Chimney Sweeps: Why Should You Call Them?
If you view your chimney and fireplace as not much more than an aesthetically pleasing way to keep your home warm, but not something that requires much attention, then chances are you will deal with some form of chimney related problems. Why? Because your chimney and fireplace is much more than that. Yes, it is a highly efficient form of providing heat for your space, but it is also an intricate piece of architecture that must be well maintained to be fully efficient and effective, without risk of resulting in a larger fire than one built in its hearth.
If you have never taken time to clean out your chimney, or to hire a chimney sweep, then you are setting yourself up for a serious problem – a home fire. But, even if you take a home fire out of the equation, then not cleaning your fireplace, whether you do it or you hire a chimney sweep, means that you are spending extra on your energy bill thus negating the benefit of using a fireplace as a heat source.
The National Fire Protection Agency recommends an annual fireplace inspection and cleaning by a qualified chimney sweep. Professional chimney sweeps will not only clean the chimney of debris and detritus, but will identify any potential problems that need to be corrected. They can often do the repairs for you, or will be able to bring in a team that will do the work.
There are three primary types or levels of chimney inspections, each one focused on different features. Depending on the age of your home, and what you suspect to be the state of your chimney, you should schedule an inspection accordingly. So, what does each type of chimney sweep’s inspection entail? Here is a brief description of each type:
- Level 1 – This type of inspection is more of an overview where a chimney sweep will use a flashlight and look into your chimney to determine any creosote buildup, structural damage, amount of soot and any other elements that may need to be addressed. They will then use brushes, extension poles and a vacuum to sweep your chimney.
- Level 2 – If your area has experienced any significant natural disasters (flooding, hurricane, tornado), or if you have made any major changes to the structure of your home, then this is what you need. Your chimney sweep will inspect the roof, attic, and crawl space to check for any disrepair, damage or structurally weak spots. They will typically clean the chimney and recommend any needed improvements.
- Level 3 – This is for extreme cases and often looks more like a demolition and reconstruction. It can involve tearing down walls, resurfacing, and rebuilding. Typically, this is only needed in the event of a chimney fire.
Hiring professional chimney sweeps is the best way to ensure that your chimney is working at its best. Professional chimney sweeps know what to look for and can not only clean the chimney but alert you to any repairs that need to be made to ensure that your chimney is in top working condition. To determine the status of your home’s chimney talk to a local chimney sweep company or in New Jersey give the pros at Guardian Chimney a call. Don’t get so caught up in the aesthetics of your chimney that you forget to do the maintenance. Make an appointment today.
Many websites provide additional information on the topic of chimney sweeps. One such site worth visiting is Guardian Chimney.
Janet Slagell independently authors articles for WebDrafter.com, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.