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One of the joys of winter weather is that it gives everyone an excuse to fire up wood burning fireplaces all over Buffalo. Unfortunately, improperly maintained fires could lead to disastrous house fires. Keep reading for wood burning safety tips to protect your home and family throughout the snow season.
Why proper fireplace care is a must
Wood burning fireplaces are a delightful feature in a home and the prospect of resting in front of a fire on the most frigid days of the year is incredibly appealing. However, always remember that fireplaces present potential hazards like (1) uncontrolled house fires, (2) indoor smoke, and (3) a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home.
Use these three tips to avoid the potential dangers that come with burning wood in your fireplace.
#1- Inspection- Hire a licensed fireplace inspector to thoroughly examine your fireplace and chimney before you think about building a fire in it. Many older stacks contain creosote that can cause dangerous chimney fires. Additionally, it’s not out of the question for a chimney to become structurally unsound over time.
Check out the Chimney Safety Institute of America website for complete chimney safety information.
#2- Regular cleaning- A downside to burning wood is that you’ll need to put some consistent effort into keeping your fireplace free of ash and other residues. The DIY network has an excellent article on how to clean all of the different parts of your wood burning fireplace.
#3- Seasoned wood- Although there is a vast variety of hardwood and softwood logs available to use in your fireplace you must make sure that the wood is seasoned correctly. Seasoning means drying out the wood so that it contains less than 25% moisture. Well-dried wood causes less smoke and creosote buildup when it burns.
Many homeowners choose hardwoods like maple and ash because they’re slow burning and create a comfortable heat. On the other hand, lots of people opt for softwoods, such as fir, since softwood is generally less expensive and easier to light.
Lastly, make sure to prepare your fireplace to burn wood all winter safely. A well-maintained fireplace envelops your family in a safe warmth throughout the worst winter weather.
Buffalo Stump Removal offers superior stump removal services throughout the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area. Contact us for a no obligation stump removal and stump grinding cost estimate.
How can I choose the best wood for my fireplace? If you’re like many of us, the arrival of winter makes you long for the comforting embrace of your fire. Read on for some thoughts about choosing the best type of wood to burn in your fireplace.
Focus on the hardwoods
Did you know that all wood logs do not burn in the same way? Indeed, the wood from a variety of trees burns at different speeds and heat levels. Experts suggest that the best wood for use in your fireplace comes from the hardwood trees as these logs produce a long-lasting and hot burn. Examples of hardwoods include (1) maple, (2) oak, and (3) ash.
Ash, for example, is a popular hardwood for fireplaces due to its ability to produce a steady and slow burn with a comfortable amount of heat. Another benefit of choosing ash for your fire is that it doesn’t need to season as long as many hardwoods before use.
Softwoods sometimes hit the spot
Although many people prefer hardwoods over the conifers because the oaks do a much better job at maintaining a warm and welcoming blaze, it’s important to note that you’ll pay more for hardwoods than you will for a softwood. So, a softwood fire might just hit the spot for the occasional light.
The most popular softwood for fireplaces is fir. Keep in mind that fir, like other softwoods, burns fast and leaves a lot of ash behind. Still, the fact that you can create an inexpensive fire is well worth the extra clean up for an occasional blaze.
Choose seasoned firewood
Whatever type of fuel you choose for your home, make sure that the wood is well-seasoned before you put it into the fireplace. Dry wood produces (1) a better burn, (2) less smoke, and (3) a reduced level of creosote buildup in the chimney.
The amount of time that it takes to properly season firewood differs depending on the type of wood. Mother Earth News recommends that you season most firewood for approximately six months. You should strive to season wood until it doesn’t contain more than 25% water.
Lastly, while hardwoods provide superior performance in the fireplace, you can also opt to burn a properly seasoned softwood. In the end, there isn’t one best wood to use in your fire. Instead, you should explore your options and choose a wood that suits your budget and performance preferences.
Contact us at Buffalo Stump Removal for a convenient complimentary stump removal cost estimate.
What is seasoned firewood and what does it have to do with my fireplace? If you’re thinking about starting a wood fire this winter and you’re not sure about how to answer to that question, then it’s time for a quick primer on the importance of using seasoned firewood in your fireplace. Read on to learn all that you need to know about seasoned firewood.
What is seasoned firewood
Seasoning firewood means drying it until the wood contains less than 20% moisture. Some of the benefits of using seasoned firewood include (1) faster lighting, (2) long-lasting flame, (3) no creosote buildup, and (4) decreased mold. Wood needs time and a dry location to properly season.
