Chimney Sweeping and Inspections
Chimney sweeping is vital to the safe operation of your fireplace for several reasons. If you’re interested in learning more about chimney sweeping, it’s important to understand why you should clean your chimney, how often to clean it, and even how to hire the right professional.
Benefits of Chimney Sweeping Services
Chimney sweeping is about much more than simply preserving your chimney’s aesthetic appeal. In fact, it’s necessary to keep you safe. As you burn wood in your fireplace, that wood creates dangerous chemicals called combustion byproducts that can build up inside your chimney over time, including soot and creosote. These byproducts are hazardous for three reasons.
They are harmful to your health. Creosote and soot are both skin, lung, and eye irritants. This means they can cause discomfort, especially in those who have asthma, allergies, or other existing health conditions.
Creosote can ignite. Even though it is a combustion byproduct, creosote can ignite when too much of it builds up over time. This can result in catastrophic damage to your home and even personal injury or loss of life.
Buildup can block airflow. For your chimney to work as it should, the combustion gases and byproducts must be able to escape your home. Creosote and soot can build up and block your chimney completely, which means that those gases and byproducts will enter your home rather than escape it. This can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal.
How Often to Perform Chimney Sweeping
Most professionals who perform chimney cleaning agree that you should have your chimney cleaned at least once per year, or twice per year during particularly cold years when you use your fireplace more often than usual. Some individuals purchase chimney cleaning “logs” that claim to remove the buildup of soot and creosote when they’re used regularly, and while there is evidence to suggest that they can help, it’s important to remember that these products cannot take the place of regular professional chimney sweeping.
Aside from a traditional sweeping, it’s also important to have your chimney inspected annually.
North American Chimney includes a 12-point inspection with every sweep at no additional charge!
Our elite array of liners are made right here in the USA. We can promise that you’ll get exactly what you ordered, installed on time, every time. Each of our liners is UL listed, and covered by a Lining System Warranty when installed by one of our certified professionals.
We offer Liner Kits for Oil, Wood, Gas, Pellet and Coal Appliances.
Here’s what a standard kit looks like:
• Stainless Steel ChimneyLiner • Stainless Steel Caps • Hose Clamp Top Plate • Hose Clamp Tee or Wood Stove Adapter
Why a liner?
SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES OF METAL LINERS
√ Protects your chimney from water damage
√ Prevents fires caused by creosote build-up
√ Greatly extends the life of your chimney
√ Every liner comes with a lifetime warranty
√ Energy-efficient to save you money
Install and Repairs
Chimney inspection services ensure that you can use your fireplace safely for many years to come. These inspections allow professionals to pinpoint problems that could lead to chimney damage, fires, or even carbon monoxide poisoning.
Why You Need Regular Fireplace and Chimney Inspection
You should have your fireplace and chimney inspected at least once per year, though it’s always a good idea to have twice-annual inspections if you’ve used your fireplace more than usual or if a severe thunderstorm may have caused damage to your chimney crown, flashing, or masonry.
Water is the number one enemy when it comes to your chimney, North American Chimney technicians are trained to carefully check your chimney and fireplace for evidence of moisture penetration. What’s more, these individuals can locate cracks or other problems that could allow water damage in the future. Inspections can also allow professionals to discover blockages in the chimney or dangerous creosote build-up.
A Full 12-Point Service
The chimney safety inspection performed by North American Chimney is comprehensive 12-point inspection that includes every nook and cranny. Techs will examine all the following:
When these areas are thoroughly checked, you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that your chimney is safe and in good working order.
Three Service Levels
North American Chimney offers you three different levels of chimney inspections.
Level 1 – This is the most basic of the chimney inspection services offered by North American. It includes checking for defects in your flue, cap, and liner and testing any areas that are accessible through and around your chimney.
Level 2 – Level 2 includes everything in Level 1, but comes with additional value-added chimney inspection services. These include the inspection of your basement, attic, and crawlspace, an assessment of your chimney’s location relative to combustible materials, and an overall assessment of your chimney’s health and condition.
Level 3 – Finally, a level 3 chimney safety inspection includes everything in Levels 1 and 2, but also includes a detailed assessment of the concealed areas in your home. This can help you pinpoint problems that may not be directly evident from the outside of your home or from your fireplace.
Chimney Inspections for a New-to-You Home
If you’re thinking of purchasing a new home with a fireplace, it’s always in your best interest to hire a chimney inspection company like North American Chimney to assess its condition before you buy. Although many real estate companies and sellers hire their own inspectors, North American will work for you to help you determine whether a chimney has been well-maintained, whether it is safe, and whether it will need repairs and maintenance before it can be used.
