Frequently asked questions about chimneys, chimney care and maintainance, fire safety and more
1. How often do I need to clean my wood-burning fireplace chimney?
It is recommended that a wood- burning fireplace be cleaned after one cord of wood has been burned since the last time the fireplace was cleaned. (accordingto NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Code 211) An inspection is recommended annually. The National Fire Protection Association also recommends that ALL Chimneys be inspected and cleaned, IF necessary, at least once a year or more frequently as required to ensure adequate draft, clearance, soundness and freedom of mineral deposits.
Your furnace vents into your chimney also. Your fuel company is NOT responsible for cleaning your heater chimney. Therefore, we inspect your heater flue to ensure adequate draft and soundness whenever we are called to a property.

2. Do I need to be home?
Yes, the fireplace, furnace flue or dryer vent cleaning take place on the inside of the home, and sometimes also from the outside.

3. Should I expect a mess?
At Georgetown Chimney Sweep, we guarantee a mess free job. We understand that  your home is your castle and we will treat your property with the utmost of respect at all times.

4. Does my gaslog burning fireplace  chimney require routine cleaning and inspection?
Absolutely. Routine inspection is imperative in avoiding a potential gas leak disaster. As far as cleaning goes, your gaslogs will deposit signifigant amounts of carbon to your firebox and chimney.

5. Smoke backs up into my house when I use my fireplace. Can Chimney Solutions help?
Yes. Smoke problems occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases the fireplace has a poor draw, in other situations smoke travels to other parts of the house through gaps in the liner. In other homes wind blows down the flue.

6. I see water leaking into the firebox of my fireplace and I also see water stains on the ceiling and the wall next to the fireplace. Can you help me?
Yes, Georgetown Chimney Sweep can help you prevent future leaks, but doing these repairs will not remove existing stains. Georgetown Chimney Sweep installs protective chimney covers and dampers. We seal crowns and flashings and also do chimney tuck pointing and chimney rebuilding.

7. I have gaps and cracks in the walls of my prefab fireplace. Do you install replacement parts for pre-fab fireplaces?
Yes, Georgetown Chimney Sweep can install replacement firebacks, sidewalls and other parts for your prefab fireplace as well as rebuild and repair of traditional brick and mortar fireplaces.

8. My fireplace smells especially during the summer when it's hot and humid. Is there any relief for me?
Yes and no. There are a variety of situations that result in the "burnt" odor in your home. Proper cleaning will help alleviate this. In addition, Chimney deodorants will freshen things up. You may also have rain water entering your fuel causing the fuel to be damp and exsentuate the odor. Georgetown Chimney Sweep can install a custom fit cap to help reduce the amount of rain and water entering your fuel which in turn will help to reduce the chimney ordors.

9. How do I know that my chimney and/or firebox needs tuckpointing and/or rebuilding?
Take a close look at the walls of your masonry chimney. Do you see cracks, crumbling bricks, uneven areas of mortar, voids, and noticeable gaps between the bricks? If the answer is yes or you are not sure, then contact Georgetown Chimney Sweep to provide an estimate for repair of the damaged areas on your chimney.

10. I recently changed my furnace and/or water heater and now I see water on the floor near my furnace. Can you help me?
Yes, a new liner that is correctly sized to properly vent the gases and prevent condensation may provide a solution.

11. What can you do about a whitish discoloration on the outside of my chimney?
The whitish discoloration on the exterior of the furnace chimney is efflorescence. It is caused by the escape of gases through gaps in the liner. Georgetown Chimney Sweep will make specific recommendations about installing a new liner and tuckpointing or rebuilding the chimney if necessary.

12. Do you give free estimates? There are many instances when in order for us to give you a proper estimate a thorough inspection of your chimney is required first. It is our policy to charge a service fee for any visit we make to your home. Your charge is for a service fee and a visual inspection. The service call is to properly identify your problem with a good solution. The estimate is free. The service call is not.
For your consideration, if you do choose to have Georgetown Chimney Sweep to complete repairs etc., your service fee is deducted from the cost of said repair or service.
In some instances a more thorough inspection may be necessary (something other than a Level I visual inspection) (i.e. because of a chimney fire, lightning strike, construction failure, transfer of property or installation of a new appliance) For us to prepare a proper estimate a chimney inspection may be required. There is a fee for inspections that are not deductible.

13. My clothes don't dry as fast as they used to, and I've been told that the problem is not in the dryer. Can you help me? Yes. Very often dryer exhausts become clogged with lint and other debris, such as nesting material (from birds or mice). Georgetown Chimney Sweep uses special equipment to clear the passageway helping to increase the exaust flow of your dryer, helping to improve the drying time and eliminate wated energy.

14. How do I pay for this service?
Payment is due at the time of service. We are pleased to accept personal checks or cash. Visa and MasterCard, and Paypal processing is available on large projects or for on-line purchases.

15.Tell me about firewood?
We suggest using seasoned (dried for at least 1 year) hardwood . Firewood is sold in a unit called a “cord.” A standard cord of firewood is 128 cubic feet of wood, generally measured as a pile 8 feet long by 4 feet tall by 4 feet deep. A “face cord” is also 8 feet long by 4 feet tall, but it is only as deep as the length of the wood, so it isn’t a full cord. You should expect to pay roughly $ 275 to $350 for a cord of firewood.

Unseasoned wood or “softwood” can lead to creosote buildup, excessive smoking problems, and unnecessary chimney fires. A good way to check if wood is seasoned, is to make a fist and knock on the end grain of the wood, it should make a high pitched noise indicating it is seasoned.