There is nothing quite as cozy and comfortable to snuggle up to on a cold winter’s night as a roaring fire in the fireplace. There is also nothing more disastrous than lighting that fire only to realize (too late) that your chimney is not in good working order. Getting a chimney sweep is the best way to prevent this problem. As a result many smart home owners in Silver Spring and all over the state of Maryland hire chimney repair companies for annual chimney sweeps.
That leads to an important question. What exactly is a chimney sweep?
The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 (NFPA 211) recommends that chimneys, fireplaces, and vents should be inspected at least once a year so that the chimneys, fireplaces, and vents are sound, free from deposits, and that all clearances are met. That is one of the many reasons homeowners should get a chimney sweep every year. With such an important job at hand, it is vital that chimney sweeps only be performed by a certified expert that knows exactly what to look for and how to sweep that chimney in the safest, easiest and most efficient way possible. Hiring a professional chimney sweep is the best way to ensure that your fireplace and chimney are in tip-top shape and ready for the season ahead.
What a Chimney Sweep Does
A professional chimney sweep does more than simply clean out the flue. Although an important part of the job, a licensed / certified chimney expert will also inspect the chimney structure and fireplace to ensure that both are structurally sound and free of obstructions and combustible deposits. This may include dangerous creosote deposits as well as soot and dust. A good inspection also ensures that your fireplace and chimney meets all local fire and building codes.
The flue will also be checked for damage during the annual inspection. Once the initial inspection is completed, the chimney sweep will clean the chimney and flue of all dust, soot and creosote found.
How to clean a chimney
The primary purpose of a chimney sweep is to identify potential problems and remove dust, soot, ash from the chimney. A chimney sweep can work from either inside (going in through the base of the fireplace), or from the top of the chimney. In some cases the sweep may utilize both entrances. Either way is acceptable and usually depends on the size and condition of the chimney, access availability, and weather conditions.
When cleaning the chimney, expect your sweep to follow these basic steps:
- Setting drop clothes in the area to lay equipment on and catch any dust or soot that may escape during the cleaning process
- Setting a vacuum to the contain the dust and soot in the fireplace
- Inserting a fitted brush inside the interior flue with flexible rod system to the brush to allow the sweep to make its way through the entire system
- Cleaning the interior of the flue and chimney, getting rid of all hazardous build-up
- Giving you a complete inspection report for your records
- Completing any small repairs to the system which may have been found during the initial inspection
- Scheduling your next inspection
Getting your chimney is an important part of maintaining your chinmey and fireplace. We recommend our chimney sweep company. We provide chimney sweep service in Silver Spring and most counties in the Washington DC and Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Areas.