Chimney Cleaning Frequency

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Having been in the chimney business for so long now, it is hard to keep track of the number of people who ask how frequently

Creosote Problem
This chimney flue system is coated by puffy creosote.

the chimney needs to cleaned. Many people think that it is based on number of uses. Others think that is has to do with whether or not you can stick your head up and see any debris or nesting. Although there are a few ways to gauge how frequently to have the chimney swept, these are not it.

Firewood Log Rach
This log rack holds one cord of wood.

For starters, after having burned through one cord of wood, you’ll know that it is time to get your fireplace swept. This pictured lograck has the dimensions 46″h x 14″d x 87″l and holds one half of a cord of wood.

Another code that sweeps follow is that of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (www.csia.org), which states that after having accumulated 1/4″ of creosote build up the chimney should be swept, but sooner if any glazing occurs. This is a fairly difficult way to determine when the chimney should be swept, but is great if you are new to the home and are unsure about the chimney’s use over the years.

Finally, one last method of judging when the chimney should be swept has been procured from the National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org). Clause 211 states that “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” This particular code takes into account that, even if your chimney has a stainless steel chimney cap, critters can still damage the cap enough to enter the chimney and fill it with debris that jeopardizes the integrity of your entire home. There also may be other types of deterioration occurring in the flue system. Generally the rule of thumb is to have it inspected before each burning season that you decide to use your fireplace. For the best tools to clean your chimney with, read Chimney Cleaning Tools – Buyers Guide.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Springtime Intruders: The Chimney Swifts

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

It may not occur to you that strange sounds coming from the chimney are not caused merely by the settling of the house, but may potentially be caused by birds, racoons, or other critters. Chimney Swifts are protected by the Federal Law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This treaty states that it is illegal to remove active nests of these birds. Only after the baby birds have flown away from

This stainless steel chimney cap prevents bird entry.
Stainless steel chimney caps are vital for any chimney to keep pests out.

the nest with their parents is it legal to remove a nest. Companies and homeowners found violating this act can face huge fines from the federal government.Chimney Swifts use their glue like saliva to construct nests right off of the side wall of your flue system. This warm, sheltered area is the perfect nesting spot for their young. Using their saliva they make nests of of sticks, twigs, and other debris that is absolutely flammable and may cause a chimney fire.

With all this being said, it is important to select a chimney sweeping company who is reputable and will not illegally remove the Swifts, which can cause you unbelievable trouble. If you may have a Chimney Swift problem, be sure to inquire about their practices in these situations. Remember that Chimney Swift removal blatantly violates the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Once the birds have flown away, it is prudent to have a chimney cap installed on your chimney to prevent this situation from occurring again. Chimney Swifts can be particularly annoying during the morning hours, and their removal can cost a homeowner or chimney company up to $10,000 per bird or egg. After they have flown away it is also necessary to have the chimney swept before you burn a fire. If you do not, the debris and nesting material lodged in the flue system can catch fire and cause a chimney fire to occur.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb