4 Tools You Should Have In Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

Keeping your dryer exhaust vents clean is absolutely crucial for the safety of your household. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, the leading cause of dryer fires is the accumulation of lint, which is highly flammable.

It’s recommended to clean your dryer vents on a regular basis, at least once a year. Cleaning your dryer vents can also help maintain your dryer’s efficiency and save money on utility bills. Clothes taking longer to dry is a telltale sign that your dryer vents need cleaning.

If you choose to clean your own dryer vents, here are 4 tools your dryer vent cleaning kit should include.

Dryer Lint Brush

This flexible but not very long brush comes in handy when the amount of lint accumulated in your dryer vent is not excessive. To clean deeper into the dryer vents, you’ll need to attach it to a nylon brush rod, which is fairly long.

Dryer Vent Vacuum

This is especially useful when your dryer vents are clogged due to excessive lint buildup. It works by sucking the lint and other debris out. Make sure the hose you attach to the vacuum is long enough and fits into your dryer vents.

Flexible Crevice Tool

This tool should be used together with the dryer vent vacuum. Thanks to its flexibility and angled tip, a long crevice tool helps you to access hard-to-reach, tight areas in your dryer vents.

Air Compressor

A powerful air compressor can help you remove lint a lot faster and easier, but it’s more expensive than other tools. It uses bursts of air to blow the lint out. You will need a good hose attachment to effectively use an air compressor for dryer vent cleaning.

Call a Professional

Even if you have these tools in your dryer vent cleaning kit, there is only one way to make sure your dryer vents are properly cleaned and the risk of fire is minimized. This is to have your dryer vents regularly inspected and cleaned by a certified dryer vent cleaning expert in your area.

If you’re looking for professional dryer vent cleaning services in Alameda, Oakland, Concord, Lafayette CA, or surrounding areas, contact us. At The Irish Sweep, we can be reached by phone at (510) 521-4088 or by email at staff@theirishsweep.com. We are certified to clean dryer vents by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and adhere to multiple national standards.

Certifications to Look for in a Chimney Company

If it’s time for a chimney and fireplace inspection for your home, you may be wondering what kind of chimney cleaning certification a company should have. Since this home maintenance is so critical to your safety, make sure you take some extra time to ask questions. Keep reading to learn more about the right credentials for the job.

National Chimney Sweep Guild

The first thing to check for is a company’s membership to NCSG or the National Chimney Sweep Guild. This is because, on a national level, NCSG is the only existing recognized trade association for chimney professionals. It exists to promote professionalism and accountability among chimney service companies, and chimney cleaning certification.

Membership in the NCSG is also an assurance that employees have individual memberships in CSIA, the Chimney Safety Institute of America. CSIA is the regulating body that provides certification for a chimney sweeper to become a trusted professional. Technicians are elevated from novice to pro as they become a Certified Chimney Professional™

A CCP is a chimney professional who completed the training program to learn methods that adhere to the proper industry codes and standards. This verifies they have a professional understanding of the knowledge needed to handle the job properly.

Tests

There are two exams for chimney cleaning certification. They cover safety measures, policy, and other important procedures. The first is an exam based on a coursebook entitled: “Successful Chimney Sweeping ” and “National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 211 fire codes.” The second set of questions is based on the International Residential Codes (IRC).

Validity

A CCP certification is valid for a year. While renewal is accepted with a small upfront fee, recertification is required every two years. This is necessary to update the skills and methods applied in the field.

Sub-Branches of the Chimney Professional Certification

• Certified Chimney Reliners

A CCR has completed training on methods that adhere to the updated codes and standards of professional chimney relining. They also have a commitment to a code of conduct for chimney professionals that pledges honor and integrity on the job.

• Certified Master Chimney Technician

A CMCT is a chimney professional that has achieved a total of six years of certification and a minimum of ten years of experience on the job. Having also studied what is current in the chimney sweeping business, they are considered seasoned experts at what they do. They are also committed to the code of conduct.

Reliable Chimney Services

Working with a professional you can trust makes all the difference, especially when you hire someone for an in-home service. For a company you can count on, contatc us at The Irish Sweep. Our office is available at (510) 521-4088.

