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It’s never too late to have your chimney cleaned

The winter months are drawing to a close, and spring soon will be upon us. If you have failed to have your chimney cleaned and inspected, you may assume that it’s too late, now that the fire-burning season is drawing to a close. However, it’s never too late to have your chimney cleaned!

In fact, the end of the burning season can be the perfect time for your annual and inspection! A spring chimney cleaning can reduce your risk of a chimney fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and chimney damage.Have Your Chimney Cleaned Image - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Services

Reduce your risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning

A spring chimney sweeping will clear out any of the creosote from this year’s fires. A buildup of highly flammable creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires, meaning that cleaning it out of your chimney drastically reduces your risk of a chimney fire. Blockages in your chimney, whether from creosote, animal nests or other debris, also can prevent carbon monoxide from exiting your fireplace, putting your family at risk from a deadly buildup of the gas within your home.

Additionally, the soot and creosote left in your chimney is highly corrosive. If you wait until the fall to have your chimney cleaned after the previous burning season, you’re allowing those corrosive materials to break down the inner walls of your chimney. A buildup of creosote also can have intrusive side effects — creosote can leave an unpleasant smell in your house during the warm, humid summer months. A cleaning and inspection at the end of the burning season is especially important if you have a pellet-burning appliance: Trapped pellets can swell in summer’s humidity, causing damage to your stove or fireplace.

Identify and address chimney damage

A spring chimney sweeping and inspection also identifies any water or fire damage your chimney endured during the fire burning season, giving you the opportunity to address it before it becomes a major issue. If you have your chimney inspected now and damage is found, that gives you plenty of time to determine the best way to approach repairs and have those repairs performed before you’re ready to use it again next fall.

Remember, any chimney damage, from water leaks to crumbing masonry, should be addressed as soon as it is identified. If minor damage is ignored, it can lead to major, expensive repairs in the future. And failing a failing chimney also can put your home at risk of a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you live around Sacramento, CA, and you’re overdue for your chimney sweeping and inspection, or if you prefer to have your chimney swept at the end of the fire-burning season, give the certified chimney sweeps at A to Z Chimney Services a call to schedule an appointment. It’s never too late for your annual chimney cleaning!

Start your year with a freshly cleaned chimney

The new year presents the perfect time to check things off of your to-do list. If you haven’t had your annual cleaning and inspection, you should start the year with a freshly cleaned chimney! An uncleaned chimney poses a risk to your home and family. Resolve to maintain your fireplace’s safety by scheduling a chimney sweeping with a certified technician from A to Z Chimney Services today!

Importance of annual chimney cleaningStart Your Year With a Freshly Cleaned Chimney - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Services

The National Fire Protection Association advises homeowners to have their chimneys cleaned and inspected at least once per year. An annual chimney sweeping guarantees that your chimney is clear from dangerous creosote. A highly flammable substance, creosote buildup is a leading cause of chimney fires. Creosote also can interfere with your chimney’s draft or cause an unpleasant smell in your home during warm summer months.

Your chimney sweep also inspects your fireplace and chimney for damage and proper function. Your annual chimney sweeping can help you to address minor problems with your fireplace or chimney before they become major problems. Even if you don’t use your fireplace often, animals can build nests inside, or debris can build up, causing dangerous or damaging blockages. Your annual chimney sweep will make sure that your chimney is free and clear.

Other considerations for chimney cleanings

Remember, the recommendation for annual chimney cleanings states that homeowners should have their chimneys cleaned at least once per year. The new year can be a good midway point in the fire-burning season to address any problems you may be having with your fireplace or chimney. Your chimney should be cleaned if you notice any problems or change in its function. Water seeping, smoke back drafting into your home or visible cracks can all be signs that your chimney is in need of inspection or cleaning.

If you notice any soot or creosote buildup within your flue, it’s time to have your chimney swept again, even if your chimney was swept at the beginning of the fire-burning season. One-eighth inch buildup of creosote is considered a fire hazard, though any noticeable amount of creosote can cause damage to your chimney, as creosote is acidic and can corrode a metal, factory-built flue. Burning fires frequently, using unseasoned wood or burning pine in your fireplace all can cause creosote to build up more quickly in your flue.

Call to schedule your chimney sweeping!

Call the certified chimney sweeps at A to Z Chimney Services today at (916) 850-2446 to start your year with a freshly cleaned chimney! We’ll make sure your chimney is free from debris, dangerous creosote or damage. When A to Z sweeps your chimney, you can be sure that your chimney is clean and safe for the rest of the fire-burning season!

Cupids in Black

The month of February is the time where we traditionally celebrate our love for our wives, husbands, and significant others.

Call upon a "Cupid in Black" to enjoy your fireplace this Valentine's Day

Call upon a “Cupid in Black” to enjoy your fireplace this Valentine’s Day

Traditions of fat, little winged, white-clad cupids flying around with arrows of love often come to mind when we give our very best Valentine saying, “Be Mine.” But have you ever heard of the cupids in black?

No?! Well let me tell you, they are AMAZINGLY crafty at giving romance a spark and setting hearts ablaze!
These cupids in black are often found high up in the air on the rooftops and chimneys, but they don’t have a bow and arrow in their hands! They come armed with chimney brushes and rods, and are in charge of helping you to enjoy your fires worry free so you can concentrate on more enjoyable things. No more nagging worries about the safety of your fireplace!

As a professional chimney sweep, I’ve had the pleasure of helping my fair share of families get back to basics with the ability to snuggle up to the glow of a nice warm fireplace on a cold winters’ night.

