You have questions. wE have answers.
A: The National Fire Protection Association says, “Chimneys, 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.” Even if you don’t use your chimney often, an annual inspection is a good idea to check for other types of chimney deterioration and possible debris or animal nests inside the chimney.
A: If you haven’t used your fireplace it probably doesn’t need to be cleaned, but you should still have it checked for any weather damage to the chimney stack or any hidden defects that could make it unsafe. Broken and eroded brickwork, a missing weather cap, hidden water leaks, bird and rodent intrusion, hidden blockages are all safety hazards that should be checked.
A: Not at all! Blue Sky will clean and inspect your chimney and fireplace with our no-dust, no-mess guarantee!
A: If you have a new home and are unsure about the fireplace, call Blue Sky! We will perform a Level II Inspection of the inside of the chimney as well as clean the fireplace. Following the inspection, we will provide a full inspection report to ensure the fireplace is safe to use.
A: If you think an animal has nested in your chimney, your first step is to call a reputable wildlife removal service and have an inspection done. Squirrels, opossums, rats, raccoons, and chimney swifts are common animals found nesting in chimneys. Squirrels, opossums, rats, and raccoons can easily be removed, but it is actually illegal to move a nesting chimney swift.
A: A chimney swift is a small, migratory bird native to the eastern half of the United States and South America. Chimney Swifts are protected by the federal government under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be removed from any nesting spot. If you think a chimney swift is nesting in your chimney, call a wildlife removal service to confirm your suspicions, but if you indeed do have a family of swifts in your chimney, you will have to wait until the babies leave in order to do anything about it. There are preventative measures you can take though. Having a weather cap installed before nesting season begins in May can help prevent animals, water, snow, and debris from entering your chimney.
A: That smell is due to creosote deposits in the chimney. The odor is more prevalent in the summer when the humidity is high and the air conditioner is turned on. Scheduling a chimney cleaning in early spring may help diminish the smell.
A: Only well-seasoned wood.
A: Well-seasoned wood refers to wood that has been properly dried for six months or more. Wood that was dried thoroughly should be light in weight and darker in color than green wood.
A: Creosote occurs when smoke from an open flame travels up your chimney and mixes with cold air and water. The substance then solidifies to the chimney liner or bricks and over time will build up and become dangerous. While creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood, it is extremely flammable and can catch fire if you let it build up too much. A surefire way to prevent a chimney fire (or even worse, a house fire) is to have your chimney cleaned frequently.
A: The white discoloration found on some chimneys is known as efflorescence. Efflorescence forms when a chimney has cracks or is not properly sealed and allows moisture to seep into the bricks. That moisture then causes salts within the bricks to come out resulting in that white color.
A: If you use proper fuel sources (well-seasoned wood) and maintain proper ventilation throughout your chimney, you shouldn’t be concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning. While the gas is dangerous, a healthy fire does not release enough of the gas to make it deadly. A good rule of thumb for preventing CO poisoning is to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, and to always make sure you are using your damper when having a fire.
A: Chimney caps are essential for keeping animals, water, snow, and debris from entering your chimney.