Our Company Blog

Historical Sweeps & The Sweeps of Today: How They Differ

Chimney sweeping has evolved a lot over time and some of the histories behind its origins are quite shocking. Looking to dive deeper into the roots of this field and discover how it has changed as time went on? Well, the team here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps can tell you all about it! Check out some facts below, then count on us for any present-day chimney needs. We would love to hear from you soon.

Children As Sweepstraditional chimney sweep in black clothign with hat and sweeping brush

Nowadays, when you call in a sweep to work in your home, you will get a professional adult who will tackle the ins and outs of your chimney with care and precision. Unfortunately, this was not always the case. Back in 1666, the Great Fire of London occurred, opening people’s eyes to the importance of having a clean chimney.

Back then, sweeps did not have the tools and technology that we use today, so small children were forced to crawl up the flue and access all of the soot and creosote that would get lodged in people’s chimneys. This led to a long and sad history of child chimney sweeps. These children were typically either orphaned or came from poverty-stricken families, and they were given little to nothing for their efforts.

Child chimney sweeps faced a lot of illnesses and many experienced painful cancers due to the high exposure to soot, ash, and smoke. In fact, it was rare for them to live past middle age. There are also stories of young boys becoming stuck in the chimney and later dying as a result.

Eventually, in the late 1800s, laws were passed forbidding this type of child labor, and it was not long after that when Joseph Glass invented the chimney brush, versions of which are still used in the industry today.

Modern-Day Sweeps

Modern-day chimney sweeping is safer, cleaner, and more high-tech. We utilize advanced tools, techniques, and technologies to ensure both our sweeps and our customers stay as safe and as educated as possible. Thanks to places like the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Chimney Sweep Guild, sweeps can stay on top of it all, receiving the training and certifications they need to serve their customers well.

Here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we care about staying informed and up-to-date on any and all of the latest advancements in the trade, and we always put the needs of our customers first. If you want to work with a team that values honesty, integrity, and respect, then we are it.

Ready to keep your home safer and chimney free from harmful creosote? Call in our team for an inspection. We will take a look around and determine what services you need to live more comfortably with every passing day. Set up an appointment today!

What Does Our Sweeping Process Look Like?

If a sweeping is in order for your chimney this winter, then you want to be sure the job is done by a team of qualified experts. Missing even the most minor details of a chimney sweeping can lead to big problems like creosote accumulation and clogs, both of which lead to fire hazards and smoke or fume back-up. Avoid dangerous situations this winter by working with the CSIA certified team at Weststar Chimney Sweeps from the very start!

So, what can you expect when you hire our crew for the job? Nothing less than the best! Learn more about our sweeping process below.

We Are Detailed & Thorough

In order for you to get the most from your chimney in terms of heat, efficiency, and safety, every nook and cranny needs to be examined and cleaned by a qualified team of experts. That’s why we work hard to never miss a thing! We have the tools, technology, and know-how to get the job done right, so you don’t need to stress about a thing over Christmas, New Years, and the countless cold nights throughout the winter season.

Along with this, a thorough and in-depth cleaning will lower your risk of fires and gas leaks significantly, allowing you peace of mind when lighting fires throughout the upcoming holiday. We work hard to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible, which is why we never quit investing in extra training and educational opportunities, all of which help us better serve you year after year.

We Provide A Professional Analysis

We’re not like some companies that come in, do the job, then quickly leave without letting you know what’s going on in your own chimney. We keep you in the loop, so you know what services we’re providing and what steps we recommend for the future. If we find something concerning, we’ll let you know, so you can decide what to do next. After all, safety is our number one concern!

Our staff will also provide you with a written document, listing all of the things we performed, so you have proof that every inch of your chimney was properly addressed. We don’t cut corners, and we feel that all of our customers deserve the very best.

We Keep Your Home Cleaner

We work hard before, during, and after a sweeping to ensure your home stays clean and better protected. By using dropcloths and specialized vacuums, and by taking our time to ensure you get the best service possible, we guarantee you won’t be left with horrible stains or a dirty carpet. We are trained to keep the messy aspects of chimney cleaning under control and well-contained, so you don’t need to stress about a thing!

