We Keep Pittsburgh’s Chimney Systems Safer & More Efficient With Chimney Sweepings & Cleanings

Think it may be time for a chimney sweeping? Our protocol is to always start with a level one inspection, or a level two inspection if the circumstances call for it. Why? Because the NFPA and CSIA state that all chimneys should be inspected annually, but only swept as needed.

Starting with an inspection allows us to determine if a sweeping is even needed. That way, you aren’t wasting money on unnecessary services. If you’re scheduled for a chimney sweep and your chimney is not swept, you will only be charged for the inspection.

Why Chimney Sweeping Is Necessary & Important

The natural byproduct of burning wood is creosote and, unfortunately, creosote is highly flammable and can burn at temperatures in excess of 2,100 degrees. If creosote is left in your chimney, it could easily cause a chimney fire, which could damage your chimney and home. But during a sweeping, we’ll remove soot and creosote from your system.

Having your chimney swept will not only improve the indoor air quality of your home, but it will also reduce your risk of experiencing a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Here’s a little about each type of sweep and what’s involved…

Fireplace Insert Sweep

If you have a fireplace insert, here’s what you can expect during a sweep:

  • The technician will lay out drop cloths.
  • The technician will sweep the chimney, usually from the bottom if the liner is connected to the insert.
  • The technician will remove the insert if there is no liner connected to the insert.
  • The technician will remove the soot, ash, or debris from the insert and from the sides and rear if applicable.
  • The technician will perform a level one inspection.
Chimney sweep floor covering
Chimney sweep brush

Fireplace Sweep

If you have a fireplace, here’s what you can expect during a sweep:

  • The technician will lay out drop cloths. 
  • The technician will sweep the chimney, usually from the bottom.
  • The technician will remove the soot, ash, or debris from the firebox, as well as from the smoke shelf.
  • The technician will sweep the track that the damper sits in, as to allow the damper to pivot smoothly. 
  • The technician will perform a level one inspection. 

Note: We do not remove the debris from the ash pit or clean-out area as part of the chimney sweeping price. However, we can do this for an additional cost. 

Wood Stove or Wood/Coal Furnace Sweep

Wood stove and wood/coal furnace chimneys need cleaning, too! If you have a wood stove or wood/coal furnace, here’s what you can expect during a sweep: 

  • The technician will lay out drop cloths. 
  • The technician will sweep the chimney, usually from the roof.
  • The technician will remove and sweep the black pipe.
  • The technician will re-attach the black pipe with new screws and re-mortar back into the wall.
  • The technician will remove all reachable debris from the clean-out area, based on accessibility. 
  • The technician will remove all debris from the appliance, based on accessibility. 
  • The technician will perform a level one inspection. 
Chimney sweep on roof
Chimney sweep brush

Gas Furnace, Oil Furnace, or Hot Water Tank Sweep

And we can’t forget about gas furnace, oil furnace, and hot water tank chimneys. Here’s what you can expect during a sweep:

  • The technician will lay out drop cloths. 
  • The technician will sweep the chimney, usually from the roof.
  • The technician will remove and sweep the connector pipe.
  • The technician will re-attach the connector pipe with new screws.
  • The technician will remove all reachable debris from the clean-out area, based on accessibility. 
  • The technician will perform a level one inspection. 

How to Prepare for Your Chimney Sweep or Inspection

You can count on us to come equipped and ready to get right to work. But there are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare for your appointment:

  • 24 hours prior to your appointment, remember to stop using your wood appliances, fireplaces, or coal-burning appliances. We cannot sweep the chimney unless it is completely cooled.
  • Two hours prior to your appointment, remember to stop using your gas or oil appliances if the chimney these appliances use is being swept. We cannot sweep the chimney unless it is completely cooled.
  • Please remove all fragile or precious items, as well as furniture, from the area near the fireplace, furnace, or stove being serviced. We need about 6 to 8 feet around the fireplace, furnace, or stove so that we can comfortably get our equipment in place and allow our technicians to move freely.

Other Important Information About Your Sweep

A level one inspection ($199) will be performed unless your circumstances prompt a level two inspection, which is $299. Please review our inspection page so you know when a level one or two inspection may be prompted.

If we determine that the chimney needs to be swept at the time of our inspection, we can take care of it for you for an additional $100. However, the sweeping must be done on the day that the recommendation was made, so please allow for the extra time on the day of your inspection. See the sweeping section above that pertains to your appliance or fireplace prior to our arrival, so you can be prepared in the event that we recommend it be swept.

If, during your sweep, we discover that your chimney is obstructed with brick, nesting, or other debris, this would be considered outside the scope of routine sweeping, and would add an additional fee of $125 per half hour to the cleaning and inspection cost.

If the creosote is sufficiently bad and a routine sweep won’t suffice, it will necessitate a mechanical cleaning in collaboration with chemicals. This will add an additional cost between $1,100 and $1,800, depending on the extent and nature of the buildup.

If you opt-out of the recommended mechanical/chemical sweep, you will be responsible for a trip charge of $125 for our time, because we cannot inspect a dirty chimney.

If you hire us to inspect and/or sweep your chimney and you DON’T have a chimney, or you have a direct vent appliance, an aluminum-lined flue, or a vent-free product, you will be responsible for a trip charge of $125 for our time because none of the above can be swept. It is important that you know your appliance before scheduling. If you are uncertain, please feel free to text or email us a photo of your fireplace or appliance. We can help you out.

Inspecting or sweeping a chimney doesn’t make it functional. In fact, the inspection is done to help ascertain whether or not the chimney has deficiencies. In the event that deficiencies exist, Advance Chimney Specialists, Inc. will prepare an estimate for the work, as long as we are providing said service.

Frechette Chimney - Chimney Sweeping

Dampers are temperamental and tend to come off the track relatively easily as they age and wear. Please check the damper to make sure you can open and close it with ease prior to our leaving – because if it comes off track, we will charge a service charge for each trip that we make to your residence or business to put it back on track.

We always CLOSE your damper when we’re done with your chimney sweep and/or inspection, so that you don’t lose conditioned or heated air through your chimney. It’s important to open your damper before you light a fire in your fireplace or your home will fill with smoke.

Ready to get your chimney cleaning and inspection on the books? Reach out to us here on our website or give us a call today. We’re here to help!

 

Want an estimate before we provide any of our services? No problem…just call to schedule one today.