An annual chimney sweep isn’t just a good practice — it can keep your family safe. Since your chimney is attached to the outdoors, dust, soot, and small creatures can settle in your chimney liner, damper, firebox, and smoke chamber. If this build-up is not taken care of, it can reduce fireplace efficiency and even start a fire.

It is estimated that 42 percent of house fires are related to chimneys and fireplaces. Without proper care, your home could become another statistic.

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When to Call Your Central Indiana Chimney Sweep

Regular chimney sweeps are extremely important. The general rule of thumb is that you should have your chimney sweeped at least once a year. This annual service can prevent large fires in your home, which can, in turn, save lives.

Sweeps are especially important if you have a wood burning fireplace. Wood creates a residue called creosote. This flammable residue often ends up lining the walls of many flue systems. If your fireplace burns hot enough, the creosote can relight and cause a flue-fire. These fires can go undetected, because they burn at the top of your chimney flue system.

An annual sweep can also help you save money. When your system is blocked your fireplace doesn’t heat your home efficiently. This can cause you to spend more money on expensive heating alternatives. A yearly sweep will keep your system in tip-top shape.

Although your annual sweep is vital, there are other times of the year when a sweep may be required. If you are having performance issues with your chimney, fireplace, or heating system, it may be time to get a sweep. Even if you’ve had a sweep in the past year, variable weather can cause excessive dirt to build up in your home.

You should also get a sweep after you have purchased a home. Although you may be diligent on keeping up your fireplace – the previous homeowners may not have been as kind. A quick sweep as soon as you move in will ensure you can enjoy your fireplace for the next year to come.

Thorough Inspections

If you feel there may be a problem with your chimney, but ready to commit to a full sweep, our certified technicians can give you a thorough inspection – to lead you in the right direction. There are three different levels of chimney inspections, but all include inspections of the same vital elements including: rain caps, brick and mortar, flue liner, fireplace blower.

The most common chimney inspection is level one. This inspection is typically completed a chimney that is well maintained, with sweepings year after year.

Level two inspections are typically recommended after a change is made to your chimney, or if you have just bought your home. This inspection ensures the chimney is working properly and that there is no visual damage.

Level three inspections are recommended if your chimney is visibly damaged. This level of inspection requires intense skills to find issues that are hidden on the inside and outside of your chimney. This level of service can find damage from flue-fires.

Once you’ve had a proper inspection, our team will guide you in the right direction to get your system back in shape. This may include a recommendation of more frequent chimney sweeps, to ensure large issues don’t happen again.

Finding the Right Chimney Sweep in Central Indiana

Like any business, not all chimney sweeps are created equal. Unfortunately, virtually anyone can call themselves a sweep; but these untrained amateurs can cause big problems for homeowners looking for a solution.

At B+E, we ensure all of our technicians are highly trained to provide the best customer service. All of our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA. They’ve worked on all types of chimneys and fireplaces, so you can rest assured that you are in good hands.

When finding the right chimney sweep, professionalism is key to a job well done. At B+E, we ensure all of our technicians carry proper ID, so you know who is coming into your home. When you request an appointment, all of our technicians arrive in a branded car – so you can build trust from the start. Our technicians also take time to listen to all of your needs. When we meet with you, we aren’t selling you a sales pitch. Instead, we take time to understand your sweeping needs, so we can provide you the highest quality service.

Proper fireplace and chimney care is essential to keeping your family happy and healthy. Brick + Ember Outfitters is driven by three value-added initiatives: building equity, restoring beauty, and growing peace of mind. Investing in the safety and functionality of your fireplace/chimney is growing peace of mind.

Request an appointment with one of our CSIA certified technicians today!

What Tools Do Chimney Sweeps Use?

