Tag Archives: CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep

House showing chimney inspections

Levels of Chimney Inspections

House showing chimney inspections

In 2000, the National Fire Protection Agency, otherwise known as NFPA, addressed chimney inspections. The NFPA established three levels of inspection–Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. This three-tiered system of chimney inspections can be confusing to homeowners, real estate agents, and even home inspectors. This is a brief explanation to clarify this important subject. […]

Autumn is the time of year to call your chimney sweep

Call your chimney sweep today

Autumn is the time of year to call your chimney sweep

The kids are back to school and life has returned to the normal routine. The leaves are starting to turn colors. Sunrise is later and sunset is earlier. Autumn is here. Soon enough you’ll be looking at the fireplace, wanting to light a fire on a cool evening. Then you realize that you can’t remember […]

Birds on top of chimney

Birds in Chimneys

Birds on top of chimney

As I’m sitting in my office working, I can hear the high-pitch chirping from some obviously newly-hatched baby sparrows just above my office window. I’m not surprised by the chirping. I’ve been watching the mama bird building her nest on a ledge just above my window for several weeks. During her time building her nest, […]

Gas logs on fire in fireplace

16 Tips To Know About Artificial Gas Logs

Gas logs on fire in fireplace

Gas logs are so very convenient–no fuss, no mess; instant on-instant off; clean burning to the environment as well as very little creosote build-up in the chimney. Before making that decision, there are several things to take into consideration first. To help you, here are 16 tips you need to know when deciding on artificial […]

A chimney cap will prevent roof rats from entering a home

Roof rats love your chimney!

A chimney cap will prevent roof rats from entering a home

Even if homeowners don’t use their fireplace, there are still very important reasons to have a chimney cap. This last week, as a chimney sweep, I received a record number of phone calls from people who had critters in their chimney.  This time of year here in San Diego, during the rainy season, it’s not […]

Chimney cap askew on top of a chimney

Chimney Caps and Termite Tents

Chimney cap askew on top of a chimney

What do chimney caps and termite tents have in common? More than you think! Several times a year, the strong Santa Ana winds hit Southern California. These winds are something we San Diegans dread because it usually brings with it the threat of wildfires. But there’s something else that occurs due to these forceful winds. […]

The top of an unlined chimney

Problems with an Unlined Chimney

The top of an unlined chimney

As a chimney sweep, the most important part of a chimney that we inspect is the flue lining. In many older homes, there is no flue lining. This type of chimney system is referred to as an unlined chimney.  According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “Never use a chimney that does not have […]

A masonry chimney on the exterior wall of a home

What is a Masonry Chimney?

A masonry chimney on the exterior wall of a home

Just like automobiles that have different manufacturers and models, the same goes for fireplaces and chimneys. Here in Southern California, there are primarily three different types of open fireplace systems–1) masonry chimneys; 2) prefabricated, factory-built systems; and 3) Rampart General Pre-Cast systems. Since I’ve already addressed Rampart General Pre-Cast systems in the past, this post […]

Firewood, center cut dried out

14 Need-to-Know Facts about Seasoning Firewood

Firewood, center cut dried out

Here are some interesting facts that will help you season your firewood for your fireplace or stove.  Seasoning your wood is critical not only for safer fires, but to reduce creosote buildup in your fireplace or stove flue pipe and to reduce pollutants into the atmosphere.  This is the second post in a series of […]

Young couple sitting next to fireplace

Wind Caps Solve Fireplace Smoking Problems

Young couple sitting next to fireplace

Enjoying a warm fire on a cold evening is one of the simple pleasures in life, but not when that beautiful crackling fire is accompanied by the eye-burning scent of smoke. There are a number of causes for fireplace smoking problems, many of which are easily remedied. If you live in an area prone to […]

Young couple sitting in front of the fireplace with their dog

50 Tips For Enjoying Your Fireplace

Young couple sitting in front of the fireplace with their dog

There’s nothing better than a warm fireplace on a cold evening. Here are 50 quick and simple tips that will help you safely enjoy that cozy fire even more. IMPORTANT SAFETY TIPS 1. For an open fireplace, the glass doors must be in a fully open position. Once the fire has died out, close the […]

Fireplace odor like a campfire

Six Causes of Fireplace Odors

Fireplace odor like a campfire

There’s nothing better than a warm, cozy fire in the fireplace but there’s nothing worse than the “campfire-in-the-living-room” smell that can sometimes occur afterwards. Understanding some of the causes for a stinky fireplace will help prevent the problem. There are several key causes for fireplace odor issues.   1) Smoking Problems Sometimes a smoking problem […]