Our Company Blog
Homeowners with a fireplace know the importance of maintaining a clean and structurally sound chimney. Not only does regular upkeep keep your chimney looking great, but it allows it to function as efficiently as possible, giving you and your family the enjoyment they deserve.
At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we value the importance of keeping your chimney clean, safe, and looking great, which is why we are proud to be a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild!
What is the NCSG?
The National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) is set in place to ensure that chimney sweeps everywhere are providing the best services possible. By providing positive resources to businesses everywhere, it promotes growth and safe practices for anyone in this trade.
This organization also guides homeowners by promoting the importance of regular chimney care and maintenance. You will save yourself enormous amounts of time, money, and stress if you continue to schedule regular cleanings and inspections throughout the life of your chimney. Many would rather wait until something goes wrong to call in an expert, but this is not the safe or easy approach to take.
What They Do
As mentioned above, this organization stands for safe and fair practices when it comes to fireplace maintenance. But what do they do to instill these things?
The NCSG provides support for chimney sweeps by offering technical advice, discounts on products, and networking opportunities to bring people together who share a common passion. The resources provided by this group work to advance businesses and their staff by polishing their skills and providing educational materials in which to benefit.
This group also provides discounts on training and various learning opportunities, so anyone who is a member will have easy access to the wide array of chimney and fireplace knowledge out there. When it comes to one’s home appliances, there is a lot of information to learn as far as maintenance and installation. With codes and procedures changing every year, we know the value of staying up-to-date on everything.
As you can see, the NCSG is very involved and dedicated to what they stand for, and the work they do is celebrated by sweeps and businesses throughout the nation!
Turn To Us Today!
Because we value our customers, Weststar Chimney Sweeps is a proud member of this organization and we plan to utilize the tools they provide to their fullest potential. This, along with our countless other certifications and memberships, enables us to be the best that we can be, which is why people continuously turn to us for all of their chimney and fireplace needs.
Scheduling your appointment with us is easy! Contact us online or give us a call today, and see what we can do to get your chimney looking great and working as efficiently as possible. We look forward to working with you!
One of your best defenses against water penetration and animal invasions of your chimney, a chimney cap sits on top of your chimney’s opening. With several different types of chimney caps available, how do you know which cap is the right fit for the flue of your chimney? At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we are experienced with fitting all types of chimney caps, even customized caps, and we know the importance of proper installation. We would like to tell you a bit about the different kinds of chimney caps and what you should know about selecting the right kind for your chimney to prevent damaging water leaks.
The main thing to consider when deciding which chimney cap is right for your chimney is the shape of your flue. Chimney caps come in different shapes to fit each type of flue. These shapes include:
Whether you have a clay, masonry, or metal flue, you can find a round chimney cap that can either attach the the outside of the flue or slip inside the flue. Round chimney caps are made from an assortment of materials including copper, stainless steel, and galvanized steel. Some round flue liners require chimney caps that must be inserted inside the chimney flue, such as round flexible flue liners and round solid pack flue liners.
SQUARE AND RECTANGULAR FLUES
The most commonly shaped flue, square and rectangular chimney caps can be attached to the flue, or, if you have a chimney crown, there are chimney caps in these sizes that can attach to the crown. Made from the same metals as the round chimney caps, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends you choose a chimney cap constructed from a sturdy, durable, and rust- and corrosion-resistant material to ensure a long-lasting cap. For chimney caps that attach to a chimney crown, you will need to choose from top mounted chimney caps.
Unless you have a custom-shaped oval chimney cap made for you by our technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, you will need to look at rectangular shaped chimney caps that will cover the exterior of your flue.. When you look inside this type of cap, you can see how the corner tabs or interior ledges will accommodate oval flues.
There are other considerations other than preventing water leaks to think about when choosing a chimney cap. These include:
MESH SPARK ARRESTOR
To prevent animals from entering your chimney to take up a new residence and to keep sparks from flying out of your chimney and possibly starting a fire, your chimney cap should be equipped with wire mesh sides. Be sure the mesh openings are between ¾ to ½ inches in size to keep animals out, to contain large pieces of hot debris and ashes, and to allow toxic gases to escape.
COMBINATION OF A CHIMNEY CAP AND DAMPER
You can now find top sealing chimney caps that do double duty as a protective cap and as a damper. Perfect for new home constructions and for older chimneys in need of numerous repairs, the damper is located on the cap. When it is sealed closed, the air loss from your home is reduced by 90%. When the damper is opened, the wire mesh on the chimney cap protects your chimney from invading animals and prevents stray sparks from exiting.
Want to know more about the different types of chimney caps? Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps today to talk to our expert staff about your many options.
We at Weststar Chimney Sweeps want to not only be sure your fireplace and chimney work safely and properly, but we also want your fireplace to look the best it can. If you have noticed that the bricks or stones around and inside your fireplace look dark and smudgy, it is most likely time to clean those bricks and stones. Of course, you could use elbow grease and scrub off the smoke stains, but we have an easier way to clean your masonry fireplace that will leave those bricks and stones looking brand new. We would like to tell you more about this revolutionary product, Paint N Peel Fireplace Cleaner, we use to remove smoke stains.
What is Paint N Peel Fireplace Cleaner?
A water-based cleaning poultice, Paint N Peel Fireplace Cleaner easily removes unattractive smoke, soot, dirt, and creosote stains from masonry fireplace fronts and hearths. Environmentally-friendly, this cleaner leaves behind no noxious odors and can be used indoors and outdoors.
How does Paint N Peel work?
Using our special tools, our chimney sweeps will paint on a thick coating of the poultice and allow it to dry for six to twelve hours. During its drying process, the layer becomes a tough, elastic topcoat on your fireplace surfaces. Once it has thoroughly dried, our sweeps will then peel away the layer to reveal clean bricks and stones.
To what surfaces can Paint N Peel Fireplace Cleaner be safely applied?
This product has been formulated to use on textured and smooth bricks, granite, marble, slate, limestone, concrete, and tile. Of course, Weststar Chimney Sweeps will be sure Paint N Peel can be safely used on your fireplace before we apply it.
Can I use Paint N Peel Fireplace Cleaner myself?
While you can apply this remarkable fireplace cleaner on your own, Weststar Chimney Sweeps recommends you hire professional chimney sweeps to do this job to guarantee the Paint N Peel Fireplace Cleaner is correctly used. We have lots of experience cleaning fireplace fronts and hearths with this cleaner and know exactly what to do. We know which areas will need a thicker coating with more time to dry. And, although this formula is non-toxic, it is always a good idea to let professionals handle any chemical cleaner or solvent. We will also be sure to protect all surrounding carpet, wood, fabric, metal, and painted surfaces from drips or spills that could stain these materials. We will also dust the areas of your fireplace before applying Paint N Peel to ensure the best possible results.
Interested in getting your fireplace front and hearth cleaned with Paint N Peel Fireplace Cleaner? Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule an appointment for our sweeps to make your fireplace look new again.
At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we are asked why a chimney sweep is considered to be lucky. Many Americans have not heard the legends of the luck of the chimney sweep as they all originated in Europe. In fact, because of these legends, it is considered to be very lucky for the bride and groom in England to see a chimney sweep on their wedding day. If that chimney sweep kisses the bride or shakes the groom’s hand, even more luck is brought to the new marriage. This belief is so popular that English chimney sweeps even rent out their services to appear at weddings to bring luck to the bride and groom’s new life together. Since so many of our customers are curious about these legends, we would like to share the three main stories about why a chimney sweep is considered to be good luck in love and happiness.
The Chimney Sweep who Saved the Life of King William of Britain
The legend of the luck of the chimney sweep began in 1066 in Great Britain. A chimney sweep spotted a runaway carriage heading right for King William of Britain, who was walking quietly down the road. With amazing courage, the chimney sweep rushed to push the wayward carriage out of King William’s path, which saved his life. As a sign of his eternal gratitude towards this lifesaving, brave chimney sweep, King William made a declaration to his people that all chimney sweeps as bringers of good luck. To further show how grateful he was, the king invited the chimney sweep to his daughter’s wedding to bring luck to the bride and groom. Ever since, Europeans believed that chimney sweeps are lucky charms at weddings, which has led to chimney sweep being frequent wedding guests for centuries.
The Chimney Sweep who Saved King George II of England
Another legend featuring a courageous chimney sweep that dates back to the 1700’s, King George II was riding his horse in a procession down a street in London when suddenly, an angry dog appeared before the horse, growled and barked fiercely, and scared the horse. Crazed by fear, the horse bucked and jumped uncontrollably and caused King George II to let go of the reins. Only one man was brave enough to come out to help the king by grabbing the horse and calming the animal down. This man was a local chimney sweep, and, by calming down the horse, he saved the king’s life. To show how grateful he was to this chimney sweep, King George II announced that from this day forward all chimney sweeps should be seen as signs of future success and deserved to be treated with the greatest respect. From then on, English chimney sweeps have been considered as bringers of luck, success, and good fortune.
The Chimney Sweep who Fell from the Roof and Fell in Love
An undated legend that originated in Europe tells the tale of a chimney sweep who was working on a roof and fell. Fortunately, according to Good Luck Symbols, his life was spared because his foot got caught in the gutter; however, he was not completely safe as he was hanging upside down. Fortunately for this chimney sweep, a young woman who lived in the house heard this cries for help and looked out of her window to see him dangling in front of it. Immediately becoming determined to save the life of this chimney sweep, she pulled him inside through the window and led him into safety. This young woman was engaged to be married, but once the chimney sweep composed himself inside, the two instantly fell in love at first sight. She ended her engagement and married the chimney sweep and lived happily ever after. This legend of a chimney sweep’s luck in love spread throughout the continent and the globe and continues to this day.
Interested in these legends of the luck of chimney sweeps? Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps to hear our lucky chimney sweeps talk about their experiences with these stories.