Chimney Sweep Advice: Why Annual Inspections are Needed for ALL Fireplaces?
All wood and pellet burning fireplaces, stoves and inserts need to be inspected every year and cleaned when there is 1/8” or more of creosote buildup. Extremely dirty chimneys, like the one pictured here, are very dangerous and should not be used until they are thoroughly cleaned. Gas fireplace manufactures recommend that all gas fireplaces and inserts be inspected and serviced every year before they are used, to ensure safety and proper performance. Using a trained chimney sweep to periodically clean your chimney, is highly recommended, to help prevent a chimney fire from occurring.
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Professional Chimney Sweep
We use powerful vacuums with special filters that prevent soot and dust from entering the home, during our cleaning. We spread large clean drop clothes in front of the chimney and put all of our equipment on the top of them. None of our equipment touches your floor, and we are careful to take precautions in order to prevent any mess.
We conduct a Level 1 inspection of the readily accessible areas of the chimney and fireplace during our normal cleaning. If needed, a level 2 inspection provides additional checks of chimney conditions and interior flues and some difficult-to-reach spots like crawl spaces and attics. Level 3 includes further inspection of those areas that have been enclosed.
BEFORE CHIMNEY & CROWN REPAIR
The outside and top of your chimney is constantly exposed to the sun and weather, and will deteriorate over time. The chimney crown and mortar joints will crack and allow moisture to penetrate into the interior of the chimney. During the colder months, this moisture may freeze and expand, further damaging the structure of your chimney. It is important that all cracks and gaps be repaired on a regular basis. Cast concrete crowns that extend past the edge of the brick or stucco walls, allows moisture to drain directly to the roof, reducing the chances of water damage.
CHIMNEY BOX REPAIR
The firebox, where you build the fire, is constructed using firebrick and a special high-temperature refractory mortar that is designed to help resist the deterioration caused by the heat of the fire. The firebrick expands and contracts when the fire is burning and will eventually crack and deteriorate. When cracks occur, the firebrick will become loose and eventually will need to be repaired or replaced. Re-pointing the mortar joints, when they crack, will prolong the life of the firebox. The firebox should be rebuilt when the firebrick gets loose and start to fall out.
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