Fireplace Cleaning and Safety

Construction and Maintenance

Fireplaces that are not cleaned properly once a year are the major source of chimney fires. Creosote and soot must be thoroughly removed from all fireplace and chimney surfaces in order to prevent this type of disaster from occurring. This is easier said than done though, and can be a source of major frustration for any one brave enough to attempt it. This is the prime reason why Fireplace Cleaning Chesapeake VA is a booming industry.

Certification is for your protection
It is important to choose a company that only employs certified chimney sweeps to service your equipment. Safety should always be the number one priority of the company and all persons employed by them. Otherwise, the customer is at risk of a chimney fire which could destroy the home, cause loss of belongings, and in extreme situations loss of life. Don’t make the mistake of cutting corners to save a dollar. Fireplace cleaning in Chesapeake VA is a competitive market. Chances are high that a company can be found to fit any size budget.

How to know when it is time to call a chimney sweep for service
The National Fire Protection Association recommends a yearly chimney inspection to prevent a chimney fire1. If the creosote or soot in the smoke chamber is 1/8” thick it is time to have the chimney cleaned in the near future. Once the creosote is 1/4” thick a fire could occur at any time and the fireplace must be cleaned before the next use. To gauge the thickness of the buildup, make sure there is not a downdraft and scrape the side of the smoke chamber. Protective goggles and dust mask must be worn as a safety precaution during this procedure. Any certified Fireplace cleaning company in Chesapeake VA, will be able to perform this fireplace inspection for the customer.

Different types of creosote or fireplace soot
Creosote buildup is caused by unburned tar vapors that condense inside the chimney and stick to it. There are four types of creosote buildup. The first and easiest to remove is comparable to dust in density and is usually black, brown or gray. The next type is a black granular accumulation that is fairly easy to remove with a stiff wire brush. The third type is a tar-like coating that is very difficult to remove even with scrapers and power rotary whips. The most deadly type is a shiny, glaze-like coating which is near impossible to remove. It is important to have the chimney cleaned regularly before the final and deadly creosote develops.