Our Company Blog

We Think Portland, Maine is a Special Place

Portland, Maine is such a special place because it is Authentic. The Visit Portland website describes Portland, “With its heady mixture of artistic and outdoor adventures, our region is stylish and sophisticated, yet remains genuine and unpretentious, a place where grey flannel and plaid flannel coexist companionably. And underlying the latest tech, fashion, and culinary scene is a deep sense of continuity” and the entire staff of Billy Sweep Chimney Sweep is in total agreement. We love Portland!

portland-me-image-2-portland-me-billy-sweet-chimney-sweep

Portland was originally called Casco during the 1600s and went through several name changes until 1786 when the town was renamed Portland. It was a rail town in the day and an accessible seaport for Canadian exports. The population has grown from approximately 2200 in 1790 to over 66,000 today.

There is so much to see and do in Portland that no one of any age, visitor or resident alike, will ever be bored. Portland’s beautiful island setting offers unique adventures. Whether you are exploring by land or sea in a trolley, ferry, vintage fire truck, or schooner you will find the area breathtaking. Lighthouse tours, art tours, food and beverage tours, and historical tours offer days of fun, education, and entertainment. Portland is a cyclist’s dream. You can even explore Portland aboard a vintage lobster boat. Did someone say lobster? Seafood doesn’t get any fresher and delicious than that which is caught in Casco Bay! You can catch your own during a chartered excursion or enjoy your seafood prepared by the world renowned chefs throughout the area. Besides first class food, Portland’s breweries and wineries have been drawing residents and visitors to taste local beer, wine, and there is even a local distillery of vodka in nearby Freeport.

What goes best with food? Entertainment, and Portland offers a variety of venues including Port City Music Hall, One Longfellow Square, and Portland Ovations. Kids love Funtown Splashtown U.S.A..

History buffs love spending time at the various museums and historical sites in Portland. The Maine Historical Society is located in Portland, as is the Maine Narrow Guage Railroad Company & Museum and the Museum at Portland Head Light which is the oldest lighthouse in Maine, The Portland Observatory Museum is a national historic landmark and is the only signal tower in America. Portland is especially proud of its new Science Center that is “illuminating minds”.

“Uptown” is known as the “artsy” side of Portland, while “Old Port” is known for its entertainment, clubs, and the beer gardens. Sports lovers will want to catch a game when the Portland Pirates (the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers), Maine Red Claws (the NBA affiliate of the Boston Celtics) or the Portland Sea Dogs (the AA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) are playing at home.
When winter comes to Portland, it’s time to get cozy and warm in this picturesque town. There is cross country skiing in the local parks, and Deering Oaks Park offers ocean side skiing and skating adventures. As you can imagine, art and artists are prolific in Portland. Well-known artists such as Homer, Marin, and Jamie Wyeth have strong ties to Portland. To learn more about their inspiration and careers, as well as view beautiful works of art, be sure to devote some time to spend along the Maine Art Museum Trail.

There is beauty and and art to most everything in life and Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep knows Portland is a very special place and we are proud to serve its residents.

We Love Serving The North Shore

North Shore, Massachusetts encompasses the area between Boston and New Hampshire. The area is beautiful and coastal. Describing the North Shore must include a special and rich culture in addition to stunning and diverse geography. That’s why the entire staff of Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep loves serving the North Shore.

Here is a list of the cities and towns included in the North Shore area:

north-shore-image-north-shore-ma-billy-sweet-chimney-sweep

  • Amesbury
  • Beverly
  • Boxford
  • Danvers
  • Essex
  • Georgetown
  • Gloucester
  • Groveland
  • Hamilton
  • Haverhill
  • Ipswich
  • Lynn
  • Lynnfield
  • Manchester
  • Marblehead
  • Merrimac
  • Middleton
  • Nahant
  • Newbury
  • Newburyport
  • Peabody
  • Rockport
  • Rowley
  • Salem
  • Salisbury
  • Saugus
  • Swampscott
  • Topsfield
  • Wenham
  • West Newbury

Geographically, the region has a rocky coastline, marshes, wetlands, beaches, and harbors perfect for recreation, wildlife, and inter-coastal commerce.
One of the best known cities in the North Shore region is Salem, well known for the tragic Salem Witch trials of 1962. The Salem Witch Museum provides an insight to that unique time in our history. The Peabody Essex Museum includes the Ying Yu Tang house which was originally located in southeastern China and depicts the life of the many generations of the Huang family who lived in the home for over 200 years. Gloucester, a fishing town, was venerated in “The Perfect Storm” by Sebastian Junger. Newburyport is the quintessential coastal town with a boardwalk, red-brick downtown, and active commercial wharf. The North Shore area includes activities such as whale watching and harbor cruises, beaches and lighthouses, theatre and restaurants, contemporary and historic architecture. And yet, there is so much more.

