Chimney Inspections

Simply sweeping out a chimney, or looking up or down inside the chimney, cannot determine if it can be safely operated.

 

chimney inspections by always a sweep
Annual chimney inspections help prevent fire and carbon monoxide poisonings. The experienced technicians at Always A Sweep only use state-of-the-art equipment to inspect chimneys of all kinds, especially in Florida!

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends annual chimney inspections. Did you know there are three inspection levels? These inspections range from looking for the basic soundness of your chimney to removing certain components where necessary.

chimney inspections by always a sweep

Levels Of Inspections

Know What You Need

 

Level 1

The Level 1 inspection is an “Annual Maintenance Only” inspection limited to the inspection of “readily accessible” areas without the use of specialized tools. This level of inspection is typically sufficient if your fireplace has already passed a Level 2 inspection by a Certified Chimney Professional (CCP, CSIA, or NFI) in the last 18 months, and they documented that it met those requirements. As long as no significant events have transpired, a Level 1 inspection should be sufficient to determine that the system is still “Operational Ready.” This inspection ensures that the readily visible areas of the system are inspected to ensure that nothing has changed.

Level 2

Level 2 inspection includes inspection of all the “accessible” areas of the fireplace and chimney system using video equipment, ladders, and other specialty tools, as required. Below are a few scenarios when a Level 2 Inspection is needed:

  1. First time service for a fireplace system.
  2. Upon sale or transfer of a property.
  3. When any changes are made to the system, such as a change from a wood burning appliance to gas appliance (or vice versa).
  4. After an operation malfunction or external event (for example, strong winds, lightning strike, chimney flue fire) that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney.

Level 3

Level 3 inspection is an invasive inspection of a specified area(s) that is occasionally recommended by a certified technician after a level 2 inspection to further assess for a suspected hidden type of deficiency that may leave the home in danger. These types of inspections are usually related to combustible materials hidden in walls, ceilings, and floors that constitute some of the most dangerous types of hazards.

Our CSIA/CCP Certified Chimney Sweeps will be able to provide you with a comprehensive inspection to identify potential hazards, to make recommendations for maximizing efficiency and saving on home energy costs, and to provide tips to minimize hassle and maximize enjoyment.

With regular chimney inspections and proper maintenance, you are helping to prevent a dangerous fire and avoiding repairs much more expensive than the cost of preventative measures.

What can you expect from your Inspection & Sweep appointment?

An annual chimney sweep service includes the cleaning of a chimney, fireplace, vents and solid fuel-burning appliances to remove soot and light creosote deposits within the flue lining.

We provide a ZERO mess sweep of the entire interior system based on need or user request. Annual cleaning and maintenance of your chimney and fire appliance provides peace of mind and a long life of providing warmth to your home.

Why Choose Always A Sweep?

We have been providing expert chimney inspections to Ocala & Gainesville Florida since 1982.

Chimney Sweep

What you can’t see can hurt your chimney and your home.

 

chimney sweeping

Open combustion burning such as wood and gas fueled appliances leave products in the flue known as soot, slag, or creosote. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) identifies creosote (soot, slag, creosote) levels of 1/8 inch or if any shiny (2nd or 3rd degree) creosote is present. While a standard sweeping may not completely remove glazed, caked, or layered 3rd degree creosote deposits, it can get rid of most buildup or blockages.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that your chimney be swept as often as each cord of wood burned, but some systems will need to be swept more often in climates or situations that have poorer draft.  Florida, where fireplace usage tends to be in warmer weather, with poorer drafting and increased creosote accumulation, is a prime example of this. 

    chimney sweeping

    Our technicians are trained in the most up-to-date rotary power sweeping equipment to ensure that we remove the dangers to your home as effectively and efficiently as possible.  In cases where 3rd degree creosote is found due to poor burning practices and/or lack of consistent maintenance, our certified technicians are trained in safe chemical cleaning practices to remove it.

