According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year.” This is a good general guideline, and of course, there are always exceptions. How often a chimney needs sweeping depends on the type fuel burned, how it is burned, and how much of it is burned. During typical New England winters, most of us are using our wood stoves, fireplaces, and pellet stoves a lot to keep out the winter chills and to lessen our oil bills. Some folks use their wood stoves as their main source of heat during the winter. A good “rule of thumb” is to have your chimney swept after burning 2 cords of wood or 2 tons of pellets. So, for folks who use their wood stove a lot during the colder months, they may need more than a once-a-year sweeping in order to keep their chimney in good working order. And, of course, any time you notice a change in the way your appliance is running – if it’s suddenly not drafting as well as it should or if you have smoke coming into your home – you should have your chimney swept and inspected.
Here at Fireside Sweeps, LLC, our Head Technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and undergo regular training. (See more about Certified Chimney Sweeps in our FAQ section.)
For all new clients, we will sweep your system and then use a ChimScan® video camera system to inspect the flue. For flues with clay flue tile liners, we will be looking to make sure the mortar joints are intact and that the flue tiles are not cracked. For flues with stainless steel liners, we will be looking to make sure there are no seam gaps or bends in the pipe. We will also get on top of the roof to inspect the chimney (its structure and mortar joints), the chimney’s flashing, and the chimney crown. If we discover any issues with the system, we will provide you with a detailed report, including pictures, and with various options to correct the problems.