Understanding Chimney Sweep And Chimney Cleaning
An improperly maintained chimney is a fire hazard. When you go for a long time without cleaning the chimney, creosote tends to build up in it. When a lot of it accumulates, it can easily catch fire thus putting your entire house at risk.
Soot has also been found to promote carbon monoxide accumulation in the house which can lead to tragic consequences.
For you to prevent fire in your house and keep yourself and your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, you should undertake regular chimney cleaning. You can clean the unit by yourself but for ideal results, hire a chimney sweep to help you out.
What does a chimney sweep do?
The chimney cleaning professional has two roles: to clean the chimney and inspect it for any flaws it might be having.
For the contractors to clean the chimney, they have to protect the insides of the house using tarp. This is to prevent the soot and ash from spraying into the house during the cleaning process.
After this, the contractor will go up on the roof and using brushes and long rods, get rid of all the soot that might have accumulated in the chimney. After doing this, the chimney expert should use a high-powered vacuum to suck up any soot that might have been dislodged when cleaning.
Do you have a house that makes it hard to access the roof? The contractor will have to clean the chimney from the insides of the house. While this process will give you a clean chimney, in most cases its messy and most contractors avoid it.
What should you look for when hiring the chimney sweep?
When your chimney is ripe for cleaning, you shouldn’t simply rush to the nearest chimney professional that you find. You should take your time and find the right one for your needs. For you to hire the right contractor look out for these qualities:
Certifications: Many people argue that it’s the contractor who is working, not the certifications, but it would be unprofessional to work with an uncertified chimney contractor. Working with a contractor without the right certifications is like getting treated by a quack. How does that feel? Scary, I bet.
For you to have peace of mind that your chimney is being cleaned and serviced by the right professional, you should hire someone with the right certifications.
Experience: Before you hire the contractor, find out how long he/she has been cleaning chimneys. As you might have guessed, the longer the contractor has been in the industry, the better.
Insurance: Is the contractor insured. While not mandatory, you are better off working with an insured contractor. This gives you peace of mind that in the event an accident occurs during the cleaning process, the insurance company will take care of it. The last thing you want is to be required to pay a contractor because they got injured when working in your home.
Area of expertise: As mentioned, there are some chimneys that you can easily clean from the top and others from the bottom. Depending on the nature of your chimney, you should hire the right contractor.
For you to have peace of mind, work with a contractor who specifically specializes in a given method of chimney cleaning.
How often should you clean the chimney?
It’s recommended that you clean the chimney at least once a year. You can clean it more often than this if your chimney is small or you use it more often than other people. How do you tell your chimney is ripe for cleaning? All you need to do is to measure the level of creosote in the chimney.
If the level is more than 1/8”, you should go ahead and contact the chimney cleaning professional.
Chimney cleaning services Columbia MD providers observe that there are a number of things you can do to reduce the frequency at which you clean the unit. One of the things you can do is to burn seasoned hardwood. This is wood that has been air-dried for at least six months.
The wood not only produces less soot thus you don’t need to clean the chimney more often, but it also burns hotter thus producing more heat for your home.