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  • May 24 / 2018
  • Comments Off on 5 Ways Powers Chimney & Masonry Can Turn the Outdoor Space of Your Dreams into a Reality
Masonry

5 Ways Powers Chimney & Masonry Can Turn the Outdoor Space of Your Dreams into a Reality

As we enter into a season of warmer weather, it’s a pleasure to welcome friends and family to a cozy outdoor gathering space. Whether you’re looking to host an elaborate dinner party or have an impromptu s’mores night by the fire, we at Powers Chimney and Masonry can transform your property into the outdoor space of your dreams.

Here are 5 ways we can do it:

1. Custom Stonework
Whether you’re looking to remodel an existing space or start from scratch with something new, we’ll work with you to create the ideal outcome for your goals. From a stoneware enclave fit specifically for a barbecue to flooring with an intricate design crafted just for you, there are many creative options to choose from. Share your ideas with us and we’ll offer a free estimate for what the work would cost.

 

2. Fire Pits
From storytelling to roasting hot dogs, warm weather nights practically beg for a gathering around the campfire. A safe, attractive space to host is key to a successful fire. Our team has experience making everything from simple in-ground fire pits to custom enclosures perfect for outdoor pizza ovens. For those who love to cook and entertain outdoors, these options offer an elegant place to do so.

 

3. Planter Boxes
One of the most important elements of an outdoor space is the aesthetic aspect of the design. Aside from the areas made specifically for cooking and visiting, it’s important to remember the appeal of the surrounding space. That extra spark of special can make all the difference in the world. If you’re due for a garden upgrade or simply want some well-placed planter boxes to house pops of color on your patio, we’ve got you covered.

 

4. Brick Patios
Speaking of patios, we can construct a beautiful space made of bricks to match your vision. Whether the project requires tearing out an old structure and re-building or fashioning a whole new patio, we’re prepared with the materials and experience to meet your needs. We can even create custom brick seating to match your space. Dream big and we’ll rise to the occasion.

 

5. Arches and Columns
“Go big or go home” is a cliché thing to say these days, but we prefer to encourage our clients to go big at home. For example: To give your outdoor space a regal touch, why not add some dramatic columns and arches to the repertoire?

The arches can provide protective shelter for unpredictable weather and shade on a sunny day, while columns serve as an anchor and add a great texture to an otherwise basic space. Put simply, with both functional and aesthetic benefits to gain, the addition of these structures can take your outdoor kitchen to the next level.


To view some of our past projects and brainstorm ideas for your dream outdoor kitchen, browse our online portfolio. There you’ll find examples of our brick work, stone work, arches, columns, fire pits, flooring, planter boxes, stairs and more. You can also read testimonials from clients about what it was like to work with us. Estimates are always free, so contact us today to see how we can help transform your space.

Locally owned and operated, we at Powers Chimney and Masonry are fully licensed, bonded & insured. We maintain a Better Business Bureau rating of A+ and are proud to be members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild and the National Fire Protection Association. We are pleased to offer discounts to members of the military and senior citizens.

  • May 01 / 2018
  • Comments Off on How to Tell if Your Chimney Needs a Rebuild
Chimney Cleaning, Masonry

How to Tell if Your Chimney Needs a Rebuild

Are your bricks spalling? Adapting a white sheen? Is water trickling through open spaces that shouldn’t be there?

If you’re experiencing any or all of these ‘symptoms’ with your chimney, it may be time for a complete rebuild. While it may be tempting to try to patch the problem with an easier short-term solution, you’ll do yourself a great disservice in the long run by cutting corners.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • In the case of spalling, water damage causes the bricks to deteriorate and can fall loose from the masonry, putting anyone or anything below it in danger of being hit by falling debris. Patching problem areas will only temporarily hold pieces in place.
  • With efflorescence (also known as “white bricks”), the natural minerals of the bricks come to the surface, leaving a salt-heavy sheen that can make the bricks appear white. Though you can typically eliminate (or at least reduce) this whiteness with a soap-based cleaning solution, the very presence of it indicates water damage that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
  • If you’re seeing debris falling into your fireplace, you may have shaling flue tiles. This is the result of water making its way into the gap between your flue lining and your chimney. It causes the tiles to erode and break off, eventually landing in your fireplace. It’s another sign that a re-build is in your near future.
  • The first line of defense to protecting your chimney is the crown at the top, so if you find evidence of a damaged crown, complete with cracks or holes, you’ll probably soon notice issues on the body of your chimney too. Crown damage is typically a result of weather (heat/cold expansion and contraction) and natural wear and tear over time.

