If you own a fireplace, then you know how good it feels to light fires on those first cool, crisp days of fall. There’s nothing like getting a fire going when temperatures are on the colder side, and – trust us – a lot of your friends and neighbors feel the same way!
Here at Ashbusters Chimney Service, we tend to get a lot more calls once Labor Day has come and gone. Many families are coming home from end-of-summer vacations, and they’re eager to get maintenance in before their calendars start filling up with all those fall-related school and work activities. Because of this, we urge you to pick up the phone or reach us online to discuss your options with us as soon as you can, so that you are guaranteed a time slot that is convenient for you.
What Happens If I Wait?
Now, if you want to stay ahead of the maintenance curve, your best bet is to call now, but we understand that not everyone’s schedules look the same. If late October or November is more convenient for you, that’s fine with us, too! That being said, we still urge you to call now, as appointments get harder and harder to book as the end of the year gets closer.
All too often, we have folks calling in December hoping to get a last-minute inspection done before their holiday parties kick off, but at this point it’s not always a guarantee that we can help you out before Christmas. There’s typically a longer wait (think 3-4 weeks), and while we can put you on a wait list for any cancellations, there’s always a chance we won’t get to you in time.
In terms of waiting, our biggest suggestion is… don’t! Picking up the phone and giving our team a quick call only takes a few minutes, so cross this off your to-do list as soon as you can. This is one job you’ll be happy to have gotten done early!
Why Are Inspections So Important?
Now, there are times when a homeowner calls too late in the year and can’t get the service they need in time for an event, get-together, or family gathering. In these cases, it isn’t uncommon for them to light the fireplace anyway, despite not getting their annual inspection done before doing so. This is something we very strongly advise against.
Inspections are vital to both the health of your chimney and the safety of your home, and choosing to skip yours can lead to some major issues. For example, if your creosote deposits are high, a chimney fire could easily occur, causing significant damage to your chimney and putting your loved ones at risk of smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide exposure. Not to mention, damages throughout your brick give flames easy access to the rest of your home.
If it has been close to or over a year since your last inspection or if you suspect any damages or build-up has occurred, do not light your fireplace until a certified sweep can look things over. It’s not worth taking any chances!
We also hear stories of homeowners simply ignoring persistent issues, just hoping they will eventually clear up on their own. This could range from smelling smoke in upstairs rooms to seeing it in weird places (like coming out of the wall) to seeing or hearing water in the fireplace and more. Like we said… if anything looks suspicious, then it’s time to hold off on the fires and get in touch with our crew. This may be a bummer for previously planned events or gatherings, but putting others at risk is never worth it.
What To Expect
Once you’ve gotten your inspection scheduled, you may be wondering just what to expect from our team. Well, if you’ve regularly invested in inspections over the years and you haven’t had any remodeling or reconstruction work recently completed, then a level 1 inspection should be all you need. Basically, we’ll look at all easily accessible areas of your chimney and fireplace and ensure there are no structural flaws or obstructions. If everything looks like it’s still in tip-top shape, you’ll be good to go!
In other cases where repairs were recently completed or there were changes in shape, size, fuel type, or materials, a level 2 inspection will be recommended. These are also required when buying or selling a home or after a natural disaster (such as a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, etc.). In these cases, we’ll need to put a camera up your chimney in addition to all of the steps required in a level 1 inspection. This gives us a closer, more in-depth look, ensuring not a thing is missed [https://www.csia.org/inspections.html].
And in the rarest of occasions, a level 3 inspection may be warranted. This just means we’ll have to physically remove (or possibly deconstruct) parts of your chimney to find an issue that can’t be revealed with the use of a camera. These are far less common and only done when absolutely necessary. That being said, our team is equipped to tackle any job, so never worry when you count on us – we’re the best around!
Stop Putting It Off! The Time To Reach Out Is Now
This year people are in their homes more than ever, which makes them especially eager to ensure their air quality is good and their appliances are in order. Because of this, we are anticipating more calls than usual, which really means that getting your appointment on the books is something best done early. Why put it off any longer when our experienced, professional crew is ready to help you out soon?
Call now. We look forward to talking with you about any and all of your chimney and fireplace-related needs.