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

Our chimney cleaning service starts with a level 1 NFPA inspection. If a chimney and attached appliance is in need of cleaning we will setup a clean zone by laying down protective drop clothes and seal off the firebox to eliminate any airborne exposure. We will brush the chimney flue or stove pipe, remove the damper and clean the smoke chamber, smoke shelf, and firebox. We utilize a three stage vacuum to remove the soot, fine ash, and creosote from the heating appliance. We will clean the glass, and check all gaskets for tightness. After all components are cleaned 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, or chimney. 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 huge factor.

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 the problem. 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 cleaned at 1/8" of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system. Factory-built fireplaces should be cleaned when any appreciable buildup occurs. This is considered to be enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney or spreading to the home.

Creosote Build upCleaning Pic1


Photos shared from www.hearth.com
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 cleaning once every few years.
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Steps to take for a safe chimney

Proper care and attention can help protect people from unnecessary fires and carbon monoxide poisonings. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors 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.
Chimney Safety Institute of America

Click on this CSIA logo to verify our certification with the Chimney Safety Institute of America.


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About Creosote

Creosote buildup is dangerous and 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 cleaned 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 more expensive to remove.

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 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 clear completely obstructed chimneys and blocked flues. Chemical modification of glaze and flue obstructions are the result of poor maintenance or improperly installed appliances and are not included in our standard cleaning fees. We have removed 185 lbs of creosote from a single chimney cleaning (This is not a standard service)!

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. Modern furnaces can also cause many problems with the average flues intended to vent the older generation of furnaces. We suggest you check the areas on gas and carbon monoxide for more information.

Image of Gas Chimney BockageSecond Image of Gas Chimney Build up

Photos shared from Sweep My Chimney.com
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