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Why You Need an Annual Chimney Inspection

Annual Chimney Inspection Image - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney SweepsFall is quickly approaching, bringing crisp weather along with it. For many, this means a period of more frequent fireplace use is ahead. If you are hoping to utilize your fireplace more throughout the upcoming months, then it is time to schedule your annual inspection and cleaning.

Regular fireplace and chimney maintenance is vital in ensuring that your home and family stays safe year round. Check out a few reasons why scheduling that yearly inspection is so important.

Preventing Fire

The more dirt, debris, creosote, and other build-up that occurs within a chimney, the greater your chances are of experiencing a chimney fire. Creosote is known for being highly flammable and twigs, leaves, and other nesting materials brought in by animals will easily ignite when given the opportunity.

A fire will not only damage your masonry and other various parts of your chimney, but can affect the overall structural soundness of your home, as well. On top of this, you put your entire home and family at further risk of harm when the chances of fire are heightened. Reduce this threat by hiring a professional to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny, while using the proper materials.

Ensuring Efficiency

If there are any blockages or damaged parts within a chimney, the entire system will function less efficiently. Without the ability to properly ventilate, a fireplace will spit any smoke and other fumes back into your home and your fireplace will remain unsuitable for use.

To build and maintain productive fires, have your entire fireplace checked out before you put it to work. An expert will clear out any excess debris, remove blockages, and make certain that everything is in proper working condition before any fires are lit. This will ensure that your home will be heated as efficiently as possible, thus reducing energy bills and heightening the overall atmosphere of your home.

Avoiding Harmful Toxins

If blockages are present, then smoke and other toxins are given nowhere to escape. This means friends and family will inhale the harmful gases produced by the fireplace. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to damaged health and hospital visits, so eliminate this risk by having your fireplace inspected before any fires are built.

To help ensure that no harmful gases are escaping your home, ask your chimney sweep about installing carbon monoxide detectors throughout it. This will add an extra level of protection for your family and you can rest easy knowing they are all out of harm’s way.

When it comes down to it, all of these things revolve around protecting your home and ensuring your family members stay in good health. At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we have all of the tools and expertise necessary for adequately preparing your chimney for the changing of seasons we soon will face. Allow yourself the peace of mind you deserve by scheduling a cleaning and inspection today!

By Mike O'Mara on September 7th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

What Is Creosote Deglazing?

When our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps from Weststar Chimney Sweeps clean your chimney, we take great care to remove every bit of creosote from its interior walls. However, sometimes it takes more than just a typical chimney sweeping to get rid of this flammable residue. Creosote evolves through three different stages, and when it gets to the third and final stage, it becomes glazed on the walls of your flue. Glazed creosote can be very difficult to remove because it is like a thick shell of chocolate stuck to your chimney walls. It is impossible to remove with our regular chimney sweeping tools, so we will need to give your chimney a professional and detailed mechanical cleaning. Creosote deglazing is very important to keep your chimney safe from dangerous hazards, and we would like to tell you more about this service and why it is so essential.

Hazard of Creosote Deglazing  - San Diego Ca - Weststar Chimney Sweeps, Inc.-w800-h800
What exactly is creosote, and why is it so hazardous?

A compound that forms naturally during the combustion process of burning wood, creosote sticks to the inner walls of your chimney and can accumulate into large deposits. If these deposits become large enough, they can block your flue and even ignite a chimney fire if the internal temperature of your flue reaches a high enough point. As the CSIA says, chimney fires can be caused by dirty chimneys. This is why the CSIA and other national fire safety organizations recommend that a chimney should be professionally swept annually.

What causes creosote to become glazed?

Although creosote occurs naturally when you burn wood, there are some precautions you can take to keep it from reaching the glazed state. The most important thing you can do to prevent glazed creosote is to always burn only seasoned wood, or wood that has been dried for at least six months. When you burn freshly-cut, wet wood, your fire burns at a lower temperature because it is too busy trying to burn off all of the excess moisture. This cooler temperature causes more creosote to form and dry at a slower pace. New layers of creosote begin to form over layers that are still wet, which leads to the development of glazed creosote. Another important thing to always do when you use your fireplace is to be sure the damper is completely open, which prevents the fire from smoldering and producing more creosote.

What is a creosote deglazing?

A detailed mechanical cleaning, creosote deglazing involves our trained technicians using a mechanical high-speed, half-inch drill and a 24-inch wizard whip to be able to safely remove the glazed creosote by breaking it down so that it will not damage the interior walls of your chimney.

Have you scheduled your annual chimney sweeping yet this year? Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to arrange a visit from our CSIA-certified sweeps to see if you will also need a creosote deglazing treatment.

By Mike O'Mara on March 29th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment