Dirty Chimney Before and After

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


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.

Getting your chimney ready for Fall

As the temperatures outside go down, it’s time to flip the switch up as we prepare to heat the inside of the home for the autumn months. Chimney fires are the number one cause of fires in homes.

Experts have a checklist several pages deep to regularly check and maintain your chimney, regardless of whether you have a gas or wood-burning one.

“We’re going to look in your chimney in the camera,” Freberg said. “We can see the joints on the inside of the bricks. If there are cracks, it becomes a little more dangerous.”

Often, they find a few surprises. If you don’t have a cap on top of your chimney, animals like birds and squirrels can easily build a home or get caught inside. Those nests or carcasses can easily start a fire where you don’t want one.

Read the full article here

Chimneys are a Major Source of House Fires

house fire, chimney

It was reported recently that fireplaces or chimneys cause about 25,000 house fires per year in the U.S.

The damage is mostly due to flames migrating upward to crack, warp or melt the masonry or metal chimney walls.

How can you prevent chimney fires?

1. Minimize creosote (soot) build up by getting chimneys swept regularly. Clean when there is 1/8″ of soot buildup.
2. Get chimney inspected regularly. This would include a video inspection of the chimney to make sure there are no gaps or cracks which can be a fire hazard. If your chimney sweep only looks down the chimney or uses a hand held mirror, this is not good enough. He will most likely miss many cracks and gaps.
3. Install a chimney cap. The cap can keep out leaves, birds, bees, and rodents. Animal nests can provide fuel for a fire. The cost of removing birds, bees and rodents is much more than the cost of a chimney cap. If you are in a beach community, stainless steel caps will last a lot longer than plain metal ones.

Fireplaces and chimneys have an average life expectance of 30 to 40 years

chimney crackMany homeowners think that chimneys do not require maintenance and last forever.  However the age of a fireplace is very relevant to how safe it is to use.  Most fireplaces and chimneys have an average life expectance of 30 to 40 years.  Water, acids, carbon, and high temperatures all cause erosion and decay.  Eventually, that breaks down the internal integrity of any chimney.

The Chimney Safety Institute reports that in the winter the biggest source of house fires are the use of fireplaces.

Approximately 25% of chimneys built between 1950 and 1990 have hazardous cracks and gaps which can result in a house fire.  These often can not be detected without a video inspection.  These cracks and gaps are usually repairable unless the structure of the chimney has been compromised.

In last month we have seen 2 prefabricated chimneys (built in 1990’s) which are factory built metal units, where the metal flue had rusted out.  The holes in the metal created a fire hazard.  These units are not repairable and can only be replaced.  In both cases, the home inspector noted cracks in the refractory panels but failed to look up the fireplace to see the holes in the metal pipes.

If you have a home that is older than 25 years and you are using your fireplace and you have not had it inspected in the last 5 years, it is important that you get it inspected and cleaned as needed.  The inspection should include a video inspection of the chimney flue to make sure no hazardous conditions exist.   Lucky Sully Chimney Sweep includes this level 2 inspection as part of its inspection and cleaning services.

Lucky Sully Chimney Sweep Featured in Redfin

Check out the recent Redfin article we were featured in:

Redfin home improvement articleIf you own a home in Irvine, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends that can add value to your property. Whether you’re looking to sell your home in the near future or just want to make some upgrades, investing in the right home remodeling projects can increase your home’s equity and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Read the full article here: 5 Home Remodeling Projects to Boost Your Property Value in Irvine, CA

Chimney cleaning and reline

Here is a before and after of a chimney we cleaned and relined.

chimney needing cleaned before chimney cleaned and relined after

Single chimney, Multiple fireplaces

A single chimney can house multiple fireplaces, each having its own separate flue.

single chimney can have multiple fireplaces

Why Do I Need to Have My Chimney Swept?

Every time you use your fireplace, soot (creosote) is created and deposited on the inside of your chimney as the smoke travels up the flue.  As that substance cools it solidifies and results in a caked on layer that will build up use after use.  Creosote is made up of particles from the wood and is incredibly flammable.  After enough creosote builds up, it can ignite and launch a fast-spreading, dangerous chimney fire.  We will remove this creosote and leave your chimney and fireplace clean and ready for use.  At the same time, we will inspect the fireplace and chimney and make sure there are no additional hazards.

What a Home Buyer Needs to Know About Chimneys and Fireplaces

The National Fire Safety Institute recommends that all chimneys and fireplaces be inspected when a property is sold.

Rachel Ray Home Chimney FireOne of the major causes of home fires in the winter are fireplaces and it is reported that there are about 15,000 house fires caused by fireplaces and chimneys in the U.S. every year.  In 2020 Rachael Ray, TV Host, had her large home burn down, reportedly due to gaps or cracks in the chimney.  This was despite getting the chimneys swept regularly.

Many people, including some chimney sweeps, think that just dropping a handheld mirror down the chimney will detect hazards.  In most cases it will not.  We have been to properties where a chimney sweep had been there before and said the property was safe, but there were major cracks and gaps in the flue which are a severe fire hazard. Read more