If you’re a homeowner in Vienna, you know that moisture makes a presence no matter the season – whether it’s rain in the spring or snow in the winter – which means investing in regular maintenance, like sweepings and inspections, from a professional chimney tech is a must if you’re a fireplace, wood stove or oil/gas furnace owner.

But just how often should these services be booked? Well, we here at Winston’s, along with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommend scheduling annual inspections with a certified chimney professional.

Why Is Annual Maintenance Suggested Practice for Chimneys?

Here’s what we tend to hear from homeowners a lot… “My chimney has been working fine for years… Do I really need a sweep and inspection?” Or… “My fireplace and chimney look just fine! I’ll book an inspection when I spot damage, myself.” Or…” My oil company takes care of my furnace!”

Here’s the problem with this way of thinking – it ignores the fact that, most of the time, chimney and heating appliance issues are hidden away and not obvious to the untrained eye. In fact, even professionals like us, with decades of experience, depend on specialized internal camera equipment to get a full and in-depth look at your system’s interior.

Here are some things you might be missing:

a chimney sweep lowering a brushing tool into a metal flue pipe
  • Excessive creosote deposits. Creosote is highly combustible, and ignoring it ups your chances of experiencing a hazardous chimney fire.
  • Buildup in your flue. Things like birds’ nests, dead leaves, twigs and sticks, grass clippings, and more can work their way into your flue and cause clogs. Many times these are jammed in tight and hard to spot.
  • Animals hiding away. Ok, many times you’ll note animals’ presence by the sounds they make (or maybe their odors), but sometimes they aren’t so obvious – or sometimes they sneak in, get stuck, then pass away. Regardless, it’s important to spot them, then get them out.
  • Interior damage. You could have liner damage, masonry cracks, or other types of deterioration that you aren’t even aware of up inside your flue. It isn’t exactly the brightest spot in your home – or the easiest to access – so many times these issues can go unnoticed for quite some time. That is, until a tech spots them or they spread to other (more notable) areas.
  • Exterior damage. If you don’t get on your roof a lot (and we’re guessing most homeowners don’t), then you could have damage on your chimney cap, crown, chase cover, flashing, or other component that’s up high and out of sight. We won’t know what’s going on until we take a look.

Finally, let us just mention that even chimney fires sometimes go unnoticed by homeowners. Many continue using their system after events of this nature, totally unaware their system has been severely damaged – and that lighting a fire is inviting serious risks and hazards.

So, even if you think any major issues would be obvious to spot, it’s simply not always the case.

What Other Services Does Winston’s Offer?

So, let’s say one of our techs came out to sweep and inspect your flue, but we discovered some missing/damaged components, masonry damage, or some other area of concern. Can we help with that too? Absolutely.

Our full service list includes:

  • Chimney Inspections
  • Chimney Sweepings
  • Oil Flue Cleanings
  • Fireplace & Insert Installation
  • Masonry Repairs
  • Tankless Water Heater Installation
  • Gas & Oil Flue Cleaning
  • Chimney Relining
  • HeatShield Liner Repair
  • Leaky Chimney Repairs
  • Chimney Waterproofing Repellent
  • Chimney Cap Installation
  • Damper Repairs & Installations
  • Chimney/Fireplace Odor Troubleshooting
  • Gas Line Installation
  • Gas Log Installation

Why should I invest in repairs promptly?

If you do need some of the above repair services from us, we strongly advise you to not put them off. First of all, a chimney that’s facing damage shouldn’t be used, as this can put your household at potential risk. In addition, damages won’t just sit tight until you’re ready to address them. They’ll just get worse and worse, meaning the problem will only exacerbate.

In the end, putting off repairs is going to end up costing you more the longer you put them off, and you could end up experiencing damage throughout your home, as well.

Reach Out To Us Today

We’re here to serve homeowners in the Vienna area and all throughout Northern VA, DC, and Maryland. Folks turn to us season after season because we’re knowledgeable, friendly, professional, and guarantee the best service possible. If you’re nearby, give us a call or reach out online – we’d love to help you out soon.

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109