chimneys: 10 Do or Don't Items of Fire Safety Including Fireplace and Chimney - 12/27/17 05:44 AM

Each year I hear about multiple house fires at the start of winter. Almost all could have been avoided if the residents took the time to do a few safety checks and/or used common sense. Two recent fires that destroyed homes were due to improper disposal of smoking materials and fireplace/woodstove ashes.
 If you have a standard fireplace as shown in above photo, you can do some quick checks before using it each year. Most fireplaces have all the basics components. A foundation, hearth, firebox, smoke shelf, throat, outside air intake, flues, shell, profile, damper, clean out, ash dump, chimney, rake, flashing, … (7 comments)

chimneys: Chimney Cap Maintenance Will Avoid Problems When Selling - 04/13/17 03:59 PM

  This is a common sight on many homes, and it will usually end up on the Home Inspection Report if you are selling a house with a chimney that looks like this. It might not look that bad, but neglecting this for too long can multiply your problems. To start, the cracks will hold water, and that water can run down the inside of the chimney and cause numerous problems like mold and damage to sheetrock walls and ceilings below. During winter months, that water can freeze inside the cracks over and over. When it does, the frozen rain expands … (2 comments)

chimneys: Fire Prevention Week is October 9 - 15 - 10/11/16 11:40 PM
                                 
 Fire Prevention Week involves more than just checking the batteries in your smoke alarms, but smoke alarms should be near the top of your list. Here are some other things that should be checked.
(1) Smoke Alarms - If they are 10 years old, replace the smoke alarms. If less than 10 years old, test them and change batteries. Check the Date of Manufacture, not Date of Install to determine age. Also make sure that you have enough throughout the house on all levels. Place them inside every bedroom and outside of every sleeping area. Check with your Local Fire dept if … (4 comments)

chimneys: National Chimney Safety Week - 10/02/16 10:19 AM

 
 The last week of September into the first week of October is National Chimney Safety Week. Homeowners usually start thinking about getting ready for the upcoming winter. One of the things on the maintenance list should be having your chimneys inspected and cleaned if needed. This photo is looking down a 13 x 13 flue liner. This one looks pretty clean from the top. While up there, a chimney sweep will check the cap, flashing, and condition of the brick, stone, etc and might add a rain guard/spark arrestor. Some people just use a wire mesh cap. Then from down in … (2 comments)

chimneys: Firewood, Fireplaces, Woodstoves and Chimneys - 10/21/15 11:06 PM
 Seems like every year someone asks me where they can get some good seasoned firewood. There are a few honest wood sellers in this area who have stockpiled some wood. It's usually seasoned less than 6 months if they sold out last winter, and then cut some wood during summer months to sell this winter. I tell people who I think has good wood, but also tell them they need to look at it. You can usually tell if it's seasoned by the weight, the color, and the bark. You can also usually tell what type of wood it is by … (13 comments)

chimneys: Inspect Your Chimney, Firebox, Flues, Wood Stoves, Caps - 12/10/14 08:48 PM
Well, it's that time a year again when house fires are more common, and people wait until last minute to order firewood and have their chimneys cleaned. People also grab whatever supplemental heat devices they have handy, and most likely havn't been used since last winter. Those include electric space heaters, kerosene heaters, oil filled heaters, etc.
 It's not too late to have your chimney checked. ( depending on where you live).
 Many minor defects in a chimney or firebox can lead to major problems if ignored.
Starting at the top, check flue liners for cracks, nests, cresote build up, offsets, … (26 comments)

chimneys: No Working Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Nearly Kills Family - 11/07/14 01:44 AM
Every year it's the same old story. As soon as weather turns cold, there is a rash of home fires that lead to injury and death. Why? Because people don't plan ahead and prepare for winter months. They grab some cheap electric heater and stick it in kids bedrooms. They try to start furnaces forgetting that there fuel tanks are still almost empty from last winter. They try to order fuel at the last minute when companies are swamped with calls, and sometimes the wait is 3-5 days for delivery. They try lighting fires in fireplaces and woodstoves that have had … (2 comments)

chimneys: $50.00 Crack Does $500,000.00 in Damage - Don't Skimp on Inspections - 02/06/14 08:33 PM
This home wasn't for sale, but I'm using it for an example. This was a recent house fire in Lovettsville VA. House was mostly destroyed along with owners belongings. Cause of fire was reported to be a crack in the thimble. A thimble is a round flu liner that usually connects to the flus that are inside of most chimneys. Many people hook wood stoves, pellet stoves, etc up to them. This is just another example of the importance of a thorough home inspection, and the importance of having your chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. Maybe no one … (39 comments)

chimneys: Fireplaces, Fireboxes, Firewood, Fire Alarms, Fires, and Firetrucks - 11/24/13 12:57 AM
Well, winter has arrived in many places including here in Lovettsville VA. Seems like every year there is an outbreak of house fires around this time. A recent nearby fire was nothing more than smoke and small fire in a garage that did less than $1000.00 damage. Owner reportedly was careless when removing coals from his woodstove, then placed them in a metal coal bucket in garage. Well, coals can crack and pop out onto nearby cardboard which is what happened here. Doesn't sound like much, but when you add up the responses from local FD's, it's actually quite annoying that … (17 comments)

chimneys: Weather Changes Fast- Are You and Your Home Ready For Winter? - 10/24/12 09:47 PM
With Hurricaine Sandy heading for the East coast, bringing 60+ MPH winds and 3 + days of heavy rain with it, it will be a sudden notice for many that they aren't ready for winter. One of the things homeowners always seem to put off until it's too late is buying seasoned firewood, and having their chimneys cleaned and inspected. I saw a chimney sweep at one of my neighbors ( Earl) yesterday. Earl burns a lot of wood every winter, and he is elderly and all country, so he knows what a malfunctioning chimney can do. Earl is also a … (21 comments)

 
Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA)

Jeff Pearl

Full Service Full Time Realtor

Lovettsville, VA

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RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA

Address: Lovettsville, Leesburg, Ashburn, Vienna, McLean, Reston, Fairfax,Falls Church, Arlington, VA

Office: (703) 727-4876

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