Spring Clean your Chimney

Spring Clean your Chimney

There’s no better time to get your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional chimney sweep than right now.  Spring is here, which means more rain, more pests, and probably some much needed deep cleaning.  Spring clean your chimney to remove the winter soot and be prepared for the summer’s heat.


Spring Clean your Chimney

Spring is typically the best time to check your masonry and fix any holes or replace any bricks that are loose.  Heavy rains can eat away at the bricks and mortar, creating holes for water leaks and making your chimney system weak.  There could also be damage to your chimney or flue liner as a result of moisture seeping into the exterior masonry, causing the bricks, stones, or flue tiles to crack.  Flashing disruption can lead to serious roof damage and eventual water leaks into the attic and ceilings of your home.  Cracks can cause venting problems and become a safety hazard.  An annual inspection can detect any dangerous cracks or leaks and they can be addressed or repaired immediately.



Moisture damages should be repaired quickly, in order to keep the costs of repairs low and slow down any deterioration.  In addition, by scheduling your chimney cleaning and inspection during the spring season, you beat the rush, which is typical in fall and winter, with temperatures cooling down.



Your masonry takes a beating from all the moisture as the seasons change, leaving you with potential issues.  Anytime you use your fireplace, some amount of creosote is deposited in your chimney flue. Creosote is highly flammable and becomes more difficult and expensive to clean, the longer it builds up inside the lining of the chimney.  Because it is highly combustible, if it builds up in sufficient quantities and the internal flue temperature is high enough, it may start a chimney fire.

This means that when it gets hot outside, particularly if moisture has made its way into your chimney, the deposits in the liner can emit a sour odor.  The sour odor intensifies as summer heats up.  Having chimney sweeps come to clean and inspect your chimney will ensure your house will smell fresh and clean.


Spring Clean your Chimney

Routine maintenance services should include a complete chimney inspection as well as the removal of any hazardous or combustible creosote and eliminating any accumulation of soot, dirt and debris.  Keep in mind that the National Fire Protection Association recommends that that you have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year or even more frequently if you have a fireplace or wood burning appliance that you use frequently.


Contact us

St John Chimney Sweeps  Address  1613 Reed Rd D1, Pennington, NJ 08534 Proudly Serving Mercer County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, & Surrounding Areas   Website http://www.stjohnchimneysweeps.com/ Email:  stjohnchimneysweeps@verizon.net   Phone Number: (609) 737-0133

Chimney Sweeps in Mercer County NJ




Why It’s Important to Schedule Fireplace Sweeping | Fireplace Sweeping in Mercer County

Why It’s Important to Schedule Fireplace Sweeping | Fireplace Sweeping in Mercer County

Why It’s Important to Schedule Fireplace Sweeping is safety first and foremost.  Fire prevention relies on adequate fireplace maintenance.  A wood burning fireplace adds warmth and comfort to a chilly home, but it opens the chimney to fire hazards if it is not swept at least every one to three years.

Fireplace Sweeping in Mercer County

Fireplace Safety Check

Before the temperature starts to fall, there are several things you can do to make sure your wood-burning fireplace is safe and efficient.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends chimneys be swept at least once a year, at the beginning of winter, to remove soot and debris.  You can find a certified chimney sweep at St John’s Chimney Sweeps.  Additionally, make sure you’re familiar with how to work a fireplace before you attempt to start a fire.


Creosote is a chemical mass of carbon formed when wood, tar or fossil fuels are burned.  Creosote can linger in chimneys and is not visible from the outside.  When creosote is not removed, it can become a thick coating of debris inside the flue and chimney.  Most chimney fires start in the smoke chamber or smoke shelf area so it’s important to clean those areas.

Creosote ignites at 451 degrees Fahrenheit and once it starts burning, it expands like foam sealant and can build to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit in less than a minute.  Call a chimney sweep who’s certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America at St. John’s Chimney Sweeps.

