Our Company Blog

Gas Logs Need Service Too

Homeowners who look for the convenience of a push button or switch start, a clean fireplace, and low-maintenance appliance often opt for gas logs. They are easily installed and maintained. However, like every other fire appliance in your home, they cannot be neglected or forgotten.

Gas Logs Need Service Too Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsProfessional Services for Gas Logs

  • An annual inspection.
    An annual inspection includes: assessing the connection to the fuel source, the soundness of the ventilation system, and the safety of all aspects of the fireplace.
  • A thorough cleaning.
    Gas logs are made of ceramic and refractory materials that create the aesthetics of a real fire. Having said that, the science of creating this “magic” can be affected by dust, dirt, and other debris. During a cleaning, the fireplace technician will clean the burners on the surface of the logs that release the gas to make the flame. If these become clogged, it won’t just affect the look of your fire. Consequently, it becomes a fire hazard! The ventilation system, whether chimney or vent will also be cleaned, along with the fireplace.
  • Professional installation and repair.
    It’s vital that you have your gas log set installed and repaired by a professional. In addition, one that is trained and experienced in fire science. Plus, knows how to properly connect the appliance to its gas source. There are some outdoor products that use propane that are easily installed by the homeowner. This is not to be confused with a gas log set! Only a certified chimney sweep can assess your chimney for use with gas or create an alternate route of safe ventilation.

What You Can Do

  • Schedule annual inspections.
    This may be the only time a professional has access to your gas log set. Most importantly, a fireplace and chimney expert will notice a problem before you do. It’s always easier and less expensive to catch a problem before it becomes a disaster.
  • Keep the fireplace clean and clear of debris.
    Also, a good rule of thumb is to clean the fireplace monthly, opening and cleaning the glass door, if it has one. Clean the fireplace screen, sweep the area, and wipe the logs with a clean rag. Be careful not to leave pieces behind!

What is the best way to prevent damage caused by fire, carbon monoxide intrusion, gas leaks, and excessive condensation? It is having your gas log set serviced regularly, just as you would any other heat appliance. A fireplace adds value to any home, and gas is an extremely convenient option, but must not be neglected.

Pristine Sweeps installs and services gas logs in the Seattle area, paying attention to local codes and industry safety standards. Call today to hear about our preventative maintenance and gas log upgrades today! Dial 206-574-8414 or request an appointment online.

Diagnosing Chimney Smells

Fireplaces can make a beautiful addition to any home and can be used and enjoyed all year long. However, a stinky chimney can not only diminish your ability to enjoy your fireplace, but can also affect their air quality in your entire home.

Chimney odors are often indicative of a more serious chimney issue, and often do not resolve themselves on their own. However, discovering the cause of your smelly chimney is the first step to getting rid of the odor. Once the cause of the chimney smell is diagnosed, it can be repaired and you and your family can get back to enjoying your fireplace.

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Causes of chimney odors

There are a number of causes of chimney odors. Below are some of the most common causes of chimney odors.

Animals: Animals are extremely unwelcome guests in your chimney system. In addition to causing damage throughout the chimney system, birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals can also bring with them a whole host of chimney odors.

Sharp foul or rotting smells – especially when accompanied by clawing, scurrying, or other sounds of animal entry – are typically indicative of the presence of animals in the chimney. Animal droppings, food, and nesting materials can all cause chimney odors. Likewise, as many animals become trapped and die while in the chimney, their bodies can create serious odors. This not only affects your home’s air supply, but can also expose your family to a number of microbes, bugs, and bacteria.

Creosote: A sharp, smoky odor is often caused by creosote buildup. Odors caused by creosote are often particularly noticeable in the summer months. This kind of odor often indicates an air pressure problem within the house; this forces air down the chimney and into your home, carrying the creosote odor with it.

Regular chimney sweepings can reduce the amount of creosote in the chimney, significantly reducing this odor. Likewise, minimizing the negative air pressure in the home can also help end creosote odor.

Drafting: Similar to the smell caused by creosote, a smoky smell when the fireplace is not in use may be caused by a drafting issue. Likewise, drafting issues can also cause smoke to blow back into your home when the fireplace is being used, leaving the room – if not the whole house – with a vaguely smoky odor. An improperly sized flue or a damper that no longer works can allow smoke and air back into the home. A chimney inspection may be able to help diagnose and repair drafting issues.

Moisture: Musty, dank, or damp odors are often caused by water entry. Oftentimes, the smell is the only indicator that there is a leak somewhere in the chimney system. Because water can be an extremely damaging force in the chimney, it is important to have chimney leaks identified and repaired as soon as possible.

Another major concern caused by water in the chimney is the formation of mold and mildew. Mold can seriously impact the home’s air quality, creating an unbearable odor as well as creating respiratory issues for you and your family. Mold growth is especially rampant in chimneys that may have animal nesting material, leaves, or other debris in the flue.

If you have a stinky chimney, don’t wait for it to go away on its own. Contact Pristine Sweeps today and let our expert staff help solve your chimney odor issues!