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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
If you’re ready to have your chimney cleaned, you might wonder what to expect and how long the process will take. The short answer is that a chimney sweep typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Technicians spend some time setting up equipment, like laying drop cloths to protect your living space from soot and chimney debris. There’s also packing up at the end to thoroughly clean up all resulting debris. Because of this, the total service time may exceed an hour. Although, you shouldn’t need to schedule more than two hours for your entire service, from start to finish.
Here’s a more thorough look at what to expect…
CAP OR NO CAP
The total time expenditure of your chimney service will depend on a few outside factors. We recommend your chimney has a cap that covers the opening. This prevents outside debris from coming in. It also keeps animals from making homes or becoming trapped inside. So, if your chimney has a cap, the chimney sweep process will likely take less time. Chimneys without a cap may have extra debris that needs to be removed.
Another factor impacting the amount of time a chimney service takes is buildup. Creosote is a tar buildup present in the chimney. Because it’s a byproduct of wood burning, some residue is left inside the chimney after every fire. Over time, it creates a thick layer of black tar. Since creosote is flammable, it’s important to have this buildup removed periodically by a chimney technician.
This is one of the reasons why a regular chimney sweep service is so important. If it’s been a while since the chimney was cleaned, there will be more creosote and the service might take longer. Generally, chimneys that are regularly serviced can be swept more quickly.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A CHIMNEY SWEEP
Your chimney sweep technician will likely clean your chimney with a long wire brush that looks something like a large bottlebrush. The bristles of the brush sweep debris from inside the chimney and down the flue, cleaning the inside surface area. Accumulated debris gather in the fireplace area to be removed.
CHIMNEY SWEEP SERVICES
Regular chimney cleaning is an important safety measure, a central part of home maintenance, and can be done quickly and cleanly. Now that you know what to expect, contact a representative at The Irish Sweep to set up your chimney cleaning service today. Contact our office at (510) 521-4088.
When wood burns in a fireplace, there are natural byproducts that result. The chimney is the place where it all accumulates. Some of these byproducts are flammable and can ignite to cause a chimney fire if left unswept. So, it’s important to have a dirty chimney cleaned for safety reasons. Here’s what you need to know…
Creosote is the most common buildup inside a dirty chimney. It’s a combination of tar and soot that accumulates in layers. Over time, the layers of creosote thicken and need to be removed.
It’s visible to both chimney technicians and the average homeowner. Using a flashlight, peek inside your chimney. If you see an accumulation of black material, it’s likely creosote. A service professional can remove this buildup to restore your chimney to a state of cleanliness and improved function.
How dirty the inside of your chimney is will depend on when it was last cleaned. According to industry standards, a fireplace and chimney are required to be cleaned at least once a year to remove the buildup of creosote and other debris. However, fireplaces and chimneys that are used more frequently require additional maintenance. Your technician will evaluate the inside of your chimney to determine the best method of cleaning.
A DIRTY CHIMNEY IS DANGEROUS
Having a large accumulation of creosote inside your chimney might also mean the spark arrestor mesh in the flue cap is clogged, creating a downdraft of smoke into your home and cause fires to burn less efficiently and effectively, creating less warmth and greater particulate matter into the environment. These are all inconveniences of a dirty chimney.
But it’s not just an inconvenience. It’s unsafe. The creosote that accumulates on the inner walls of the chimney is a flammable substance and, if not removed periodically, can ignite to cause a chimney fire that could spread to other areas of your home.
SERVICE APPOINTMENT FOR YOUR CHIMNEY OR DRYER EXHAUST VENT
For safety, efficiency, and convenience, make sure your chimney isn’t dirty. Call us at (510) 521-4088 or email our Office Manager, Sarah, at email@example.com to schedule an appointment today. Once we are deemed to be an essential business, our expertly trained crew will be so happy to be back at work and address all of your service concerns.