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Chimney Repair Forest Hill MD

QUESTION:I've read a lot about dangerous chimney problems in Forest Hill - fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, to name just two. How often should I have my chimney cleaned?

Van Deusen Construction Co. Inc.
323 Williams St
Bel Air, MD
Services
Remodeler
Awards
2007 Guildmaster, 2008 Guildmaster with Distinction, 2010 Guildmaster with Highest Distinction

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ADR Builders, Ltd.
1850 York Rd, Suite H
Timonium, MD
Service Type
Designer / Architect, Remodeler
Awards
2007 Guildmaster with Highest Distinction

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Diversified Landscape Maintenance
(410) 879-8678
2910 Grier Nursery Road
Forest Hill, MD
 
Home Exterminating & Lawn Care CO
(410) 877-3350
2305 Bel Air Road
Fallston, MD
 
Diversified Landscaping Contractors
(410) 836-9336
333 Williams St
Bel Air, MD
 
Atlantic Remodeling
8015 Corporate Dr., Suite I
Baltimore, MD
Services
Remodeler, Specialty Contractor
Membership Organizations
Qualified Remodeler Top 500, Qualified Remodeler Top 500 2009

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Aj Landscaping LLC
(410) 420-3400
1705 Ingleside Road
Forest Hill, MD
 
Universal Pond Supply
(410) 983-0592
1021 Old Fallston Road
Fallston, MD
 
Walter G. Coale- Inc.
(410) 838-6470
2849 Churchville Rd
Churchville, MD
 
Ivy Hill Nursery Company
(410) 638-1800
1305 Enterprise Court
Bel Air, MD
 
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Fixing Chimney Problems

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QUESTION:I've read a lot about dangerous chimney problems - fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, to name just two. How often should I have my chimney cleaned?

ANSWER: Although many people know that their wood-burning chimneys need to be cleaned once a year, they neglect maintenance of other heating-appliance venting systems, including oil- or gas-burning furnaces and hot water heaters. All of these systems are as important to care for as your fireplace. According to the National Fire Protection Association, wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, chimney connectors and all other types of solid-fueled heating equipment need to be inspected annually by a professional and cleaned as often as the inspections indicate.

There are two professions whose members clean chimneys: chimney sweeps and the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) hygiene industry. Although there may be some cross over with pros offering both services, the procedures and issuing of credentials are different.

A word of caution: In most states these industries are unregulated. And since opening a business may require little capital investment, virtually anyone can claim to offer chimney sweep or heating repair services. The obvious risks to consumers for professional negligence can range from inefficiency in your heating systems and decreased air quality to catastrophic house fires and deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. However, two national organizations, the National Chimney Sweep Guild (www.ncsg.org) and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (www.nadca.com), offer stringent certification programs and refer consumers to competent servicers in their regions.

One more thing: Make sure the professional who cleans your chimney is completely insured. The National Chimney Sweep Guild says spring is a great time to schedule a sweep, since heating service professions will be more able to accommodate your schedule. Many people mistakenly believe that a flue that hasn't been used for some time is safe. The truth is that removing creosote buildup is only one aspect of chimney care. Other defects uncovered during a furnace inspection include cracks in the flue lining, bird nests, dirty filters and blockages - all of which can occur during periods of non-use. And what about the new engineered logs claimed by their makers to clean chimneys while they burn? They are not a substitute for professional cleaning. Although they may leave less residue behind, none makes the claim that they will keep your chimney completely clean. They are definitely not a substitute for a professional who can not only clean the flue and chimney, but also check for potentially dangerous defects.

Finally: To keep buildup to a minimum, learn to use the damper properly. Your chimney sweep, fireplace or woodstove retailer, or local fire department are good resources for this information. For more on home heating system safety, go to the National Fire Protection Association site at www.nfpa.org.

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