Auburn, Alabama

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Chimney Inspection

Sootaway’s Expert Chimney and Fireplace Services

Chimney Sweep Auburn, Alabama

Sootaway chimney sweep Auburn knows that fireplaces and chimneys are very important to maintain. As one of the riskiest areas of the home, when not properly maintained, fireplaces can become very dangerous. With that being said, if you own a fireplace, you should consider getting your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep team. Professional chimney sweeps can help minimize the risks of owning a fireplace and ensure your chimney is properly maintained. The Sootaway team consists of experienced chimney sweeps serving Auburn, Alabama. We help our clients feel secure with their fireplace so they can enjoy it anytime they want. Before discussing the benefits of our services, let’s cover what chimney sweeps do.

What is a Chimney Sweep?

A chimney sweep is a professional chimney technician who ensures homes are safe to use their fireplaces. Since the 1700s, fireplace owners have known cleaning their chimneys is a risky task. Homeowners would seek the help of young boys who would climb up their chimney to clean each brick and tile in the interior. Thankfully, commercial-grade equipment has taken that job away from children. Despite people knowing for over 300 years that chimney cleaning is very important, many people neglect to do this task, or they attempt to do it themselves.

Chimney sweeps are highly trained workers who have the proper equipment to clean chimneys thoroughly. Most homeowners do not have the necessary tools to get up and inside the chimney. To reach the entire chimney a pro needs the proper tools. A professional chimney sweep will use extendable brushes, specialized cleaning agents, and even cameras to ensure your chimney is completely clean. With that being said, hiring professional chimney sweep Auburn, such as those at Sootaway, has a multitude of benefits.

Chimney Fire Prevention Tips

Use Proper Fuel

Make sure the wood is seasoned and when choosing a type of wood, go for a hardwood like oak, maple, or ash. A few logs of greenwood can build creosote thick enough to start a chimney fire.

Proper Installation

Your wood stove or furnace must be installed properly and by a professional. This is to ensure there is proper distance between the flammable parts and the non-combustible parts of the heating system. A wood stove’s chimney must be brick-made (masonry) and factory-built. A single bricked chimney with no liner must never be used for a wood stove.

Chimney Cleaning

Get a professional chimney sweep to inspect your chimney at least annually. This should be even more frequent if the fireplace is lit regularly.

Use Smoke Detectors

With the help of smoke detectors, troubleshoot and take action immediately any time smoke is detected indoors. The smoke is most likely a result of a dirty chimney full of debris like dead leaves, twigs, soot, or creosote buildup that have resulted in chimney flue blockage. Other causes include soft or wet wood that has not burned completely or a damper that is not fully opened.

Dangers of Creosote 

Unfortunately, creosote is an unavoidable side effect of using your wood-burning fireplace. Creosote is a type of residue that results from burning wood. Creosote sticks to the walls of your chimney, and excessive buildup can lead to hazards such as odors in the home or chimney fires. Because creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires, the National Fire Protection Association recommends having your chimney annually. Your Sootaway chimney sweeps are experienced in cleaning chimneys and removing creosote and are happy to assist you.

soot in a firebos

Happy Customers

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Happy Customers

“Sootaway came out and used some spray to waterproof my chimney. Even gave me a 10 yr warranty in case we did start seeing leaks but reassured me that it would not be a problem again. I really appreciate knowing I don’t have to worry about my chimney for a long time.”

“I liked that this business called me ahead of time to verify my appointment, I almost forgot about it. Additionally, they laid down a cloth so that my carpet would stay clean. I liked the extra care they took during the whole process.”

“The back wall of my fireplace was heavily cracked. I wasn’t sure if this would cause other problems or not but I called just in case. They said they could replace it with a new one for a very reasonable price. Everything went smoothly and my fireplace is no longer cracked!”