According to Farm and Dairy, you can tell if a piece of wood has aged through things like (1) faded color, (2) hardness, (3) reduced weight, (4) lose bark, (5) hollow sound, (6) and cracking. A surefire test for seasoning is to split the wood in half to check for a dry interior. When the inside of a log is dry to the touch, it is most likely well seasoned.
Wood doesn’t season at the same rate. Logs from softwood trees like pine dry out quickly. Hardwood logs from birch and oak, for example, season much more slowly. However, the dense hardwood will last longer in your fireplace so the seasoning wait may well be worth it.
Seasoned wood is safe to burn
Forget about burning freshly cut wood in your fireplace. Freshly cut wood contains too much moisture to establish a long-lasting burn. What’s more, burning wet wood contributes to a build-up of creosote in the chimney that can cause dangerous chimney fires. It’s also a safe idea to stick to burning hardwoods to prevent a buildup of creosote in your chimney.
Lastly, a fire created by well-seasoned hardwoods will delight you with hours of enjoyment. Giving your firewood the time to age will ensure a safer and longer lasting blaze. The winter season encourages us to slow down a bit and allowing your wood to dry out slowly will reward you with a beautiful fire.
We focus our work on removing stumps from homes and businesses in the Buffalo area. Contact us at Buffalo Stump Removal for a stump removal cost estimate.
Did you know that properly storing firewood for the winter involves more than just tossing chopped wood into a pile in the backyard? Indeed, you’ll need to house the wood correctly if you want to experience the warming presence of your fireplace on the coldest days of the year. Keep reading for advice about how to keep your firewood safe from the fiercest winter weather.
Why is it necessary to store firewood?
Did you know that it’s not a good idea to burn freshly cut wood in your fireplace? Newly cut wood contains too much water, and you’ll end up with inefficient burning along with too much creosote in your chimney if you try to burn wet wood. A thick coating of creosote is one of the primary causes of chimney fires.
You can experience the pleasure that comes from a long lasting fire in your fireplace by making sure that the wood stays dry. Additionally, you’ll safeguard your family and home from the danger of a chimney fire by storing your firewood so that it has the opportunity to dry correctly.
The basics of safely storing firewood
Correctly storing firewood isn’t tricky if you keep a few fundamentals in mind. Although it’s tempting to save the wood indoors, experts don’t suggest that you choose this option. Keeping firewood outdoors helps it to dry out more quickly while also preventing bugs and other pests from entering your home.
The critical thing to remember when storing firewood is that you want to promote (1) air circulation, (2) a dry area, and (3) pest resistance. You can meet these goals by following the basics of safely storing firewood for winter use.
Some homeowners prefer to house firewood in a backyard storage shelter throughout the winter. While maintaining it in a storage shelter is an ideal way to protect it from the elements, you can also cover the wood with a waterproof tarp and use bricks to hold the tarp in place.
Lastly, by making an effort to store firewood throughout the winter safely, you’ll get to enjoy the pleasure of a robust blaze in your fireplace to warm your family on the frigid winter nights.
We specialize in providing stump grinding and stump removal services to customers throughout the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area. Contact us for a stump removal cost estimate.
Are you bothered by a dying tree that’s a little to close for comfort and you need information on how difficult it is to remove the tree close to the house? The sadness that comes with a sick and dying tree is heartbreaking, and the pain worsens with the challenges involved in removing it. Here’s what the tree care experts have to say about safely removing a tree when it’s growing too close to home.
How to tell if a tree is failing
Before you think about taking out a tree, it’s essential to determine if removing the tree is the best option. Certified arborists recommend that you take out a tree if it is causing (1) foundation damage, (2) sewage and water pipe infiltration, and (3) roof damage. Of course, dying and severely damaged trees are also removal candidates.
It’s always beneficial to consult with a certified arborist if you’re unsure about a tree. Certified arborists are highly trained professionals who specialize in all aspects of tree care. Top tree care service companies have certified arborists on staff to help determine when it’s necessary to remove a tree.
How hard is it to cut down a tree near your house
Taking down a tree that’s practically up against your home takes planning and skill to perform the removal safely. Cutting down any tree takes skill, and the challenge gets greater when the tree is close to your house because you’ll have less room to maneuver and you could severely damage the structure if you miscalculate how the tree might fall.
Did you know that thousands of people end up seriously injured from tree cutting accidents each year? Indeed, tree cutting is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Most of the injuries stem from (1) falling limbs, (2) ladder falls, (3) chainsaw accidents, and (4) electrocution.
So, unless you’re handy with a chainsaw and have experience in tree maintenance, it’s a safe idea to hire a professional tree care company to cut down your tree. A reputable company will take down the tree and dispose of the tree debris at a reasonable price.
We spend each day taking care of tree stumps at residences and businesses all over the Buffalo area. Contact us at Buffalo Stump Removal for an estimate on all of your stump removal and stump grinding needs.
Has the crazy winter weather caused a crack to develop in your favorite tree? Tree frost crack is a common ailment that results from a cycle of intense cold followed by a thaw. Take a few minutes to learn about tree frost crack and what you can do about it.
What is tree frost crack
Those of us who create our lives in the Buffalo metropolitan area are a hardy bunch, and we take pride in making it through the harshest winter weather. In general, the trees that thrive in our part of New York stand up well to a variety of weather conditions. Sometimes, however, radical weather changes leave a mark known as a frost crack on a tree.
The mark is a vertical crack in the tree’s bark. Experts say that it occurs when frost causes the tree bark to contract and a quick thaw results in an expansion of the bark. Although a noticeable crack in the bark of your beloved tree looks scary, it’s helpful to know that the tree isn’t in any immediate danger.
What can you do about a frost crack
Even though a frost crack isn’t going to cause your tree to fall overnight, it does feel worrisome, and it’s natural that you want to help. Unfortunately, there isn’t a sure fire fix to a frost crack. Some of the common repairs such as (1) wound paint, (2) adhesives, and (3) sealants aren’t usually effective treatments.
Tree care professionals say that the best thing to do for your tree is to let the tree heal the crack itself. It’s also beneficial to wrap the tree trunk over the next few winters.
Lastly, frost cracks are a reminder that nothing makes it through winter in the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area unscathed. The dramatic weather conditions can impact trees through frost cracks. The unsightly vertical cracks may mar the overall beauty of the tree, but it’s important to remember that the tree is quite capable of healing the fissure over time.
Tree frost cracks rarely lead to the demise of trees in Buffalo, but trees don’t live forever, and even the most well-loved specimen will die eventually. Contact the stump removal experts at Buffalo Stump Removal for the highest quality stump removal and stump grinding services in the region.
Do you need to remove a small tree from your yard? Trees add beauty to a yard, but there are times when you’ll need to make the hard choice to cut down a tree. Let’s look at what the tree removal gurus have to say about taking down a small tree.
Take the time to stay safe
Taking down a tree is one of the most dangerous tasks you can take on in your yard. Thousands of people go to the hospital, or worse, each year due to (1) falling tree limbs, (2) ladder falls, and (3) electrocution from an overhead electrical line. The surest way to safely remove a tree is to take the time to carefully make a plan before you head out to the yard with a chainsaw.
Remember the Rule of Fives
Cutting down a tree of any size takes preparation. Make sure that you stay safe while you’re removing a tree by focusing on the Rule of Fives. According to the University of Connecticut’s Stormwise website, loggers and other tree professionals live by these five tree removal tips.
Check out The Family Handyman’s easy to follow step-by-step guide to safely cutting down a tree.
Don’t forget the tree stump and roots
Don’t fall into a novice gardener's idea that your work is complete once you’ve taken down a tree. Some of the most challenging work is just beginning as you now need to take care of the remaining part of the tree, the tree stump, and root system.
Left alone, the remaining parts of the tree will almost inevitably cause problems in your yard. Some potential problems include (1) root damage to sidewalks and sewer pipes, (2) insect infestation, (3) landscaping challenges and, (4) tree regrowth.
We’re happy to say that our stump removal service is a favorite choice of homeowners and businesses all over the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area. Our customers choose us because we know how to craft a tree stump strategy that affordably treats the tree stump.
Contact the tree stump pros at Buffalo Stump Removal for a complimentary tree stump consultation today.
How close to a house can I plant a tree? Chances are, you’re asking that question because you’ve fallen in love with a tree and you want it close, but not too close, to a window in your home. Here’s what the experts have to say about planting a tree near a house.
Safe distance from the house
Trees add meaning to our lives as they connect us to the natural world and it’s tempting to plant a tree close to your home so that you can appreciate it from inside the house. Unfortunately, trees that grow too close to a structure can cause (1) foundation damage, (2) roof decay, and (3) plumbing problems.
So, how close can you put a tree near your house? Experts suggest that a safe planting distance depends on the expected adult size of the tree. A safe rule of thumb is
Choose the right type of tree
Along with planting a tree at a safe distance from your house, it’s essential that you choose the right kind of tree. Don’t pick a tree that drops a lot of needles, for example. Instead, arborists recommend small, ornamental trees as excellent examples of the type of trees that work well next to a house.
Popular tree choices in the Buffalo area that won’t cause problems as they grow up include
We suggest that you visit a local garden center when you’re deciding on the perfect tree for your yard. The tree specialists at a garden center are familiar with the pros and cons of all types of trees that grow well in the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area.
It’s also worth a call to your local tree care company for help in picking an appropriate tree as well as the best spot for the tree in your yard. Even more, most tree care companies have a certified arborist on staff to offer expert advice on all aspects of tree selection and maintenance.
Lastly, the trees that share your outdoor spaces enrich your life by making your house feel like home. If you have the privilege of planting a tree on your property make sure that you choose one that meets your needs because if well-cared for, the tree should last for many years.
Buffalo Stump Removal doesn’t work on things like tree selection and placement, but we’re always available for help with stump removal. Contact us today, and we’ll show you effective and affordable stump removal strategies.
Did you know that tree trimming is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States? Each year, thousands of professional and amateur tree trimmers end up in the emergency room. So, before you grab a chainsaw, keep in mind how important safety is while trimming trees.
What makes tree trimming so treacherous?
The combination of (1) ladders, (2) high places, (3) machinery, (4) large branches, and (5) unstable tree limbs often come together to cause tree trimming accidents. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for tree trimmers to suffer head injuries and broken bones when a trimming goes awry.
While many yard tasks are well within the capabilities of a homeowner to complete, you should hire a professional tree trimming company to handle all but the most minor of tree care jobs. A tree care company knows how to perform tree work safely and efficiently properly.
Choose a qualified tree trimming company
If you do a quick smartphone search for a tree trimming company in your area, you’ll receive a vast array of tree care business ads. Sadly, though, the tree care industry is rife with dishonest and poorly trained contractors. Protect your pocketbook and your property by insisting that any tree care company that you’re considering has
Unless your tree has become an immediate hazard, such as through storm damage, experts recommend that you avoid tree trimming during the fall. It’s better to leave the trimming undone until the end of winter, and again in the summer.
Make sure that you choose a tree care company that practices outstanding customer service. After all, with so many tree care contractors to choose from, why would you settle for anything less than an easy to work with and affordable one?
Lastly, trimming your tree is a serious undertaking that requires skill and proper equipment. Given the risks to life and property, you’re better off paying an expert to tackle this yard maintenance task.
We don’t work on live trees, but we have the expertise and experience necessary to safely and affordably handle all of your residential stump removal and stump grinding needs. Contact us at Buffalo Stump Removal for solutions to your tree stump problem.
Are you looking at your favorite tree with a growing worry that it might be time to say goodbye? The trees that share our homes tend to find a place in our heart that makes it challenging to know when it’s time to take the tree down. Here are six signs that will tell you that your tree needs to be removed.
Sign #1: Overwhelming disease
Does your tree look sick? Common symptoms of a tree sickness include (1) discolored leaves, (2) leaves fall early, (3) weird bumps on the bark, (4) dead branches, and (5) fungus appearing on any part of the tree. An arborist can diagnose a problem with your tree and tell you if the diseased tree should come out.
Sign #2: Roots growing in wrong places
Tree roots sometimes undermine the integrity of things like (1) structures, (2) sewer lines, and (3) sidewalks. The tree should be cut down to stop further damage.
Sign #3: Tree mixes with a power line
A tree that’s growing into a power line poses a danger and is a strong candidate for removal.
Sign #4: Severe storm damage
Wicked weather can leave a tree barely standing upright. Although it is often possible to rescue a storm-damaged tree, you should consider contacting a tree care service for advice.
Sign #5: Too close for comfort
A tree that has grown into the side of the house can prevent sunlight from reaching the building and can also cause expensive roof damage.
Sign #6: A leaning tree
Do you have a leaning tree trunk on your hands? A little bit of lean is natural but a significant tilt to the side may be a sign of real trouble. A tree needs a vigorous root system to keep the trunk standing tall, and a large lean might indicate something serious like root rot.
Ask a tree care pro
It’s a good call to consult with a tree care company if you’re worried about a tree. Keep in mind that, as with so many issues in life, a tree problem is unlikely to improve on its own and you’re always better off getting the opinion of an expert who works with trees for a living.
For those tear-inducing times when a tree must come down, we’re happy to offer you a variety of residential stump removal services to help prevent any future landscaping concerns. Contact us at Buffalo Stump Removal for affordable stump removal and stump grinding services today.
Buffalo Stump Removal wants to provide you with information about stump removal and stump grinding services. We also want to provide fun tips, tricks, and information to you to assist you in making your home or office as awesome as you want it to be!