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Take Care of Chimney Maintenance Now!

With some unpredictable weather left, it’s time to think about the health of your chimney system. A lot can happen to a chimney over the winter, from creosote buildup to cracks expanding in masonry work. While you can expect creosote buildup from regular use, it is a fire hazard. A CSIA-Certified chimney sweep should remove it and inspect the chimney annually. Water intrusion starts to become a problem during in the spring, when newly exposed cracks from freezing and thawing appear. Our CSIA-Certified technicians know the ins and outs of maintaining fireplace and chimney systems in Colorado. This article covers a few chimney maintenance basics

Why should I have my chimney swept & inspected?

Creosote is a flammable by-product of wood combustion that builds up in the chimney. This black, tar-like substance is the most common cause of chimney fires and must be removed from the chimney every year after the regular burning season to ensure continued safe operations. Taking care of creosote buildup as the weather begins to warm in the spring is a great way to make sure it’s done ahead of the autumn busy season, when chimney sweeps experience a rush of business that pushes availability out by a few weeks.

What level of chimney inspection do I need?

A chimney sweeping and inspection on an annual basis keeps your fireplace system running efficiently.
A chimney sweeping and inspection on an annual basis keeps your fireplace system running efficiently.

During your annual service, our CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps inspect the chimney and fireplace to ensure that everything is in safe, working order. We offer three levels of chimney inspection:

  • Level 1: During a Level 1 Chimney Inspection, our technicians will inspect all the readily accessible portions of the chimney system from the fireplace to the flue. We will look for signs of damage, danger, and health hazards.
  • Level 2: During a Level 2 inspection, we perform a video scan of the flue and inspect areas not included in Level 1 such as attics and crawlspaces. We perform this inspection when you are selling a property or when there are changes to your system such as a new liner or appliance.
  • Level 3: During a Level 3 inspection, we go more in-depth, this level involves removing all materials around the chimney system such as doors, drywall and more. We suggest you have this inspection performed after a chimney fire or other problem with your fireplace or chimney.

During your annual service, we perform a Level I inspection. If you have any reason to suspect a safety issue with your system or are about to sell your property, consider a Level 2 or Level 3 inspection for your chimney system.

Why is my chimney leaking?

If your chimney is leaking, now is the time for you to take care of it.
If your chimney is leaking, now is the time for you to take care of it.

As the snow melts, leaks in your chimney may become apparent. Water expands by a factor of between 9% and 10% when freezing. This may not seem like much; however, freezing expansion can exert tremendous force on materials containing or trapping water. In fact, one experiment measured this force at nearly 28,000 psi (≈193,000 kPa). This is a common cause of erosion in the natural world and has more than enough power to expand or create cracks in masonry.

During the freeze-thaw cycle, this physical mechanism can result in new or exacerbated leaks in your chimney system. If you notice water intrusion coming from your chimney, you should address it as soon as possible. Water damage only gets worse and the sooner it’s resolved the less expensive the repairs. Our technicians are skilled in masonry repair and can make sure your chimney system is watertight and protected from the elements.

Get in touch to schedule your chimney sweeping & inspection!

If you need your regular chimney sweeping and inspection, your chimney is leaking, or you are experiencing some other problem with your fireplace or chimney, we can help. We have over 20 years of experience servicing, repairing, and installing fireplaces, stoves, inserts, and chimneys in Colorado. Our technicians are certified by the CSIA or the NFI and can diagnose and repair gas, wood, or pellet appliances. To schedule your appointment contact us, by phone at (303) 679-1601, email at Office@MtnHP.com, or through our contact page.

We have overstocked stoves, fireplaces, & inserts that we are eager to get into your home. Check out our overstocked hearth appliances here!

Originally published on MtnHP.com, our fireplace retail outlet.

Tips To Increase Fireplace Efficiency

A well-run fireplace can set the perfect mood for these winter months ahead. During a time where everything seems dark, cold, and gloomy, having a cozy, warm fire to sit by in the evenings can make any bad day turn into a great night. That’s why Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney is so passionate about bringing you the best chimney and fireplace services around! We love making homes throughout the area better, brighter, and safer!

