Chimney Cleaning - FAQ About Chimney Maintenance AndRepairs
The chimney cleaning industry is often misunderstood, with many thinking of these professionals asrelics of a bygone age. However, this multi-million dollar industry is constructed of experts who knowhow to make a chimney shine and sparkle.
What is a chimney sweep?
A chimney sweep is a cleaner of ash, soot and other dirt from chimneys. The term dates back to theIndustrial Age, when the number of homes with chimneys grew. In Great Britain, sweeps havebecome something of a good luck omen, with folklore having it that lucky is the bride who sees oneon her wedding day.
What kind of qualifications or certifications do sweeps need to have?
Many states require successful completion of the certified chimney sweep examination from theChimney Safety Institute of America.
How often do I need chimney cleaning services?
It's recommended by the National Fire Protection Agency that your chimney undergo a yearlyinspection, with cleaning and repairs done as necessary. You should also have your wood stovesand/or fireplace inserts, if needed, inspected and cleaned every year. Open fireplaces needconsistent maintenance and cleaning, with experts recommending a cleaning every two to threeyears for each cord of burnt.
Do I need to have my chimney cleaned if I heat with gas?
Yes. Gas is a clean burning fuel and won't leave ash and soot, but your chimney might become non-functional from bird nets and other debris. Another problem is modern furnaces can cause issues, asmost flues are intended to vent older furnaces.
What should I do if my fireplace smells?
The stench is most likely the result of creosote deposits, a natural wood-burning byproduct. Thesummer humidity tends to make the smell worse. A good cleaning usually won't completely solve theproblem, and preferred solutions vary. Air being drawn down the chimney is the real problem, and adamper can help reduce air flow.
Should I have concerns about carbon monoxide poisoning?
The real danger about carbon monoxide is that it's not easily detected. Your home should be outfittedwith at least two carbon monoxide detectors, but these are not a substitute for routine maintenance.Carbon monoxide issues are almost always the result of poor ventilation, with blocked chimneysbeing one of the largest causes.
I don't use my chimney. Do I need to have it cleaned?
Yes. Birds and other pests could have taken home in your chimney.
Will a chimney cleaning leave dust all over my house?
A professional sweep should have a vacuum or other system designed for dust control. Your homeshould be in the same shape it was before the cleaner arrived.