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Chimney Repair in Levittown, PA 19054

Chimney 101: Different Types of Chimneys, Different Fireplace Components, and Chimney Servicing Near Me

Are you looking for “chimney servicing near me” in Levittown, PA, but know nothing about chimney and fireplace maintenance? To start, you should learn about the different types of chimneys and the different components of one.

This will help you describe the conditions of your chimney or fireplace to a professional before they come to your home in Bucks County for a chimney repair, cleaning, or inspection. Furthermore, this article will include some of the costs to repair and replace parts of a chimney or fireplace, according to estimates made by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

Many chimney sweep businesses will offer a variety of chimney repairs and installations for all the components of a chimney, including Apex Air Duct Cleaning & Chimney Services in Bucks County. Start here to educate yourself before wasting time looking for “chimney servicing near me!”

Components of a Fireplace and Chimney

Fireplace Hearth

The hearth of the fireplace is the square chamber where the fire sits. If it is a traditional log fire, this is where the fire burns. This area needs to be cleaned to prevent the buildup of ash and dust and inspected for cracks in the panels or the chimney repair cost could go up.

According to the CSIA, the panels in the hearth need to be replaced when there are cracks big enough to fit a dime into. The estimated cost to replace refractory panels is $450-$650.

Grate, Doors, and Walls

The walls of the hearth are sometimes lined with refractory panels that will reflect heat back into the interior of the building. The grate is the wire rack that holds the logs, so they do not sit directly on the floor of the hearth – it is easily removable when the hearth needs to be cleaned. The doors provide a barrier between the fire and the rest of the room and can be opened to add more fuel to the fire.

Smoke Chamber and Fire Damper

The smoke chamber is a cone-shaped area above the hearth which directs smoke from the fire up into the main chimney. It can be closed off with the fire damper, a small flap that opens to allow smoke to leave the building and closes to prevent cold air from coming in. A damper installation should cost between $200 and $600.

Chimney Flue and Liner

The chimney flue is the tunnel-like component through which smoke travels upwards – it is difficult to inspect and clean, requiring a scoping camera for inspection and a flue brush for cleaning. The flue is lined with material that protects the rest of the building from the heat and dangerous chimney fires. Resurfacing a flue typically costs about $2,000-$5,000 while relining or replacing a flue will cost $900-$11,000.

Chimney Flashing

Chimney flashing is a waterproof seal that is found in the space where the chimney meets the roof. It is intended to protect the chimney from moisture that will lead to further damage. Flashing repair should cost $200-$1,500 while flashing replacement costs roughly $300-$2,500. If you want to provide additional protection to your chimney from the elements, sealing and waterproofing costs $150-1,000.

Chimney Stack and Chimney Cap

The exterior part of the chimney as it extends from the roof is called the chimney stack – it is traditionally made of bricks but can be made of other materials for different styles. The chimney cap is a covering over the outside of the chimney to prevent elements, debris, and animals from entering your home. Repairing a leaning chimney will cost $700-$15,000, while a cap replacement costs $200-$2,000.

Different Types of Fireplaces and Chimneys

Chimney Servicing Near Me in Levittown, PA

Traditional Wood-burning Fireplace

A wood-burning fireplace is a classic example where logs are burned in the fireplace hearth to warm the interior in a building. The choice of styles may be slightly more limited than a synthetic fireplace since safety is the most important thing with burning fireplaces. First and foremost, you must have sturdy doors to prevent the rest of the room from igniting.

Electric Fireplace

An electric fireplace doesn’t burn wood or gas – it is merely a heater designed to mimic a fireplace. This makes it much easier to clean and there are far fewer safety concerns since there are no fires that could accidentally spread to the rest of the house or ash and smoke that will cause dangerous buildup. Additionally, there are many different styles to choose from and they are much cheaper.

Gas Fireplace

Like a would fireplace, gas fireplace burns real flame using propane, but causes much less mess than burning wood. However, this fireplace must still be cleaned and maintained often to prevent accidents. For example, a malfunctioning gas fireplace could cause carbon monoxide to spread into your home. If you have any reason to believe something is wrong with your fireplace, contact a professional immediately!

