It is very important to us that each of our customers gets all of their questions answered. We have done our best to answer the most frequently asked questions here.
Why do I need to get my fireplace swept?
The purpose of sweeping a fireplace is to remove debris and as much soot or creosote as possible. As creosote can be extremely flammable, sweeping the chimney can reduce the fire hazard associated with it. Additionally, if an animal has made its way into your flue, a sweep will remove any animal debris or feces. Having those animal products in the chimney can pose a health hazard to you and your family.
How often do I need to get a sweep?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends getting a fireplace swept every year, and getting the fireplace checked out every time. This includes wood burning or gas units of any kind.
Do I need a chimney cap?
Also called a spark arrester or termination cap, the answer is yes. Every chimney should have a cap to protect against leaves, large debris or animals from getting inside.
What is a damper? Do I need one?
There are two types of dampers. One is located in the firebox, the most common is called a bottom blade damper. The second one is called a top damper that goes at the top of the chimney by the cap. The type of damper your chimney needs depends on what kind of unit you have, but yes, you need a damper.
The purpose of a damper is to seal the flue when the chimney is not in use. Dampers save energy in your home by blocking the flue when the chimney is not in use so the heat or air conditioning cannot escape through the flue. When the damper is open while there is no fire going, air can be pulled into the house, which causes the air conditioning or heating to work harder to maintain the temperature of your home.
What’s the difference between a Level 1 and Level 2 Inspection?
A Level 1 Inspection is a visual inspection only, this is done every time a chimney is swept. This means that the sweep technician will look at whatever he can see without a camera and do a basic condition report.
A Level 2 Inspection is done with a camera and is an inspection of the entire chimney system that can be accessed without tearing anything apart or having to rebuild anything. A Level 2 Inspection should look for holes, cracks, clearances of space around the system, and measurements to determine if the chimney is in good condition or not. Once all of this information is collected, it is put into a written report for the client. We take this a step further and include lots of photos so the client can see what is going on with the unit.
Do I need a Level 2 Inspection?
A Level 2 Inspection is recommended under the following circumstances:
- A person is buying or selling a house.
- If you have no history for the fireplace and want to know if it’s in a good condition to use.
- If the city you live in is asking for a chimney inspection for an occupancy permit or something similar.
- If your chimney or fireplace seem to be having issues, like smoke coming out of the firebox or smelling gas, etc.
- If you are interested in converting your unit to a different type and you haven’t had one done before.