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Start Spring Cleaning Off Right

While you’re organizing your Spring Cleaning to-do list, you should remember your chimney along with all your other home maintenance. Your chimney has been working for you all winter long, maybe daily, and it needs some attention.

What You Can Do

First, you should clean the surfaces of the hearth and close off the chimney when you’re finished with it for the season. By closing the damper you can save yourself in air conditioning costs this summer. You can also prevent foul odors from soot and humidity from entering your home while you wait for your appointment. As soon as you are able you should schedule an appointment with a professional chimney sweep company.Start Spring Cleaning Off Right Image - Seattle WA - Pristine Sweeps, LLC

Choosing the Right Chimney Sweep Company

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend annual maintenance including regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. Scheduling your inspection in the spring means that you can catch any winter damage before it is made worse by water penetration and summer humidity. While looking for a chimney sweep company to assess and clean your chimney system, look for one who is familiar with the area’s climate, common chimney damages, repairs, and local regulations.

Make Necessary Repairs Now

Your chimney expert may find chimney damages or possible problems that can be dealth with right away. Schedule your chimney repairs now so that spring showers aren’t able to worsen the damage. Also, making repairs now means that your chimney will be ready to use when cool weather comes in the fall. A common mistake homeowners make is putting off routine maintenance and repairs until fall. This is often called the “fall rush” because it’s the period at the start of burn season when chimney sweeps are busy getting chimneys ready for winter. During this time it can be difficult to get the appointment time you need and you may even be forced to use a chimney sweep you aren’t happy with in order to get the work completed. It’s best to plan ahead.

Closing Out Your Chimney for the Off-Season

If you have already had your chimney inspection for the year, you can still have your chimney swept before closing it out for the summer. Many homeowners schedule a chimney sweep in the spring because a dirty chimney can become stinky when temperatures warm up. Soot and creosote can become pungent when it mingles with moisture. Even if your chimney doesn’t have a leak, the natural humidity of summer will permeate the whole chimney system and create these odors. Once your chimney is swept you can close the damper to save on utilities. If you have a top-sealing damper you can close off your chimney system with an air-tight seal from the top, preventing water penetration, drafts, and animal intrusion.

When you’re ready to close out your chimney for the spring, a chimney expert from Pristine Sweeps can help you remember every step. It’s always our goal for our customers to be safe and comfortable year-round. Call Pristine Sweeps at 206-574-8414 and schedule your appointment today.

By Aaron Woodward | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

The Dangers Of Chimney Sweeping Logs

There are dozens of products on the market today that claim to make it easier for homeowners to maintain their fireplace systems. While the ease of use – and low prices – of these products may be tempting, they can in no way replace the services of a professional certified chimney sweep. One such product that claims to replace your chimney sweep is chimney sweeping logs.

The Dangers Of Chimney Sweep Logs - Seattle WA - Pristine Sweeps

How chimney sweeping logs claim to work

As advertised, chimney sweeping logs seem like a fast, cheap, and easy way to clean your chimney and avoid having it professionally swept. Chimney cleaning logs claim to reduce the amount of creosote in the chimney system; as the log is burned, the smoke generated loosens the creosote and allows it to fall down into the firebox. When the log has been burned, the creosote can safely be swept up with the remaining soot and ash.

If these claims seem too good to be true, it’s because they are. Chimney sweeping logs do not clean as advertised and may end up doing more harm than good to your chimney.

Most flues are not built in straight vertical lines; in addition to a bend at the smoke shelf, some flues have additional turns and curves as they vent to the outside. Unfortunately, this means that the creosote loosened by the chimney sweeping log may not actually make it to the firebox; instead, it can accumulate on the smoke shelf or in the bends of the flue.

Because creosote is extremely flammable, having it accumulate anywhere in the flue can increase the risk of chimney fire. Likewise, creosote stuck in the bends of the flue or on the smoke shelf can be difficult to clean and remove without professional assistance.

Chimney sweeping logs can’t replace professional chimney sweeps

While chimney sweeping logs claim to clean your chimney, they are no substitute for the services of a professional chimney sweep.

“I usually tell people using one of those logs instead of having your chimney cleaned manually is like chewing Dentyne instead of brushing your teeth,” said Allan Bopp of Bald Eagle Enterprises. “It may help a little, but it’s a poor substitute for the real thing.”

In addition to correctly and completely removing soot, ash, and creosote from the flue, professional chimney sweeps can also inspect and evaluate your chimney system. Because so much of the chimney is nearly impossible to see or inaccessible from the ground, it is important to work with a professional who can inspect these hard to reach areas of the chimney – as well as understand what they are looking at. Certified chimney sweeps can evaluate the condition of your entire chimney system; in many cases, they can help spot small areas of deterioration before it turns into major damage.

When it comes to chimney maintenance, nothing can replace the expertise of a certified chimney sweep. Instead of trusting your family’s health and safety to a $20 log from a big box store, trust the experts at Pristine Sweeps to care for your fireplace and chimney system. Contact us today to schedule your next chimney sweeping appointment.

By Aaron Woodward | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment