If you own a fireplace, then chimney maintenance needs to be a priority if you’re looking to maintain the value and overall aesthetic of your home. Fortunately, by investing in annual inspections and scheduling sweepings as often as The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 recommends, which is at least once a year, will keep things in tip-top shape.
Ready to get your maintenance booked for fall? Perfect! Keep the following tips in mind as you go about this process to ensure you get the best results possible.
1. Be Sure to Hire the Right Sweep
By hiring a sweep that is experienced, professional, and has the credentials to back up the services they are offering, you save yourself a lot of stress. The biggest thing you can look for is a CSIA certification. The CSIA is one of the most highly esteemed organizations in the industry, and sweeps who undergo the certification process (and maintain it) are sure to be up-to-date and knowledgeable on any services you need completed.
Another thing to look for is the length of time the company has been in business. The younger the place is, the riskier it will be to hire them. There likely won’t be a lot of reviews to base your decision off of, and the lack of experience will definitely show through if any situations that occur are out of the ordinary. Owen’s Chimney Systems, Inc. has been around since 1987, and you’d be amazed at the things we’ve learned over the years that only hands-on experience can offer! A business that’s been around for a while is always the better bet.
Finally, use the Internet to your advantage by looking into online reviews! A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of experiences, and it can say a lot about the team you’re looking to hire. Even the bad reviews can be informative, as they show how the company handles miscommunications and mishaps. If they speak with professionalism and aim to resolve the issue, this says a lot!
2. Remember That Certain Events Might Warrant Another Inspection
Like we’ve said before, annual inspections are a key component in chimney care. That being said, other things, like how often you burn, what type of weather you’re experiencing, what type of fuel you’re using, and more, can warrant the need for a second inspection.
For example, if you’re burning a lot of unseasoned wood, then more creosote than normal will form, and you’ll need a sweeping sooner rather than later. It’s always best to cover all your bases and avoid bigger, more costly disasters down the line by getting an extra inspection in.
There are also certain weather events that warrant an inspection. Hurricanes are known for causing water damage, heavy winds could fly a big branch or tree into your structure, and because the chimney is typically at the highest point of your home, it’s prone to experience lightning strikes, as well.
These events, along with tornados, earthquakes, chimney fires, and more can be extremely damaging, and it will be imperative that you schedule a level 2 inspection to ensure everything is safe for use before lighting any future fires.
Level 2 inspections are also needed after undergoing any type of reconstruction work. If you’ve changed fuel type or had your chimney/fireplace restructured in any way, always have a camera inspection completed before lighting any fires. Fortunately for folks in and near Charlotte, our crew is qualified to take on the job!
3. Know the Difference Between an Inspection and a Sweeping
Many times when customers call, they start using the terms “inspection” and “sweeping” interchangeably. It’s important to note that these are not the same thing, and if you schedule one it doesn’t always mean you’ll get the other, too.
Inspections are what you need to schedule every year. Before you begin your burning season in the cooler months, it is vital that you have a qualified expert check things over to ensure no clogs, obstructions, or build-up is present. They will also look for any signs of damage that might lead to smoke back-up or house fires.
All in all, an inspection will let you know that you are good to go, and that you won’t face any serious risks when enjoying those cozy firelit evenings throughout the fall and winter.
Sweepings are what we do when we see excess creosote or a lot of blockages in your flue. During a sweeping we’ll remove any flammable materials and creosote, as well as ensure there isn’t anything getting in the way of achieving good airflow.
Still Have Questions?
If you’re new to the fireplace world and don’t even know where to start in terms of operating your system, please hang around while we do your maintenance and feel free to ask questions along the way! We’re in this industry to ensure our customers stay as safe as possible, while enjoying their appliance to the fullest, and by keeping you informed on chimney care, we’re able to do just that.
All in all, as CSIA certified sweeps, it’s part of our commitment to excellence and to keep consumers informed and educated, and we love giving the communities we serve peace of mind and reassurance.
Ready to work with our team? Great! Give us a call today or feel free to fill out an appointment request through our website. We’re excited to speak with you soon!