New to chimney cleaning? The FAQs below will help get you started.

Homeowners who are new to chimney maintenance often don’t know the importance of a clean chimney, what they should expect from a chimney cleaning service, or how to hire a chimney sweep. We’ve answered some common questions about these subjects below to help introduce you to chimney cleaning.

What is a chimney sweep?

Chimney cleaning is a dirty job. Most homeowners prefer to let the professionals handle chimney maintenance rather than attempt to do it themselves. Especially because the equipment to get the job done well is not readily available. A Chimney Sweep is the professional you call for chimney cleaning services.

Chimney Sweep

Why is CSIA certification important?

Unfortunately, there are some chimney cleaning scams out there. Companies claiming certification and delivering less than promised on their cleaning services. That’s why it’s important to find out exactly what type of certification(s) a chimney sweep has. Homeowners can trust CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps for Chimney inspections & cleanings that meet the highest industry standards. To receive a CSIA certification, professionals have to study for and pass a rigorous exam, get re-certified every three years, and adhere to the strict code of ethics upheld by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. You can trust companies that hold a CSIA certification for high-quality, reasonably priced chimney services.

CSIA Certified

Why is chimney cleaning necessary and important?

Keeping your chimney clean really comes down to safety – clean fireplaces are less likely to catch fire. When you have a chimney fire, you are lucky if only the chimney is affected. Chimney fires can spread to the connected house if the conditions are right (like inadequate flue lining). The soot and glaze that buildup inside your chimney when you burn wood in the fireplace can become the fuel for a chimney fire. That’s why chimney cleanings are recommended as often as necessary. If you use your chimney regularly, you’ll likely need to have it cleaned more often. If you never use your chimney, you may not need any cleanings, only inspections.

How often should chimneys be cleaned?

The condition of your chimney will determine when it should be cleaned. With that said, your chimney should be inspected at least once a year to determine its condition and if cleaning is necessary. Even if you don’t use your chimney often, you want to know it’s safe to use and that no birds or critters are nesting inside. CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps will do a video inspection of your chimney flue and note the extent of soot and creosote build-up as well as any damage. It’s easy to keep your chimney clean, properly maintained, and safe when you schedule annual inspections with a reliable Chimney Cleaning Company.

What are signs that your chimney needs to be cleaned?

Almost all signs that you need a chimney cleaning point back to creosote, a tar-like substance produced from burning wood. When the flue becomes clogged by creosote, you’ll likely notice problems with airflow, like trouble getting fires started, fires burning poorly, or smoke no longer rising up the chimney like it’s supposed to. Have you noticed black, oil spots on the walls of your fireplace or pieces of creosote falling down from your chimney? That’s a sure sign it’s time to clean your chimney. You may also smell creosote around your fireplace – it smells like a campfire. This odor is cause for concern because it means the creosote has the potential to catch fire.

Not all airflow problems are caused by creosote buildup. Sometimes airflow is blocked by the nest of a bird or squirrel. Nest can catch fire, so it’s important to have your chimney inspected if you notice any problems.

What do chimney cleaning services involve?

A good Chimney Cleaning Company promises mess-free services. They take special efforts when inside your home to contain the mess of chimney cleaning, including covering the work area with cloths or tarps, using a high-speed vacuum to collect the deposits they remove from inside the chimney, and even wearing shoe covers to keep your floor clean. They will take care when removing creosote, soot, and debris from your chimney to dogs. Most importantly, they’ll do a video inspection so that you know exactly what the situation inside your chimney is.

Elite Chimney is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep in Kenosha, WI

The chimney sweeps at Elite Chimney maintain CSIA certification to assure the highest-quality chimney cleaning & inspection services for our clients. If you’re looking for a chimney sweep in southeast Wisconsin or northeast Illinois, get a quote from Elite!