Frequently Asked Questions About Chimney Sweeps
If you are not familiar with what chimney sweeps do and the benefits of using them, here are some frequently asked questions about chimney sweeps.
When Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned?
It’s simple, the best time to have your chimney cleaned by a qualified chimney sweep is when you will be using it the least, and in the greater Buffalo area, that’s the summer. You don’t want to wait until hard freezes occur to have your fireplace, stove, or fireplace insert cleaned when needed. A clean fireplace is a more efficient and less dangerous fireplace. When your chimney is cleaned, a substance called creosote is removed using various brushes. Creosote is highly flammable, and a hot ember that floats up your chimney can start a fire. Creosote can also produce a strong smell in warmer weather. So, cleaning your chimney before regular use is vital.
Does a Chimney Sweep Need to Inspect My Chimney?
Having your chimney inspected annually will eliminate potential problems before they happen, such as leaks that could lead to a chimney collapse or creosote buildups that could lead to a chimney fire.
Some of the things chimney sweeps look for in an inspection include:
- Deterioration of mortar joints.
- Deterioration of the chimney flue.
- Cracks in your chimney’s crown.
- Inspect the firebox area for defective components, including the damper.
- Deterioration in the smoke chamber.
- Creosote buildups.
- Signs of leaks.
- Signs of a previous chimney fire.
If you want to extend the life of your chimney, having it inspected is the first step. Most chimney sweep services perform cleanings and inspections as a single package.
Does a Gas Fireplace Need a Chimney Inspection?
In short, yes, a chimney sweep should inspect your gas fireplace insert. Even though gas is a clean-burning fuel, the chimney can become obstructed due to wildlife such as birds, chipmunks, and squirrels’ nests. Leaves, pine needles, and trash can also find their way into your chimney and block it. If your chimney was converted to gas from wood burning, a number of issues could arise if the conversion was done improperly. As you can see, gas fireplaces need inspection too.
How Do I Prepare for a Chimney Cleaning and Inspection?
Before the chimney sweep arrives, remove pictures, figurines, vases, and any other items from your fireplace’s mantle. Cover or remove furniture from the room so it doesn’t get any soot on it. Clear a path from your driveway to the fireplace so the chimney sweeps can easily bring in their equipment.
Call Felgemacher Fireplace Shop
If you live in the Buffalo NY, Rochester NY, or Charlotte NC areas and need your chimney cleaned, inspected, or repaired call us at 716-482-1820 and speak with one of our friendly fireplace and chimney experts. They will schedule a time for our National Fireplace Institute-certified chimney sweeps to come to your home and perform the service you need.