Weekly Update: Water and Ice Damage

Hello Everyone,

Now that Spring is here, pay close attention to the masonry features of your home. After this intense freeze and thaw cycle of the past winter, there may be structural, and non-structural masonry that needs repair and/or replacement. Did you ever wonder why so many solid masonry structures receive as much damage as they do during the winter in our region? Here is one typical condition; Frost Heave.

Frost heaving (or a frost heave) results from ice forming beneath the surface of soil during freezing conditions in the atmosphere. The ice grows in the direction of heat loss (vertically toward the surface), starting at the freezing front or boundary in the soil. It requires a water supply to keep feeding the ice crystal growth; and the growing ice is restrained by overlying soil, which applies a load that limits its vertical growth and promotes the formation of a lens-shaped area of ice within the soil. Yet the force of one or more growing ice lenses is sufficient to lift a layer of soil, as much as 30 cm or more. The soil through which water passes to feed the formation of ice lenses must be sufficiently porous to allow capillary action, yet not so porous as to break capillary continuity. Such soil is referred to as “frost susceptible.” The growth of ice lenses continually consumes the rising water at the freezing front. Differential frost heaving can crack pavements—contributing to springtime pothole formation—and damage building foundations.

Frost heave effects masonry above ground in walls, chimneys, parapets, brick and stone pointing, stucco facing, and any other masonry, especially porous, and soft stone, or areas already showing signs of distress.

Here are a few pictures of water damaged, frost heaved masonry.

When water migrated into this brick walkway the retaining border, which is set in cement separated due to frost heave expansion.

When water migrated into this brick walkway the retaining border, which is set in cement separated due to frost heave expansion.

A common area where structural integrity is a must, the steps on a walk way to the entrance of a house. Water and ice will pop the brick up over time.

A common area where structural integrity is a must, the steps on a walk way to the entrance of a house. Water and ice will pop the brick up over time.

Once water gets into this block work and stucco, it breaks the entire structure down, leaving a very unsafe condition.

Once water gets into this block work and stucco, it breaks the entire structure down, leaving a very unsafe condition.

When water gets into your chimney top, it pushes and expands the masonry breaking it apart.

When water gets into your chimney top, it pushes and expands the masonry breaking it apart.

If concrete is not placed with the proper control joints, frost heave and mother nature will have it's way.

If concrete is not placed with the proper control joints, frost heave and mother nature will have it’s way.

When water migrates behind stucco facing, it will separate the stucco facing from the  masonry wall. I literally pulled 1 ton of stucco facing off with one tug!

When water migrates behind stucco facing, it will separate the stucco facing from the masonry wall. I literally pulled 1 ton of stucco facing off with one tug!

Weekly Update: Chimney Relines

Hello Everyone,

Chimneys often need relining due to multiple reasons. A very common problem effecting home owners is installing new, high efficient heating systems into existing masonry chimneys. The industry is now coming to realize through scientific consensus that masonry chimney linings are not capable of withstanding acidic flue gases produced by high efficient heating appliances.

Here is a job with pictures performed this past week that involved a standard chimney reline for an oil heating system. Thanks again for following us, and hold the tools with pride!

-Jon

We keep the work space organized and protected.

We keep the work space organized and protected.

 

This is the chimney base where the flue gases are drawn and vented properly through the termination/chimney top.

This is the chimney base where the flue gases are drawn and vented properly through the termination/chimney top.

This photo was captured during the installation process. The chimney liner will be shortened, supported and chimney capped.

This photo was captured during the installation process. The chimney liner will be shortened, supported and chimney capped.

This picture shows a chimney top after installation of the new flue liner.

This picture shows a chimney top after installation of the new flue liner.

This "flex liner" will navigate through an existing masonry chimney from top to bottom.

This “flex liner” will navigate through an existing masonry chimney from top to bottom.

The chimney connection consists of various components depending on heater/appliance type(s). This particular system with a "quick connect"  allows a non-invasive method of installation.

The chimney connection consists of various components depending on heater/appliance type(s). This particular system with a “quick connect” allows a non-invasive method of installation.

Looking up through the chimney to investigate prior to install.

Looking up through the chimney to investigate prior to install.

Our systems are fabricated with quality, stainless steel components.

Our systems are fabricated with quality, stainless steel components.

 

Weekly Update: Chimney and Stove Maintenance

Hello Everyone,

Here is a sweep and stove maintenance job performed this week with pics and descriptions!

Hold the tools with pride!

A stove pipe damper will close off the air flow of the chimney. After a fire is completely out all dampers and air inlets can be closed for extended heat/dwell time of your wood burning appliance.

A stove pipe damper will close off the air flow of the chimney. After a fire is completely out all dampers and air inlets can be closed for extended heat/dwell time of your wood burning appliance.

