It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to get all those things done that you put off doing during the holiday season, whether that’s cleaning your home or starting on that new remodeling project. There’s one thing that you shouldn’t put off any longer, and that’s having your chimney cleaned and inspected. man sweeping chimneyAlthough we usually think of getting this done in the spring or summer, it is highly recommended that you address the situation sooner rather than later. There are many reasons that it’s a good idea to have your chimney inspected. For example, if your chimney crown or chimney cap isn’t in good condition, your fireplace and chimney system might not be working as efficiently as it might be because of leaks that could occur. If your flashing is loose, torn, or rusted, this can also cause leaks. When you hire Alpine Chimney Sweeps, we’ll come in and check out the status of your cap and crown, your flashing, and other parts of your chimney structure, such as your chimney liner. This is a vital piece of equipment that protects your chimney from the corrosive effects of smoke and the chemicals and moisture that make up smoke. But there’s another thing that we’ll be checking out, and it’s the main reason that we need to do an annual inspection.

Creosote Build-up

The wood that you burn in your fireplace contains moisture, no matter how long it’s been cured. Before you cut down a tree, it is watered through an extensive root system. Even when that tree is disconnected from that water source, the water that was already in the tree remains. That’s why it’s so important to let your wood cure for an extended period of time. As the wood sits, that moisture evaporates out. In fact, to be considered properly cured for burning, you’ll want your firewood to be below 20% moisture content. This takes at least six months, but even longer is better. If your firewood is too wet, then a larger amount of moisture and chemicals will be released during the combustion process. As this smoke rises through the chimney, it condenses onto the cooler part of the interior of your chimney near the top. When this happens, it forms a build-up of matter. This can be black or brown, crusty or flaky, but no matter what it looks like, it is highly flammable. All it takes is a spark or a floating ember and you could have a chimney fire in your home. This can be a catastrophic event that could take out your home at worst, but, thankfully, most chimney fires burn out due to lack of oxygen before they reach this point. The problem is that, even if it’s only a small chimney fire that goes undetected, there could be damage to your chimney that goes undetected as well. Unrepaired damage, left sitting too long, can get more and more severe, and that means a longer repair job and more money out of your bank account.

Even if you have a gas-burning appliance rather than wood burning, there are still reasons to have your chimney inspected. As gas burns, residue is released that flows up your chimney. These chemicals in that slurry can cause deterioration and corrosion on your chimney liner.

It’s quite obvious that it’s important to get the creosote out of your chimney to avoid a serious risk to your chimney system. This is a job that won’t take so long to take care of, so it won’t take much time out of your fire-burning season. If you invite us in to take care of your chimney inspection and cleaning, we may find repair work that needs to be done that can be put off until the spring or summer months when it’s more convenient for us to take care of it. But if there’s a major problem, we may recommend having work done immediately. No matter what the problem is, you can count on Joe Casey and his techs at Alpine Chimney Sweeps to get the job done right. We have the education, the experience, and the understanding to make sure that everything is done according to all the industry’s regulations and standards.

Certifications and Memberships

If you’re looking for someone to do work for you, one thing you’ll want to look at is what memberships and certifications that person has. At Alpine Chimney Sweeps, we are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, the National Fire Protection Association, Certified Chimney Professionals, and the New York State Chimney Sweep Guild. This is proof of the pride we take in the work that we do. If you live in the Westchester, Suffolk, or Putnam County areas in New York and you need chimney work done, then the best chimney sweep to call is Alpine Chimney Sweeps. Let us give you the best chimney service in the region. Whether you’re looking for creosote removal or chimney inspection and repairs, the place to call is Alpine Chimney Sweeps.