Chimney FAQ


Why Should I Have My Chimney Swept?

‘Dirty Chimneys Burn’, and that can include your home. Combustible deposits, called creosote, collect in your chimney when you burn fires in your fireplace. Whether the fuel is wood, packaged sawdust logs, or gas, these deposits can easily ignite under the right conditions, and the fire can spread to the rest of your house. Fireplaces can handle a great deal of heat – chimneys cannot!

The intense heat transfers to combustible material near the chimney. Not only is the chimney usually damaged severely but your home is, many times, next in line. Have us sweep and inspect your system each year.

How Often Should I Have My Chimney Inspected & Swept?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other professional groups call for yearly inspections and sweepings as necessary.

Even if you don’t use your fireplace much, birds and other animals can find their way into the chimney. They build nests and can cause health and fire hazards. Deterioration from leaks, aging, storms and other sources can render your chimney less than safe. So, have it inspected/swept each year the same way you would check the air in your tires and the oil in your car, even if you only seldom drive the car. Better safe than sorry.

Do Gas Log Fireplaces Need To Be Inspected Or Swept?

The answer is YES! Vented gas log fireplaces need all the attention that a wood-burning fireplace requires. Vent-free gas log fireplaces require yearly inspection (based on manufacturer’s specifications) to check for gas leaks, carbon monoxide leaks, and a variety of fireplace deficiencies which could be hazardous. Switches, pilot lights, thermocouples and connections need inspections, possibly a cleaning and their functionality checked.

A little known fact is that vent-free gas logs require a fresh air source, like a door or a window slightly opened during use.

Why Does My Fireplace Have A Bad Smell?

Some Nashville houses have negative pressure problems which pull air down the chimney and into the house. Unfortunately, creosote stinks, especially if moisture is present, so dirty, moist chimneys really stink. Sweeping the chimney can go a long way toward improving the situation, but it may be necessary to make other changes like installing a top-sealing damper on the chimney, making repairs to stop water leaks into the chimney and/or installing a vent to equalize a negative pressure. Our inspection will help identify these problems and their solutions.

How Can I Know If I’m Buying Good Firewood?

Firewood should have a moisture content of 15% to 25% and be kept continuously dry. Most firewood bought by the roadside rarely meets these standards and burning it will likely result in a more rapid, dangerously excessive creosote buildup and poor fireplace performance, including smoky problems. A moisture meter, costing between $50 & $100 could assist you in your search, but the wisest approach is probably to acquire your firewood 9 to 12 months in advance and keep it continuously covered from rain. This virtually assures great wood and better fires.


Our customer testimonials speak for themselves. There’s no better crew to trust than Chimney Kleen.