Pozzi Chimney Sweep Blog

Prepare for Winter by Having Your Chimney Inspected and Cleaned

Chimney Winter Sweeping Image - Aurora IL - Pozzi ChimneyWhen the weather starts to cool down and winter is just around the corner, many people start to think about preparing their homes for winter. It just feels so good to cozy down into a house that has been cleaned from top to bottom. But in the midst of your fall cleaning, don’t forget about your fireplace and chimney. This is a job that you shouldn’t tackle yourself – you’ll want to hire Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified technicians like those from Pozzi Chimney Sweep.

The Importance of Yearly Inspections

Over a year of usage, your chimney can undergo some serious wear and tear. Although some of this wear and tear might be obvious, your chimney might also have structural damage that isn’t visible to the untrained eye. If this is the case, you’ll want to have the latest in technology to let you know exactly what is going on with your chimney. Pozzi Chimney Sweep uses a Chim-Scan to help see what problems might exist that need repair before another fireplace season begins. This Chim-Scan video camera is attached to a rod that the sweep can insert into your chimney. The video can be seen in real time on the computer screen so that you can see the problems and have them explained to you by your chimney sweeping professional.

The more obvious problem you may be having with your chimney is something you can see: the dirt and grime that can build up. A big part of this build-up is creosote – the black, sticky substance that is a natural byproduct of burning wood in your fireplace. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, creosote build-up is the cause of most chimney and fireplace fires.

Get rid of chimney odors

You may have noticed that over the summer your fireplace may have developed an unpleasant odor. This smell is from the creosote build-up inside your chimney, and the odor can become stronger in the summer because of high humidity. Although, according to the CSIA website, there are ways that you can reduce this problem on your own, there are also ways that Pozzi Chimney Sweep can help you with a more permanent solution. “The real problem is the air being drawn down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems in the house.” Your home may need a tight-sealing, top mounted damper that would reduce the air flow that is coming down your chimney, and this is a problem that Pozzi Chimney Sweep can solve.

Clean Service

You love the feeling of a house that has been deep-cleaned in preparation for winter. Rest assured that Pozzi Chimney Sweep experts use state-of-the-art equipment that have special vacuums attached, so that your clean house will stay that way.

If you’re ready to have your chimney inspected and cleaned, make sure that you make a call to Pozzi Chimney Sweep. Their CSIA certified professionals will make sure that they take care of all your chimney cleaning and repair needs, so that your fireplace and chimney will be as ready for winter as the rest of your house!

The Importance of Chimney Caps

Chimney Caps Image - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney SweepEvery homeowner knows that it’s important to have annual chimney inspections and cleanings. There are, however, other things that need to be checked out if you want to make sure that your fireplace continues to run efficiently and effectively. One of these things is a chimney cap. A chimney cap can save you money and headaches by protecting your chimney and your home from the dangers of fire damage, and the experts at Pozzi Chimney Service have the expertise and experience to get you the chimney cap you need.

Reasons For A Chimney Cap

Chimney caps hold a dual purpose when it comes to protecting your chimney. First, a chimney cap stops natural elements, such as leaves and twigs, from blowing into your chimney. Birds and other small animals can also get in your chimney; they find the enclosed space ideal for building nests. These blockages can catch sparks from your fire and cause chimney fires. Other natural elements, such as rain, sleet, and snow are also kept out of your chimney by a chimney cap.

A chimney cap is also necessary for stopping sparks from escaping from your chimney. If sparks are allowed to get out of your chimney they could land on your roof or even your yard and could cause serious fire damage.

What Kind of Chimney Cap Should You Get

You may be wondering what kind of chimney cap you need, and there are several kinds to choose from. The National Fire Protection Association gives insight into this question. A standard chimney cap can be fitted over different shaped chimney types (square, oval, round, or rectangular). Draft increasing chimney caps can be used on flat roofs; an adaptor is used to install this type of chimney cap if you have a masonry chimney. Draft master caps use wind to increase performance of the chimney flue. Integral damper mechanisms can be used in old fireplaces to cause a better draft, while top sealing fireplace dampers reduce heat loss and downdrafts. As you can see, there is a chimney cap to fit any homeowner’s needs.

Do You Really Need A Chimney Cap?

You may still be wondering if it is really necessary to either purchase a chimney cap or repair the one that you have. According the Chimney Safety Institute of America, chimney caps are “probably the most inexpensive preventive measure that a homeowner can employ to prevent water penetration and damage to the chimney.” You will want your chimney cap to be sturdily constructed of a corrosion resistant material. Inspection, cleaning, and repair of your chimney cap will be easier if the chimney cap is easy to remove. This inexpensive buy could be the smartest move you make to keep your home safe and protected from chimney fires.

Pozzi Chimney Sweep offers quality chimney cap maintenance, care, and inspection. If, after they have inspected your chimney, they determine that the cap was built with improper materials or was improperly installed, the professionals at Pozzi have the tools to rebuild or repair your existing chimney cap. And if rebuilding or repairing won’t take care of the problem, they have the know how to replace your chimney cap with a new one. For service you can trust, call the experts at Pozzi Chimney Sweep.

Carbon Monoxide and Your Fireplace

Pretty much everyone knows that carbon monoxide is dangerous.  A lot of us have carbon monoxide alarms already installed in our homes, right next to our smoke detectors. Carbon monoxide is one of those unseen enemies, which makes it even more frightening than the prospect of sleeping through a rogue fire in the home. The effects of carbon monoxide aren’t just deadly—there often isn’t a way to determine what’s happening before it’s too late. Mild poisoning can include symptoms of fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headache and shortness of breath. Severe poisoning, however, can hit quickly and cause loss of muscle control or consciousness, as well as vomiting. If not treated immediately, severe cases usually end with fatality.

Carbon monoxide can be produced by any kind of fuel-burning appliance, including fireplaces, heating systems, stoves and space heaters that burn fuels such as wood, coal, propane, kerosene, oils or natural gas. If any of these appliances aren’t burning completely, carbon monoxide is a result. Without a working exhaust, that carbon monoxide can fill the home and cause poisoning.

Anytime you burn something in your fireplace, what remains is a source of carbon monoxide.

Anytime you burn something in your fireplace, what remains is a source of carbon monoxide.

While it’s good to be cautious and careful about the use of any appliance that burns fuel, there are steps you can take to ensure that you can burn wood in your fireplace or stove successfully and safely. The CSPC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) directs consumers to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by having appliances “installed by qualified professionals”. Certified chimney sweeps must follow strict guidelines during installation, inspections and cleanings to adhere to safety regulations. You’ll gain confidence in knowing that the job was well done and your fireplace or stove, whether gas or wood, is properly exhausted so your air is clean and safe.

In addition to professional installation of your appliances, here are three things you can do to reduce carbon monoxide emissions while using your fireplace:

  1. First and foremost, have your fireplace or stove inspected and cleaned annually.
  2. Burn only dry, seasoned wood and keep your fire hot by stoking it frequently. This feeds the fire with oxygen and helps the heat stay high. Hotter temperatures equal complete and successful fuel combustion.
  3. If you haven’t already done so, install carbon monoxide detectors. The NFPA recommends placing them outside all sleeping areas and on every level of your home.

At Pozzi, we serve the Northern Illinois area, so don’t hesitate to give us a call to address your concerns about any aspect of your fireplace functioning. We have certified technicians and chimney sweeps that work hard to give you the confidence you need to enjoy your fireplace or stove.