For the care and attention you deserve, there is truly no better team to trust. Count on Weststar Chimney Sweeps for your sweepings, inspections, and more, so you can enjoy this upcoming holiday to the fullest! We’ve always got your back.

Appointment Tips For Fall

Do you have your fall inspection on the books? Or maybe you’ve scheduled some repairs or sweepings with our team at Weststar Chimney Sweeps? No matter what we’re coming in for, preparing your fireplace and chimney for us is always appreciated, and it makes our lives a whole lot easier and safer.

Guarantee a smoother appointment by following our tips. We’re eager to help out our customer base this fall and winter, and these guidelines help us do our job to get you up and running again in no time! With the holidays approaching, there is no time to lose.Cleaning the room before chimney sweepings protects your home and our techs

Our Guidelines

Before we arrive, please remove all ash from your firebox and discontinue use of the appliance 24 hours before the appointment. These steps reduce the risk of any of our sweeps getting burned and guarantee we will be working with a system that has completely cooled.

We also ask that you clear the area surrounding the fireplace. Any valuables and/or breakable items within 6 feet should be pushed back further or moved to different area until the job is complete. This step will keep your possessions safer and cleaner, and it helps us complete the job in a smooth and efficient fashion, as we won’t have various items to work around.

Do You Have Pets?

Another thing to keep in mind is to ensure pets are safely kept away, so we don’t risk letting them outside accidentally. We may need to move in and out of your house throughout the process to get equipment, and it’s all too easy for curious dogs or cats to escape as our team is entering and exiting.

Keep your critters safe and sound by putting them in another area of the home while our team is at work.

Take Our Advice Seriously

Hearing bad news regarding the health or construction of your chimney isn’t always easy to take in, but ignoring suggestions for sweepings or repair work should never be an option. Sweepings are done when excess creosote has taken over, and they decrease your likelihood of experiencing a dangerous chimney fire significantly.

Repair work is essential, too, as cracks, clogs, crumbling, and broken down parts can hinder performance and put your home and family at risk. Your chances of experiencing a chimney or house fire will increase, as well as the possibility of carbon monoxide exposure. All of these are very dangerous situations that can cause death, injury, and illness – not something you want to mess around with!

We’re ready and eager to help you out, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. Make this burning season your safest and most enjoyable one yet… Depend on Weststar Chimney Sweeps for it all!

May 1st Is Chimney Sweep Day!

Every May 1st we like to remember and celebrate Chimney Sweep Day here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, but you may be wondering why May 1st is designated as chimney sweep day.

Also known as May Day, May 1st has a long history and it heavily involves chimney sweeps. In the past, it was legal for chimney sweeps to use young children to sweep chimneys. This was due to the fact that they could easily fit into chimney flues and were able to scrub and sweep the chimneys clean. Children who were employed were as young as six and were usually boys. These young sweepers often did not have any kind of protection when cleaning chimneys and would breathe in much of the soot they were helping to remove. Due to this, many children who swept chimneys dealt with all kinds of respiratory issues and diseases.

May 1st was the only day these young sweeps had a day off from their sweeping duties. On this day sweeps would celebrate in their local towns where entertainment and other festivities took place. Because of the time off and the celebrations, May 1st came to be known as chimney sweep day. Even today this holiday is celebrated by chimneys sweeps throughout the world.

So join Weststar Chimney Sweeps in celebrating Chimney Sweep day and hug your favorite chimney sweep the next time you call us in for service.

Benefits Of Having Your Chimney Swept

Scheduling regular cleanings, inspections, and basic maintenance is important for ensuring everything runs efficiently. The CSIA recommends scheduling an inspection at least once per year. During this time, your chimney technician can let you know what you need as far as repairs and sweepings.

Sweepings are clearly an important step in fireplace maintenance. However, just what exactly do they do for the health of your chimney? Learn more below!

