselves on performing excellent work in the utmost timely and professional manner.