When is the best time to sweep my chimney?
After the heating season is over, Spring is the best time to schedule your chimney sweep. Anderson’s Chimney and Masonry Services will remove the creosote to help prevent deterioration of your chimney’s flue from the inside out and removing the creosote will also remove the odor that occurs throughout the humid months. Doing an inspection and sweep in the spring also allows you plenty of time to make any needed repairs (masonry) prior to the cooler heating season. It is traditionally easier to schedule an appointment during off peak times and we are always offering spring discounts.
Prevent damage, save time and money. Spring is the perfect time to think ahead. Ask about our forward scheduling program.
How often should I clean my chimney?
An annual inspection of all chimneys should be a part of your yearly home maintenance plan. This will determine if a cleaning is needed. ALL chimneys are exposed to drastic weather conditions, no matter what the fuel type. Most homeowners schedule a chimney sweep based on the amount of wood they burn in their fireplace or woodstove. For wood burning appliances a general rule is after every cord of seasoned wood that is burned. Those that no longer use their fireplace or may only burn during the holiday should not overlook this important home maintenance. Mild winters may cause smokier fires and creosote build up is often heavier.
Don’t forget your furnace chimney is being used continuously with water heaters and boilers all year long. They should be swept also. We offer a multi-flue sweep discount. Just let us know when you schedule your appointment that you have more than one flue to clean.
How much is a chimney sweep?
Price varies based on the type of appliance we are sweeping. Your chimney sweep will be preformed by a CSIA Certified Chimney Technician and it includes a basic level 1 inspection. If we find any reason for concern, we also scan the flue with a specialized camera to get a more detailed view. We do this at no additional charge to our customers. We have been around for 30+ years and we are the areas largest full service chimney company in Pennsylvania. When you give us a call to schedule your appointment, we will ask you a few qualifying questions to determine your needs and we will be glad to quote you a price for your chimney sweep at that time.
Will there be a mess?
No – not at all. We take every precaution to keep your home mess free. When we arrive, we set up protective cloths and if needed, we will mask off any area. We use a powerful 5-filter vacuum specially designed for chimney sweeping that keeps any dust from entering any area of your home.
What is a chimney inspection and when do I need one?
An annual inspection is required by the National Fire Protection Association. It is a complete evaluation of the interior and exterior. From top to bottom, your chimney will be visually examined. Any deterioration to mortar joints and your flue will be noted. The crown is checked for any cracks. The firebox area, including the damper and smoke chamber are also examined. NFPA codes require inspections when replacing heating appliances or at the time property is transferred. Insurance companies may require inspections for lightning or fire claims as well.
Level II and III inspections involve a more thorough examination and will be priced appropriately.
Why does my inspection report say my smoke chamber needs to be parged?
The brick on the sides of your smoke chamber are usually ‘stepped’ one on top of another, this is called corbelling. The best way to describe how it looks is like upside down steps.
Parging is smoothing and sealing the surface of the smoke chamber for better air flow and increased efficiency in your chimney system. The brick inside your smoke chamber that are corbeled do not allow for smoke to move smoothly up your chimney. The faster smoke and gasses draft up your flue, the less chance of creosote build up. Creosote is highly flammable and creosote build up is the main cause in chimney fires.
My damper is not moving, can it be repaired? Does it really need to fully open and close?
When you burn you should always fully open your damper to allow the gases and smoke to leave the chimney as quickly as possible. After burning you should close your flue all the way to keep the warm air inside your home from escaping.
We can sometimes repair dampers that appear to be “stuck” or have been lifted off their brackets. Often they have been warped from excessive heat or rusted from moisture and need replaced. Your best solution is to have Anderson’s Chimney Sweeps install a top mount damper. The damper is located at the top of the chimney and it is operated by a cable using a spring-loaded system.
Should I have chimney caps?
