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

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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