Sports fans of the North Shore breathe black and gold in honor of their beloved Bruins. Babies in the North Shore towns (or to parents who once lived in North Shore) are mysteriously born with a Red Sox logo tattooed on their chest. We’re kidding, but the dedication and spirit of Red Sox fans is undeniable. And no matter what happens, The New England Patriots will never lose favor with their devoted fans in North Shore even when the rest of country is badmouthing the team.

Patriotism is also abundant in the area. North Shore is the birthplace of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. The Atlantic Ocean fosters international commerce as well as provides the freshest and finest seafood in America, which diners enjoy along with their favorite craft beer. Local breweries are abundant. Donut aficionados say the only donut worth eating comes from Dunkin Donuts. If you are lost and ask for directions, if you are told “it’s just past the Dunkin Donuts”, you better ask someone else. Dunkin Donuts is so popular in North Shore you will find one on practically every street.

Residents of North Shore speak with a unique Revere accent. The surest way to unintentionally insult a resident of the North Shore is to remark on their “Boston” accent. It’s not Boston; the speech pattern is a local dialect exclusive to the North Shore.
Ultimately, it’s the people who make the North Shore so special, it’s always been about the people and always will be. Past and present residents of North Shore are strong, determined, loyal, full of community spirit, enterprising, generous, and fun loving. The people of North Shore have learned from the mistakes of their ancestors and work diligently to secure a prosperous and praiseworthy future for generations to come.

“We love serving the North Shore”, is the mantra of the team of Billy Sweet Chimney Service and are proud to bring our chimney services to its residents.

Why We Love Boston

At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, we love serving the greater Boston area. We think Boston is a great place to live and feel grateful for the opportunity to serve the homeowners of this beautiful city year after year. From exciting nightlife and sports to beautiful historic homes, there are plenty of reasons why we love working and living in Boston. Here are some of the things we think make this city great.

boston-skyline-image-boston-ma-billy-sweet-chimney-sweep

Sports In Boston

Fenway Park, need we say more? Boston is home to one of the most historic baseball fields in the United States, and the Boston Red Sox is arguably one of the most famous baseball teams in the major leagues. But Boston doesn’t stop there. We are also home to the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots. If you are a sports lover, Boston is a great place to visit and live.

Nightlife In Boston

From shopping and dining, to shows and concerts there is no better place to take in the sights than in one of the most historic cities in the United States. We have the Boston Symphony and the Boston Opera House and great concerts all over the city, the Boston area is a great place to take in a show.

Historic Theaters In Boston

  • Cutler Majestic Theater
  • Wilbur Theater
  • Shubert Theater
  • Wang Theater

History In Boston

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Early European settlers came to America in the 17th century and created a prominent city for the earliest colonists. Boston was also home to monumental historic events such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, as well as Paul Revere’s famous Midnight Ride. These historic events make Boston an interesting and exciting place to live and visit, even if you are not a history buff.

Living In Boston

Boston defines itself by its beautiful neighborhoods and at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep we love serving every vibrant neighborhood. The vibrant economy and unique neighborhoods truly make Boston a beautiful place for families to live. Each neighborhood has its own feel, which makes it a diverse place for young entrepreneurs, families and retirees.

Neighborhoods In Boston

  • Charlestown
  • Roxbury
  • Dorchester
  • Hyde Park
  • Downtown

Taking Care Of Your Boston Home

If you live in Boston, you already have great pride in where you live and what your home looks like. Take that pride a step further by using a local company to care for and maintain your chimney and wood-burning heating appliances. At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, we have years of experience sweeping, inspecting and repairing chimneys in different types of homes.

When you live in Boston, you have a respect for the economy that keeps our great city going. Employ a local company with certified professionals that will come to your home and make sure your chimney is in top working order. Not only will you be supporting a local Boston business, but you will also be keeping your chimney and your home in top working shape. Contact Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep in Boston to find out more about our chimney sweeping services.

Having A Professional Install Stoves, Fireplaces And Inserts

If you are installing a wood stove, fireplace or any type of insert you have already made an investment in beautifying your home as well as heating it in a way that uses less energy and saves you money. When you begin the planning phase of your installation process it is necessary to contact a professional fireplace company to make sure your appliance is installed and maintained correctly.

professional-installation-stoves-fireplaces-inserts-boston-ma-billy-sweet-chimney-sweep

Professional Installation of Stoves, Fireplaces And Inserts

A fireplace installation is a major renovation project, and not one for the weekend do-it-yourself homeowner. Building code inspectors will determine if the size, height and construction of your heating appliance are in accordance with building regulations in your area in order to approve your renovation. Having a professional on your side will alleviate any costly modifications should your new stove or fireplace not have the right proportions.