With a full 12-point inspection and three different service levels available, you can keep your family safe and comfortable all year round.
Your chimney keeps your home and family safe when you use your fireplace. For this reason, it’s important to have your chimney swept and inspected regularly. Masonry repair is a common need for many homeowners, and it includes chimney crown repair, flashing repair, and chimney repointing.
Chimney Crown Repair
You can think of a chimney crown like an umbrella. It keeps rain, snow, and other debris from falling through the chimney onto the damper or into the fireplace. In fact, the chimney crown can save you thousands of dollars in water damage when it is properly installed and maintained. Chimney crown repair is relatively common, and North American Chimney is trained and experienced in repairing concrete crowns of all shapes and sizes.
Masonry consists of the bricks and mortar that make up the entire chimney structure. Most of the time, chimney damage is caused by the penetration of moisture through this masonry, either through a crack or a failed chimney crown. If your chimney has loose bricks, rust, or damaged mortar joints, your home is in danger of water damage. Water can seep through cracks and damaged areas, then expands as it freezes, making the damage even worse. Annual chimney inspection can help prevent this damage, and North American Chimney can assist in all your masonry restoration projects.
Chimney Flashing Repair
Chimney flashing consists of pieces of metal installed around the area where your chimney meets your roof. This is designed to create a waterproof seal and prevent roof leaks in this area. However, at the same time, this is the area of your chimney and roof that is most vulnerable to damage. Fortunately, chimney flashing is often relatively simple to repair, but it should be left in the hands of capable professionals. North American Chimney has repaired chimney flashing for thousands of customers.
The term “spalling” is used to describe the process by which water damage causes bricks to fall out of your chimney and onto your roof or the ground. Freezing and thawing cycles, such as those that are so common in the Northeastern USA, are the prime culprits when it comes to spalling. Fortunately, regular inspection can treat moisture penetration before spalling can occur, and maintenance can completely prevent water damage.
North American Chimney is an authority when it comes to masonry repair, flashing repair, chimney repointing, and chimney crown repair. A well-maintained chimney will allow your family to use your fireplace safely for generations, and there’s nothing more comforting than a roaring fire on a cold winter’s day.
A chimney’s pointing is the external part of the mortar joints, which holds the masonry together. Over time, mortar can decay between the bricks and create an area for moisture and water to enter. Repointing is a service that refills those voids with mortar to prevent water damage. Although the bricks that make up your chimney may last 100 years or more, pointing typically only lasts 20, and even less in areas where the temperature drops below freezing regularly. North American Chimney performs chimney repointing on all chimney types and sizes.
Oftentimes, animals enter the chimney to escape rain, cold, and other harsh weather conditions. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous for the animals and for your home since temperatures in a chimney can skyrocket. Here’s what you need to know about chimney animal removal.
What Is This Animal in My Chimney?
All kinds of animals can find their way into your chimney. Some simply enter out of curiosity and are unable to escape, and others will attempt to use your chimney for a new home. For example, birds and raccoons alike look for nesting areas that are high above the ground, and your chimney seems like the ideal location. On the other hand, stray cats and other animals may enter out of curiosity and find themselves stuck. In either case, North American Chimney specializes in chimney animal removal.
Signs of Animals in the Chimney
In some cases, there may be no symptoms of animals in your chimney. Other times, you may start noticing debris or animal droppings falling into your chimney, which are surefire signs an animal has entered. Many homeowners never know there are animals in their chimneys until they have died and started to decompose; the smell alerts them to the animals’ presence, and it can quickly grow overpowering.
Is It Dangerous?
When animals nest in your chimney, it can certainly present a danger. Their nests can block the proper flow of air, which can result in carbon monoxide buildup in your home. The bacteria these animals carry and excrete in their urine and feces can exacerbate allergies or cause illnesses. In some cases, animals may even be able to enter your home through your fireplace. For these reasons, it’s important to hire a professional for animal removal from chimney.
A Humane Approach
Whereas many companies will poison or kill animals to get them out of their clients’ chimneys, North American Chimney takes a humane approach to their removal. When you have raccoons in the chimney, North American will safely trap them and remove them from your roof, then install a chimney guard to prevent their reentry. The animals are not hurt or injured; instead, they’re simply relocated away from your home where they are encouraged to seek refuge elsewhere.