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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.

Annual Inspections

The best way to keep your fireplace burning safely and efficiently is by having regular maintenance performed. Chimney inspections are one way to keep your fireplace system in good condition; inspections are a useful tool in identifying the causes of ongoing chimney problems or to spot minor areas of damage or deterioration.

Annual Inspections - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of Michigan

What are chimney inspections?

Chimney inspections are done by certified chimney sweeps in order to evaluate the safety and stability of your fireplace and chimney system. Chimney inspections are an important diagnostic tool and can be used to uncover the root cause of chimney issues such as leaks or drafting problems. Likewise, chimney inspections can also ensure that your entire chimney system from the top of the flue to the bottom of the firebox is in good working condition.

The National Fire Protection Association and the Chimney Safety Institute of America both recommend that all homes have their chimneys inspected at least once per year – regardless of how often your fireplace is used. Because chimney damage is often independent of fireplace use, it is important to have an annual inspection whether you use your chimney once or 100 times per year.

Why chimney inspections are important

“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.”

Chimney inspections can help homeowners discover areas of damage long before they begin causing chimney problems. When caught and repaired quickly, many chimney repairs can be made quickly and with minimal expense. It is only when chimney damage continues to deteriorate that major repairs – and major costs – are needed.

Chimney inspections are more than just preventative maintenance; they are often the most important tool to help discover the root cause of a chimney problem. In the case of chimney leaks, for example, repairing the water damage will have to be done over and over again unless the root of the leak is found. An inspection can identify the cause of the leak and allow it to be repaired, preventing further damage.

The three levels of chimney inspection

There are three different levels of chimney inspection. Your certified chimney sweep can help you determine what level of chimney inspection is best for your home.

  • Level 1: Level 1 chimney inspections provide a comprehensive evaluation of the accessible portions of the interior and exterior of the chimney. Level 1 inspections are recommended for homes where no changes have been made to the chimney system and there are no ongoing issues.
  •  Level 2: Level 2 chimney inspections are more in-depth and often use technology such as closed circuit cameras; this allows chimney technicians to better assess the condition of hard to reach areas of the chimney. Level 2 inspections are done when a change has been made to the fireplace system, such as installing a new insert, or before a home is sold.
  •  Level 3: Level 3 chimney inspections are in-depth and invasive; sections of the walls of your home or masonry of the chimney may need to be removed in order to access the chimney or fireplace. Because of this, Level 3 inspections are only used in the event of major natural disasters such as chimney fires when the structural stability of the chimney is in question.

    Don’t delay – contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today to schedule your annual chimney inspection!

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