Frequently Asked Questions
Over the years in the chimney business we have talked to thousands of customers, solving problems, answering questions about their chimneys and sharing our knowledge. We want our customers to know all they can about their chimneys. We attend week long chimney conventions every year to further our education and training so we can better keep our customer safe and warm. If you have any questions that are not addressed here, please feel free to e-mail or call us. We we will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Why do I need to have my chimney cleaned?
The purpose of having your chimney cleaned is to remove creosote and soot deposits that build up during the use of your chimney. If you use your chimney every year you want to have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that these units be evaluated every year and cleaned as needed. The best time to clean your chimney is in the spring right after the burning season. Any creosote that has built up in your chimney can be removed at this time and if there are any repairs to be made they can be done before the next burning season.
Here are some pictures of before and after a cleaning.
How often should I have my chimney cleaned?
Most heating appliances give off toxic fumes and depend on a chimney to vent these fumes out of your home. Whether it be; wood, coal, corn, pellets, gas, or oil, the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA) recommends these units be inspected every year and cleaned as needed. As the chimney gets dirty it restricts the toxic fumes from going up and out of the chimney and could back up into your home, and by scheduling a chimney cleaning, and having it cleaned, it will give you the peace of mind knowing your chimney is safe to use.
How long does a chimney cleaning take?
A chimney cleaning normally takes between 1 to 3 hours. This depends on several things (removing glazed creosote, pulling inserts, very steep roofs, offsets in flues, bird nesting ect.) The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that chimneys be inspected every year and cleaned as needed.
Why do I need my chimney inspected?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends an annual chimney inspection. Early detection of problems ensures the safety of your chimney. This provides you with the added security of knowing that it will be safe to use your wood stove and or fireplace during the next burning season. Why risk it when a level 1 inspection it quick, inexpensive, and if you do need a cleaning we typically can do it right there on the spot. A chimney sweeping is a quick service.
Here are some pictures of problems that we run into every day.
Why do I need a chimney cap?
There are a few reasons for a chimney cap. Chimney caps can protect a chimney from the elements. Water can cause major damage to the inside of your chimney. Water will rust out your metal firebox, damper, and deteriorate a masonry firebox. To protect the whole chimney we recommend a multi-flue cap that covers the entire chimney.
A chimney cap that has a mesh screen can also protect your home in case of a chimney fire. During a chimney fire burning creosote will come out of the top of the chimney and land on the roof and can cause a house fire. We recommend a cap that is appropriate for your chimney and heating appliance in your home with a properly sized spark arrest for protection. This will reduce the chance of a house fire.
Chimney caps can protect you and the animals. Animals (such as Birds, Squirrels, Raccoons, Bees) can carry numerous diseases and can affect the air you breathe inside your home. Animals such as these want to make their home inside your chimney. Having a well made strong chimney cap with a strong mesh screen will keep out the most determined animals. We recommend stainless steel, painted stainless steel, and or copper chimney caps. These caps are strong and durable unlike your typical store bought painted metal caps which will rust away and stain your chimney and roof.
Here are some pictures that show why a chimney cap is required.
Why is there water coming into my fireplace?
This is a common problem. There are a few ways water can come into your fireplace or chimney. It can soak in through the mortar crown on top of the chimney. Water can also soak in through the exterior brickwork and come into your chimney . The water that comes into your chimney can cause some major damage. Some signs of moisture in your fireplace are (water streaks inside your fireplace, a white powdery substance on the brickwork, the metal firebox rusting, the insert is rusting, etc.) Problems like these can be hard to find. There is a solution, call a trained certified chimney technician to inspect your chimney and find the problem and make any necessary repairs, and then apply Chimney Saver water repellent made especially for masonry chimneys. It's 100% breathability to waterproof your chimney is unlike the typical store bought waterproofing products that seal the surface and do not allow the chimney to breath, trapping the moisture in the chimney causing even more damage. All masonry has to breathe and should not be sealed.
Here are some pictures how water can get into your chimney.
Why are there pieces of brick falling off my chimney?
This is a common problem. This is caused by moisture penetrating the masonry chimney from the outside in. All masonry is porous and will absorb water. When this moisture freezes and thaws in the brickwork the brick facing begins to crack and deteriorate causing the brick facing to fall off.
If you have a gas furnace or gas water heater venting into a masonry chimney without an appropriate gas venting lining system you are in effect saturating the chimney structure from the inside out with acidic water vapors. The byproduct of gas combustion is acidic water vapor. This water vapor is deteriorating your chimney.
Here are some pictures of water damaged chimney.
Why do I smell a bad odor coming from my chimney or fireplace?
Air in your home normally moves up your chimney and out the top, carrying the odors in your chimney out. Due to temperature and pressure changes inside your home, air can move down the chimney into your living space. This is what we call down drafts. Having your chimney inspected and cleaned will minimize the odors coming into your home.
Here are some before and after pictures of the removal of smelly creosote, animal, and bird mess.
I've had a chimney fire, what do I do now? CALL A CERTIFIED CHIMNEY SWEEP!
After having a chimney fire you'll want to call your local certified chimney sweep to come out to inspect and sweep the flue, and run a video scan of the chimney to make sure that there are no damages to the liner and chimney. If there are any damages they should be repaired before using your chimney again. If damages are found this is something that can be turned into your homeowners insurance.
Here are some pictures of some chimney fires and the damages they cause.
To find your local certified chimney sweep go to
Phone: 1-812-723-4284 - Toll Free: 1-877-488-4284
Some counties we cover in Indiana: Brown, Clark, Crawford, Davies, Dubois, Floyd, Gibson, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen, Perry, Pike, Scott, Spencer, Sullivan, Washington.
Some of the major towns we cover in Indiana: Austin, Bedford, Bicknell, Bloomfield, Bloomington, Brownstown, Cannelburg, Cannelton, Carlisle, Charlestown, Chriseny, Clarksville, Cornettsville, Corydon, Crane, Ellettsville, Elnora, English, Ferdinand, French Lick, Greenville, Hardinsburg, Harrodsburg, Hazelton, Holland, Huron, Huntingburg, Jasper, Jeffersonville, Kurtz, Laconia, Leavenworth, Linton, Little York, Livonia, Lyons, Medora, Milltown, Mitchell, Monroe City, Nashville, New Albany, New Amsterdam, New Pekin, Oakland City, Oaktown, Odon, Orleans, Otisco, Paoli, Petersburg, Princeton, Rockport, Salem, Santa Clause, Scottsburg, Sellersburg, Seymour, Shoals, Spurgeon, Sullivan, Tell City, Vincennes, Washington, Worthington.
Some other states we work in: Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina.