Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of commonly asked questions about our services to help you better understand what we offer. Our team of experienced sweeps is available to answer any additional questions you may have and provide personalized solutions for your chimney needs. With decades of experience in the industry, we are confident that we can assist you in keeping your chimney system running smoothly and efficiently. If you don't find the answers to your questions here, please feel free to reach out and contact us directly--we're always happy to help!

Chimney sweeping refers to removing creosote, soot, and debris from the inside of a chimney. This is typically done with a specialized brush inserted into the chimney and rotated to loosen and remove buildup. The goal of chimney sweeping is to prevent chimney fires and improve the chimney's efficiency.

Yes, chimneys do need to be cleaned regularly. Over time, soot, creosote, and other debris can accumulate inside a chimney, creating a potential fire hazard. Creosote, a highly flammable substance created when wood is burned, can build up inside the chimney and ignite, causing a dangerous chimney fire.

It's important to have your chimney swept once a year – especially if you use it regularly – for safety reasons as well as for keeping your fireplace functioning optimally. A typical chimney sweep involves the following steps:

  1. Inspection: Our work begins with a visual inspection of your chimney to identify any potential problems or areas that need special attention.
  2. Report: After our visual inspection, we will report any problems in your chimney system and our recommended solutions.
  3. Setting up: We ensure the surrounding area is properly protected by laying down drop cloths and then set up our cleaning equipment.
  4. Sweeping the flue: We use specialized brushes, rods, and vacuums to clean the flue from bottom to top, removing any soot, creosote, or debris that has accumulated inside.
  5. Cleaning the fireplace: After sweeping the flue, we clean/remove the debris from the smoke shelf and damper area. We brush the firebox and pick up debris or soot that fell into the firebox during the sweeping process. However, we do not clean or empty ash boxes/pits as part of our routine cleaning service.
  6. Final inspection: We perform another visual inspection to ensure everything is working properly and there are no blockages or debris in the chimney system.
  7. Clean up: We remove our tools and cleaning materials, vacuum the area, and leave it as clean as when we arrived.

Contact us today to learn more about our chimney sweep services or to schedule an appointment.

Chimney sweeping is an essential part of maintaining a safe and functional chimney. However, it can be a messy process, especially if the chimney hasn't been cleaned in a long time, and there is a significant buildup of creosote, soot, and debris. At Chimney Cricket, we understand this concern, and we take every precaution to ensure that our cleaning process is as neat and tidy as possible.

Our team of experts is equipped with the state-of-the-art August West SootSweeper II vacuum air filtration system, which is specifically designed to remove soot particles from the room during the chimney cleaning process. With SootSweeper, we can control dust clouds and falling soot by filtering massive amounts of air, exchanging all the air in a moderate-sized room in just two minutes!

Although some dust and debris may fall into the fireplace or onto the floor during the cleaning process, we take additional measures to minimize any mess by laying down drop cloths to protect the surrounding area. With Chimney Cricket, you can rest assured that your chimney will be thoroughly cleaned, and the mess will be kept to a minimum. So, whether your chimney requires a routine cleaning or a deep clean, we have got you covered!

A chimney is the structure that contains the flue and extends above the roofline of a building. It is designed to contain and vent the byproducts of combustion from a fireplace, stove, or furnace.

A flue is the passageway within the chimney that allows smoke, gases, and other byproducts of combustion to exit safely.

Ideally, the best time to get your chimney swept is at the end of the burning season. This is typically the spring/summer months. You will likely find a delay in response time for services from October-January each year due to the high volume of requests, so getting the job done before peak season hits is recommended.

Here are some telltale signs that your chimney needs a good cleaning:

  1. Creosote buildup: Creosote is a tar-like substance produced when wood is burned, and if left unchecked, it can be a fire hazard. If you notice the creosote inside your chimney has built up more than 1/8th of an inch thick, it is a sign that your chimney needs to be swept.
  2. Smoke entering your home: If you notice soot or smoke in the room when using your fireplace, it is an indication that the chimney needs to be cleaned.
  3. Strong burning odors: If you detect a strong burning smell in your home, it likely means debris and/or creosote is accumulating inside your flue and needs to be removed immediately.
  4. Slowed airflow: If you notice the smoke ascending at a slow rate or it is having trouble escaping the chimney, that usually indicates a blockage that needs to be cleared.
  5. Animal nests or debris: Animals sometimes nest inside the chimney, or debris may fall down it. Having a chimney sweep clear out any nests, sticks, leaves, or other debris will ensure that your chimney is operating efficiently and safely.
  6. Other changes or inconsistencies: It's important to be aware of any changes or inconsistencies with how your fireplace is operating. If you notice anything unusual, it is best to get an expert opinion as soon as possible.

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to chimney maintenance! By having your chimney swept regularly, you will avoid potential problems and enjoy many years of cozy comfort around the fire!

Creosote buildup in a chimney can vary in appearance depending on how long it has been accumulating and the type of fuel being burned. In general, creosote buildup will appear as a black or brown, tar-like substance on the inside of the chimney. In severe cases, creosote buildup can also appear as a shiny, hard, and black substance known as glazed creosote. This buildup is especially dangerous as it is highly flammable and can pose a serious fire hazard. 

We recommend you get your chimney swept yearly if you regularly use your fireplace during winter. Maintaining a clean chimney will help to prevent chimney fires and any buildup of fumes and odors in your home. Contact us with any questions or request an appointment today!

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If you're in need of fireplace or chimney service or repair, the family team at Chimney Cricket is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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