Hearth and Chimney Safety

Chimney fires are a serious matter, and can cause hundreds, if not thousands, of
dollars in property damage. In the last three years, approximately 72,500 chimney fires
occurred in the United States, causing about $92 million in property damage and
resulting in 30 deaths.

Louisa County Chase Fire

 

 

In November of 2013, a chimney fire damaged a home in Louisa County.  The fire was not catastrophic only because some residents were home and awake. This fire was caused by a wood stove being placed too close to combustibles (OSB, Oriented strand board … similar to particle board). The
combustibles were behind a stone facing, which is a common problem. Many people
think stone acts as a heat barrier. In fact, stone is a very good conductor of heat and the
heat was simply transferred to the board underneath, which spontaneously caught fire
after a process called pyrolysis lowered the combustion temperature of the wood.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure proper clearances! When a
manufacturer refers to a “heat shield” or “protected surface” it means a noncombustible
material with a 1″ air space between the combustible and the heat shield — it must be
open on 3 sides or at the top and the bottom allow air to freely circulate behind the heat
shield.

While there are many possible factors contributing to any chimney fire, the most
common is the buildup of creosote, whether glazed or powdery, which results from
incomplete combustion of a wood fire. In addition to burning well-seasoned wood in a
responsible fashion, it’s important for homeowners to make sure to have the chimney
and fireplace cleaned and inspected each year by a certified hearth professional. Not
only will the sweep make sure that the chimney is clear of creosote and other buildup,
but he or she can provide information about any damage (loose pipes, damaged
masonry, etc) which may interfere with the safe, efficient operation of wood-burning
appliances.

Laurelwood Condominium Fire

 

Damage to the three units was catastrophic. All three had to be completely gutted and
rebuilt. In early February of 2012, several units in the Laurelwood Condominiums at
Wintergreen Resort were damaged by what initially appeared to be a chimney fire.
Investigators later determined the fire to have been the result of sparks coming from the
firebox and getting into a gap between the firebox and hearth extension in one of the
units. A protective metal strip was not installed as required by code and the
manufacturer. Wooden Sun has been retroactively removing the hearth and installing
the missing metal strips, a costly but necessary repair.

Installing fireplaces safely is important! Make sure to check the required clearances to
combustibles for your wood-burning appliance, use adequate hearth protection
(insulated hearth pad, stone hearth, etc), and never leave an open fire unattended.
Additionally, a spark guard or screen door can keep burning embers in your fireplace where they belong, rather than on your carpet or furniture. Finally, always remove fireplace ash to a metal container, rather than plastic or wood, and never place the container on a combustible floor after removing ashes. Embers can remain hot for days, and any ashes should be treated as though they had burning embers in them.

Thanks to https://woodensun.com/hearth-and-chimney-safety/

NE Portland Fireplace Remodel- Check out this amazing transformation!

BEFORE
AFTER

Our homeowner Eric said it best:
“When we began the project we really did not truly understand the serious fire hazard the old firebox posed or the weakened condition of the chimney. We had even less of a concept of how involved the rebuild project would be. But, Jake & Robert were great to work with and we thank them very much for the long, difficult and dirty hours they put into the project. Their craftsmanship shines through”.

We rebuilt the chimney above the roofline and installed a 25′ stainless steel liner to safely vent this wood burning fireplace. The homeowners hand selected tile from Pratt & Larson and Jake and Robert followed the homeowners design and layout with beautiful artistry.

If you have a fireplace that needs an update, call us today!
Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc
503-758-4710.

SE Portland Historic Restoration

This historic home was built in 1890, and the fireplace chimney was loose and crumbling above the roof line and had reached its end of life due in part to a lack of maintenance and a proper chimney cap.

 

 

Here you see our team setup for successful restoration and safety during the construction process.

 

 

 

Finally after, completely restored to the original design.

 

 

503-758-4710

CALL US FOR ALL YOUR CHIMNEY AND FIREPLACE NEEDS

 

 

 

 

NE Portland Custom Cap

90% of the repairs we provide our customers is repair to chimneys above the roofline.

