We’re Indianapolis’ Trusted Fireplace Inspection & Sweep Experts
Did you know that, according to National Fireplace Protection Association (NFPA) standards, fireplaces and their accompanying chimneys – whether wood-fueled or gas – should be inspected and swept at least once a year? And if you use your fireplace more frequently than the average homeowner, that number actually goes up.
Why? Because regular chimney cleanings and inspections are vital for ensuring the safety and efficiency of your wood or gas heating appliance.
Fortunately for folks in Indianapolis and its surrounding cities, Smalling Masonry can help with this yearly overview, allowing you peace of mind and total enjoyment for years to come. Call or book online today.
What You Can Expect From the Chimney Inspection Process
You’re eager to use your fireplace for the year, but you want it to function safely and with ease – and, of course, give off plenty of heat. But welcoming technicians into your home is always a bit stressful, right? Well, we’re here to ensure everything goes smoothly and seamlessly. That’s why we have a full rundown of what you can expect from us after getting your chimney inspection booked.
When the day of your inspection appointment arrives, you can expect our fully trained and licensed techs to show up on time and ready to complete a full-system evaluation – from the bottom of your firebox to the top of the chimney crown.
During your appointment, we’ll:
- use state-of-the-art tools and technology to complete a comprehensive assessment.
- ensure every component of your system is checked and inspected.
- use the most advanced techniques and strategies.
- perform a thorough and in-depth sweeping of your chimney and fireplace.
- adhere to a comprehensive checklist to ensure we don’t miss a thing.
- use a specialized camera feed to get a look at every nook and cranny.
- take multiple pictures of your system that you can review with us afterwards.
- look for signs of any hazards that might affect your safety while using the system.
- check for any operational and/or structural issues.
Once the inspection is completed, we’ll give a detailed multi-page report of our findings. This doesn’t just mean handing you a stack of paper with a bunch of confusing terms and jargon. It means going over it with you, answering your questions and discussing potential issues (as well as what can be done to address or correct them) along the way.
All in all, you can expect the appointment to take around 2 hours in total.
Chimney Inspection vs. Chimney Sweeping: What’s the Difference?
So, when it comes to scheduling your chimney inspection and sweeping, juggling the terms can get a bit confusing. Some companies seem to offer these services separately, some offer different levels of inspections, and some offer chimney cleanings, rather than chimney sweepings. So… what gives?
Well, our customers deserve the very best, so for us it’s a 2-in-1 service. Let’s break both aspects down a bit to get a better overview.
Fireplace/ Chimney Inspection
Our safety inspections are meant to provide you with peace of mind, allowing us to look for anything that might keep your system from performing optimally for you and your household. These also help to protect your home from potential chimney fires and/or any dangerous fumes that could make their way into your living space if your chimney is blocked up or damaged.
As far as levels of inspections go, we always do a full, in-depth, and thorough camera inspection. Other companies will often only offer the most basic overview (which doesn’t include video equipment at all), but we aim to set our standards higher.
And if we see any evidence of a high-heat event that your insurance company may want to see (like pyrolysis), we’ll stop our process and discuss next steps with you first, ensuring all evidence is properly intact and/or documented.
Fireplace/ Chimney Sweeping
Like we’ve said, it’s recommended to have an inspection completed by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep every year to keep maintenance costs down and catch issues as they come up. During these, we will also sweep the chimney, if needed, prior to completing our assessment. This service is included in the price.
Why is this necessary? Because we always get the job done right, and we know that you cannot thoroughly inspect a system if it’s filled with debris and needs to be swept.
A sweeping from us includes:
- Using drop cloths to protect your home
- Using industrial vacuums to clear out excess debris
- Continued visual inspections to check the condition of the chimney
- Running small brushes/rods through the smoke chamber and damper
- Scooping creosote and soot off the smoke shelf
- Cleaning out the firebox
Once complete, any combustible byproducts (like creosote) will be removed, as will any outdoor debris (like twigs, nesting materials, leaves, grass, etc.) that could cause blockages.
Oh – and as for the difference between a cleaning and sweeping, both descriptions tend to be used interchangeably in the industry. That said, the technically correct term is “chimney sweeping.” This is because getting a chimney shiny and clean, like you might a tile floor, simply isn’t realistic or necessary.
What is pyrolysis? When we speak of pyrolysis with regards to your fireplace, we are talking about when any woodwork surrounding the system starts decomposing due to exposure to high temps. This process makes your home a lot more vulnerable to fires, and it’s a clear-cut sign that something isn’t right with your fireplace – whether it has to do with installation, missing components, or damage somewhere inside. If we spot any signs of pyrolysis during our inspection, we’ll be sure to find the issue and get you a resolution.
Don’t Miss an Inspection – Sign Up for Our Maintenance Plans
So, the first days of fall have finally arrived. Temps are dropping, leaves are changing colors, and it’s about time to light your first fireplace fire of the season. Only… you just realized you didn’t get your annual sweep and inspection booked. Now, you’re scrambling trying to get a spot scheduled during a period that’s notoriously busy for the chimney industry.
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, it might be a good time to sign up for our annual maintenance plan.
Here’s how it works. With our plans, we will proactively schedule a check-up each year, ensuring your system is checked for proper functionality, structural soundness, and overall cleanliness. This plan is great for ensuring your fireplace continues to perform at optimal levels and stays in compliance with any warranties it’s under.
After you have accepted and enrolled in our plan, we will be in touch approximately two weeks before its time to get your annual sweep and inspection scheduled. We aim to have these completed sometime in April – June for wood-burning appliances and sometime in August for gas-burning systems.
Once we arrive, you can expect the full appointment to last about an hour and a half, so please plan accordingly.
Please note that this service does not include the replacement or repair of defective parts identified during the inspection. Smalling Masonry reserves the right to make changes or cancel this plan at any time.
Ready for the perks? These plans include:
- 15% off our regular price, if scheduled during our non-peak season
- Locked-in lower rates for as long as your service plans stays active
- Appointment booking calls 2 weeks ahead of time
- No price increases on your annual sweeping and inspection
Rest easy knowing you’re saving money and that we will reach out to you when it is time to schedule your annual maintenance by signing up today.
What We Need From You
- Please do not burn for at least 48 hours before your appointment.
- Due to the power equipment we use and creosote being a carcinogen, we ask that all pets and children be kept out of the areas we will be working in.
- We will need a 7×7 foot area cleared around the fireplace prior to our arrival.
If you have any questions, please contact our office at 317-903-8121.
What Does Our Wood/Gas Fireplace Safety Inspection & Sweep Include?
Our overviews will include the following:
- A complete inspection of your fireplace and chimney system
- Sweeping of your flue, if needed, during our inspection visit
- Compliance with any manufacturer product warranties on completed projects
- Camera scan of the internal system, including the smoke chamber and liner
- Visual inspection of the firebox, hearth, clearances, flashing, crown, masonry, rain cap, and all other exterior portions of the chimney
Depending on whether you burn wood or gas, these inspections may vary based on your appliance. For instance, on gas appliances, we’ll check the gas lines and seals for leaks or damage, clean the gas logs, check the gas pressure, and complete other tasks that wouldn’t be required for a wood-fueled setup.
Ready to Get On Our Schedule Books?
When it comes to scheduling your annual chimney and fireplace maintenance, we think that the sooner you can get booked, the better. In fact, spring and summer inspections are ideal because our schedule book is less busy and we’ll have ample time to complete repairs before your burning season officially kicks off.
To ensure your fireplace stays the beautiful focal point you want it to – and doesn’t turn into a liability headache – maintain it regularly with our experienced and certified technicians.