Everything You Need to Know
WILL CHIMNEY SWEEPING MAKE A MESS?
Before we begin cleaning we cover the opening of the chimney with a plastic sheet and use negative air pressure to ensure that your home stays as clean as possible. Chimney sweeping can be a mess if you don't have the right tools, but we always come equipped with equipment to ensure that cleaning your chimney is stress free.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE MY CHIMNEY OR FURNACE FLUES CLEANED?
The answer to this question depends on what fuel you use. It also depends on the age of your home, the condition of your chimney, and the weather (mild winters cause more problems than cold ones!). Generally, if you use wood, it’s good to have the chimney cleaned at least every 6-12 months (more often if you burn two or more cords of wood, or if you burn green wood).
Oil flues -especially if there’s a ventilation problem- need to be inspected and cleaned each year in order to avoid chimney blockage. Problems in the furnace or boiler can cause highly sooty conditions in the chimney.
Even though natural gas is a clean-burning fuel, today’s high-efficiency gas furnaces create special problems. The fumes they produce are cooler and produce higher levels of water vapor than previous models, and this vapor in turn produces more water condensation. These vapors also contain chlorides from house-supplied combustion air which combine to form hydrochloric acid. The acid-water condensates from these latest natural gas furnaces cause more flue deterioration than previous models. It’s important to check the chimneys that vent these systems at least once each year.
It is also important to note that if your furnace is vented into a masonry chimney a liner should always be used to avoid deterioration of the masonry which will quickly deteriorate from the furnace moisture. If the chimney system ever used an oil as a heat source the chimney will require a stainless liner system as an aluminum liner will corrode.
WHY DO I NEED A CHIMNEY INSPECTION?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, chimney’s should be inspected or cleaned annually. The chimney and fireplace / furnace system is quite complicated and an inspection can alert you to a potential problem before it becomes a costly repair or a safety issue. Many times homeowners are unaware of problems that may exist. It is always a good idea to schedule your inspection and cleaning in the late summer or early fall, before you begin using the chimney or furnace during the heating season.
Many of our customers request to be on a regular annual schedule for this work. Another important time to schedule an inspection is if you have changed to a new furnace or if you have just purchased the home and want to be sure about the condition of the chimney system.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CLEAN A CHIMNEY
As with most questions regarding time it is dependent on many factors but usually a chimney and an inspection on a 1 story home can take as little as 1 hour but on average it will take 1-2 hours for a cleaning and an inspection.
WHAT IS A CHIMNEY LINER? DO I NEED ONE?
Have you ever walked past a house with pieces of bricks sitting on the roof or had a whiteish color? It is almost always cause from moisture either from above or from the furnace and water heater.
A chimney liner is a flexible aluminum or stainless conduit that is specifically sized to each chimney diameter and height. Traditionally when a masonry fireplace was constructed the smoke would exhaust through the unlined chimney, in the 1940s clay tile became a popular way to ensure that the exhaust smoke made it out of the house. in time these clay tiles crack and the joints where they connect deteriorate and become unsafe to use as creosote can build up behind the tiles and cause a chimney fire. Unlined chimneys are a rea hazard and are unsafe to use.
The chimney liner helps prevent moisture from deteriorating the mortar and brick and ensures many years of safe burning with yearly maintenance and inspections.
Have a question that wasn’t on the list? Call me today and I will be happy to be of assistance.