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The Little Critters

Your chimney is a beautiful structure that is an important feature in your home. But it is also a great feature in the lives of little invaders.Here is some important information regarding these critters and how to keep them out of your home! It's important to make sure that your home is safe from little invaders.  Chimney SwiftsChimney Swifts are small birds commonly found in chimneys. They are unable to perch and therefore must cling to vertical surfaces. Chimney swifts are Federally Protected Migratory Bird, therefore there are limitations on what we can do to remove this bird. Give us a call to find out more!BatsIn a sense, chimneys are like a cave. Therefore, chimneys tend to be a prime habitat for migrating bats. When bats make a home in your chimney, they generally are going to be somewhere higher which makes them a challenge to remove. Give us a call to find out how we can remove your bat problems.SquirrelsLike for bats, chimneys are a great little home for squirrels. Most...
chimney fire that could have been prevented

Chimney Sweeping History

1600's - 1800's Chimney sweeping is a practice that dates as far back as the early 1600’s. Chimney sweeping and maintenance became in high demand more than ever after The Great Fire of London in 1666 due to more regulations being put into place. One of which was having narrower chimneys which launched the mass usage of children in chimney sweeping.  Poor parents usually sold their kids to a master sweeper and became “apprentices”. Child apprentices were forced to be inside and clean chimneys as narrow as 19”.  Children were forced to start as young as four years old with the ideal age being six years old. The use of children in chimney sweeping was prohibited in 1875 after a child got trapped in a chimney and died. This started the use of cleaning devices instead of people. The devices were rudimentary with the most complex one being a heavy lead or iron ball tied to a rope that they banged against the side of the flue pipe. 1900's to Present Day During the 1960’s fireplaces were no...
Blue tarp on a chimney

My Chimney Is Leaking – Help!

Uh oh.Water is coming from somewhere, and it looks like the fireplace is the culprit! If you fear your chimney is leaking, it’s best to call in a professional chimney sweep right away to address any necessary repairs.The sooner you get it done, the less overall damage you’ll end up facing. Not to mention, your fireplace will thank you! Dangers & Damages Behind A Leak So, what happens when a leak continues to occur? Unresolved water issues are a serious problem when it comes to your masonry chimney. Brickwork may seem strong and impenetrable, but it’s more like a sponge than you may think! It easily soaks in any excess water your system is exposed to, which causes it to break down a lot quicker over time. You’re looking at a much weaker structure in the long run, and you’ll be forced to invest in costly and time-consuming repairs.Along with this, water exposer leads to a lot of issues throughout your chimney system. Rust, rot, stains, clogs, and cracks are just some of the many...
Blue tarp on a chimney

The Menace of Leaks

Recently noticed water around your fireplace, chimney, or surrounding area? You probably have a leaking chimney on your hands, which can be a bump in the road for you and the comfort of your home and everyday life. However, A leaking chimney does not always manifest itself in obvious ways. Many homeowners falsely assume that all leaky chimneys present themselves as visible water in the fireplace or flue, but chimney leaks can originate from a few different places. If you have seen splits or cracks in your chimney, disintegrated mortar joints, and damaged stonework, it is likely that moisture is entering into the chimney. One of the most widely recognized causes for leaks is the flashing. Flashing is the area in which the metal sheets around the chimney and roof meet and is intended to be introduced in defensive layers. The spot in the rooftop where the fireplace leaves the house is one of the weakest zones with regards to water damage, and if the flashing is not carrying out its...
chimney fire

Chimney Fires, How Dangerous are they?

The chimney represents architectural addition to the home, but its actual function is to carry out gases from the fireplace or woodstove. Chimney fires are a serious problem, can still occur even with careful measures. That is why annual chimney repair and cleanings are critical for home maintenance. Therefore, people look for professional guidance for the maintenance of their chimneys. Causes of Chimney Fires The leading cause of a chimney fire is creosote. It builds up due to a restricted air supply, cool chimney temperatures, and unseasoned wood. In the presence of high flue temperature, the result could be chimney fires. Also, chimney fires happen due to precipitates of carbon and dust in the chimney. Structural or liner problems can allow high temperatures and sparks to escape to combustible areas in walls or roofs. These are the main reasons behind chimney fires. How to Identify a Chimney Fire? There are some ways to identify chimney fires so you can avoid the dangers of it and...