That being said, a malfunctioning fireplace can ruin any good vibe pretty quickly. Clogs, deterioration, cracks, holes, and more can cause some pretty big issues, sending smoke into your living room and making your system unsafe for regular use. Luckily, we’re here to help you solve any and all of your fireplace problems! Count on us to set you up right!

Invest In A Sweeping

If your fireplace is drafting poorly, pouring smoke into your home, not giving off good heat, or giving you some other stressful issue, you may be wondering just what is going wrong. Well, more often than not, chimney problems can be solved with a simple sweeping! This is the best case scenario, and it’s a solution that we can handle for you in no time.

Every year, you should be investing in an annual inspection. Inspections are a key component in maintaining a well-functioning fireplace and, in these inspections, your sweep can spot whether or not a sweeping is necessary. You’ll definitely want a CSIA certified expert on the job, so call in our team of professionals today, so we can assess your needs.

If clogs, dirt, twigs, leaves, or any other excess debris is clogging things up, we’ll get it all out in a jiffy! And you won’t have to worry about all of that nasty creosote, either. We’re trained and ready to handle even the worst creosote jobs. Once we’re through, your system will be back to normal and looking great. Chimney sweeping is a worthwhile investment and, trust us when we say, it’s one that will save you tons of time, stress, and money down the line!

Don’t Put Off Repairs

Another problem that can cause inefficiency is the need for repairs. Whether it’s your liner, damper, chimney cap, crown, or something else, we’re qualified to fix it up! A broken piece of your chimney’s structure will negatively affect fireplace’s performance and make your appliance unsafe for use.

Once we locate the issue, we’ll patch it up. We take on all kinds of repairs, and we’re confident that we can get you up and running again in no time. Trust in our team of experts today, and gain that peace of mind you deserve!

Dial Our Number – We’re Here For You!

There’s no reason not to pick up the phone and set up your appointment with us today. You’ll feel a lot better knowing your chimney and fireplace are in the best hands around! Give us a call now!

By Jake Johnson on January 19th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Start the New Year with a Certified Chimney Sweep

The start of the New Year isn’t just a great opportunity to make resolutions – it’s also the perfect time to have your chimney swept!

Throughout the year our chimneys can suffer from a buildup of soot, ash, and creosote. Having your chimney swept by a certified professional is the best way to keep your chimney system clean and working safely and efficiently all year long.

How often you need to have your chimney sweptCelebrate the new year

Along with regular fireplace care such as cleaning the firebox, chimneys should be swept at least once per year. Having your chimney swept at the start of the New Year means you won’t have to worry about it again until 2017 arrives!

Depending on how frequently you use your home’s heating appliance, you may need to have your chimney swept more often. According to National Fire Protection Association Code 211, chimneys need to be swept any time there is an accumulation of 1/8 of an inch of soot in the flue. This amount of accumulation is typical of burning one full cord of wood; if you go through more than that amount of firewood each year, your chimney should be swept more often.

The importance of having your chimney swept

Having your chimney regularly swept is one of the most important ways to keep your entire fireplace system running safely and efficiently. During a chimney sweeping, the highly flammable substance creosote is removed from the flue. Creosote, a naturally occurring byproduct of fuel burning fires, is the leading cause of accidental chimney fires. Removing creosote greatly reduces the risk of chimney fire, making your fireplace safer to use.

What to expect during a chimney sweeping

When hiring a certified chimney sweep, you can expect to work with a highly trained and knowledgeable professional. Your chimney sweep should take the time to explain what will be done to your home, as well as answer any potential questions you may have.

Before the sweeping begins, interior furnishing and floors surrounding the fireplace will be covered to ensure no soot or ash stains occur in your home. The chimney sweep will then begin to clean the chimney, removing soot, ash, creosote, or debris from the flue. While traditional chimney brushes are still widely used, many homeowners are surprised to see technology such as vacuums and cameras being used!

Why being certified matters

Just as you wouldn’t ask a dentist to set a broken arm, not every home repair professional is equipped to correctly clean your fireplace and chimney. Contractors and handymen often lack the tools and knowledge to sweep the chimney or identify any potential problems. Because of this, it is extremely important to only trust your chimney to a Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweep!

In order to earn their CSIA certification, chimney sweeps must undergo a rigorous education and testing process. This education gives them extensive knowledge of safety standards, building codes, and fireplace technology. Likewise, in order to maintain their certification they must retest every three year. This means that CSIA certified sweeps are up to date on the most recent advances in the industry.

