Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. How often should I have my
chimney cleaned and inspected?
- A. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that
all chimneys are at least inspected annually. Cleaning your chimney depends on
varying factors. Natural gas burns much cleaner than oil, so usually you can go
about 8 years with a gas flue. Oil flue's need to be cleaned about every 3
years. Fireplaces and wood stoves should be cleaned after about 2 cords of
wood, providing you are burning seasoned, hard wood.
- Q. What should I expect when I have
my chimney cleaned and inspected??
- A.The Chimney Safety Institute of America has an
which explains how to prepare for and what to expect during a chimney cleaning
- Q. My oil/gas man told me I need to
have my chimney cleaned, but I never use my fireplace. Why would I need to have
the chimney cleaned when I don't use it?
- A. The only people who don't use their chimney are those who
heat solely with electricity. Even if you don't use a wood stove or fireplace,
your chimney is a vital part of your family's safety. As your furnace or boiler
produces carbon monoxide, those gasses must vent through your chimney, or they
would be spreading through your home with disastrous results. Hundreds of
people die or become ill from carbon monoxide in their homes every year.
- Q. Why do I need a chimney
- A. A chimney cap is
used for a several reasons. If you should experience a chimney fire, the cap
will act as a spark arrestor, stopping dangerous sparks from leaping onto your
roof causing a roof fire. A cap will also keep your chimney free of animals,
nests, leaves and debris. The animal problem is two fold: Some animals that
climb into a chimney cannot get back out. This is typical with bats, squirrels
and some birds. The animal either finds its way into your house, or dies in the
chimney. The result is usually much more expensive than the installation of a
chimney cap. Then there are the animals who intend on moving in. We mostly see
this with raccoons and birds. These animals are usually looking for a safe
place to give birth and keep their baby's safe. When the nests are built, they
then cause a chimney obstruction, possibly forcing dangerous carbon monoxide
fumes into your home. Once an animal has moved in, especially ones that could
possibly carry rabies, it is a dangerous and expensive "eviction" process, as
that cute raccoon now considers your chimney her home and will do anything to
protect her family. Leaves and debris from low lying tree branches get into
your chimney and may also cause obstructions. A chimney cap is often referred
to as a "rain cap". As the name implies, a chimney cap can keep a considerable
amount of rain out of your chimney, usually about 80%. Chimney caps also stop
wind from blowing back down your chimney, known as a downdraft. Downdrafts can
cause puff backs of smoke as the wind carries the smoke with it back into your
- Q. What is a flue and how do I know
how many I have?
- A. In layman's terms, a flue
is a chamber within your chimney. While you may only have one masonry chimney
in you home, it may contain multiple chambers or flues. Most people have two.
One used for a fireplace or wood stove and another used to vent the carbon
monoxide produced by your gas or oil burner. Even if you don't use a fireplace
or wood stove, you are still using at least one flue in your chimney to vent
your gas or oil emissions. It is important to know that fire codes prohibit two
separate combustible gasses from being vented within the same walls. For
example, you cannot vent fireplace emissions within the same walls as natural
gas emissions. These are two kinds of gasses that should never meet. Hence the
reason for separate flue chambers within your chimney.
- Q. What is pointing?
- A. Simply put, pointing is filling in the cracks of the mortar
on your chimney. The mortar is the glue keeping the bricks of your chimney
intact. As the chimney ages, the mortar can develop cracks in one or several
places. By having your chimney pointed, you can extend the life of your chimney
and prevent more costly repairs.
- Q. What kind of wood should I use in
my fireplace or wood stove?
- A. Hard, seasoned wood is the only type you should be burning.
Never burn painted wood inside your heating appliance. If the wood you are
burning is soft or unseasoned, it could cause a chimney fire. At the very
least, bad wood nearly triples the creosote residue in your chimney as opposed
to hard seasoned wood. Some examples of hard wood are: Ash, birch, hickory,
hard maple, dogwood, red oak. Some soft wood are: any type pine, red cedar,
Douglas fir, cypress, spruce. When you order wood be specific about hard
seasoned wood and take the time to learn the differences between them.
- Q. When you clean my chimney, will
you make a mess?
- A. Casey's takes several precautions to prevent any mess. We
lay down drop cloths, enter your home with clean shoes and use state of the art
equipment allowing for us to leave your home "Mess free". In fact, we guarantee
- Q. Is it expensive to have my
chimney inspected and cleaned?
- A. Considering the ramifications of not maintaining your
chimney, no. The price of a cleaning varies from customer to customer, but a
solid estimate can be given over the phone by our office staff once they have
collected certain information.. Casey's has not raised any prices in 8 years
even with the current economic climate.