Chimney Sweep

What is a Chimney Sweep?

The term chimney sweep refers to the occupation of cleaning soot, ash, and creosote from the walls of chimneys. Chimney sweeps originate from the late 1700s during the Age of Industrialization. As more buildings were constructed, their heights grew as well. In turn, chimneys and flues were combined for efficiency. Not only that, but they were made smaller for better ventilation.

The job was given to young children with smaller and taller spaces, often boys between as young as 4 years old. The children were often orphans and taken into apprenticeships by a master chimney sweep. The apprentices would climb the flues of the chimney from the bottom and remove any buildup of creosote. Chimney sweeping was a hazardous and low-paying job during the era.

Today, chimney sweeping is performed using modern technologies and methods that pose no threat to the user or the homeowner. Wood-burning and gas furnaces continue to require chimney sweeping or cleaning in order to remain safe.

What is Chimney Sweeping?

Chimney sweeping is the process of cleaning and removing creosote from inside your chimney. Creosote is a residue left by the wood burning in the fireplace. As your wood burns, the oils travel up into the flue of the chimney. As it reaches cooler air near the top, the oil condenses and sticks to the chimney wall. Gas fireplaces with chimneys do not have to worry about a buildup of creosote. However, the worry with gas is carbon monoxide. Proper ventilation for both types of chimneys is essential, making chimney sweeping a helpful service.

How Often Should You Sweep Your Chimney?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states wood-burning fireplaces should receive a chimney sweep every year under regular use. You may never use your chimney, so sweeps are unnecessary. We recommend getting your chimney swept every other year rather than annually for those who use their fireplace a couple of times a year.

Do Gas Fireplaces Need Chimney Sweeping?

As we have already touched on, gas chimneys do not produce creosote, so cleanings should be less frequent. The most paramount issue with gas fireplaces is proper ventilation. The best way you can ensure your gas chimney is ventilating properly is to get it inspected every year. Your gas fireplace should be cleaned on a regular basis to maintain its beauty, but it does not need extensive cleanings like a wood-burning chimney.

Why is Creosote Bad?

Creosote is not a good quality to have in your chimney because it is flammable while inside your chimney. The longer you go without removing it, the more the chimney will build up. Eventually, smoke can have a difficult time escaping the chimney. As smoke builds in the chimney, the temperature does too. In conclusion, a chimney fire can occur if there is too much creosote. For this reason, you should receive regular chimney sweeps.

Choosing What Woods to Burn

If you are looking to reduce the amount of creosote that collects in your chimney, you can start with the type of wood your burn. Certain species of wood contain more oils or give off more smoke. These woods should be avoided. Other woods are much denser, dryer, and burn longer. These are the types of woods you want for your fireplace.

Do Use These Woods:

  • Oak
  • Ash
  • Douglas Fir
  • Apple
  • Cherry
  • Pear
  • Birch

Don’t Use These Woods:

  • Green wood
  • Driftwood
  • Manufactured wood
  • Poisonous wood (Poison oak, ivy, sumac, etc.)
  • Oleander
  • Pine
  • Spruce
  • Cedar

Signs of Needing a Chimney Sweep

If you have just moved into a new home or you haven’t used your chimney in some time, it can be difficult to determine if a chimney sweep is right. We understand you don’t want to schedule a cleaning if you don’t need one. Of course, you also want to maintain a safe home. So, there are a handful of signs you can be on the lookout for to determine if a chimney sweep is right for you.

Here is what to look for:

  • Difficult time starting a fire
  • Fire doesn’t burn strongly or doesn’t burn as well
  • Fireplace damper is coated with a black substance
  • Smoke is entering the room while the damper is open
  • Oil marks on walls of the fireplace
  • Odors coming from the fireplace and chimney
Do wood-burning stoves need chimney swept?

Yes, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) recommends you have your wood-burning appliances inspected and cleaned annually.

How long does it take to sweep a chimney?

On average, a chimney sweep will take between 45 minutes to an hour. Larger chimneys may require more time, but most can expect the average. If we run into the presence of animals or structural problems, the sweep will take longer.

How do chimney sweeps clean chimneys?

Modern chimney sweeps use a wide range of tools to remove creosote from the wall of the chimney. The process typically involves blocking off the fireplace entrance with plastic or canvas clothes. Afterward, the chimney sweep goes to the roof to start scraping the creosote off the side of the chimney. They’ll be sure to remove as much as possible using various different types of brushes. Finally, the last step is vacuuming up all the creosote that has fallen to the bottom of the fireplace. They’ll be sure to vacuum any creosote off the smoke shelf as well.

Call Us Today

Do you need a chimney sweep right away? Contact All Day Air Duct Cleaning & Dryer Vent Cleaning today. Our team is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can reach our team by calling (346) 522-4905. A team member will speak to you about your needs and schedule an appointment at your convenience.

Email Us Today

If you’d rather send us a message, visit our contact page to fill out the form. We respond to form inquiries within 48 hours, but our team is prompt when it comes to responses. Once we do, we’ll help you schedule an appointment for your cleaning at your latest convenience.

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