Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I have my chimney cleaned?

A: When you burn wood in a fireplace some of the gases escape from the unburned wood and these unburned gases build up a solid residue inside the chimney. If this residue gets thick enough and hot enough, it can ignite, and the resulting “chimney fire” will burn very fast and hot. This chimney fire can become hot enough to destroy the inside of the
chimney and even set the house or roof on fire.

Q: How often should my chimney be cleaned?

A: It is recommended that chimneys be inspected once a year by a professional chimney sweep and cleaned if needed. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also recommends a thorough inspection of all chimneys and fireplaces after an earthquake to ensure there is no damage to your chimney that could cause a fire. Some “rules of thumb” that can help gauge how dirty your chimney is:

1. If you burn every day in the winter, sweep every year; if you burn every other day in the winter, sweep every other year.

2. Sweep after every two cords of oak firewood and after every cord for a wood-burning stove or insert.

3. Sweep after every 50 fires.

4. Look at your fireplace and determine how dirty it is. Shine a flashlight into the firebox and look upwards. If you see build up of 1/8″ or more, it is ready to be cleaned.

Q: Why should I clean my clothes dryer duct?

A: Overtime, lint from your clothes slips through the filter in your clothes dryer and gets into the pipe that leads out of the house. This lint builds up on the walls of the pipe until it blocks the air from getting through.

When this duct gets blocked the air can no longer circulate freely among the clothes you are trying to dry. This causes the drying cycle to take much longer than it should, sometimes one and a half hours or more, rather than 30 to 40 minutes. Needless to say, this is a waste of time and energy.

In addition, the dryer can overheat and become damaged and it can even cause a fire inside your dryer. We have had customers who had house fires due to clogged dryer
vents.

The solution is to have you dryer ducts cleaned. We use a long spinning tool that is capable of traveling through your duct for over 30 feet or more. This dislodges the lint and pulls it out. It is not uncommon to get whole bags full of lint from one duct!

After that, we blow your duct out with moving air to get any remaining lint from your duct.

We sometimes find that the dryer duct is getting clogged due to incorrect installation in the first place which causes kinks in the hose.

Q: What is Fire On IceTM

A: It is a competitive alternative to gas logs. Fire On IceTM is:

• Easy to assemble and install
• Environmentally safe
• No popping cinders
• No soot or dirt
• No pollution
• Mesmerizing
• Burns clean
• Safe
• Affordable
• No mess ever
• Lasts a lifetime
• Instant ambiance
• Interchangeable colors
• Specially formulated glass

We are an approved retailer and installer for the Fire On IceTM system and can provide very competitive pricing. We will also make sure that your chimney is thoroughly cleaned and inspected prior to the installation.

Visit the Fire On IceTM photo gallery for before and after photos. Fire On IceTM comes in over 50 colors and two sizes. We will be glad to bring over samples for you to review. We are a genuine Fire On IceTM and only use their glass product so you get the highest quality product available.

Q: What is a safety inspection?

A: When we clean your chimney and fireplace, we also look for anything that could represent possible dangers to you and your family.

In the LA, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino area we still find many chimneys that have been damaged by past earthquakes. We check for structural integrity of your chimney for cracks, loose martar or bricks or flashing that might leak water.

We also check your chimney system from top to bottom for cracked flue tiles, areas that show damage from water penetration or general wear and tear, correct damper function, or any other points that might make your chimney unsafe to use.

Our sweeps are also trained to do repairs and make recommendations on how you can get more use and satisfaction from your fireplace. Be sure to ask any questions you have while the sweep is there; we are only too happy to help you learn as much as possible about your fireplace.

Q: What problems can my fireplace have?

A: Some fireplace have problems. Most of these can be resolved. While the following is not a complete list, it describes some of the more common problem areas.

1. Smoking

There are many functions that seem to smoke back into the house no matter what is done. In our experience, the most common cause is that the fireplace simply needs to be cleaned. This is especially likely if the smoking has gotten worse over time.

Several other possibilities of smoking back are problems with the damper, chimney cap, grate, firewood, or structural problems with the chimney itself. At Lucky
Sully, we do a full inspection with every cleaning, or we can just do the inspection if the chimney does not need to be cleaned. This inspection is designed to reveal any causes for excessive smoke.

2. Broken chimneys

Earthquakes are a major cause of broken chimneys. Usually, these chimneys are broken at or near the roof line, although sometimes they can be broken further down, we may be able to fix crack. In some cases, the fireplace may need to be rebuilt. We provide these services as we

3. Missing mortar or damaged bricks

Over time, many chimneys develop places that are missing mortar between the bricks, or damaged bricks, either inside the firebox or on the outside of the chimney. These areas can usually be repaired, either by replacing the missing mortar or replacing the bricks themselves. Missing mortar and damaged bricks can cause fires since they allow flames and sparks.

Q: What is a chimney cap?

A: A chimney cap is a black, stainless steel or copper manufactured box that sits on the top of your chimney. It has four major purposes.

It prevents sparks and burning debris from getting out of your chimney onto the roof or surrounding areas. Chimney caps are sometimes called “spark arrestors”.

It keeps rain from entering your chimney. Water is very destructive to the inside of your chimney. It mixes the creosote (residue from burning wood), and eats away at the mortar inside your flue and firebox. Also, rain causes the metal parts inside your fireplace, such as the damper, to rust. The chimney cap acts like an umbrella on top of your chimney to keep out the rain.

It keeps out birds, squirrels, bees, and other animals.

It keeps out leaves and branches.

Lucky Sully sells and installs caps from several manufacturers. The caps come in black painted steel, stainless steel and copper. Many cities have ordinances which require a cap to be installed.