Did you hope to get your end-of-the-season sweeping scheduled before spring arrived, but failed to get it done? No worries! We get a bit of a boost in sweepings this time of year, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for you to get yours booked. We urge anyone hoping to make an appointment with our team to call now and get something on the schedule – we’d be happy to serve you!
Avoiding Excess Creosote
So, why do sweeps urge you to regularly have your chimney swept or cleaned? Well, when you burn fires in your firebox, a substance called creosote forms throughout your flue. Creosote is very flammable, and if too much accumulates in your flue, then you could eventually experience a chimney fire, which results in all kinds of damage throughout your system.
What does creosote look like? Well, there are three typical forms we see. One is light and flaky (also the easiest to remove), one is sticky and tar-like, and the final form is hard and glossy (otherwise known as glazed creosote). This final form takes some special measures to remove… Your sweep will need to use chemical agents to break it down, so that it can be removed with the appropriate tools.
Now, let’s discuss the effects that chimney fires have on your structure. Your brickwork and mortar are simply not designed to withstand direct contact with flames. That intense will cause things to break down quite a bit, and your liner will become significantly damaged, too. Along with this, your metal components will warp, thus becoming incapable of doing their job, and your masonry will develop lots of cracks, holes, gaps, and more.
As you can imagine, this makes your system really unsafe for use. Smoke, carbon monoxide, and other fumes will be able to easily gain access to your home, and flames could easily reach adjacent woodwork. In the end, your risk of experiencing gas leaks, smoke exposure, house fires, and more will increase dramatically.
So, what should you do if you experience a chimney fire? Well, first things first, don’t use your fireplace! Doing so will only make things worse and your family could be put in serious danger. Next, call in an expert to check things over and suggest the next best steps to take. Chances are, a lot of repair and restoration will be needed, but it will be well worth it at the end, when your fireplace is back to normal.
Also, keep in mind that most chimney fires occur quietly, so you may have experienced one without even knowing it! This is a big reason why we suggest investing in annual inspections – so that no hidden dangers are putting your home and family at risk.
Obviously, the best way to avoid a chimney fire altogether is to get those regular sweepings and inspections booked! Springtime is a great time to get this done, as your fireplace is likely full of creosote and other types of build-up after a long winter season. Get on the phone with our team today – we’d be happy to set something up!
Removing Clogs & Blockages
Another essential part of the sweeping process is removing any outside debris that has entered your flue. It’s not uncommon for nesting materials, such as twigs, leaves, and other materials, to get lodged in by birds and other critters, and sometimes we discover the animals themselves setting up camp in there!
Now, when it comes to curious critters, there are often some restrictions as far as what species can be removed and which must be left alone. Chimney swifts, for example, are decreasing in number and therefore cannot be removed or harmed. All you can do is wait for them to migrate on their own accord, then cap the chimney to prevent their return.
Yet, if no animals are in there, we can simply remove anything that may eventually hinder your airflow, ensuring you have the ability to operate your system as safely and as efficiently as possible. Afterward, we’ll set you up with a strong, sturdy chimney cap, ensuring these problems are avoided down the line.
Get The Results You Deserve – Reach Out Now!
All in all, a system that is blocked up or filled with harmful creosote will not operate as well, and the longer these things remain your flue, the more they will break things down. You can easily avoid expensive repair work by investing a sweeping now – well worth it! Not to mention, it’s not fun operating a fireplace if it doesn’t give you the heat and efficiency you’re hoping for. Let us help! We’ve got the tools and training to set you up right.
Why are we the team to trust throughout Northern Virginia? Well, we’ve obtained certifications with the CSIA, the NFI, and the FIRE, ensuring we know everything we need to know to better serve you. We are also licensed contractors, and we are associated with the NFPA and the NCSG, as well. If there’s any news in the chimney sweep world, we’re sure to know about it, ensuring we stay up-to-date on any new trainings, techniques, and technologies introduced into our field.
If you’re still not convinced, just check out our reviews on Angie’s List, Google, Facebook, and more. We’re highly ranked throughout the area, and there’s a reason customers continue to return to us year after year. What are you waiting for? Reach out today!