Services > Inspections & Cleanings

Our Service To You

We feel the inspections and cleanings are the most thorough in the area.  What sets us apart from other companies is the education that we pass on to our customers.  Every customer gets a detailed fireplace or stove education booklet and approximately a 45 minute open discussion on the aspects of burning safely, cleanly, and enjoyably.

Our inspection will go over all aspects of your fireplace or stove and we will mark down in individual categories if they are considered satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or if it does not apply to your particular application.

We explain to you if your system needs a cleaning or not (you may not even need a cleaning!), if your system needs any repair and how severe it is, and what products we can offer you to enhance your burning experience, all in a no stress learning environment.

Once the inspection and cleaning are complete we go over the report to explain which areas of your system are satisfactory and unsatisfactory. We also review what products are available for upgrade, what repairs we can offer, how much was cleaned, and when your next inspection should take place.

Cleaning Process

When a cleaning is needed for a system, 9 times out of 10 it can be completed from the inside of the home / bottom of the flue. We put down drop clothes to protect the house and furniture and we use a half micron filtration vacuum to control any dust that comes back down the flue during brushing.

Not only do we brush the flue, we also brush the firebox, the damper, the smoke-rise, and we clean out the smoke shelf of ash, creosote, and debris.

At the end of the service we explain what type of creosote was in the flue before and after the brushing and if any special creosote cleaning products are needed to process the remaining creosote.

Types of Creosote

A common misconception when burning wood is that all creosote is the same and that after a period of time you'll have enough to brush.  Actually, given half a chance, a fireplace or stove is self cleaning and theoretically if the proper burning procedures are followed a flue can go without ever needing a cleaning as the creosote will burn off into the atmosphere.

So if all creosote isn't the same what types are there?  In total there are three levels of creosote: 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree creosote. 

First degree is a light, fine powder that tells us the customer is burning well.  First degree can be cleaned without issue.  Code calls for flue brushing of 1/8" or more in round flues and 1/4" or more in square/rectangular flues.

Second degree is clumpy creosote that is still able to be cleaned but tells us that something is not right in how the fireplace/stove is being used and that we should start asking questions to try and remedy the situation before it turns to third degree.

Third degree creosote is incredibly hard and dense as it forms in layers upon layers.  It is so hard that we can not clean it with conventional tools.  What we use is either ACS (Anti-Creosote) or Cre-Away which are both chemicals that process creosote into a brushable substance.  This process takes a season or more based on how much you burn.  Once it is processed we have to come back for a second cleaning to get the flue back to a clean and safe state.

Scheduling and Cleaning Rates

Currently our fully documented Level 1 Inspections run $99 (no tax) which gives you the full condition report of your system and an in-depth discussion on what areas are safe and unsafe.  If a cleaning is required our rates are anywhere from $169+tax to $199+tax for standard masonry, heatilator, pre-fab systems, or stoves.  Additional fees may apply if excessive cleaning is needed or if access is very difficult.

To schedule an inspection or cleaning please visit our contact page and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Cleaning Images

Before & After Cap Cleaning - Heavy 2nd/3rd Degree
(click image to enlarge)

Before & After SS Liner Cleaning - Mixed 1st/2nd/3rd Degree
(click image to enlarge)

Before & After Blocked Flue - Heavy 2nd/3rd/Honey Comb
(click image to enlarge)

3rd Degree Creosote
(click image to enlarge)

Cre-Away Powder Applied to 3rd Degree
(click image to enlarge)

Converted 3rd Degree via Cre-Away Ready for Cleaning
(click image to enlarge)