Chimney cap askew on top of a chimney

Chimney Caps and Termite Tents

Chimney cap askew on top of a chimney

What do chimney caps and termite tents have in common? More than you think! Several times a year, the strong Santa Ana winds hit Southern California. These winds are something we San Diegans dread because it usually brings with it the threat of wildfires. But there’s something else that occurs due to these forceful winds. […]

contractor with tool belt

25 Important Tips to Hire a Contractor

contractor with tool belt

A true story: About ten years ago, a friend of ours decided to do a major remodel on his house, basically doubling the size of his home. He did his due diligence in researching contractors and he narrowed it down to three very qualified candidates. Then he went to the California State Licensing Board website […]

The top of an unlined chimney

Problems with an Unlined Chimney

The top of an unlined chimney

As a chimney sweep, the most important part of a chimney that we inspect is the flue lining. In many older homes, there is no flue lining. This type of chimney system is referred to as an unlined chimney.  According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “Never use a chimney that does not have […]

A masonry chimney on the exterior wall of a home

What is a Masonry Chimney?

A masonry chimney on the exterior wall of a home

Just like automobiles that have different manufacturers and models, the same goes for fireplaces and chimneys. Here in Southern California, there are primarily three different types of open fireplace systems–1) masonry chimneys; 2) prefabricated, factory-built systems; and 3) Rampart General Pre-Cast systems. Since I’ve already addressed Rampart General Pre-Cast systems in the past, this post […]

Firewood, center cut dried out

14 Need-to-Know Facts about Seasoning Firewood

Firewood, center cut dried out

Here are some interesting facts that will help you season your firewood for your fireplace or stove.  Seasoning your wood is critical not only for safer fires, but to reduce creosote buildup in your fireplace or stove flue pipe and to reduce pollutants into the atmosphere.  This is the second post in a series of […]