What Exactly Does a Chimney Sweep Involve

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Featured Images Sweap

If you own a home with a chimney, then sweeps play a vital role in maintaining your property. This post goes over what sweeps do and why they are so important.

What Does a Chimney Sweep Do?

Chimney sweeps are trained professionals with a specific job. As the fireplace manufacturer Jøtul puts it, a sweep both cleans fireplaces and the surrounding infrastructure and makes sure everything remains in safe operating condition. Doing so decreases the risk of a fire-related incident and reduces emissions of gas. Additionally, sweeps can provide information about how to correctly use a fireplace. Another useful piece of information they provide is an estimate of how often a chimney will need to be cleaned based on how often a homeowner uses it.

How Long Does a Chimney Sweep Take?

The sweeping itself usually is done within 45 to 60 minutes, though the condition and length of the flue can cause variations. For example, if there is a large amount of creosote to remove, the process may take longer.

The length of time may also vary depending on whether or not an inspection takes place. Some companies split the two between separate visits. Regardless, inspections should occur at least annually and whenever an eighth of an inch of deposit has built up. If a chimney inspection is needed and the chimney sweep does not indicate that they will perform one at the outset, homeowners should specify that they desire an inspection. Another helpful option is to set up an ongoing inspection plan.

What Does a Chimney Sweep Include?

Per Today.com, a professional sweep package typically includes “sweeping the fireplace,” making sure the appliance has the right clearances, and checking other elements. Those other elements include items like the firebox and smoke chamber. A video inspection also occurs, which can discover hard-to-see damage.

Sweeps remove creosote, which can build up in chimneys and is highly flammable. That is a problem because if the creosote catches fire, it can begin to burn out of control, causing a fire to spread through the home. Additionally, regular cleanings ensure other problems, such as nesting animals, do not arise.

How Long Does A Chimney Sweep Take

Do Chimney Sweeps Go on the Roof?

Many homeowners wonder if sweeps go on the roof. The answer is often yes. As highlighted in this FAQ from the Chimney Safety Institute of America, a sweep may access the roof to check the “flashing, mortar,” and other “workings of the chimney.” Much of the sweeping operation is possible from inside the home rather than requiring roof access, but a full inspection may necessitate that the sweep access the roof.

Additionally, per Homesaver, the sweep’s preferred cleaning technique will play a role as well. Some clean chimneys by starting at the bottom and going up, while others do the reverse. Either way, homeowners should find out before the procedure begins; for example, if the sweep is going onto the roof, they will need a safe spot to place their ladder that does not damage the landscaping or other exterior elements of the home.

Do Chimney Sweeps Make a Mess?

If done improperly, cleaning can be quite a messy operation. The good news is that if you hire a professional—preferably one certified by the CSIA—the sweep will take steps to prevent messiness and other problems. For example, Chimneys.com points out that a professional sweep will relocate furniture if necessary and use a drop cloth to protect the floor. Rug runners may also be used.

Additionally, sweeps use professional-level vacuums and chimney cleaning equipment to suck up soot and ash. The takeaway point is that after a certified sweep is finished, there will be no sign they were in your home to begin with—aside from a clean fireplace.

Ready to get started? Contact the experts at Chimney Draft Doctor, today.

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