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Our Company Blog
by Mike O'Mara | Mar 29, 2019 | Chimney Sweeping
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 Sweeps
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 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!
by Mike O'Mara | Dec 12, 2018 | Chimney Sweeping
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.
by Mike O'Mara | Jan 24, 2017 | Smoking Chimney
If your chimney is smoking, there are many reasons why this may be occurring. Having smoke back up into your home can be a really frustrating experience, especially when all you want to do is enjoy a cozy fire. If you have issues time and time again, try out some of these methods to ensure all of your smoke goes up the chimney like it is supposed to.
Open Your Damper
Your damper should be opened all the way before starting a fire. Oftentimes, homeowners forget this step, which means the smoke has no way of escaping out the chimney! As your fire burns, you can adjust it accordingly, so that you get the most efficient burn possible.
If the damper is stuck, a good cleaning may be in order. Which leads to another reason as to why your chimney may be smoking…
Check For Build-Up
As creosote and other debris accumulate in your fireplace, blockages will start to form. The smoke will enter your living room if there is not a clean pathway for smoke to escape. If you think a cleaning is necessary, call in a professional to check things over and remove any build-up throughout the chimney. A certified tech will have all of the appropriate tools and chemicals that are necessary for a thorough and complete inspection and sweep.
Inspect Your Fuel
Burning unseasoned wood will produce much smokier fires. You should purchase wood that has been dried for at least six months (but one to two years is ideal). Or, better yet, dry your own wood, so you know you are working with the best possible fuel. Unseasoned wood burns much less efficiently and uses up a lot of energy when burning through the excess moisture. This results in more smoke output.
Check Out Your Chimney Dimensions
Chimney height, flue size, and more can all affect how well your chimney functions. A certified pro will know exactly what dimensions your set up needs to be in order to run efficiently. Schedule an inspection today, so you will know whether or not your chimney is in need of some adjusting.
Adjust Your Windows
Sometimes, all it takes is opening a window or two to help the airflow adjust accordingly. A well-insulated home is good for many reasons, but it does mean your fireplace may struggle. Air needs to circulate through your home to keep a fire running, but if not enough air can work its way back in, your fire will start smoking up the house. Opening a couple windows will help get things flowing normally.
On the opposising side, your home may not be insulated enough! Too much air can also mess up your fireplace. If this is the case for you, ensure that all windows are tightly closed, especially those on the higher levels.
For more chimney help, call on the staff at Weststar Chimney Sweeps today!
by Mike O'Mara | Mar 6, 2015 | Chimney Inspections, Chimney Maintenance, Chimney Sweeping
Schedule a chimney sweeping and inspection as part of your spring cleaning!
March is upon us, which means spring is finally here. For homeowners, the arrival of spring means it is time to get started on annual spring cleaning chores. If you have a fireplace or wood stove in your house, that means your chimney should also be included. Weststar Chimney Sweeps is ready to help you with your chimney cleaning chores, and we would like to tell you more about our chimney sweeping process.
Why should I have my chimney cleaned and inspected in the spring?
It makes sense to have your annual sweeping done in the spring because most people schedule their annual chimney inspections in the fall, so you will not have a problem getting the appointment you want. Also, the sooner you have your chimney looked at after the heating season, the better. If there are problems that need repairing, you need to get them repaired quickly so no more costly structural damage occurs. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends homeowners have their chimneys inspected annually, so why not get into the habit of scheduling this appointment in the spring?
What should I expect from a chimney sweeping and inspection from Weststar Chimney Sweeps?
When you schedule a chimney sweeping and inspection with Weststar Chimney Sweeps, one of our licensed and certified technicians will come to your home and begin the inspection and cleaning process. Using modern technology, we use video cameras to allow us to closely examine the interior of your chimney and decide which type of cleaning technique we will need to do, based on the type of creosote build-up in your chimney and what kind of chimney you have. We use a few different chimney sweeping techniques, which include:
Using the typical rotating brushes on long handles, along with a high-powered vacuum with a HEPA filter to keep debris and soot from getting in your home, this technique is effective for getting rid of average creosote deposits; however, if you have any major creosote build-up, as in 3rd stage, you will need a heavier-duty sweeping.
In order to remove hard or glazed creosote deposits, high-speed rotating wire brushes, plastic cables, or specials chains are used to do the sweeping.
Sometimes mechanical cleaning is not enough, and chemicals may have to be used along with the high-speed rotating power tools to get rid of big deposits of glazed creosote.
What happens after the chimney inspection and sweeping is completed?
Once we do your sweeping and inspection, we will assess our findings and determine whether or not you need any repairs done to your chimney. Other than creosote build-up, the most common damage to chimneys seen after winter is water damage from leaks. If left unrepaired, this can lead to further, more costly structural damage. Weststar Chimney Sweeps can handle all of your chimney repair needs, if repair is necessary.
Do not forget your chimney when you are spring cleaning. Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps to make an appointment for your annual chimney sweep and inspection.
by Mike O'Mara | Dec 30, 2014 | Paint N Peel
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.