Who’s Qualified to Clean Your Chimney?
For as long as there have been chimneys, there has been the need for chimney sweeping and chimney cleaning. In the early years, chimney cleaning was an inexact science at best. Today, we know much more about chimney structures, drafting and venting, creosote, chimney fires and all the things that pertain to keeping chimneys clean and safe.
So who can clean your chimney? All leading chimney companies, hearth associations and fire-protection agencies will tell you: Only a qualified, trained chimney professional.
A lot can go wrong when a novice works on your chimney
It would seem as though a chimney is pretty easy to clean. You just need some long brushes and maybe a little strong cleaning solvent. In practice, chimney sweeping is a very involved job requiring a variety of industry-grade tools to do the work effectively.
Experienced chimney sweeps, including those who hold the designation of Certified Chimney Professional (CCP), use chimney sweeping rods, brushes, whips, chains, commercial vacuums and special cleaning compounds to remove stubborn creosote and soot from chimney flues.
A novice or a “handyman” simply won’t have the equipment to do the job right – or safely.
You’ll pay more to have a professional clean your chimney. And you’ll also likely save huge money by preventing the damage that can result when your chimney isn’t properly cleaned on a regular basis.
What can go wrong with a dirty chimney?
By “dirty,” we mean primarily creosote and soot. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that forms when wood fires burn and clings to the walls of your chimney liner.
Over time, creosote can build up to the point that it’s akin to pouring gasoline into your chimney. Most chimney fires are caused by ignited creosote, and many of those fires are small and go unnoticed by homeowners.
But even the smallest fire can damage a chimney liner and interior chimney masonry. Fires can spread to adjacent materials of the home and result in a full-on house fire.
Another problem with an improperly cleaned or neglected chimney is flue obstructions like leaves and twigs from nearby trees, general dust and dirt in the air and small animal nests.
These obstructions will cause smoke to draft sluggishly and send smoke and deadly carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide is of particular concern, because it can’t be seen or smelled but is known to be potentially fatal to humans and animals.
Choosing the right chimney sweep
You don’t want an amateur cleaning your chimney. You also don’t want a less-than-credible “chimney sweep” doing it. Not all chimney cleaning companies and technicians are created equal. When it comes to looking for a chimney sweep, here’s what to consider.
- Is the company licensed and fully insured?
- How long has the chimney sweep been in business?
- Do they have references you can check out?
- Do they have the Certified Chimney Professional designation or other certifications?
- What do your friends and associates have to say about the company?
- Are online reviews positive?
- Does the representative of the company talk clearly to you and explain exactly what they will do to clean your chimney?
Hire professionals for chimney sweeping and maintenance
In the Fairfield County, CT, and Morris County, NJ, region, homeowners trust National Chimney Service for all their chimney sweeping, repair and inspection needs.
We bring over a decade of hands-on chimney experience to every job, and our crew is fully trained in chimney venting technology, fire safety, chimney repairs and the art of chimney sweeping. We’re insured and licensed and carry top industry certifications.
Get your chimney cleaned correctly by calling