Our Company Blog

Now’s The Time To Get Your Chimney Swept!

As the temperatures outside continue to climb higher and higher, fireplaces are often the furthest things from most homeowner’s minds. However, just because it is too hot to use your fireplace doesn’t mean you should ignore it entirely!

Summer is one of the best times of years to have chimney maintenance done. This year, beat the fall rush by having your chimney swept in the summer, getting it out of the way and leaving your ready for the year to come.

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The benefits of summer chimney sweeping

Most homeowners do not use their fireplaces during the summer when it is hot outside. Not using it during this time of the year, however, makes it the perfect time to have chimney maintenance done!

First, having your chimney swept in the summer means you will not experience any breaks in fireplace usage while your chimney is being swept. Likewise, if any significant damage is discovered during the sweeping you will not be put out in the cold – sometimes literally – if you cannot use you fireplace while you wait for repairs to be completed.

Next, a summer chimney sweeping gets your chimney ready for fall. Having your chimney swept in the summer ensures that it is clean long before the first cold snap of the season. Likewise, summer weather is ideal for masonry repairs, some of which cannot be done in wet or cold conditions.

Lastly, because summer has been traditionally considered a “slow” season for chimney sweepings, homeowners with busy schedules may have better look securing a convenient appointment time.

The importance of having a swept chimney

Having your chimney swept is one of the most important things you can do to improve the safety and lifespan of your fireplace and chimney system. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, all homes should have their chimneys swept at least once per year. A regular annual chimney sweeping not only ensures that the chimney is free from damage, debris, or other blockages but also keeps your fireplace running safely and efficiently.

One of the primary purposes of chimney sweeping is the removal of creosote. Creosote is a highly flammable byproduct of all fuel burning fires. It accumulates in the flue and can both damage your chimney and endanger your family is left unremoved.

When creosote is allowed to accumulate in the flue, it can be easily ignited with stray sparks or embers. In fact, creosote ignition if the number one cause of all chimney fires. In addition to creating chimney fires, creosote can also cause significant chimney odors. Creosote chimney smells can fill your entire home with a smoky odor and are often made worse by summer’s hot and humid weather.

This year, don’t put off maintenance until the first cold spell of the year. Now is a great time to get your chimney swept! Contact Pristine Sweeps today to schedule your summer chimney sweeping to get your fireplace system ready for fall!

All About Chimney Caps

When it comes to protecting your fireplace system, there are a number of different chimney parts that play an important role. The chimney cap, however, is one of the most important parts of the chimney and is responsible for protecting the chimney and fireplace from animals, moisture, and debris.

Because chimney caps cannot be easily examined from street level, many homeowners are not familiar with their importance. Without a functioning chimney cap, however, your chimney and fireplace system can quickly and easily become damaged.

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What is a chimney cap?

Chimney caps *are metal covers that are designed to protect both the top of the chimney and the entrance of the flue. Made out of materials such as stainless steel, chimney caps have mesh or wire sides that allow smoke out while preventing larger debris from getting in.

In addition to protecting your flue and fireplace, chimney caps are an excellent way to add a decorative finish to your chimney. With chimney caps available in a variety of styles, caps can be found to match a variety of aesthetics or rooflines.

Not all chimney caps are created equally, however. Many homes have factory built chimney caps. These chimney caps come in set sizes and materials and are designed to fit most chimneys. However, if your home has an unusual chimney or you are looking for a more unique look, you may want to consider a custom chimney cap. Custom chimney caps are built to the exact specifications and dimensions of your chimney and can be made using the materials or style of your choice.

Why do I need a chimney cap?

While chimney caps can add a beautiful decorative finish to the top of your chimney, they also serve an important functional purpose. Below are some of the ways that chimney caps protect the health and safety of your chimney and fireplace system.

Keep out animals and debris: Without a chimney cap, the entrance of the flue is open and exposed. This means that animals and debris can easily find their way in. Even a damaged chimney cap can still let animals in; small birds and mammals can squeeze through even tiny cracks, and larger animals such as raccoons can use their claws to pry their way in. In addition to damaging the chimney, debris like leaves, twigs, branches, or even stray balls or Frisbees can all cause chimney blockages that affect chimney safety and efficiency.

Prevent water damage: Just as a chimney cap keeps animals and debris out of your chimney, it also keeps water from getting in. Because water  can severely damage the masonry and metal components of the inside of the chimney, it is important that the delicate fireplace system is protected against the elements. With a damaged chimney cap, even small amounts of water can create a chimney leak that leads to damaged masonry, walls, ceilings, and even mold or mildew growth in the chimney.

The chimney cap is one of the most important parts of your chimney. Because of this, it is extremely important that you have a well-fitting and well maintained chimney cap. Pristine Sweeps can help make sure your chimney has the right cap, helping to keep your fireplace system safe from the elements!