A. The National Fire Protection Association—an international codes and standards organization.
Q. How often should I have my chimney swept and inspected?
A. In accordance with NFPA 211, chimneys, vents, and fireplaces should be inspected at least once per year. There are many illnesses that can result from high exposure to carbon monoxide, and yearly inspections reduce the likelihood of carbon monoxide being present. For added protection and peace of mind, we also recommend using a carbon monoxide detector.
Q. I just bought a home. Should I have my chimney inspected?
A. To ensure there are no damages, cracks, or blockages, you should have your chimney inspected before you first use your fireplace or wood-burning stove, or as soon as possible. Don’t forget that your water heater and furnace may also use a chimney.
Q. What is creosote?
A. Creosote appears as a shiny, black, and highly flammable glaze inside your chimney. It has many causes; however, the most common cause is the use of unseasoned wood. Most of the time, creosote cannot be removed using a standard wire chimney brush and must be removed using a Ro-Kleen rotary cleaning tool.
Q. Why are chimney caps recommended?
A. Caps guard your chimney from both rain and unwanted animals. Without a cap, these animals—including squirrels, raccoons, and birds—can make a nest in your chimney, resulting in bad smells, blockages, and potential illnesses from animal droppings, such as rabies and ringworm.
Q. My chimney is only a year old. How can it have cracks?
A. Clay tile chimney liners can crack during hot fires on cold days. This can happen on the very first use if a sudden temperature change is created in the chimney.
Q. What does it mean when the chimney crown is cracked?
A. Chimney crowns are the concrete seals on top of chimneys. They can crack in the same way as a chimney liner, i.e., by weather-related expansion and contraction or by using your chimney. Cracked chimney crowns can cause further damage by letting in water, snow, and debris.
Q. Why does it matter if my damper is working or not?
A. You wouldn’t leave a window open eight inches all winter. But leaving your damper open all winter is the exact same thing! Your damper is like a window in your chimney; it keeps weather and the elements outside your home when the fireplace is not in use.
Q. What is tuckpointing?
A. Tuckpointing is the process of replacing loose or missing mortar on a brick chimney.
Q. How messy is a chimney sweeping and inspection?
A. We lay tarps in front of your fireplace/wood-burning stove to ensure that your flooring doesn’t get dirty. Additionally, we use specialized vacuums to trap the dust and soot that appear during a sweeping.
Q. Do I have to make an appointment for a sweeping and inspection?
A. We include a basic Level 1 inspection with every chimney sweeping. This involves recording our findings on a chimney service report and discussing our evaluation with the customer. Sometimes, it is impossible to inspect the chimney without sweeping it first. When this is necessary, we speak to the homeowner before proceeding.
Q. Why should I choose Michiana Chimney?
A. Throughout more than 20 years of business, we have serviced, swept, and repaired thousands of chimneys. We’re known for being fast, friendly, consistent, affordably priced, and knowledgeable of all NFPA standards.