2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Archive for the ‘Chimney Sweeping and Cleaning’ Category

A Chimney Sweep’s FAQ About Chimney Cleaning

Monday, May 1st, 2017

chimney-fire-top-bottomIt may not be the prime time of year for chimney sweeps, but we still want to make sure you get the information you need to stay safe. As the weather warms up, it presents the perfect opportunity to repair a damaged chimney, install a new fireplace, or schedule your routine chimney cleaning. Before you do, however, you might have some questions.

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Why It’s So Important to Have Certified Chimney Sweeps on the Job

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

You wouldn’t hire a mechanic to be your doctor—or vice versa—so why would you choose a random “handyman” to clean your chimney? A dirty chimney is dangerous, greatly increasing your chances of a home fire, and it’s something you should have cleaned every year.

Certified chimney sweeps have gone through training and testing to prove their expertise, and you should only hire someone with the right credit for the job.

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Why You Should Avoid a Cheap Chimney Sweep

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Cleaning out your chimney once every year (at least!) is so important for your health and wellness, and for the well-being of your home. This process could potentially save your home, as a buildup of debris in the chimney could actually cause a fire to ignite in the chimney and spread to your home.

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It’s Summer! Why You Should Still Schedule Chimney Sweeping Today

Monday, July 6th, 2015

In the summertime, your home heating system is far from your mind. You love the warmth and comfort that radiates from your chimney in the winter, but once the warm weather hits, you’re unlikely to think of it much until fall rolls around again. But summer is a great time to schedule an annual cleaning visit and an inspection from a certified chimney sweep. Here’s a look at why.

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What Is Creosote?

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Combustion heat always creates byproducts – some of them toxic – whether the combustion is in a simple fire pit in your backyard or a fireplace insert in your living room. Combustion byproducts can be gases, vapors, fumes, ash and soot, but there is one byproduct that can lead directly to chimney fires: creosote.

What Is It?

Creosote is a sticky, corrosive and highly flammable substance that is created when the noxious gases and vapors from combustion cool below 250 degrees. When the gases cool to this temperature level, they liquefy, combine with soot and ash, and become the substance known as creosote. The sticky nature of creosote allows it to cling to the inside of your chimney, creating a highly flammable, dangerous build-up that can ignite.

Stages of Creosote

When a professional chimney cleaner assesses the level of creosote build-up in your fireplace, he/she will refer to the build-up as being Stage One, Stage Two or Stage Three:

  • Stage One – Stage One creosote is the easiest and least problematic as it is mostly comprised of soot; this means it is also the easiest to remove.
  • Stage Two – Stage Two creosote is black and flaky, and this is because the tar in the creosote has hardened. This level of creosote build-up can cause air restriction and pose the risk of a chimney fire.
  • Stage Three – a Stage Three creosote level is a very serious situation. This level of creosote looks and acts like a layer of tar and is very hard to remove; it is also extremely flammable and likely to cause a chimney fire. It may be necessary to replace the lining in a chimney that has Stage Three creosote.

Schedule Annual Chimney Cleaning

Preventing chimney fires is one of the most important reasons to schedule an annual chimney cleaning in in Carver County. If it’s been more than 12 months since your last chimney cleaning and you are having problems with drafting, soot and ash, call the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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Why You Need Furnace Flue Cleaning

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Even if your home doesn’t have a fireplace, it will need a flue for the furnace to release exhaust. In a gas furnace, the heat from the combustion gas transfers to the air through a heat exchanger, and afterwards the cooled down combustion gas is vented through a flue that safely removes the fumes to the outside of the house. To keep your furnace working at top efficiency and to prevent safety issues from fires or carbon monoxide, you should have annual flue cleaning as part of maintaining the heating system.

The best people to call for furnace flue cleaning are technicians experienced with chimney cleaning. The fully-certified team at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has many decades of work with chimneys and flues of all kind, and our services include everything from cleaning and sweeping to masonry reconstruction. Call us today for cleaning for your chimney flue in Edina, MN.

The necessity of furnace flue cleaning

Any venting system, such as a furnace flue, will start to gather build-up from the exhaust that move through it. With chimneys, the exhaust build-up from creosote can be quite large. The accumulation is less in a furnace flue, but because the venting cannot be perfect, the flue will eventually require cleaning to remove particle build-up known as “scale.” Not all heating contractors provide this service when maintaining a furnace; you will need to call specialists in chimney cleaning to take care of the job.

Neglecting regular furnace flue cleaning can lead to serious issues. The major one is the flue will become blocked, leading to the exhaust backing up and entering your home. This presents dangers from fire and toxic carbon monoxide exposure.

