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Free Estimates With an Annual Chimney Inspection

Free estimates are included with annual chimney inspections.

Free estimates are included with annual chimney inspections.

Fireplaces and chimneys stand strong against the heat of fire and the chill of winter, so many homeowners naturally assume these structures are indestructible. While they can withstand a lot of wear and tear compared to other parts of the house, fireplaces and chimneys do need regular attention to ensure safe and proper function. In fact, homeowners should schedule a professional inspection along with a chimney sweep every year.

Inspections vs Estimates

A common question homeowners run into around this time of the year is why chimney service companies charge for inspections when they claim to offer free estimates. Free estimates are cost quotes for services the company has already determined the fireplace or chimney requires. In order to determine what repairs or services are necessary, the fireplace and chimney must undergo an inspection. While the estimates are free, an in-depth inspection requires time and expertise, so this professional service must be performed at cost.

Chimney Inspections

The National Fire Protection Association has created codes that chimney inspections must follow. Level 1 and 2 chimney inspections are the most common types. A Level 1 inspection is also known as a visual inspection, and the serviceperson inspects the readily available areas of the chimney and fireplace. Inspectors look for a variety of issues such as water damage and improper installation. Water damage can cause a masonry chimney to collapse if left untreated and improper installation may cause toxic smoke and fumes to backup into the house. Creosote buildup is another issue inspector watch for. This tarlike product of wood combustion can clog the chimney, increasing the risk of chimney and house fires.

A Level 2 inspection includes everything from the Level 1 inspection, but it also utilizes video to view areas of the chimney that are less easily inspected. Chimney services recommend this type of inspection if the house was recently purchased or if a severe weather event like a tornado or earthquake may have caused damage to the structure.

Annual Inspections

Recall that you should have your fireplace and chimney inspected at least once every year. These inspections ensure your home and family are safe from potential dangers hidden in your chimney. If the inspector finds an issue in your chimney – creosote buildup, water damage, chimney obstruction, or structure damage – only then will he or she offer you free estimates for the services that apply to your situation. To give free estimates prior to inspecting the fireplace or chimney would be misleading at best and possibly even dangerous. You need to have your chimney professionally inspected every year to keep everyone safe.

If you live in upstate South Carolina, contact Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps for a professional consultation. Blue Sky will provide you with a comprehensive inspection of your fireplace and chimney and free quotes for any other services you may need.

Summer: The Best Time to Schedule Your Chimney Service

Now that it’s summer and you’re enjoying the exterior living space of your home, it may be difficult to think of the winter months ahead. But did you know that the summer months are the best time to schedule home winterizations, including your annual chimney sweep? There are a number of issues which may arise during the warmer months of spring and summer which may adversely affect the safety of your family. Hiring a certified technician to inspect and sweep your chimney will assist in the prevention of house fires, and ensure that your fireplace is a relaxing and enjoying focal point this fall.

Animals in your chimney

To keep your family safe and warm, schedule your annual chimney inspection with us now. You can rely on the chimney and fireplace services from Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps.

To keep your family safe and warm, schedule your annual chimney inspection with us now. You can rely on the chimney and fireplace services from Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps.

If you’re like most Americans, your fireplace is the heart of family gatherings and celebrations. Whether winter or summer, your mantel is adorned with family pictures and holiday cards, and a crackling fire lends a sense of comfort to the atmosphere. Unfortunately, squirrels, birds and even snakes will find your chimney equally enticing. During the spring and summer months, animals may nest in your chimney, but it’s possible that they’ll be unable to get out. While calling animal control for more obvious infestations may be necessary, a chimney sweep can find early signs of nesting and alert you to any necessary fix. As if the infestation of your chimney weren’t unpleasant enough, the smell and potential presence of maggots will lead to quite a troublesome experience if the animals die. In addition to cleaning services, some technicians will be equipped to install chimney guards on your chimney, preventing the entrance of these animals.

Summertime allergies

Ragweed, pollen and dust which are present in the summer are allergens for many. In the South, we experience a sometimes weeks long dusting of yellow pine pollen which accumulates on our cars, our streets and, yes, in our chimneys, too. The weeks following this period of time are a great opportunity to clean your chimney, and to remove these irritants from your home. Other allergens may include the soot from your wood burning fireplace, which has been proven to exacerbate asthma and other respiratory ailments. Pollutants, in addition to creosote and other hazards, can be identified and removed by your technician.

Damage repair

Unfortunately, the South is likely to experience drastic fluctuations in temperature during the winter months. Sudden deep freezes can be followed by weeks of warm sunshine, and this has a tendency to cause structural damage to even the most well built homes. Having your chimney swept and inspected by a certified technician before the danger of freezing temperatures is imminent can allow for timely repair of any damage. Even if you’ve not experienced damage, routine upkeep of all chimney and ventilation components is best performed during the summer months, such as liner and insulation replacement. Appointments are more readily scheduled, and the safety conditions for the technician are improved greatly. Don’t wait until it’s imperative that you use your fireplace for heat. Have your chimney swept and repaired during the warmer season.

Whether you use your fireplace daily or simply as an attractive backdrop for family gatherings, it’s necessary to have it cleaned, inspected, and possibly repaired each year. Scheduling a certified technician is a maintenance task you perform every year; for optimal service, don’t hesitate. Have your chimney cleaned this summer.

Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps is CSIA certified and can inspect & sweep your chimney. Don’t wait until the first cold snap to have your chimney swept and inspected!