20 Years of Sweeping & Cleaning Portland’s Chimneys!
Just about every organization with any connection to homes or home heating — from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA) — recommends having your chimney regularly cleaned and swept by professional, CSIA-certified technicians. And that’s not just idle talk. The benefits of regular maintenance are many, from helping your chimney system function more safely and more environmentally-friendly to encouraging better performance and a longer service life. And that’s true whether you have a traditional masonry chimney, a pre-fabricated system or a chimney venting a furnace.
Safety Benefits Of A Clean, Swept Chimney
As you burn wood in your chimney, combustion creates a variety of byproducts, including hot gases flush with particulates. As those gases rise in your chimney, they reach the cooler flue walls, and condense into a liquid. The result is a dark, dirty and extremely combustible deposit called creosote. Over time, creosote will layer and thicken, creating several safety issues. First, the thicker the creosote, the more constricted your flue gets — and the less able it is to vent the byproducts of combustion. If creosote levels are considerable enough, it can block your flue, allowing toxic gases to get into your living area, heat to build up in the flue and, potentially causing a chimney fire and even a house fire. A professional chimney sweeping removes creosote and drastically lessens those risks.
Performance And Longevity Benefits Of A Clean Chimney
Think about the concept of aerodynamics: Cars, for example, are designed to allow air to flow over surfaces with as little obstruction as possible, and that plays out as smooth surfaces with gentle curves. Blunt points and craggy surfaces fight against the flow of air and lessen performance. That concept fits into your chimney’s performance, too. You want air to flow into, through and out of your flue as smoothly as possible, without anything blocking, slowing or otherwise hampering its movement. Debris and creosote build-up has an appreciable effect on flow, and creates a frustrating feedback loop — once draft is inhibited, you end up with more creosote, more significant problems, and vastly reduced performance. A properly swept chimney, however, will be free of debris and deposits, so the air will be free to flow. Along with inhibiting air flow, the various deposits that result from combustion — whether you’re burning wood, gas or oil — have acidic and corrosive qualities that will wear at your flue liner and chimney over time. The good news is: regular sweeping can minimize those effects and keep your chimney system performing better, longer.
The American Chimney & Masonry Chimney Sweeping Process
All of American Chimney & Masonry’s technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and by the Oregon Chimney Sweep Association (OCSA). That means you can expect us to follow the CSIA’s detailed and exacting chimney sweeping practices and provide you with the most thorough, effective service. Our techs use industry-leading tools that are specially designed for the type of chimney we’re sweeping, be it a masonry or pre-fabricated system. We thoroughly and cautiously break free and remove debris, creosote, soot and other deposits, and contain all of those materials with a high-speed vacuum. With American Chimney & Masonry, you can expect a thorough, mess-free service – guaranteed. We take extra steps to ensure a mess-free cleaning process, laying drop cloths, rug runners and tarps around the work area, and wearing shoe covers whenever we’re in your home. When American Chimney & Masonry visits your home, you can expect top-notch, dedicated service and a chimney that provides higher levels of performance and safety. If you’re overdue for a chimney cleaning or sweeping, give American Chimney & Masonry a call at 503-644-0393 or click here to schedule an appointment — our CSIA-certified technicians are ready to serve you! Our comprehensive chimney video inspection means we know exactly what needs to be done and it lets you be confident that you are getting the best chimney and fireplace service available.