    How do you know if your chimney needs sweeping?  These are just a few indicators that may or may not be present:

    • Burnt wood odors coming from the fireplace when it’s not being used.
    • Fires that seem to burn poorly or that allow smoke spillage into the room.  
    • You haven’t had a professional inspection to determine if sweeping is necessary this year.

    If during the initial inspection, a chimney is found to NOT need a sweep (based on type and level of soot build up), our certified technicians provide the option for homeowners to decline the sweep until the following season, potentially saving homeowners money that can be used for other household needs.  If a system is at or near the recommended sweeping level, or if the inspection cannot be adequately completed without sweeping, our certified chimney professionals provide a ZERO mess sweep of the entire system, including the firebox, throat, smoke chamber, smoke shelf, and interior chimney flue liner.

    We protect flooring with heavy grade one use tarps (once they are used in one home they get washed before being used again) and a professional chimney sweeping powerful 3 motor vacuum with fine micron HEPA filtration, with cloth, and Dacron back up filters to ensure that your home stays mess free. When necessary for chemical cleaning, additional protections to include plastic zip wall barrier rooms are installed around the work area. Our customized methods ensure that your home stays clean. We respect your treasures and your pets.

    Dryer Vent Cleaning & Inspections

    Having your dryer vents cleaned can prevent dryer fires, improve efficiency, and extend the life of your dryer and clothes.

     

    dryer vent replacement repair reconnect

    With every load of laundry, dust and lint build up in dryer vents, reducing your dryer’s efficiency, and causing it to overheat leading to damage and increasing the risk of a dryer or dryer vent fire.

    Our experienced team of CSIA/CDET certified professionals are trained to skillfully clean and inspect your dryer vent so that it is free from all blockage and ready for use. And if it vents to the roof, we get on the roof to ensure that the termination is properly cleaned.

      dryer vent replacement repair reconnect

      An internal live image scan is completed after every service to ensure that the system is clear and free of defects that can leave your home at risk.  No matter the difficulty level, rest assured that our experienced team can handle your dryer vent needs.

      National Fire Protection Association recommends at least annual cleanings and many dryer appliance manufacturer’s recommend or require cleaning every 6-9 months depending on usage. Depending on the number and type of pets in the home, some homeowners find it necessary to clean the vent multiple times per year.

      Water Intrusion Assessment

      Preventative or emergency, we will provide a solution!

       

      Moisture entering the chimney can lead to dangerous conditions and expensive repairs, often because it can go undetected for quite a long time.  Not all water intrusion immediately leaves readily visible signs of damage on ceilings, walls, or floors, but extensive microbial growth, rotting wood, and subtle damage to insulation, ceilings, walls, and floors may be slowly happening.  

      Let our certified professionals do a Water Intrusion Assessment including use of professional Infrared camera technology to identify problem areas and provide solutions. Water can enter through multiple different areas of the chimney, which is often improperly diagnosed as a roof or flashing issue. Our experienced team can identify the entry point(s), take care of fixing the chimney to stop the leaking, and repair the damage to the home.  

      Before

      After

      Before

      After

      Moisture entering the chimney can lead to dangerous conditions and expensive repairs often because they can go undetected for quite a long time. And, not all water intrusion immediately leaves readily visible signs of damage on ceilings, walls, or floors, but extensive microbial growth, rotting wood, and damage to insulation, ceilings, walls, and floors may be slowly happening.

      Let our certified professionals do a Water Intrusion Assessment including use of professional Infrared camera technology to identify problem areas and provide solutions. Water can enter through multiple different areas of the chimney which is often improperly diagnosed as a roof or flashing issue. Our experienced team can identify the entry point(s) and take care of fixing the chimney to stop the leaking and repair the damage to the home.

      Attic Ladders

      Is your wooden attic ladder broken or unstable?

       

      As professionals that use attic ladders every day, we know the importance of having a sturdy attic ladder. Let us replace your wobbly old wooden ladder with a sturdier aluminum ladder. They are lighter weight and easier to use.

