• What is a refractory panel?

    Refractories are an important part of a prefabricated metal fireplace system that protect the sheetmetal walls of a fireplace. These can be damaged by overuse or overfiring the fireplace, or logs hitting the rear of the fireplace, etc. According to all manufacturers, if they have hairline cracking, they are still doing their job, so no need to replace them.

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  • Are you certified?

    Yes. We are currently certified by both the F.I.R.E. Service and the NFI.

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  • Can I buy gas log sets from you?

    Yes. We carry the Formation Creation and Hargrove gas log lines. We can also help point you in the right direction for the type of fireplace you have. For more information, please see our Gas Logs section.

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  • Do I have to buy my gas log set from you?

    Absolutely not, however, we highly recommend you consult with us prior to purchasing gas logs from a “big box store” (such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc). It is quite common that gas logs purchased from a large retailer will not properly fit your fireplace. Many times, the burner pans on these sets are much too deep for the shallow prefabricated systems.

    Our gas logs are designed to fit even shallow fireboxes. It is always disappointing to the customer, and to our technician, when an install of the customer’s gas logs doesn’t work out and we have to schedule an additional appointment. This can be quite an inconvenience especially in the busy season when you have already waited several weeks for an appointment to begin with.

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  • Do you carry insurance?

    Yes. We carry auto, liability and workers compensation insurances.

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  • Do you work on weekends?

    Occasionally we will open our schedule on a Saturday. The best way to find out if we have a Saturday available is to call our office and check the schedule.

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  • How did my chimney become disconnected?

    There are many reasons this can happen. At times, it could be a construction defect, or installer error. Other times, the flue may have shifted in an earthquake, or a metal strap supporting a bend in the system could have failed. There are also instances where a chimney sweep unfamiliar with prefabricated metal fireplace systems may have disconnected the flue in the process of cleaning the flue, or removing the cap. In any of these cases, we are extremely knowledgeable and trained in repairs for getting your fireplace back to how it was intended.

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  • How do I know if my dryer vent needs to be cleaned?

    If you are noticing a longer drying time, it may be time to have the vent swept. Other signs include the dryer overheating, condensation present or excessive lint around the dryer area. If you let it go too long, it can be a fire hazard, as well as a large expense to repair your dryer. Your dryer is equipped with a fuse, which will disengage the heating element in your appliance when overheated. If this happens, not only will you need to service the dryer vent, you will also need an appliance technician to repair the dryer. Many customers over the years have replaced their dryer unnecessarily as well. It could be that you just may need a dryer vent sweep.

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  • How messy is a chimney sweep?

    Well that’s very good question. The answer is not at all! Our equipment has multiple filters to catch all of the fine particles coming from your chimney. We also cover up our entire workspace. There is no need to worry about clouds of soot, or muddy footprints left in your home. We will treat it like our own.

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  • I hear water inside my chimney.

    Most commonly in pre-fabricated (metal) units, this can point to a problem with the chase cover, which covers the opening of the chimney at the exterior. If left untreated, this could lead to extensive corrosion damage to the fireplace and require it’s replacement. There can also be other sources of water intrusion, which we can diagnose in an inspection.
    With masonry chimneys, the source of leaking can be the lack of a proper rain cap, a cracked crown, loose or missing mortar joints, among others. In both cases, preventative maintenance can save you a large expense down the road.

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  • I think I have a birds nest (or beehive) in my fireplace. Can you help me?

    In these instances, if you have live critters, animal control or an exterminator will need to be called out to take care of the problem. Make sure your service person follows CA code and does not install any mesh smaller than 5/8″ to deter future pests and/or intruders. If there are no live critters (once an exterminator has neutralized the hive, or animals have left/been removed), we can sweep the chimney to try and remove any birds nests or bee hives. That being said, we are not able to remove honey. Whatever comes off on our brushes is the most we can remove. It can be quite a sticky situation!

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  • My flue/damper won’t work/close.

