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The 70’s Want Their Fireplace Back

The 70's Want Their Fireplace Back - Atlanta, GA - Old Hat Chimney ServcieLiving in an older home can present many challenges, including updating a dated home decor look. One of the most challenging remodeling jobs can be refacing your old fireplace. Since the fireplace is typically the main focal point of the room, an outdated appearance can really detract from the look you would like to have. If your fireplace decor reminds you of the 1970’s, it may be time to consider a fireplace facelift. Old Hat Chimney Service can help you take on this challenge by professionally refacing your fireplace. We can construct a new facing and mantel for you and install these over your existing fireplace to update its look to whatever style you desire. We would like to tell you more about your choices of material for a fireplace remodel by sharing with you some information from This Old House.

BRICK

If your fireplace surround is constructed with a material other than brick and you want a more traditional look, Old Hat Chimney Service can create the look you want with the extremely durable material of brick. You are not just limited to the typical red brick as this masonry material comes in other colors and types. Our masons can even use different patterns and placements to create an interesting look. The best thing about a fireplace facelift with brick built by experienced masons is this fireplace facing will last you for many years.

STONE AND CULTURED STONE

Have you always wanted a stone fireplace? If so, consider yourself fortunate to have many different options, which include limestone, slate, marble, and granite. A material which is both attractive and long-lasting, natural stone can be used from contemporary and modern stylings to classic and traditional looks. If stone is too expensive for your budget, you have the option of going with cultured stone. Created to resemble natural stone, this lightweight material can be found in a wide variety of colors and textures to give you the look of real stone at a fraction of its price.

TILE

A very popular material used in fireplace refacing that can be seen in the latest home decorating magazines and websites, tile can give your fireplace a unique and creative look. Available in limitless options of colors, finishes, textures, and styles, tile can be placed around your fireplace however you wish. Tile can be found in both natural and man-made materials, and this really widens your horizons when designing a fireplace facing with tile.

METAL

If your home decor tends to be sleek and modern, a metal fireplace facing can really pull that look together for you. Old Hat Chimney Service can install metal paneling to create a contemporary and streamlined appearance that really updates an old fireplace from the 1970’s.

Ready to give your fireplace a facelift? Contact  Old Hat Chimney Service to talk to our staff about fireplace refacing options.

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Spring Cleaning Includes Refreshing Your Fireplace

Spring Cleaning Your Fireplace - Atlanta, GA - Old Hat Chimney Service

For $250, our Special Spring Cleaning Package Deal includes the following services:

CHIMNEY INSPECTION

Recommended by many national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), an annual chimney inspection by our CSIA-certified chimney experts will ensure your chimney functions safely and properly. Old Hat Chimney Service guarantees your chimney will receive a thorough and appropriate level of inspection suited to its particular situation.

CHIMNEY CLEANING

To remove any creosote deposits that have accumulated on the walls of your chimney over the winter heating season, the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps from Old Hat Chimney Service will use a powerful HEPA-filtered vacuum inside your chimney. We will also take care to remove any blockages of debris or animal nesting to be certain your flue is safe to use. Another recommended chimney maintenance task, a chimney sweeping prevents hazardous issues, such as a chimney fire ignited by creosote, from occurring.

SMOKE STAIN REMOVAL

Over time, your mantle and firebox can become dingy from smoke and soot from repeated fires. Cleaning off the stains left behind takes a lot of hard work, so why not let Old Hat Chimney Service do this challenging chore for you? Our chimney sweeps have the right tools to easily remove any black stains from the bricks or stone of your hearth. Your fireplace will look brand new after we are finished!

CHIMNEY DEODORIZING

Have you noticed a strong, unpleasant odor coming from your chimney? When the weather gets warmer and the humidity rises, creosote deposits within your chimney can cause bad smells that can fill your whole house. Even after we perform our chimney sweep to remove all of the creosote accumulation from your chimney, it can still leave a lingering odor. Old Hat Chimney Service can professionally deodorize your chimney to get rid of any bad smells from your fireplace.

FIREWALL PAINTING

Instantly improving the appearance of your fireplace, painting the firewalls can also make your fireplace look brand new. Old Hat Chimney Service has found that paint can make a huge difference, and we are happy to offer this special service.