Start 2016 off with a safe and clean chimney – contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today to schedule your appointment with a certified chimney sweep!

By Jake Johnson on January 16th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule a Chimney Sweep Before the Holidays Arrive

A roaring fire is a part of the holiday traditions for many families. But in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, fireplace maintenance can often be put off or forgotten entirely.Homeowners should schedule an annual chimney sweep and inspection now to ensure that their fireplaces are in excellent condition and will not have any issues arise during the holidays.

Chimney Cleaning Before the Holidays - Evergreen CO

How often should my chimney be swept?

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, chimneys should be swept any time there is an excessive soot buildup or at minimum once per year. The CSIA also recommended that chimney structures should “be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.” Having an annual chimney sweep prevents any excessive buildup of soot, ash, and creosote. It also ensures that your chimney and fireplace have not deteriorated or been damaged enough to warrant repairs.

What is done during a chimney sweep?

The primary purpose of an annual chimney sweep is to remove any buildup of creosote. Creosote is a highly flammable, foul smelling, and gummy byproduct of wood burning fires. It coats the inside of the chimney structure and is one of the leading causes of chimney fire. In addition to removing any creosote deposits, a certified chimney sweep will also remove any ash, soot, blockages, and debris in the chimney structure.

A chimney inspection is also performed during an annual chimney sweeping. If your chimney and fireplaces work well and have not been damaged since their last inspection, a Level I inspection will be performed. During a Level I inspection, a certified technician will inspect all accessible components of the chimney both inside and outside the home. This includes checking the firebox, chimney structure, joints, and connections for any signs of damage or deterioration.

If there have been problems with or damage to the chimney or fireplace, a more in depth Level II or Level III inspection may be performed. Likewise, if any signs of damage are discovered, the technician can recommend any necessary repairs or a more comprehensive level of inspection.

Why is an annual chimney sweep important?

Chimneys should always be swept and inspected before their heaviest use period, which often coincides with the holiday season. “A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”

While an annual chimney sweep may seem like an unnecessary waste of both time and money for fireplace that work well, preventative maintenance can identify small issues such as cracks or damage to the bricks or mortar. This damage may start out small, but it will continue to worsen over time. This can result in serious structural damage and costly chimney repairs.

Instead, having problems fixed when they are still relatively minor can save a significant amount of money in the long run as well as protect the overall health of your chimney system. Regularly swept and inspected chimneys often have longer lifespans than those that are not regularly maintained.

Getting your chimney inspected before its heavy use period begins ensures that your family can safely enjoy warm fires throughout the holiday season. If you would like to schedule an annual chimney sweep and inspection before the holidays arrive, contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney today!

By Jake Johnson on November 14th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Zen and the Art of Chimney Sweeping

If you grew up watching Disney movies, thinking about chimney sweeps may conjure up images of Dick Van Dyke and crew singing “Chim Chim Cher-ee” in Mary Poppins. Unlike their fictional singing and dancing counterparts, modern chimney sweeps are known for their professionalism and high levels of expertise and training.

A brief history of chimney sweeps

Once your chimney is swept and inspected, you can breathe easy, knowing that you’ve been proactive about minimizing the possibility of fire hazards or toxic carbon monoxide leaks. If you’re ready to schedule your annual chimney sweeping appointment, call Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney at 303-679-1601!

Once your chimney is swept and inspected, you can breathe easy, knowing that you’ve been proactive about minimizing the possibility of fire hazards or toxic carbon monoxide leaks. If you’re ready to schedule your annual chimney sweeping appointment, call Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney at 303-679-1601!

While homeowners had been keeping their own chimneys clean for centuries, the chimney sweep profession did not develop until the Industrial Revolution. As the number or homes and businesses in cities steadily grew, master chimney sweeps would hire young boys as apprentices to climb inside the chimneys, scraping the inside of the flue with small, handheld brushes.

This practice fell out of favor around the turn of the century due to several pieces of legislation passed in order to protect the working conditions of chimney sweeps. In addition, new technology and building standards allowed sweeps to more efficiently clean chimneys and flues, eliminating the need to have young boys climb inside the chimney structure.

