This is Mike with Mike’s Clean Sweeps reaching out regarding your chimney or dryer vent needs.
We know that this time of year everybody is clamoring for a cheap sweep so that they feel safe having a fire around the holidays. We perform routine cleanings without an inspection for $300 and are happy to come remove the carcinogenic and flammable creosote from your home. We wear masks and booties, lay clean tarps from your threshold to your hearth, and protect our work with liability, workers comp, and a clean record with the California State License Board. We also offer rotary cleanings for the dirtiest of chimneys. And because we use only cutting-edge equipment, you don't have to worry about rods becoming unscrewed and becoming lost in your chimney or vent. That's the Mike's Clean Sweeps difference!
Did you ever consider the condition of the fireplace components that you can’t see? Did you know that the failure of internal parts of your chimney system, whether that be a disconnected prefab pipe or cracked and missing flue tiles for a masonry chimney, can lead to structure fires?
The high demand for cleanings places us certified technicians in something of an ethical dilemma. Much of our training involves evaluating evidence to determine whether or not the fireplace is fit for use. For example, we might be called for a cleaning and notice the vents on the front of a prefab have been covered over by remodeling work. This would render the fireplace potentially hazardous to use. However, for many folks on a budget, an inspection seems unnecessary---many people falsely assume that a simple cleaning is sufficient to be safe lighting a fire in their house.
“After all, the home inspector before we bought the house said the chimney looked okay.” Actually, a home inspector does not own the specialized equipment to closely examine concealed areas for defects that could lead to a structure fire. That’s why the National Fire Protection Code requires that a Level 2 Chimney Inspection be performed with each transfer of property.
WAIT A SEC HOLD ON---
“So why didn’t my realtor make sure my fireplace was fit for use before we moved in?” Well, there are few technicians in this region that are properly trained and maintain their certifications with continuing education, so, with nearly no one capable of performing a true Level 2, realtors are frequently willing to settle for a cleaning… or nothing at all. With the scarcity of credentialed technicians underlying this crisis in public awareness, potentially hazardous defects often go unexamined, especially when the necessary repairs could affect the sale of the home.
Why perform a camera scan of the chimney flue? Over time, with changes in temperature and the effect of water entry, the terracotta tiles that line a masonry chimney internally will crack and fall in, causing obstructions and exposing nearby combustibles to high temperatures. The purpose of a chimney scan is to ascertain whether the flue is a “uniform surface free of defects” and that the products of combustion are being safely conveyed out of the home. For prefabricated/factory built systems, we are looking for burst seams, warping where the pipe sections meet, and improper installation methods, among other things.
Don’t settle for a company that doesn’t care enough about what they do to embrace the trade and put in the hard work to maintain the credentials of their employees.
Research potential issues yourself by visiting the Chimney Safety Institute of America online to learn more about why these credentials are in place in an otherwise underregulated industry. Consider the expense an investment in your own safety and the protection of your home---because no one deserves a false sense of security when fire is involved.
Thank you very much for your interest and we look forward to helping you with your next project.
CSIA Certified Technician #9528
CDET Certified Dryer Vent Technician #1575
NFI Certified Gas Hearth Specialist #153898 (expired)
Licensed CA Contractor #887531