Chimney Cleaning


As per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 211) chimneys should be inspected annually and cleaned as needed to prevent chimney fires. A standard chimney cleaning includes cleaning of the entire system from the firebox to the chimney cap. Drop Cloths are laid down in front of the fireplace, with a Triple-Hepa filtered vacuum running the entire time of the cleaning to control any dust. In most cases, chimney flues are cleaned from the top with flat wire brushes. This is the proper way with the end result of a cleaner flue.

Once the exterior portion of the cleaning is complete we will also clean from the inside. The damper will be removed to access the smoke shelf for cleaning. This is one of the most important areas to clean (in rare cases the damper cannot be removed). All of our cleanings include a written safety inspection. The system will be inspected for any defects with camera equipment and the technician will be able to show you if any concerns are found.

If we are contracted to clean a chimney and the technician determines it doesn’t need to be cleaned, he will still perform a safety inspection and reduce the price from cleaning to just an inspection.

How often do I need to Clean my Fireplace?

It is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association that chimneys and fireplaces are Inspected annually and cleaned as needed.

If you are unsure when the last time you had your fireplace and chimney cleaned, or if it is even necessary, don’t hesitate to give our office a call! We will schedule one of our Nationally Certified Chimney Sweeps to come and assess. If cleaning is needed at this time, they will perform the cleaning service with inspection at that time. If a cleaning is not needed at the time of your appointment, our technicians will still provide the safety inspection with camera capability, providing a full condition assessment of your fireplace and chimney.

Fireplace Cleaning/Inspection:
Here at Pratt’s Chimney our goal is to provide our customers with as much education and insight into their fireplace and chimney systems as possible. By completing an annual fireplace and chimney cleaning (chimney sweep) with inspection, it allows us to ensure that the system is running efficiently, and meeting safety standards for use. Our technicians are provided with an education from the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) which is maintained to keep up with current codes, chimney physics, and industry standards. Paired with years of experience, they are able to provide a quality of workmanship and customer experience that far exceeds expectations.

I Am Buying Or Selling A Home, Will My Home Inspection Be Enough?
Fireplaces and Chimneys should be cleaned and/or inspected during the home sale process. Fireplace and chimney repairs can not only be costly, but pose a safety hazard to the new owners and the home itself if not addressed. While most home inspectors do a fantastic job of inspecting visible areas of your chimneys and fireplaces, most do not have the capability to fully assess if the systems are in good working order and up to safety standards for use. If you are new to your home it is very important that the fireplace is cleaned and inspected prior to use.

What Should I Expect With My Chimney Cleaning?

A “Chimney Cleaning” or “Chimney Sweep” is performed with the intention of removing soot, creosote, potential blockages, and debris from your chimney flue system. Our certified technicians clean from the fireplace/firebox, up through the damper system, smoke shelf, smoke chamber, chimney flue, and exterior chimney cap. Drop cloths are placed in the work area, and debris from the chimney cleaning is collected and contained with our Triple Hepa Filtered Vacuums, ensuring 100 percent dust free service.

What if we have went years without cleaning our fireplace?:

There’s nothing to feel ashamed about! We have had plenty of customers who just learn that their fireplace chimney needed to be cleaned on a routine basis, or even at all. Others have just gotten busy and it’s just easy to let maintenance slip through the cracks. We can and will work hard to bring your system back into safe working condition. Fireplaces that have gone multiple years without service will sometimes require mechanical cleaning.

What Is A Mechanical Cleaning and When Is It Recommended?

Mechanical Chimney Cleanings are recommended when routine cleaning will not remove the creosote build up from the interior of the chimney flue. This is often seen when a wood burning fireplace is not maintained as often as necessary for the burn habits of the homeowner. This can cause a dangerous build up called Glazed Creosote on the flue walls and other areas inside the fireplace. Glaze Creosote is very dangerous due to the fact that it can ignite at a really low temperature leading to a chimney fire.

