FAQs about Chimneys, Caps & Critters
How do I know how many flues I have?
A flue is a venting system, each system needs its own so If you heat your home with
oil or gas and have a fireplace you would have two flues. Often times they are in
one chimney so if you were to look down the chimney it would be separated into two
venting system inside one chimney.
How often should I have my chimney cleaned?
That question really depends on how often you burn, what you burn and how you burn.
A wood stove typically needs to be cleaned more often than a fireplace because most
homeowners use woodstoves as a heating source where as a fireplace is used mostly
for a decorative purpose. A good rule is every cord of wood. Oil and gas should
be at least inspected annually. Gas burns clean, but lets off a lot of moisture
so a professional chimney sweep is going to look for any debris that could fall
into the chimney, cracks in the liner, or even animals nesting in the chimney that
could block up the flue and cause carbon monoxide to enter the home.
Oil flues should be cleaned annually to prevent a puff back, if soot builds up to
the connecting pipe in your basement and your furnace kicks on soot particles will
blow back into your home from the barometric damper causing soot to settle throughout
your entire home
What is the process of cleaning a chimney:
Every situation is unique, no two chimneys are the same. The standard cleaning process
for a fireplace flue would to be to come into the home , tarp off the firebox so
that no soot escapes into your home. The tech would then go on to the roof, and
using his rods and brushes would proceed to sweep from the top down. As soon as
the flue has been properly cleaned the technician will then return inside the home
and using a high powered vacuum, remove any soot that has been brushed down. For
a furnace flue cleaning, the technician will begin on the roof brushing any debris
to the bottom and then he will go into the basement and disconnect the pipe from
the furnace to the flue and vacuum 2-3 feet below that connecting pipe. When this
process is completed the technician will make sure that the pipe is properly resealed
to the flue. If for some reason there was no way that we could access the roof to
do the cleaning, the technicians are trained to do the full cleaning from inside
How do I know they will not make a mess in my home:
As stated earlier, as hard as we try not to make errors, they do occur. However
our company guarantees that we will take every precaution to insure the safety and
cleanliness of your home, from the time we enter until the time we leave. and again
we are fully insured so that you can rest assured knowing that if anything did occur
while in your home we would make sure to take care of it.
Why do I need a Chimney Liner?
A chimney liner is like the exhaust on your vehicle if it does not function properly
or there isn’t one you and your family would inhale toxic fumes. Your chimney liner
does the same thing so it needs to be free and clear of any blockages, as well as
structurally sound to ensure all fumes and toxic gases exit your home properly.
How do you know when you need a chimney liner?
Here are the most common reasons
- Your chimney is unlined
- Your chimney is lined with terra cotta flue tiles and are cracked, shifted, and/or
- You are installing a new furnace
- A furnace is not sized properly to the chimney
- You had a chimney fire
Is there anything I need to do to prepare to have my chimney cleaned?
We do ask that someone over the age of 18 is home we do need to enter the home.
Please do not light your woodstove, fireplace, pellet stove or coal stove 24 hours
prior to a chimney technician coming to clean your flue. For a furnace flue you
do not need to do anything.
Should I have my burner serviced first or the furnace flue cleaned first?
Really it doesn’t matter, you can schedule both for the same day, A chimney technician
doesn’t touch the burner itself and oil and gas technicians do not go on the roof
so because of that we can work together.
What is the purpose of a chimney cap?
A chimney cap helps prevent water, animals and debris from entering your chimney.
All of our Technicians carry numerous sizes of stainless steel caps, but we can
also order caps in copper and black.
What is repointing?
Repointing is grinding out old crumbling and cracked mortar joints (mortar
in between brick) and then replacing it with new mortar.