What are Chimney Sweeps … Looking For? Leave a comment

Some people may not realize how important it is to have their chimney cleaned. They may think that a chimney sweep merely removes creosote and tries to remove any  odor causing agents in the chimney. What a sweep is looking for is much more than this.

MVC-014S copyAssuming your sweep is running a video inspection of the inside of the chimney and an inspection of the exterior of the chimney as well (especially above the roof line) your chimney sweep is looking for a number of dangerous problems or problems that could become expensive eventually.

Damage to the Flue System

When the flue system is damaged, either by vertical cracks in the actual flue tiles or missing mortar joints between the flue tiles, the amount of material between your flue system and combustibles in the frame of the home is lessened. If there are cracks in the flue.

This is a missing mortar joint in a chimney flue, pinpointed by using a video inspection of the chimney. This is very unsafe.tiles or missing mortar joints, a chimney fire is more likely to occur. A chimney should not be operated if you have missing mortar joints or cracked flue tiles and a chimney professional can only detect such damage by conducting a video inspection.

Home & Garden Pic's 224Exterior Damage to the Chimney

Another point of inspection for a chimney sweep is the exterior of the chimney. The sweep should go up on the roof to inspect the integrity of the brick on the chimney, including the mortar joints, as well as the crown and the cap. If the crown or brick has physical damage to it (cracks, spalling, flaking) there is a good chance that water will be able to move into the home and cause damage to the interior as well. Any problems on the exterior of the chimney should be repaired as quickly as possible in order to prevent further damage from occurring or the current damage from worsening.

Damper and Chimney Cap

Your chimney sweep will inspect the damper to make sure that it is not rusted, that there are no problems with the way it functions, and ensure that it will continue to function properly. Proper damper function is important to the actual burning of a fire in the fireplace. Similarly, your chimney professional will check your chimney cap to ensure that it is installed properly, that it has no damage to it, and that it is not rusting out. A rusted out cap is easy for animals to damage to the point where they can enter the chimney.

Firebox Integrity

Your chimney sweep also checks to make sure that the firebox is not damaged. Similar to the flue system inspection, your professional is checking for damaged fire brick and missing mortar joints in the firebox which would allow the heat from the fire to move to the combustibles in the frame of the home and cause a fire. A firebox with damage must be repaired. Usually, these repairs are not expensive but are crucial to the proper functioning of the firebox.

This list of what the chimney sweep is looking for is by no means exhaustive. Chimney professionals are looking to be sure that the chimney is designed in such a way that it will function properly, that it is not a danger to the home or its inhabitants, as well as a myriad of other points of inspection. This list is intended to merely reiterate the fact that a chimney inspection is necessary on a regular basis and that it really is serious businessimgres

You can find a reputable Chimney Sweep in your area by using this link to th

National Chimney Sweep Guild locator : http://www.ncsg.org/search.

Also be sure and go online and read their customer reviews from Google, BBB and AngiesList. …. I’m never impressed with those cheaper “Swab and Rob companies

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.

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Clay Lamb

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