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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

Fireplace Inspections May Lower Your Insurance Rates

Call Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney to learn how we can save you money on your insurance premiums!

Call Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney to learn how we can save you money on your insurance premiums!

With summer a distant memory, fall has officially taken over. The winds have a new chill to them, and they have started stripping the colorful leaves from trees. People are digging up warm jackets before they head outside, and hot apple cider has become a drink of choice to stave off the chill. Homeowners are starting to think about heating their homes throughout the upcoming cold seasons, and many of them turn to their trusty fireplaces to provide warmth for the house. Along with having a functioning fireplace comes the responsibilities of keeping the unit safe and working properly. This can be done through annual chimney inspections, which can even help lower your homeowner’s insurance rates.

A chimney inspection serves several purposes, but the main idea behind them is to uncover any damage or issues that need to be repaired. One issue inspectors often uncover is water damage. Water can leak through the top of the chimney and cause damage to the damper and flue. If the flue rusts or cracks due to water damage, the rest of the chimney and house becomes exposed to water damage and even fire damage because of the high heat the flue is designed to contain. Water can also damage the masonry on this type of chimney, which can lead to structural problems like cracks or even collapse.

Another issue inspectors look for is missing or damaged chimney caps and crowns. The purpose of these units is to keep animals, debris and water from entering the chimney. Fixing caps and crowns is relatively easy and inexpensive and can save thousands in repairs, yet many homeowners would never know they are missing or damaged without having an annual inspection.

Inspectors also examine the installation of the fireplace in accordance with the flue. The National Fire Protection Association has specific standards for fireplace installation to ensure the safest burning and the lowest levels of emissions entering the home. The inspector can tell you if your fireplace meets these codes, which may help reduce your insurance costs.

The NFPA has also designed three levels of inspections. Level 1 is the basic inspection you would have done each year, as long as you do not suspect any specific issues. Here, the inspector examines every readily accessible area of the chimney and fireplace. Level 2 is more invasive, and the inspector also examines the chimney in hidden spaces, like the attic, crawlspace, or basement. Level 3 is the most involved, usually utilizing a camera to inspect the interior of the chimney, and this is usually reserved for units with known damage, such as a chimney fire.

If you plan to use your fireplace this season, be sure to schedule an inspection before you light the first fire. Contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney in Evergreen, Colorado for a professional consultation.

By Jake Johnson on October 16th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment