Chimney Sweeping Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How important is an inspection? A. Even if you and your team are regularly monitoring fireplaces and heating appliances, chimneys are a challenge. If seen in a cross-section diagram, they have numerous parts that need to be clean, clear and connected properly for the system to work. Any obstruction or defect can create significant health, safety and security concerns for tenants.
Q. Some tenants are big fireplace users, others not so much. What should we do? A. A Level 1 inspection focuses on the visible components in more detail than most maintenance personnel are trained to do for fireplaces and chimneys that experience limited or period use. Units used regularly or that have spurred complaints about soot in the room, fumes or cracking masonry suggest a Level 2 inspection. This includes video capture and analysis by the trained local Fresh Sweeps technician.
Q. My team is good with brushes, brooms and cleaning solvents, so… A. So they are important contributors to your maintenance program but are not prepared for chimney sweeping, air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning. Or are trained and equipped for animal removal that keeps wildlife safe and avoids breaking federal laws. Unlike some areas that are more amenable to DIY, the systems inspected and maintained by Fresh Sweeps have significant cost and liability ramifications that only certified, insured technicians are prepared to tackle.
Q. Can your team fix physical components in the chimney system? A. Yes and, in addition to repair of brickwork and masonry of the fireplace, the damper mechanism and roof-top chimney cap are two frequent causes of inefficient burning, soot and fumes in the room. All receive attention following approval of clear, detailed estimates prepared by the local Fresh Sweeps technician.
Q. Animal removal is simply a matter of scaring them off, isn’t it? A. Trickier than might be expected, animal removal requires at least four steps or stages. First, the nature of the animal incursion is assessed including what and how many inhabit the chimney. Second, incentivizing them to move out needs to be done.
Third, reducing or eliminating their access to return must be completed promptly. Fourth, cleaning up the chimney and chimney cap obstructions, feces and urine they’ve deposited is essential to protect occupant health and safety.