 A chimney in the PNW gets hit so hard with rain, the chimneys become saturated, then if temperatures drop below freezing, the bricks and mortar of your chimney expand and contract. This causes chimneys to crack at the crowns, around the flue tiles, the mortar begins to fall out of the chimney onto the roof, also we find bricks them selves going through decomposition. This is when you see the brick face sheer off because it filled with water and literally burst like a frozen ice cube. Known as spalling bricks. These cracked areas are open water ways and cause all kind of leaks and water damage into the home.

This is called Masonry saturation Decay. With no chimney cap or the wrong cap this decay is accelerated in our climate.  If a chimney has never had a proper cap. It is likely you will need some repairs.

All of this decay is preventable. I think of a proper chimney cap as a crucial piece of flashing, we all know how important flashings can be. The proper chimney cap is a very important water diverting flashing for the chimney and everything below it.

We can provide a proper fitting chimney cap to shelter and protect your chimney from excessive water accumulation and further damage.  If your Chimney had a proper cap since the start of its existence it would not need as much repair.  Our chimney caps and water seal treatments help customers fully protect their home from PNW masonry saturation decay.  With applicable repairs, curing, water seal treatment and proper chimney caps installed we guarantee no leaks.

 

 

503-758-4710

CALL US FOR ALL YOUR CHIMNEY CAP NEEDS

SE Portland Chimney Rebuild, Historic Restoration

This beautiful 1922 Portland chimney had seen better days. This chimney was cracked, loose and crumbling due to extensive saturation decay to the brick masonry cells. During saturation, this chimney had gone through extensive expansion and contraction during freezing temperatures.Due to the extent of the damage, and nature of the cracking, in order to correctly fix this problem, this chimney needed to be entirely rebuilt and reinforced for future seismic events.

Portland Chimney repair chimney rebuild chimney cap portland oregon

Portland Chimney repair chimney rebuild chimney cap portland oregon

 

Here you see our chimney demolition process, with extreme care taken to protect windows, siding, landscaping, and roofing from any damage or debris during demolition.

Portland Chimney Sweep Chimney Rebuild Chimney Cap Chimney Repair Tuck Point

 

 

Here the chimney is new, up to modern building code with seismic reinforcement but keeping that classic 1922 look.

Portland Chimney Sweep Chimney Rebuild Chimney Cap Chimney Repair Tuck Point

Portland Chimney Sweep Chimney Rebuild Chimney Cap Chimney Repair Tuck Point

Portland Chimney Sweep Chimney Rebuild Chimney Cap Chimney Repair Tuck Point

 

We are Portland’s leading experts in historic masonry restoration.

503-758-4710

CALL US FOR ALL YOUR CHIMNEY  NEEDS

 

 

NE Portland Chimney Restoration

This chimney was cracked, loose and crumbling due to extensive saturation decay to the brick masonry cells. During saturation, this chimney had gone through extensive expansion and contraction during freezing temperatures.  The state of this chimney was due to multiple factors, including: lack of a proper chimney cap and a lack of a water seal treatment. This chimney had become heavily saturated and the bricks and mortar joints had been extensively damaged due to the saturation decay. A proper chimney cap is one that shelters and protects the entire masonry
crown footprint and all terminations, with a screen to keep out pests and debris. A masonry chimney is a clay porous structure that absorbs water and becomes saturated in the PNW climate. In this saturated state, masonry decay is accelerated. It is regular exterior building maintenance to apply a water sealant to any masonry structure every 10 years.
This chimney had been painted with a rubberized paint.

 

We took this chimney down to the roof line, and rebuild it with proper flashing and new brick. Below the roof line, we completely removed the paint and performed a tuck point on the mortar joints. Here you see a beautiful, rebuild NE Portland Chimney back to its former glory.

 

503-758-4710

CALL US FOR ALL YOUR CHIMNEY  NEEDS

Vancouver, Washington Chimney Rebuild

This chimney was experiencing leaking issues due to water absorption and saturation decay of the shoulders, as well as poor flashing.  Unfortunately this chimney was also not constructed to code height and was not safe to be used. This chimney first needed to be taken down to the roof line to address the improper flashing issues, and then rebuild to code height.