Mechanical Cleanings utilize cable whips and/or chains to break out and remove glazed creosote from the walls of the chimney flue. Debris from the cleaning is then removed by a Triple Hepa Filtered Vacuum, followed by a Level II inspection.


Our CSIA Certified Technicians are trained to follow the NFPA 211 Standard, which states that all chimney and venting systems require annual inspections. All of our fireplace and chimney cleanings do include an inspection of the entire system, top to bottom.

There are other instances in which an inspection should be performed, outside of your annual service.

  • You have had or suspect that there has been a chimney fire/high heat event.
  • Lightning Strike or Impact (tree limbs, etc.)
  • You have noticed a change in the way your fireplace is operating.
  • You are looking to make changes to your fireplace, adding/removing appliances, replacing your flue liner, or changing the fuel type.
  • You’re moving into a new home! Inspections before the purchase of your home can provide insight into the fireplace and flue system, along with any potential repair cost associated.

What’s included in a chimney inspection?

Pratt’s Chimney Sweeps are trained to provide three different levels of inspections (per the NFPA 211 Standard). Level II inspections are provided standard with all of our fireplace chimney cleanings, providing a full top to bottom assessment of your fireplace system.

Level I
When do you need a level 1 chimney inspection?

A Level I inspection is a minimum requirement for your fireplace and/or appliance flue inspection. Level I fireplace & chimney inspections are recommended if your appliance or venting system has not changed. This is not recommended if appliances have been removed or added to the ventilation system or any other changes/adjustments to usage have occurred.

What To Expect:
In a level 1 inspection, your CSIA-Certified Chimney Technician will inspect the readily available portions of the chimney system, both interior and exterior, plus accessible portions of the appliance, ventilation run and connections. Pratt’s Technicians will inspect for structural soundness, venting defects, installation requirements, termination covers are present, and verify that your chimney is free of obstruction and that there is not a build up of combustible deposits.
Level 2

Level II
When do you need a level 2 chimney inspection?
A level 2 inspection is the standard for inspections that we provide with our fireplace and chimney cleanings.
When selling or purchasing a home you may notice that your home inspector recommends having a Level II inspection completed by a Certified Chimney Sweep. This is an important step in the home sale/home purchase process, providing a full assessment of the fireplace, chimney and appliance flue system. Providing insight into any code or operating issues within these systems, any unmet safety standards, and cost associated with any repairs required.

Other factors that may require a level II fireplace and chimney inspection include, high heat events/chimney fires, acts of God (lightning strike, impact from trees/branches, tornado/derecho/high wind events.) If you have noticed a change in your chimney draft and/or suspect blockage from an animal/nesting material.

What to expect?
A level II inspection, while it includes all things covered in a Level I inspection, does delve deeper into the venting structure of your fireplace and/or appliance flue systems. Level II inspections often include a visual assist from a camera system, to scan the interior of the flue system to inspect for defects such as deteriorating mortar joints and cracked flue systems. A level II Inspection will determine if proper clearances from combustibles are met where accessible. Our Level II Fireplace and Chimney Inspections cover the exterior chimney, as well as the interior, including but not limited to attics, basements and crawl spaces.

Level 3
When do you need a level 3 chimney inspection?

Level III Inspections are recommended when a lower level inspection suggests there may be hazards beyond where accessible. Often Level III Fireplace and Chimney inspections require tools and alterations to the fireplace and chimney system to allow for access to fully inspect what would normally be inaccessible portions of your fireplace and/or chimney.

What To Expect:
A Level III inspection determines whether the fireplace and flue system is properly constructed/installed within concealed portions of the chimney/chase structure. It will include all the areas and items inspected with a lower level chimney inspection, as well as gaining access to areas of the chimney/chase structure that are not readily accessible in a traditional inspection. This may require removal of portions of the chimney structure, (chimney crown, chase cover, interior wall/panel, or exterior brick.)


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