Chimney Sweep Specialist

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Wood is never burned completely. The smoke contains some unburned gases and a vapor-like fog of unburned tar-like liquids. These condense along the sides of the stove pipes or chimney and become a flammable, crusty buildup called creosote.

It would help if you cleaned your chimney regularly to remove creosote from the lining of the flue. Creosote is a highly flammable residue that builds up over time from combustion in your chimney. Chimneys should be cleaned when any noticeable creosote buildup occurs. The Chimney Safety Institute of America claims that as little as ¼” of buildup is enough to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney or spreading to the home.

Cleaning your chimney also reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. Creosote is black or brown in appearance, and it can be crusty and flaky, tar-like, drippy and sticky, or shiny and hardened.

It is recommended that your chimney be cleaned frequently. The National Fire Protection Association recommends cleaning and inspecting chimneys at least once a year, more if you use your fireplace regularly. This applies to both wood-burning and gas fireplaces! Even if you do not use your fireplace, your chimney should still be cleaned and inspected as animals may build nests in the flue.

A Chimney or firebox left unrepaired can:

  • Release dangerous, toxic, and unhealthy gases into your home.
  • Allow flames and sparks to escape and come in contact with potentially combustible materials in your home. It is a fire hazard.
  • Allow loose masonry materials to fall and potentially cause damage to your property or people.
  • Costs increase dramatically if left unfixed. So call today and save money right away!

Creosote presents at least three significant problems to the wood burner. First, creosote is corrosive to many surfaces, including steel and mortar, which are common chimney materials. Second, creosote buildup acts as an insulating material and reduces the efficiency of your wood stove or fireplace. Finally and most critical, creosote is highly flammable and presents a potential fire hazard.

Many factors affect the rate and amount of creosote buildup:

  • Type of wood burned
  • Amount of moisture in the wood
  • Type of fire burned
  • Efficiency of stove
  • Location of flue
  • Type of stove or fireplace
  • Amount of use

Because of the various factors involved, there isn’t a general answer appropriate to most cases. Some locations, such as certain states, have laws requiring yearly cleaning but, each wood-burning unit is different. If you notice back-drafting or smoking, or losing heat, you certainly check for creosote buildup immediately. Periodic checking is essential for safe, efficient wood burning. A rule of thumb is If it’s your primary source of heat, you need to have your fireplace or woodstove cleaned and inspected yearly.

Carefully open the damper and, using a flashlight, look up the flue for signs of a buildup along the walls. Goggles are suggested for this. If the buildup is ¼” or more, a cleaning is needed. It only takes approx. a ¼” of buildup to be a fire hazard

We know and understand fireplaces and chimneys and how to clean them. We scrub your fireplace from floor to roof using tools specifically designed for that purpose. We are professionally trained and fully licensed and insured. (This is important to you) We guarantee a mess-proof job. And, finally, we are a local business. Our roots are here in the community, and we take pride in this. If your chimney needs cleaning, then we act like a good neighbor and tell you so. If we think your installation is unsafe, we think you’ll like to know that, too! Call today and have peace of mind knowing your family and home are safe this winter.

We really don’t know. But, according to folklore, they do. We can, however, prevent bad luck…the bad luck and misfortune of a chimney fire!

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