Our Certified Experts Keep Your York County Home Safer With Regular Chimney Sweepings

When you hear the words “chimney sweep,” what’s the first image that comes to mind? If your first thought is of Dick Van Dyke’s character in Mary Poppins, then you’re not alone. But chimney sweeping wasn’t a necessary service just in the old days – it’s still essential! Sweepings are vital for chimney health because this is when creosote gets cleared out of your flue. Creosote is bad for your structure, and it’s highly flammable, which means a lot of it can eventually lead to a chimney fire.

What Is a Chimney Fire?

A chimney fire is what occurs when creosote in your chimney catches fire and spreads flames throughout the interior of your flue. It may seem like a fire in your chimney isn’t a big deal. After all, isn’t the chimney used to experiencing a lot of heat from the fireplace?

Not exactly. Your chimney is designed to safely send smoke, fumes, and other harmful vapors out of your home so that you can enjoy your fireplace to the fullest. What it isn’t designed for is withstanding direct contact with flames. That intense heat will cause deterioration throughout your masonry and liner, as well as trigger a lot of damage to your chimney components.

Another surprising fact about chimney fires is that they typically aren’t loud or obvious. Most assume that if they’d had a chimney fire, they would know it. Yet, most are quiet, slow-moving events that occur unbeknownst to the homeowner. There are exceptions where you’ll hear loud cracking or popping and see a lot of smoke, but this definitely isn’t the norm.

Hearing that chimney fires might occur without you realizing what’s happening is unsettling. But there are a few things you can be on the lookout for that may mean you’ve had a chimney fire in the past:

  • Puffy, honeycombed creosote
  • Warped metal components
  • Discoloration
  • Cracks in your masonry
  • Damaged roofing materials

If any of these issues catch your eye, call us in to look things over right away.

Frechette Chimney - Chimney Sweeping

Frechette Chimney – Chimney Sweeping

And remember – it’s good to be on the lookout, but the only way to know for sure if your system has been damaged and needs repairs is to have a certified sweep look it over. Invite us to your York County home today. We serve York, Kittery, Eliot, and many of their surrounding cities and pride ourselves on providing the best care possible. We’d love to visit you, too!

Tell Me More About Creosote – Can I Avoid it Altogether?

If you’re feeling at all concerned about chimney fires, then you’re probably eager to learn more about the culprit that’s known for most often causing them – creosote.

What does creosote look like? It’s dark in color and typically takes on one of three forms – light and flaky, sticky and tar-textured, or hard and glossy. This last one is known as glazed creosote and is notorious for being tough to remove. It usually requires the use of chemicals to break it down enough for sweeps to remove. Fortunately, we can handle any type of creosote that’s threatening your home, no matter how stubborn it is.

As far as avoiding creosote? There’s unfortunately no way to completely avoid it. Creosote is a byproduct of combustion, so as long as you’re burning wood in your fireplace it’s going to form – simple as that.

That said, there are things you can do to ensure it accumulates less quickly. Things like burning only seasoned wood in your fireplace, burning hotter fires, warming up your flue, and doing everything possible to maintain good airflow are all great practices for reducing creosote buildup.

And the best thing you can do to keep your flue clean and free of buildup? You guessed it – get that inspection and sweeping booked!

Our Knowledgeable Team Is Here & Ready to Serve

Frechette Chimney is family-owned, licensed, insured, and dedicated to staying educated and informed on all things chimney. We’ve been serving the York, Kittery, and Eliot area for over 40 years, and we look forward to keeping you safer for 40 more. Get your chimney sweeping scheduled so you can enjoy your fireplace without worry. 

Call 207-608-0564 today to schedule or learn more about all we can do for you!

 

Before you get a chimney sweeping, ask us whether you need a level 1, 2, or 3 chimney inspection…it’s all part of our chimney sweeping and inspection service.