Our Company Blog

Make Your Chimney Safer For Santa

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!

Schedule Your Chimney Inspection Soon!

If you own a fireplace, scheduling a yearly inspection is important. This regular maintenance helps ensure overall functionality, and it gives you peace of mind knowing that your home and family are being kept as safe as possible. In fact, the CSIA recommends scheduling an inspection at least once per year to help avoid chimney fires and exposure to harmful toxins.

If you’re due for an inspection, count on the staff at Weststar Chimney Sweeps. Our sweeps are CSIA trained and certified, so we are sure we can handle any job you throw our way. Learn more by browsing our site, then give us a call to schedule your appointment!

Keeping Your Home Safer

Inspections are necessary for maintaining the safety of your home and loved ones. Sweeps can spot any clogs, excess debris, or creosote buildup, all of which contribute to chimney fires and smoke backup. They can also look over your masonry to ensure no cracks, holes, or other damage is present. If your structure is suffering, you could eventually face a collapse or settlement.

On top of all that, nothing can beat an expert’s eye when it comes to the health of your system. Sweeps can recommend the next appropriate steps (repairs, cleanings, etc.), and they can advise you on some preventative measures to take, such as waterproofing. All in all, inspections help your system stay strong and durable for years of enjoyment.

Why Summertime Inspections?

So, why is now an ideal time to get that inspection done? There are many advantages to scheduling your fireplace and chimney maintenance in the summer. First of all, there will be more availability in our books, as our busy season won’t start up for another couple of months. That means you can schedule your appointment at a time that is most ideal for you!

On top of that, we will have more time to devote to your chimney. Should you need repairs, a sweeping, or anything else, we can easily get it all done in a timely manner. Once fall comes around, our books fill up fast, and squeezing in last-minute repairs isn’t always so easy. By scheduling now, you know your system will be up and running when the holidays arrive.

You Can Trust In Us

Here at Weststar Chimney, our staff is reliable, professional, and trained to meet your every need. We love serving this area, and we want to help out people all throughout it! One glance at our certifications, reviews, and decades worth of experience is all you need to know that we are dedicated and passionate about what we do.

Please give us a call today – we look forward to hearing from you!

The Benefits of Spring Chimney Sweepings and Inspections

The Benefits of Spring Chimney Sweepings and Inspections

Taking care of your chimney’s annual maintenance tasks is essential for the safety and efficiency of your fireplace and chimney system. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and other national fire safety organizations all strongly recommend to have your chimney professionally swept and inspected at least once a year and, preferably, before you light your first fire in the fall. This means that a large majority of homeowners wait until the fall to schedule their appointments with chimney sweeps, and this includes homeowners in the San Diego area. Weststar Chimney Sweeps has a very busy and packed calendar during the months of September through December. For this reason, it can be beneficial to schedule your appointment for these important annual chimney maintenance services with us in the off-season. We would like to tell you more about the advantages of scheduling your professional chimney sweeping and inspection in the spring and summer.The Benefits of Spring Chimney Sweepings and Inspections - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

Easier time getting your appointment on a date that is convenient for you

When our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps visit your home to perform your annual chimney maintenance services, someone needs to be there while we are working. If you have a busy schedule, you will probably need to make your appointment on a specific date that is convenient for you to be at home. Waiting until the fall may just end up frustrating you as our packed calendar makes it challenging to schedule your appointment on the date you need. You may have to wait several weeks to arrange a time that works for us both. Scheduling your chimney sweeping and inspection in the spring is a breeze because you can easily find the appointment time that works for you.

No waiting to light your first fire

When you have your chimney professionally swept and inspected in the spring, your chimney will be ready to use in the fall. Since it can be so challenging to schedule an appointment that is convenient for you in the fall, you may even have to wait until after Thanksgiving to have your chimney serviced, which could put a dent in your holiday traditions. Weststar Chimney Sweeps knows one of the main reasons it is so essential to have your chimney swept before your first fire. According to the CSIA, creosote is the main cause of chimney fires because it is extremely flammable. We will be sure to remove every bit of this natural compound to reduce your risk of a chimney fire.

Take care of repairs in a timely manner.

Dangers could be lurking inside your chimney, and you would never know about these risks without a professional chimney inspection. Weststar Chimney Sweeps carefully examines your chimney to look for any damage that needs to be repaired for your chimney to work safely. If you have your chimney inspected in the spring, you will have plenty of time to have these essential repairs performed before the fall.
Avoid the fall rush! Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule a spring chimney sweeping and inspection today.
Chimney Cleaning Logs Are No Substitute for a Chimney Sweeping

Chimney Cleaning Logs Are No Substitute for a Chimney Sweeping

Call on a certified pro like those found at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to sweep your chimney

Call on a certified pro like those found at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to sweep your chimney

You may have seen chimney cleaning logs that claim to remove and reduce the accumulation of creosote in your chimney when you burn one of these logs in your fireplace or stove. You may even have thought that this could take the place of your annual professional chimney sweeping. However, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Weststar Chimney Sweeps agrees with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) that using chimney cleaning logs is not a substitute for the job our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will do when they perform this yearly maintenance task on your chimney. We would like to tell you more about this product and why you should never rely on it as a way to properly and safely clean your chimney.

What are chimney cleaning logs?

A chimney cleaning log is a chemical product that does actually remove a portion of accumulated creosote from both masonry and metal chimneys. It does this through catalytic action that takes place when the log is burned in a fireplace or wood stove.

Why are chimney cleaning logs not a substitute for a professional chimney sweeping?

For one reason, a professional chimney sweeping from Weststar Chimney Sweeps will guarantee that every bit of accumulated creosote will be removed safely from your chimney. When you burn a chimney cleaning log, deposits of creosote will flake off and could either possibly cause a chimney fire by igniting after falling off or end up on the smoke shelf, where it creates another potential fire hazard.

Another reason is that a professional chimney sweeping includes much more than just creosote removal. Your chimney will be inspected to look for possible damage and potential problems. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will also check for flue blockages and can take away birds’ or animals’ nests, leaves, and other debris that are blocking the exit of your chimney. This reduces the risk of a very hazardous situation: carbon monoxide leaks.

Should I use chimney cleaning logs in between my annual chimney sweepings?

The CSIA recommends that this type of chemical product should only be used under the supervision of a qualified chimney professional. Sometimes, layers of creosote can be so thick that chemical chimney cleaners must be used to change the chemical composition of creosote from hard or tacky to brittle or powdery in order to completely remove all of the creosote buildup. Our sweeps have been trained to use these chemical cleaners and know how to use them safely.

Have you scheduled your annual professional chimney sweeping yet? Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to make an appointment to have your chimney properly cleaned.

Signs Your Chimney Needs Professional Attention

Weststar Chimney Sweeps is your local source for chimney services!

Weststar Chimney Sweeps is your local source for chimney services!

When you own a home with a fireplace and a chimney system, you know that regular maintenance can help with keeping any potential problems under control. However, it is very common for repair issues to appear over the years. Sometimes you will know when your fireplace and chimney need repairing, and other times the signs that your chimney needs professional attention will be more subtle. Weststar Chimney Sweeps would like to tell you more about three different signs that can let you know that your chimney is in need of repairing and how we can fix these problems.

UNPLEASANT ODORS

If you happen to notice bad smells in your home coming from the fireplace, you most likely have a problem with chimney draft. Your chimney may not be producing enough draft to pull out the exhaust gasses from within, which causes that air to enter your home. Your flue could be too large for your heating appliance, or you could simply be having issues with how the wind is affecting your chimney draft. If the flue size is the issue, Weststar Chimney Sweeps can install a new stainless steel flue that exactly matches your heating appliance, which will improve both the draft and its performance. We can also install a draft-improving chimney cap on top of your chimney to help your chimney draft issues. This type of cap has vents on the sides that direct the wind to create a driving pressure at the top of the chimney. This driving pressure helps to pull out that smelly air so that it leaves your home instead of entering it through the fireplace.

LOOSE BRICKS

Whenever you notice any loose or missing bricks from the exterior of your chimney, you are seeing a sign of water penetration damage. As the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  says, water is the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney because of the damage it can do. Water can get into your bricks and mortar and erode these masonry materials until they get to the point of cracking and breaking apart. If type of water leak damage is not repaired, it can worsen to the point of the entire chimney structure collapsing. This is a hazardous situation that you definitely want to avoid, so contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps as soon as you notice any water damage so that we can make repairs and protect your chimney from further water leaks.

SMOKE FILLING ROOM

Trying to start a fire only to have a huge cloud of black smoke come back into the room? Most likely, your flue is blocked which is causing the smoke to come back into the house as it cannot exit out of the chimney. You could have debris from nesting materials from birds or animals, leaves, and soot forming a blockage. Sometimes, loose bricks have fallen into the chimney to block the exit. Fortunately, our CSIA-certified chimney technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps are experts at removing chimney blockages. We can clean out your chimney to have it working smoothly again.

Notice any of these problems? Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule a chimney inspection so that we can make any necessary repairs.