Our Company Blog

Your Different Gas Conversion Options

Gas Fireplace Options Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsNow is the time when homeowners begin thinking about their winter fireplace, and if you’re ready for a change, now is the perfect time to get it done before winter. You still have time!

Choosing Gas

When you choose gas, you can use your existing fireplace. Even if the fireplace is damaged, a gas insert can be retrofitted directly into it, in a safe and cost-efficient conversion. Gas also produces less waste in the atmosphere and none in the home to speak of. Gas offers the convenience of an easy on/off, flame, temperature control, and no chopping, hauling, or buying wood. Switching to gas is also a great way to save on utilities. Wood fireplaces lose a great deal of heated air up the chimney during winter, and cooled air up the chimney during summer, costing you in utilities. Many gas options are equipped with doors that stop your chimney draft, and also help the fire burn more efficiently, making it ideal for zone heating your home.

Gas Conversion Options

There are a couple of gas conversion options that Pristine Sweeps offers, and both come with many options themselves. We only sell the best products, and only offer the best, most professional work. When we convert your wood fireplace to gas, we will have you fire-ready in no time, and will not stop until you are satisfied with your new fireplace.

  • Gas Insert – An insert is a factory-made fireplace that is retro-fitted directly into the existing firebox. This type of installation has to be carefully measured, so it’s important to involve your trusted chimney sweep from start to finish. A Pristine Sweeps technician can begin by measuring your firebox, and then discuss model options for your space. Gas inserts come in a variety of styles and colors. You can opt for a tradition cast-iron look, or a sleek, contemporary one. No matter what you choose, you will have a beautiful flame, adequate heat, and convenient control over your fire.
  • Gas Logs – If your firebox and chimney is in good shape, you can choose to use your existing fireplace and hearth, with the addition of gas logs. These logs are realistic, great for zone heating, and have a convenient on/off feature and temperature control. Homeowners can even choose a type of wood that mimics the shape and color of bright birch, deep charred oak, and just about anything in between. There are vented gas logs, which will use your existing chimney for ventilation, or the vent-free option, which do not require ventilation. Vent-free gas logs are less popular conversions because of their blue flame, but they can be used if your chimney is unusable.

Conversion and Your Chimney

When you convert to gas, you will need to have your chimney assessed. Clay tile liners are not appropriate for gas fires, so you will need a new liner. Inserts require a liner in order to decrease the size of the flue for the new, smaller, appliance. The chimney should also be inspected for overall soundness, and a level two inspection is required when changes are made to the system.

Pristine Sweeps can inspect your chimney, install your new gas fireplace, and continue with all of your comprehensive chimney care. Give us a call today at 206-574-8414 to complete your conversion before winter.

By Aaron Woodward | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

We Do Chimney Leak Inspections

It’s true, Seattle has a lot of rain year-round, but we also have snow and freezing weather. Winter is just around the corner, and a little water in the chimney system now can become a serious problem as temperatures begin to drop.

We Do Chimney Leak Inspections Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsWater and Your Masonry

Because of the materials that make up masonry, it is extremely affected by water. In fact, water can destroy a masonry chimney from the inside-out, causing:

  • Rusted parts
  • Stained masonry, walls, ceilings, and floors
  • Cracking and spalling masonry
  • Deterioration and settlement
  • Mold and mildew

Water will damage masonry no matter what time of the year, but it’s especially dangerous during the winter when it’s subject to a freeze/thaw cycle. During the winter, water penetrates the masonry, freezes and expands, breaking apart the masonry, then melting and moving further into the chimney system. This process is repeated throughout the winter as the chimney cools and warms during use. A small crack at the end of summer can be a serious hazard by the end of winter, decreasing efficiency, raising fire risk, and requiring costly repairs.

Schedule Now

The best way to prevent water damage is to schedule your annual inspection now. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends annual inspections for the safest and most efficient chimney. Maybe you already had your chimney inspection for this year, but you’ve noticed signs of a leak over the last few weeks or months. Pristine Sweeps offers chimney leak inspections. When you suspect a leak, do not call a roofer or general contractor. When you experience a leak, no matter where it is in your home, it’s most likely caused by your chimney. A Pristine Sweeps technician can come in and assess your leak, identify the cause, and prepare a report for repairs to prevent re-occurrence.

Common Points of Water Penetration

At Pristine Sweeps we commonly see damaged or missing chimney caps, and flashing that was installed incorrectly. Flashing should be installed by an experienced professional, because it is a tedious job that depends on the slant and materials of the roof. It’s important, too, because the intersection of the roof and chimney is the most vulnerable to water damage. It’s one of the first things that we check when a chimney is leaking.

Waterproofing

When we assess and repair a leaky chimney, we can also prevent re-occurrence. Pristine Sweeps uses ChimneySaver to treat your masonry and protect it from future water damage. This specially-formulated sealant creates a vapor-permeable barrier that allows vapors to escape, while preventing water molecules from getting in.

Whether you need your annual CSIA inspection, or a specific chimney leak inspection, Pristine Sweeps is just a call away. Call 206-574-8414 or make an appointment using our online scheduling tool.