When is the best time to have your chimney swept?

January 21, 2019 | Common Questions

The Traditional Season The most popular time of the year in Florida to have a chimney sweep is in the Fall and before the holidays. As the holidays get closer, the demand increases even more to the point where it is tough to find any sweep available before January. This can be an issue because the best sweeps typically book up early in the Fall and by the time you go down the line you might end up with someone who is less than qualified to perform the service and does not have the proper tools, insurance, or certifications. The Best Time to Sweep – Spring Spring is actually the best time to have your chimney swept for a number of reasons. One reason is you can save money not having the sweep performed during the peak season. Take the HVAC industry in the Summer for example. If you are … Continued

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Dryer Vent Safety

January 6, 2019 | Common Questions

It may not be one of the most exciting things to do (kinda like having your car worked on), but performing regular maintenance on your dryer venting system is essential for safety and also extends the life of your dryer. Consider this, a dryer vent is only four inches wide and even with 1/2″ of buildup around the inside of the vent, your dryer vent is now only flowing through a three inch opening. As the dryer vent becomes more and more restricted, it causes the dryer to work overtime and the additional buildup of lint can easily cause a dryer fire. The danger can be even greater if you are using gas dryer, you now add in the extra hazards of carbon monoxide and potential gas leaks. In summary, always be proactive about dryer maintenance and always make sure a professional is servicing your system such as a CSIA … Continued

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Why are chimney sweeps considered lucky?

January 6, 2019 | A Day in the Life

Several theories exist but certainly no one knows for sure. One of the most popular theories is that King William of Great Britain was saved by a chimney sweep after almost being killed by a runaway horse carriage. Another theory is that a chimney sweep was working one day (timeframe unknown) and almost fell from a roof. While hanging from a gutter, about to fall to his doom, a woman inside of the house saw him and pulled him inside saving his life. After the near death experience, the two fell instantly in love and were married. It is still a popular tradition in Great Brittian for a chimney sweep to attend a couples wedding as a sign of good luck!

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The importance of clean drop cloths

January 4, 2019 | A Day in the Life

As a professional chimney sweep, I do everything in my power to make sure that my client’s home stays spotless throughout the service. One key thing that all chimney sweeps should consider is how often they are washing their drop cloths. Over the years I have seen both ends of the spectrum from fellow sweeps but I personally only use them once before washing them. It only takes one dirty drop cloth to ruin a expensive rug or permanently put a stain on carpet, especially if you have been working with a LP gas system prior. I would recommend looking at a long-term approach and investing in a industrial washer and dryer. This investment will pay off with a steady supply of clean drop cloths for you and your clients.

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What is a Chim-Scan?

January 3, 2019 | Common Questions

One of the best tools of the trade is the Chim-Scan flue inspection system. Countless times I have found hidden dangers that would not have been discovered without it. So how does it work? The Version of the Chim-Scan I use has two sets of cameras, one pointing up looking for blockages, and another (the lighthouse camera) that rotates 360 degrees giving a live action view of the inside of your flue system. Check it out: [wpvideo jwjoq9BY ] [wpvideo DMkqkLCe ] As you can see this is a essential tool for a chimney sweep and when dealing with a fire in a house, you do not ever want to take chances. This is one of the many investments that CSIA certified professionals make to help ensure a homeowners safety. Our inspections can be more expensive than some of the competition, but also much more detailed and comprehensive.

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Don’t let your chimney turn into a garden

January 3, 2019 | Common Questions

If masonry fireplaces have one weakness in the South, or any wet climate, it is moisture. Bricks are naturally porous and are constantly battling the elements, especially alone above the roofline. To preserve the life of your chimney it is very important to not just use a water repellent, but the right water repellent meant for application on a chimney. I personally recommend ChimneySaver products. ChimneySaver provides great products for industry professionals that are backed up with with a strong warranty (they didn’t pay me to mention them btw). Here are a few examples of what can happen as moisture builds up in your chimney: It may look kinda neat but it is not good for the lifespan of your chimney!

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Fireplace grates in factory built systems.

December 31, 2018 | Common Questions

One interesting aspect of factory built (pre-fabricated) fireplaces is that they are a UL listed and sometimes have very specific requirements for what can and can’t be used. Today we will talk specifically about fireplace grates for factory built systems. Most fireplace manufacturers design the fireplace grate uniquely for the system, factoring in things such as size, height, and placement to help the system function as intended. The data plate and/or instruction manual should have the required information of what replacement grate will be needed. Here is one example of a data plate with the grate information below: I have seen several occasions where a grate has been improperly replaced causing smoke to enter the home or even over firing of the fireplace system! If you ever have any questions, reach out to your local CSIA certified chimney professional or the manufacturer to ensure proper replacement.

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Fire Extinguishers

December 29, 2018 | Chimney Basics

Let me start off by saying everyone should have multiple ABC rated fire extinguishers throughout their home for safety. A fire extinguisher is something that you hopefully never have to use, but can save your home or life in the event of a fire. What does the A B C stand for? A – Trash, Wood, and Paper Monoammonium phosphate is the main ingredient in the fire extinguisher that will help smother this type of fire. B – Flammable Liquids Monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate work together to help extinguish a fire involving flammable liquids. C – Electrical Equipment Again, both Monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate work together to help extinguish a fire involving electrical components. – How to use a fire extinguisher – The recommended method is the P.A.S.S. technique. Below is the step by step technique directly from OSHA: PULL… Pull the pin. This will also break the tamper seal. … Continued

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