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.
Most people think that if they can shine a strong flashlight up their Mercer County, NJ chimney and see a clear path, they’re in the clear. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Creosote appears as a shiny substance, so a lot of people think if the interior of their chimney is shiny, it’s clean. You may not see any visible signs of dirt or creosote, but it’s still there. Here are four really good reasons to hire a Mercer County chimney sweep this year for your chimney.
Reasons to Hire a Mercer County Chimney Sweep
Mercer County Chimney Sweep
Mercer County Chimney Sweep | Prevent House Fires
The top few feet of the chimney is where it accumulates first then slowly builds down the flue. One single ember or spark has the potential to start a chimney fire if it travels up and meets the creosote. A chimney fire can quickly spread to the interior of your home and prove catastrophic.
Mercer County Chimney Sweep | Identify Potential Problems
The chimney and fireplace or wood burning stove work together as a single appliance. All appliances require maintenance from time to time and the chimney and fireplace are no exception. a Mercer County chimney sweep can identify potential problems like cracked flue tiles or other interior damage and repair them before they become a very costly problem.
Mercer County Chimney Sweep | Complete Your Home Maintenance
Hire a Mercer County chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney as a final step of your spring cleaning regimen. You’ll have a clean chimney that doesn’t smell like creosote, soot, or smoke, and you’ll be able to finish up the last of the cleaning in no time.
Mercer County Chimney Sweep | Improve the Quality of the Air in Your Home
Creosote makes the diameter of your chimney’s flue smaller as it builds. This reduction in size causes smoke and dangerous gases to back up and enter your home. You may not notice them at first but eventually then you’ll see discoloration on your furniture or you’ll notice soot in areas that it shouldn’t be. This means that the air quality has been compromised and a good chimney cleaning will help prevent future issues.
After you find a company with a good reputation, you can confidently hire them knowing that you made an informed decision. Having the same company perform maintenance year after year is beneficial to you because they will know of any past damages or work that has been done. This insures that you have accurate gauge of the condition your chimney and fireplace is in.
Hiring a Good Mercer County Chimney Sweep Company
Not all Mercer County chimney sweeps are equal. You want to find a company that has your best interest in mind and isn’t preoccupied with simply making money off of you.
A Good Mercer County Chimney Sweep Company Identifies Future Issues
A good chimney sweep looks for future problems in addition to existing chimney. Some chimney companies only look for blaring problems. They ignore minor problems in the hopes that they can charge more when the minor issue becomes a major problem later. The best chimney sweeps look for signs of future problems and make recommendations. Doing so often results in lower repair costs. It is always cheaper to address minor chimney issues before turns into major repair needs.
A Good Mercer County Chimney Sweep Company Provides Comprehensive Services
You want to choose a Mercer County chimney sweep company that can help you in a variety of different areas. Doing so allows for you to take full benefit of their expertise. Otherwise, you will ultimately end up hiring more than one company which can be quite a pain.
Some of the most common services offered include:
- Cleaning of chimney
- Masonry repairs
- Flashing repair
- Waterproofing of chimney
- Crown and caps repair
- Purging of smoke chamber
In addition to cleaning the chimney and fireplace, it is also beneficial to look at any other services that the company might offer, such as dryer vent cleaning. After all, once you find a company, it’s best to rely on them for various other services around your home as well.
A Good Mercer County Chimney Sweep Company Has a Superb Reputation
You should always look into the reputation of the Mercer County chimney sweep company you’re considering. Your research should include sources such as online reviews, testimonials and their membership with professional organizations. Past customer reviews are a powerful resource. If a large number of homeowners in your area have good things to say about the company, you are likely to have a similar experience. Positive reviews will help you makes sure that the company understands how to sweep a chimney in a professional manner. Taking a little bit of time to investigate the company before you hire them will ensure that you get the best services at the best possible price.
A Good Mercer County Chimney Sweep Company is Fully Certified
As you search for the best company to handle your chimney, make sure that you hire a fully certified chimney sweep. This is especially true when working with a bigger company as opposed to a sole proprietor. You don’t want to run the risk of having shady work done that is not guaranteed.
A Good Mercer County Chimney Sweep Company Has Experience
Before you hire any company, check to see how long they have been in business. You shouldn’t hire a company that has less than 5 years of experience. If you can find online reviews or customer testimonials, read as many as you can. You can also ask neighbors, friends and coworkers in your area if they have had any experience working with the company in question.
A Good Mercer County Chimney Sweep Company Is Listed on BBB
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see how the company in question ranks. The BBB does a great job keeping track of reputable companies in your local area. You can also find out if the company has a past record of being reliable and if there are any unresolved issues involving he company. You can find lots of valuable info just by looking through the Better Business Bureau website.
A Good Mercer County Chimney Sweep Company Is Licensed
Companies who provide chimney services need to be licensed. You want to make sure that the business that you choose is licensed and insured. Being licensed shows that they are professional and have taken the proper steps to be compliant with the regulations. If you allow a company to come in and they are not licensed or carry adequate insurance, any damage could potentially be your responsibility.
A Good Mercer County Chimney Sweep Company Gives Free & Accurate Quotes
You also need to ask for a quote for the services that you require. Pricing should be relatively straightforward. When you get into repairs and installations, the company might need to come out and provide an inspection before they can provide a quote. Most companies charge for inspections and cleanings. However, they should not charge a fee to provide a price quote. Unfortunately, there are some cases where a quote cannot be given without performing a full inspection.
Looking for the Best Mercer County Chimney Sweep?
St. John Chimney Sweeps has been providing satisfied Mercer County NJ area home owners with chimney liners & chimney services for well over 15 years. We pride ourselves in our 100% customer satisfaction no-mess guarantee. Many of our quality products have a lifetime warranty. We are honest and efficient, providing thorough explanations for all our work. Our licensed and insured company is also a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG). Call now for a free estimate at: (609) 737-0133 or visit our website.
Related NJ Chimney Sweep Posts:
Mercer County Chimney Sweep
Princeton Chimney Sweep
Pennington Chimney Sweep
Mercer County Chimney Repair Service
Pennington Chimney Masonry Repair
Princeton Chimney Repair