Our Company Blog

The Advantages of Chimney Video Scans

Of all the services that keep your chimney system working properly and safely, video scanning may be the most important. With a video scan, a professional gets an up-close view of the interior of the chimney system. The days of checking the flue with a flashlight and mirror to determine hazards are over. With video technology, we are now able to properly inspect the chimney tin the Boston, North Shore, and Portland areas. If you reside in the area, we can help.

The Importance of Chimney Inspectionsscanner pointed towards white brick

Chimney systems need to be inspected annually in order to be safe and efficient, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The most thorough inspections include a video scan. In fact, they are required for a level two inspection. A level 2 inspection is necessary when:

  • changes have been made to the system,
  • a natural disaster has affected the system
  • selling or buying property

You don’t have to schedule a level two inspection to have your chimney scanned, however. Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep uses video technology with every single inspection. This keeps our customers, friends, and neighbors safe.

Benefits of a Video Scan

At Billy Sweet, we utilize two video camera systems, the Chim-Scan, and the Wohler Vis2000-Pro, both with their own unique strengths and features. Our techs are trained and experienced using both video systems to access the flue, and can easily identify hazards such as leaks, voids, debris, and damage. These findings will be used to plan necessary repairs, to validate chimney safety, and to disclose to prospective homebuyers. No matter the reason, this video scan inspection will result in a detailed report of the findings and an explanation for all recommended changes or repairs.

Our video scanning equipment also helps Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep technicians to document every job, before and after. This allows us to check work, show the homeowner progress and completion, and keep records for future appointments. We put the safety and comfort of our customers above all else, and part of the trust we value in our customer relationships is due to the honesty of our work and diagnostics. Our customers can count on us because we count on industry tools like video technology to give honest answers with documented reason.

Schedule An Appointment With Us

If you suspect a problem with your chimney system, you may benefit from a chimney video scan. Schedule now and you can avoid the fall rush and have any necessary repairs completed before burn season. Every chimney system should be inspected annually, so if you haven’t scheduled an inspection in the last 12 months, now is the time.

Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today at 617-469-4528 or schedule online.

Don’t Ignore Your Chimney System!

While you work on your Spring Cleaning list, make sure you don’t forget your chimney. Your chimney system matters as much as any other system in your life. You get your oil changed to keep your engine running correctly. You have your teeth cleaned to prevent cavities. Likewise, you should have your chimney system serviced regularly to keep it working safely and efficiently. Your chimney is one of the largest systems in your home. It’s also one of the most dangerous and costly if neglected. A fireplace and chimney add value to any home, but when it’s neglected, it detracts from your home’s value while also putting your family and property at risk. 

Professional Services

Your chimney system should be maintained by a chimney professional with the training and experience to do the work properly. The team at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep are CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps with classroom and field training in both chimney science and technology as well as federal fire safety codes. We have a full selection of chimney services, including CSIA inspections and sweeping.

Why Service Your Chimney?

Whether your chimney has problems or works exactly as it should, your system needs to be serviced regularly. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that the safest chimney systems are those that are inspected annually and cleaned regularly. During these important appointments, your chimney professional will catch minor problems before they turn into major ones. Minor wear-and-tear can be detected and repaired before it turns into serious damage. Having the chimney maintained on a regular basis by a professional is the best way to prevent costly repairs later and to keep your system efficient. Neglecting your chimney system will lead to wasted fuel, difficult-to-light fires, damaged masonry, stains, deterioration, and more. Save time and money by scheduling services this spring.

Your Serviced Chimney

Clean your chimney system this spring and you can avoid foul odors this summer caused by creosote and soot left inside the system. Having the system inspected this spring will help to prevent animal intrusion this spring and summer. Making sure that all parts are in proper working order also means that your system will be protected against water damage and will be ready again to use safely this fall. Don’t wait until the fall to schedule important services for your chimney system. It can be difficult and even impossible to get an appointment in the fall, often called The Fall Rush. If you get an appointment during this time, you may be surprised by reports of damage and necessary repairs. Schedule now so you will have plenty of time to make repairs before burn season. Many homeowners even build the chimney maintenance into their annual spring budget, utilizing tax refunds and taking advantage of end-of-season discounts. Call and find out if Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep has any deals or discounts to benefit your family. 

Schedule chimney services with New England’s chosen professionals today. Call 617-469-4528 today.

Which Level of Inspection is Right for Me?

If you’ve gone 12 months with no chimney inspection, you need to have it checked after a flue fire, if you’re looking to make updates for sale or refinance, or are selling the property. There are many reasons to have a chimney inspection–the first and most important reason is for chimney safety. The most safe and efficient chimney systems are those that are cleaned and inspected regularly.

When to Schedule an InspectionHave your chimney inspected every 12 months

Your chimney should be inspected by a professional every 12 months for safety and efficiency according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These important diagnostic appointments prevent dangerous creosote buildup, hazards, damaged parts, and more.
Scheduling in the spring – Many homeowners choose to schedule their inspection in the spring in order to diagnose winter damage and to prevent leaks through the wet and humid months of spring and summer. An inspection in the spring means your chimney is clean and safe for another year, and you get the bonus of a well-working system through the summer so that conditioned air doesn’t escape, and animals don’t creep in.
Scheduling in the fall – It can be difficult to get an appointment during the fall due to the busyness of chimney professionals at this time. However, an inspection in the fall insures your system is safe and ready for burn season. Don’t leave it up to chance. If you have any reason to schedule an inspection, do so before you light the first fire of the season.

