Chimney, Fireplace & Stove Cleaning


Common Questions about Cleaning

• How is my chimney cleaned?
• How often should I have my chimney cleaned?
• How do I know if my chimney is safe?
• What is Creosote?
• Does a gas chimney need to be checked?


How a chimney is cleaned

Every chimney service starts with a level 1 NFPA inspection. If the chimney and attached appliance is in need of service we will setup a clean zone by laying down protective tarps and set up a dust collection system at the bottom of the firebox to eliminate any airborne exposure. We will brush the chimney flue or stove pipe, damper, smoke chamber, smoke shelf, and firebox. We will safely collect and remove the dislodged soot, fine ash, and creosote from the system. We will clean the glass, brush louvers, and check door gaskets for tightness. After all components are serviced we then perform a second level 1 NFPA inspection service and provide a report with our findings.

CSIA Chimney Sweeping

Click on this CSIA video link to see how your chimney or fireplace is cleaned and the CSIA certified standards of service we provide.

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When a chimney needs to be cleaned

Many factors determine how often you need to clean your fireplace, stove, and chimney system. Frequency of use, fuel type, external temperatures, moisture level of wood, efficiency of appliance, draft performance, chimney design, and residual creosote can all have an a factor in frequency of service.

The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, "Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary." This is the national safety standard and is the correct way to approach chimney safety. It takes into account the fact that even if you don't use your chimney much, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be serviced when 1/8" of sooty buildup is present in the system or sooner if there is any glaze creosote present.. Factory-built fireplaces should be service when any appreciable buildup is present. Minimal creosote accumulation is considered to be enough of a hazard to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney sytem and overheating surrounding combustible materials.

Creosote Build upCleaning Pic1

Photos shared from
Typically, homeowners who heat with wood as a primary heat source will need to clean their systems once every two months (during the heating season), while occasional recreational use may only require service once every few years.
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Steps to take for a safe chimney

Proper chimney care can help protect home owners from unnecessary house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Home owners should have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed and always have an accessible fire extinguisher. Have your chimneys inspected and cleaned regularly; at least annually and choose the right professional!

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that people consider a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®. Always ask the right questions before hiring someone to do the job. Ask for current references. Check with the Better Business Bureau and make sure the company carries valid business liability insurance policy to protect your home and furnishings against accidents.

We offer the expertise, standards of service and the credentials necessary for you to know that your chimney is safe.

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About Creosote

Creosote is a dangerous, toxic, and flammable substance which can cause chimney fires. However, you can take steps to minimize the amount of creosote by utilizing products that are sprayed into your firebox and always burn seasoned wood that is dry. Cleaning your firebox will not make your chimney safe and burning "creosote removing logs" will not clean your chimney. You should have your chimney serviced at least annually to remove this hazardous by-product. The longer you allow creosote to build on your chimney walls, the more dangerous your chimney becomes and the more expensive removal can be.

By definition creosote is a combustible deposit that originates from condensed wood smoke. It includes tar, vapors, and other organic compounds. It’s a natural by-product of burning wood. Creosote formation ranges in severity from stage 1 to Stage 3. It can be in a sooty or ash like state (Stage 1), dry friable honeycombs or crunchy flakes (Stage 2), or a sticky dense hard shiny black tar glaze (Stage 3). Several variables affect the amount of build-up deposited in the wood heating system are smoke density, flue gas temperature, and residence time. Stage 1 and stage 2 creosotes are mechanically removed during chimney brushing. Stage 3 glaze creosote however must be chemically modified to be removed and requires the application of a powder or spray treatment (magnesium based catalysts) to convert the glaze back to a Stage 1 or Stage 2 brushable format. We offer professional strength creosote modifiers and consumer level creosote modifiers to aid in the removal of Stage 3 glaze creosote.

Anti Creo SootSpraying Anti Creo Soot


Video on how to use Anti- Creo- Soot.

Open Material Data Safety Sheet PDF

Material Safety Data Sheet

The 4 Stages of Creosote Breakdown Using Cre-Away  

Cre Away ProductCre Away Breakdown Stages


Several times each year we a called during or after a chimney fire occurs. We do offer 24 hour emergency services to assist firefighters in extingushing hot spots and clearing obstructed chimneys and blocked flues. Chemical modification of glaze and flue obstructions are the result of poor maintenance or improperly installed appliances.

Creosote Build UpSecond Image of Creosote Buildup

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Gas Chimneys

Although gas is generally a clean burning fuel, the chimney can become non-functional from bird nests or other debris blocking the flue. Improperly installed gas appliances can cause serious injury or death due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Chimney flues that serve gas appliances must be properly lined and properly sized to prevent damage to the home and chimney.

Image of Gas Chimney BockageSecond Image of Gas Chimney Build up

Photos shared from Sweep My
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