Our Company Blog

Summer Masonry Repair Checklist

Your chimney system may be most noticed in the winter, but it needs attention year-round! Summer is the perfect time to begin preparing for winter. This means making sure your fireplace, chimney, and fuel is all ready for burn season.

Summer Masonry Repair Checklist Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsTaking care of these things during the summer means you will miss the fall rush – the months between October and January when chimney sweeps are especially busy. Summer is the perfect time to schedule maintenance and repairs, too. Since it’s the off season, your fire is already out.

Summer Repairs

  • Chimney Sweep
    Though not a repair, this chimney maintenance is a preventative step that will keep your chimney system working longer. A clean chimney will prevent odors, build up, reveal damage, and raise efficiency for the upcoming burn season.
  • Chimney Inspection
    The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends chimney inspections annually for the safest and most efficient chimney systems. By scheduling these inspections during the summer, you give yourself time for necessary repairs before fall.
  • Crown Repairs
    A year of seasonal weather can wear down even a well-constructed chimney crown. The crown is important because it covers the top of the chimney, keeping water out. If your chimney sweep discovers any weakness or damage to the crown during your inspection, it will need repairs. At Pristine Sweeps we utilize CrownCoat from ChimneySaver. It’s a flexible waterproof sealant that covers cracks and protects the crown from water penetration!
  • Tuckpointing
    Spalling masonry is a very common occurrence after a harsh winter, or as a result of water damage. Pristine Sweeps often sees cracking mortar and flaking bricks during routine inspections and can schedule a repair before any significant damage occurs. Tuckpointing is the process of removing the old mortar and replacing it with a new one of equal color, strength, and texture. The finished product is always beautiful, and can be topped with a waterproofing sealant for added protection.
  • Firebox Repair
    The most abused part of the chimney is usually the most overlooked. The firebox endures the highest temperatures and the most concentrated chemical byproducts and fuel. A well-constructed one can become damaged over time and may need repairs. This type of repair is best done over the summer, when the fireplace isn’t used – and you have time for adequate repairs before fall.

Count On Us!

If you remember to schedule your routine chimney sweep and annual inspection this summer, it will save you a headache this fall! Standard procedure is to stop using the fireplace and chimney twenty four hours before an appointment. Depending on how extensive the repairs will be, you may be without your fireplace for several days. Scheduling repairs during the summer means the cost won’t interfere with your holiday budget, too! There’s really no reason not to schedule repairs now.

Call Pristine Sweeps at 206-574-8414 to discuss your summer chimney checklist today. We can help you with everything from routine maintenance to extensive masonry rebuilds!

Don’t Fall for a Scam! Research Your Chimney Sweep!

Chimney Sweep Scams Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsOpen the phone book and you can find dozens of mechanics, plumbers, construction companies, and more. When the price is right how do you figure out which company is best suited for the job? The chimney industry has become a large one as more emphasis has been placed on chimney safety in recent years, so finding the best company can be difficult. Just like other industries, there are a few things to look for when finding the professional for you.

Check Credentials

If you ask a chimney sweep company for credentials they should have no problem producing documentation. Most companies will even have such documents displayed on the wall. Since 1983 the standard by which chimney sweeps are measured is the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS). The CSIA standard stands alone in the industry for more than one reason:

Non-profit status

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to a mission of educating homeowners for chimney safety. CSIA is even governed by a body of volunteers who are industry professionals and technical experts. The best minds in the industry come together to provide the best services, standards, and instruction.

Code of Ethics

A CSIA certified chimney sweep and a chimney company that adheres to the standards of CSIA also follows a stringent code of ethics designed to protect homeowners from scams in the industry. If a member violates this code their membership can be revoked.

Accreditation

CSIA standards are regulated by the Indiana State Workforce Innovation Council, Office of Career and Technical Schools. This is the same standard that schools of technology must adhere in the state of Indiana.

Presentation and Professionalism

Something as simple as a company vehicle can tell you how serious a company is. If someone shows up in a beat-up, old car, you might want to rethink the appointment. Look for a company that has a professional presentation, a business vehicle, uniforms, and name tags.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts we can be dooped by false documentation and pretend-technicians. Avoid this experience by starting your search off right. Find a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep in your area. Pristine Sweeps is one of the only chimney sweep companies in Seattle that maintains a CSIA certification. This is a standard we have for all of our technicians, and our company is also a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), another standard you should look for when searching for a chimney company.

While so many scams are happening during the holidays, don’t fall prey to such things. Just as you protect your home and family by scheduling regular chimney maintenance, you should also protect your finances from scams and exploitation. Stick with the most trust company in Seattle, and choose Pristine Sweeps. In business since 2008, our team is passionate about the safety and comfort of our customers in Seattle and beyond.

Call Pristine Sweeps at 206-574-8414 or request an appointment online.

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