What tools do chimney sweeps use? Clean chimneys are safe, efficient chimneys. It’s best practice to get an annual chimney sweep and inspection. A professional chimney sweep and inspection is a minuscule expense compared to the cost of dealing with a chimney fire or the other problems that may arise from a dirty chimney. However, many Indianapolis homeowners are looking to save money and consider trying their own chimney cleaning or finding a “chimney sweep” that’s offering a dangerously low price. In reality, it’s best to rely on the expertise and tools of a professional chimney sweep. 

Why do chimneys need to be cleaned?

Chimneys, especially wood-burning ones, create creosote and soot buildup. This buildup is hazardous and reduces the efficiency of your chimney. 

Creosote is a thick tar-like material that’s brown or black. When combustible materials (like wood) are burned, creosote deposits on the flue lining of your chimney. All three forms of creosote are flammable, but the one that is most flammable and difficult to clean is a shiny, slick texture. 

Wood smoke produces creosote, with unseasoned firewood producing the most. Seasoned hardwood burns clean, creating much less creosote than unseasoned firewood, but all wood will cause creosote that eventually builds up in your chimney. 

Soot is another reason to clean chimneys. It’s black, flay, and powdery. The substance is made from amorphous carbon and is produced upon incomplete combustion of coal, wood, and other organic materials. The soot particles adhere to the chimney lining. 

If moisture mixes with soot or creosote, it creates an acidic substance that damages the chimney lining. 

Creosote is a huge risk for chimney fires. The built-up creosote is highly flammable, any embers that float up could cause the creosote to catch fire and start a chimney fire. 

Additionally, a chimney caked in creosote will not be as efficient. The creosote limits the airflow and can trap heat in the chimney. This makes your fireplace less efficient, and could also result in harmful gases reentering your home. A chimney without good airflow can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Can I clean my own chimney?

Based on the information you now know about soot and creosote, the importance of cleaning your chimney is clear. But, can you clean your own chimney? Many people have tried, but unfortunately, home remedies do not solve the problem. Here are some common chimney cleaning home remedies that don’t remove the deposits on your chimney. 


  • Using a pine tree like a “cleaning brush” and running it down your chimney. 
  • Starting a chimney fire to burn off the creosote and soot. This is VERY dangerous and can lead to an entire house fire and severe chimney damage. 
  • Attempt to soften the creosote deposit by burning potato peels in your fireplace. It sounds nice, but this wive’s tale is not actually effective. 
  • Add salt to your logs as they burn in the fireplace. This method also will not remove creosote or soot in your chimney. 

What tools does a professional chimney sweep use?

The DIY methods above sound nice in theory, but unfortunately none of them will safely or efficiently clean your chimney. Luckily, chimney cleaning has advanced dramatically since the old times when children were used. Modern chimney sweeps have an arsenal of effective tools at their disposal. The primary tools fo a chimney sweep are:

  • Brushes. There are a few types of brushes chimney sweeps will use. One is the long wire brush. This brush is sturdy enough to remove creosote, but can also navigate tight spaces. For creosote that’s in a glazed form, a stiff flat wire-bristle brush is often used. For small spaces and crevices, chimney sweeps use hand brushes. 
  • Vacuums. All of the soot and creosote that’s cleaned from a chimney must go somewhere. Chimney sweeps use powerful industrial vacuum cleaners to collect the soot and creosote before it enters your home. This also keeps the air cleaner. 
  • Chemical cleaners. Sometimes, brushes can’t remove all of the built-up deposits on a chimney flue lining. For very stubborn and difficult creosote, chimney sweeps use chemical cleaning agents. 

Chimney Sweep and Inspection in Indianapolis

A professional chimney sweep has the tools and expertise you need to quickly, efficiently, and safely clean your chimney. Instead of wasting time on home remedies that do not work, give your local Brick + Ember Outfitters of Indianapolis a call. We offer affordable chimney sweep and inspection services. Our knowledgeable, trained technicians are all CSIA certified and have the best tools available. Learn more about our chimney sweep services or schedule your appointment today by contacting Brick + Ember Outfitters at 317-500-1250 or OFFICE@BRICKANDEMBER.COM.