Make sure the sweep you hire does more than just pushing a brush.  A chimney sweep needs to be knowledgeable about building codes, trained to recognize venting problems, recognizes deterioration, and able to advise you regarding the chimney’s condition.  The National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys, fireplaces and vents be inspected at least once per year for heavy use.

Creosote removal is vital to your safety.  A chimney sweep log helps to prevent unwanted fires and helps to remove debris deposited along the flue.  These sticky deposits are called creosote.  Creosote deposited over a long period becomes highly flammable and it’s often the cause of chimney fires.  Sweeping logs are popular because of their ease of use for creosote removal.  All you have to do is unwrap the log from its package and place it in a lit wood burning fireplace.  However, creosote is not the only reason you need St. John’s Chimney Sweeps.

Check Chimney for Cracks

Before that first fire of the winter season, check the chimney with binoculars.  Look for the chimney structure for cracks, loose bricks or missing mortar.  Moreover, you should check your chimney liner for signs of deterioration.  Cracks and spalling on the chimney exterior indicate chimney deterioration, so check your chimney crown or have a professional take a look.  St John’s Chimney Sweeps can inspect the chimney for cracks.

Cap It

Use a wire-mesh cap to cover the top of the chimney to keep birds, squirrels, rain and other debris from entering.  The last thing you want while working your fireplace is to find some deceased animals coming down the flue.  Caps can deteriorate over time, so be prepared to replace your rain cap if it’s corroded or been damaged by weather.  Caps come in different sizes, so make sure it fits snuggly on the chimney top.


The damper is a movable plate that sits above the fireplace before the flue.  Make sure the fireplace damper is working properly.  There should be no debris preventing it from opening and closing.  This is a critical step in understanding how to start a fire in a fireplace safely.

Trim Limbs

Make sure there are no overhanging tree limbs encroaching on the chimney, and if so, trim or prune those limbs.  Limbs can present a fire hazard by restricting the proper draft airflow in your fireplace.


Another important step to knowing how to work a fireplace is to make sure all ashes are cleaned out of the firebox before you start stacking wood for that first fire.  Simply sweep the cold ashes and dispose of them outside.  However, you may want to keep a few ashes around to help build a fire in your fireplace.  Be aware that coals can remain hot for up to three days, which can become a fire hazard if they come in contact with flammable materials.  Always use a fireplace screen to protect your home from ash splashes.

Fireplace Guard

To prevent hot embers from getting out, use a metal-mesh screen or glass fireplace doors.  Don’t burn wood in your fireplace without a guard.  Glass doors will need to be cleaned regularly too as they tend to get a bit dingy looking over time.


Before starting a fire, make sure all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working.  Check the battery monthly and change the battery twice a year when spring forward and fall back occurs (Daylight Savings Time).

Test Function

Test your fireplaces’ function by lighting a few small pieces of seasoned wood.  Light the wood from the top down.  If smoke doesn’t exit vertically from the fireplace into the chimney and instead enters the room, troubleshoot to correct any problems.  This is key to help you understand how to properly work a fireplace.  Problems can include creosote buildup, debris in the chimney such as birds or nests, or a closed or partially closed damper.  Additionally, if your home is tightly sealed for energy conservation, the smoke may draft into the home.  Simply open a window a little bit to provide the intake air needed to make the smoke goes up the chimney.  Once the fire is burning brightly, you can close the window again.


Choose dense wood such as oak.  Wood should be split and stored in a high and dry place for at least six months.  Green woods, such as pine, are not recommended for a wood burning fireplace since they can produce more creosote.

Small Fire

Small fireplace fires generate less smoke and create less creosote buildup.  When building a fire, put the logs toward the rear of the wood-burning fireplace and be sure to use kindling to start the fire.  Never use flammable liquid to start a fire in the home.


To get the most out of your fire, run ceiling fans clockwise on low speeds to redirect the warm air from the ceiling into the living space.  Circulating the air keeps the entire room warm instead of pockets of warmth.


