SCHEDULE EARLY

There’s No Better Time (or Team) For Chimney and Dryer Vent Services or Repair

By Scheduling Your Services Now, You’ll:

  • Enjoy faster, more flexible scheduling than you would if you waited for Fall
  • Save your nose from the stinky creosote odors that accompany a dirty chimney during the hot, humid summer months
  • Know your chimney is clean, capped, and protected against nesting animals and chimney leaks
  • Have one less thing to worry about when the cold, holiday months roll back around

Scheduling Is Easy With Clean Sweep Of Anne Arundel County

Ready to give your chimney system the attention it needs so you and your family can enjoy the warmth it provides for years to come? Call Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel or reach out to us through our website to schedule your appointment today.

#1 When should you schedule an inspection?

  • Good Weather. Doing repair work on your chimney can be a challenge when temperatures drop, the days are shorter, and we’re battling snow and ice. If you don’t schedule an inspection until the fall or winter, you won’t know you need repairs until the middle of bad weather season. Summer is the time of year when we have better weather if you need repairs. Scheduling now is ideal for getting the work done safely and quickly.
  • Easier Scheduling. Scheduling is more flexible now. Once we move into the fall, our schedule is filled out weeks in advance. If you wait until fall or winter, you may not have as much flexibility in appointment availability, which also cuts into the time you could be using your fireplace.

#2 How often should you inspect your chimney?

masonry chimney with metal capThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) both recommend a yearly inspection. The reason for this is there are many things that can go wrong in a year’s time with the chimney. You may be thinking, “What kind of things can go wrong? I didn’t even use my wood stove, wood-burning fireplace, or gas burning fireplace all that much this past year.”

Well, we’re not just worried about a dirty chimney, we’re also inspecting to see:

  • If anything happened to the chimney exterior
  • If anything shifted or settled
  • If any large tree branches hit and damaged the chimney
  • What has happened in a year’s time from wind load or rain
  • If there has been any spalling from freeze/thaw

#3 How often should you sweep your chimney? Does it need to be swept every time you have an inspection?

The NFPA and CSIA both make it crystal clear that you need an inspection every year. But what do they have to say about chimney sweepings? According to both, a chimney should be swept on a yearly basis only if it needs it. At first glance, that answer is not very helpful, but here’s the thing: if you’re scheduling an annual inspection like the NFPA and CSIA recommended, you’ll know if your chimney needs to be swept.

The truth is, the frequency of a chimney needing sweeping is going to be based on the use and the efficiency of whatever the product you’re burning. That’s why there is no hard and fast rule about when you’ll need to have your chimney swept. So don’t skip inspections. During an annual inspection, we’ll look at the chimney internally and externally to determine if it needs a sweeping.

The good news is, if it is in need of sweeping, that can be done during the same visit. This saves you from having to schedule a comeback call, which means you save time and money.

#4 What kinds of issues or warning signals point to you needing a chimney inspection or sweeping?

There are a few things that can signal trouble with your system, or at least let you know you’re likely overdue for a sweeping or inspection. Some things to look for are:

  • Dark smoke/exhaust. If the smoke you’re seeing at the top of your chimney is very dark in color, that is usually an indication that the chimney is not burning correctly. If we’re talking about an oil or gas furnace or boiler, then it probably needs to be tuned. When you get the furnace or boiler tuned, you also need to sweep the exhaust pipe (the chimney) to make sure it is tuned correctly for the water heater, furnace, or boiler.
  • Smoky smells. You should never smell your fireplace or wood stove burning. If you ever get a smoky odor in your home, that is a sign that your system is not evacuating smoke correctly. This could be because you have an obstruction or a partial obstruction in your chimney.
  • Smoke coming out over the top of your fireplace. When smoke comes out over the top of your fireplace, it indicates non-performance of your fireplace. You could either have an obstruction or you could have a separation in your liner. Neither situation is a good, so a blockage removal or flue liner repair should be performed ASAP.

#5 What are indicators of chimney troubles that you can see on the outside of your chimney?

On a masonry chimney, what you are primarily looking for is discoloration. It’s very common to see dark spots, dark growth, or green growth or vegetation on the brickwork or stonework. That’s an indication that your chimney is absorbing water, which is never good. When your chimney absorbs water, you get algae, bacteria, and different forms of plant life, which weakens the structure and creates a darker appearance on brick and stonework.

There are other visible signs to look for that signal water in your chimney as like loose mortar joints or spalling brick. If you have water in your chimney when the temperatures drop below freezing everything freezes and expands. When things warm up, that water contracts. This constant expansion and contraction of the materials put micro-fissures in the brickwork, which can make the bricks walk off of the mortar joints or loosen the mortar joints.

#6 What can you do to keep your chimney watertight and prevent water from penetrating it?

