FAQs

Click each question to see the answer.

How often should I have my chimney cleaned?

The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, "Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary." This takes into account the fact that even if you don't use your chimney much, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.
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The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be swept at 1/8" of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system.

What forms of payments are accepted?

We take checks, cash or credit cards – MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover.

What is the difference between an estimate and an inspection?

An estimate is appropriate if you are having a specific issue with your chimney that needs to be fixed. We will provide a quote and potential fix for the issue only. Book an inspection if you would like to know if your chimney is safe, in good working order and up to code. Real estate transactions always qualify as an inspection.

What is a flue? How do you know how many you have?

The flue of a chimney is the closed channel for smoke or exhaust that goes up through the chimney, and ends at or slightly above the top of the chimney’s crown.  Each fireplace, stove, or other heating appliance must have it’s own flue, with one exception -- a furnace and hot water heater can share one flue in most conditions.  Each flue also needs to be lined, usually either with clay/terracotta flue tiles or a stainless steel liner/sleeve. A chimney can have one or more flues.

Are cleanings a flat rate fee?

Yes, cleanings are a flat rate depending on how many flues are being serviced, unless your chimney qualifies as extra dirty (an excessive amount of buildup requiring multiple bags of soot/creosote removal), in which case there may be a small additional fee. Cleanings come with a free visual inspection to make sure your chimney is safe and up to code.  

How long does a cleaning usually take?

For one flue, a cleaning usually takes about an hour.

What is the difference between a cap and a crown?

The crown of a chimney is the cement part that is between the brick or stone of a chimney and the flue liner, and it is shaped like a slope or an overhanging slab.  The cap goes over the flue opening and has a mesh to keep out animals and an umbrella shape to keep out precipitation.

Do you clean out the ash pit?

Typically no.  Scooping out the contents of the ash pit requires no special tools or training, most ash pits are large enough to hold multiple years’ worth of ash, and most chimney owners do not even use the ash pit anymore.  We will make reasonable exceptions for special cases, however.

Do you service or install pellet stoves?

No, we do not service or install pellet stoves.

Do you clean ducts?

No, we specialize in chimneys.