Chimney Services FAQs
Q. How often should I have my chimney cleaned?
The easy answer is once a year before you start using it. The National Fire Protection Association recommends an annual chimney inspection and cleaning.
But depending on the age of your home, the condition of your existing chimney and how you heat it will cause differences in how often your chimney should be cleaned. If you are unsure of how often you should clean your chimney, give us a call.
Q. How often should I have my chimney inspected?
Like chimney cleaning, we recommend having your chimney inspected at least once a year. The best time of year to schedule your chimney inspection is in the fall before the cold weather sets in. During the winter your fireplace will see more use so it is best to get it inspected before you start using it for the season. If you are moving into a new home, it is also recommended to have your new chimney and fireplace inspected.
Q. Are chimney sweeps worth it? How do they help?
Chimney sweeps are paid to clean your chimney to prevent fires from creosote buildup. Cleaning your chimney annually helps to save you money on chimney repairs plus you are protecting your home against fire damage and carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the National Fire Protection Association, unlean chimneys are the leading cause of structural fires.
Q. What is involved in chimney sweeping?
You are able to clean your own chimney with a flexible long-handleded chimney brush but we recommend hiring a professional chimney sweeper to ensure you get a thorough cleaning plus you will also get a chimney inspection with the sweep. While you may be able to clean the chimney pretty well, experienced chimney sweeps are able detect structural problems. The inspection includes checking the liners, smoke chamber, chimney exterior and firebox and professional chimney sweepers are trained to spot even the most subtle fireplace and chimney issues well before they become major problems that cost thousands of dollars to repair.
Q. Do I need to have my chimney cleaned if I use gas?
While gas burns a lot cleaner than traditional wood fireplaces, they still need regular inspections and cleaning. The amount of build-up is dramatically reduced wtih gas but blockages can still form from nests and other debris so you do want to get a yearly inspection and cleaning with your gas fireplace.
Q. Are chimney caps necessary?
Yes, there are a number of reasons that chimney caps are a vital part of your chimney. While a minor and relatively inexpensive installation, chimney caps are not something that you should forget as they prevent numerous mishaps from taking place and can save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary chimney damage and repairs.
- Keep out animals
- Prevent rain and snow from entering the chimney
- Reduce moisture
- Provide draft control
Q. What are the best types of chimney caps?
Professional chimney sweeps and contractors mostly recommend copper or stainless chimney caps as they are the most durable, best suited for the job and, for chimneys with multi-flues, one large chimney cap can be installed instead of multiple individual ones.
Q. Does my chimney need a liner?
Yes, the National Fire Protection Association states that all chimneys must have a liner that is able to contain the products of combustion. One of the main reasons the National Fire Protection Association recommends annual chimney inspections is due to the poor condition of most people’s flue liners. When we sweep a chimney we also conduct an inspection to determine if your chimney structure is in good condition and detect possible hazards.
Q. How can I reduce odors in my fireplace?
Creosote tends to be the main culprit behind nasty fireplace odors. Cleaning is best option for getting rid of unpleasant smells coming from your fireplace. If cleaning alone does not do the trick, try deodorizers made specifically for chimneys or home remedies such as baking soda or kitty litter. If you are still having issues, hire a professional chimney cleaner and inspector to ensure that the chimney is thoroughly cleaned and that all airways sealed properly when not in use.
Q. How can I reduce my chance of a fire?
Chimney flare ups are primarily caused by a build-up of creosote, an extremely combustible and corrosive pollutant creaetd when wood doesn’t burn fully. Having a professional chimney cleaner inspect and clean your chimney and fireplace every year is the best way to reduce your risk. Professional chimney sweeps are able to clear the chimney of creosote and other obstructions that could catch fire or prevent the smoke and other gases from venting outdoors. They can also identify any structural issues as well as chimney cap or liners.
Have additional questions? Give us a call. We are happy to answer your chimney and fireplace questions.
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