But even if the flue isn’t blocked, poor venting from scale will create other dangers in the furnace. The reaction of the combustion gas with the heat exchanger will result in corrosion across the metal of the exchanger, a situation that makes it prone to develop cracks that will allow carbon monoxide to escape. The poor venting will also make it difficult for the furnace to work efficiently. Special high-efficiency furnaces depend on clean venting to achieve their energy-saving levels of performance.

Along with regular furnace flue cleaning, you should have the flue cleaned whenever you change your heating system. In some cases, you may need to have a completely new flue constructed to accommodate a higher efficiency furnace. Always check with professionals regarding your heater’s venting when you make a change to the heating system.

Contact us for furnace flue cleaning

Keeping your home safe is our number one priority at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. We have helped homes stay safe and warm with our services for chimneys and flue for many years.

When you need cleaning to take care of your furnace or chimney flue in Edina, MN, make the call to the team at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

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How to Prepare for Chimney Sweeping in Minneapolis, MN

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Your fireplace chimney should have annual sweeping service from certified chimney sweeps (certification is from the Chimney Safety Institute of America) to keep it clean and safely venting exhaust fumes out of your home. Your chimney sweeps will also check for any safety issues from damaged components, such as a faulty chimney damper.

When you receive chimney sweeping in Minneapolis, MN from the certified team at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., you will receive a Level 1 chimney inspection along with the cleaning. This visual inspection will make sure that you do not have potential trouble from creosote, debris, or flue damage. We are a full service company for fireplaces and chimneys, and you will have a hard time finding more experienced technicians for caring for your home’s hearth.

When you schedule a chimney sweep visit, there are some ways you can prepare that will make the cleaning process easier and faster:

  • First, clear away the area around the fireplace, in particular the mantle. You don’t want to have any valuable decoration you have on the mantle to receive any damage.
  • Second, clean out the fireplace itself of any unburnt wood or fuel that is still in it. Remove excess ashes as well. It is advisable that you do not use the fireplace for 24 hours before the sweeping appointment.
  • Third, to protect your furnishings that are near to the fireplace (sweeping can produce a large amount of soot) you should either cover them or remove them from the area. The chimney sweeps will take care of laying down floor coverings that will protect your carpet, rugs, floorboards, etc. from damage.
  • Fourth, if you are concerned about other parts of your home, you may wish to lay down papers from the door to the fireplace. However, if you have hired a quality company with proper certification, the chimney sweeps will do everything they can to respect your home and wear protective, disposable covers on their shoes.
  • Fifth, contact your chimney sweeps if you have additional questions regarding the service or what you can do to help prepare.

The actual sweeping service will go speedily and will create minimal disruption on daily activities. If you have 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. performing your chimney sweeping in Minneapolis, MN, the technicians will provide you with the findings from the Level 1 inspection. They will recommend whether you need a Level 2 or 3 chimney inspection, as well as recommendations for any repairs you may need.

Make us your first choice when it comes to any service you may need for your fireplace and chimney. Call Us Today! 612.922.9600 or 1-888-PIXLEYS

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How Often Should I Get Chimney Sweeping?

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Chimney sweeping is an occupation surrounded with myths—many of them from Mary Poppins and other movies and books about Victorian London. These are benign myths, of course, and amusing for modern chimney sweeps. But there’s another myth about chimney sweeping we encounter too often, and it’s a far more dangerous one: “your chimney only needs cleaning every five years or so.” This is not remotely true, even if you only use your chimney during the winter. Regular chimney sweeping is important for both the attractiveness of your fireplace, and for your safety. You should consider the fireplace in your home as part of your heating system. Just as your heating system should receive yearly maintenance, your chimney and fireplace should receive yearly cleaning.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. has CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified technicians on staff to provide you the cleaning and other services you need for a safe and beautiful fireplace. Make us your first choice for chimney sweeping in Minneapolis, MN.

Schedule annual chimney sweeping

The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 states: “Chimney, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” It will almost always be necessary to clean your chimney: even if you don’t use your fireplace often, deterioration can still occur and animals can build nests inside it. The CSIA recommends that even an 1/8” of soot build-up needs sweeping—and if it starts to develop into shiny creosote, it should be cleaned up sooner than the yearly visit because that is enough combustible material to constitute a fire hazard.

What if you use gas to heat your fireplace? Does that mean you need yearly cleaning as well? Absolutely. Even though gas burns cleaner than wood, you can still have trouble with damage from weather, debris, and animal nesting. Damage to the lining of the chimney from these infestations can turn into a serious fire hazard. You should have an annual inspection done on any type of fireplace.