Fireplace Sweeping in Mercer County

Contact us

St John Chimney Sweeps  Address  1613 Reed Rd D1, Pennington, NJ 08534

Website http://www.stjohnchimneysweeps.com/  Phone Number: (609) 737-0133

Email:  stjohnchimneysweeps@verizon.net   Proudly Serving Mercer County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, & Surrounding Areas





Chimney sweeping is needed for furnaces

Chimney sweeping is needed for furnaces

The National Fire Prevention Association 211 codes state the “Chimneys must be inspected and cleaned annually as necessary by a certified chimney sweep”.  Most homeowners assume that their furnace company includes chimney cleaning as part of their maintenance process, but that is not true.


Chimney neglect will cause significant damage and endangers your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Oil and gas furnaces and hot water heaters rely on the chimney for proper venting of exhaust.  Although gas and oil appliances do not create creosote that wood-burning appliances do, they still produce soot.  Soot is a highly corrosive substance that can damage chimneys and increase carbon monoxide levels in your home.

Furnace Flues can become blocked which allows a blowback of soot into your home and poisonous carbon monoxide to seep into your living space.  If the furnace is in the basement, the levels can build up to dangerous high levels undetected.  Scheduling an annual chimney sweep inspection and placing a carbon monoxide detector in the basement will save lives.


During the winter months, the furnace can not be cleaned without turning off the heat.  During the winter, long running cycles produce soot and harmful substances that cling to the inside of the chimney.  The accumulation of these substances restricts the escape of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and water vapor.

The furnace produces acidic condensate that will literally eat away at the flue lining in the chimney.  If a clay liner begins to deteriorate, the broken bits can fall into the furnace damaging the operating mechanism.  Chimney blockages will send the carbon monoxide straight into the basement, then the home living area.

The fumes are invisible, odorless, and tasteless.  Carbon Monoxide can only be monitored by a detector designed for that purpose.  A carbon monoxide detector is built into some brands of smoke detectors, and the battery should be changed twice a year when the clocks fall back and spring forward.


Fireplace flue cleaning and chimney sweeping refer to the same process. During the service, the technician generally uses a stiff-bristled brush or other chimney cleaning system to brush the inside of the flue to remove buildup from its walls.

Chimneys are havens for creatures and cause dangerous obstructions.  Even if your chimney has a hood, creatures can access the funnel and flue. Smoky brown cockroaches are good flyers and can work their way down into the home where they like to live. They like flat roof areas and chimneys – this is how they enter structures. A chimney screen’s holes allow safe smoke ventilation, but nothing else can squeeze through it like fleas or cockroaches.  One problem with screens is that pests can bite through them over time. To account for this issue, you could install both a chimney cap and a chimney screen with an annual chimney sweep inspection to ensure both layers of protection are intact.

If you have a chimney in New Jersey, chances are you’ll have Stink Bugs. The heat from buildings will escape from chimneys and vents and they will find their way in as they are attracted to warm areas in cold nights. Beetles and ants can crawl through the cracks of older fireplaces, especially if they’re built with brick. Wasps will nest in your chimney.  Exterminating insects in the chimney by spraying will deter infestation.  A more permanent solution is installing fine mesh screens, top sealing dampers, and by sealing cracks in your chimney’s exterior with mortar.

Raccoons, squirrels, birds, bats, and other larger pests can use the chimney itself as nesting spots. The chimney cap needs to be steel or copper lid with a mesh wire opening on its underside and installed at the mouth of your chimney.  A professional Chimney sweep will remove the hood, replace it with a mesh wire cap, and remove the obstructions from the funnel and the flue.

Bees should not be exterminated; they should be preserved.  Unlike wasps, bees are purely vegetarian in both the adult and larval stages. Bees gather nectar from flowers as a source of carbohydrates, as do many wasps. They fulfill their protein needs by collecting pollen. Most species of bees are valuable pollinators, and honeybees are an essential partner in the production of food crops for people.