Signs That Your Chimney Needs to be Inspected

Having a fireplace can make a home feel warm, cozy, and comfortable, but there are also dangers to be aware of as a responsible homeowner. If your chimney isn’t kept in good condition, it could result in a devastating fire. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that your chimney is always in full working order. But if you’re unsure whether you need a chimney inspection, there are signs to keep an eye out for.

 Rust

Your firebox or damper should be free from rust. If rust does begin to develop, this could be a sign that there’s too much moisture in the chimney. While the rust itself won’t cause any significant problems, the moisture inside the chimney can be problematic. For example, it could cause the flue tiles to become cracked.

Damaged Flue

If the flue becomes damaged, you may begin to notice pieces of tile falling into the fireplace. This is known as shaling and can potentially lead to a very serious fire hazard. It’s best to call on an expert for a chimney inspection.

Similarly, if the walls around the fireplace appear to be damaged, this could also suggest that there’s moisture within the chimney. Peeling wallpaper is a good example.

Wildlife

Another thing to be mindful of is wildlife. If you hear animal noises from within the chimney or find debris that could have been left by an animal, such as twigs, this could suggest that a critter has built a home inside the chimney or become trapped. If this happens, definitely don’t try to smoke the animal out by lighting a fire.

A Smoking Fireplace

Another thing to watch out for is a fireplace that lets smoke into the room. Not only is this unpleasant, but it’s a sign that a dangerous amount of flammable soot and creosote may have built up on the walls of your chimney.

Weather Damage

In times of extreme weather, there’s extra potential for your chimney to sustain damage. This might include the development of cracks, loosened bricks, or other issues. A damaged chimney won’t perform as well as it was intended to, and can even be dangerous.

Time

Ideally, you should schedule a chimney inspection each year, but many people put off this essential home maintenance. If it’s been more than twelve months since your last professional chimney inspection, it’s a good idea to remedy this.

Scheduling Your Chimney Inspection

While there are risks associated with a chimney that’s not regularly cared for, these issues can be eliminated through proper maintenance. Protect your home today by calling us at 510.521.4088. Or, reach out online by emailing staff@theirishsweep.com.

Factors to Consider in Chimney Cleaning

Chimney cleaning is necessary to guarantee that a fireplace system remains safe to use. In fact, it’s a critical aspect of home maintenance, but the coronavirus pandemic has temporarily limited the availability of Bay Area chimney cleaning services. Still, these are some important factors for homeowners to be aware of before lighting the fireplace.

Key Points to Home Fire Safety

1. An inspection and cleaning are necessary at least once a year. If you haven’t had your chimney inspected or cleaned within the past year, it’s wise to hold off until you’re able to schedule an appointment.

2. Cleaning is also a good idea when animals or insects are found in your chimney. Some other signs it’s time to call your local chimney sweep include odors emanating from an unused system, or a fireplace the smokes. Smoky rooms often indicate a chimney blockage, or a buildup of creosote. Creosote has a dark, greasy appearance and it’s highly combustible, making it a fire hazard.

3. Lastly, be sure to seek professional guidance if you notice crumbling and/or missing fireplace or chimney bricks. Any damage to the system can cause poor airflow, and even prove hazardous to your health.

Hiring a Professional

Professional qualifications are another important factor to consider when thinking about chimney cleaning services. Always review the qualifications of a professional before you hire them.

Keep the following key points in mind… A chimney professional should have experience, as well as state certifications and licenses. Their knowledge should also extend beyond cleaning to include expertise in fireplace system inspection, repair, and installation. And finally, they should have a long-standing, positive history in the region. Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials. A reputable company will be ready to provide new clients with this information.

Scheduling With Us

The Irish Sweep has provided premium Bay Area chimney cleaning and related services at an affordable price for nearly 40 years. Our team has the skills and experience to provide results in a fast, efficient, and safe manner. For more information, or to schedule a remote or future onsite appointment, contact us today at (510) 521-4088.