      Need more attic storage space?
      Don’t have a ladder in a bedroom or bonus room?
      Ask our team about installing one and adding flooring or shelving in the attic.
      Our licensed contractor and certified technicians can handle a wide variety of installation needs.

      New Installations

      Wish you could get in the attic easier or from a different room? Whether you have a scuttle hole currently where you want a ladder, or whether you need one installed in a new area, our certified professionals are happy to help.

      Replacement

      Is your rickety old attic ladder keeping you down? Get a step up with a new sturdy aluminum ladder installed by Always A Sweep. We can make your ladder great again with a sturdy and light aluminum ladder with our expert installers.

      Before

      old wood attic ladders are unsafe

      After

      always a sweep replaces old wood attic ladders with new metal safe attic ladders

      Before

      old wood attic ladders are unsafe

      After

      always a sweep replaces old wood attic ladders with new metal safe attic ladders

      As professionals that use attic ladders every day, we know the importance of having a sturdy attic ladder. Let us replace your wobbly old wooden ladder with a sturdier aluminum ladder. They are lighter weight and easier to use.

      Need more attic storage space?
      Don’t have a ladder in a bedroom or bonus room?
      Ask our team about installing one and adding flooring or shelving in the attic.
      Our licensed contractor and certified technicians can handle a wide variety of installation needs.

      New Installations

      Wish you could get in the attic easier or from a different room? Whether you have a scuttle hole currently where you want a ladder, or whether you need one installed in a new area, our certified professionals would be happy to help.

      Replacement

      Is your rickety old attic ladder keeping you down? Get a step up with a new sturdy aluminum ladder installed by Always A Sweep. We can make your ladder great again with a sturdy and light aluminum ladder with our expert installers.

      Smoking Chimney

      Smoke should go up and out, not down and in your living room!

       

      smoking chimney

      A leading cause for concern when operating a wood burning fireplace is smoke backing up into the house. When smoke backs up into your home, this could be a sign of poor draft conditions and venting issues in your chimney.

      This can happen on any appliance and for a lot of different reasons. Be aware of the following:

          • If you see smoke from your chimney or if you see black smoke, put out your fire and contact Always A Sweep. Black smoke is a sign you may be burning something toxic.
          • A light colored smoke means your fire isn’t burning efficiently, therefore, an adjustment to your air intake is needed.
      smoking chimney
      Consult with Always A Sweep for your new fireplace makeover

      Fireplace Design Consultation

      Sometimes you need an experienced and trusted advisor!

       

      Consult with Always A Sweep for your new fireplace makeover

      One of our favorite services is our fireplace design consulting. We love to help homeowners and contractors find their best fireplace. Whether you have an existing fireplace that you would like to beautify safely or you want to add something to set off that living room or bonus room, we would love to help guide you to a fireplace and design that you and your family could enjoy for decades.

      Our NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialists understand both the serious potential safety concerns as well as the wide variety of wood, gas, electric, and water vapor fireplace systems on the market today. "We help you have a fire on your hearth, and not in your home!” 

      Why Choose Us

      We will make sure the job is done right!

       

      Always A Sweep experienced and certified team

      At Always A Sweep, we are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality dryer vent cleaning services throughout Ocala and Gainesville, FL and surrounding areas. In addition to servicing chimneys, we inspect and clean dryer vents in one- and two-story homes. A thorough sweep by one of our dryer exhaust technicians includes searching for any issues that might interfere with optimal operation. Highly effective diagnostic tools allow us to detect and resolve issues before they become problems.

      Our knowledgeable team is skillful at removing the buildup from your dryer vent, and will restore your machine to proper levels of functioning. As certified chimney sweeping professionals, you can count on us to get the job done right the first time. Our family has been serving Marion and Surrounding counties for over 35 years, and we look forward to serving you.

      Always A Sweep experienced and certified team