Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
Ask a Question or Search InspectAPedia
InspectAPedia ® Home
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHIMNEY COMPONENT DEFINITIONS
CHIMNEY FIRE ACTION / PREVENTION
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
FLAME COLOR, BLUE vs YELLOW COMBUSTION
HOME HEATING SAFETY
Moisture / Frost Damaged Chimney
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
Safety Recalls, Chimneys, Vents, Heaters
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
WOOD, COAL STOVES & FIREPLACES
WOOD STOVE SAFETY
This article describes the basic requirement for periodic inspection and professional cleaning of chimneys. We answer: How often should you clean the chimney? and Who should you use to clean or repair a chimney to be sure that the result is a safe, properly working flue and vent system? We include referral links to professional chimney sweep and chimney sweep certification organizations.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
And a chimney inspection may reveal that the flue has been damaged not by creosote blockage but by spalling and water (above right).
If you don't already know the condition of your chimney, you should certainly take the following steps:
Oil & Gas fired heating appliance chimneys also need to be inspected and cleaned.
Part of normal oil fired appliance heating service includes disassembly and cleaning of the flue vent connector. Ask your heating service tech to check the chimney itself and order a cleaning if needed.
Gas fired heating appliance chimneys should be inspected regularly: a blocked gas fired appliance chimney creates a serious risk of improper gas appliance operation which in turn is likely to produce dangerous, potentially fatal carbon monoxide.
Once you've done this thorough job, future cleanings can be scheduled based on how many fires you've had, more often if your 're burning green wood, and before use at all if you see clogging in the chimney or thick creosote therein on your own inspection.
Also don't forget to inspect the flue before lighting the first fire of the season- since an animal or insects could have obstructed the flue over the summer. If you have a properly screened cap on your chimney top you'll keep out the animals but not the insects.
Be sure that Your Chimney Company is Qualified
Watch out: At UNLINED FLUE INSPECTIONS we describe a scary story that happened when we identified an unsafe chimney and advised our client to have a chimney expert inspect and repair the condition. She called a chimney company listed in her local telephone book. But the "expert" was so poorly informed about chimney safety that his "repairs" came close to killing the occupants of the house.
Watch out: also for a common chimney repair fraud that takes your money but does nothing to make your chimney safe. See Chimney Repair Fraud Warning for details.
Be sure that your chimney expert really is one. And if you are in the slightest doubt, in addition to contacting the associations listed below, you should ask your local fire inspector or building inspector for help.
Where to locate a certified chimney installation, repair, or cleaning professional:
What's the difference between the Chimney Safety Institute of America, CSIA, and the National Chimney Sweeps Guild, NCSG?
According to Robert Husted, owner of Dave's Chimney Service in Port Orchard WA:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about chimney & flue cleaning: how to clean a chimney, who should clean & inspect a chimney, certified chimney sweeps, when or how often should the chimney be cleaned, chimney maintenance & repairs done at cleaning time.
Ask a Question or Enter Search Terms in the InspectApedia search box just below.
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.