    If you have gas logs (or decorative glass, rocks, etc.) installed in your fireplace, this is not an uncommon problem. Per uniform building code requirements, when there is gas plumbed to a fireplace a damper clamp must be installed to keep your damper from closing. If the gas line is capped off and no log lighter is installed, then is permitted to be functional.

    Another common problem with dampers is that they become stuck or frozen into position. In such cases, lubrication can be helpful.

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  • My house fills with smoke when I use my fireplace.

    There are many reasons for a smoking chimney and/or fireplace. Visit our Got Smoke? tips page for more information.

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  • The brick inside my fireplace is cracking. How do I know when it needs to be replaced?

    For prefabs, most manufacturers will differ on when it should be replaced. However, the general rule of thumb is if you can fit the width of a dime into it the crack, you need to arrange for a certified technician to come out and inspect for possible replacement. Even in masonry fireplaces, some cracking is normal and we will help you determine when it requires maintenance or repair.

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  • What is a chase cover?

    A chase cover is a part of a prefabricated metal fireplace system that covers the top of the chimney chase. Imagine an upside down cookie sheet with a hole in the middle. This protects your chase construction from water intrusion. Many times chase covers are installed in such a way that allows water to pool, eventually causing the cover to rust through. It also happens just being near the coast in salty air. We can replace these parts and install them properly to allow the water to run off, and alleviate some that possibility for rust damage.

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  • When I flip the gas switch, nothing happens (or the flame is low).

    In this instance, we recommend that you call a gas fireplace specialist to come out and inspect your unit.

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  • Where can I find my fireplace make and model?

    Manufacturers place a tag on the interior of the fireplace with the make, model (a combination of letters and numbers like TLC 42-3 or RD3800), and miscellaneous information about your specific fireplace. This information is very important when it comes to finding replacement parts.

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  • Why do I need my fireplace inspected or serviced if I only use gas logs?

    If you notice a lot of carbon build up, or you’re not sure if your logs are safe, we can help make sure things are installed properly. Regardless of if you burn wood or gas, your fireplace system as a whole should still be inspected regularly. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), Chimneys, “fireplaces and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance and repairs shall be done if necessary.” Preventative maintenance is always the best policy.

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  • Why does the cost for a chimney sweep vary so much between companies?

    The cost of a chimney sweep will vary by experience. A company who is certified will typically charge more for their services because they have been tested and passed qualifying exams that keep them up to date on relevant issues and code compliance.

    In addition, some companies are licensed contractors and carry full liability insurance. There are only a few that carry these additional credentials and it is important to verify certifications, credentials, and licenses. This information can, in most cases, be verified on the internet.

    Here at Burnie Fireplace Services, we find it extremely important to be knowledgable and apprised of all the current codes and requirements pertaining to fireplaces. These codes are in place for your protection and for the safety of your family. We absolutely have your peace and comfort in mind.

    There is no regulation in the hearth industry holding chimney sweeps and other fireplace technicians to any standard. The industry has found a way to separate out those who desire to provide knowledgeable service to their customers. Being certified is one way to determine who has at least attempted to service their customers professionally and with fireplace knowledge to back it up.

    In every industry, there are many companies who may charge less for an initial service call or inspection, and in turn make up for it on the repair end. We do not ever recommend repairs if they are not needed. Period. We always suggest that you save yourself some money if possible and not do things that aren’t necessary. We are a family run company and can appreciate the value of being frugal but not being cheap. There is a difference!

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  • Why would I want a log lighter?

    A log lighter can be useful to help you light your wood. If you haven’t had your proper boy/girl scout training, this can be a harder task than you think. You will still need to manually light the log lighter with a long match or barbeque lighter, but you can easily shut it off with the gas key when finished.

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  • Will you go on my roof?

    Yes. In order to fully inspect your fireplace system, we must access the top as well. If your fireplace is serviced without having the top inspected, we would be doing you a disservice. There are many things we look for to make sure your fireplace is up to par, and not in need of repair. None of them should be overlooked if at all possible. There are some situations in which we may refer you to another local fireplace technician if we feel we would not be able to adequately service your fireplace.

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