Chimney Sweep: The Importance of Chimney Flashing

A chimney has many parts that must be in the proper order to ensure optimum efficiency as well as your family’s and property’s safety. As any well-educated chimney sweep will tell you, there’s the smoke chamber which serves to guide smoke and noxious gases out of the fireplace and into the flue; which then guides the smoke up and out of the house into the open. Then you have the damper that you must not forget to open when lighting a fire and close when the chimney is not in use. Lastly, there is the chimney flashing. For those who live in areas prone to harsh weather like storms, chimney flashing is the best defense as long as it is solid and secure. A missing or damaged chimney flashing can only be noticed and fixed by a professional chimney sweep, and that is why annual inspection is crucial. What is Chimney Flashing? Chimney flashing is the sheet metal installed for the purpose of ensuring that the connection between the chimney and roof is watertight. It seals the space between...
Smokey Chimney Alpharetta GA

5 Common Chimney Leaks and how their Caused

Chimney leaks are a common problem often caused by several reasons. Chimney inspections are particularly important because they can help detect leaks early enough before they become worse. Here is what you can do to fix chimney leak issues. Chimney Leaks Cause #1: Your Chimney Lacks a Cap or Cover One of the major causes of a leaking chimney is that the chimney does not have a cover or cap on it. When your chimney has no cover on it, it is exposed to rain, debris from leaves, as well as animals. Consequently, several animals can enter or fall straight down inside. As well, a chase cover or cap can protect your chimney from rain and snow. While a blocked chimney can lead to a chimney fire, a clogged chimney does not release smoke which leads to possible carbon monoxide poisoning. To solve this, we recommend getting a chimney cap or cover. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Chimney Leaks Cause #2: Worn Out Bricks and Mortar Joints The mortar and bricks on your chimney...
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Histoplasmosis Horrors

OK.   You've heard the birds in your chimney. It's been a tight month, and so you've just avoided having your chimney swept.   The birds are gone, and you no longer hear sounds. What's next? You assume the problem is gone because you don't hear any-more sounds, right?  The problems are only beginning.   Histoplasmosis is a lung infection caused by inhaling fungal spores. But why would that matter to you?  Birds leave behind droppings which cause fungal spores. Breathing in fungal spores can lead to an infection of Histoplasmosis.   According to HealthLine, Histoplasmosis can cause: fever dry cough chest pain joint pain red bumps on your lower legs And even in severe places: excessive sweating shortness of breath coughing up blood It is very important to have your chimney swept to prevent these health problems! Contact us today for your quote!   
Fireplace Inspection on Stone Facade

What is a smoke chamber?

What does it do? A smoke chamber is located directly above the firebox, it's a part of the fireplace that the average person may never look at but it's one of the most important.  This unsung hero of your chimney stops smoke from entering your home and harming your family.  All the byproducts from the fire such as carbon monoxide and smoke are channeled into the flue pipe by the smoke chamber. Without it, invisible gasses will enter your home while burning in your chimney and do damage to you and your family. Parging This is the most common type of repair for a chimney. Parging is the coating of mortar applied to bricks to give the smoke chamber a smooth surface. It assists with structural integrity, how well it can remove the gas from the firebox while it's being produced, as well as overall improves your chimney safety. Parging benefits  Improves the safety of the chimney  A damaged smoke chamber can cause smoke to leave through the fireplace causing several health issues (from...

Conducting a Effective Chimney Flue Cleaning

The flue system is a combination of many parts that work together to provide ventilation for a fire. For the chimney system to perform its venting role properly, the components should be installed correctly and maintained regularly. This means that homeowners should schedule routine chimney sweeps, and annual inspections to have the safest and most efficient chimney system. The  SOOTAWAY Chimney Flue Cleaning Process The flue is the actual vent that the smoke from the fire flows through. It goes from the fireplace to the top of the chimney where a chimney cap protects it. The flue should be lined with a flue liner that protects the masonry from corrosion, protects the home from hazardous gases, and prevents heat transfer. The flue liner surface should be smooth, and the joints should be strengthened with a high heat sealant. The flue leads exhaust gases and remains from the fireplace upward, to escape into the atmosphere. The flue is sufficient because it uses the stack effect that...

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