Call for professional chimney sweeps

You can’t effectively clean a chimney on your own: there’s a reason that the profession “chimney sweep” exists in the first place. The task requires experience, training, and special tools. Removing dangerous creosote is a top priority during chimney sweeping, and you need this potentially dangerous substance scrubbed away as thoroughly as possible. Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for chimney sweeps that will keep you safe and make your fireplace a source of comfort and coziness all through the winter.

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Benefits of Chimney Sweeping

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Chimney sweeping evokes images of cockney street urchins, stovepipe hats and Dick Van Dyke. But the principles involved haven’t changed in 150 years, and while today’s chimney sweeps use modern equipment and techniques, the work they do isn’t all that different from those of their predecessors. Chimney sweeping in St. Paul is a particular necessity, owing to our numerous older homes with fine brick fireplaces.

The benefits of chimney sweeping are numerous and obvious.

  • Safety. Smoke from your fireplace carries creosote into the chimney, which can coat the walls and ultimately become a fire hazard (it will ignite very easily). Creosote build-up can also prevent carbon monoxide from escaping your home, constituting another hazard.
  • Comfort. Build up inside the chimney can prevent smoke from escaping as quickly as it should, meaning that more of it could back up into your home. Clean chimneys also improve the amount of heat your fireplace projects into your home, making it more efficient as well as comfortable.
  • Longevity. Over time, the acidic qualities of soot and other debris can damage your chimney, forcing expensive and unnecessary repairs. A regular cleaning session can prevent that damage and extend the life of your chimney.

A good chimney sweeper understands the benefits of chimney sweeping, but also knows who to deliver them safely and effectively. That means paying close attention to new methods and techniques. Qualified chimney sweeps are licensed, bonded and insured to protect against accidents. They also work with the cleanliness of your home in mind, and guarantee their work once it’s completed.

For chimney sweeping in St. Paul, the professionals at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. are ready to help. We’ve served the Twin Cities area since 2001 and offer complete programs for inspecting, installing and maintaining your chimney. We’re available 24 hours a day in the event of emergencies, and our trained experts have earned the trusted of over 52,000 loyal customers. If you understand the benefits of chimney sweeping and want to set up a regular maintenance session to help keep yours clean, pick up the phone and give us a call today.

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All I Know About Chimney Sweeping I Learned from Mary Poppins: What Else Should I Know?

Friday, November 8th, 2013

The romanticized image of the chimney sweep comes to us from the Disney movie Mary Poppins, where we learn that chimney sweeps are always coated from head to toe with soot, know fantastic dance moves, and say “guv’ner” at the end of every sentence. That’s all good to know if you live in a fantasy version of Victorian London. But if you live in contemporary Minnesota, you need to know the more practical side of keeping a chimney clean so you can enjoy it all through the winter in comfort and safety.

At 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. we have decades of experience with chimney sweeping in St. Paul, MN. When you want to go past thinking about getting your chimney cleaned and actually get it clean, contact us.

Here are some jobs that chimney sweeps—well, chimney technicians—perform that you won’t learn about from Disney movies:

Creosote cleaning

The black shiny substance that will start to cover the bricks of your chimney after burning wood and coal in the hearth is called creosote. Basically, it’s unburned wood or coal energy. It is highly combustible and poses a serious fire hazard to your home because it can cause flames to vault up the chimney to the upper floors of your home and the roof. Thick creosote (level 3 creosote) requires special equipment and techniques to remove. You need chimney technicians armed with more than brooms to take care of this problem.

Chimney flue cleaning

The flue serves an important safety and comfort function: it allows smoke from a fire to escape out the chimney when it’s open, and it keeps drafts from entering your home when closed. Damage and soot build-up can become a major issue for the flue, and so it’s one of the important components that technicians inspect when they come to clean your chimney.

Animal removal

Mary Poppins has some adorable animated animals in it: remember the penguins? However, you don’t want animals getting inside your chimney. Penguins shouldn’t be an issue, but birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons can create serious hazards. You don’t want to try to “smoke out” animals from your chimney (especially raccoons; this just makes them mad). Rely on technicians to do this job safely. You should also have the technicians install a chimney cap to help prevent this problem from returning in the future.

Here’s something else Mary Poppins won’t tell you: how often you should have your chimney inspected and cleaned. We recommend you schedule annual cleaning, even if you don’t use the fireplace often (cracks and animal infiltration can occur regardless of how much use the chimney gets). Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. when you want quality chimney sweeping in St. Paul, MN. We can’t sing and dance as well as Dick Van Dyke, but you’ll have a clean and safe fireplace in your home after we leave.

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