Masonry Chimney

A masonry chimney is made up of bricks and mortar for similar material for a classic look on the outside of your house. Even if you have something other than a masonry fireplace inside your home, you could have a brick chimney outside for a stylish exterior. Masonry chimneys are the most efficient – they will ensure as much heat as possible is reflected into your home.

Metal Chimney

Metal chimneys are cheaper than masonry ones but provide a simpler look. However, there are many to choose from, so it is possible to find something that complements the exterior of your home. Additionally, metal chimneys are more flexible and there are fewer construction constraints; one of the concerns with masonry chimneys is that they will be too heavy for the roof to support. However, metal chimneys are much lighter.

Learning More

Before you return to scouring the internet for “chimney servicing near me” in Bucks County, if you want to learn more about your options for chimneys and fireplaces and what it takes to maintain them, contact the pros at Apex Air Duct Cleaning & Chimney Services in Levittown, PA. We are a locally owned business dedicated to serving our community and offer the best chimney repairs in Levittown, PA; call Apex Air Duct Cleaning & Chimney Services at 215-608-2442 to get started on your next home improvement project today!

Some information about Levittown, PA

Levittown (L-Town) is a census-designated place (CDP) and planned community in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States, within the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The population was 52,983 at the 2010 census. It is 40 feet (12 m) above sea level. Though not a municipality, it is sometimes recognized as the largest suburb of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. Starting with land purchased in 1951, it was planned and built by Levitt & Sons. The brothers William Levitt and architect Alfred Levitt designed its six typical houses.

The majority of the land on which it is built was purchased in 1951. Levitt and Sons only built six models of houses in Levittown, all single-family dwellings with lawns: the Levittowner, the Rancher, the Jubilee, the Pennsylvanian, the Colonial and the Country Clubber, with only modest exterior variations within each model. The homes were moderately priced and required only a low down payment. Construction of Levittown began in February 1952, soon after completion of Levittown, New York, located on Long Island. Levittown, Pennsylvania was the second ‘Levittown’ built by William J. Levitt, who is often credited as the creator of the modern American suburb. To speed up construction, Levitt & Sons perfected a 26-step rationalized building method that was essentially an assembly line type of home building. The house remained stationary, while the construction workers moved from house to house. Each worker had one task such as pouring slabs, framing, installing electric sockets or installing washing machines. This highly regimented process enabled Levitt’s workers to produce a finished house every 16 minutes. Construction of the homes commenced in 1952 and when completed in 1958, 17,311 homes were built.

What set Levittown apart from other developments at the time was that it was built as a complete community. Levitt & Sons designed neighborhoods with traffic-calming curvilinear roads, in which there were no four-way intersections. Each neighborhood had within its boundaries a site donated by Levitt & Sons for a public elementary school. Locations for churches and other public facilities were set aside on main thoroughfares such as the Levittown Parkway, likewise donated by the builder to religious groups and other organizations. Other amenities included Olympic-sized public pools, parks, ‘greenbelts’, baseball fields and playgrounds, and a shopping center located in neighboring Tullytown borough that was considered large and modern at the time of its construction (and in fact was the largest east of the Mississippi). The first set of four sample homes were put on display in a swatch of land near the future Levittown Shop-a-Rama, and an estimated 30,000 people viewed them in that first weekend.

Aerial view of Levittown circa 1959

Residents (who are sometimes called Levittowners) were first expected to comply with a lengthy list of rules and regulations regarding the upkeep of their homes and use of their property. Two of these ‘rules’ included a prohibition on hanging laundry out to dry on Sunday and not allowing homeowners to fence off their yards. These proved unenforceable over time, particularly when backyard pools became financially accessible to the working class and privacy concerns drove many to fence off their yards. In the years since Levitt & Sons ended construction, three- and four-story ‘garden apartments’ and a number of non-Levitt owner-occupied houses have been built in Levittown.

Learn more about Levittown.

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