Aurora's Tuckpointing and Masonry Specialists

Tuckpointing, Masonry and Chimney Repair and Maintenance

Chimney Sweep Aurora IL

Chimneys and fireplaces are an incredible addition to a home, not only are they aesthetically pleasing and give character to your home, but they also play a practical role by keeping your home warm during the colder months.  However, chimneys do need proper and frequent maintenance to keep them running optimally but also to prevent them from causing serious damage to your home, afterall, you are playing with fire. We have been providing chimney sweep service in Aurora IL for many years - our prices are very fair and our service is excellent!  Give us a call to have us come out and service your chimney.

What is a chimney sweep?

A chimney sweep is nothing more than a person who clears ash and soot from chimney walls and it’s even more important today than it was 100 years ago because more appliances use them as venting systems for coal, heating oil, natural gas, wood, and pellets.  To this day we still use the more traditional chimney brush, but we also have more technologically modern tools such as vacuums and cameras as well.

As professionals in this business with years of experience, we are trained to diagnose and repair any hazards that we may see present and we always caution our clients about the accumulation of dangerous and flammable creosote.  Not only that, but we can also inspect and repair the firebox and damper along with the smoke chamber.

Why is a chimney sweep important?

chimney fire soot in aurora kitchen

There are millions of homeowners across the country that depend on heating their home through the use of fossil-fuel heating appliances (such as wood and pellets) and yet sadly billions of dollars are spent annually in repairing or rebuilding property damage caused by these appliances.  Not only that, but hundreds of lives are lost each and every year to something that could have easily been prevented. In fact, chimney fires are so prevalent that according to the National Fire Protection Association 30% of house fires were caused by chimney fires - that’s a lot!

Every fossil burning appliance discharges a certain amount of residues called creosote and soot that naturally adhere to the flue and brick walls inside of your chimney walls.  As this happens, the creosote builds up and any little spark that catches the creosote and soot can cause a fire to ignite and spread extremely rapidly. These fires are very preventable with regularly scheduled maintenance cycles.

How do you know if you need a chimney sweep?

The mode of thought within the industry is that if you’re unsure if you need a chimney sweep then it’s time to get a chimney sweep!  There is no reason to leave it up to chance, especially in Aurora and the suburbs of Chicago where the winters are long and frigid and chimneys get used extremely frequently.  

But what if you do schedule regular interval cleanings but want to know if it’s time to push up your next sweep?  Here are a few things to look for that can indicate you need another chimney cleaning:

  1. Can’t keep a fire going - fires need the perfect amount of air to breath and stay ignited.  Give it too much air and it eventually goes out, give it too little air and it chokes out. Chimneys are built the same way, if you have too much buildup along the chimney walls then the flames aren’t strong and don’t last.
  2. Visible debris - creosote can easily build up along your chimney walls and if you rub along the inside of the chimney you can see the remainder of the residue, it also feels greasy and oily.  This residue will likely go all the way up the chimney and should be cleaned as it could release certain chemicals that aren’t safe to breath in
  3. Wildlife - hearing or seeing any visible signs of wildlife in your chimney is not good.  Birds especially will build large nests to get away from the outdoor elements and stay warm, but this can easily cause a fire.  Squirrels and racoons will also find ways to get inside and create a home for themselves.
  4. Bad damper - the damper is a mechanism that a chimney has that regulates the amount of air flow, if it isn’t working properly then you’ll have a poor flame and potentially more creosote and soot on your walls.
  5. Smoke buildup - smoke should naturally travel all the way up your chimney walls and out at the top, if it doesn’t then there is a blockage somewhere along the shaft.  This could be due to natural materials like branches, small nests or large residues from previous fires. Either way, this is definitely something that should be inspected right away.

How often do you need to sweep a chimney?

Chimney Inspections in Aurora IL should be done annually but most homeowners decide on going with a cleaning at every inspection as well.  If you want to be certain that all of your systems are in proper working order then we recommend to get your chimney swept every year especially if you are a heavy user of your fireplace.  

In our opinion, there is no reason to leave a fire up to chance when getting a good sweep is easy, quick and inexpensive.  We can get your chimney sweep done quickly, you won’t even know we’re around!

How do you prepare for a chimney sweep?

Preparing for a chimney sweep is actually very easy and straight forward, we really only request a few things:

  • Lay down a cloth, rug, newspaper or some other material to cover the floor from the entrance to your fireplace
  • Move and/or cover any furniture in the same room as the fireplace
  • Remove any pieces from the mantle or the hearth
  • Remove any un-used firewood/fuel from inside the fireplace

We do our absolute best to keep all cleanings as contained as possible, but as precautionary measures, it’s always a good idea to take the smaller pieces away and cover up the larger pieces that are harder to move.

Do chimney logs really work?

The quick and direct answer is yes, but it depends on what your expectations are.  Chimney logs will never replace the work of a professional chimney sweep, but they do help in making our work easier and preventing fires.  Chimney logs contain a particular compound that, when burned, helps to dry up the creosote and soot making it flakey and easier to clean off.  Since this residue typically is present as an oily substance, drying it up with a log can make our jobs simpler.

Nonetheless, we would never recommend to burn a log in lieu of our service, that’s not what the log is meant for and I would never put my family’s life in the hands of a creosote log.

How much does it cost to have your chimney swept?

You’ll probably hear the same response from many companies - it depends!  Most of our sweeps, which include a level safety inspection averages between $150-$250 depending on the type and condition of your chimney.  If you have heavy deposits of creosote and soot or if you have nests and/or dead animals that need to be removed then it’ll be a more involved job and the price will fluctuate.  Feel free to reach out to us about our scheduling and pricing - we are very flexible on times and our prices are extremely competitive. If you’re looking for a chimney sweep in Aurora IL then call us today!