2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘chimney sweeping’

What You Must Know About Creosote

Monday, October 15th, 2018

chimney-fire-top-bottomFireplaces are safe to use, provided that you use them right. That means more than being careful when building up your fire, stoking it, and cleaning out the hearth. It also means having your chimney cleaned regularly by trained, qualified professionals. Why? Because if you ignore this vital service long enough, it’s not just the performance of your fireplace that will suffer. It could also very well be your safety. We are not just saying this to alarm you.

We are going to talk a bit about creosote today, so that you understand what it is, why it builds up, and why you need to have it cleaned out of your chimney. Failure to do so can put you and your family in a dangerous situation, and it won’t be the fault of the fireplace. It will be user error, if not total negligence. So read on, contact us with any questions that you may have, and remember that you can count on our team for great chimney cleaning services in Minneapolis, MN.

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Preparing Your Fireplace for Winter

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

chimneyThere are some people out there that may say that burning a fire in one’s fireplace is an outdated or even dangerous means by which to heat one’s home. Those are likely people that have never used a fireplace before! Sure, there are newer technologies out there that allow you to heat your home in a more modern way. Many homeowners actually supplement their fireplaces with such systems. For a lot of us, though, nothing can truly compare to the comfort that comes with a roaring fire in the hearth.

That being said, and as is the case with any home heating system, modern or not, there are steps that should be taken before putting your fireplace back into regular service this winter. Remember, the fireplace has been out of the game for a few months at this point. You don’t really want to wait for the frigid temperatures of winter to strike before taking care of your fireplace’s needs, either, since you’ll want to be using it in the fall season, too. So here are some tips for prepping your fireplace in Minneapolis, MN.

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These Are the Substances Lurking in Your Chimney

Monday, February 19th, 2018

chimney-fire-top-bottomWe know a lot of people are doubtful that regular chimney cleaning is all that important. How much dirt could be in there? And why should you care? It’s out of your view, after all, and you care much more about the condition of your fireplace. But, of course, chimney cleaning has nothing to do with the way the chimney looks.

For the most part, it’s about your safety. It’s also about your comfort. To understand why we’re so adamant about annual chimney cleanings, we think it’s important to understand, first and foremost, what substances are lurking within, threatening your health and comfort. Here they are:

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How to Effectively Clean Your Fireplace

Monday, December 25th, 2017

fireplace-fire-burningAlthough you may expect your fireplace to get dirty with extended use, it’s not intended to be this way. The fireplace should be kept clean, even if soot seems to collect quickly at the bottom of the fireplace. And if this is the case, you should do whatever you can to ensure this is kept under control.

Part of this is regular fireplace sweeping. Part of this is prevention. But you should also be sure to call in professional technicians to clean your chimney and fireplace at least once per year, and help you make changes to reduce soot and debris buildup in the first place.

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The Dirty Truth about Creosote

Monday, November 13th, 2017

chim-scan-insideCreosote is something we deal with every day as professional chimney sweeps and fireplace technicians. It’s likely in your fireplace and chimney right now. Just because it is common, though, that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Creosote makes a chimney dirty, but that doesn’t mean it’s just dirt. Learn all about this fuel-burning byproduct and why you want it out of your chimney ASAP in today’s guide.

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How Creosote Threatens Your Chimney

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Nothing beats the feeling of warming up in front of a wood stove or fireplace in the wintertime. And as you’re getting warm and cozy in your living room, chances are that you aren’t really focused on the state of your chimney. Unfortunately, this can lead to some major safety hazards, which is why we recommend scheduling chimney cleaning before you use your chimney in the upcoming season.

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Can I Do Annual Chimney Sweeping on My Own?

Monday, October 20th, 2014

There are certain tasks around your home that are good for doing yourself; there are others that are better left to professionals. One task that is better left to a professional is chimney sweeping. It is recommended that your chimney is swept every fall to ensure safe and efficient use during the winter months. Creosote builds up fairly quickly, especially if you use your fireplace often, and chimney sweeping in the Twin Cities helps keep your chimney functioning as it should. There are several reasons why it’s important to hire a trained professional to sweep your chimney, as we’ll discuss below. If you are ready to start using your fireplace again, contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., and schedule a chimney sweep today.

Reasons to Hire a Professional for Chimney Sweeping

Here are a few reasons why it’s important to hire a professional for chimney sweeping instead of doing it yourself:

  • Safety – one of the main reasons it’s important to sweep your chimney is to remove the creosote, soot and ash that can build up therein. These materials are flammable, and if not properly removed, can catch on fire.
  • Specialized tools – there are a number of specialized tools a trained chimney sweeper will bring to the job that you probably don’t have, including chimney brushes and rods, chemical soot and ash removers, cleaning tools and specialized chimney cleaning systems.
  • Protection of home goods – your professional chimney sweep will cover the floor and all home goods in close proximity to your chimney to ensure that everything stays clean.

Benefits of a Professional Chimney Sweep

As we mentioned above, having your chimney swept is very important to you and your home’s safety. Here are some other reasons why you’ll want to get your chimney swept before winter:

  • Energy efficiency – not only is the build-up of creosote, soot and ash dangerous, it can also restrict the air flow in your chimney, which can decrease the efficiency of your fireplace.
  • Longevity – the materials that can build-up in your chimney are highly acidic; as such, they can eat away at the masonry of your chimney, which will wear it down and eventually cause it to crack and break.
  • Bad for your flue – if you have a combustion heating system that requires a flue, a build-up of creosote, soot and ash will corrode your flue just as it does your chimney.

A fireplace can offer great supplemental heat during the winter – but not if it isn’t professionally cleaned.

Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., and schedule an appointment for professional chimney sweeping in the Twin Cities today.

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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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