How to Plan for Chimney Safety During COVID-19

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will continue to be an ongoing health issue for some time to come. Yet life continues, fireplace-related issues included. With restrictions on how and when service professionals can work in homes and businesses, it’s important to make chimney and fireplace safety plans both while stay-at-home orders persist, and after reopening is complete. Read on to learn how you can be proactive about fireplace safety in your home.

Inspect your Fireplace and Chimney

Fireplace safety requires yearly on-site inspections. Animals can take up residence inside of a chimney, structural materials can break down or shift into hazardous positions, and creosote buildup can result in an uncontrollable fire that goes unnoticed until it spreads through your home. It’s important to take the time to inspect your fireplace and chimney. If the system hasn’t been inspected in the last year, wait to use it until seeking guidance from a professional.

Call an Expert for Assistance

In California, officials have agreed to permit some limited home and business service emergency calls. The best course of action is to contact a qualified professional for guidance related to chimney and fireplace safety inspections, cleaning, and upkeep as soon as you detect a problem.

Remote advice and instruction are available for many common fireplace safety issues. If you’re dealing with animals or nesting insects, please don’t try to smoke them out. Call your local Wildlife Control for help.

Create a Checklist for Future On-Site Appointments

Professional fireplace and chimney services require a technician to work within a confined space. Before you schedule an appointment, confirm that the company has a solid plan in place for limiting the risk of coronavirus.

Anyone visiting your home should perform a virus symptoms review prior to arrival, and wear appropriate protective equipment, such as gloves and a mask. During the appointment, the CDC recommends maintaining a personal distance of at least six feet

We go the Extra Mile

The Irish Sweep goes the extra mile to protect customers from risks related to common fireplace and chimney issues. We’re also taking additional health precautions during the coronavirus pandemic. For more information on the steps we’re taking to prepare for future on-site appointments, contact us at (510) 521-4088.

Dryer Vent Cleaning – What is C-DET?

If you’ve ever had your dryer vents professionally cleaned, you’ve most likely come across the phrase “C-DET certified.” In this guide, we explore the relationship between C-DET and dryer vents cleaning and explain exactly what C-DET means.

What is C-DET?

C-DET is the only nationally recognized certification for dryer vent cleaning. A C-DET, or Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician, is certified by the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America). So, a C-DET is a specially trained technician that is qualified to recognize safety issues and potential problems with your dryer. C-DET and dryer vent cleaning are essential to ensure dryers in your home operate safely. Otherwise, your dryer poses a risk for house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

What Does a C-DET do?

C-DETs do a lot more than simply cleaning out a dryer vent – they have other responsibilities too, such as checking the dyer system and making sure it’s in compliance with all relevant codes and regulations. A C-DET takes into account the age of your dryer, and how frequently it’s used. This information helps to eliminate possible safety hazards.

Why Use a C-DET?

If you choose to hire a technician without a C-DET certification, you could be trusting your dryer vent cleaning and analysis service to someone who is unqualified and inexperienced. When you work with a C-DET, you can have complete confidence that you hired someone with an expansive knowledge of dryers, as well as all the relevant codes and regulations. To become a CSIA C-DET, you must pass an extensive exam that covers everything from dryer maintenance to codes and regulations.

Why is C-DET Dryer Vents Cleaning Important?

• Improve the efficiency of your dryer

A clean dryer vent keeps your dryer functioning properly. When it’s clogged, it causes your appliance to work overtime. Clothes stay damp for longer, and your dryer deteriorates at a much faster rate than usual.

• Fire Safety

If your dryer is taking longer than usual to dry clothes, it may be running at a higher temperature. This can cause the heating element of your dryer to burn out. Not to mention this is one of the most common causes of house fires! Regular dryer maintenance by a C-DET ensures your dryer runs at a safe temperature.

C-DET and Dryer Vents Cleaning for You

Our mission is to educate and bring awareness to our customers regarding home safety. Maintain the optimum performance of your dryer, and secure your peace of mind, with a professional C-DET dryer vent cleaning from The Irish Sweep. Give us a call at (510) 521-4088.