Yes, there are three levels of chimney inspections.
The National Fire Protection Association is the industry standard code. Specifically, NFPA-211 goes over these levels exhaustively. The NFPA makes this data available to the public for free. You will have to set up an account, but it is not a big deal. Click the link below if you want to get your data from the source:
The City of Portland Fire Blog has a great entry on May 8, 2012 Titled "Reduce your risk of wildfire in just a few hours. The blog entry has a great diagram and 10 written points. Here is the link:
A spark arrestor is a tight-fitting metal chimney cap that reduces spark output into the environment. They are made of galvanized steel, stainless steel, copper, etc. This year I have received more requests than any of the previous 20 years for spark arrestors. The exact term used was "spark arrestor." This tells me that people are concerned more than ever about preventing wildfires.
A homeowner gets the additional benefit of keeping the inside of the chimney flue dry and keeping animals from nesting in the chimney. Another benefit is that the damper does not rust (spendy repair bill when I have to replace a damper…) The list of dead animals I have pulled out of a chimney with no rain cap is birds, squirrels and a duck! Homeowners complained about the odor. Even though I have a vested interest in selling the idea of purchasing a spark arrestor, it does make good sense and is a wise use of your money. Having completed that pitch, Happy Labor Day!
This is a very good list, compliments of Portland Fire & Rescue:
The people at the USDA Forest Service probably know a thing or two about firewood and its use…
Go to this link for some great data:
We recently cleaned a fireplace chimney that had a woodstove insert with no liner. This is as bad as it gets:
Masonry heaters have been around for more than 7600 years, possibly beginning in China. Click on the link below to see several photos of masonry heaters and detailed history and technical data.
In the ancient days we had to use ridged stainless steel pipe and very heavy-duty flex pipe to line a chimney. The liner would frequently get caught up in bends in the chimney system and cause us much grief. We install liners to make chimneys safe, and as mechanical code requires when installing to the exhaust ports of woodstoves and oil-fuel furnaces. Now we have light-weight stainless steel flex material that lines the entire run of the chimney and is much easier to install. One word of caution though: care needs to be taken when sweeping these liners. A chimney sweep can damage one of these liners if done improperly with the wrong equipment. The next blog will discuss this cleaning procedure, so please watch for the posting…
Have a good day!
There are two reasons that I like Napolean woodstoves:
They heat well and my customers rave about them.
They save my customers money.
We do not have a brick-and-mortar storefront, as we clean and repair chimneys and install woodstoves. We order in our Napolean stoves as needed. This allows us to pass the savings along to customers. Our customers rave about their new stoves heating capacity and fuel efficiency. They also love the price. Here is a link to Napolean corporate:
The above photos are of extremely flexible PVC rods and of a poly brush. This equipment is ideal for cleaning light-weight stainless steel all-flex liners. These rods and brushes navigate bends in flexible liners very easily. The rods and brushes in the photos below are very stiff, and can get caught up in a flex liner, and possibly rip the liner. They should not be used: