Is Your Chimney Repair Company Going Above and Beyond? Here’s What to Look For

chimney repair company portland fireplace chimney

Many homeowners are unaware of the significant differences between a top chimney repair company and a run-of-the-mill one. Ideally, chimneys require repairs only once every decade or so. However, when repairs are needed, choosing a company that goes above and beyond can profoundly impact the quality of work and overall experience. As a homeowner in Portland, it’s crucial to ensure that your chimney repair project receives meticulous care, expert craftsmanship, and attention to detail.

We are Portland Fireplace and Chimney, dedicated to serving the needs of Portland, Oregon, residents for over 25 years. Our extensive experience includes serving as a safety instructor for the National Chimney Sweep Association and holding the position of president of the regional guild. In Portland, no chimney sweep has more experience than we do.

Having inspected thousands of chimneys and worked alongside numerous other companies, we have unparalleled expertise in proper procedures. In this article, we will highlight some easily recognizable characteristics to help you identify quality chimney service.

II. Protecting Your Home’s Exterior

fixing exterior by careful brick removal

One of the first signs that a chimney repair company is committed to excellence is its dedication to safeguarding your home’s exterior throughout the repair process. During renovations, you can observe these fundamental precautions:

1. Covering Solar Panels and Metal Roofs

A reputable chimney repair company will use canvas drop cloths to cover your solar panels and metal roof. Solar panels are expensive, and if your repair involves any brickwork or replacement, there’s a risk of larger mortar chunks or stray bricks falling onto the exposed solar panels. A company that takes extra precautions is safeguarding your valuable investments against potential damage during the repair process.

2. Erecting Scaffolding

Instead of relying solely on ladders, a company that prioritizes quality will erect scaffolding when appropriate. This is especially crucial for roofs with a steep pitch, as scaffolding provides stability for the working team and helps protect the integrity of your roof. By using scaffolding, they not only ensure the safety of their workers but also minimize the risk of damage to your property.

3. Careful Brick Removal

When dismantling your chimney, a company that excels in their craft will carefully remove each brick one by one, ensuring no damage occurs to your roof or other parts of your home. Recently, on a job involving a historic home with a pitched roof, our team encountered this exact scenario. Despite slowing down the project, this meticulous approach allowed us to dismantle the chimney completely without compromising any other part of the home. This careful and methodical approach demonstrates a company’s dedication to preserving the integrity of your property.

III. Minimizing Debris and Dust

portland fireplace chimney fixing roof exterior

All fireplace repair companies should notify their customer about potential dust getting into the house. A quality chimney sweep will prepare for the incoming dust by using basic precautions. We have heard story after story of companies skipping steps or prepping improperly and leaving their customers with a fine layer of dust. It’s always been a telltale sign of a lazy technician: did the home get protected from the dust? Here are some of the basics to look for:

1. Foam Insertion in the Chimney Flue

To prevent debris from falling down the chimney flue, a chimney repair company should insert foam or other protective materials into the flue. As masonry is repaired outside or within the chimney stack, debris will be arrested by the foam insert. This simple yet effective step helps keep your fireplace and home interior clean and free from excessive dust.

2. Interior Floor Protection

The next area that requires protection isn’t your chimney, but rather the room containing the fireplace itself. During chimney repair, this room is particularly vulnerable to debris and dust infiltration. Best practice dictates setting up canvas drop cloths inside to capture any dust or debris that might escape during the repair process. Without such precautions, you risk damage to wood floors or a thick layer of dust settling not only in the living room but potentially spreading to neighboring rooms.

A reputable company should inform you about the risk of internal dust before starting construction, allowing you to relocate precious belongings out of harm’s way. This attention to detail demonstrates their respect for your living space and ensures minimal disruption during the repair work.

3. Containment Measures

For larger chimney projects beyond simple inspections or cap installations, it’s essential to implement more stringent containment measures. Installing plastic sheeting inside creates a containment zone for dust, typically around the fireplace area, using zipwall rods and vertical plastic sheets. This “cave-like” setup effectively reduces the spread of dust throughout your home, facilitating easier cleanup afterward.

Unfortunately, some companies may alert homeowners to the risk of dust but fail to implement adequate protective measures. This approach allows them to avoid the time and expense involved in setting up proper dust prevention mechanisms, potentially leading to greater inconvenience and cleanup challenges for the homeowner.

IV. Expertise and Professionalism

expert professional chimney inspector checking chimney-1280x720

Beyond the physical measures taken to protect your home, a chimney repair company that goes above and beyond will exhibit what we call intangibles. These are not necessarily recognizable physical actions but are instead other examples of integrity and thoughtfulness. Here are some key indicators:

1. Thorough Inspections

The top chimney repair companies in Oregon will conduct thorough inspections of your chimney before, during, and after the repair work. They will take the time to visually inspect all aspects of your system, including down to the basement, inside the flue, and the masonry all the way to the roof. These are intended to assess the condition of your chimney, identify any potential issues, and provide detailed explanations of their findings.

2. Transparent Communication

Look for a company that maintains open and transparent communication throughout the entire repair process. They should keep you updated on the work’s progress, inform you of any challenges encountered, and provide clear timelines for completion. Additionally, they should furnish you with documentation detailing the completed work. For official inspections, they should share the inspection report with you, which can be valuable for insurance purposes. This level of communication ensures you are well-informed and confident in the services provided.

3. Certified and Experienced Technicians

A chimney repair company that strives for excellence will employ certified and experienced technicians. Their technicians may hold certifications from organizations like the National Chimney Sweep Guild or have completed specialized chimney training programs. This training ensures they possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise to handle complex chimney repair projects with precision and efficiency..

Looking for a quality chimney sweep company in Portland, Oregon?

nfpa getting chimney measurements

When it comes to chimney repair in Portland, finding a company that goes above and beyond can make a significant difference in the quality of work and your overall satisfaction.

Don’t settle for a company that cuts corners or provides subpar service. Choose a chimney repair company that truly cares about your home and goes the extra mile to deliver exceptional results. With the right partner by your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that your chimney is repaired to the highest standards, ensuring the safety and comfort of your home for years to come.

If you are looking for a thorough and trustworthy service for your residential or commercial fireplace and chimney, give Portland Fireplace and Chimney a call.

FAQ

What time of year is best for chimney repair in Oregon?

The best time of year for a chimney repair in Oregon is summer. However, the most popular times to have your chimney inspected and repaired is spring or fall.

If my fireplace and chimney are electric does this article still apply?

Anytime you are dealing with any appliance that is shooting flames within the confines of your home you should pay extra close attention as to the quality of the technicaians doing repairs. A simple mistake can lead to a lot more destruction than many other trades so taking shortcuts is not ideal.

Can I repair my chimney myself?

Even if you have masonry experience we would not recommend performing repairs on your chimney yourself. Considerations beyond masonry training are necessary to make sure the flue clears properly and you are not leaving your house vulnerable to fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.

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