The Irish Sweep is still accepting calls to answer questions and schedule any service needs. However, no on-site visits are currently being conducted pursuant to the government's stay in place order. Please feel free to contact us at 510.521.4088 to get answers to your questions or schedule a future appointment.

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Critters are cute, but they certainly don’t belong in the chimney. If you ever hear unusual sounds from your fireplace, like wings, or scratching, odds are you have a wild guest trying to escape. From cats to birds, we’ve been told all kinds of stories about wildlife trapped in flues. But if you find an animal in the chimney, what should you do about it?

Don’t Light Your Fireplace

First and foremost, don’t light your fireplace. While it might seem logical to try to smoke the animal out, it’s more likely to injure the animal, and possibly your chimney, too.

Instead, close off the fireplace so the animal can’t get loose in your home. The last thing you want is to be chasing a raccoon around the house.

Animal in the Chimney? Call Animal Control

There’s no need to panic. If you open the damper, the animal may be able to get out on its own. But if that isn’t the case, give your local animal control service a call. They’re better equipped to deal with an animal in the chimney than the fire department.

Keep Critters Out

Animals search for warm places to build their nests, especially in wintry months. They don’t understand what a fireplace is. So, it’s best to simply prevent finding an animal in the chimney before it becomes an issue.

To protect both your home and your chimney, it’s important to have a qualified chimney sweep examine the inner components of your chimney for damage. A missing or faulty rain cap, as well as gaps where animals can squeeze in, pose risks to your chimney.

Having your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned before you begin building fires in cold weather will help you avoid not only unwelcome nests, but other hazards. For more information on our services, please give us a call at (510) 521-4088.

In 2014 there were nearly 23,000 chimney fires caused by fireplaces. Open fires and wood burners are a great feature for any home, but making use of your chimney does increase your risk of house fires. The good news is that you can take measures to prevent them. Read on to learn some important facts about chimney fires.

The Problem with Dirty Chimneys

When you burn wood in your fireplace, it causes a residue to accumulate on the walls of your chimney. This residue is called creosote.

Creosote is combustible. If enough builds up, and your chimney gets hot enough, it can catch fire. Flames from your fire or wood burner can also ignite the creosote. And once it’s burning, you have a chimney fire.

Silent Fires

Because chimney fires start inside chimneys, they quite often go undetected. The creosote on the walls of your chimney is the fuel, so once it burns up, the fire usually goes out on its own. You may not even realize anything happened. In some cases, however, fires burn noisily, making them impossible to miss.

Chimney Fires Can Cause Serious Damage

Your chimney is designed to carry the smoke from your fire or wood burner out of your home. It’s not designed to withstand fires inside the chimney itself.

If you have a chimney fire, it will cause damage to your chimney, causing it to crack or melt. If the damage is severe enough, then a chimney fire may be able to pass into your home, which can be incredibly dangerous.

They Can Be Prevented

The good news is that chimney fires are preventable.

The simple fact is that clean chimneys don’t catch fire. Without a supply of creosote to fuel the fire, there is nothing to keep a chimney fire burning. By properly cleaning and maintaining your chimney, you can eliminate the risk of chimney fires.

We would always recommend hiring the services of a professional chimney sweep to keep your chimney clean. That way you can ensure that your chimney is in safe working order.

Are You Looking for a Reliable Chimney Sweep?

If you want to prevent chimney fires in your own home, then you need a reliable chimney sweep. That’s where we can help.

As well as chimney servicing and inspections, we also offer fireplace installation, chimney removal, and more. Our mission as chimney professionals is to educate and bring awareness to our customers regarding fireplace safety, integrity, and performance. Our number one priority is safety.

Contact us today and let us take care of your chimney. 

If you have a fireplace built into your house, you’re lucky. It’s the perfect way to relax and stay cozy on cold nights. Furthermore, there are financial benefits, too. Having a fireplace in a home can raise it’s value by over $12,000.

However, a fireplace also means there’s a chimney that requires regular maintenance. Luckily, this is fairly simple when you do your research and hire the right chimney sweep.

Here’s a look at the process of cleaning a chimney, as well as the amazing people who do this work. Read on to learn why chimney maintenance is so important…

What Does a Chimney Sweep Do?

Yes, a chimney sweep cleans out your chimney, but there’s a bit more to the career description than that. The chimney sweep will go into the chimney and assess how much soot is trapped inside it. This step determines his or her next course of action.

Though the job title sounds Dickensian, chimney sweeps today use modern equipment, as well as vacuums and other tools to get the job done.

Why Does it Matter?

Chimney maintenance is crucial to your home safety because a dirty chimney is a fire hazard. In fact, it drastically increases the probability of chimney fires. These disasters happen when soot combusts. The fire sweeps through the inner tiles of the chimney, as well as the flue liners and stovepipes.

Additionally, leaving soot and ash in the fireplace can pollute the air of your home and make it difficult to breathe. If soot and ash enter your lungs, you put yourself at risk for lung and respiratory issues. While a chimney sweep has the right knowledge and tools to prevent this from happening to them, you don’t. This is why DIY chimney cleaning is a major no-no.