When we’re checking a chimney to see how watertight it is and looking for ways to prevent chimney leaks, there are a few things we look at. On a masonry chimney, we check to see:

  • If it has a proper chimney cap. A chimney cap covers the entire top of the chimney and sheds water away from the sides of the chimney.
  • If it has a quality chimney crown. The chimney crown is a crown wash splay, which is something that’s built of cement on a slight angle atop a masonry chimney to wash the water away and down the sides.
  • How the mortar joints between the brick are looking. The mortar joints between the brick need to be free of cracks, gaps, and holes to ensure that water’s not making its way into the masonry itself.
  • If the flashing is watertight and in good shape. Flashing is what covers the base of the chimney and the area where the chimney exits the roof. We’re looking to make sure it’s sealed, free of gaps or corrosion, and keeping water out of this vulnerable spot of the home.
  • If there are shoulders. You have shoulders on the chimney when the chimney is wider at the base and gets narrower as it goes up. This is a common area for water entry because that narrowing provides a 45-degree angle and an area that’s flat enough that a lot of water can sit there and soak through. Typically, this shows up as water leaking into your firebox.

 

Our Services

We’re pleased to offer comprehensive chimney care, including:

  • Chimney Inspections
  • Chimney Sweeping
  • Chimney Installations & Replacements
  • Chimney Repairs
  • Chimney Flue Cap Installations & Replacements
  • Chimney Leaking & Water-Repellent Services
  • Flue Liner Repair
  • Chimney Damper Installations & Replacements
  • Wood Insert Sales & Installation

Our certified sweeps also offer Dryer Vent Cleaning services!

This is an extraordinary company. From the owner to the crew they are polite, communicative, responsive and supportive. Their work is immaculate and the finished product looks terrific. We had a time crunch in getting this work done and Clean Sweep got it done for us well within the allotted time.
Judith Bernsteingaeta

We have trusted the care of our chimney with Clean Sweep for many years. The Staff has always delivered their expert service with the highest level of professionalism and courteousness. The management has made it easier for me in keeping a history of service by their use of emails, phone calls, text messages. We could not be more satisfied. Our most recent services were provided by Willis with some additional staff. He was polite, very hard working and represents his business well. Thank-you.
Valerie Ware

Scheduling Is Easy With Clean Sweep Of Anne Arundel County

Ready to give your chimney system the attention it needs so you and your family can enjoy the warmth it provides for years to come? Call Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel or reach out to us through our website to schedule your appointment today.

By Scheduling Your Services Now, You’ll:

  • Enjoy faster, more flexible scheduling than you would if you waited for Fall
  • Save your nose from the stinky creosote odors that accompany a dirty chimney during the hot, humid summer months
  • Know your chimney is clean, capped, and protected against nesting animals and chimney leaks
  • Have one less thing to worry about when the cold, holiday months roll back around

#1 When should you schedule an inspection?

  • Good Weather. Doing repair work on your chimney can be a challenge when temperatures drop, the days are shorter, and we’re battling snow and ice. If you don’t schedule an inspection until the fall or winter, you won’t know you need repairs until the middle of bad weather season. Summer is the time of year when we have better weather if you need repairs. Scheduling now is ideal for getting the work done safely and quickly.
  • Easier Scheduling. Scheduling is more flexible now. Once we move into the fall, our schedule is filled out weeks in advance. If you wait until fall or winter, you may not have as much flexibility in appointment availability, which also cuts into the time you could be using your fireplace.

#2 How often should you inspect your chimney?

masonry chimney with metal capThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) both recommend a yearly inspection. The reason for this is there are many things that can go wrong in a year’s time with the chimney. You may be thinking, “What kind of things can go wrong? I didn’t even use my wood stove, wood-burning fireplace, or gas burning fireplace all that much this past year.”

Well, we’re not just worried about a dirty chimney, we’re also inspecting to see:

  • If anything happened to the chimney exterior
  • If anything shifted or settled
  • If any large tree branches hit and damaged the chimney
  • What has happened in a year’s time from wind load or rain
  • If there has been any spalling from freeze/thaw

#3 How often should you sweep your chimney? Does it need to be swept every time you have an inspection?

The NFPA and CSIA both make it crystal clear that you need an inspection every year. But what do they have to say about chimney sweepings? According to both, a chimney should be swept on a yearly basis only if it needs it. At first glance, that answer is not very helpful, but here’s the thing: if you’re scheduling an annual inspection like the NFPA and CSIA recommended, you’ll know if your chimney needs to be swept.

The truth is, the frequency of a chimney needing sweeping is going to be based on the use and the efficiency of whatever the product you’re burning. That’s why there is no hard and fast rule about when you’ll need to have your chimney swept. So don’t skip inspections. During an annual inspection, we’ll look at the chimney internally and externally to determine if it needs a sweeping.

