Our Company Blog

We Service the Portland Area

If you’re looking for chimney services in the Boston, Northshore, and Portland areas, look no further than Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep. We’ve been servicing New England chimneys for over thirty years, and we’re proud to offer the highest quality of workmanship and customer service to all of our customers here in Massachusetts and Maine; offering service to Boston Massachusetts, Portland Maine, the North Shore, and surrounding areas.

If you live near us, and you aren’t certain we’ll cover you, call and talk with an associate today. It’s our goal that every family, home, and business is safe and warm winter after winter. That standard starts with chimney maintenance.

Our Portland Location

At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep we don’t schedule teams to drive out and service Portland area. We actually have a location in Portland, Maine, and we continuously service Portland and surrounding areas and towns. Our Portland service area reaches as far north as New Gloucester, as far west as Limerick, as far east as Brunswick, and as far south as Biddeford.

Still not sure if we’ve got you covered? Check out our Portland service area page and find your city, town, or zip code. If you are close, but not listed, give us a call today.

Offering Expert Services in Portland, Maine

It’s no small thing to offer chimney services in Portland, Maine. Winters in this area can be harsh. We often see winter damage this time of year, and it’s important that inspections and repairs are completed before the next burn season. We don’t just do the bare minimum at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep. When you call us for your chimney sweeps, inspections, and repairs, you get our full attention and comprehensive chimney care for the life of your chimney.

When you schedule with us, you will have CSIA certified chimney sweeps completing services according to CSIA standards, as well as state and local codes. Our sweeps live in the area, know the area, and understand the standards in the area. We’ll show up in uniform with company trucks, wear ID tags stating our name and company, and will show your home, family, or business courtesy and professionalism every step of the way.

Hiring Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep also means you’re part of the Billy Sweet family. This means you can expect 24-hour emergency services, speedy responses, and guaranteed work at the price and time you were quoted.

Let us help you stay safe this year. Schedule services now, and you can rest assured that your chimney is safe and efficient. Schedule services this spring, and you can be sure your chimney is ready for next burn season. Don’t stress! Let us handle the mess.

If you’re in Portland, Maine or surrounding areas, call our Portland location today at 207-773-7933 or request 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.

Proudly Serving Boston

Boston might have had a slow start, but the area will be seeing more winter weather going into next week and extending into Christmas! Homeowners with fireplaces are probably using them for heat already, as well as ambiance during holiday festivities—setting up a tree, wrapping gifts, or just spending time with family. This is the favorite time of year to enjoy a fireplace, and it’s important to make sure it’s ready for burn season before you light it. It’s important that your fireplace and chimney are safe and functioning properly to have the least impact on the environment (and your wallet), but the most benefits to your family.

Professional Services

Your chimney system can last your lifetime and the life of your house, but only when it’s properly maintained. Chimney industry professionals and organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)recommend routine maintenance in order to have the safest and most efficient fireplace possible.
Chimney Sweeps – Routine chimney sweeps keep the fireplace and chimney clean of ash, soot, creosote, and debris that can slow the airflow through the flue. A clean chimney is an efficient chimney.
Chimney Inspections – Annual inspections keep the chimney working properly. There are large portions of the chimney system that a homeowner will never see, and problems can occur that a homeowner would not know to look for. When you schedule a chimney inspection, a certified professional comes in and assesses it from top to bottom. A properly functioning chimney is a safe chimney.

Finding Chimney Services in Boston

When it’s time to schedule services for your chimney system, you don’t have to search far. By clicking over on CSIA.org, you can input your zip code and a complete list of CSIA certified professionals comes up. Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep is at the top of the list!

Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep has been sweeping, inspecting, and caring for the chimneys of New England for over 30 years. We provide homeowners, realtors, property managers, and business owners with the highest level of customer service and care. We not only work in the area, but we live here, and it’s our priority to keep our neighbors safe and to educate our communities about fire and chimney safety.

Before you hire an amateur to construct, repair, or service your chimney system, find out what Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep can do for you. Our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps specialize in CSIA inspections, chimney sweeps, installations, repairs, and rebuilds. We are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America as well as the National Fireplace Institute [http://www.nficertified.org/], and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and the Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild. Our training, experience, and certifications make us better at providing chimney care in Eastern Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire, and the Portland, Maine area.
Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today at 617-469-4528 or schedule online.

The Value of a Chimney Inspection

When it comes to investing in your home and property, you want to do everything you can to protect those investments. Your chimney is one of the most beautiful features of your home. It most likely fits your personality as much as your home decor, so you want to keep it in good shape. Designed and constructed to withstand time, the only thing that can really hurt your chimney is neglect. Don’t neglect your chimney system, and it will continue working for you for years to come.

