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FAQ’s About Chimney Cleaning

Your chimney is an essential safety apparatus responsible for venting the smoke and fumes from a fireplace or heating stove. To keep everything running smoothly, it needs periodic cleaning and maintenance. You have undoubtedly heard of a chimney sweep, but may be wondering what they actually do, when you really need one, and how long it takes to clean the chimney. The answers to these frequently asked questions and more are answered below.

How often should you clean the chimney?

Chimney Inspections In Henrico, VAThe Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends cleaning the chimney when there is 1/8″ or more of creosote. Also, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual chimney inspections, whether you use the fireplace or heating stove or not. During your annual inspection, the chimney sweep will let you know if cleaning is necessary. In many cases, the chimney inspection and cleaning can be done on the same visit.

How do you prepare for a chimney sweep?

Our chimney sweep will protect the work area and clean up when the job is complete. However, we recommend that you remove any loose items from the mantle and hearth.


You can replace those items when the chimney sweep is complete. Also, the area surrounding your fireplace should be clear, so be sure to remove any objects like toys and plants that may be in the way.

Is chimney sweeping messy?

The soot, ash, and creosote build-up inside the flue can make chimney sweeping a bit messy. However, a professional chimney sweep has professional tools and equipment like personal protective equipment and will cover furnishings and flooring around the work area to minimize flying dust particles.

Can I sweep my own chimney?

While it is damage that a layperson may overlook.

How do I know if my chimney needs cleaning?

Typically, if your fires are smokier or more difficult to light than usual, smell foul odors from the fireplace or chimney,

Does the chimney sweep go on the roof?

A level 1 visual inspection is a top to bottom review of all accessible areas of the chimney. The chimney sweep will use a ladder to go on the roof to inspect the chimney crown, chimney cap, and flashing and to remove any flue obstructions.

What does a chimney sweep do?

A chimney sweep is a trained professional who performs chimney inspections, determines when cleaning is necessary,

Can a dirty chimney make you sick?

A dirty creates several gases and contaminants, including creosote and carbon monoxide. The residue from these contaminants clings to the walls as they are expelled through the flue. As residue continues to build-up in the chimney, it can reduce indoor air quality and increase the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Symptoms include skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems, nausea, and confusion.

What happens if you don’t sweep your chimney?

Failure to regularly sweep the chimney can cause health issues and damage the chimney. It is also a fire hazard. The number one cause of residential structure fires is excessive creosote in an unswept chimney.  It also increases the risk of exposure to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide, damages the masonry and flue liner, and corrodes the damper and other metal components, leading to their premature replacement.

How long does a chimney sweep take?

Hiring a chimney sweep is quick and efficient. It usually takes 45 minutes to 60 minutes for a chimney professional to clean the chimney.

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