Chimney Cleaners and Regular Cleanings

When the winter winds begin to blow, the glow of a fire is the perfect remedy for the blustery chill. Few things compare to a crackling fire to keep a home cozy and warm. With that comfort, however, comes a danger that can build right under the nose of an unsuspecting homeowner.

Each year, many house fires begin in the chimney. Burning wood creates a by-product called creosote that can accumulate and ignite. For this reason, regular chimney maintenance is essential to home safety. A thorough check and a cleaning by a professional chimney cleaner can ensure the risk of fire is kept at a minimum.

An early sign that the chimney is due for a check is smoke pouring into the home when a fire is built. Other dangers can lurk inside the chimney. Birds build nests during warmer months inside a dark flue, creating a further risk of fire. A check by a chimney cleaner at the onset of colder weather is an excellent way to be sure there are no nests or other debris deep inside the chimney.

The use of a chimney cap can prevent bird or other animals from creating a hazard inside the chimney. Chimney caps also work to keep outside debris from accumulating in the flue. Although chimney caps are a good way to prevent problems from building inside the chimney, they should be checked regularly as well. The wire screen that protects the chimney can also collect soot, leaves and other matter and may need to be cleaned.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, a chimney should be inspected at least one per year for build up. There is no set number of cleanings the CSIA recommends. In other words, the key to chimney safety lies in keeping a watchful eye on the amount of creosote buildup within the chimney, and cleaning accordingly. No more than a quarter inch of accumulation should be allowed to build up inside a chimney. Once this amount of creosote is noticeable, the chimney is overdue for a cleaning. If there is a presence of glaze, the Safety Institute says, a cleaning should be performed even earlier.

Before the first blaze crackles to life, a professional cleaning is a good idea. A regularly scheduled check by a chimney cleaner monthly is a good policy. The warmth and ambience of a glowing fire is hard to beat. For peace of mind, the services of a chimney cleaner are hard to beat as well.

Ron Nichols Here... and thanks for reading my Raleigh Chimney Sweep Blog. I am an expert at cleaning a chimney or fireplace.



Only one safe way to use your fireplace or wood stove it too have the chimney inspected every season and to take action should it need a chimney cleaning.



Thanks and have a safe and wonderful day...



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What to Look for in a Chimney Sweep Company

Creosote Deglazing Before And After Chimney Cleaning and Sweep

Creosote Deglazing Before And After Chimney Cleaning and Sweep

Improper care and incorrect repairs to a chimney can result in carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney and/or house fires. Fire safety organizations recommend that chimneys be inspected and cleaned at least once every year. For these reasons, it is important to select a dependable and competent chimney sweep to perform the job.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that you select a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. According to the CSIA, a chimney sweep that has earned and maintained the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep credentials has demonstrated a professional commitment to chimney fire and safety.

The National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), which promotes the success, professionalism, and ethical accountability of its members recommends additional questions to ask a chimney sweep company, in addition to the CSIA chimney sweep certification. The NCSG recommends that you ask the company how long they have been in business and if the company offers any current references. They suggest that you should also ask if the company maintains a valid business liability insurance policy that will cover your home and furnishings against any damage caused by accidents related to the process of cleaning the chimney. Also, the NCSG recommends that you check with the Better Business Bureau or your city or state consumer protection agency before selecting a specific company to determine if that company has any open or unresolved complaints.

Both the National Chimney Sweep Guild and the Chimney Safety Institute of America have .org websites and each has a section that can be used to perform a search of chimney sweeps in your local area. You can find them at http://www.ncsg.org or http://www.csia.org.

Another good tip for finding a competent chimney sweep is to ask the company or sweep to perform a Level 1 inspection in addition to the cleaning. The inspection should actually be part of the cleaning so there should be no additional charge for the inspection. In addition, a Level 1 inspection is an inspection based on the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard 211 for chimneys, fireplaces, vent, and solid fuel burning appliances. There are actually three levels of inspection associated with this standard and a good chimney sweep should be familiar with all three. If you ask for a cleaning with a Level 1 Inspection and the chimney sweep or company does not know what a Level1 inspection is, or wants to charge extra for the inspection, find a new sweep or company.

Ron Nichols Here... and thanks for reading my Raleigh Chimney Sweep Blog. I am an expert at cleaning a chimney or fireplace.



Only one safe way to use your fireplace or wood stove it too have the chimney inspected every season and to take action should it need a chimney cleaning.



Thanks and have a safe and wonderful day...



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Chimney Cleaning Dirty Face Cleaner

Chimney Cleaning Dirty Face Cleaner

Chimney Repair and Maintenance

Chimneys take a lot of weathering over time. When used frequently to exhaust home heating emissions from natural gas or oil heat, residue builds up inside the flue chamber. Chimney caps may reduce the amount of debris that can enter the chimney. The chimney will still endure a certain amount of wear and tear from weather and dust particles formed inside the flue. Chimneys for central heating should be inspected annually and repaired as soon as defects are detected. In addition to excess loss of heating fuel inside the home, depending on the type of repair, the chimney may exhaust excessive amounts of heat into outdoor air.