Hire a Chimney Sweep Today

While it’s easy to forget about your chimney when sprucing up the rest of your home, it’s one of the most important areas to remember, not only for sanitation, but safety, too.

When was the last time you had your chimney cleaned? Now that you understand why chimney maintenance is so vital, it’s time to get started. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

If you have a fireplace, then you may already know about ceramic coating. But it’s not a paint, like you might imagine. Rather, think of it as an environmentally-friendly, protective skin that improves safety. Read on to learn more about some of the benefits of adding a ceramic coating to your fireplace.

What is HeatShield?

HeatShield technology is a hybrid ceramic/refractory coating that was developed in Europe. Independent testing has proven that it withstands moisture, harsh flue gases, and extreme temperatures.

Eco-Friendly

Eco-friendly products have gained in popularity, both for the environment and our own health. There’s no reason innovation can’t be green. Manufactured from recycled and natural materials, HeatShield is more economical than rebuilding your chimney. HeatShield ensures using your fireplace is safer, as well as more efficient.

Heat Resistance

The heat resistant qualities of ceramic coatings are well-known. HeatShield handles temperatures in excess of 2900 degrees Fahrenheit. Ceramic coatings also offer oxidization protection and chemical resistance, plus a firm finish. In fact, high-temperature ceramic coatings work in automotive parts, as well as heavy manufacturing equipment.

Expert Chimney Repair

All of our independent HeatShield installers are certified and factory-trained. Whether your chimney needs a complete resurfacing, or a quick fix, our professionals have the tools and industry experience to get the job done right. They even use special video cameras to verify completed repairs.

Our 20-Year Warranty

You don’t need to install a new chimney liner. Adding a ceramic coating is a quick and affordable way to update your fireplace. Our highly skilled experts use professional products to ensure the best results for our clients. We hope you found this article helpful, and we’re happy to answer any further questions you may have. Ask our HeatShield professionals about our 20-year warranty.

To learn more about the many benefits of ceramic coating, feel free to contact us!

Chimney leaks are one of the most common issues we see during the rainy season. Though chimneys may appear to be a solid block or marble column, they actually have several distinct parts. And since they’re always exposed to the elements, they’re more vulnerable to damage.

Chimney leaks are one of the most common issues we see during the rainy season. Though chimneys may appear to be a solid block, they actually have several distinct parts. And since they’re always exposed to the elements, they’re more vulnerable to damage.

Sometimes the impact of a rough climate on a chimney isn’t obvious, but here are some things to watch out for.

Damaged Flue

Chimney flues are constructed of one or two foot sections of terracotta clay liner. Some chimneys are unlined without the safety benefit of a series of clay flue liners. Both of these substances are subject to water damage without appropriate treatment. Water can do a lot of harm once it gets into a house. These are some signs your flue might be cracked and leaking:

  • Mold and rot
  • Dripping roof
  • Dank smells
  • Warped floors
  • Efflorescence on the firebox brick or fireplace facing material
  • Peeling or paint or plaster on a wall next to the fireplace facade

The chimney is often one of the most overlooked parts of a home. It seems solid, but the interior is fairly delicate.

Chimney leaks are one of the most common issues we see during the rainy season. Though chimneys may appear to be a solid block or marble column, they actually have several distinct parts. And since they’re always exposed to the elements, they’re more vulnerable to damage.

Sometimes the impact of a rough climate on a chimney isn’t obvious, but here are some things to watch out for.

Broken Flue

Chimney flues are usually made of terracotta tiles or metal. Both of these substances are subject to water damage without appropriate treatment. Water can do a lot of harm once it gets into a house. These are some signs your flue might be cracked and leaking:

  • Mold and rot
  • Dripping roof
  • Dank smells
  • Warped floors

The chimney is often one of the most overlooked parts of a home. It seems solid, but the interior is fairly delicate.

Deteriorating Masonry

Cracks in the masonry are not uncommon, but unfortunately, they’re usually the most costly to repair. On the upside, you’re less likely to overlook the damage until it turns into a chimney leak.

Broken or Missing Cover

It seems so simple, yet we often see chimneys that have faulty covers, or no cover at all. Luckily, this is an easy issue to fix. A chimney cap with mesh netting keeps rain out of the chimney and attic, as well as animals.

Chimney Clog

Moisture damage can cause bricks to tumble down inside the chimney. This is mostly an issue with older homes that aren’t lined properly. Nests can also stop up a chimney. The resulting clog interferes with airflow, which is dangerous if carbon monoxide is able to build up.

It’s best to have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year, especially before winter. A certified professional will be able to spot damage before it turns into a costly chimney leak.

The Irish Sweep is one of the most trusted Chimney Cleaning Company that cleans, inspects and repairs fireplaces and chimneys, sells and installs gas inserts. We also provide Dryer Vent Cleaning Service and the best team for different areas such as: Alameda Chimney Cleaner, Berkeley Chimney Cleaner, and Orinda Chimney Cleaner. Find the chimney cleaning services near you from The Irish Sweep known for the best Chimney Cleaning and Dryer Vent Cleaning service provider across USA. We have a large pool of chimney sweeps who provide the best service near you and always ready to help. Contact us today for chimney cleaning services around you.