Chimney Sweeping

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends all homeowners have annual inspections of all their chimneys, fireplaces and (clothes dryer) vents.

One of the reasons to clean your chimney is because of the potential fire hazards that may occur when you don’t have it cleaned. An annual chimney sweeping will prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and prevent house and chimney fires.

It’s That Important! 

chimney1Without proper maintenance, heating systems (your fireplace or furnace) can release toxic gases into your living area that can create a health hazard, causing serious illness, or even death.

Not sweeping (or cleaning) your chimney and fireplace has been known to cause house fires and or property damage.

When tar and soot (otherwise known as creosote) from burning wood or natural gas form on the inside walls of your fireplace, it must be removed, and preferably by a chimney professional. Chimney sweeping is creosote removal.

Dangers of Soot (Creosote) Buildup 

As wood burns, the by-products of combustion (smoke), flow away from the fire and up the chimney. Because the chimney is cooler than the fire, condensation occurs. This means that soot and tar form a residue that sticks to the interior of your chimney. This residue (creosote) is a highly flammable substance, and if it is not regularly removed, it can ignite and cause dangerous chimney fires.

Heating System Related Facts:
Fatalities, Injuries, and Property Damage 

Recent figures prove that disasters occur when chimneys are not cleaned.

A report from the U.S. Fire Administration, Heating Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010)

Findings from this report:

  • An estimated average of 50,100 heating fires in residential buildings occurred in the United States each year and resulted in an annual average of approximately 150 deaths, 575 injuries, and $326 million in property loss.
  • Heating was the second leading cause of all residential building fires following cooking.
  • Residential building heating fires peaked in the early evening hours between 5 and 9 p.m. with the highest peak between 6 and 8 p.m. This 4-hour period accounted for 30 percent of all residential building heating fires.
  • Residential building heating fires peaked in January (21 percent) and declined to the lowest point during the summer months from June to August.
  • Confined fires, those fires confined to chimneys, flues, or fuel burners, accounted for 87 percent of residential building heating fires.

Call the Chimney Department at 630-584-6620 if you have any questions regarding your chimney or fireplace.

We have over 55 years of combined skill as certified chimney professionals and professional certified firefighters. We would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Many homeowners think their chimneys only need to be cleaned and inspected if they burn wood in their fireplaces or wood stoves. But almost all heating appliances, whether they burn gas, oil, wood or coal, rely on the chimney to safely carry toxic gases produced by the heating system of the house.

Chimney Sweeping Process

Our certified chimney professionals will show up to your home on our before your scheduled time. We will first do a visual inspection of the firebox, smoke chamber and chimney flue from the inside to determine the need for a chimney sweep. Some common things that are looked at when determining the need for a chimney sweep are the amount of creosote buildup, amount of wood that was burned, type of grate that was used and the presence of any foul odors emanating from the chimney.

If a chimney sweep is warranted:  We will lay runners on the floor covering any carpeted areas. Two layers of tarps are placed on the floor and a heavier oil tarp is placed on the hearth. Our soot sweeper vacuum is then brought in to prevent any creosote or soot to enter your home. We start by removing the damper plate and cleaning it.

We then run a brush into the chimney flue removing any creosote and allowing it to fall onto the smoke shelf. Then, we brush off the inside of the smoke chamber followed by removing all the creosote and debris from the smoke shelf. The damper plate is put back in place.

We then brush off the inside of the firebox and removed all the debris in an ash pail. With the chimney clean, we will be able to perform the remainder of the Level I Inspection, including a roof top inspection if the weather permits.

After the inspection is complete, we remove the tarps and vacuum leaving your home exactly how we found it, Only now, you have a clean chimney.