Our Company Blog

Add a Chimney Sweep to Your Holiday Check List

The holidays can be hectic with meal planning, decorating, shopping, travel plans and more clouding your mind. Therefore, it can be difficult to remember the practical, everyday things. Just as important as having your oil changed before that long trip to visit the in-laws, you should have your chimney swept. Do this before the busy holiday season, when the fireplace is often the focal point for many festivities.

Add a Chimney Sweep to Your Holiday Check List - Boston MA - Billy Sweet Chimney SweepSchedule Now and Avoid Conflicts

The holidays are fast approaching. However, you can avoid the headache of schedule conflicts by calling in advance. If you call now you can have your chimney swept before your holiday festivities. Doing this will most likely get an appointment time that better suits your schedule. Also, to prepare for your appointment we request that you discontinue use of the fireplace 24 hours in advance. This can mean a cold day if you wait until late December for your chimney sweep. Schedule now and take advantage of this mild Boston weather.

The Perks of a Clean Chimney While Entertaining

A dirty chimney comes with a whole host of issues, including decreased efficiency and increased risk of fire. There are other downsides as well. For instance, a dirty fireplace can become stinky, especially when moisture penetrates the masonry. This can be a problem if you entertain during the holidays and use your fireplace as a focal point, as many do. The hearth and mantel is also a popular holiday photo backdrop. A chimney sweep cleans all the parts of the chimney, hearth, and firebox. So, you can also avoid pictures with a dirty fireplace by having it cleaned now.

What to Expect

If you’ve already begun decorating for the holidays, it’s okay. When you schedule a chimney sweep with Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep you can count on a professional service every time. This means that we will get the job done in a timely manner. Plus, we will leave your home in the state we found it when we arrived. We request only that you discontinue use of the chimney 24 hours in advance. This keeps our chimney sweeps safe during the service call. In addition, we ask that you move furniture, objects, and decorations away from the fireplace opening.

In order to do the job quickly, it’s best if there is space for the sweep and his tools at your fireplace opening.

When You Choose Billy Sweet

By choosing the best chimney professionals in the Boston, North Shore, and Portland areas you get the best services at a competitive price. Billy Sweet puts customer safety first every time. That’s why we send a trained and certified technician on each call. You will get a thorough cleaning, a state-of-the-art chimney inspection. Also, any documentation required for insurance, real estate, and personal records. Our chimney experts are available to answer questions during the visit, and will report any concern immediately.

There is really no reason not to schedule your chimney sweep this holiday season. Not only will it be one more important thing off your list, but you also won’t have to worry about it coming into the new year. Plan ahead and take advantage of the benefits of a chimney sweep by scheduling your appointment today!

An expert technician is standing by.

Preparing Your Fireplace for Cold Weather

There is nothing quite like the first cold snap to send us all unpacking our winter clothes and grabbing the blankets out of the attic. Preparing yourself mentally is the first step, taking the proper precautions to prepare your fireplace for the upcoming season is another. Getting it ready now will save you the hassle and pain of dealing with it when there are several feet of snow outside!

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The first step is the biggest:

Getting your fireplace professionally inspected and swept by our CSIA-certified sweeps will not only make sure that your fireplace is in the best shape possible to combat the degrading snow and water, as well as the smoke buildup that comes with use. The buildup, called creosote, is highly flammable, and could result in a chimney fire if you’re not careful. We not only clean the creosote off the inside of your chimney, we check for any loose or missing mortar so that your chimney is in tip-top shape before it takes on the winter.

Spic and span:

We want to inspect and sweep your chimney fireplace annually, but it is imperative that you do your part in keeping your fireplace clean as well. Disposing of the majority of ash and burnt timber in a wood-burning firebox will not only look more aesthetically pleasing and leave you more space for logs, but the chances of a flying ember catching your carpet on fire becomes a lot more slim. Just gently shovel the cooled ash into a bucket and dispose of it in the trash.

Putting a damper on it:

Your damper controls airflow in and out of your chimney. Check your damper for ease of use, making sure it opens and closes with no struggle. If the damper doesn’t close properly, there will be a cold draft that comes into the room when the fireplace isn’t in use. If the damper is hard to open, proper ventilation could keep carbon monoxide from exiting out the chimney, instead filling your room with the deadly chemical.

Fires of all kinds:

Weather you have a wood-burning fireplace or a gas stove, it is important to have enough fuel to keep you and your family warm for at least three days. Keep it in an easily accessible in case of a power outage. Also, make sure you have a supply of firefighting materials such as a fire extinguisher, a bucket of water, or baking soda readily available in case a fire gets out of hand or some buildup catches fire. Again, it’s always better to be over prepared.

Knowing that your fireplace and chimney are taken care of will give you peace of mind while the wind whistles through the trees outside. It’s not too late to schedule your annual inspection and sweeping. Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today!

This Winter’s Bad Weather May Have Caused Significant Chimney Damage

A lot of folks are thanking their lucky stars that March is finally rolling in. All over the United States there has been record-breaking winter weather; snow, sleet, hail and ice have all taken their toll on homes across America. If you use your fireplace or wood-burning stove to heat your home, then you’ve likely gotten your money’s worth this winter. Because of the drastic weather we’ve had this year, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of any chimney damage.

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Ice Damming Can Damage Chimneys

Snow and ice build up is a serious concern for many homeowners when the weather gets cold. Ice damming is a real problem during the winter months, and this year has affected the Southeast United States more than usual. When rain and freezing rain hits a roof and freezes solid before it can drain through the gutters it can get trapped and cause what is known as an ice dam. This can cause terrible damage to your roof, but it can also damage the masonry of your chimneys. If you’ve had a lot of freezing rain, inspect your gutters and be sure to call a professional gutter cleaner if you suspect an ice dam.

Snow, Hail and Rain Inside Chimneys Can Cause Damage

If you’ve stayed diligent in your chimney repair and maintenance, you’ve likely installed a top sealing damper or a chimney cap. These easy-to-install add-ons to your chimney can prevent moisture from entering. Without them, the winter elements can leak into your chimney and cause serious problems. Not only can the moisture damage the brick and mortar of your chimneys, but also a build up of moisture can cause the fires in your fireplace or stove to not burn hot enough. Fires that aren’t burning hot enough are not only inefficient at heating your home, but can also leave behind creosote, a potentially harmful chemical trapped inside your chimney.

Prevention Is Key When Avoiding Winter Chimney Damage

With due diligence, you can keep your chimney and fireplace in top working order. As with many homeowner responsibilities, prevention is the best way to avoid costly and potentially dangerous damage to your home. Some additional steps you can take to avoid winter weather chimney damage are:

Have the inside of your chimney professionally lined to protect the inside.

Carefully inspect your roof and chimney after a big storm.
Have a professional remove ice build up from your gutters after a lot of rain or freezing rain.
Professionally clean your fireplace before and after the winter season.

A professional chimney sweeping company like Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep in the Boston, Massachusetts area can help maintain your chimney year after year. Before you light your first fire, have a certified inspector thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of your chimney and fireplace. If your chimney sweeping company recommends masonry repairs have them completed well before you plan to use your chimney to heat your home. Not only will an inspection prevent costly damage, it will also help you burn efficient fires that will provide warmth and comfort during the worst winter weather.