When we first moved in, there was a slight chill in the air. I guess it was early May or something, when it still gets chilly at night. I am not too good with the cold, so I got a fire going in the fireplace.
As the fire was burning in the fireplace, I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I wonder when the last time this chimney was cleaned out.” Now, if I was my father, I would be up in the roof looking down it with a flashlight. Since I am me, I let the fire burn and thought about it again a few months later.
It has been a few months. A while back, I got a postcard in the mail from Safeside Chimney out of East Hartford. It included a $20 a chimney cleaning coupon. I decided to call them for a chimney cleaning.
As a side note, if you are thinking about buying a house and keeping it nice, it can cost a fortune. Ok, I said it.
Anyway, yesterday, the chimney guys came. They were scheduled to clean both the chimney flue as well as the boiler flue. I thought this was a pretty good idea to get done in the Summer, since we are not using them all too much. I will admit that we almost overlooked this chore. If this company didn’t send me the coupon, I am not sure I would’ve called. It is quite important to keep these things clean, as they can cause big problems if you don’t.
Now, when I told my father that I had a company come over to sweep the chimney, he said, “So, you don’t want to get a sweeper and a few pipes and do it yourself?” That’s the house I (thankfully) grew up in. We did it ourselves and learned the entire time. This time is a little different. First of all, I keep thinking that I am not as limber as I used to be. Second of all, I am probably not as strong as I used to be and third of all, there ain’t no way I am going up on this steep roof to clean out this chimney. You tell me if you would do it…
No %$^& way I am going up there. You should’ve seen the guy trying to get down. It would’ve been easier for him to jump into one of the big air things the cops use when someone is getting ready to jump off a building.
The good news is that the chimney was cleaned. The bad news is that he found a crack in the chimney crown while he was up there. To prove this, he brought up the company digital camera. When he got down, he showed me. I believed him, but I still went inside to get the binoculars, just to make sure he wasn’t pulling a fast one. I didn’t know if he was showing me the same photo he shows everyone. Well, come to find out, there is a crack in the chimney crown. Luckily, it is an easy, but expensive repair.
He wrote me up an estimate to repair the chimney crown as well as to install a stainless steel chimney cap. There wasn’t a chimney cap installed. He said that by doing this, water wouldn’t make the crack worse and eventually lead to popping the bricks out of the chimney and doing more extensive damage to the house. Whatever…I just signed the estimate and told them to call me to set up a time to fix it. I will tell you that repairing the top of a chimney was not on my list of priorities.
Here are some photos of the cleaned chimney, from the inside.