Answering the phone at THC you get how often should I get my chimney cleaned or how do I
know when It's time to have it cleaned .The National Fire Protection
Association Standard 211 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." This is the national safety standard and is the way THC
advises customers when we are asked about regular maintenance. Even if you
don't use your chimney that much there's more of chance that leaves or some
creature has built a nest and/or other types of deterioration could
have made your chimney unsafe to use, and you need to have a inspection at least.
The rule we use is if there is I/8 of buildup of soot built up in the flue it
should be cleaned and sooner if there is any glazed" class III" in
the chimney. Factory built fireplaces should be cleaned when any visible soot
5 REASONS YOUR FIREPLACE MAY STINK
Another popular question THC gets is my chimney stinks will having it cleaned help. The smell is usually worse in the summer due to the high humidity. Now granted a good sweeping will help but want solve it completely. The smell is basically baked into the masonry and is just a natural byproduct of wood burning. There are several commercial deodorants that work pretty well and even oils or charcoal makes a difference we often hear. Another question that's pretty common is does my chimney need cleaning is If I have a gas appliance or gas logs. And the answer is yes gas normally is clean burning but gas will corrode the terracotta flue and cause blockage or birds , squirrels or other creatures can cause blockage of the flue.
1-Negative Air Pressure
One of the leading reasons odors enter the home through a fireplace is negative air
pressure in the home. This problem comes up most frequently during the
summer, after improvements have been made, such as weatherizing, changing the
venting system, or installing a new roof, windows, bathroom exhaust, or kitchen
exhaust fans. When the home is sealed too tightly, even the mild odors
common for chimneys escape into the home instead of up the chimney.
The following are a few simple solutions which could resolve the negative air
Keep the fireplace damper closed when the fireplace isn’t being used. If the
dampers don’t seal well, this likely won’t be an effective solution .THC can
install a glass door set and install a outdoor combustion air kit. We can also
install a top sealing damper controlled at firebox. These items can help
correct the air pressure problem that is causing your smell.
2-Excess Creosote and Soot
During annual chimney inspections, THC removes excessive creosote which is of
great importance in both smell and good working condition of your chimney.
Excessive creosote has the smell of asphalt or burnt Bar-B-Q on a grill.
Creosote is a black or dark brown flammable tar produced by wood smoke. Soot is
produced by incomplete burning of organic matter such as wood; it is black and
powdery or flaky and largely consists of amorphous carbon.
There is no way to completely prevent creosote and soot deposits from forming in your
chimney, but you can drastically reduce the amount of buildup. Burning seasoned
(low-moisture) wood is a good way to burn clean.
If there is water in the chimney, it can cause an unpleasant musty
odor. The best way to eliminate moisture in the chimney is by
having THC install a chimney cap. Without a cap, naturally, rain water
will get into the chimney. Besides causing an odor, moisture can cause
the damper to rust and fail to operate properly. Mixed with creosote the
moisture becomes acidic and eats away at metal and masonry , and can damage the
flue lining, which results in the need for costly but necessary repairs.
4-Animals, Dead or Alive
A chimney cap with mesh netting does a good job of keeping animals out of your
chimney; but if Animal Nest are in your chimney and you don’t have a chimney
cap or the cap is damaged, any unpleasant smells coming out of your chimney
could be animal scat or, worse, a decomposing animal. It’s not uncommon
for THC to find animals such a raccoons, birds, and squirrels in chimneys and
many times they have died from not being able to get out. It’s dangerous
to deal with a wild animal, since they could bite and may be carrying
disease. THCUSALLY technicians have been trained and equipped to deal
with this problem. Having a cap installed now before a animal dies in your
chimney is allot less expensive than having to pay for removal plus a cap.
You should be aware that birds called chimney swifts are protected by federal
law. The birds chirp, which is amplified in the chimney; and they leave
droppings. They only stay for a short season, and then they move
on. Anyone who has these birds in their chimney once is well-advised to
get a chimney cap or they can count on the birds returning the next year. After
the birds leave have THC clean your chimney to remove bird droppings that may
be diseased and could infect a family member.
Leaves that fall and stay in the chimney can produce the smell of rot as they begin to
decompose over time. Other debris can also get in the chimney, which is
just another reason a chimney cap is an excellent choice for THC to install and
a good investment.
Contact THC for your annual chimney cleaning and inspection as well as for any problems you have with your chimney or venting system.
Often dead animals or wet leaves can cause bad smells
With cleaning chimneys you never know what to expect
THC has been using Chim-Scan video cameras for years now. Not having the Chim-Scan
technology to not to use when a visual inspection is not enough to view
problems or to help concerns you may have about your chimney. It also provides
proper documentation for any possible insurance claims or fire inspections. It
gives an opportunity to provide a well-documented case to the homeowner and all
other parties involved when needed. The Chim-Scan video camera is an excellent
tool for THC and no sweep is complete without a Chim-Scan video evaluation and
written report. A camera is mounted on a rod and inserted up the chimney
so that you and THC can each see clearly the condition of their fireplace
and flue system after a thorough chimney sweep. As THC and the homeowner
view the condition of the interior of the chimney on a small monitor, providing
assurance for the customer when the professional makes a diagnosis or
recommends work for a chimney.
Any cracks in the flue system or missing mortar joints can be very risky. These
cracks allow the hot products of combustion to reach parts of the chimney not
specially formulated to withstand the extreme heat. Finding these defects can
insure peace of mind for the you the homeowner and to help aid
you in documenting any insurance claims that you may wish to make.
This photo of a missing mortar joint obtained through Chim-Scan inspection will help
the homeowner file a claim for a reline.
A Chim-Scan video inspection not only pinpoints damage in the flue system, it can
diagnose chimney fire damage, spot “patch” jobs done by non-professional
chimney servicemen, and also indicate the presence of animals or nesting
materials which are a fire hazard to the entire home. If the chimney was built
improperly outright, using a Chim-Scan video camera will aid in documenting the
existing condition so that repair will be easier.
If you have had a chimney fire, a Chim-Scan inspection is particularly important. It
can help to indicate what the cause of the chimney fire was, how much damage
was sustained during the fire, and aid the homeowner by thoroughly documenting
the situation so that an accurate claim can be filed. Depending on the chimney
professional you call out to your home who uses this technology, there are
various types of media you may receive after the scan has been conducted. Most
commonly, written reports are issued. Often times these written reports include
pictures which can be mailed or e-mailed to the customer, and in some cases the
sweep has an actual recording of the inspection for your use.
Assure chimney integrity for all fuels: oil, gas, wood, or coal
Catch problems before they cause the need for expensive repairs
Monitor changes over time
Protect your home investment
Increase the safety and performance of your heating appliance
Provide peace of mind for your family