As cooler weather approaches, it’s time to prepare your chimney and fireplace for the cozy fires that will keep you warm on the chilly winter nights in Atlanta. At this time of the year, we start receiving a lot of questions regarding our chimney cleaning service along with general chimney maintenance and care. Check out the following chimney cleaning and operating FAQs and then schedule Serv R Us for your annual chimney inspection and cleaning.
Chimney Cleaning & Operation FAQs
Q: How frequently should I have my chimney professionally cleaned?
A: While the answer depends somewhat on the frequency with which you use your fireplace, all chimneys should be inspected at least once annually. Just one single use of your fireplace will cause some degree of creosote and soot build up in your chimney, which can pose a fire risk if not cleaned properly. Additionally, it’s important that your chimney is inspected for nests, debris or possible structural damage.
Q: My fireplace is gas operated. Does my chimney still need to be inspected annually?
A: Even though a gas fireplace doesn’t burn wood, gas fireplaces still need an annual chimney inspection to clear out any potential debris and to check the structure for damage or blockages.
Q: How long will a professional chimney cleaning take? Will it make a mess in my house?
A: Your initial chimney inspection will be prompt – approximately 20 minutes or less. If we determine your chimney needs a cleaning, the service will typically last from 30 minutes to an hour. At Serv R Us, our technicians respect your time and your home, arriving on time, wearing shoe coverings indoors, and cleaning up thoroughly afterwards.
Q: What is included in a Level 1 Chimney Inspection and Cleaning from Serv R Us?
A: During an annual chimney cleaning and inspection, our certified technicians will first check the interior and exterior of your chimney to make sure that your vent is clear from debris and chemical or soot buildup, and to make sure all of your chimney components are in good working condition. Our technicians inspect the structure of the chimney from the roof or the bottom of the chimney, and then clean the fireplace from inside using specialized chimney brushes and vacuuming equipment.
Q: What is safe to burn in my fireplace?
A: This is one of the most common chimney-related questions we receive. Some people want to burn everything from trash to wrapping paper or yard waste in their indoor chimneys. There are also a number of “clean burning logs” available now. So what is actually safe for burning in your indoor fireplace?
– Natural hardwood logs are safe to use, but should be completely dry and not be allowed to smolder in order to minimize the amount of CO2 and methane gases emitted in the smoke. Soft, “sappy” wood, like pine, should be avoided.
– Fire logs made from recycled products like coffee grounds, newspapers or sawdust are safe for use – as long as they are free from petroleum products – and instead use a bio-wax to hold together.
– Nothing else – no trash, wrapping paper, cardboard, yard waste, etc. – should be burned in your fireplace. These items can burn very quickly, give off toxic fumes, and pose a significant fire and health hazard.
Q: My chimney smells, especially during the spring and summertime. What is causing this and how do I fix it? Is it dangerous?
A: Often, this smell is caused by creosote – a naturally occurring by-product of burning wood. While inhaling excess creosote is dangerous, typically the greater risk posed by a buildup is a fire hazard caused by the blockage. A thorough professional chimney cleaning will resolve the smell and safety issue by clearing out the excess creosote buildup.
Q: I suspect there is a nest in my chimney. What do I do?
A: Birds and rodents are drawn to chimneys as a safe, protected spot to build their nests. If you suspect birds or rodents are in your chimney, do not use your chimney! Chimney nests can pose a significant risk to house fires. Instead, keep the damper closed and call the professionals at Serv R Us for an inspection and nest removal.
Call Serv R Us for Level 1 Chimney Inspection and Cleaning in Atlanta
Regardless of whether you used your fireplace weekly last winter, or you haven’t used it in years, keeping your chimney clean and clear from buildup and debris is an important part of protecting your home and family. Schedule an annual cleaning with the experienced technicians at Serv R Us and rest assured that your chimney will be ready and safe to use before the cooler weather arrives. Give us a call at 678-253-7980 or set up an inspection with us here.