Avoid Chimney Fires

When various types of debris start building up inside a chimney, the entire structure is left more vulnerable. Not only do things wear down quicker, but your risk for chimney fires increases dramatically. You see, the more your chimney is used, the more creosote will form. Creosote is very flammable, so you never want to let it accumulate too much. That’s why cleanings are a great way to ensure chimney fires never happen!

Having your chimney swept on a regular basis ensures that the creosote in your chimney remains minimal at all times. Attempting to do this yourself may seem like a viable option. On the contrary, it is strongly recommended that you invest in professional help. A certified expert will know which products to use on the chimney, without damaging it. In addition, they will make sure every nook and cranny is addressed.

Ensure Good Ventilation

Improper ventilation contributes to lots of issues when it comes to your chimney. When nasty debris is allowed to build up, your ventilation system suffers a lot! If smoke and other toxins cannot properly escape, they back up into your home. This affects the health and well-being of loved ones! These gases can also seep into furniture and curtains, affecting the regular odor of your home.

A chimney expert will be able to inspect all of the ins and outs of your chimney. They will also clear out any excess dirt or debris. Plus, will ensure that no animals or animal nesting is lodged anywhere that may cause problems.

Improving Chimney Health & Saving You Money

Above all, regular cleanings help your chimney stand strong for years and years. If the brickwork and mortar is dirty, it wears down a lot faster, meaning you could eventually face a chimney collapse! This is not something to mess around with. Keep your home and family safe by investing in a professional sweeping today!

Scheduling a sweeping will also save you lots of stress and money down the line. Without regular cleanings, your chimney will face countless issues and you will have to pay for a long list of expensive repairs. Save yourself the stress and hassle of dealing with cracked brick, crumbling mortar, and more! Call in an expert right away!

We Can Help!

The staff at Weststar Chimney Sweep is ready to help you out! Check out our website to see all that we can offer you, then give us a call to set up your appointment. We look forward to working with you!

What Is Creosote Deglazing?

What Is Creosote Deglazing?

One of the biggest reasons why you need to have your chimney professionally swept every year is to have all of the creosote that has accumulated on the walls of your chimney removed. A natural compound that develops during the combustion process of burning wood, creosote is so flammable that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has named it as a leading cause of chimney fires. Usually, a professional chimney sweeping will remove all of the creosote from your chimney, but sometimes the creosote can build up so badly that it turns into a glaze that coats the chimney walls that cannot be removed by a typical chimney sweeping. Weststar Chimney Sweeps knows what to do in this type of situation to get all of that glazed creosote out of the chimney. We would like to tell you more about our creosote deglazing services.

What exactly is creosote deglazing?Creosote Deglazing For Your Chimney - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps, Inc.-w800-h800

A detailed mechanical cleaning, creosote deglazing is the process we use to remove creosote that has become baked onto your chimney walls. Weststar Chimney Sweeps uses special tools, including a high-speed half-inch drill and a 24-inch wizard whip, to break down the rock-solid glazed creosote and remove it from your chimney. Standard chimney sweeping tools are not powerful enough to do this task correctly.

How did the creosote become glazed in my chimney?

Creosote buildup happens in three stages. In the first stage, the creosote has a fluffy and velvety texture, and in the second stage, it becomes flaky and crumbly. When creosote reaches the third stage, it turns into a shiny, black glaze that coats the inner chimney walls. Although creosote is a natural and expected residue of burning wood, the third stage of creosote usually occurs due to user practices, especially burning unseasoned wood. When you burn wood that has not been allowed to dry sufficiently, the fire burns at a lower temperature because it is spending a lot of energy drying out the moisture in the wood. A cooler fire can accelerate the development of creosote, which can lead to creosote glazing. Another user error that allows creosote to glaze is not opening the damper completely during a fire, as this allows the fire to smolder. Installation errors can also encourage the development of glazed creosote. Newer fireplace inserts are typically much smaller than masonry chimneys and need professional installation to work properly. Weststar Chimney Sweeps can install a stainless steel chimney liner to provide a correctly sized flue for your insert. This will prevent the drafting problems that can lead to glazed creosote on your chimney walls.
Make sure your chimney is ready to use this fall. Contact  us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule your appointment for your annual chimney sweeping and inspection today.