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The Importance of a Clean Fireplace for Valentine’s Day

We are halfway through the cold season, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s still important to maintain the chimney properly, however—even if you’re using it less, and even if it is working fine. If your chimney system is broken or damaged, you may not notice it until it’s too late, and serious damage has occurred. Besides the obvious safety perks of a clean chimney, you may also find that a clean chimney is just what you need to make your Valentine’s Day warm, comfortable, and romantic.A Clean Fireplace for Valentine’s Day - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

Why Sweep Your Chimney

In order to keep your family and property safe, it’s important to keep up with routine maintenance. Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend routine sweeps and annual inspections for the most efficient and safe chimney system possible—year-round. When your chimney is cleaned, there isn’t anything in the flue to obstruct airflow, so the smoke rises out as it should. The alternative is that the air slows, and smoke stalls, depositing soot and creosote on the flue walls and even pushing smoke back into the house. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous. Carbon monoxide poisoning often goes unnoticed. If you have a smoky chimney, and you’re troubleshooting to no avail, contact a chimney professional and schedule a chimney sweep today.

Most chimney sweeps include a level 1 inspection that assesses the readily accessible portions of your chimney system. This inspection will identify any hazards that may put your family and home at risk. A level 1 inspection is recommended annually and may be required by your homeowner’s insurance. Kill two birds with one stone, and have your chimney sweep completed now.

The Danger of an Unclean Chimney

If your chimney continues to work while dirty, there are many things that can occur.

You may experience:

  • a smoky fireplace while the fire is lit,
  • a drafty or stinky fireplace while it’s not lit,
  • or may even have a fire that devastates your household with injuries and loss of property or life.

A dangerous chimney is no laughing matter, but it can also cramp your style for your big Valentine’s date.

Dirty Chimneys Stink

When the chimney is dirty, it can stink—actually smell! If you notice your chimney has an odor, you may have a dirty chimney or a bigger problem. The best solution is to schedule a chimney sweep with a professional. If the chimney isn’t cleaned, you may also have difficulty lighting or keeping a fire burning, reaching the desired temperature, or burning too much wood. All of these issues can be avoided completely with a chimney sweep, and there’s still time.

You can schedule a chimney sweep with Chief Chimney Services now, and we’ll have your system cleaned before Valentine’s Day!

By John Pilger on February 12th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule a New Year’s Chimney Inspection

Although the Bomb Cyclone is bringing freezing temperatures now and throughout January, you have likely been using your fireplace for several weeks. In fact, your fireplace and chimney may be in need of a little maintenance before you spend the rest of the season burning fires. Don’t wait until spring to schedule a chimney sweep or inspection. Schedule services now so that you can prevent damage, carbon monoxide intrusion, fire, and more. Schedule a New Year’s Chimney Inspection - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

Why Schedule an Inspection?

Both the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections for a safe and efficient chimney and fireplace. Neglecting this type of maintenance is exactly what causes a chimney to fall into disrepair, become unsafe, and can lead to leaks, fire, and damage to the home, but also to the family’s health. Schedule an inspection now and rest assured that your chimney is ready for the second half of winter. When your certified chimney sweep gives you the A-okay, it means all the parts of your chimney are installed and working properly, there are no visible hazards, and it’s safe for regular use.

When Do You Need an Inspection?

Homeowners have some freedom to decide when to schedule a chimney inspection. They are recommended annually, but if you haven’t had yours inspected this fall or winter, do it now. Don’t wait! Every fire you light in your fireplace puts your family at risk when you haven’t had it inspected in the last 12 months.
Other reasons to schedule an inspection include:

  • Before selling or transferring property ownership
  • After a change is made to the system (repair, installation, change in fuel-type)
  • After a natural disaster such as tornado, hurricane, or earthquake
  • After a flue fire

Who Can Do Your Inspection?

Only a certified chimney sweep should complete a chimney inspection. The home inspector before a real estate sale does not know how to properly assess a chimney system, nor does a general contractor. A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep can complete a CSIA inspection, offer a professional report, and sign it with authority. Your realtor, lawyer, and homeowners insurance provider will look for the CSIA signature, which is the industry standard for chimney care. If you hire an amateur, their work will not be insured, their business may not be licensed, and your homeowner’s insurance may not pay-out if you have to file a claim.

Choose the best chimney sweep company to work on your chimney so that you know the work is done correctly. When you choose Chief Chimney Services, you can depend on us for all of your comprehensive chimney needs. We offer chimney sweeps, inspections, repairs, installations, and more. Schedule with Chief

By John Pilger on January 15th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

NFPA Chimney Inspections

Chimney inspections are important to identify any potential fire, health, and structure damage risks that may be present in your home. The certified chimney professionals from Chief Chimney Services in Long Island know how important annual inspections are for homeowners to receive. Unfortunately, Chief has also witnessed the consequences when homeowners rationalized that they don’t need an inspection or procrastinated at having the repair recommendations performed.

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Whether you live in Long Island or anywhere else, it is for your own protection that you follow the recommendations from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and have a professional inspect your chimney. The key word is “professional”. The worst case scenario is you to pay someone who just claims to be able to inspect your chimney and you think you are safe, and then experience the unthinkable because the person you did business with was not qualified to perform the inspection. How does a homeowner know what should be included in a proper inspection? The NFPA instituted guidelines for homeowners and inspectors.

When it came to determining what components were to be inspected and the appropriate inspection for the homeowner’s circumstances, prior to 2000, homeowners we left at the mercy and judgement of the person conducting their inspection. In January of 2000, the National Fire Protection Association defined and standardized what inspections should include. These standards can be found in code NFPA 211 (Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances). There are three levels of inspection and each has a very clear definition for the inspector and homeowner, alike.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has included a detail explanation of each of the three levels of inspections along with guidelines when each is appropriate on their website. Click here to view those videos.

Both the CSIA and NFPA are very clear that homeowners have an annual chimney inspection by a CSIA certified technician performed every year before you begin to use your heating system. Inspections can be best performed in the summertime when the chimney and furnace are not in use and weather conditions make a visual inspection easier. However, inspections can be performed throughout the year weather permitting.

If your inspector does find an issue or issues that need to be addressed, it is important to take care of the repairs promptly. Inadequately functioning chimneys and their components can lead to fire hazards, toxic gas poisoning, as well as water damage to the interior and exterior of your home. And if there were ever a time to be proactive, it is when your family’s health and safety are at stake.

It is our recommendation to you that you review the three levels of inspections and discuss your need for a proper inspection with your CSIA certified chimney professional. If you live in Long Island, Chief Chimney Service is available to answer all your questions and perform the proper inspection following NFPA standards. If you don’t live in Chief’s service area consult the CSIA website, Angie’s List, and the BBB to find a qualified inspector.