The good news is, if it is in need of sweeping, that can be done during the same visit. This saves you from having to schedule a comeback call, which means you save time and money.

#4 What kinds of issues or warning signals point to you needing a chimney inspection or sweeping?

There are a few things that can signal trouble with your system, or at least let you know you’re likely overdue for a sweeping or inspection. Some things to look for are:

  • Dark smoke/exhaust. If the smoke you’re seeing at the top of your chimney is very dark in color, that is usually an indication that the chimney is not burning correctly. If we’re talking about an oil or gas furnace or boiler, then it probably needs to be tuned. When you get the furnace or boiler tuned, you also need to sweep the exhaust pipe (the chimney) to make sure it is tuned correctly for the water heater, furnace, or boiler.
  • Smoky smells. You should never smell your fireplace or wood stove burning. If you ever get a smoky odor in your home, that is a sign that your system is not evacuating smoke correctly. This could be because you have an obstruction or a partial obstruction in your chimney.
  • Smoke coming out over the top of your fireplace. When smoke comes out over the top of your fireplace, it indicates non-performance of your fireplace. You could either have an obstruction or you could have a separation in your liner. Neither situation is a good, so a blockage removal or flue liner repair should be performed ASAP.

#5 What are indicators of chimney troubles that you can see on the outside of your chimney?

On a masonry chimney, what you are primarily looking for is discoloration. It’s very common to see dark spots, dark growth, or green growth or vegetation on the brickwork or stonework. That’s an indication that your chimney is absorbing water, which is never good. When your chimney absorbs water, you get algae, bacteria, and different forms of plant life, which weakens the structure and creates a darker appearance on brick and stonework.

There are other visible signs to look for that signal water in your chimney as like loose mortar joints or spalling brick. If you have water in your chimney when the temperatures drop below freezing everything freezes and expands. When things warm up, that water contracts. This constant expansion and contraction of the materials put micro-fissures in the brickwork, which can make the bricks walk off of the mortar joints or loosen the mortar joints.

#6 What can you do to keep your chimney watertight and prevent water from penetrating it?

When we’re checking a chimney to see how watertight it is and looking for ways to prevent chimney leaks, there are a few things we look at. On a masonry chimney, we check to see:

  • If it has a proper chimney cap. A chimney cap covers the entire top of the chimney and sheds water away from the sides of the chimney.
  • If it has a quality chimney crown. The chimney crown is a crown wash splay, which is something that’s built of cement on a slight angle atop a masonry chimney to wash the water away and down the sides.
  • How the mortar joints between the brick are looking. The mortar joints between the brick need to be free of cracks, gaps, and holes to ensure that water’s not making its way into the masonry itself.
  • If the flashing is watertight and in good shape. Flashing is what covers the base of the chimney and the area where the chimney exits the roof. We’re looking to make sure it’s sealed, free of gaps or corrosion, and keeping water out of this vulnerable spot of the home.
  • If there are shoulders. You have shoulders on the chimney when the chimney is wider at the base and gets narrower as it goes up. This is a common area for water entry because that narrowing provides a 45-degree angle and an area that’s flat enough that a lot of water can sit there and soak through. Typically, this shows up as water leaking into your firebox.

 

This is an extraordinary company. From the owner to the crew they are polite, communicative, responsive and supportive. Their work is immaculate and the finished product looks terrific. We had a time crunch in getting this work done and Clean Sweep got it done for us well within the allotted time.
Judith Bernsteingaeta

Our Services

We’re pleased to offer comprehensive chimney care, including:

  • Chimney Inspections
  • Chimney Sweeping
  • Chimney Installations & Replacements
  • Chimney Repairs
  • Chimney Flue Cap Installations & Replacements
  • Chimney Leaking & Water-Repellent Services
  • Flue Liner Repair
  • Chimney Damper Installations & Replacements
  • Wood Insert Sales & Installation

Our certified sweeps also offer Dryer Vent Cleaning services!

Ready to book?

PRICING

You may not noticed that we don’t have prices listed with our services. That is because pricing is decided on multiple factors including the number of flues, type of appliance, etc. We are not the cheapest, but our testimonials are proof that we make our clients happy. For more information on pricing before your appointment give us a call!

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU CALL:
When you call we will have a couple questions for you.

  1. What is the appliance needing inspection? Is it a furnace, wood stove, or gas fireplace?
  2. What does the outside of the chimney look like? Is brick, stone,block, covered in siding or a metal pipe?
  3. Are you having any problems with your system? Campfire smell or odor, animals or birds getting in, system smokes inside the home when you use it, water leaks?
  4. Are you buying or selling your home?
    This information allows us to explain what our technicians will do when they come to your home and what to expect during our inspection process.
    *If you don’t know these answers, it’s okay! We can help you figure it out.