Trust Garden State Chimney for All Your Chimney Inspection & Cleaning Needs
There’s a chill in the air as wind whips the dying leaves – once bright yellows, oranges, and reds, now a rusty brown – from their branches. They swirl and waltz in spirals as they fall to the ground, where they remain, waiting for the next passerby to tread over them, eliciting that satisfying crunch when boot or paw or hoof walk through.
Meanwhile, you grasp a hot cup of tea, watching life go by through your window. Everything is quiet save for the crackling flicker coming from your fireplace. Life is good.
Has it been a minute since your last chimney sweeping and inspection? Are you looking for a certified chimney service company that prioritizes excellence just as much as efficiency? Get in touch with the team at Garden State Chimney to schedule your inspection and cleaning today! You can reach us right here online or by calling 973-519-0802.
As a licensed and insured company, the team here at Garden State prides itself on providing honest, professional, and reputable fireplace and chimney service throughout Passaic County, NJ and beyond.
Hey, we’ll even sing and dance “Chim Chim Cheree” – but only if you ask nicely (and give us time to brush up on the choreography).
What Is a Chimney Inspection?
Well, we imagine this might be somewhat obvious given the clarity of the name, we believe it’s important to provide you with as much information as possible. So, what exactly is a chimney inspection, and what does it entail? A thorough analysis of your system (from firebox to flue, cap to crown), a chimney inspection serves as a sort of diagnostic exam on the overall health of the entire structure.
In terms of what the service looks like and what all is involved, that is dependent upon the specific inspection level. But, regardless, during an inspection, a professionally trained chimney sweep will check all the parts, pieces, bits, and bobs of your system in search of anything that appears to be awry or damaged. They look for things like cracks, gaps, or separations among flue tiles (if your chimney is made of masonry and utilizes a clay liner), as well as any signs of leaks, outside debris, or substance buildup.
Basically, if anything is there that might threaten the health and performance of your chimney system, a chimney tech will spot it and address it.
What Levels of Chimney Inspections Do We Provide?
At Garden State Chimney, we offer level 1 and level 2 chimney inspection services. Here’s a brief rundown of each.
Level 1 Chimney Inspection
As suggested in the name, a level 1 chimney inspection is the most common: a basic full-system check of all accessible parts, nooks, and crannies to ensure your system hasn’t suffered any damage or deterioration. These inspections tend to be what the majority of customers are looking to schedule, but only if there have been no changes, remodels, or renovations to the chimney.
For this service, expect your chimney sweep to:
- investigate all exposed (or otherwise easily accessible) surface area of your system – both inside and out
- keep an eye out for any obvious signs of decay or damage (such as obstructions or debris that might be clogging your flue
- give the whole chimney an overview to ensure that its structure is sound, sturdy, and ready for you to enjoy it all season long
Level 2 Chimney Inspection
Sort of like the next tier up in terms of depth and detail, a level 2 inspection is generally performed when there have been any changes to the system. Whether you’ve recently changed out your terra cotta flue liner for stainless steel, upgraded or remodeled your fireplace, switched fuel types, or had to rebuild/replace after your chimney suffered from extreme damage, a level 2 inspection is required before you use the updated appliance. This type of inspection is also required when property is transferred from one person to another, before the new homeowner moves in.
A bit more comprehensive than a level 1, in a level 2 chimney inspection, your sweep will:
- investigate not only that which is visible and/or accessible, but also the inside of the chimney, as well
- use a camera to more clearly see all throughout your flue – not just a top-down or bottom-up view
- remove certain doors, panels, and coverings to inspect those harder to reach areas. P
- perform the old classic chimney song and dance in a rendition that brings even Dick Van Dyke himself to tears (again, if asked nicely)
Why Is a Chimney Inspection Important?
How many times have you been minding your business, just driving to work, when a bright ding ding ding startles you back into the present? Unless your car is old and falling apart (no judgment, we’ve all been there), the interruption is usually accompanied by a message telling you it’s time to get your oil changed, fill your tank, or warn you of some other issue before it’s a threat to your safety and, by proxy, those around you.
For instance, take a traditional masonry chimney lined with terracotta tiles. Flue liners made of clay have a generally decent life expectancy, but they are also highly susceptible to cracking and separating over time and when directly exposed to extreme and rapid changes in temperature.
What does this mean? Well, over time, small hairline fractures can become big breaks, expanding until your liner is no longer able to do its job properly. Harmful, noxious gases, fumes, and other combustion byproducts will no longer vent directly and safely up your chimney and out of your home, instead blowing back into your living space. Certainly not the vibe when you’re just trying to chill in front of your fireplace with the dog.
Basically? A chimney inspection is a non-negotiable service, no matter the type of system or frequency of use. And yes – you do still need to have your chimney inspected even if you literally never use it. (Animals tend to find the unused appliances the most appealing…)
Ready to change that “to-do” to a “to-done”? Give us a call at 973-519-0802 to schedule with us sometime soon.
How Often Should My Chimney Be Inspected?
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and in line with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s standards, homeowners are technically required to have their chimney inspected at least once a year.
This way, you can be sure that every time you light up in the burning season, your chimney is up to code and industry standards, allowing you the peace of mind to enjoy your fire fully – without worrying about potential hidden issues.
Besides, regular chimney inspections ultimately save you money in the long run. Why? Because when you’re routinely on top of required maintenance services, chimney techs can find and diagnose any problems either before they arise or at least in the early stages – and help point you toward the right repair service before the problem gets any worse.
In general though, it’s good practice for you as the homeowner to have an overall awareness of your chimney, both in structure and performance. If you notice any changes in the system’s efficiency or general behavior, make note of them and stop using your fireplace until a professional can come out and take a look. Just because it is required to schedule a chimney inspection just once a year, does not mean that is the limit. You should always call someone out to take a look if/when your system starts to act a little wonky – even if you just had it inspected last week.
How Much Does a Chimney Inspection Cost?
Ah, the ever-favorite “How much does this cost?” question we all scour each website to find. The bad news is that, on this website, you won’t find any of our service prices listed.
Why? Well, we aim to provide each and every customer with an accurate and appropriate estimate of their total experience working with us. Because every home and chimney system is different, we don’t like to advertise our prices or provide any type of price range, as it may give inaccurate info on what a customer can expect. Garden State Chimney thrives on transparency and we never want to give any of our customers – or future customers – false expectations when it comes to the financing of things.
However, the good news is that after a little time chatting with you and learning more about your chimney and your history of use and maintenance, we’d be more than happy to walk you through an estimated quote of what we’re likely to charge you for our inspection service.
All you have to do is reach out and get in touch with a member of our team. Call us at 973-519-0802 or, if you’d prefer, fill out this form right here on our website and someone will get back to you soon. We’d love to work with you.
What About Chimney Cleaning? Is There a Difference Between That & Chimney Sweeping?
“Wait, wait, wait, chimney sweeping? Cleaning? Is that not the same thing as a chimney inspection? Do I need to have both?”
Here’s the deal: we know that all the terminology of the many related-yet-different chimney maintenance schedules can be a bit confusing and a lot to keep track of. We don’t blame you for asking all the questions – that’s why we’re here!
Our goal is not only to keep your chimney functioning at its best, but also to keep you informed every step of the way. Have a specific question that you can’t seem to find an answer to throughout our site? Reach out to someone from our team and we’d be more than happy to assist you.
So, what is the difference between “cleaning” and “sweeping”?
Essentially, there is none. Given the fact that chimneys are inherently filthy as they come into direct contact with combustion byproducts and harmful smoke and gases, a chimney can never actually be cleaned. Think of it this way: you can “clean” your kitchen floor, but is it ever totally spotless? Would you feel safe or comfortable eating off it? (And no, the dog’s opinion does not count…)
We venture to guess that, no, you likely would not. It’s the same for chimneys. For this reason, professionals here in the chimney and venting industry prefer to refer to such a service as a “sweeping.” Plus, it’s a lot more closely aligned with what we actually do when we come to brush out your chimney system. Utilizing specialized tools designed to remove caked on creosote and other leftover debris, your chimney sweep will clear the flue, so that you can continue to enjoy your system all season long.
Why Do I Have To Have My Chimney Swept?
Owning a home with a fireplace doesn’t just mean that you get to enjoy the magic of a home fire whenever you please. Well, it does, but only if you take proper care of the system.