The Long-Term Fix

The good news is that a complete chimney rebuild will solve these issues for years to come—you just need to utilize tried-and-true building methods vs. the latest trends. Unfortunately, masonry is a dying art. In the world we live in today, instant gratification often takes precedence over fine craftsmanship, which leads to construction shortcuts. The practice of masonry does take longer than newer techniques, but the benefits far outweigh the wait.

For example, though the upfront costs of building with masonry may be more expensive than alternate methods, in the long run you’ll save money because of your lower utility bills. Concrete block, combined with thermal mass insulation systems, stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, reducing the consumption of electricity.

Aside from energy conservation, you’ll save money on insurance too. Because masonry provides a better barrier to pests, it’s more resistant to extreme weather and offers higher levels of security. This means leading insurance providers offer homeowner policy discounts up to 15% for homes that have it.

But the monetary benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. With a traditional masonry-built chimney, you’ll enjoy a quieter living environment because the materials used naturally block out noise. Furthermore, those materials are non-combustible so they’re fire-resistant.

Environmentally, masonry-built chimneys utilize ‘green’ products, which adhere to government guidelines for maintaining sustainable ecological practices. They also offer protection from mold and fungus since there is no wood used in the builds. Without wood, there is an absence of rot, so those suffering from allergies or asthma will find greater relief.

Add all of this together with the undeniable aesthetic value that a chimney built with masonry offers and the choice seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?

 

Our team at Powers Chimney and Masonry would be honored to help with your upcoming chimney rebuild. Give us a call at 360.691.9828 or send us a message to arrange for an estimate.

 

  • Mar 12 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Have A Fireplace Consider This Tips To Keeping Heat In Your Home
chimney fire

Have A Fireplace Consider This Tips To Keeping Heat In Your Home

When the autumn advances and the air begins to cool, it is the moment when we begin to feel like taking refuge in the candor of our house, probably in front of the cozy fire that gives us the fireplace, an excellent way to warm our home and our spirit . Because certainly among all types of home heating, the fireplace is the most pleasant, as well as being a very good way to heat the house economically.To heat the house in winter , a good modern built-in fireplace, with a good installation and a good functioning can heat a home of 100 m2 perfectly, or if we prefer, be a good complement to another type of heating, helping us to save money from the heating bill.
Your home has a dirty little secret – the fireplace that is designed to heat your home is doing the opposite and is costing you more than hundreds of dollars in energy costs.
Do not worry, investing a little time and money, you can turn that inefficient fireplace into a powerful heater that will reduce your energy bills and add more charm to your fireplace.

Tips to keep heat in your room
1. The upper chimney air regulators replace the lower regulators and are placed on top of it. The upper regulator acts as a hermetic door keeping the hot air inside the house and the cold air from outside – outside. This principle works all year, both to heat and to cool the house. This product can be obtained online and you can easily install it on your own or ask a technician to do so.

2. The protection sheet
It is a cast iron plate that is placed on the back of your fireplace. Its function is to protect the back wall from any damage and usually come with designs that add to the home’s decor. The sheet improves efficiency as it absorbs heat from the fire and radiates it back into the room.

3. A fireplace heater takes fresh air from the room, circulates it through a chamber that is heated by the fire and then returns the warm air back to the room. These heaters come in closed systems, so it prevents the smoke from the chimney from invading the house. Depending on which type you buy, these heaters can make a difference in the temperature of your home, they can even heat a room completely. The heaters can be installed with glass doors which will also help you save.

4. Tempered glass doors
For fireplace, they are the biggest investment, but you can reduce a bit of the cost by doing some work on your own. There are several chimney doors that can be obtained by Internet that come with instructions to install them easily. The glass doors form a barrier between the room and the fireplace, in addition to reducing the area that your fireplace has to heat. This is already a good reason to install them, but know that it is not the only reason. The glass doors in turn offer security by protecting children and pets from fire.
If you are practical, all these suggestions will be easy for you. In addition, all products, while not easy to obtain locally, can be found on the Internet.

  • Mar 05 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Chimney Fire Prevention How To Prevent Chimney Fire
Chimney Cleaning, chimney fire

Chimney Fire Prevention How To Prevent Chimney Fire

 

The most frequent reason why fires occur in chimneys, is the lack of cleanliness of the duct through which the smoke and other waste produced in the combustion rise, these create a sticky and odorous layer on the walls of the ducts. , which is also highly flammable.

If the hygiene of our chimney is not good enough, the circumstance that favors the start of a fire may occur.

Start and development of a chimney fire

No chimney fire originates and develops in the same place and way, because it influences aspects such as construction, length, travel, joints, obstructions, or type of creosote of the chimney.

