Fireplaces and Chimneys Are Complex Systems

From the outside, your chimney might look like a column of bricks, but it is so much more than that. Chimneys are complicated structures with a lot of moving parts that need annual attention, or else you put your home and more importantly, your family, at risk. Hiring a professional chimney sweep is a necessary part of owning a home with a chimney. At Capitol Chimney, your safety is our first priority, whether we are doing a routine inspection and cleaning, or if we are managing a large scale repair project.

wood burning fireplace

The Dangers Posed by Unkempt Chimneys and Fireplaces

There are various built pieces that make up the whole of your chimney and fireplace. All of the parts need special attention and must be inspected at least once a year. If you just built or remodeled your home, Capitol Chimney can come and inspect to ensure your chimney follows any regulations in Austin or New Braunfels, our two service areas.

Forgetting to have your annual chimney inspection puts you and your family at risk. The buildup of toxic creosote, a gooey tar-like byproduct of burning wood that coats the interior of the chimney, can pose serious fire and health hazards. A chimney that is not structurally sound may also pose fire and smoke inhalation dangers by reducing chimney draft through the smoke chamber. Do yourself a favor and do not put off hiring a professional to inspect your chimney on a yearly basis.

Capitol Chimney Has Seen it All

Capitol Chimney has been in the chimney sweeping and repair industry for 10+ years. Our owner’s family has been in this business for even longer than that, and we understand the unique needs of people living in central Texas. From minor mishaps to catastrophic structural damage, we have the skills and the tools to find and fix any chimney problem. No gimmicky top-hats, we promise!

We follow the standards set by National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), an agency that professional chimney sweeps look to for best practices in fire safety. We are constantly educating ourselves on relevant and up-to-date safety protocols and technology in the industry.

bird chimney cap wildlife animal guard

Problems May Arise — We’ll Find a Solution

The purpose of an inspection is to make sure your chimney and fireplace are in good working condition so that you and your family will be safe to enjoy a nice relaxing fire. We may find through an inspection that your chimney is not safe to use, either due to excessive buildup of deposits in the smoke chamber or because of some damage that may affect draft. We take detailed notes during the inspection process, and will discuss all options with the homeowner once our work is complete. If installations or repairs are needed, we will make recommendations, and we might even be able to install certain components that very day.


Our Process for Chimney and Fireplace Inspections

Our first goal with the inspection is to keep your home clean and safe. We will be sure to prepare the site of the inspection so that your carpet and furniture are not in harm’s way. If needed, we can move furniture back from the fireplace and lay out plastic around the firebox.

If the homeowner builds fire regularly without issue, we will conduct basic annual chimney inspection. Capitol Chimney will examine the firebox, damper, masonry, and flue with a flashlight, taking note of any unusual structural characteristics, rusting, or deposits of combustible materials. We will also inspect all areas of the firebox, and may test out a gas fireplace.

Inspecting for Known or Likely Damage

If you have known trouble with chimney draft problems, seen smoke inside your home, heard noises coming from the chimney or if your home has recently gone through renovation, we will likely need to conduct a more thorough examination. This will include the visual examination described above in addition to using tools and cameras to look more closely at certain components inside the chimney and below the flue.

In the case of obvious damage, or if you have had a building or chimney fire, we may need to remove parts of the chimney, such as the crown, to get a closer look. This may mean that the inspection will take longer than initially expected, but if we suspect serious damage, we have to go in and take a look. We care about your comfort, and if you are feeling inconvenienced at any time, we will do our best to work with you to ensure the inspection is completed with as little disturbance as possible.

Regardless of the level of inspection, we will always be sure to leave your house clean and safe for you. We will vacuum up any loosened debris and dispose of any plastic cloths we may have laid out. If furniture has been rearranged and covered, we will not leave until everything is back in order.

We treat your house like it is our house.
Contact Capitol Chimney for chimney, fireplace or dryer vent services today.

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Chimney and Fireplace Inspection FAQs

A: A safety check at least once a year is an absolute must for homes with chimneys. Even if your chimney appears to be functioning fine, you could still have deposits of dangerous byproducts or wildlife nests clogging your chimney. We recommend an inspection before the cold season starts because we know how excited our customers are to start enjoying their fireplace with their families. If we find that your chimney needs a good sweep or some repairs, we can do so in the fall so that you are all ready for winter. 
A: Most inspections take around one hour, depending on the layout of the home and whether there is one story or twoWe do our best to get in and get out as quickly as possible, but we also do not rush through our inspection process. Inspections are done with safety in mind, so they do take some time. 
The average inspection costs around $75. Because home sizes and chimneys vary, some inspections may cost more or less than the average amount.