If you haven’t had your chimney cleaned and inspected in the last 12 months, don’t worry – just schedule right away.  Here is some basic information about common problems, levels of inspection, choosing the best sweep and things to keep in mind.

This is part of The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Standard 211.  It goes on to mention that even if you don’t use your chimney regularly, things can happen beyond your control, such as animal nests and deterioration.  To schedule your appointment call Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps today to speak with an experienced professional!

Why do you need a chimney sweep?

The chimney sweep you ultimately hire to maintain your chimney, should always be willing to answer any questions you may have.

The chimney sweep you ultimately hire to maintain your chimney, should always be willing to answer any questions you may have.

It is important to know why you need a chimney sweep, and what could happen if your chimney goes unattended.  First, creosotes are one of the main things that will be removed during a sweep.  Released during the burning of the firewood, creosotes will clump up in the structure of your chimney and cause blockages, which can lead to draft problems and fires.  Draft problems share a connection with carbon monoxide poisoning when smoke is allowed to collect inside of the room from not being able to flow out of the chimney.  Chimney fires originate in the inside of the chimney and can quickly spread.  Nature can also help block your chimney, such as with animal droppings or leaves and twigs.

Levels of Inspection

There are different levels of inspection you can have administered.  This is something you should ask when making the appointment to make sure the technicians know what the status of the chimney is.  A level one inspection is the most basic of the three levels.  This involves a sweep, a flue check, and also an inspection of the visible parts of the structure.  A level two inspection is what you will have done if the technician needs to go further due to a problem noticed during level one.  It is also important to alert your technician of any changes in the way your chimney is being used or if the structure is new to you because this will also result in a level two.  The third level is what will need to be done if any problems in the chimney spread to the foundation of your home, such as mold or a chimney fire or if there has been damage to your chimney.

Questions to Ask

Now that you know why you need your sweep and have an idea of what kind of service, you need to know how to make sure you are getting the best company to do the job right.  A certified chimney sweep is a trained professional.  Ask things like how long has the company been in business and what kind of training did the employees get.  Does the company have any testimonials? Ask friends and neighbors, coworkers, and research on the internet to see what kind of reviews the company is getting.  Next, if any of these companies have complaints are they unresolved and how did they fix the problems?  For your safety and also the employees, ask if the company has any business liability insurance.

If you think you’ve chosen a company it all comes down to the most important part, are they a CSIA certified sweep?  This is important because the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has modernized some specific guidelines that sweeps must follow to maximize safety.

Getting Ready

There is really nothing you have to worry about that is chimney specific for the preparation except not burning a fire for at least 24 hours before the sweep appointment.  This will assure that it is cool enough to work in.  However, you can always ask what they prefer for you to do as most companies ask you to clear space for the equipment.  You will want to push back all of the furniture and move anything valuable.  Also, lock up your pets so they cannot interfere or get hurt during the process.

An informed customer is a customer better able to make decisions about his or her home. Here at Blue Sky, we want you to feel confident about your sweep, the services you require and knowing the job was done well. Call us today to schedule your annual inspection.