Month: December 2017

Clean Your Chimney Before Santa Arrives

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You might not realize this, but cleaning your chimney is an important part of keeping your home safe during winter, not only for Santa’s sake, but also your family’s. During a chimney cleaning, your professional chimney sweep will remove creosote buildup and check to see if there’s any damage inside your chimney.

What Causes Chimney Fires?

There are multiple things that cause chimney fires, but the most common causes of chimney fires tend to include the following:

  • Creosote buildup: Even though you don’t always see the inside of your chimney, it gets dirty like any other part of your home. And unfortunately the only way to prevent creosote from building up in your chimney, is to never use your fireplace. When this layer of buildup in your chimney can cause sparks that can lead to a chimney fire.
  • Rubble: Your chimney is the perfect place for rubble, like leaves, small twigs and other things to accumulate. Birds and small mammals also have a tendency to make nests in chimneys. When you use your fireplace, this rubble can catch fire.
  • Structural problems: In order to channel smoke and harmful gases from your home, your chimney needs to be structurally right. The chimney needs to be build large enough to accommodate the size of your fireplace. Your chimney also needs to be well-maintained. If the inside of your chimney has cracks, or the lining of your chimney is damaged, this could pose an additional risk.
  • Irresponsible fireplace use: It’s recommended that you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year, but if you aren’t using your fireplace responsibly, even an annual chimney inspections might not be enough. To prevent chimney damage, you should avoid making your fires too hot, as this can cause the inside lining of your chimney walls to crack. Using unseasoned wood or not opening the damper wide enough can also be problematic, as this can cause creosote to build up in your chimney faster, increasing the risk of a chimney fire.

By having annual chimney inspections and learning more about what woods are good to burn in your chimney, as well as how to keep airflow in your chimney at an optimal level, you’ll be able to use your chimney knowing you did everything you could to ensure chimney and fireplace safety.

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Signs Your Chimney Needs Cleaning

It’s good to have your chimney cleaned once a year, so if you can’t remember the last time your chimney was cleaned, call a chimney professional and book a chimney cleaning as soon as possible. To avoid a chimney fire, it’s best to not use your fireplace before your chimney isn’t all cleaned up.

But even if you regularly have your chimney cleaned, creosote can build up at a faster pace if you use your fireplace a lot. A bad odor coming from the fireplace is a pretty clear sign that your chimney needs to be cleaned again. The bad news is that chimney odor can actually be worse in the summer. Even though you probably don’t use your chimney during summer, the high humidity that comes with the warmer months can help bad odors from the creosote buildup in your chimney to travel through the air better. To avoid your chimney from getting smelly over summer, it’s good to have it cleaned right before winter ends.

The Truth About Chimney Fires

You might think that chimney fires always wreak havoc on a home, but the truth is that chimney fires often go undetected. Here’s the scary thing, if you had a chimney fire you didn’t even know about, there’s a pretty good chance your chimney will catch fire again while you use it in the future. Signs that you’ve had a chimney fire that went undetected include things like a damaged and discolored chimney cap, creosote flakes on your roof or the ground, puffy creosote in the chimney and other damages to the chimney itself and surrounding areas of your roof.

If you suspect you might have had a chimney fire, schedule a chimney cleaning and inspection as soon as possible. Don’t use your fireplace before you a chimney professional has had a look at your chimney. While things might get a bit chilly, the comfy heat from your fireplace isn’t worthwhile if you’re using it while your chimney is damaged.

Too many homeowners become complacent when it comes to chimney safety, and unfortunately this complacency has cost many lives in the past. Don’t allow your family to become victims!

Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning

No matter how good or bad the current condition of your chimney, Chimney Sweeps West is here to help. While we’re sure you’d agree that cleaning chimneys isn’t the most glamorous job around, we believe in the work we do because we know the value of chimney safety for fire prevention. Cuddling up in front of a warm fire in the winter should be enjoyable, not stressful. With our chimney care services, it can be.

How Often Does a Chimney Need to Be Cleaned?

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As indicated by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), chimneys should be cleaned once there is 1/8″ of creosote as well as residue development inside the chimney liner. As per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), all chimneys ought to be cleaned once per year, no matter what. So which is correct, and does everybody need to get their fireplace cleaned and reviewed, regardless of whether the chimney is not really utilized? This article is here to answer these questions for you.

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What is associated with a Chimney Cleaning?

