Posts Tagged ‘chimney’


Santa List Day: Last Minute Tricks to Get Off Santa’s Naughty List

Friday, December 4th, 2015


“He’s making a list and checking it twice. He’s going to find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa Claus is comin’ to town.” Today is Santa List Day, the day in which Santa makes the first draft of his Nice or Naughty list. Have you been not so nice this year, somewhere in between naughty and nice, or (more likely) you’ve been solidly okay and know that you could have accomplished so much more?


No matter what Santa brings you this Christmas, the sting of guilt, regret, or unworthiness can make even the new Coldplay album and surround-sound feel like a lump of coal. Here’s what you can do to get on Santa’s good side, or at least feel better about yourself, just in time for Christmas. No milk or cookies required.

1.    Finish that “To Do” List

Show St. Nick that you’re not a liar, that you really do keep your promises. Now, go fix the kitchen sink. You don’t want Santa to see that you’ve been procrastinating.

2.    Clean Up

Clean the house. Not just put things away and organize, but actually clean. Break out the all-purpose cleaner and old toothbrushes. Scrub the bathroom tiles; scour the grout. Santa should be able to eat his cookies and milk right off the floor!

3.    Rake/Shovel the Sidewalk for Your Neighbors

Go out there and help somebody, more specifically your neighbor. Rake their leaves or, if it’s already snowing, shovel some snow for them. Let Santa know that like him you like to help others; and maybe those you’ve helped will express their thanks with an extra stocking stuffer this year.

4.    Donate Old Coats

Now that you’ve organized your home, go ahead and donate those coats, scarves, hats, and gloves that you don’t wear anymore. Help someone in need like St. Nick would.

5.    Decorate Your Home

It’s time for you to get festive and let Santa know that you’ve been awaiting his arrival. Put up the tree, throw tinsel on the staircase, and do it all while having a jolly good time. Ho, ho, ho!

6.    Buy a Snow Rake

If you live in a frigid environment, one in which it’s guaranteed to snow for Christmas, then buy a snow rake. It’ll help protect your roof from caving in because of the weight of the snow as well as ensure Santa has a safe landing in order to deliver your gifts.

7.    Clean Chimney/Fireplace

Santa can’t deliver the goods if he can’t get down the chimney. Here’s some tips on how to clean your fireplace and what can happen if you don’t.

8.    Write Apology Letters

Break out the stationary and try to correct your mistakes. That’s what Santa would do. If the letters don’t work, you can at least say that you tried.

9.    Invite Guests to Holiday Dinner/Party

Spread the holiday spirit and host a holiday dinner or party. It would be especially thoughtful of you to invite those who would least expect it.

10. Forgive Yourself

No one is perfect, and you’ve probably had more good days than bad over the last 360 odd days. So, be thankful for what you have, appreciate who you are, and continue to do your best for the rest of the year and into the future.

Overwhelmed by all that you need to do to make a strong finish out of the year? Give us a call and let us find you some help, whether you need a maid, handyman, or party planner; TalkLocal connects you the right pros by phone in minutes!

How to Estimate Your Chimney Repair Costs

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

How to Estimate Your Chimney Repair Costs - Handyman

Chimneys are very useful, but they need regular cleaning, otherwise they can be very dangerous. Chimneys eliminate toxic gases from your house if they are in good condition. Unfortunately, they are not invulnerable. In order to save you time and money, all you have to do is have them inspected and cleaned once per year. If need be, you might have to repair them.

How Can You Keep Your Chimney Working Properly?

If you want your chimney to serve you as it should, you need to check and repair it on a regular basis. First of all, to find out if it needs any repairs, you need to clean it. You can do this yourself or you can ask a professional to do it for you.

How Can You Estimate Your Chimney Repair Costs?

If you’re not a do-it-yourself person and decide to pay a professional to do the job, remember that prices vary from region to region and even from company to company, depending on what you need to be repaired. Let’s see what you can opt for and how much an average chimney repair costs.

What Are Your Options?

– Sweeping your chimney. Costs may vary from $150 to $300.

– Chimney flashing repairs. This helps you avoid possible damage caused by water. Any leak that goes unnoticed can cause serious issues. Costs range between $150 and $350. There are also sealants on the market that formulate to provide a waterproof membrane for adhesion on asphalt shingle, brick, metal, and/or other chimney and roofing parts. You can find these products on Amazon and have it shipped for free starting at $81.94.

– Installing a new metal cap on your chimney. This is very important, as the cap prevents water or even little animals from getting into your house. That can cost you $150 up to $300. You can find and purchase a new chimney cap from Amazon and have it shipped overnight starting at $23.04.

– Unblocking your flue. Blockage may happen because of rubbish or even animal nests. If it’s blocked, this metal tube meant to take smoke and heat out of your house will not be able to do this anymore, which is a great risk to your family’s health. You can find different products to help clean and protect your chimney including the flue. Some of those products include a chimney cleaner, brush, and flue stop. You can purchase some of these products on Amazon and have them shipped overnight starting at $7.19.

– Tuck-pointing your chimney. This means inserting mortar between the bricks in order to repair faulty mortar. It will cost you up to $175.

– Repairing the entire chimney. This entails complete rebuilding. Depending on the contractor, that may cost you up to $1,000.

Need Help?

If you decide to entrust your chimney repair to a professional, TalkLocal can connect you directly with local professionals specializing in chimney repairs and maintenance, for free.

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What You Need to Know About Chimney Flue Repair

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

What You Need to Know About Chimney Flue Repair - Handyman

The chimney is one of those unassuming, but extremely important parts of the house. Nobody notices the chimney except in two circumstances: during the holiday season when kids are expecting Santa to come through the chimney and when the chimney doesn’t work properly. Chimney flue repair and inspection are a must, because your family’s safety is at stake. Annual inspections are recommended, and if you notice any signs that tell you something is wrong, such as the possible smell of toxic gases, act immediately.

There are two ways to approach your chimney flue repair: You can do it yourself if you are familiar with such tasks, or ask for qualified help. If you decide to do it yourself, it is important to be very confident about the task, as fixing the chimney flue is essential. Your health and safety depend on it.

What Problems Can a Broken Chimney Flue Cause?

Besides safety and health concerns, a damaged chimney flue prevents your heating system from functioning properly and can lead to energy loss. By postponing a chimney flue repair job, you not only put yourself in danger, but also lose money.

What Does a Chimney Flue Repair Involve?

First of all, you need to clean the chimney flue to see exactly what is wrong. During this process, you will have to remove soot and debris and see whether there is a blockage or the bricks have been displaced. If the chimney flue is seriously damaged and you need to rebuild it completely, you might think twice before doing it by yourself.

After cleaning the chimney flue, remove the exterior bricks if they are loose or broken. Work carefully while on the roof. When you’re done, it’s time to replace old bricks with new ones. Try to find similar bricks to match the rest of the chimney. Use mortar to fix the bricks tightly and when the brickwork is ready, waterproof the chimney with caulking. This will prevent water from penetrating it and gas from finding a way out through cracks. The last stage of your chimney flue repair is finishing. Check for mortar chips and apply some more caulk to reinforce it.

Additional Help

Chimney repair is a serious job, and if you’re not experienced in home improvement projects of this kind, you might want to find a qualified professional to do it for you. TalkLocal can connect you with contractors and handymen specializing in chimney repairs in minutes.