More than 80% of U.S. food crops are pollinated by honeybees. In New Jersey, blueberries, cranberries, pumpkins, squash, strawberries, soybeans, cucumbers, peaches, and apples are among the many crops that benefit from honeybee pollination. Although wild insect pollinators such as wasps and other bee species help in native plant reproduction, only honeybees live in managed colonies of sufficient numbers for effective pollination of commercial crops.  Only honeybees can be transported to large areas of blooming crops for pollination services. The past two decades have seen dramatic declines in the number of honeybees, due to the introduction of parasitic mites, diseases, and habitat loss. Visit NJBeekeepers.org to find out about bee-friendly plants you can cultivate. If a beehive sets up home in the top of your chimney you need a professional chimney sweep and a bee wrangler to remove the entire hive.  The New Jersey Bee Association lists bee wranglers who can help.


A crucial component to the safe operation of your furnace is the proper configurations and size of the entire venting system.  Homeowners often forget that when they purchase a new HVAC or furnace system, they need chimney sweep professionals to assess their new system.  Manufacturers requirements specifically indicate the proper flue size for the safe operation of their system.  If the flue size is incorrect excessive moisture and combustion gases will build up.   Moisture is a huge enemy to your ventilation system.

If the system is being converted from oil to gas, building codes require a chimney sweep assessment, cleaning, and inspection prior to installing and operating the new system.


Spring, summer, autumn are great times to have your chimney sweep service.  An annual inspection and cleaning by a CSIA- certified company will ensure the ventilation system is adequate and chimney is safe.  Their assessment will also check gaskets and joints are intact.

In winter, the heat will have to be stopped for the chimney sweep to complete his inspection and service.  Snow does not stop chimney sweeps.  Before any sweeping is done, a visual inspection is performed to determine if the flue needs to be swept. Roof access is not needed to make this determination. Additionally, sweepings are generally performed from the base, making outside weather conditions irrelevant when it comes to running our brushes.



Ewing Chimney Masonry Repair

Ewing Chimney Masonry Repair

Searching for the best Ewing Chimney Masonry Repair company? St John Chimney Sweeps can take care of any Mercer County chimney repair service. Homeowners have no idea their chimney needs repairs until they contact a chimney professional. Homeowners should act immediately to any chimney repair needed to protect their family and home. If issues have been addressed about your chimney in the good weather months, it is wise to get it repaired before bad weather.

Ewing Chimney Masonry Repair

Ewing Chimney Masonry Repair | Damage

Masonry chimneys decline with water, wind damage, poor construction or just plain lack of maintenance. The best time to do any chimney masonry work is during the warmer weather so that the materials set properly. Also, it is best to do a seasonal maintenance so to keep your chimney in top shape. Any water problems with the chimney should be addressed during warmer weather. The chimneys that are porous, absorb more moisture. They can go through a freeze in the colder months and get damaged.

Ewing Chimney Masonry Repair | Leaks

Homeowners may also see leaks around the chimney, the ceiling and the attic. For best results, these should be taken care of in the warmer months. Your roof may be damaged and leaking. Water enters the roof and then collects where the chimney meets the roof and make it appear as if the chimney is leaking. In this case, roof repair is the best answer. This is also a repair that is done in warmer weather for best results. Before having a roof repair or redone, all repairs to a chimney must be completed first. This will prevent any damage to a new roof being installed.

Ewing Chimney Masonry Repair | Repair

Most building, repairing and extending of any chimney masonry work can be scheduled in the summer months. Doing any chimney masonry work during the summer months, allows the masonry to dry up completely so waterproofing that will protect the masonry work last for years. There are other types of repairs to chimneys that have the best results when done in the summer months. Major chimney repairs such as a complete rebuilding of a chimney, relining of the chimney, or an installation of a new chimney require time and good weather.

Ewing Chimney Masonry Repair | Inspection

A homeowner that has their chimney inspected annually will prevent any large damage that cannot be repaired right away. When a professional chimney inspector comes to inspect your chimney, he can see how things look inside and out. You can always avoid the challenge of getting service delayed by calling and scheduling an appointment to have your chimney inspected. Getting any repairs done before the colder weather sets in and the chimney becomes further damaged, can save you lots of money and stress. A homeowner wants to keep their home safe from fire hazards and carbon monoxide danger. The warm weather is the best time to get all this taken care of.

Looking for the best Ewing Chimney Masonry Repair? St John Chimney Sweeps is the company to hire. With our professional and experienced staff, we can prevent all these serious dangers when we inspect your chimney and recommend a solution that can be immediately applied. At St John Chimney Sweeps, we have qualified professional workers that undergo extensive training and earn certificates which make them to do your job with full expertise. We have been in business for over 15 years and we offer 100% customer satisfaction and a no mess guarantee. Feel free to contact us today to inquire about our free estimates. Most of our products come with a lifetime warranty. Any chimney masonry work you need, we are here to serve you!

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East Windsor Chimney Repairs

East Windsor Chimney Repairs

Do you know if you are in need of East Windsor chimney repairs? Sometimes, spotting chimney damage isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. There are some signs of damage that you need to know how to check for. Leaving your chimney in bad shape can lead to some big problems down the road. Below are some of the most common signs that you need East Windsor Chimney repairs.

East Windsor Chimney Repairs

East Windsor Chimney Repairs | Rust:

There shouldn’t be rust on your firebox or damper; but if there is, it’s a clear sign that there is excess moisture in your chimney.  You may not notice rust on the damper readily; but if it doesn’t seal well or operate properly, it could be because it’s rusting.

If there’s enough moisture in your chimney to cause visible signs of rusting, there could also possibly be serious damage, such as cracked flue tiles.  It’s important to get the help of a professional chimney sweep, who can use a special camera to inspect the flue lining and ensure there isn’t a breach in the chimney system which could ultimately cause a house fire.

Chimney Repairs in East Windsor | White Staining:

White discoloration on a chimney is called efflorescence. While it’s fairly simple to remove the staining, cleaning it doesn’t solve the moisture problem which causes the white residue.  Efflorescence is a clear indication of excess moisture in the masonry.  If it isn’t dealt with, premature deterioration of the chimney will likely occur, in addition to other potential problems related to moisture.

East Windsor Chimney Services | Deteriorating Mortar Joints:

Damaged mortar joints between chimney masonry should be repaired quickly.  When the mortar deteriorates, the masonry is exposed to more moisture, which accelerates the deterioration of the entire chimney.  In freezing weather, the added moisture can freeze inside cracks in the masonry.  When moisture thaws and freezes in bricks, rocks, and cement, larger cracks can develop.  The entire chimney could collapse, if the damaged mortar isn’t repaired.

Chimney Sweep in East Windsor | Shaling:

If you start to see thin slices of chimney tile collecting in the fireplace, it’s a good indication that the flue is damaged.  The flue lining is essential to the safe operation of a fireplace and chimney.  Because of this fact, an annual chimney inspection is important. Professional East Windsor chimney sweeps can closely analyze your flue lining and spot problems that would otherwise go undetected.  For example, if the tiles are cracked but not crumbling, you probably won’t see visible signs of a breach in the chimney system.

Mercer County Chimney Repairs | Spalling:

Spalling is an issue which occurs to the outside of the chimney and can be detected because you see bits of masonry around the bottom of the structure.  When moisture enters masonry, it can force the surface of the brick, concrete, or stone to peel off, pop out, or flake off.  It’s essential to replace damaged masonry to prevent continued crumbling and eventual destruction of the chimney.

Chimney Sweep in Mercer County | Chimney Crown Damage:

As with damaged mortar joints, it will be necessary to go on your roof to spot damage to the chimney crown.  The crown is an important part of the chimney structure, providing a first line of defense against harsh weather conditions.  If the crown is cracked, moisture could seep in and create larger cracks.  A damaged crown means that water can seep between the chimney and the flue lining, which could cause spalling and shaling. The best defense against this type of damage is to weatherproof the chimney crown.

