Chimney Sweeps FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes most chimney fires?

The most common causes of chimney fires are:
  • Improper appliance sizing
  • Burning unseasoned wet wood
  • Infrequent sweeping and cleaning
  • Overnight burning or smouldering wood for long periods in wood stoves
What is causing a strong smoke odor coming from our fireplace?

In most cases, the fireplace smells bad simply because it is in need of a good, thorough cleaning. Over time, the accumulation of ash and creosote will begin to smell. Excessive creosote accumulation in your chimney can lead to a chimney fire. This is why it is recommended that you call a professional chimney sweep service for an inspection.

How often should you clean your chimney?

  • Oil - Once a year
  • Gas - Once a year
  • Bituminous coal - Twice a year
  • Wood - Up to four times a year
  • Smokeless coals - At least once a year
Is it required to have a chimney inspection when I sell my house?

Yes, a Level 2 inspection is required for a sale or transfer of a property or following an event that has damaged a chimney (such as a fire or a seismic event). The buyer usually pays for the inspection, but a seller may want to have his chimney(s) cleaned and inspected prior to putting the property on the market, as an extra benefit.

I get birds and squirrels in my chimney. What can be done to keep them out?

We recommend that all flues have a flue cap. Flue caps keep out animals such as birds, squirrels and raccoons. They also help to keep out rain and debris such as leaves.

When I build a fire my house smells like smoke?

There can be many reasons why you’re getting fireplace smoke flowing into your home. However, there are some common things you can do to alleviate the problem:

  • Make sure the damper is wide open.
  • To get the air moving up your chimney just open a window in the same room you are lighting the fire in. 
  • Warm up your chimney flue by burning rolled up newspapers initially for about 15 minutes.

If these DIY measures are not helping then give us a call. (732) 577-1100