Frequently Asked Questions
(206) 202-9687


When should I clean my chimney?

If a fireplace is used 4-5 times a week during the heating season, it should be cleaned once a year. If a fireplace is used 1-2 times a week during the heating season, it should be cleaned every 3 years. Also, if you light up a chimney for the first time, be sure the chimney is clean and inspected by a professional.


How can I check if my chimney NEEDS cleaning?

It is hard to do with wood stoves unless you can climb your room and look down the flue. On Fireplaces, open the damper and shine a light towards the chimney and look for dark/black fluffy or shiny deposits. Note: This method does not substitute professional inspection.


How can I PREPARE for a chimney sweep's visit?

The chimney should be cold to perform service adequately, do not burn a fire 12 hours prior to visit. Make the Appliance easily accessible, move away any obstructions and lock your dogs in a separate room.


How LONG does a chimney cleaning take?

Between 45 min to 1.5h depending on system length, roof access, and weather.



When should I repair my chimney?

If you see loose bricks or cracks in your chimney, have water leaks, or feel air drafts, it is time to have your chimney inspected. 2. If you get many headaches while inside your house, this may be due to a partial or total blockage in your furnace chimney. Blockage can occur if animals build a nest, tile liner breaks, or upon the conversion of a heating system from oil to gas. 3. If you have unwelcome visitors (such as birds, squirrels, or raccoons in your house) they may be nesting in or on top of your chimney. Safe Chimney will correct these chimney problems and ensure they will not happen again.


How do I know when to open and close the damper?

Before starting a fire, open the damper and leave it open while the fire is burning and after the fire is out, when the embers are still hot. The damper should be closed when the fire is out and the embers are cold- this will prevent heat loss.


How do I start a fire and keep it going?

Pre-heat the chimney by holding two to three lit pages of rolled up newspaper in the damper region for 10-15 seconds. 2. Start with one or two small logs and add more logs if desired once the fire is burning adequately. 3. Burn only hard wood (i.e.: fruit trees, hickory, oak, maple) that is seasoned for at least one year. Do not burn soft woods because they are loaded with tars and resins that can cause a chimney fire. It is a good rule to never burn pine, fir, treated wood, or trash. 4. Never skimp on kindling; you need just enough paper to set off the kindling and a good amount of kindling to get a good fire. 5. When burning a fire, try to keep the wood close to the rear wall but not against it. An air space should be left on all sides of the wood.


How do I prevent against a chimney fire?

Always keep fireplace screen closed while fire is burning. 2. Never throw Christmas wreaths, fancy wrapping paper, or pizza boxes into the fire. The impact can create a surge of fire that will leap out at you. 3. Have your chimney inspected/cleaned regularly


What WOOD is the best to use?

Hardwood such as Oak, Walnut and Almond are much denser, provide more heat per log and burn longer and cleaner. Softwood such as Pine, Spruce and Fir are less dense, burn quicker and promote more creosote build-up than hardwood.

Burn only seasoned firewood (Seasoned Softwood 6-12 months, Hardwood 1-2 years, split to thickness of 6-8 inches, stacked outdoors, off the ground, top covered, sides open for ventilation).


Why do I get SMOKE inside the house?

There may be many reasons that. Your chimney is dirty or clogged, your damper is closed or faulty, there is negative air pressure inside your home, your chimney is damaged or it is very windy. Give us a call and we will find out.


Why do I get COLD AIR inside when not burning?

Your damper is left open or it is damaged and does not close properly. You have no damper. Your home is very tight and you are running a clothes dryer or kitchen hood. Your Factory-built fireplace or stove outside air intake is flawed.


Will my home get DIRTY after chimney cleaning?

No. The entire work are gets covered with protective rugs as a precaution. We also use high power vacuum cleaners to make sure no dust enters the home. We also wear shoe covers when needed.


WHAT IF I don't have my chimney swept?

You may have a chimney fire causing a house fire, endangering your neighborhood. Your chimney system may sustain serious and costly damage such as cracks, warping and bulging.


What causes CHIMNEY FIRES?

Chimney fires are caused by inadequate chimney maintenance. As a result of burning wood or pellets, creosote accumulates on the walls of the flue. When the thickness of the creosote reaches 1/8 of an inch, it can then ignite when the appliance is in use. Always have your system inspected after a chimney fire for dangerous chimney or liner damage.


Do you work on WEEKENDS?

Yes, most weekends.