Levels of Inspection

CSIA inspections are completed at three levels to allow homeowners the best results. You can schedule an inspection according to your needs, spend less, and get the detailed look necessary for you chimney’s safety.
Level One – The inspection scheduled annually when no changes have been made to the system and there have been no problems with the system. A level one inspection includes all the readily accessible portions of the chimney, fireplace, appliance, and chimney connections. The technician looks for basic soundness during a level one inspection, and if a hazard is detected, further assessment will be scheduled.
Level Two – When there is a problem with the system, changes made to the system, or when it has sustained possible damage during a fire or other natural occurrence (storm, earthquake, etc.). A level two inspection is also required when a property is sold or transferred. A level two inspection includes all accessible parts of the system by way of panels and doors and may include portions in attics and basements. A level two inspection with Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep also includes a detailed scan of the system using a Chim-Scan closed circuit video surveillance system.
Level Three – This inspection is required when a hazard is detected in the system and will require removal of portions of the system to gain access to the hazards. This may mean removal of components such as brick, crown, and even walls and other materials. A level three inspection will likely result in repairs to the affected portion of the chimney.

Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today and get on the schedule this fall so that your chimney is safe and efficient this burn season.

What is a Smoke Chamber?

The smoke chamber is an important part of the fireplace and chimney system, because it helps the smoke find its way up the flue. The space where you see the fire burning is the firebox. The smoke rises up, and the next place you see it is the top of the flue. No one sees what goes on behind the scenes, but just above the firebox and below the flue is the smoke chamber, which is essential for an efficient chimney.

The Smoke Chamber’s Job

The smoke chamber consists of a slanted wall to direct the smoke up, and a shelf, called a smoke shelf, that keeps the smoke from falling back into the firebox. While the smoke is in the smoke chamber, the hot air, gases, and smoke mix together before rising up the chimney. Since heat rises, it assists the rest of the smoke in pushing up the chimney.

Maintaining the Smoke Chamber

Just like the rest of the chimney system, the smoke chamber should be maintained in order to be safe and efficient over time. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the smoke chamber should be parged smooth with a refractory insulated mortar mix, which directs the air across a smooth surface, while protecting the masonry from high heat. Even if your smoke chamber has never been parged, you can likely restore it to code compliance by scheduling a smoke chamber parge.

If you have an older fireplace, your smoke chamber may have tiered brick steps that form the smoke chamber. This may have worked for years, but it is far less efficient than a smoothly parged wall. The multiple joints and bricks of a non-parged smoke chamber can allow soot and creosote buildup. This slows air, making the rest of the chimney less efficient.

Hire a Professional

You don’t have to hire a master mason to parge your smoke chamber, but it’s definitely to your benefit to hire a certified chimney sweep. Billy Sweet Chimney Sweeps are CSIA-certified and experienced in restoring chimney systems to proper function. Whether your smoke chamber needs a simple repair, or if it’s never been parged before, we’ll take care of your chimney, and you’ll be surprised with how well it works. Parging the smoke chamber raises efficiency, generates less heat lost up the chimney, and requires fewer chimney sweeps than other systems. A more efficient system means less likelihood of a flue fire, less wood wasted to reach the desired temperature, and less necessary maintenance.

If you have not had your chimney inspected in the last 12 months, now is the time to do so. You may need to have your chimney cleaned, parts replaced, or your smoke chamber may need to be parged. Without scheduling an appointment with a chimney expert, you will never know.

Contact Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today. Call 617-469-4528 or schedule an appointment online.

Why CSIA Certification is Important

Every year there are approximately 22,000 residential house fires due to the fireplace, chimney, or chimney connector. These fires surpass those caused by other heat sources, cooking equipment, electrical wiring, and large appliances. Chimneys can be the most dangerous thing in your house; because if it isn’t maintained properly, it doesn’t hold a fire. Likewise, if it isn’t maintained properly, it won’t vent the fire. House fires lead to property loss, injuries, and death. Carbon monoxide intrusion caused by venting issues can lead to irreparable damage, medical costs, and death. Protect against property loss, lost money, and endangering your family by having your chimney system regularly maintained by a professional. Why CSIA Certification is Important - Boston MA - Billy Sweet

The CSIA Difference

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is aware of the hazard a faulty fireplace and chimney system can be. Since its establishment in 1983, CSIA has become the national standard for the chimney industry, making a goal to bring down the number of residential house fires and saving lives in the process.
Accreditation

The CSIA credential meets the highest standards of education and is regulated by the Indiana State Workforce Innovation Council, Office of Career and Technical Schools to this day.

Non-Profit Organization

The CSIA is a non-profit organization whose mission is the elimination of residential fires, and it’s governed by industry professionals from across the country to further this mission.
Code of Ethics

When a chimney sweep earns CSIA certification, he or she must abide by a stringent code of ethics designed to protect homeowners from scams in this under-regulated field. If a sweep is found to be in violation, certification can be revoked.

Continuing Education

A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) must complete classroom and field training before passing an exam which includes a portion on chimney sweeping, and a portion based on the International Residential Code (2016). After three years, sweeps must recertify through examination or continued education credits to keep up with a changing field and safety standards.

Protect Your Home and Family

When it’s time for your car maintenance, replacing your roof, or treating a bad tooth, you don’t cut corners. You hire the professionals. Don’t cut corners when maintaining and repairing the most appealing and most dangerous part of your home. Call the professionals who are licensed, certified, and insured so that your chimney gets the best care possible.

Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep has provided the highest level of customer service and comprehensive chimney care in the Boston, North Shore, and Portland area for over 30 years. The difference is the CSIA difference. Our goal is customer safety and comfort. We offer CSIA inspections and chimney sweeps to keep your chimney safe and efficient. We sell, install, and service the best products on the market, and we repair chimneys and hearth products year-round.

There is still time to have your chimney serviced to prevent chimney fires and winter damage this season. Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today. Dial 617-469-4528 or use our online scheduling tool for your convenience.