All working parts On the stove were cleaned, and checked to make sure they work properly.

All working parts On the stove were cleaned, and checked to make sure they work properly.

All connections were checked, and fasteners replaced if needed.

All connections were checked, and fasteners replaced if needed.

After Sweep

After Sweep

This wood stove has a metal chimney rated specifically for this use. It has two layers of insulated pipe that goes through the ceilings and roof. These are popular due to low cost compared to a traditional masonry chimney.

This wood stove has a metal chimney rated specifically for this use. It has two layers of insulated pipe that goes through the ceilings and roof. These are popular due to low cost compared to a traditional masonry chimney.

We keep all the soot contained as best as possible. The positive pressure from the chimney will often suck the dust right up during a sweep. We have a hepa filter vacuum too!

We keep all the soot contained as best as possible. The positive pressure from the chimney will often suck the dust right up during a sweep. We have a hepa filter vacuum too!

A stove pipe damper will close off the air flow of the chimney. After a fire is completely out all dampers and air inlets can be closed for extended heat/dwell time of your wood burning appliance.

A stove pipe damper will close off the air flow of the chimney. After a fire is completely out all dampers and air inlets can be closed for extended heat/dwell time of your wood burning appliance.

Chimney Reline

Looking up through a clean out/ inspection outlet in a typical stainless steel flexible flue liner install.

Looking up through a clean out/ inspection outlet in a typical stainless steel flexible flue liner install.

The chimney flue components vary depending on application. This application uses a bottom unit with an outlet for the oil heater exhaust, and an inspection/ clean out outlet for easy access.

The chimney flue components vary depending on application. This application uses a bottom unit with an outlet for the oil heater exhaust, and an inspection/ clean out outlet for easy access.

 

 

Stainless steel flexible flue liner installed through the chimney from top down to base.

Stainless steel flexible flue liner installed through the chimney from top down to base.

The chimney cap offers excellent protection from weather and animals, plus catches embers/sparks.

The chimney cap offers excellent protection from weather and animals, plus catches embers/sparks.

Typically the chimney/flue base is accessed through the masonry wall of the chimney, then sealed with masonry to a professional detail.

Typically the chimney/flue base is accessed through the masonry wall of the chimney, then sealed with masonry to a professional detail.

Spring Is Right Around The Corner!

Hello Everyone!

With this little weekend “sunfest” we’ve been having, I’m thinking more and more of scheduled projects I have this Spring. If you have a project you want, or need done this Spring A.S.A.P. call for and estimate now! Also, if you have an interior project  such as basement repair, plastering schedule it this winter in time to receive a promotional labor discount!

Thanks again for checking in!

- Jon

Ready to Build and Upgrade your Fireplace?

 

 

 

Hello Everyone!

Old Man winter has hit us hard so far. I am always thinking of ways to surpass my customers expectations on their restorations and builds. Dealing with older properties  I’m constantly trying to approve upon existing masonry designs that may have been flawed when built the first time around. It’s what I do! This last fireplace/firebox restoration I performed turned out with great results! And remember, we offer standard fireplace restoration and building, but also custom designs like the one presented. A quality full restoration of a fireplace system is generally half the price of a newly built fireplace. So, if you can take advantage of using an old fireplace and converting it into a modernized, higher efficient wood burning system, do it!

Check it out!

Owner, Lead Mechanic Jonathan Madle on site to make sure the job is going well.

Owner, Lead Mechanic Jonathan Madle.                                                                                                            “Hold the tools with pride!”  ~Jon

This 85+ yr old fireplace has seen its better days. Part of the restoration process includes relining the fireplace with new firebrick.

This 85+ yr old fireplace has seen its better days. Part of the restoration process includes relining the fireplace with new firebrick.

 

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The existing firebox and inner hearth floor was removed completely.

The existing firebox and inner hearth floor was removed completely.

Fireboxes need to expand when heated. If applicable, we can offer a radiant barrier with insulation behind the firebox for maximum heat retention, and upgraded efficiency. This also allows the firebox to expand when heated.

Fireboxes need to expand when heated. If applicable, we can offer a radiant barrier with insulation behind the firebox for maximum heat retention, and upgraded efficiency. This also allows the firebox to expand freely as needed when heated. Generally, fireboxes are non-structural, and should not be bonded to adjacent structural masonry.

Most fireboxes can be built with different size, color, and patterns of firebrick. This paticular design is a "herringbone" red firebrick. This pattern is extremely strong, and presents an adorned aesthetic to itself and surroundings.

Most fireboxes can be built with different size, color, and patterns of firebrick. This paticular design is a “herringbone” red firebrick. This pattern is extremely strong, and presents an adorned aesthetic to itself and surroundings.

We do our best to feather in the details. Standard quality materials and applications help things fall into place.