A chimney sweep evacuates creosote, residue, and blockages from chimney liners, fireboxes, smoke chambers, and dampers. Keeping the chimney framework spotless and free of hindrances is important for various reasons, which are all connected with security, the operation, or the life of your fireplace framework. Basically a fireplace which isn’t kept up can turn into a fire risk and can decay to the point that repairs are very expensive.

When you consume wood in the chimney, there is constantly some measure of creosote that is kept in the chimney lining. In any case, when you utilize certain kinds of wood, the development is far more rapid. For example, untreated wood is brimming with dampness and doesn’t burn clean. Pine additionally makes creosote in the vent develop quickly, which makes it an poor sort of wood to consume.

On the off chance that there is a development of creosote in the fireplace, it’s conceivable that the combustible material will burst into flames, and it could spread from the chimney to the house. In the event that a coating shows up in the vent in any time, even under 1/8″, the CSIA concurs that cleaning shouldn’t wait, as a result of how very combustible the substance is.

Why is a yearly Chimney Inspection Important?

Other than getting your chimney cleaned yearly, it’s essential to have an expert check to make certain the framework isn’t in a condition of deterioration. A broken chimney is a fire danger and ought to be repaired before utilizing the chimney.

What if the Fireplace is Rarely Used?

The NFPA prescribes that all fireplaces be cleaned and assessed every year just in case the framework is damaged, it makes a fire danger. It’s best not to assume that a chimney framework is in great working condition, regardless of the conditions.

When Should a Chimney be Inspected?

Other than getting your chimney investigated yearly, whenever you see unmistakable indications of damage, an examination ought to be planned at the earliest opportunity. In the event that you redesign your framework by including a chimney insert, for instance, it’s best to get a review to ensure the framework is working correctly.

Many individuals wait until the point when cool climate is around to get an inspection, which implies that chimney sweeps are very busy. The best arrangement is to get your chimney cleaned and reviewed in spring or summer, not just to get a hop on the bustling season, but also to give time for repairs, if any are required.

Chimneys are a brilliant addition for any home, and a yearly cleaning and investigation of the framework is the most ideal approach to keep the chimney from turning into a risky fire danger. To plan a yearly assessment, please call our chimney experts for the best administration accessible.

Chimney Cleaning Importance: Safety tips for before you spark up the logs this winter

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With natural gas and propane costs rising, you’ll likely be looking to the old chimney this winter to help cut your home-warming bills. In any case, before you start up the logs, note that chimneys and chimneys are associated with 42 percent of all home fires. So first ensure yours is up to snuff by following the security tips underneath.

Reasons to Call a Chimney Sweep

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Reasons to Call a Chimney Sweep

In case you’re new to the universe of chimneys, you may not know precisely what a chimney sweep does. Like the name infers, these experts clear (i.e., clean) fireplaces. Yet, many likewise perform other critical assignments, for example, diagnosing issues and making repairs and substitutions. Knowing what a chimney sweep does now, we need to discuss reasons to get one of these specialists out to your home.

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There’s water inside the firebox. If you have a stack top set up to keep rain from entering the fireplace, in the event that you see water in your firebox, it implies there’s a break some place. Water that gets into a firebox may come through breaks in the blocks and mortar of the stack. Serious and costly harm will happen in the long run if the issue isn’t settled, and in the greater part of cases, only a professional chimney sweep can accurately diagnose where the rupture exists and its degree.

Smoke is going into the house. In the event that the chimney damper is open and smoke is filling the room, there might be something blocking the inside of the stack. An assortment of flotsam and jetsam that is found in a gust of wind or tumbles from trees may have gotten in there. Little creatures are known to fabricate homes in chimneys. Smoke in the room additionally might be the consequence of downdrafts, which can be caused by a fireplace that is too short or a pipe that is too wide. In either case, a professional chimney sweep can rapidly find what’s wrong and furnish you with an answer.

You’ve had a chimney fire. Not all fireplace flames can be seen, but they are all equipped for doing genuine harm. In the event that you ever hear a strange splitting or popping clamor or the sound of thundering originating from the chimney while being used, or if you see it’s creating an incredible measure of dark, thick smoke, you have to promptly douse the fire in the firebox and call emergency administrations. From that point onward, call a chimney sweep to survey the harm and give your fireplace an approval before you utilize it once more.

Proficient chimney sweeps, similar to those at Chimney Sweeps West, have particular hardware and training empowering them to effectively and securely perform yearly reviews, a wide range of repairs and, obviously, careful smokestack cleanings.