Want to take advantage of saving $75 by scheduling our Spring Cleaning Package Deal Special? Schedule your appointment with Old Hat Chimney Service to make an appointment for this opportunity to receive all of the above services for just $250.

Be Prepared for Chimney Swift Season with a New Chimney Cap

Be Prepared for Chimney Swift Season - Atlanta GA - Old Hat Chimney ServiceHas your chimney become a nesting home for chimney swifts? Protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to remove these birds from your chimney by a professional chimney cleaner like Old Hat Chimney Service. Fortunately, these birds will leave on their own in early fall to spend the winter in South America. Once the chimney swift family has vacated your chimney, the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) recommends you install a chimney cap on top of your chimney to keep these birds from returning in the spring. Since chimney swift season is upon us, Old Hat Chimney Service would like to tell you a bit more about these birds and about what sort of chimney cap options you have so that you can keep your chimney free from these birds taking up residence there again.

What Are Chimney Swifts?

The most common species of swifts found east of the Rocky Mountains, chimney swifts arrive in the United States in mid-March, and many of these birds choose chimneys to nest inside to breed during the summer because their usual homes of large hollow trees have been cut down. While these baby birds can be noisy, especially when being fed by the parents, chimney swifts are extremely beneficial as a family of these birds will eat over 12,000 flying insects, including mosquitoes, gnats, termites, and biting flies, a day. Once the cooler season of fall begins, these birds instinctively leave their nests to spend the winter in Peru. However, chimney swifts tend to return to the same nesting spots year after year, which is why installing a chimney cap is so important to keep these birds from coming back to your chimney in the spring.

How Does a Chimney Cap Protect Chimney Swifts and Other Wildlife from Entering My Chimney?

A chimney cap is equipped with sides of metal mesh screening that keeps birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals from being able to come into your chimney. When looking at chimney caps, be sure the mesh is small enough to keep birds and animals out while still having large enough spaces for the dangerous and toxic by-products of combustion to escape out of your chimney.

What Are Other Benefits of a Chimney Cap?

One of the most important reasons to install a chimney cap is to protect your chimney from damaging water penetration. If water gets into the masonry work of your chimney, it can cause potential devastating and expensive damage to the structure of your chimney. Chimney caps also help to increase draft in windy locations and to extend the life of your chimney crown or chase cover by keeping rain and snow from collecting on top, which can cause erosion damage.

What Types of Chimney Caps Does Old Hat Chimney Service Sell and Install?

We offer chimney caps made from stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized steel, and copper. We recommend stainless steel chimney caps as they are the most durable and resist rusting and corrosion. Professional installation of chimney caps is essential to ensure your cap fits correctly on top of your chimney. Another option you have is a top-sealing damper that acts as both a chimney cap and a damper.

Need to install a chimney cap to keep the chimney swifts from returning to your home in the spring? Contact Old Hat Chimney Service today to talk with our staff about picking out the best chimney cap for you.

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Spalling: How Cold Winter Temperatures Affect Your Chimney

Chimney Spaling Damage - Atlanta GA - Old Hat Chimney ServiceOver time, the exterior bricks and mortar of your masonry chimney are going to naturally suffer weather-related damage no matter how well-built your chimney may be. Not only do older chimneys experience deterioration, newer masonry chimneys can also show signs of damage if they are not properly maintained. The biggest signs of masonry decay include cracks, holes, and broken bricks and mortar, All of these signs are symptoms of spalling, a term we at Old Hat Chimney Service often have to explain to customers. We would like to take an opportunity to tell you more about the causes, impact, and repair of chimney spalling damage and how cold winters lead to spalling.

What exactly is spalling?

Spalling is the chipping off or loss of surface of any masonry material, including a brick chimney, a masonry block chimney, or even concrete sidewalks. You are most likely with how potholes appear on roads after a snow or ice storm; that is a perfect example of spalling damage.

What causes spalling?

The biggest enemies of a masonry chimney are water exposure and penetration, and these things have a lot to do with spalling. With the most severe damage occurring in colder climates, the freeze-thaw process causes major spalling deterioration. When water leaks into the bricks and mortar of your chimney, that trapped water will freeze in cold temperatures and expand. As the temperatures rise and the ice thaws, parts of those bricks and mortar will break off completely because of the stress of the expansion. Each time this cycle repeats in a season, the more spalling occurs, and eventually, structural damage to your chimney can result.

