New homeowner’s guide to an Indianapolis chimney sweep. Congratulations on becoming a homeowner! Owning a home can be an empowering moment in a person’s life, but it can also be overwhelming, especially for first-time homeowners. And if there’s a fireplace in your new home, making sure your chimney is clean should be at the top of your to-do list. 

There’s nothing homier than snuggling up to a fire on a cold winter’s night. However, if you do not check your chimney first to see if it’s safe to light a fire, you could cause an out-of-control chimney blaze. With a proper inspection and cleaning by a certified professional, you can prevent house fires and other damage to your new home.   

What is a Chimney Sweep?

Cleaning a chimney can be an arduous task, resulting in a big mess if done incorrectly. You could even end up starting a house fire. Hiring a professional chimney sweep can make all the difference in helping you maintain your chimney to avoid fires and other disasters. 

Chimney sweeps have extensive training in unblocking your chimney, cleaning smoke ducts and flue pipes, and providing suggestions about correct burning methods and proper chimney maintenance techniques. They also have the knowledge and tools to prepare the area before the job and clean up after completion. 

The Chimney Sweep Process

Once you schedule your chimney cleaning appointment, you can expect the following:

  • The chimney sweep will thoroughly examine and prep the area by laying down cloth or plastic to shield your home and possessions from any mess.
  • Using protective gear and tools like heavy metal bristled brushes and long rods, the sweep will remove any debris along your chimney walls and blockages inside the chimney.
  • Some professionals start with cleaning the flue and work their way up, while others may begin on the roof and sweep their way down the chimney.
  • Depending on the prep work and the condition of your chimney, the whole process could take an hour. 

If your chimney requires deeper cleaning from soot or the toxic creosote glaze that forms from lighting the fireplace, the chimney sweep may eradicate it with a chemical treatment. Sweeps may also have the task of safely removing any animals or pests that have made a home in your chimney. 

And if your chimney needs minor repairs, such as replacing a chimney camp or liner, the chimney sweep may handle those issues on the same day or schedule the repairs for another time. Last, you will receive any recommendations for the next steps in your chimney maintenance routine.   

Reasons to Get a Chimney Sweep

While you can attempt to clean the chimney yourself, you may not have the tools or knowledge to address hazardous problems. If you want to avoid significant damage to your home and save money in the long run, it’s best to hire a professional. We recommend choosing a CSIA-certified chimney sweep who can use their expertise and equipment to get the job done safely and efficiently. 

In addition, a professional chimney sweep will provide:

  • Fast and clean service;
  • Comprehensive inspection and evaluation of your chimney and all of its components;
  • Careful extraction of any animals and other blockages; and 
  • Repairs or replacements of the cap or liner if necessary.

How Often Do I Need a Chimney Sweep?

Based on two leading fire safety and protection experts, homeowners should consider cleaning their chimney at least once a year. Whether you have a wood-burning or gas fireplace, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommendation is to inspect and clean your chimney, vents, fireplaces, and any solid fuel-burning appliances annually. While the other expert, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), advises homeowners to have their chimneys swept when 1/8″ of creosote or soot accumulates inside the liner.  

Also, if you are hiring a professional, the spring may be the best time to arrange an inspection and cleaning in preparation for use during the colder months.

What to Look for in an Indianapolis Chimney Sweep

Now that you’re interested in using a chimney sweep before you book an appointment, here are three factors to consider:

  1. The most important thing is to check a chimney sweep’s qualifications and experience. Even though certifications are not required for chimney sweeping in Indiana, a professional should hold a certificate from Chimney Sweep Institute of America to show they have basic knowledge of proper chimney use, maintenance, and repair. It also helps to know if the chimney sweep is a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG). With an NCSG membership, the provider has access to the latest, cutting-edge technology to produce the best service to the customer.  
  2. The next thing you should look into is whether the chimney sweep company is insured and what their coverage includes. This information is essential to guarantee you have protection in case there are any potential accidents or injuries.
  3. Finally, it would help if you research any reviews about the company. Testimonials from previous customers can attest to the chimney sweep’s professionalism and performance.

Your Brick + Ember Outfitters are Here to Help!

Our team of professionals at Brick + Ember Outfitters has the credentials and experience to provide you with the chimney service and support you need to protect your home from a fire. In our initial assessment, we make sure to notify you immediately if something doesn’t look normal. Then we follow up with a more extensive inspection and report back with our considerations for any work or possible repairs.   

For a thorough chimney sweep with camera inspection, give us a call at 317-500-1250 today. We are here to ensure your safety and peace of mind whenever you use your fireplace.