Chimneys can be a bit of mystery for people, so here are some basics:

  • There are masonry chimneys built of brick, block, stone or a combination thereof.  An open fireplace chimney built with cultured stone has a pre-fabricated fireplace system within it.
  • There are free-standing stoves and stoves that can be inserted into existing fireplaces that are fueled by wood, gas or wood pellets.
  • There are gas log sets that are placed into an existing open fireplace and are fueled with gas. These are fake logs.
Chimney constructed with bricks.
Brick chimney
Class A chimney. All-fuel chimney system.
Insulated chimney
Cinderblock chimney.
Block chimney
Pre-fabricated fireplace chimney (Built with sheet metal)
Chimney constructed with real stones.
Stone chimney

Chimneys are cleaned with fiberglass rods and brushes that screw onto the rods. There a various sizes of brushes for various sizes of chimney flues and pipes. A chimney flue is the passage the smoke exits out of. Chimneys can be cleaned from the top down, or the bottom up, depending upon chimney configuration. A skilled chimney sweep knows how to set up the job in any given situation so that soot does not enter the room during sweep procedure. A skilled an knowledgeable chimney sweep will be able to detect and report any issues with the chimney system and submit a written safety inspection report. Missing rain caps, worn or missing damper, loose brick, worn mortar joints, missing or improperly installed chimney flashing, etc., are a few of the several items a sweep inspects to write up the 29-point safety inspection report.