Why Sweeping Fireplaces & Chimneys is Important

Winston’s Chimney Service has been sweeping chimneys and fireplaces in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC neighborhoods since 1978.  We have come to understand your concerns about your home and will treat you and your property with the utmost respect and the care you deserve.  Even though you might not have used your fireplace as much as normal, or at all, you should have it inspected and swept on an annual basis as there are things other than creosote that can cause your system to malfunction and cause a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Some Things People Don’t Think About

  • Animals nesting in our chimney
  • Lightning strikes causing the flue to shift and crack
  • Debris from trees entering the flue and sitting on the firebox shelf
  • Renovation or restoration that has changed the makeup of the firebox and/or chimney

These are all potential dangers that have nothing to do with burning a fire in the fireplace. Once you add that to the mix, then creosote buildup gets added to the list. We believe it’s better to know you are as safe as possible every year, than to be caught by surprise or worried by a potential fire.

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Watch a Chimney Sweeping Video

To see exactly what we do from beginning to end, please take a few minutes to watch the video below. This video is put out by the Chimney Safety Institute of America specifically to educate the public on what to expect from a certified technician when sweeping your chimney appliance.

No Mess Guarantee

The number one concern about having your chimney swept is the mess.  Good news …THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO MESS! See below for an overview of our process to protect your home during our visit to sweep your chimney.

Our Process Protects Your Home

1. We lay tarps in front of the fireplace to protect your carpet and floor then set up a large vacuum to collect the soot and creosote accumulated during sweeping.

2. We sweep the inside of your chimney, from the firebox floor to the chimney top, and if possible from the top down as well.

3. We clean, inspect and adjust the damper and damper assembly.

4. We use brushes on rods to sweep the flue, hand brushes for the firebox and smoke chamber, and a large vacuum to control the debris.

5. We do an inspection of the outside of the chimney, checking the mortar work, brickwork, and crown and inspect the flue interior.  Any damage or needed repairs we find are documented on video or with digital photos that can be sent to you via email.

6. When we are finished we will leave you with a copy of the written evaluation or, in some cases, send you a word document or pdf file via email.

How Long Does It Take

Depending on the unit and access to the chimney, the process can be performed in as little as 30 minutes or up to an hour and a half.

Tips to remember:

  • Do not use your fireplace or wood stove 24 hours prior to our arrival.
  • Clear a 6-8 foot space in front of the fireplace; move furniture, plants, knick knacks etc.
  • Call now or request an appointment online.

There is a reason Winston’s is rated #1 on Angie’s List and maintains an A+ Rating with Better Business Bureau; we do it right. Give us a chance and we will wow you!


We are the pro’s when it comes to inspecting your chimney for potential problems, so call on Winston’s for all your chimney and dryer vent needs.