Our Company Blog
Here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, there is one thing we take seriously – our education. That’s why we’ve earned and maintained certification with the CSIA. How does this set us apart? Well, in an industry that is ever-evolving and always exploring new technologies, staying up-to-date and top of it all is a must! It’s qualifications like these that ensure homeowners stay safer with every passing year, and we are proud to be associated with such a reputable organization.
Learn more about the CSIA below, then count on us for your inspections, sweepings, and repair work – we’re equipped to handle it all.
Taking Your Safety Seriously
The CSIA is a nonprofit that has been around since 1983, and it is devoted to educating the public and certifying sweeps all throughout the country. Leaders of this organization regularly go out into the community to share safety tips and fireplace knowledge, and they’ve made it their mission to ensure sweeps across the nation are knowledgeable and well-informed, as well.
The great part about the CSIA is that they require their sweeps to regularly renew their certification. If you don’t recertify every three years, you lose your status! This ensures the team you are working with isn’t missing out on anything.
To top it off, the CSIA is all about ethics. Each sweep must sign a code of ethics that requires them to use their knowledge to keep their customers safer and to be honest in all of their evaluations.
So, what does it take to earn one’s certification? Well, technicians are given training materials that they must study and get down pat, after which they are required to take a test to ensure they know it all when it comes to your fireplace and chimney. The CSIA also hosts workshops and training sessions for team members to participate in. All in all, getting the knowledge and understanding necessary to be the best they can be isn’t a problem for a CSIA certified sweep.
All in all, it is no easy process. It takes training, studying, and dedication to earn these qualifications, but it is nothing our team can’t handle. If you’re eager to work with a crew that can get you taken care of – no matter what – then schedule an appointment with Weststar Chimney Sweeps today!
It’s Time To Get Your Inspection Completed
One thing the CSIA recommends is investing in annual chimney inspections. This practice will keep your system functioning appropriately throughout the holiday season, which is when most people put their fireplace to use. You and your family members will stay safer and cozier, and you’ll get the efficiency you’re hoping for, as well.
If you’re ready to get your inspection on the books, call today! Our busy season is approaching fast, and soon it will become quite challenging to find a time slot that works well with your calendar. Our team is ready and willing to ensure your chimney is free of dirt, debris, creosote, and any damages. Reach out now, and we can set something up.
Creosote is a substance that builds up inside of your flue as fires burn in your fireplace. it is known for being very flammable. While a little of it doesn’t pose any real threats, a lot of it can trigger a chimney fire, which could weaken your structure significantly. Chimney fires also put your household at risk, and because they often occur quietly, many homeowners aren’t aware that damage has happened!
Now, creosote comes in a few forms. One is light and flaky (typically the easiest to remove), another is sticky and tar-like, and then there is glazed creosote. No matter what type you have inside your chimney, you must get it removed from your chimney to stay safe. Fortunately for the folks throughout the San Diego area, our team is equipped to help.
What Is Glazed Creosote? Is It Dangerous?
Glazed creosote, also known as stage three creosote, is hard, shiny, and difficult to remove. It is more likely to form when airflow is restricted. If you are burning unseasoned wood in your fireplace or if the fires you burn aren’t hot enough, you will face more problems with your system. Avoid these scenarios can help your system run safer and more efficient.
All creosote is dangerous, but glazed creosote is especially so. If it catches on fire, the flames will be hot and hard to control, causing a lot of damage to your chimney. Your home could also be at risk if the flames spread to adjacent woodwork. Because of this, we strongly urge homeowners with creosote in their flue to refrain from using their fireplace until everything is thoroughly swept and cleaned out.
An important thing to note with glazed creosote is that it cannot be removed with basic sweeping methods. Doing so could actually result in a lot of damage to your chimney. In these cases, it is imperative to trust in a team of experts that know what to do and can get the job done right – that’s where we come in!
How Can Weststar Chimney Sweeps Help?
At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we have both the training and the equipment necessary to effectively and safely remove any glazed creosote from your chimney. The tools we use will give us the ability to break down this hardened substance in a way that won’t bring harm to you or your chimney so that you can feel good about lighting fires again.
We urge homeowners in the San Diego area to give our team of CSIA certified sweeps a call now so that you don’t need to stress when fall comes around. Our books fill up fast as the holiday season approaches, so schedule your appointment today to beat the rush. Our experts are ready to provide you with the long-lasting, reliable care you deserve!
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!
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.
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!
Christmas is almost here, and excitement is building more and more with every passing day. We know there are still lots of things to do to prepare for Santa’s arrival. Bake some cookies, buy some carrots for the reindeer, and don’t forget to make sure your chimney is clean and ready! At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we can help ensure your fireplace is as safe as possible for Santa’s arrival. Give us a call, so we can help you today.
Invest In Annual Inspections & Sweepings
If it’s been awhile since you invested in an inspection, now is the time to call us in. The CSIA recommends scheduling at least one inspection per year, and there’s no better time than right before the holidays kick off! Give our certified technicians a hollar right away. We’ll make sure you’re good to go this holiday season!
Chimneys that are used without being inspected face some extra risks. For one thing, creosote needs to be cleaned out from time to time. If it accumulates too much, your chances of a chimney fire increase significantly. Chimney fires damage your structure and leave behind gaps and openings for stray flames to escape. This could eventually lead to toxins entering your home or a house fire. Stay safe – get an inspection of the books today!
Our sweeps will also check for any clogs or blockages. It’s not unusual for animals to set up camp when your fireplace isn’t in use. If any critters, nesting materials, twigs, or other debris is clogging things up, air will not circulate properly through your system. Consequently, you risk exposure to carbon monoxide (as well as smoke and other toxins). Carbon monoxide can lead to serious illness, and it is basically impossible to notice without a detector. Don’t take any chances! Have our staff check things over.
Steps You Can Take
If you’re wondering which steps you, as a homeowner, can take to maintain a safer fireplace, check out these tips!
First of all, make sure that only properly seasoned wood gets burned in your fireplace. That means no trash, paper plates, napkins, wrapping paper, or anything similar. You’ll also want to avoid fresh wood, as it contains a lot of moisture. Fresh wood uses up a lot of energy to burn through, leaving you with more smoke and less heat. It also encourages the accumulation of creosote which, as noted above, isn’t good at all! Make things easier and safer by using seasoned wood from the start.
It’s also important to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. These will be your first warning signs of trouble, and they have saved countless lives over the decades. Along with this, practice fire safety in your home, and keep young children informed on how to stay protected. Plan two escape routes from each room in your home and practice fire drills throughout the year, so that everyone is prepared, no matter what.
At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we want all of our customers to have a safe and happy holiday season. Work with us, and you won’t regret it!