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Posts Categorized / Masonry

  • 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.

 

Estimates are always FREE!