Avoiding Modifications And Repairs

If you are planning on tackling your own fireplace or wood stove installation project consider this: you are already spending a sizeable investment on the installation of a beautiful heating appliance – don’t you want to avoid spending unnecessary money on modifications? Fireplace installations are big projects, and if not installed correctly could wind up costing a lot more in costly repairs and updates. A fireplace or wood stove is more than just a beautiful addition to your home, they are also functioning heating appliances that when not installed correctly can cause serious damage such as:

  • Chimney damage
  • Masonry damage
  • Overheating inside your firebox
  • Carbon monoxide exposure

Maintenance

An added benefit of having a professional install your fireplace or wood-burning stove is that you will have an experienced technician on-hand should you have any questions. After your heating appliance is installed, you will have a team of professionals available to help keep your fireplace clean and swept, as well as inspected for any damage. Having a professional chimney and fireplace company like Billy Sweet Chimney Sweeps in the Boston, North Shore and Portland areas will help you install your appliance to not only make sure it is operating correctly from the first fire, but also to make sure your appliance is swept and inspected regularly.

The bottom line is, fireplace and woodstove installation projects are expensive. Spend that money wisely by employing the help of qualified and licensed professionals. When homeowners attempt to complete these types of projects on their own, the results are unattractive at best, and unsafe at worst. Hiring a professional will give you the peace of mind that the project will be completed beautifully and safely.

We love to see beautiful fireplaces, woodstoves and fireplace inserts installed in homes because they provide a relaxing and comforting aesthetic while giving homeowners the power to heat their homes in alternative ways. We are passionate about helping you use wood-burning appliances to heat your home safely, and the first step is having professionals help you plan and install your heating appliance. Contact the Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep team for a consultation and installation recommendations today.

An In-Depth Look At Top Sealing Damper Advantages

If you’re a new homeowner or are unfamiliar with your fireplace you may be asking yourself, “what is a fireplace damper?” The damper is arguably one of the most important pieces of your fireplace. Often located near the bottom of your chimney, your damper serves to seal your fireplace shut so no heat escapes when your fireplace is not in use. If your fireplace damper is leaky or malfunctioning it could lead to costly heat loss.

top-sealing-damper-fireplace-image-boston-ma-billy-sweet-chimney-sweep

This clip is courtesy of Richie Baxley at Environmental Chimney Service in Asheville NC.

What Is A Top Sealing Damper?
Traditional dampers are located at the base of your chimney, near the throat and/or the chimney box. However, in recent years top sealing chimney dampers are being recommended. A top sealing damper functions essentially the same way but is more efficient at keeping warm air in and cold air out. Located at the top of the chimney, this type of damper seals the chimney where debris and moisture is likely to get in, and heat is most likely to escape.

Better Seal, Less Heat Loss
In general, top sealers are though to be better at keeping heat loss at bay because they provide a tighter seal and reduce heat loss exponentially. These newer, more efficient sealers are now recommended for reducing heat loss and improve heat retention in more homes. Homeowners are now realizing that a traditional damper is not enough to thoroughly and efficiently heat their home(s), especially if a wood-burning fireplace is the principle way they choose to heat their home.

Eliminating Debris Inside The Chimney
Not only are top sealers better at reducing heat loss, they also help prevent debris and moisture from entering the chimney. Debris like twigs and leaves can fall into your chimney, especially if tall trees surround your home. These twigs and leaves can get trapped in your chimney and cause chimney fires, which are a serious hazard for homeowners. Additionally, chimney fires are expensive, costing homeowners $11.7 billion in 2011 alone. Preventing debris inside your chimney with a top sealing damper is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of chimney fires.

Eliminating Moisture Inside Your Chimney
Not only does a top sealing damper prevent debris from building up in your chimney, it also seals your chimney so tightly that it prevents moisture from entire your chimney. Rain and snow can enter your chimney and affect the efficiency of it. When you’re trying to heat your home, a clean, dry fireplace and chimney is the most efficient fireplace.

In many homes, top sealing dampers are seen as an important addition to the chimney and fireplace. In addition to chimney caps and traditional dampers, a top sealing damper is a simple add-on that can improve the way your fireplace works – making it cleaner, safer and more efficient.

Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep has been serving the New England area for over 30 years, and can help you update your fireplace to make it burn cleaner, hotter and more efficient. Don’t suffer through the winter months. Update your fireplace with a top sealing damper that will improve the way your fireplace works and help heat your home for less money.