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Chimney sweep


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I received an interesting call this morning from a chimney cleaning service. They claimed they were in the area and cleaning, among other things, gas furnace flues. This is what I found curious, because I had never heard of such a thing.

Gas burns much cleaner than wood or even oil. So while it is conceivable that a gas flue might need cleaning under extremely adverse conditions (bad furnace) - has anyone else ever heard of this?[?]

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They are full of it. Of course any chimney can get blocked or damaged but gas flues typically do not need to be cleaned because of combustion residue. Periodic inspection and maintenance is always a good thing.

Around here chimney cleaning can be a major scam. I tell me clients never to allow the low budget chimney cleaners anywhere near their houses. Almost without exception they "Find" expensive problems that need to be repaired. The use high pressure and scare tactics. They have to find problems to fix because there is no way that they can make a profit cleaning chimneys for $35. My experience is that if they make any repairs at all, they are often done improperly.

The call you got reminds me of the driveway sealing companies that are "In the neighborhood" and can give you a good deal. They charge you to spray used motor oil on the the driveway and disappear.

A guy rang my doorbell a few weeks ago and claimed to be doing a termite treatment in the neighborhood and offered to check and treat my house for a low price. I politely refused.

Hold onto your wallet (Not that the money in the wallet will buy you much nowadays!).

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Thanks for the reply. That was pretty much my take on the whole deal. We do have some wood stoves and fireplaces in the community, so the idea of being 'in the neighborhood' was plausible enough, most of the county property listings are wrong on the fireplace so I was prepared to tell her I did not have a fireplace, but when she mentioned gas flues I hung up.

Glad to hear you're more polite than that, but I didn't call them. If you're going to cold call, get used to it.

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A chimney 'cleaning' or 'inspection' of any flue is a dang good idea.. I've seen many houses with 'gas-only' that had major deterioration of clay tile liners that had clay tile liner debris building up to the point that the vent breech-area was almost fully blocked by that debris.. Some liners are not great grade to begin with and cheese-out earlier than others..

I've even seen spider webs and leaves block a flue to the point that it was causing a draft problem...

From the land of chimneys I am.. :)

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. . . They have to find problems to fix because there is no way that they can make a profit cleaning chimneys for $35. . . .

Wow. Around here, a basic chimney cleaning is about $170.

Same here (for a real cleaning). There are sketchy companies that advertise $35 chimney cleanings and those are the ones that you have to watch out for.

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