chimney fire

Chimney Fire

This time of year we get calls for service from alarmed customers who have had a chimney fire.

The by products of burning solid fuel, wood or pressed logs, is soot and creosote.  Soot and creosote accumulate in the flue with use of fireplace.  Soot and creosote are highly flammable.

A chimney fire happens when the buildup of soot/creosote in the flue catches on fire.  When a great deal of heat is introduced into unit, the buildup will ignite.  People burn Christmas trees or wrapping paper and these produce large flames with high heat.  This will ignite the soot/creosote in the flue and fire will spread up the entire flue and can belch flames out the top of the chimney.  It becomes a giant torch and can produce a huge roar.

Temperatures in flue will go from range from normal of 300-500 F degrees to over 1700 F. Chimney fires can create a lot of damage, and sometimes one will get damage from the fire department’s efforts to extinguish the fire.  So, one must always be cautious about having too big or too hot a fire and one should get chimneys cleaned and inspected regularly and especially after a chimney fire.

Replacing fireplace gas lines

Gas lines coming up through the floor of older masonry fireplaces often rust out and need to be replaced. Here is a rusted gas line we replaced.

rusted fireplace gas line

chimney sweep scams

Fixed price chimney inspections and cleaning

We get questioned about why our price is higher than the $99 or $69 specials.  Well, I have several answers to that.

To properly service a chimney, it usually takes about an hour, plus 30 minutes driving time to job. Some very dirty chimneys can take up to 2 hours to clean.  So, $99 would not really cover costs to have a good employee, someone we trust in your house, that we trust will do a proper job. Our main purpose is to make sure you will not have any safety issues or hazards which could result in a house fire.  It has been reported that the major source of home fires in the winter is fire places.

We provide an extremely high quality inspection, using a camera down flue, which is especially important with masonry chimneys. We do cleanings without making a mess in your home. We have heard reports of low priced sweeps leaving soot all over.

Many of these low priced companies are not insured or use subcontractors who are not insured.  We have insurance (and will show you our insurance coverage), so if we fall off your roof, you are not liable, we have a contractor’s license, so you can be assured we are a legitimate company and pay all our taxes.

We have had customers report that some of these low priced companies arrive at their home and then up the price for the service to way higher than we charge, some times even double our price.  We provide a fixed price for chimney inspections and cleaning and then do not up the price after we arrive.

If a chimney sweep comes to your home and then increases the price substantially once there, send them on their way and don’t do business with them.

Dirty Chimney Before and After

Here is a dirty chimney we cleaned. You can see the before and after in the video.

Watch:

Don’t get scammed by unlicensed chimney sweeps

chimney-fireplace-sweepingWe have had several calls from other reputable chimney sweeps that there are at least two chimney sweeps who are going out to people’s homes, quoting a low price and then charging $500 for a sweep.  A customer reported that they did not put down tarps and got soot all over their house.
If you are using a company to sweep your chimney, make sure they have been in business for a while, check their reviews, make sure they carry liability insurance, verify they are not using unlicensed or uninsured subcontractors, check the Contractors State License Board to make sure they have an active license, and also verify that they are not going to be changing the price for the chimney sweep once they arrive.