Yes. All chimneys should be capped per NFPA code. Often we see only fireplace chimneys with caps. Caps work for you, even when your fireplace isn’t working. Caps will prevent the elements and animals from getting inside your chimney. Most homeowners worry about chimney fires and the damages they cause, but water and moisture damages are far more common. Waterproofing, crown sealer and caps play a vital role in chimney preservation. In some cases, a cap will help prevent downdraft and/or increase your draft.
Do you clean out the ash pit too?
I’m sorry, we don’t. Many ash pits are cavernous and are not easily accessible. They are considered homeowners maintenance.
What is a flue?
A flue is the passageway inside the chimney that allows gases to pass from the home to the outside atmosphere. You may have one chimney with multiple flues. Your furnace and fireplace can not share the same flue. Codes require flues to be properly lined with approved materials.
Do you give free estimates?
Yes, we do provide free estimates, but an estimate is not the same as an inspection.
If you already fully know that you need a specific job (like a liner installed or your chimney repointed), we will provide a free, no obligation estimate for that particular job. If you think you have an issue but are not sure what the issue is, we then have to do an inspection to find the issue. We charge for inspections because they take more time and require more work.
What is the difference between a free estimate and an inspection?
Our inspections do require a level of experience and education. They also require us to use other equipment and are more time consuming. Therefore we do charge for inspections. A detailed inspection can determine damage, furnace venting issues, flashing problems, repointing needs, house pressure problems, etc. Our inspections are done by a CSIA Certified Chimney Technician who is trained in codes and procedures. We will provide you with a better understanding of your chimney and help you make educated decisions on any future repairs.
Do you provide financing or a payment plan?
Anderson’s Chimney Sweeps does offer financing through Enerbank USA. We offer two options: 12-months same as cash or a 9.99% 5-year loan. It is a very quick process and once you submit your application, we usually have an answer within the day.
Please have your financing in place before we schedule your work. If financing is not approved and we are in the mist of your job, you will be expected to pay any balance in full at completion.
Who cares if you are certified. What is the CSIA Chimney Sweep Certification anyway?
Every lead technician on an Anderson’s Chimney & Masonry Services truck is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. This means they went through extensive training in all aspects of chimney maintenance, learning codes and standards and had to pass two timed exams. One on chimney sweeping and NFPA 211 (the standard for chimneys, fireplaces, vents and solid fuel-burning appliances) and the other on International Residential Codes. Our CSIA credentials are acknowledged by industry organizations, insurance underwriters, local, state and federal agencies as the measure of a chimney sweep’s knowledge about the evaluation and maintenance of your chimney and venting systems. We are also fully certified, licensed & insured.
Our team stays up to date in sweep education. We are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Not only do our Certified Chimney Sweeps, but our entire staff takes full advantage of opportunities for ongoing training. Besides just classroom education, each year we attend the National Chimney Convention to learn the latest techniques, technologies, and strategies in sweeping and chimney maintenance to increase our level of expertise.
My remote won’t light my gas fireplace?
Time to do a little investigating. First you need to find out if the problem is in the hand held remote or the remote receiver. It may even be in the fireplace. First, find the remote receiver under the fireplace. If you have difficulty, check the diagram in your owners manual.
If your fireplace has a battery-operated receiver for the hand held, make sure the batteries are fresh and name brand. If it is a plug-in receiver, make sure it is plugged in all the way and that it is receiving power. Once you find that the receiver is working, turn it to the manual mode and try to turn on the fireplace using the manual on/off switch. If this works, then your handheld remote probably needs batteries, or may need to be reprogrammed.
If none of these steps work, check the following:
- Is the gas supply turned on? You can do so by checking the wall valve (key or read handled type). Check the shut-off valve on the flex line attached under the fireplace.
- If you have a standing pilot, make sure it is lit.
If you have tried all these things and your gas fireplace is still not working, give us a call 717-975-3526 and we can schedule a gas appliance specialist to service your fireplace.
Our entire team is fully capable of answering your questions and concerns. Most people do not fully understand their chimney and as a result, you may not know what questions to even ask. We understand your fears and are here for all your chimney solutions.
Call us at 717-975-3526 with any questions you may have.