It's too bad we don't really have the mythical chimney sweeper that magically visits all of our homes in a Santa Claus like fashion and taking care of all of our chimney's needs. Unfortunately that is just mythology. The reality looks a little different. We, at Fresh Air, know how to get the job done right.
How it's Really Done
These days, most professional chimney sweeps inspect, clean, and service your chimney and fireplace, starting from the bottom and working to the top.
Specifically, a chimney sweep should:
- Remove and sweep all of the loose debris surrounding your fireplace.
- Thoroughly inspect your fireplace and chimney's flue system.
The Sweeping Process
Ideally, you want to have a professional vacuum system alongside a brush system set neatly on some type of covering to prevent your floor from being damaged. If your rooftop chimney is accessible, it too should be inspected and documented with regards to the rooftop and chimney grounds. The damper assembly should be open in order to allow full access for brushing and cleaning in the smoke shelf and chamber area. An agitating brush works nicely for this.
The Inspection Process
A visual inspection through the damper opening is ideal to inspect the integrity of the chimney and mortar joints. This can allow you to detect a number of potential serious problems, including:
- Severe Water Damage
- Missing Flue Tile Mortar Joints
- Black Stains (Leaking Smoke)
- Vertical Cracks (Potential Chimney Fires)
The latter problem is often only discovered during a chimney cleaning, and is often covered by a legitimate insurance claim. Chimney fires can be a potentially very dangerous problem, and the best way to detect them is to have your chimney inspected by a professional. While servicing your chimney, we strongly recommend to have your dryer duct cleaned.