Other than structural damage, are there other impacts of chimney spalling?

Yes, besides structural damage to your chimney, spalling can cause bricks to fall into your chimney and cause a hazardous flue blockage. Your flue should always be inspected when your chimney suffers from spalling damage. Additionally, holes left in your chimney structure from lost bricks and mortar increase the opportunity for more water leaks, which leads to more costly damages.

How can spalling be repaired?

If the damage is not too serious, the expert masons at Old Hat Chimney Service can fill in the holes, brick by brick. In the worst case scenario such as your chimney suffering severe spalling damage, we will need to tear it down to a sound level and rebuild. When a flue has also suffered damage, rebuilding the chimney allows for new flue tiles to be installed.

How can I prevent spalling? 

Keeping water out is the main key to prevent spalling damage. To stop water leaks, you should be sure you do not have a damaged or missing chimney crown or chimney cap. Damaged flashing also leads to water penetration of your masonry chimney. Our certified technicians at Old Hat Chimney Service can inspect, repair, and install all three of these essential components of your chimney. We can also apply a 100% vapor-permeable waterproofing formula to further protect your masonry from water-caused spalling damage.

If you have noticed signs of spalling on your chimney, contact Old Hat Chimney Service today. Our masons will take care of your chimney and give their full attention to any damage done.

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Start Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen and Fireplace Now

Outdoor Kitchen and Fireplace Planning - Atlanta GA - Old Hat Chimney ServiceDespite this historically cold winter we have experienced in the Atlanta area, spring is on its way. If you are thinking of adding an outdoor kitchen or fireplace to your home, now is the best time to plan your dreams of increasing your outdoor living space. At Old Hat Chimney Service, not only do we clean and repair chimneys, but we can also build an outdoor kitchen and fireplace to suit every need and fit every budget. If you have always dreamed of having an outdoor kitchen, we wanted to share with you some planning tips from HGTV that can help you get started planning this project now.

QUESTION YOURSELF

When you begin planning your outdoor living space, think about what you want and need from your outdoor kitchen and entertainment needs. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How often will I entertain or cook outside?
  • What are my grill options? Propane, natural gas, or charcoal?
  • What foods do I want to cook outside? (Pizza oven anyone?)
  • What do I want to store in my outdoor kitchen? Grilling tools, plates, entertainment equipment?
  • Do I want my outdoor kitchen to include a dining and entertainment area?
  • Would I like to be able to wash my hands and/or dishes outside?
  • Will I need a space for a refrigerator?
  • Do I want my outdoor kitchen to be close to the house or a separate space?

DECIDE ON THE LOCATION FOR YOUR OUTDOOR KITCHEN

The majority of our customers at Old Hat Chimney Service choose to place their new outdoor kitchen next to their homes. Your house provides a natural shelter as the walls of your house will protect your appliances from the sun and wind. It is also very simple to extend a roof overhang to protect your outdoor kitchen from rain and snow. For those on a strict budget, it is much less expensive to run utility lines from a home to the outdoor kitchen. However, you may want to place your outdoor kitchen further away from your house, especially if you are considering building a fully-equipped kitchen. No matter where you decide to build your new outdoor living space, you should be sure to check your local building codes to see what exactly you can and cannot do. Our staff at Old Hat Chimney Service are well aware with local building codes and can help you with these details.

CHOOSE YOUR OUTDOOR KITCHEN LAYOUT

Once you have decided on its location, you can begin to plan exactly how you want your outdoor kitchen to look. Similar to indoor kitchen layouts, your outdoor kitchen configuration will depend on its site, how much space you have, your cooking style, and your budget. While you can choose a straight line kitchen built up against a wall or a U-shaped layout that mimics an indoor kitchen, you can also consider an outdoor kitchen island. A natural entertaining gathering spot, an outdoor kitchen island combines all of your cooking appliances into one area. Old Hat Chimney Service can also build an outdoor fireplace to add warmth and beauty to the outdoor dining area. Our customers have truly enjoyed being able to relax or entertain outside in front of a roaring fire.

Ready to start planning your dream outdoor kitchen and/or fireplace area? Contact us at Old Hat Chimney Service to consult with our staff about getting started with your plans.

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