Fireplace Chimney Repair

Fireplaces are lovely accents in a home. Only the best hardwood and fruitwoods should be used as fireplace fuel because these burn cleaner. Coal as a fireplace fuel is also clean burning. Wood and coal can build up creosote in the chimney. The chimney shaft should be inspected and cleaned regularly. Professionals who perform the task of repairing and maintaining chimneys assess damage if any exists. They will recommend a method of repair and outline the type of repair work needed to restore the chimney.

Chimney Repair – How It’s Done
When chimney damage occurs, the first evidence is leaking during rain or snow events. This type of repair requires sealing cracks in the interior as well as the exterior of the chimney. Avoiding repair can be costly and cause further damage to the chimney. Whether cracks appear at the top of the chimney or inside the flue is easily determined by the chimney repair expert. A long tube-like probe is sent into the chimney to determine the extent of the damage. Some of these probes have photo lenses that capture the image of the chimney’s interior and exterior. Once an assessment has been made, an estimate of the work to be done and the cost of repair will be provided. The costs for repair depend on the size and type of chimney.

The Importance of Chimney Repair
As with any other home accents, there is a certain amount of maintenance. Even with regular maintenance, the aging process the chimney endures makes repair necessary eventually. High heat from the fireplace hearth tends to cause a certain weakness in the integrity of the strength of chimney walls over a period of years. If the chimney is located in a climate that subjects it to regular strong winds and high rain, this too has an effect on the structure. The erosion of the chimney materials is part of natural aging. However, when regular fireplace  maintenance and inspections are performed by professionals, much of the initial damage can be averted.

Ron Nichols Here... and thanks for reading my Raleigh Chimney Sweep Blog. I am an expert at cleaning a chimney or fireplace.



Only one safe way to use your fireplace or wood stove it too have the chimney inspected every season and to take action should it need a chimney cleaning.



Thanks and have a safe and wonderful day...



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Chimney Cleaning – How To Clean A Chimney

Nothing says home like the crackling warmth of an inviting fire in the fireplace. The scents of the smoke and view of the flames add to the welcoming and homey feel of any room. But using your fireplace responsibly, learning how to clean a chimney and making certain that it is in proper shape and good condition before beginning a season of fire making is a vital part of responsible home maintenance.

While cleaning a chimney can be done easily by hiring a professional, if you use your chimney on a regular basis, a scheduled cleaning done twice a month is recommended. Since a professional chimney cleaning done this often can prove expensive, homeowners may want to learn how to clean a chimney themselves to ensure the safety of their fireplace structure in a more cost effective way.

However cleaning a chimney, while not difficult, can prove to be one of the messiest home maintenance projects an owner can face. Creosote, the smoke residue caked to the inside of a chimney, will need to be scraped away in order to ensure a safe chimney operation.

Creosote is a greasy residue which will require special tools and, sometimes, cleaning agents specially formulated for chimney and fireplace cleaning. Other issues of chimney cleaning involve animals nesting. Birds and other animals have been known to make homes in chimneys making a thorough inspection and, if needed, removal of nesting materials from the area necessary.

The tools you will need include:

• Chimney brush (check size depending on your size chimney opening)
• Ladder
• Rope
• Heavy duty flashlight
• Tarp
• Duct or heavy tape
• Vacuum

Below is a guideline to show you how to clean a chimney and fireplace:

• Inspect the inside using the flashlight. Remove any loose nesting materials and vacuum any ash located inside fireplace.
• Lay vacuum hose inside empty fireplace and seal opening with tarp and tape. Turn on vacuum.
• Stand firmly next to chimney on roof. Insert brush into chimney in a firm up and down motion cleaning sides as the brush moves. If necessary, attach rope to brush for extra reach.
• Repeat twice then inspect again using heavy duty flashlight.
• Remove seal from fireplace inside the house and clean away any loose creosote and ash.

If you are not satisfied with this initial cleaning, these steps may be repeated as needed until all loose ash and creosote is removed from the chimney. Follow all recommended directions, tools and cleaning methods specific to your type of chimney. Learning how to clean a chimney on your own is a cost effective way to keep your fireplace assembly in safe and proper condition.

Off course most people just hiring a professional chimney sweep and save themselves the hassle…

Ron Nichols Here... and thanks for reading my Raleigh Chimney Sweep Blog. I am an expert at cleaning a chimney or fireplace.



Only one safe way to use your fireplace or wood stove it too have the chimney inspected every season and to take action should it need a chimney cleaning.



Thanks and have a safe and wonderful day...



Please share this post with you friends and family...