We do our best to feather in the details. Standard quality materials and applications help things fall into place. All Materials used are listed as “refractory” high heat materials. The brick, mortar, and insulation/radiant barrier is all fireplace specific.

Hold the tools with pride!

-Jon

 

 

“Salting” Your Masonry Walks and Driveways

Hello Everyone!

Remember! Masonry reacts with many de-Icing agents you may be using this winter. If you want your masonry to last, use a non-invasive de-icing agent commonly found at your home store.

We know that safety is priority, so you can have your new and existing masonry sealed with a quality corrosion resistant treatment to help combat breakdown. Call us to find out more!

Thanks Again!

Jon H&H

Get More Heat From Your Fireplace!

Hello Everyone! Here are a few ways to get your fireplace running to boost more heat, extract and store more energy(heat) from your wood fire, and help reduce the negative environmental impact from burning wood!  And remember, We build and upgrade fireplaces that reach 80% efficiency with outstanding dwell time that can heat a home, bake/cook, produce hot water, and warm you and your bones with heated benches, steps, walls, floors, you name it! Masonry Heat is the best! – Jon

 

This heater Keeps the entire home warm at variable temps depending on firing rates.

This heater Keeps the entire home warm with two fires a day. The bake oven reaches 450 degrees and works very well. 10 times the efficiency of a standard american fireplace.

Properly sizing a chimney for your wood burning appliance is a must. Without the proper size flue lining, the fireplace will not work as it should.

Properly sizing a chimney for your wood burning appliance is a must. Without the proper size flue lining, the fireplace will not work as it should.

 A  closed door fire with a gauged fresh air intake will allow the proper amount of air into your fire for proper combustion rates.

A closed door fire with a gauged fresh air intake will allow the right amount of air into your fire for proper combustion rates, extending fire/dwell times.

 

Utilizing a fresh air intake will stabilize draft and further increase combustion rates extracting more energy(heat) from your fuel. Efficiency boost and healthier for your living space, and mother nature!

Utilizing a fresh air intake will stabilize draft and further increase combustion rates extracting more energy(heat) from your fuel. Efficiency boost and healthier for your living space, and mother nature!

A  baffle redirects the flow/draft in your fireplace so the heat is contained, and absorbed to be used as radiant energy within the masonry walls. A damper will regulate the draft to lessen , or increase heat transfer.

 

A  baffle redirects the flow/draft in your fireplace so the heat is contained, and absorbed to be used as radiant energy within the masonry walls. A damper will regulate the draft to lessen , or increase heat transfer.

 

 

A top mount damper keeps heat in the chimney and fireplace, and all outside elements(cold, rain...).  It can be adjusted with a pull chord to any position to regulate draft/heat.

A top mount damper keeps heat in the chimney and fireplace, and all outside elements(cold, rain…) out.
It can be adjusted with a pull chord to any position to regulate draft/heat transfer.

When Restoring Fireplaces, Insulating around the outside of the firebox and fireplace components increases heat dwell time, and gasification/ completing combustion of fuel.

When Restoring Fireplaces, Insulating around the outside of the firebox and fireplace components increases heat dwell time, gasification and completing combustion of fuel.

Artisan Showcase, Jesse Pham!

Hi, I am Jesse Pham. For the past 13 years, I have been a ceramist at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. I am also an artist as well. Inspired by the tiles that I have been fotunate to create at the tile works, I have begun to create my own tiles. 

 

 

Jesse Pham Artist and Ceramist/Designer and Installer www.JessePhamArts.com

If you would like to see something in person, or interested in an original, please contact me at www.JessePhamArts.com, or click on the link located on the Home and Hearth Masonry website.

“What is a Masonry Heater?” , an article provided by the Masonry Heater Association of North America

What is a Masonry Heater?

A masonry heater allows you to heat your home with wood in a unique way.

The main thing that distinguishes a masonry heater is the ability to store a large amount of heat. This means that you can rapidly burn a large charge of wood without overheating your house. The heat is stored in the masonry thermal mass, and then slowly radiates into your house for the next 18 to 24 hours.

If you burn wood fairly rapidly, it is a clean fuel. If you try to burn it too slowly, the fire will change from flaming to smoldering combustion. The burning process is incomplete and produces tars. Atmospheric pollution increases dramatically. This is important if you are planning an energy-efficient house. The average energy demand of your house will be quite low. For most of the time, it may require only 1 to 2 kW of heat. For most conventional woodstoves, this is below their “critical burn rate”, or the point where they start to smolder.

Masonry heaters fill the bill perfectly. If you need even a very small amount of heat, such as between seasons when you simply want to take off the chill, you simply burn a smaller fuel charge–yet you still burn it quickly. The large surface is never too hot to touch. You have a premium radiant heating system with a comfort level that simply cannot be equaled by convection or forced air systems.