Chimney Sweeping FAQs

A: Of course not – But only as long as you use a professional chimney cleaning service, like Capitol Chimney. Doing this type of work on your own is unadvisable because of the hazardous nature of the creosote and other deposits found in the chimney.

We use professional-grade vacuums and tools to clean your chimney. Our goal is to keep your family safe by removing the dirt, so we will do our very best to leave you home in a sparkling condition.

 A: That depends on how often you use your chimney, but we recommend an inspection before the cold season and a thorough cleaning after the cold season. If you have used your chimney heavily one winter, it is important to remove the deposits before the temperature rises. In central Texas, spring can turn to summer quickly, and the extra heat can cause creosote to congeal into a gummy tar inside the chimney. Once this happens, it is much harder to remove from the interior components. So, schedule a cleaning in the spring before the temperatures rise. 
A: Always monitor your chimney and fireplace before, during, and after each use. Look for the build up of creosote, which is dark gray to black in color. Soot is lighter in color and softer. You can sweep soot out from the hearth yourself, just be sure to wear gloves and not to breathe it in. We recommend dust masks, which can be purchased at a local convenience store.

Go with lower moisture hardwoods, like birch, maple, and oak, which contain less sap. Burning wood that is completely dry is also a good idea. The less moisture in the wood, the less creosote you will have.

If you see an abundance of smoke inside the home, there is probably a blockage or malfunctioning damper. Consider installing glass doors on your fireplace. This is a good safety measure because it protects you from embers, which may float out of the fire. It also improves all-around efficiency.

A day or so after you’ve lit a fire in your fireplace, be sure to sweep or vacuum up any ashes that have cooled off. 

A: The average cost to clean and service chimneys is between $150 and $175. The cost depends on location and layout of the home and chimney.

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

Chimneys and Fireplaces Require Cleaning and Maintenance

Your fireplace is the heart of your home. This is where you spend quality time with your family. As a homeowner, you should understand the risks of an unmaintained chimney or fireplace and the benefits of hiring Capitol Chimney for professional chimney services.chimney sweep austin

Different structural components of your chimney require different types of cleaning and maintenance. A typical masonry fireplace has several key components: the hearth, the firebox, the mantle, the lintel, the ash dump, the damper, the smoke chamber, the smoke shelf, the flue, the crown, and the clean out opening or door.

A factory-built fireplace includes a chimney cap, the chase cover, the fireplace, the hearth, and the chimney chamber itself.


Unmaintained Chimneys and Fireplaces can be Dangerous

Over time, as you use your chimney and fireplace to burn wood and keep warm, many of the chimney’s components become worn down and clogged up with soot, ash, environmental blockages, and creosote, which is the gooey byproduct of burning wood. Creosote deposits build up in your chimney’s smoke chamber, pipes, chimney liner, and damper over time, becoming a dangerous fire hazard. This substance will coat anything it moves through in gas and liquid form.

Creosote is the main culprit to residential fires caused by chimneys. It is an unavoidable part of burning wood, but professional chimney sweepers such as Capitol Chimney can easily remove this highly flammable substance and protect you and your family from harm’s way.

Creosote is easy to see in the chamber and damper of the chimney in its foam-like solid formation. Homeowners often first become aware of creosote when they smell its foul odor. Even if a large amount of creosote does not cause a chimney fire, it will most certainly damage your chimney. Small amounts of creosote can be brushed out with ease. But a chimney that has not been properly maintained may have a large coating of tar-like creosote that cannot be removed and may require more complicated repairs.

A Clogged Chimney Will Fill Your Home With Toxic Smoke

The purpoChimney sweepingse of a chimney is to act as an exhaust for the byproducts released from burning a fire. When a chimney is not maintained it will become blocked and will not be able to do its job. If the blockage is due to ash and soot, those natural materials produced by burning wood may be spread around your living room and the rest of your house.

Soot, ash, and smoke in your home can be more than a mess to clean up — they can also be dangerous. If you have burned wood in your fireplace, you are probably familiar with ash and soot, which can stain carpets and wood floors, and can even permanently discolor brick over time. Soot is also a health hazard as it can cause irritation, infection, and damage to the lungs. The gassy byproducts of burning wood can also have a lasting negative impact on human health. This is why it is important to clean and maintain your chimney in order to safely release these fumes outside of your home.

The Process for Safe and Effective Chimney and Fireplace Cleaning

A Quality Check Inspection is part of every service Capitol Chimney offers, and is the first step in our Chimney Sweeping and Cleaning Services. We understand how important your space is to you. That is why we start our inspection and cleaning process by laying out plastic drop-cloths where the work will be done in your home. Our goal is keep your house clean, so we use a dust collection vacuum with a heavy duty HEPA filter to suction soot, dirt, ash, and creosote that may become loose while we work.

We will use professional quality chimney sweeping tools and brushes to loosen deposits and clear away any clearance barriers. We will remove bird’s nests and any wildlife we may find in your chimney, flue, or chimney cap.

There are areas within the chimney chamber that are particularly susceptible to build-up of creosote, such as the damper and around the firebox. We will take our time with these areas to ensure that they are in working order and completely cleared of debris. We will clean up any ash leftover in your fireplace, so that it looks as good as new.

Once the interior of the chimney and fireplace is taken care of, we will inspect the mortar work and crown for any water or corrosion damage. We will take detailed evaluation notes of any repair needs for the owner of the home.

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