Since then, the profession has continued to evolve. Modern chimney sweeps are subjected to the oversight of several regulatory groups and must maintain their qualifications in order to be certified. In addition, chimney sweeps are qualified to do much more than just clean chimneys; most are also able to assess the condition of a chimney structure and make some repairs as needed.

How does someone become a chimney sweep?

Many chimney sweeps get their start by finding an older, certified sweep to serve as their mentor. In addition, new chimney sweeps have the ability to attend various industry seminars, classes, and training events to improve their skill sets and knowledge levels.

Professional chimney sweeps traditionally are certified by several different organizations. In the United States, certifications for chimney sweeps are issued by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the Certified Chimney Professionals. In addition, the National Chimney Sweep Guild works to improve the professionalism and perception of the trade by ensuring that high standards of expertise are maintained. In order to become professionally certified by these organizations, chimney sweeps must show a certain level of proficiency in their ability to identify and fix potentially hazardous problems, as well as their knowledge about issues affecting modern masonry chimneys.

What does a modern chimney sweep do?

Modern chimney sweeps are certified technicians who are well equipped to deal with most chimney or fireplace concerns. For most chimney sweeps, the majority of their work involves preventative maintenance and cleaning of chimneys, flues, and fireplaces. While tools such as the traditional chimney brush are still used, chimney sweeps now employ a vast array of more modern tools such as vacuums, cameras, and other electronic equipment.

Certified chimney sweeps have also been trained on how to repair most of the common fireplace hazards, including the removal of creosote, animals or nests, and the repair of dampers or smoke chambers. In addition, some chimney sweeps may be able to complete more extensive or complex repairs including repairing flues, chimney crowns, chimney caps, or masonry structures.

By Jake Johnson on August 29th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

What’s Blocking Your Chimney?

It's important to know what the common causes of chimney blockages are so you can prevent it or remove it if it's already there.

It’s important to know what the common causes of chimney blockages are so you can prevent it or remove it if it’s already there.

While everyone loves a fire in his or her fireplace, no one wants a fire in his or her chimney. Unfortunately, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, chimney fires are more common than you may think, and sometimes you do not even know they have occurred. A dirty chimney is the most likely cause of all chimney fires, and usually the same blockages are the culprits in these accidents. The good news is chimney fires are completely preventable with proper maintenance care like regular chimney sweeps from professionals like Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney Incorporated. Also, knowing what the common chimney blockages are can prepare you to keep these things out of your chimney in the first place.


Stray animals looking for a dry, warm place to call home may come across your chimney to set up house in the winter. Ranging from nesting birds to raccoons to squirrels, these animals not only cause blockage problems that can lead to dangerous fires, but they can become stuck and create nasty, putrid smells that can invade your home. For your own personal safety, we strongly recommend you call a professional animal removal service to get any animals and nests out of your chimney.


All year long, leaves, trash, tree foliage, and settlement works its way down into your chimney and accumulates. This may not sound like too big of a deal; however, all of this debris adds up and can cause blockages giving a risk for incomplete combustion and negative air pressure to happen, driving smoke into your house. Settlement buildup can also cause cracks in your flue, which lets dangerous carbon monoxide escape into your home.


The most dangerous of the chimney blockages, creosote is the by-product of burning wood, and it comes from the residue of smoke, gases, water vapor, hydrocarbon, unburned wood particles, and other assorted minerals as they exit the fireplace and pass through the chimney. Sticking to the inner walls of the chimney, creosote is brown or black in appearance and can be flaky, crusty, tar-like, sticky, drippy, shiny, or hardened — even all of the above. Extremely flammable and highly combustible, creosote can quickly build up, and if the internal flue temperature is high enough, you have a chimney fire waiting to happen that could possibly burn down your entire house. What’s worse is certain conditions make creosote buildup happen more quickly. Factors that accelerate creosote buildup include restricted air supply from closing the glass doors or not opening the damper wide enough and burning unseasoned wood because the smoke is so much cooler due to the energy being used to burn off the water trapped in the cells of the logs. You can also get a heavier amount of creosote buildup if you overload the firebox in a wood stove in an attempt to get a longer burn.

To ensure your chimney is blockage-free and prevent a chimney fire, schedule an appointment for a chimney sweeping with Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney Incorporated today. A clean chimney is the best prevention against a chimney fire!