3 Things to Do Before Chimney Inspection and Repair

One of the best things about the cold season is gathering around the fire with friends and family to enjoy a cup of tea or some hot chocolate. But without proper chimney inspection and repair, you risk the safety and security of your household due to a fire. Did you know that several things can damage your chimney? For example, the age of the building, wildlife, or extreme weather are just some of the reasons a chimney may need repairs.

The ideal time for chimney cleaning and repairs is just before autumn. But once you’ve booked your appointment, you may be wondering what to do before the experts arrive? With that in mind, here are 3 steps to take to prepare for your chimney inspection.

1) Clear Off Your Mantel

If your mantel is crowded with knickknacks, photo frames, or any other home decor, make sure you remove all of it before the chimney technicians arrive. Why is this important? It prevents anything valuable from being accidentally broken, and it also helps your technicians to get the job done faster because nothing is in their way. Also, put aside anything around the hearth while you’re at it.

2) Cover Nearby Furnishings

The chimney technicians who do this job should cover the area surrounding your fireplace in order to protect it from soot. The process of cleaning a chimney is much more meticulous than it used to be. The whole process is done with the help of a modern industrial vacuum that does not raise dust. Although, if you have delicate items near your fireplace, we strongly recommend that you cover them with sheets or plastic to protect them.

3) Write Down Your Questions

Before the pros arrive, write down any questions you may have. You can ask them during your appointment to gather all the information you need about taking care of your fireplace and chimney. This way, you won’t have to call the company later to ask any forgotten questions.

Schedule Today

Autumn is here, and winter is on its way. If you’re ready to schedule chimney inspection and repair services, give us a call at The Irish Sweep at (510) 521-4088, or fill out a quick contact form by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chimney Cleaning

Fireplace chimney cleaning is an important maintenance task in order to ensure your chimney is clean, safe, and functioning at its best. Scheduling your appointment early in the season prepares your home for the cold months ahead and gets it out of the way, so you can focus on the holidays with your loved ones. But if you’re wondering what fireplace chimney cleaning entails, here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Why does a chimney need cleaning?

One of the reasons a chimney needs to be cleaned regularly is that burning wood produces a combustible product called creosote. This buildup of creosote poses a fire risk for your home.

How often should my chimney be cleaned?

According to national standards, a chimney should be cleaned at least once a year, even if you don’t use your fireplace often. For peace of mind, it’s best to have it checked annually.

How long does it take to clean the chimney?

There are certain things that can cause a fireplace chimney cleaning to take longer. For instance, damage to the flue, the presence of nests, or a heavy layer of creosote. The time it takes depends on the inspection. But, in general, expect a technician to be on the job for about an hour.

Will there be a mess in my house?

A professional chimney company will take special precautions when they’re in your home. It’s helpful if you move furniture or personal items away from the fireplace, but a pro will bring their own tools and materials to protect your living space.

What do chimney sweeps do?

An experienced chimney sweep will check the condition of your fireplace and chimney. This includes things like the condition of the flue, and whether or not there are any nests. Your chimney will be inspected for buildup, structural damage, or any interior obstructions, and also cleaned.

Should I worry about carbon monoxide poisoning?

As you probably already know, carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is especially dangerous because it’s odorless. It’s always a good idea to keep a carbon monoxide detector in your home. This safety hazard can be caused by poor ventilation due to a clogged chimney that isn’t properly expelling toxic fumes.

Is it still necessary to clean the chimney if I use Duraflame Logs?

Even if you only use packaged wood products, the chimney still has to be cleaned. This is because creosote is still being created.

My fireplace contains a set of artificial gas logs. Does my chimney need cleaning?

Due to flame impingement, carbon builds up on the artificial logs, and that carbon is also spread into the smoke chamber, as well as the chimney. This carbon deposit is flammable and should be removed in order to prevent a chimney fire.

When is a good time to clean the chimney?

It’s best to schedule fireplace and chimney cleaning before the winter cold sets in. We recommend cleaning your chimney before the busy holiday season.

Fireplace Chimney Cleaning

To schedule your annual fireplace and chimney cleaning, contact us at The Irish Sweep. Our experienced team is available to answer all of your questions. Give us a call at (510) 521-4088, or fill out this quick contact form.

