Our Company Blog

A Fireplace Adds Value to Your Home

Home Value & Fireplaces Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsBy comparing modern homes to those built in the 1970s, you can see that fireplaces are not going out of style anytime soon! In fact, today 60 percent of new homes have a fireplace. What’s more, a 2012 survey reveals that a fireplace is an amenity homebuyers most want in a house. Not only is a homebuyer more likely to buy a home with a fireplace, but they even spend more money in order to have a home with at least one fireplace!

There isn’t any evidence that homebuyers care what type of fireplace is in the home, but it can be assumed the more efficient the better. When you choose a low-maintenance, efficient fireplace, the value rises. You may not be looking to sell your home, but there is always a good reason to add value to your home—especially with a fireplace.

  1. Refinancing. If you’re looking to refinance your mortgage loan, you can get a substantially lower interest rate if you update the home and increase value.
  2. Entertaining. If you love to host work or holiday parties, you could benefit from an upgrade. A fireplace is great for entertaining, offering the ambiance and comfort needed for parties year round.
  3. Supplementing Heat. When you choose to install a fireplace in your home, you’re investing in a zone heater that will bring your home heating cost down. If you choose a wood fireplace, you can save by cutting your own wood. If you choose a gas fireplace, you save by its highly efficient technology.

The Sales Floor

Every stove, appliance, and fireplace that Pristine Sweeps sells is top-of-the-market. We sell, install, service, and repair the best.

When you install a fireplace it adds value to your home immediately, but you can just as easily lose value by letting a fireplace and chimney system fall into disrepair. Once you have your dream fireplace, you want to maintain it for your safety and comfort, and to maintain the value of your home. Schedule chimney sweeps and inspections to avoid a costly repair later. In order to avoid a costly chimney repair, you may choose to install a vent-free, or direct-vent fireplace into your existing hearth, bypassing the chimney. This type of conversion can be done by a certified chimney sweep and adds value to the home just like any fireplace. In fact, gas sets and inserts are some of the most efficient appliances on the market—exactly what brings value to a home. Once you have your dream fireplace, you want to maintain it for your safety and comfort, and to maintain the value of your home. Schedule chimney sweeps and inspections to avoid a costly repair later.

If you’re looking to make a change, a fireplace expert at Pristine Sweeps is a phone call away. Call 206-574-8414 or make an appointment online.

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

Smoke Chamber Parging

A very small portion of the chimney system is accessible without the help of special equipment or cameras. One of the difficult to see – yet extremely important – components of the chimney is the smoke chamber.

What is a smoke chamber? Smoke chamber parging image - Seattle WA - Pristine Sweeps

Located directly above the firebox, the smoke chamber is designed to help the fireplace draft correctly. Smoke, gas, hot air, and other byproducts of combustion flow up and into the smoke chamber before they are funneled up the flue and out of the chimney.

Most older homes with masonry fireplaces have smoke chambers that were built with a technique known as corbelling. This building technique uses stacked bricks to create jagged steps as the smoke chambers narrows up to the flue; while this quick and easy building technique is effective, it has several design flaws that make it unsuitable for long-term use.

Smoke chamber repair and parging

The jagged steps of a corbelled smoke chamber have a number of exposed masonry joints and create plenty of nooks and crannies for the accumulation of soot, ash, and creosote. If your smoke chamber was constructed using the corbelling technique, the jagged masonry steps can be covered to create a smooth surface. Known as parging, this technique repairs smoke chambers by covering the jagged, staggered steps with a single, solid, smooth surface.

There are two main types of parging technique: cast in place and spray on. A cast in place restoration involves adhering the product directly to the corbelled masonry. Cast in place parging is also a good way to reinforce the structure of the smoke chamber. Spray on products are equally effective and can be easily sprayed onto the masonry in the smoke chamber to create a smooth surface.

Why parging is important

Because the smoke chamber is not seen, parging is not a cosmetic repair; it is important to the safety, drafting, and functioning of your fireplace system. The following are four reasons why having your smoke chamber parged is important.

  1.  Improved safety and efficiency when venting. With fewer cracks, edges, and corners, smoke and gas can easily flow up, through, and out of the smoke chamber.
  2. Reduce creosote and soot buildup. Creosote is extremely flammable, and excessive buildup of it in your smoke chamber and chimney can significantly increase your risk of accidental chimney fire. With fewer corners and joints there is a smaller surface area for creosote and other byproducts of combustion to accumulate.
  3. Reinforce masonry joints. The corbelled design of many smoke chambers has dozens of masonry joints; over time, smoke, gas, and heat can weaken these joints. Having the smoke chamber parged reinforces these joints and makes the smoke chamber structurally stronger.
  4. Extend the lifespan of the fireplace system. Having the smoke chamber parged meets modern building standards, makes the fireplace safer to use, and can help the entire chimney system last longer.

Parging your smoke chamber is a necessary repair. Having the smoke chamber parged can make your fireplace burn more efficiently – as well as significantly improve the safety of your fireplace system. For more information about smoke chamber parging or to schedule an inspection of your smoke chamber, contact Pristine Sweeps today!

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