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Clean Sweeps of Michigan's Blog

How to Hire a Chimney Sweep

When the weather starts turning cold, it is always a good time to have a chimney cleaned, particularly if you plan to use it. Chimney fires can cause a great deal of damage to the home, not to mention the danger to the people and pets. This is why we recommend scheduling a cleaning appointment with a chimney sweep.

Hiring a chimney sweepThe first thing that you need to know is that you need to make sure your chimney sweep is certified. The two organizations that provide certification or guidelines are the NCSG (The National Chimney Sweep Guild) and the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America). In addition to certification, these organizations provide training so the sweeps are up to date on all of the latest safety and cleaning techniques for chimney sweeps.

Before allowing someone to clean your chimney and paying them for their services, it is important to know who they are. The Internet offers a wide variety of forums for chimney sweeps and they can be checked for those who do not offer good service. It is also vital to get some references from the chimney sweep and to actual call to see if others were happy.

It is also vital to check that the sweep has insurance and that they have a great deal of experience in the field. The chimney sweep company should have insurance to protect you from liability in the case of an accident or if damage is done to your home during the cleaning process. Without this, simply move on to the next company.

Remember, the first step in finding a good chimney sweep is to make sure they have been certified. Once you know this, do your due diligence in asking about insurance and references. After a thorough search, you will finally have the person you will feel safe and secure in not only coming into your home, but that will safely and properly clean your chimney.

Understanding the Function of Your Chimney Liner

The chimney is much more complicated than it looks at first glance. With multiple parts making up its existence, homeowners need to be aware of all of them and their roles in order to ensure their chimney is operating safely every year. One part that plays a major role in the operation of the fireplace and chimney is the chimney liner.

Understanding the function of your chimney liner

A liner is on the inside of the chimney and is generally made from clay or metal. In many cases, clay is the preferred type of liner because it is much less expensive and is generally covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. While this type of liner is less expensive, it does have some disadvantages.

The second type of common liner would be a metal chimney liner. These are generally made from either stainless steel or aluminum. These types of liners have a very long lifespan, but they also cost significantly more. In addition, because of the added costs, you may have to upgrade your insurance policy to have it covered in case of damage.

The main purpose of the liner, regardless of its composition, is to absorb the heat created when the fireplace is in use. Its ability to absorb the heat protects the masonry work on the outside of the chimney. It will also prevent creosote from building up on the brick, which is not only dangerous, but will also eat away at the masonry work and cause damage that can be very expensive to repair.

The second purpose of the liner is to create the proper flow of air in and out of your chimney. The flue serves as the pathway for the air to travel out of the fireplace, up the chimney, and outside the home. If this is damaged, you may experience a backdraft, which cannot only blow smoke back into your home, but also blow the fire into the room. Needless to say, it is imperative to have the liner checked every season before you plan to use your fireplace.

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