You love the idea of a custom fireplace, but not so much the cleaning part. Unfortunately, woodfire residue is highly flammable and can combust at relatively low temperatures.
You must perform proper fireplace maintenance to ensure your unit can operate safely. You can always hire a fireplace cleaner if you’re unwilling or unsure about doing the job yourself.
A professional fireplace cleaner service can take care of the messier part of owning a fireplace. But how do you find a reliable cleaning service? Keep reading; we’ll give you the inside scoop to find the best fireplace cleaner.
How to Find the Right Fireplace Cleaner Service
You’re undoubtedly curious about how to find a good, professional fireplace cleaning company. There are a few things you should look for in any service; fireplace cleaning is no different.
Fireplaces are Dreifuss’ business, so we know a few things about picking the right company for the job. Here’s what you want from your fireplace cleaners.
Certified and Fully Insured
You probably know why you want an insured professional chimney cleaner. Insurance means you’re not responsible for any injuries or damage that may happen to workers while on the job.
The certification ensures the people you hire can legally clean your luxury fireplace. Look for a company certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
Having an easily navigable website might not seem too important at first thought. But look at it this way; you want to work with people that make themselves easily accessible.
Ideally, you can find out much of what you want to know about a chimney cleaner service from their website. Any company that has a cluttered or bare website probably isn’t someone you want to work with.
You could take the lack of attention to detail to mean they may not be easy to work with or willing to answer questions.
Customer retention is critical to pick the best people for your fireplace maintenance needs. Most chimney work is routine-based, so if people keep returning, they must like the service.
Try finding reviews on the company website or ask neighbors you know who have used the company their opinions. You may have found a winning company if most say they use the fireplace cleaners regularly.
The longer someone is in business, the more experience they will have. Many years of working at the same thing will teach you the best, most efficient way to perform your job.
Hiring a fireplace cleaner with over a decade of experience is a good rule of thumb. That’s long enough to have sufficient experience with safety codes and cleaning tools and to know how to perform their jobs without incident.
Varied List of Fireplace Services
Another mark of experience is when a company offers more than just cleaning services. You have access to more services and working with people who’ve worked with fireplaces for a long time.
A trustworthy professional fireplace cleaner technician will give your fireplace and chimney a good look-over before beginning cleaning. If someone comes into your home and barely looks at your fireplace, that’s a bad sign.
An even worse sign you’ve got the wrong people is if they tell you a list of things wrong without glancing at your fireplace. A good company will inform you of any issues before they begin work.
Why is Fireplace Maintenance Important?
The obvious answer is that you need to maintain your fireplace so it works properly. The more complicated answer is because of soot and creosote, specifically how they can harm your chimney and you.
Soot Vs. Creosote: What Are They?
Before understanding why soot and creosote are dangerous, you need to know what they are. Soot is the black or brown, powder-like substance you see when you burn logs; it’s unburned carbon residue.
Soot is easily cleanable – at first. But if you let it accumulate for too long, it forms layers and becomes more difficult to remove. Soot gathers inside fireplaces, chimneys, and stovepipes.
Creosote is a dark, tar-like substance formed from coal and wood particles, gasses, hydrocarbons, and other airborne particulates. The collective debris sticks to your fireplace surface when it cools down.
Unlike powdery soot, creosote comes in three forms:
- Dry and crackly
- Shiny, hard, and gooey
- Thick and flakey
Regardless of which form creosote takes, it’s all flammable. Remember we talked about wood fire residue being highly combustible earlier? We were referring to creosote.
The Dangers of Soot and Creosote
You know what soot and creosote are, but why are they dangerous? Both substances can block airflow inside your chimney, preventing hazardous gasses like carbon monoxide from escaping your home.
Soot and creosote are also corrosive. Both types of residue can eventually eat away at your chimney liner, impacting how well gas and heat escape your home.
A corroded chimney liner may permit smoke and fumes to leak from your chimney’s brick and masonry siding instead of from the top. Improper venting can lead to surrounding combustible materials catching on fire.
Speaking of combustion, a build-up of soot and creosote can lead to house fires. The concern isn’t just about poor venting. Any heat source can reignite the wood particles inside the residue.
A fire inside the chimney could destroy the liner and spread to the attic, roof, walls, and other flammable materials. Soot and creosote can cause two types of house fires.
One type of fire is because smoke and gasses can escape a damaged chimney liner. The other kind of house fire comes from a conflagration inside the chimney spreading throughout your home.
Only the Best for Your Luxury Fireplace
The best way to find the best fireplace cleaner is to research. Find out if the company is reputable and if they’re insured and certified. Look into customer retention rates and if they offer various services.
We at Dreifuss Fireplaces may not offer cleaning services, but we can provide you with a custom fireplace you’ll be more than willing to take care of.
We’ve got over 100 years of connecting customers with their dream fireplaces. Visit our website for a free estimate today!