Your chimney can cause serious problems if it is not cared for properly. One common problem is an obstruction causing smoke and dangerous gasses to come back into your home instead of going outside. You can clean your chimney yourself, but it is usually best to hire a professional chimney sweep to do it for you.
A chimney sweep will ensure your chimney is completely clean as well as functional. Since unclean chimneys can present a significant threat to your safety, you will need to get it cleaned at least once a year. If you use it quite frequently, then having it cleaned twice per year may not be such a bad idea.
Once a chimney sweep is at your home, he will first inspect various parts of the chimney for the presence of problems. The liner could be cracked, the flue could be blocked, or creosote and other substances could have accumulated a lot inside the chimney. All of these problems need to be addressed as soon as possible.
The average homeowner will not know what to look for, so it would be pretty easy to miss a potentially serious problem. If there are any issues with your chimney the chimney sweep will point them out to you so you can have them resolved.
After the chimney has been inspected initially the chimney sweep will proceed to clean it. Special brushes will need to be used to ensure all debris inside the chimney is removed. Since the job is very messy the chimney sweep will need to protect your carpet and furniture by covering the fireplace opening with a tarp and tape. After the chimney has been cleaned, the chimney sweep may inspect it again since there may have been problems which were hidden by some of the debris.
It is important to note; anyone can call themselves a chimney sweep. Unlike being a doctor, lawyer, or some other type of professional, there are no licensing laws required for the profession. Therefore, you should look for a chimney sweep that has been certified by one or more professional organisations. The National Chimney Sweeps Guild, Chimney Safety Institute of America, and the Certified Chimney Professionals are good certifications to look for.
You should also ask your potential chimney sweep to provide you with a list of references for you to check out. If they have a portfolio of their past work, that would also be helpful. Having a clean chimney is vital, so make sure you get someone to do the job properly.