Chimney Repairs in Central NJ | Damaged Wallpaper:

Wallpaper on the walls near your chimney can provide another visible sign of chimney damage.  If the wallpaper is damaged, it is usually a result of moisture in the chimney.  Repairs to the chimney or flue should be made as needed, before continuing the use of the fireplace.

Looking for the Best Company for East Windsor Chimney Repairs?

If you’re looking for the best company for East Windsor chimney repairs, contact St John Chimney Sweeps today! At St John Chimney Sweeps we offer 100% customer satisfaction. We have been in business for over 15 years, and St John Chimney Sweeps is the only name you need to know for a full-service chimney sweeping and installation in the New Jersey area. Our employees have had extensive training and have earned many certificates that help them do their job with full expertise. We are efficient and provide a full explanation of the work we need to complete. Our licensed and insured company is also a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild. We have been supplying expert sweeps, repairs and installation services to homeowners all across the state of New Jersey. Call us at (609)737-0133 to find out more about our free estimates. Let us take care of all your chimney needs!

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Chimney Sweep Mercer County

Thinking of hiring a Chimney Sweep Mercer County company? There are a few things you need to know before hiring a chimney sweep company. It is best to choose a chimney sweep carefully. Make sure that you are hiring a qualified professional. You need a Mercer County chimney sweep. You want the job to be performed correctly, as your chimney could become a fire hazard.

Chimney Sweep Mercer County

Chimney Sweep Mercer County | Industry

You need to be wise when hiring a professional chimney sweep company. Being the chimney sweep industry is unregulated, anyone can claim to have a chimney sweep company. Licenses and certifications from recognized associations can provide more proof of a reputable company. A professional chimney sweep company should provide the qualifications to perform the work with skills and with excellence. It is proper to ask for the certifications that the particular company has before they start working on your chimney. Some chimney sweep company owners are certified, but they send out technicians who have not earned their certifications. Yet these technicians are knowledgeable. A reputable chimney sweep technician needs to have the knowledge for cleaning and repairing a chimney.

Chimney Sweep Mercer County | Identification and Referrals

Most reputable chimney sweep companies have identification badges and/or uniforms displaying the companies name and logo. You should also go online for customer reviews of the company you are considering hiring. It is best to check the reviews to see how the companies work habits are and their professionalism. In addition, speaking with neighbors about their experience with the chimney sweep company is a smart move, too. All these things can prevent damage to your home and get the right people working on your home. The technician should be able to answer your questions regarding your venting system, fireplace and chimney.

Chimney Sweep Mercer County | Safety

It may be tempting to go with a chimney sweep company that is less expensive. But it is important to count the cost against the peace of mind you have if the work is performed professionally and with the industry standards. If a chimney is not properly cleaned, inspected and repaired, it becomes a fire hazard. Choosing a reliable chimney sweep company will give you peace of mind that your home and family are safe. One feature of a professional chimney sweep company is their commitment to work within a time frame. A reliable technician should value and respect your time, therefore being on time all the time. A professional and reputable chimney sweep company technician may wear special gear to protect themselves. The technician will also clean up and leave no mess behind once the job is complete.

Chimney Sweep Mercer County | Chimney Cleaning

A good chimney sweep company has experience and permanent standing in the industry if they have liability insurance coverage. This insurance protects you against any damages done to your home during the cleaning or repairing. Your technician will first survey your chimney to determine what they need to do to properly clean your chimney. The chimney sweep can be done from the roof or through the fireplace. When the job is complete you should see no more soot or ash. They are also able to tell you the condition of your chimney, so you are aware of any repairs that are needed.

Searching for the best Chimney Sweep Mercer County company? Give St. John Chimney Sweeps a call today. We have been in business for more than 15 years. We offer 100% customer satisfaction and a no-mess guarantee. Most products also come with a lifetime warranty. Feel free to contact us to inquire about our free estimates. Call us now!

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