No. We use a powerful vacuum that prevents soot and dust from entering the home, and we are careful to take precautions in order to prevent any mess. (Out of the ordinary).
Of course, a chimney sweep cleans chimneys, but a superior sweep offers three levels of service, and each level will indicate the depth of the inspection: Level 1 offers basic services and inspection to readily accessible areas; level 2 provides additional checks of chimney conditions and interior flues, and checks of some difficult-to-access spots like crawl spaces and attics; level 3 includes inspection of those areas that have been enclosed. There's not space enough here for details, so please call me if you'd like more information.
The answer to this question depends on what fuel you use. It also depends on the age of your home, the condition of your chimney, and the weather (mild winters cause more problems than cold ones!). Generally, if you use wood, it's good to have the chimney cleaned at least every 6-12 months (more often if you burn two or more cords of wood, or if you burn green wood). Oil flues -especially if there's a ventilation problem- need to be inspected and cleaned each year in order to avoid chimney blockage. Problems in the furnace or boiler can cause highly sooty conditions in the chimney. Even though natural gas is a clean-burning fuel, today's high-efficiency gas furnaces create special problems. The fumes they produce are cooler and produce higher levels of water vapor than previous models, and this vapor in turn produces more water condensation. These vapors also contain chlorides from house-supplied combustion air which combine to form hydrochloric acid. The acid-water condensates from these latest natural gas furnaces cause more flue deterioration than previous models. It's important to check the chimneys that vent these systems at least once each year.
This depends a little on what level of inspection you want (see question #2), but most visits take about 60 minutes.
Because the insert must be removed from the firebox to clean the system properly. They require the use of a lift or a mechanical device to remove them.
No! Not every sweep has the knowledge to provide quality service. Because the chimney sweep industry is not regulated, virtually anyone can start a business and call themselves a sweep. Remember, the service sweeps provide should help to keep your family and home safe. So, as you choose a sweep
to service your home, please make sure that they have the expertise to get the job done right.
Paying a little bit now can protect your largest investment against fire damage or carbon monoxide poisoning. Proper inspections and maintenance have even saved lives. And besides, a clean chimney simply smells better; the same elements that catch fire also create chimney odors when the chimney is not in use.
Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous because it is not easily detected. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for common illnesses such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, or even depression. Carbon monoxide detectors are now readily available and no home should be without at least two of them: one near the furnace and another near the sleeping area of the home. Detectors are NOT a substitute for routine maintenance, but can be a lifesaver should problems occur. Carbon monoxide problems are always caused by poor ventilation, and blocked chimneys are one of the largest single causes of carbon monoxide in the home. Without proper maintenance, heating systems can be dangerous because they can cause fires or release toxic gases into your living area that cause serious damage, illness, or even death. Poor ventilation is the cause, so it's critical to have a clean chimney. When there is build up in your chimney, it must be removed by a chimney professional.
No, we have scheduled appointments throughout the day starting at 8:00am, with the last appointment between 3:30 and 4:00 pm. We also schedule appointments on Saturday and Sunday.
Since this is an unregulated industry, virtually anyone can place an ad in the paper and call themselves a sweep. This unfortunately leads to some individuals who create scams. However, A-1 Rooftop Chimney Sweep has been in business since 1986.