Our Company Blog

Why Annual Chimney Sweepings are so Important

The National Fire Protection Association’s standard for chimneys and fireplaces calls for homeowners to have their system inspected and swept each year in order to keep the system as safe as possible. At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we can make maintenance a breeze, and keep your system in top working order.

The National Fire Protection Association’s standard for chimneys and fireplaces calls for homeowners to have their system inspected and swept each year in order to keep the system as safe as possible. At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we can make maintenance a breeze, and keep your system in top working order.

When you have a fireplace in your home, the most essential maintenance step you can do is hire a professional chimney sweeping company, such as Weststar Chimney Sweeps, to perform an annual cleaning of your chimney. This task ranks high in importance, as annual chimney sweepings prolong the life of your chimney as well as ensure the safety of your fireplace and chimney. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has published The Homeowner’s Guide to Chimneys, Fireplaces, and Woodstoves to provide helpful information for understanding how these heating systems work and how to properly maintain them. We would like to share some facts from this guidebook with you to help you understand why annual chimney sweepings are so important.

Removal of Chimney Deposits

According to the CSIA, there are three types of deposits that build up on chimney walls:

  • Soot — Primarily composed of carbon particles and possibly ash remnants, soot can be highly flammable, depending on the concentration of soot and ash. Since ash is not combustible, a higher ash content in soot reduces its flammability.
  • Creosote — Naturally formed during the condensation process, creosote is a highly flammable residue of the by-products of incomplete combustion. Varying in its appearance, creosote can be black or brown, hard and shiny, sticky and tar-like, or crusty and flaky. No matter what it looks like, creosote deposits are hazardous as they are one of the main causes of chimney fires.
  • Glaze — The most difficult deposit to remove, this shiny, tarry substance creates a large amount of fuel to burn and poses a serious danger of a destructive chimney fire.

Removing these deposits is the major reason for annual chimney sweepings. Preventing chimney fires, eliminating chimney odors, ensuring proper venting to the outdoors, removing blockages that could cause toxic gases like carbon monoxide to enter the home, and stopping deterioration to chimney walls from the acids in these deposits are all accomplished during a professional chimney cleaning by removing buildups of soot, creosote, and glaze.

Discovering Essential Repairs

Another important reason to have your chimney swept once a year: CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, including our staff at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, will look at the exterior of your chimney for loose bricks and mortar and other signs of water penetration damage, examine the condition of your flue liner to check for cracks and deterioration, and monitor the venting system of your chimney to ensure the toxic by-products of combustion are exiting through the chimney. When we find any needed repair work, we can fix it for you. We specialize in crown repair, resurfacing, repairing, or replacing damaged flue liners, water leak repair and prevention, and customized repair or replacement of flashing where your chimney meets the roof.

While an annual chimney cleaning generally is sufficient to keep your fireplace and chimney safely maintained, more frequent chimney sweepings should be scheduled under certain conditions. The number of cleanings needed depends on the amount of time your fireplace is used, the installation of your fireplace, the type of fuel used for your fires, and your burning habits. Our chimney sweeps can tell you if your chimney needs to be cleaned more often than once a year.

If you have not scheduled your annual chimney sweeping yet, contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps today to schedule an appointment. Keeping your family safe from the dangers posed by a dirty chimney is one of the most important tasks on your home maintenance checklist.

Kiss Your Masonry Stain Problems Goodbye!

What is the one thing that’s been an annoyance to chimney owners everywhere? Masonry stains. Throughout time, numerous homeowners have complained and scratched their heads over the hassle and irritation that these unwanted stains bring.

At Weststar, we care about and respect each of our customers, and are dedicated to ensuring that their chimneys and dryer vents are well-maintained and functioning properly. Whether you need masonry repair or annual maintenance, we’re here to help.

At Weststar, we care about and respect each of our customers, and are dedicated to ensuring that their chimneys and dryer vents are well-maintained and functioning properly. Whether you need masonry repair or annual maintenance, we’re here to help.

Here at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we do our best to cater to your chimney needs. So, here are a few things that you should know about chimney stains.

Not all stains are created equally.

The stain on your chimney is characterized by the source of the stain. Once you are able to identify which type of stain you have, it will be easier on you or the chimney professional that you hire to find a solution.
The following are some of the most common stain complaints:

  • Smoke – It only makes sense that majority of the chimney owners complain about having smoke stains and are earnestly looking for ways to remove them. Since smoke is a natural byproduct of burning and the chimney is an area where the burning process occurs frequently, there presence of smoke is inevitable. Smoke stains, therefore, are going to occur.
  • Mildew – This is the white substance (a fungus, to be more specific) that usually grows on the surface of wet or warm conditions.
  • Efflorescence – This is that white, powdery and, often times, fluffy stuff (or so it appears) that accumulates around your chimney masonry.
  • Rust – We all know what rust looks like, right? And you may say that rust only appears in metal materials. But actually, rust thrives on both metal and nonmetal surfaces, therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised if you find a little rust in your chimney masonry every now and then.
  • Paint – It may range from small whisks to huge splatters. Paint stains are usually brought about by artistic or domestic accidents. It may happen to households with or without children and is one of the most common chimney masonry stains.

How can you remove these stains?

As each stain is classified differently based on its cause, there are also various methods and chemicals used to remove each type of stain. Boral.com has a short summary of ways to remove various stains. But to some people, handling chemicals is something with which they’re not really comfortable. Another option, therefore, is to contact a professional to help you out.

Gone are the days when you had to worry about your chimney masonry stains. The answer to all your stain problems is just a phone call or email away. So what are you waiting for?