I’ve seen the joy in the eyes of many customers who have been able to use their gas fireplace for the first time in years after successfully repairing it for them.
I’ve seen kids rushed off to bed, shoes kicked off, and feet perched up on the coffee table in anticipation of the quiet, relaxing time to be spent in front of the fire with a significant other…
Yes, a cupid in black such as myself derives great pleasure and satisfaction from helping others set the mood for all kinds of wonderful time together, and all it takes is a little sweep’s touch.

If your chimney or gas fireplace needs the help of a cupid in black this February, please don’t hesitate to call A to Z for your next chimney sweeping!

Why does my chimney need a chimney cap?

We all love our chimneys! They add a certain aesthetic beauty to our homes and help keep our families safe from the smoke and harmful gases that would otherwise leak into our homes without them. Since we value them for the protection that they provide to our families, why shouldn’t we protect them a little, too? This is where chimney caps come into play. They’re not required by laws or codes to be on our chimneys; however, it is strongly recommend that you consider having one installed.

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THE PURPOSE OF A CHIMNEY CAP

It’s quite simple actually. The basic job of a chimney cap is to cover the chimney’s opening in an effort to keep water, birds and other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris from getting into your chimney and/or house. Water is directed away from the center and off the sides of your chimney. Birds, other wildlife, leaves, twigs and other debris are blocked from getting to your chimney via the mesh screening on the side, thereby preventing it from becoming a giant trash can. If any of these things were to get into your chimney, they could damage the chimney and cause more problems for you down the road. On the other hand, keeping them all out can increase the lifetime of your chimney liner.

VARIOUS MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE

Chimney caps are made from a variety of materials—galvanized steel, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum—and can be simple or ornate. Stainless steel caps generally give homeowners the most bang for their buck, as they are not impacted by the elements as much as are the other materials. Galvanized steel and aluminum caps can and will eventually rust and need to be replaced, while shiny, more expensive copper caps will slowly weather and eventually end up the same color as the Statue of Liberty (some homeowners may actually prefer copper’s natural patina and will be willing to fork over the extra money for it; it’s purely a personal preference).

CONSIDER HAVING A CHIMNEY CAP INSTALLED

For those who are worried about the cost associated with a chimney cap, basic caps are available at a pretty fair price. Deciding to purchase a chimney cap and have it installed by a professional chimney technician is a choice you won’t soon regret, as it’s much cheaper to add a chimney cap now than to be faced with repairing or replacing your chimney liner much sooner than would otherwise be necessary.

It’s also a lot cheaper to have a cap installed than to hire a pest removal specialist to remove a family of raccoons from your chimney. Unless you just really want to get a visit from Ernie “The Turtle man” Brown or the Verminators, do yourself a favor and have a chimney cap installed. With A to Z Chimney Services, you can be confident that you’re receiving the best in chimney care from experienced and educated technicians. All of our sweeps are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and work to continuously improve their skills and add to their knowledge. We guarantee honest, high quality, clean work every single time we’re in the field.

Luck of the Chimney Sweep

Many people have heard the saying “the luck of the Irish.” However, not as many people are aware of another lucky bunch: the chimney sweeps of the world. If you’ve seen the movie Mary Poppins at any point in your life, you may at least remember the chorus of the song “Chim Chim Cher-Ee”:

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Chim, chimney,
Chim, chimney,
Chim, chim, cher-ee.
A sweep is as lucky,
As lucky can be.
Chim, chimney,
Chim, Chimney,
Chim, chim, cher-oo.
Good luck will rub off when
I shakes hands with you.
Or blow me a kiss
And that’s lucky, too.

Many of you may find that you’re able to sing right along with that song, even if you might not have paid much attention to the words you were singing before now.

THE LEGEND IS BORN…TWICE

During the 1700s, King George was riding in a procession when a wild animal emerged from the crowd and began barking and snarling. This dog startled the horse upon which the King was riding so severely that it began to buck wildly, causing the King to lose control of the halter. As the horse continued bucking and jumping, a chimney sweep came forward from the crowd of onlookers and caught the halter, eventually calming the wild horse and saving the King from serious injury and/or death. The King was said to have declared that, from that point forward, chimney sweeps were lucky; the custom of regarding sweeps as sources of luck rapidly spread throughout Europe thenceforth.

LEGENDS SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE

As mentioned previously, the legend of the chimney sweep quickly spread across Europe and slowly made its way across the proverbial pond when many Europeans immigrated here thereafter. In Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the surrounding regions, the chimney sweep is considered a particularly favorable omen of good luck if you meet with him on New Year’s Day. As the years went on and chimney sweeps became quite rare in the area, meeting one at any time of the year began to be considered lucky.

BRIDES LOVE US

Legend has it that in 1066, King William was rescued by a chimney sweep who pushed him out of the way of a runaway carriage. The King was so overwhelmed by this act that he invited the sweep to his daughter’s wedding to express his gratitude and declared sweeps to be lucky, thereby permitting them to wear top hats, which, to that point, were typically reserved only for the distinguished class. From that point forward, the presence of a chimney sweep at a wedding has been a sign of good luck. Brides are thought to have an especially lucky marriage if kissed on the cheek by a chimney sweep on the day of their wedding. Inviting chimney sweeps to wedding is still popular in Great Britain and Germany today; some sweeps even encourage these invitations by renting themselves out as wedding guests!

Whether you choose to believe these legends or not, the fact of the matter is that visits from chimney sweeps are lucky and will instill good fortune into your home for the coming year. How can we make this claim? The answer is simple: we provide for the safety of everyone who enters your home by ensuring that your chimney system is operating at peak levels when you need it most. To schedule your visit from the good luck fairy, give the professionals at A to Z Chimney Services a call today. Let our good luck rub off on you, too!