HOW CAN YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR CHIMNEY NEEDS A SWEEP?
Your Chimney Needs Sweeping If:
You have just had a chimney fire. In this case please inform us and do not use the unit until it has been swept and inspected. We adhere to the National Fire Protection requirements for chimney inspection after a chimney fire. (NFPA 211-19)
You often have smoldering fires.
Combustion characteristics have sudden changed - the fire seems difficult to start now or smoke spills from the appliance door when opened.
You can not remember when it was swept last!
Every Chimney Sweep has their opinion about when you should be hiring them to sweep your chimney- is it possible there could be bias due to their desire for income/ getting you on the call list?
Chimney sweeps and their advice is not regulated, but home owners are legally governed by Fire Code.
It makes a lot of sense to know what that Code says, doesn't it?
National Fire Code:
188.8.131.52. Chimneys, Flues and Flue Pipes
1) Every chimney, flue and flue pipe shall be inspected to identify any dangerous condition
a) at intervals not greater than 12 months, b) at the time of addition of any appliance, and c) after any chimney fire.
2) Chimneys, flues and flue pipes shall be cleaned as often as necessary to keep them free from dangerous accumulations of combustible deposits.
Lets make sense of this;
At a minimum your chimney should be checked before seasonal use begins and if burning 24 hours daily you should check even more frequently. If sweeping is required it should be swept, Code states elsewhere that any build-up to 1/8'' or greater should be removed. How you operate your appliance, the quantity and quality of wood is known only by you - you may even require more than one sweep per year!
This gets a little tricky because most chimney sweep companies are happy to come once a year to sweep your chimney. Code states your chimney should be checked, swept as required, but it does not state who must do, or how this checking should be carried out. If you consider yourself qualified, you can do the checking - this is a fact.
Further, chimney sweeping in Canada is not regulated, which means, that even if a person is a WETT certified chimney sweep, their personal education is voluntary and learned by field experience only. This is because WETT is a volunteer classroom based education program, not accredited or over-seen by any Government organization. WETT certification is best described a a 'learners permit'. Here is a fact you are entitled to know- WETT does not actually teach how to sweep, nor is a WETT certified sweeps technical field skills confirmed by WETT.
It is safe to say that if a chimney sweep does not declare a Standard of Practice, with details, in writing, citing what you can expect in different circumstances, as a consumer, then, they have not thought too much about this, they are hoping for the best, possibly at your expense. This is one industry where years in the field is the only thing that qualifies the service provider.
Our company policies are based upon Fire Code and the Standard for Chimney Maintenance and Inspection (NFPA 211-19). Our company policies and procedures therefore do not change with the wind.
The best time for us to advise you regarding your sweeping needs will always be during your service call and ultimately the sweep report that we supply will be the best indicator of your future sweeping needs. If you have any questions regarding the content of your sweep report, we invite your questions - we will take every opportunity to help you feel at home with your wood burning system.
Have you ever seen anything like this before? If so - please call as soon as possible!
If any of the above conditions are present please call us or email for an appointment.
From light cleaning to blockage removal - we want to encourage home owners to call us sooner Rather Than Later!