If you have a fireplace, then you need to have a chimney sweep come to visit once or twice a year to clean and inspect the chimney. Of course, even knowing this, you may have a few questions, and you'll probably wonder what, exactly, the chimney sweep will do while at your home. In general, here is what you can expect the chimney sweep to do during a routine cleaning and inspection service.
1. Remove Soot
The chimney sweep will spend most of their time removing soot from your chimney. The soot accumulates naturally when you burn wood. It is nothing to be concerned about, but it is something that you will need to have removed regularly in order to prevent fires and a lack of ventilation. The sweep will use a long, broom-like device to remove the soot. Often, they will do this from up above, reaching down into the chimney, rather than down below from the fireplace. Most of the soot will be further up in the chimney, so it's easier to access from the roof.
2. Check for and Remove Creosote
Creosote is different from soot, although many people get the two substances confused. It is a black, oily substance that clings to the side of your flue and chimney. Unlike soot, it is a real danger, since it is highly flammable. If you are using your fireplace properly, it should not be developing creosote. So, its presence will indicate to your chimney sweep that you need a little guidance when it comes to proper burning methods.
3. Advise on Proper Burning Protocols
Especially if they do find creosote, your chimney sweep will probably spend a little time talking to you about how you burn wood. They may offer tips when as to how often you should re-stock a fire and what type of wood you should be burning, given the size and characteristics of your fireplace. Pay attention to these recommendations; they are being made for your own safety.
4. Inspect for Cracks, Gaps, and Other Damage
While they are cleaning the chimney and flue, your chimney sweep will be keeping an eye out for any cracks or gaps in the chimney. If present, these need to be fixed so they do not allow carbon monoxide to leak into your home.
Now you should have a better idea of what your chimney sweep will do while at your house. Reach out to your sweep directly if you have any additional concerns.
To learn more about chimney sweeps and what they do, reach out to a company like A & A Chimney Sweep.