How often should my chimney be cleaned?
All chimneys should be evaluated yearly and cleaned as required. The evaluation is necessary to ensure that the chimney has adequate draft, is free of debris and cracks, and has no loose or missing mortar joints. Prefabricated chimneys are subjected to vibration from wind and the joints can become misaligned.
When is the best time of the year to have my chimney cleaned?
We clean chimneys all year long, but the best time is at the end of the heating season. You don't have to wait weeks for an appointment, as in the fall, and if repairs are needed, they can be completed in the spring and summer.
How do you sweep a chimney?
A chimney flue is cleaned with special brushes that fit your chimney flue. We clean most chimneys from outside the house. This method allows for more control of the dust. The brushes are attached to flexible poles; we add poles as needed to push the brush down into the flue. We can only do this as fast as our special chimney vacuum collects the debris. The walls of the fireplace are cleaned by hand using wire brushes. The smoke chamber and inside of the fireplace are cleaned. After the chimney system is clean, we do a complete inspection looking for other problems.
Does a chimney sweep remove the black from the wall of the fireplace?
No. We can only clean off the soot on the surface of the brick. Each time you burn a fire this black changes according to how hot you burn your fire.
Will the chimney sweep cause a mess in my home?
No. By cleaning the chimney from inside and outside your home we maintain control over the dust. All our equipment is laid out on clean drop cloths in front of your fireplace. The hose of our chimney vacuum collects the debris as we brush the chimney. We can only brush the chimney as fast as our vacuum collects the dust. The dirtier the chimney flue, the slower we brush. We also run an exhaust fan on top of the flu to remove the dust.
What are you looking for when you do a chimney evaluation?
We do a thorough exterior and interior inspection of the flue and chimney. We look at the type of chimney you have, we inspect the liner type, if present, and the size of your chimney flue. When cleaning your heating system flues, we will evaluate the interior flue for any deterioration and make sure that your heating appliances are properly sized for the chimney that they are venting into. We will check for condensation/moisture and any damage that can be caused from moisture. We will also let you know the condition of your chimney, whether or not a chimney cap is present, and also check your flashing for wear.
What is a flue?
A flue is the passageway inside your chimney that allows the gases to pass out of the home and into the atmosphere. A chimney houses flues.
How many flues do I have?
You should have one flue for each fireplace, stove, and furnace or boiler. Some homes also have a separate flue for their water heater.
Do I need a chimney cap?
All chimneys should have caps to prevent leaves, sticks, debris, animals and most importantly, rain and snow from entering the chimney flue.
Will a cap prevent my flue from venting properly?
A chimney cap is designed by code for your protection. It must be installed and sized properly to vent correctly. In some cases chimney caps actually help eliminate certain downdrafts and improve venting.
Can my damper be repaired?
A damper that has come loose or off its bracket can be reseated. However, if a damper has become brittle and parts have snapped off, it cannot be repaired. It must be replaced. A replacement damper is installed on top of the chimney flue and is connected by a cable to an adjustable bracket secured to the wall of the fireplace. This type of damper is air tight and helps cut down on heat and air conditioning loss when closed. The damper also has a cap built onto it to keep out debris, rain, snow, and animals when opened.