Routine Maintenance

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends routine maintenance for the safest and most efficient fire, and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) agrees. Routine maintenance such as chimney sweeps and annual inspections keep the chimney working properly, and that keeps it working safely. When you schedule routine maintenance, you are inviting a chimney expert into your home to see your chimney and assess it. When you choose Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep to sweep and inspect your chimney, you can rest assured knowing that all of your comprehensive chimney needs will be handled by one company. Our services are swift and thorough, and designed with you in mind. We offer chimney services year-round to give our customers the best opportunity to keep up with routine maintenance. Don’t start the winter without knowing your chimney is clean and safe for a fire.

Chimney Inspections

Annual CSIA inspections are the best way to protect your home and family from chimney malfunction and fire.

-Chimney Inspections Save You Money
When your chimney works properly, you will burn less wood, depending on your central heating system less, and use fewer utilities in the process. You will also spend less money on repairs, need less frequent sweeps, and avoid level two and three inspections.

-Chimney Inspections Protect Your Family
The chimney vents harmful gases from the home. Cracks in the flue liner, damaged masonry, or a rusted damper can cause smoke to affect the air in your home, causing carbon monoxide poisoning, the cause of more than 400 unintentional deaths per year.

-Chimney Inspections Prevent Fire
Chimney inspections identify hazards before they result in disaster. Damage is identified before it is serious and can be repaired before it causes a fire.

-Chimney Inspections Protect Your Legal Interests
A CSIA inspection is the one that realtors, fire inspectors, lawyers, and insurance claims officers will look for. Having an annual chimney inspection means your chimney is within municipal safety codes, is within guidelines of your homeowner’s insurance, and documentation of your inspection will be sufficient if it’s safety is called into question.

When it comes to scheduling routine maintenance, you do not want to skip the inspection. The chimney sweep may keep the system clean, but the inspection keeps it safe and functional. Don’t put your faith in a DIY internet tutorial, or the neighborhood handyman. When it comes to your family, your home, and your finances, put your trust in Boston’s chimney experts.

Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today at 800-248-4900 or make an appointment online now.

Seasoned Firewood

Winter is coming. The leaves and temperatures fall, and hopefully you have already been thinking about your fire this winter. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, insert, or stove, you need to have firewood readily available for burn season. It should be properly seasoned for safety and best results.

Why Your Wood Matters

Firewood is not created equal. The species of wood you choose to burn will determine how hot your fire is, how efficient your chimney system is, and how much wood you have to burn this winter. Check out this cool list that breaks it down by energy content per air dried cord, in BTUs. Drying your wood will mean a better fire.

Like every living plant, trees use water to grow and thrive, and this water is stored in their massive trunks, in microscopic tubes, like the arteries of a human. When a living tree is cut, it can contain up to 50 percent moisture by weight. This moisture should be dried before the wood is burned, otherwise it burns slowly, incompletely, and results in a less efficient fire. Firewood burns best when it has less than 20 percent moisture by volume.

How to Season Firewood

When firewood is cut from a tree, it should be cut and split, then stored in a loose stack so that air can circulate around the wood, and help the wood dry. This process can take as little as three months for soft woods, and up to six months for hard woods. You can tell when your wood is properly seasoned by it’s appearance.

  • Your split wood should dull in color as it dries, it’s yellow meat turning a grayish hue.
  • The wood should begin to crack around the sides where it was split, and around the outside where it meets the bark, called checks.
  • The bark will pull away from the wood as it dries.
  • Two pieces should sound hollow when hit together.
  • If the wood is dry and gray or dull in color when split, it is dry throughout.

For best results when you store your wood, stack it loosely, in the sun, in a single row. Additionally, stacking the wood on a bed of gravel will allow for water runoff. Some like to store their wood in a wood shed, but a fully enclosed shed is not the best option, since it doesn’t allow for air circulation.

Purchasing Firewood

If you aren’t able to cut your own firewood, you can probably find a local source. If you buy locally, make sure your supplier is selling seasoned wood, or buy in the spring and store it for the coming winter. You should never pay for your wood before you see it, and be sure you are getting correct amount. Make sure that you get what you pay for when spending your hard-earned money for firewood.

For more information about firewood, and what you can and cannot burn in your fireplace, you can talk to a fire expert at Billy Sweep Chimney Sweep by calling 800-248-4900.

Not sure if your fireplace is ready for burn season? Maybe you have been burning green wood and need to check for creosote and soot in your chimney system. Schedule your chimney sweep online today.