 

When and How Often Should You Get a Chimney Inspection?

Scheduling a chimney inspection is a great way to stay proactive and avoid future problems. Failure to maintain your chimney can lead to a variety of issues and cost you a lot of money over time. Reaching out to professionals to inspect your chimney before the winter season will keep your chimney working well and ensure the safety of your home and your family.

Frequency of Chimney Inspections

Typically, you should have your chimney inspected yearly for the best results. Safety is the number one reason for scheduling an inspection, as chimneys are the second most common cause for house fires. Creosote is a highly flammable substance inside your chimney that tends to build up over time. It can catch on fire if it’s not cleaned out. Carbon monoxide poisoning is another major safety concern. An annual inspection plays a key role in keeping you and your family safe.

While experts recommend a yearly inspection, you may opt to have your chimney cleaned more often if it’s used frequently. The more a chimney is used, the more creosote builds up. Because creosote is the substance that can present a fire hazard, it should be cleaned away whenever it begins to coat the flue. You should also have your chimney inspected if you’re experiencing any performance issues.

Benefits of a Chimney Inspection

While safety is the number one benefit of having your chimney inspected, there are additional advantages to be gained. For example, a professional inspector can identify any structural issues due to an obstruction in your chimney. Checking for structural issues on your own isn’t an easy task for most homeowners. Chimney inspection professionals use the latest equipment in the industry to ensure your chimney is working optimally.

What if I Don’t Use My Chimney?

Even if you don’t often use your chimney, it should still be inspected once per year. This is because small animals sometimes make homes in chimney openings. Alternatively, debris may have found its way into the chimney, making it dangerous to use. A chimney inspector is able to identify and remove obstructions, maintaining the soundness of your chimney, and ensuring that it’s safe for use.

Contact Us

At The Irish Sweep, we understand the importance of fireplace safety and strive to meet the unique needs of each customer. Our team of experts follows national standards. Your comfort and safety are our number one priority. Contact us today at 510.521.4088 to learn more about our professional chimney inspection and cleaning services.

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.

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.

The Importance of Chimney Sweeping Early in 2020

As a homeowner, it’s important to regularly schedule a chimney sweeping appointment to prevent fires. If you use your fireplace regularly, soot and creosote collect on the walls of your chimney. This is dangerous and can also reduce the efficiency of your fireplace.

Luckily, all of this can be avoided by having your chimney cleaned before the colder months arrive, and 2020 is no exception. It’s always best to hire a professional chimney sweep before the rainy weather sets in.

Here’s why hiring a chimney sweeping service is essential for every homeowner…

This Isn’t a Job to Handle by Yourself

Not only is it messy work, but in order to ensure that your chimney is really clean, it’s essential to hire a professional to get the job done right. Most homeowners don’t have the proper equipment or the expertise that’s needed to thoroughly clean their own chimney.

Chimney Fires are Extremely Common

It’s estimated that each year 70,000 house fires are caused by the buildup of soot inside chimneys. In fact, research indicates that as many as 30% of all home fires are caused by chimney soot buildup. Furthermore, these fires can cause costly damage to homes. In fact, chimney-related fires cause an estimated $1.3 billion in damage every year.

The Efficiency of Your Fireplace Will Increase

Creosote and soot buildup reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the fire in your fireplace, causing it to burn at a lower temperature. There can be a substantial difference in heating efficiency after your chimney is cleaned.

Buildup Can Become Costly

In some cases, dust, soot, and debris can build up in your chimney to the point where the walls become damaged. Left long enough, it may require costly repairs to restore your chimney.

It Helps Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide in your home can be deadly, and having a chimney that’s partially clogged can increase this risk. Furthermore, the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning often go unnoticed. But fortunately, having your chimney cleaned can greatly reduce your chances of falling victim to this silent killer.

Chimney Sweeping With Us

At The Irish Sweep, we’re here to help with any masonry repairs, fireplace insert installation, chimney cleaning, and/or dryer vent cleaning. We offer our services to Bay Area customers to ensure their health and safety. Schedule an appointment online, or contact us at (510) 521-4088.