How often should my chimney be cleaned?
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends a yearly inspection and cleaning and
repairs done as necessary. Free standing wood stoves or fire place inserts used to heat the
home should be inspected and cleaned if needed every year. Regular open fireplaces need to be
maintained and cleaned on a consistent basis as well. Usually a cleaning is needed for every
cord of wood burned or at least 2- 3 years.
How long will it take to clean my chimney and is there any mess?
It usually takes less than an hour to clean most masonry chimneys.
Pre-fab fireplaces typically take about 35-45 minutes.
Inserts can take from 1-3 hours depending on how often they are cleaned, the type of woodburned, and the way the stove is operated.
There is no mess. We have tarps, vacuums and brushes to clean your chimney without making
a mess in your house.
How do you clean a chimney?
We clean most chimneys from inside the home. Upon entering your home we are careful to find the best way for us to get equipment and personal in and out of your home. We need some
space in front of the fireplace to spread out the 9 x 12 ft tarp that covers the carpet and hearth."Special Stuff" on the mantel or walls above the fireplace is safe. If you want to remove items on the mantel please do. We set up all needed tools and our special chimney
vacuum to aid in dust control. We wear coveralls,
gloves and a respirator to protect us from harmful
creosote dust and ash in the chimney. We assess the chimneys condition noting any problems and
proceed with cleaning.
We start by removing the grates and any ash from the firebox. The walls and damper plate are
brushed with a hand brush to remove any soot and
creosote from this area.
We remove the damper plate and handle (if possible) to check for rust and missing parts. While cleaning the firebox area we are checking for cracks in brick and missing or severely eroded mortar joints.
On "Pre-fab" models fireplaces we are checking for cracks in the back and side refectory panels in the firebox. Some hairline cracks are acceptable and a part of normal operations, however we are
looking for larger cracks and gaps that will allow fire to reach the metal box enclosure of the fireplace. This can cause damage to the firebox making it unsafe for use. These panels are replaceable so do not fear. We can most likely find and replace old damaged panel making your
fireplace usable again.
On masonry chimneys we reach up inside the smoke chamber area with a hand brush to clean the breast area and the sides where the larger brush misses. Next, we insert a steel wire brush attached to a flexible fiberglass rod and clean the upper smoke chamber area. The brush is pushed up into the flue, working in a scrubbing motion with
sections of fiberglass rods added until the brush exits the top of chimney.
The process is reversed, and the liner is checked for cracks, gaps and missing mortar joints using a spotlight. We clean off debris that has fallen onto smoke shelf, the damper plate, handle and cotter pin is put back in place and dust is swept out of firebox. We vacuum off the hearth, and remove all
equipment and tarp from your house, complete the invoice, get payment for the amount due, thank you for the business, sprinkle some good luck around and look forward to the next customers dirty chimney. The whole process takes about 1 hour more or less depending on conditions and such.