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Schedule A Sweep Before The Holidays

From hanging stockings on the mantle to sipping drinks in front of a roaring fire, our fireplaces often play an important part in our holiday traditions. But November and December often pass in the blink of an eye, with many homeowners putting off maintenance until after the holidays have passed. This year, ensure your family can safely enjoy using the fireplace by having it swept before the holiday season arrives.

How often does my chimney need to be swept?Schedule a chimney sweep or inspection this season

The Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, recommends that chimneys should be swept at least once per year – regardless of how often you use your fireplace. An annual sweeping, even for rarely used fireplaces, ensures there are no blockages in the flue that could prevent safe drafting.

If you use your fireplace as a primary heating source, it may need to be swept more than once per year. In addition to an annual sweeping, the CISA recommends the chimney be swept after 1/8th of an inch of sooty buildup. This amount of buildup typically occurs after a full cord of wood has been burned; if you burn more than one cord of wood each season, consider scheduling an additional mid-winter sweeping.

The CSIA also recommends that chimneys should “be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.” When done in conjunction with a sweeping, a chimney inspection ensures the fireplace is burning and drafting safely.

Get your chimney swept before the holidays arrive

Scheduling a chimney sweeping and inspection now ensures your fireplace is ready to use before the busy holiday season arrives.

“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”

Regular preventative maintenance extends the life of your fireplace system, makes it safer to use, helps fires burn more efficiently, and can save you money on costly future repairs. As fireplaces are often used heavily during the holiday season, having the chimney swept and inspected before the holidays arrive ensures the entire fireplace system is ready to be safely used.

Holiday fireplace safety tips

Keep your entire family safe around the fireplace this holiday season by following these safety tips.

– Only burn firewood. While it may be tempting to throw wrapping paper and boxes into the fireplace, the materials are better off in the recycling bin. Paper products ignite and burn quickly; this can cause flames to spill out of the firebox or up the flue. Other seemingly burnable material, such as greenery or wreaths, may be treated with chemicals that can affect the air quality in your home if burned.
– Keep décor away. Stockings can be hung by the chimney with care, but should be removed anytime the fireplace is being used. This prevents stray sparks or embers from accidentally igniting holiday décor.

The weeks leading up to the holiday season are some of the busiest of the entire year; schedule your chimney sweeping now to ensure your fireplace system is ready for the holidays to arrive! Contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today for more information on scheduling your next chimney sweeping appointment.

Don’t Forget Chimney Inspection When Buying A Home

Fireplaces are consistently the most requested features for new home buyers. Homeowners are willing to pay the price to have one inside their home. While most buyers want a fireplace in their home, they lack the proper skills to evaluate it. Many home inspectors also lack the knowledge to spot problems associated with fireplace when buying a house. It is extremely important to have a chimney inspection performed by a certified professional before buying the new home. If you are looking for or if you have found your dream home, make sure to include a chimney inspection in addition to the home inspection. This will give you a peace of mind that your home’s fireplace is clean, safe, and ready to use.

The importance of chimney inspections for home buyers

Buying a home is an enormous investment. That is why we think it’s really important to ensure your entire home is in good condition before closing. Most buyers trust their home inspector to spot any potential problems. Only a few inspector have training regarding fireplaces and chimneys. Even thorough home inspections can fail to uncover serious safety or structural problems of a chimney system. When buying your new home, it is your right to request an inspection by an independent chimney sweep after under contract. While it is your responsibility to pay for this expense, an additional chimney inspection can help uncover any hidden fireplace or chimney problems. It can also help to identify repairs that need to be addressed before closing.

What if they already have the chimney inspected?

Many sellers include documentation from a chimney sweep as part of their disclosures about the home. If this is the case, buyers can still request a second independent chimney inspection. While a second inspection seem like an overkill, it serves as a confirmation of your findings in the original report or uncover potential hidden problems. If you have recently purchased a home, but you did not receive a report from a chimney sweep as part of the disclosures. It is extremely important to have the chimney system inspected before using your fireplace. In addition, to ensure there are no safety or structural problems with your chimney system, a preliminary inspection will help to give you a baseline to compare your chimney’s condition from year to year.

Sellers need inspections, too!

When preparing to sell your home, a chimney sweeping and inspection need be included on your to-do list before it goes on the market. Having a professional inspection before listing your home gives you a chance to identify repairs. It also reduce the risk of unpleasant surprises during home inspection. It is recommended to include a report from a licensed chimney sweep. This not only gives potential buyers a peace of mind about the fireplace system and reassure them their new home is safe.

Let us help!

Don’t be surprised or discouraged by a damaged chimney after closing your dream home. Instead, request a independent chimney inspection to ensure your new fireplace is safe, sound, and ready to use. For more information about chimney inspections for real estate, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today at 517-529-4453!

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