If there are visible indications of creosote or soot buildup in any fireplace component, than the fireplace and chimney must be thoroughly cleaned. Creosote and soot buildup that is 1/4″ thick renders the fireplace unusable due do the immediate risk of a chimney fire. At 1/8″ thick it is a recommended to call for cleaning in the near future. To gauge the thickness of buildup, just scrape the inside of the smoke chamber and measure from the thickest part of the buildup to the surface. Protective clothing, goggles and dust mask are required as safety precautions. If this is not an option then a certified Chimney Cleaners Chesapeake VA may be called to perform an inspection.
Certification requirements for chimney cleaners
The Chimney Safety Institute of America is the only nationally recognized certification program. They offer local classes all across the United States, but the exam for certification remains standard. The exam is a direct indication of knowledge in chimney physics and troubleshooting of woodstove and fireplace problems. After passing the rigorous exam, an annual re-certification fee of 199 dollars is required. Many chimney cleaners in Chesapeake VA receive their training for certification at the Chimney Sweep University located in Virginia Beach.
What to look for in a chimney cleaner
In the event that property damage occurs during the cleaning process, it is recommended that insurance coverage be verified. Certification with the CSIA is very important. If the job is not done properly the customer is still at risk of a chimney fire. Good customer service is an indication that the company values your business and will respect your time. Be observant during your correspondence with a company, as customer service is a reflection of the company as a whole. Reading testimonials of past customers can indicate if the employees respect the customer’s time by being punctual and efficient in their work .If a company offers a price match of competitor’s quotes, this is a sign that they are motivated and have pride in their services.
Why a chimney cleaner is required
Creosote and soot buildup is highly flammable and can result in a chimney fire and subsequent building fire. A chimney fire can not only damage the fireplace and chimney, but also cause an entire structure to ignite. This can lead to loss of belongings, property damage, and in extreme cases loss of life. The National Fire Protection Agency recommends a fireplace inspection at least once a year. Other times for inspections could be if the fireplace has not been used in a while, or if the residence has just been recently occupied. Safety should be the number one priority, and chimney cleaners in the Chesapeake VA area provide valuable services which keep it that way.