After being partially rebuilt preventative maintenance will be key. This chimney did not have a sufficient cap. A proper chimney cap is one that shelters and protects the entire masonry crown footprint and all terminations, with a screen to keep out pests and debris. A masonry waterseal treatment is needed, A masonry chimney is a clay porous structure that absorbs water and becomes saturated in the PNW climate. In this saturated state, masonry decay is accelerated. It is regular exterior building maintenance to apply a water sealant to any masonry structure every 10 years.

Here you see this chimney after proper repairs, with a new cap installed, and waterseal applied.

 

503-758-4710

CALL US FOR ALL YOUR CHIMNEY  NEEDS

 

 

Chimney cap vs flue tile cap

90% of the repairs we provide our customers is repair to chimneys above the roofline.

Miriam Webster will tell you that a chimney cap is a device fitted to the top of a chimney to improve the draft by presenting an exit aperture to leeward. But what does that mean? A chimney cap is your first line of defense. Chimney caps are one of the most important components of your fireplace system because of the way they protect the rest of the chimney and flue. Without a working chimney cap, animals, debris, and moisture can all freely enter the flue. Likewise, chimney caps help prevent sparks and embers from flying out onto the roof and causing accidental fires. A proper chimney cap is one that shelters and protects the entire masonry crown footprint and all terminations, with a screen to keep our pests and debris.

 

 

 

 

 

A chimney in the PNW gets hit so hard with rain, the chimneys become saturated, then if temperatures drop below freezing, the bricks and mortar of your chimney expand and contract. This causes chimneys to crack at the crowns, around the flue tiles, the mortar begins to fall out of the chimney onto the roof, also we find bricks them selves going through decomposition. This is when you see the brick face sheer off because it filled with water and literally burst like a frozen ice cube. Known as spalling bricks. These cracked areas are open water ways and cause all kind of leaks and water damage into the home. We have seen it all, rotten roof, falling ceilings, leaking fireplace face, rusted dampers, rotting floors, and Mold! MOLD! MOLD!

We have found customers suffering from mold allergies for years not knowing it was coming from their chimney! This is called Masonry saturation Decay. With no chimney cap or the wrong cap this decay is accelerated in our climate. If a chimney has never had a proper cap. It is likely you will need some repairs.

All of this decay is preventable. I think of a proper chimney cap as a crucial piece of flashing, we all know how important flashings can be. The proper chimney cap is a very important water diverting flashing for the chimney and everything below it.

We can provide a proper fitting chimney cap to shelter and protect your chimney from excessive water accumulation and further damage. If your Chimney had a proper cap since the start of its existence it would not need as much repair. Our chimney caps and water seal treatments help customers fully protect their home from PNW masonry saturation decay. With applicable repairs, curing, water seal treatment and proper chimney caps installed we guarantee no leaks.

 

503-758-4710

CALL US FOR ALL YOUR CHIMNEY CAP NEEDS

 

 

NE Portland Chimney Repair and Custom Cap

Our owner Louis took some great shots installing a new custom cap at this gorgeous NE Portland home. A few weeks ago we wrapped up some chimney repairs and manufactured a custom chimney cap to cover the entire footprint of the chimney. Here you see the repaired chimney, with its new cap.

 

 

Here are a few other shots from the day.

 

 

503-758-4710

CALL US FOR ALL YOUR CHIMNEY CAP NEEDS

Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc. is licensed, bonded and insured, and has a history of providing excellent service to customers for well over 25 years. Our family has been living in the northwest and servicing people with not only chimney needs but many other areas of construction such as roofing, foundation, and forensic leak determination. It is our passion, our livelihood and our love of the community around us that inspires the excellence in trade knowledge and customer service.

 

 

SW Portland Custom Chimney Cap

After repairing this beautiful stucco chimney, we setup 35 feet of scaffold to install a custom hip and ridge style chimney cap, with black powder coat on this beautiful SW Portland Home.

 

503-758-4710

CALL US FOR ALL YOUR CHIMNEY CAP NEEDS

 

Portland Fireplace and Chimney Inc. is licensed, bonded and insured, and has a history of providing excellent service to customers for well over 25 years. Our family has been living in the northwest and servicing people with not only chimney needs but many other areas of construction such as roofing, foundation, and forensic leak determination. It is our passion, our livelihood and our love of the community around us that inspires the excellence in trade knowledge and customer service.