In any case, the fire is usually initiated by a violent initial deflagration, accompanied by a characteristic sound and pressure waves, which can lead to deterioration of the flue pipe.

Subsequently, the fire will move along the entire conduit, burning the deposited creosote, generating a great pressure inside and a blowtorch effect at its exit with characteristic sound – roar

Defects caused by fire and pressure waves can be considerable. However, there are cases in which the fire occurs in a slow manner and with hardly any signs that indicate that a fire is occurring inside the chimney.

How to prevent Chimney Fire

Cleaning

Chimneys that are lit regularly must be conditioned and cleaned thoroughly, fundamentally, the chimney draft. It is important to remove the creosote (resin) adhered to the walls of the duct, since this is what ignites and causes the flames inside the duct.

Start the fire

The use of dry wood is recommended. Dry wood burning produces less creosote than wet wood. Likewise, woods of species such as oak or holm oak are preferable, which are harder and have a higher calorific value because they produce less creosote than softwoods such as poplar or fir. On the other hand, the use of high combustion products is discouraged until it is in perfect condition, and do not use gasoline or products that accelerate combustion to ignite the fire.

Good ventilation

They also offer a good measure of prevention, ventilation in the rooms where the fireplace is located, since the fire consumes oxygen and generates carbon monoxide. Good ventilation improves the draft or natural movement of smoke inside the duct and facilitates the removal of carbon monoxide.

Furniture

It is advisable not to place carpets, furniture or clothes in front of the fireplace, because they can burn due to the heat received by radiation. All combustible materials must be kept more than one meter away from the home.

Unattended shutdowns

It is discouraged to leave the fireplace lit when we go to sleep because it is dangerous in the event of a possible outbreak of fire. It must be turned off when the house is empty.

Fire detector

An excellent preventive measure in those houses that have a chimney, is the installation of a fire detector.

  • Mar 05 / 2018
  • Comments Off on 5 Reasons You Should Install A Chimney Cap
Chimney Cleaning

5 Reasons You Should Install A Chimney Cap

Chimney cap, is more than a decorative element. Protects the interior of the fireplace from rain and other inclement weather, curious animals and damage caused by strong winds.

In addition, the air loss is slowed down through the upper part of the chimney, keeping the atmosphere warmer in winter and cool in summer.

Fireplace tops are typically made of metal, which can receive a beating when exposed to the elements.

Chimney cap protects your home by transferring hot combustion gases to the outside air. For this reason, chimney caps are a measure highly recommended by most professionals.

In this blog post, we are going to cover top 5 reasons why you should install a chimney cap/cover whatever you say if you have not already done so.

Prevention of water damage

As we discussed in a recent blog post, when water enters a chimney and undergoes freeze-thaw cycles it can wreak havoc of your chimney. In addition to compromising the masonry of your chimney, the penetration of water can cause more severe structural damage throughout your home. The cover of a chimney prevents water from entering the chimney and protects your home from damage.

Protection against debris and animals

Your unprotected chimney tends to collect leaves, dirt, and other debris, and it’s pretty common issue. This garbage clogs your fireplace, obstructs the writing of your chimney and could cause a dangerous fire also. A chimney cap prevents the fireplace from becoming, essentially, a giant garbage can.

In addition to waste, it is likely that birds and other animals find their way to an open fireplace. The warm and dark fireplace offers the perfect environment to build a nest. For the safety of these animals and their home, the best option is to install a chimney cap.

Keeping the chimney lining

Chimney Liners

By protecting your chimney from unwanted water and debris, a chimney cap helps preserve the life of your chimney liner. Some elements can seriously deteriorate their coating, particularly a clay lining of your chimney. Your coating is essential for the optimal performance and safety of your chimney. Installing a smoke cap is a much simpler and more cost-effective procedure than repairing or replacing a damaged coating.

Spark Containment

When your chimney is in use on a regular basis, large sparks may appear in your chimneys. If those sparks are hot enough, there is a chance that they can get out of the fireplace and light patches of grass or nearby leaves. A chimney cap or spark arrest or will keep these sparks as they die, protecting you and your neighbors from potential hazards.

Improvement project

A chimney cap helps increase the draft of your house chimney. Without proper wording, the smoke and noxious gases can re-enter your home, creating an unpleasant and dangerous situation. The installation of a chimney cap will improve your draft and ensure the proper functioning of your chimney.

As you can see, installing a chimney cap is a simple but effective measure that is worth taking. A lid preserves and protects the overall life of your useful and necessary chimney. And when it protects your chimney, it protects your home also. If you have any query of installation of chimney cap,   Contact us today to schedule an installation.

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