Remember, a fireplace/chimney system is meant to contain and vent an actual fire inside your home – and to ensure that it continues to operate safely, annual chimney sweepings are a necessary part of your houseware maintenance.
Still not completely convinced? Using a chimney that has not been properly swept and inspected can put your home and family in harm’s way. Not only do dirty chimneys pose numerous health and safety threats, they’re also just plain annoying to deal with. Excessive creosote buildup, weird odors wafting into your living space, and generally system inefficiencies are usually a direct result of neglecting to schedule a routine sweeping. Not to mention you’re at a much higher risk for dangers like chimney fires. It’s just so much easier to bite the bullet and make sure your chimney is being regularly cleaned.
How Often Should a Chimney Be Cleaned?
Just like a chimney inspection, industry leaders suggest homeowners book a chimney cleaning service at least once a year. However, this also can depend on a multitude of different factors such as frequency of use, fuel source, and even the type of system you have (prefabricated or masonry).
In general though, it’s good practice to simply maintain a general awareness of your chimney’s overall health and functioning. No matter if your system uses gas or is fueled by wood, any kind of combustion will create harmful byproducts that can accumulate over time. If creosote is left clinging to the inner walls of your chimney flue for a considerable amount of time, and you continue to operate the fireplace as normal, you could be exposing your home and family to dangers such as carbon monoxide poisoning, chimney fires, and more.
How Do I Prepare My Chimney for a Sweep?
Maybe you’ve already scheduled your chimney cleaning service and are now doing the research to determine what will make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Here’s a good start:
- Don’t use your fireplace a few days prior to your sweeping. In order for us to sweep it out properly, the system has to be nice and cool.
- Remove logs and any ashes you plan to re-use. Of course, we will be sure to sweep out your firebox, but freeing the space of the majority of the “stuff” that lives there (logs, grate, holder, etc.) sets us up well and saves a lot of time.
- Clear off your mantel of any items. As we will be coming and going and working inside the firebox and the area surrounding the mantel, it’s good practice to remove things that might otherwise get damaged. We would hate to harm that photo of the kids and granny!
- Clear out any nearby furniture. In honor of efficiency, it’s always super helpful when we come into your home and the fireplace is already easily accessible. Plus, it makes it easier to haul equipment back and forth.
- Make sure you and any pets remain clear of the area. We appreciate your attentiveness, but our job goes that much smoother when we know that you and all your loved ones are safe from any chemical exposure. Don’t worry, we will always keep you fully informed throughout the entire process.
More questions on what to expect? Searching for just the right company to trust? For homeowners in Passaic County and throughout Northern and Central New Jersey, there is simply no place better than Garden State Chimney. Book a service with us online, through our website, or call 973-519-0802. We can’t wait to work with you.
Is It Okay To Clean Your Own Chimney?
While we’d love nothing more than to lay down a law that prohibits homeowners from partaking in dangerous home maintenance that they really ought to leave to the professionals, we cannot. Unfortunately, we have yet to claim any semblance of that power and we are not your parents – we can’t tell you what to do.
However, when it comes to any chimney repair or maintenance services, we strongly advise against any “DIY chimney cleaning solution.”
Why? Well, mostly because of everything we’ve already covered. Not only are chimneys prone to getting really, really filthy, they’re also really dangerous when not used correctly. Unless you have the proper tools, training, and expertise, cleaning your own chimney is quite a dangerous endeavor. Besides, wouldn’t you rather just kick back, relax, and let someone else get their hands (and clothes and face and shoes…) dirty, instead?
We’re the Team You Want – Schedule Your Chimney Inspection & Sweeping, Today
If you’re a homeowner in or around Wayne, NJ and are searching for that perfect, full-service chimney company, you’ve come to the right place. We are a team of professional, experienced, and honest chimney sweeps aiming to make the homes in our community safer, warmer, and cozier for the good people who occupy them.
From masonry rebuilds to leak repairs, system relining to fuel conversion, we’re the team to trust for it all. Call us today at 973-519-0802 or book online to schedule your chimney inspection and/or sweeping, today.
Don’t hesitate – call Garden State! (We might even ask to join you for our Mary Poppins song and dance – it’s a favorite around here.)