Step 1 – Make Sure Your Fireplace is Cool
In order for our technicians to do the work, your chimney needs to be cool to the touch. We’ll be looking in your chimney, touching the bricks and liner, running our cameras down, so it’s important that heat doesn’t affect us too much.
Therefore, we ask that you avoid lighting your fireplace or stove for 24-48 hours before your appointment. This is plenty of time for the interior masonry to cool down.
You can also remove any leftover ashes from the fireplace at this time if you want to recycle them into your garden. Check out our guide on how to repurpose your ashes.
Otherwise, we will scoop them up and just dispose of the ashes for you.
Step 2- Remove Any Logs in the Firebox
To help us out, we ask that you make sure your firebox is empty before the sweep arrives. That includes any remaining logs as well as the grate, fireplace tools, and/or any other decorative elements that are in your fireplace.
Of course, this is more of an optional item.
We’re there to get dirty and clean. So if the logs are dirty or you don’t have a great place to put the items, or you simply don’t want to (no judgement here and no questions asked) we’ll take care of it.
Step 3 – Put Away Any Decorative Elements
We do our best to make sure we are as careful as humanly possible during the whole process. But we still ask that you remove any breakable items to prevent any accidents.
Many of our customers like to keep decorative items around the mantle, such as pictures, knick-knacks, and several other things when the fireplace isn’t in use.
Setting aside the fragile items will help us work as efficiently as possible, while also protecting your keepsakes from accidental breakage.
Step 4 – Remove Any Objects That are Blocking Access to the Fireplace
We work with a lot of equipment, tools, and supplies to help thoroughly scrub and clean your chimney and fireplace.
A lot of the tools are pretty small (think hammer), but sometimes, the equipment can take up a lot of space, like our vacuum that controls the dust.
Our technicians need enough space to access your fireplace.
That’s why we ask that you make sure no furniture, toys, or other objects are blocking the firebox during the cleaning.
In addition to the tools and equipment, the technicians will also lay a drop cloth to protect your firebox and floor during the cleaning.
We use the vacuum to control the dust that comes out while cleaning. However, it’s impossible to make sure no dust or soot comes out.
Because of this, we recommend that you cover other furniture with a sheet or old blanket.
Step 5 – Make a Note of Smells, leaks, or Other Concerns
All chimney sweeps will include an inspection.
At least all chimney sweeps done by reputable chimney companies.
So make sure you write down all of the “troubled” areas in your chimney. This way we can tailor the inspection towards those particular spots.
If you notice any smells, moisture, or you just have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know. That’s our job and we’re here to make sure your chimney is safe.
Tips for Hiring a Professional Chimney Company
I know, it’s a lot to consider.
But that doesn’t mean that it has to be a stressful task. You can easily reach out to your local chimney company and have a done-for-you solution in no time!
But navigating through all of the chimney companies in your city can be a chore all on its own. And it makes sense, too.
Hiring anyone to come into your home to fix something like your chimney shouldn’t be a task you take lightly. So I created a list that you can use to make sure you make the right decision when you need someone to help you in your home.
Questions to Ask
When you’re hiring a chimney company, you should always ask the following questions before allowing them to come into your home:
- Can the company provide references?
- Does the company carry a valid business liability insurance policy?
- Does the company ensure that a certified chimney technician will be on the job?
If they guarantee all three of those, then you are in a good spot. The technicians don’t necessarily need to be certified by the CSIA, but I do recommend putting in a bit more due diligence before accepting a certification that’s not by the CSIA.
This is because certifications are a tricky thing, especially in an unlicensed industry like ours. Any company can craft a list of job-related questions and sell them as an exam and certify those who pass.
I recommend you take a few extra minutes in your research before making your hiring decision to learn more about the certification the company has. Here are a few tips to make sure the certification is reputable:
- Is the word “certified” just part of the business name or is it an earned designation?
- Is the certifying body a for-profit business or non-profit?
- Does the certification need to be maintained and renewed through continuing education as the industry evolves, or is it well enough to be certified through a one-time exam?
- Is the certifying body well-established or are they relatively new to the scene? New doesn’t mean “bad” but you should make sure the requirements for certification are more or at least equally stringent as those of more established certifications
- Is the mission statement of the certifying body focused on educating and protecting homeowners or is it more focused on making it easier to earn a certification?
- Does holding the certification require following a code of ethics?
If you can answer all of these questions, then I think it will be safe to allow the company in your home to work on your chimney.
Schedule Service with Patriot Chimney
Patriot Chimney has a few CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps that you can trust with your home and family. During your service, you can expect your technician to inspect your chimney with a video camera so we can give a full top-to-bottom, inside out inspection.
We’re licensed, insured, certified, and guarantee you’ll be happy with your service.