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Selling Your Home? Hire A Chimney Sweep!

Getting ready to sell your home is an difficult process. When a homeowner is ready to put their home on the market, hours are spent cleaning. However, there is one important place in your home that you should not overlook when cleaning – the fireplace.

If you are ready to sell your home, it is important to have a professional the fireplace and chimney sweeping and inspection. A Level II chimney inspection and report by a CSIA certified chimney sweep give potential buyers the peace of mind that the fireplace is in good condition. At Jack Pixley Sweep, all of our sweeps are CSIA certified and we have years of experience, you can trust our sweeps to put your mind at ease.

Have a professional chimney inspection before putting your home on the market

man sweeping chimneyIn addition to packing boxes, staging furniture, and cleaning carpets, you should also schedule a Level II chimney inspection before putting your home on the market. Having your a chimney inspection before listing your house gives a full report of the actual state of your chimney with the disclosures of your home. More importantly, it gives homeowners a chance to make necessary repairs or changes to prevent delays during the transaction of a home.

Some of the most common problems discovered during an inspection are:

  • Insufficient clearance between hot surfaces and nearby combustible materials
  • Damage to the chimney liner or a liner that is the wrong size
  • Flashing that has lost its watertight seal around the base of the chimney
  • Moisture damage to the masonry
  • Building techniques or components that are not compliant with modern safety standards and codes

What to expect during a Level II chimney inspection

During a Level I chimney inspection, which is performed during chimney maintenance, the sweep inspects all accessible interior and exterior of the fireplace. During a Level II chimney inspection, sweeps use technology such as closed circuit cameras to identify problems within the flue. Buyers may also request their own chimney inspection once the home is in escrow. This is done if there are more questions about the conditions of the fireplace, if an inspection was not done before the home was listed, or if the buyers doubt the findings of the original inspection.

Do I need a chimney inspection AND a home inspection?

Many homeowners and potential buyers believe that a home inspection spot any problems a fireplace has. While home inspectors usually identify major chimney problems such as structural instability, they often lack the training to thoroughly inspect a fireplace system. National Fire Protection Code 211 requires a chimney inspection before the sale of a home. An inspection by a certified chimney sweep can protect both the buyers and sellers during a real estate transaction.

Preparing to sell your home is stressful. having a professional chimney inspection before putting it on the market gives you and the potential buyers peace of mind. For more information on real estate chimney inspections, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!

Professional Scaffold Set Up

Scaffolding is a necessity for most outdoor construction projects and chimney repairs. However, most chimney companies are not certified to set up and use scaffolding. Instead, these companies contract out scaffolding set up and take down. This can create time delays and additional expenses to your chimney repair project.

At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we have the training and certifications to properly set up and take down scaffolding. While this might seem like a minor distinction, it can save our customers thousands of dollars and time on repair projects.

The importance of being a certified scaffolding pro

scaffoldScaffolding looks deceptively simple. Because it is a vital part of construction projects and chimney repairs, scaffolding setup should only be done by the professionals. Correct scaffolding setup is an important part of ensuring the safety of technicians and the structural stability of the repairs.

The crew at Jack Pixley Sweeps have been trained to setup both ground and roof scaffolding. This allows us to set up scaffolding for a wide variety of chimney repair and construction projects. With training from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), our scaffolding always meets safety standards. This protects our crew and your family during the repair or reconstruction process.

The scaffolding set up process

At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are proud to offer scaffolding set up to our customers. Because every home and repair is different, so is each set up. Depending on the type of repairs you need, the location of the damage, the pitch of the roof, and the height of the chimney, this can all affect the kind of scaffolding construction you need.

Scaffolding set up usually takes an average of two to four hours. During this time, the scaffolding is “tied off”to the home every 20 feet. While scaffolding can usually be anchored to the chimney itself, it may need to be tied off onto the home using anchor bolts. The anchoring process allows additional height to be added to the scaffolding.

Trust the pros at Jack Pixley Sweeps

There are a number of benefits of having professional scaffolding set up done by Jack Pixley Sweeps. First and foremost, we are able to reduce the cost of your chimney repairs – sometimes by as much as $2000 – as the need to find a scaffolding subcontractor is eliminated. Because our crews set up, maintain, and tear down our own scaffolding, we do not need to delay repairs. This also gives our customers additional peace of mind that the only people on their job site are Jack Pixley Sweeps employees!

Scaffolding is an important part of the safety and structural stability of chimney repair projects. Working with trained and certified scaffolding professionals ensure that masons and repair technicians – as well as your family – remain safe throughout the whole repair process. For more information on our professional scaffolding services, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!

Take Advantage Of Our New Spring Discounts!

Spring has officially arrived, and warmer weather is right around the corner. This means we have new, spring discounts for you to take advantage of! With four incredible coupons available for our customers, now is the perfect time for fireplace and chimney services.

$40 off a chimney sweep that includes an inspections

Our first spring coupon gives customers $40 off a chimney sweeping that includes an inspection. This special helps ensure your fireplace is clean and safe after a long winter of use – while helping you save money!

Regular chimney maintenance, including sweepings and inspections, is the best way to keep your fireplace burning safely and efficiently. Chimney sweepings help remove soot, ash, flammable creosote, and other blockages from the flue. Chimney inspections help ensure that the entire fireplace and chimney system is in good condition and free from areas of damage or deterioration.

Annual maintenance is recommended by major safety organizations as well. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends all homeowners have their chimneys swept at least once per year – if not more; the National Fire Protection Association recommends all fireplace be inspected at least once per year as well.

Complete chimney protection – 15% off chimney waterproofing package

Now that spring is here, we know that rain is right around the corner. To ensure your chimney is ready, we are offering our second spring discount, 15% off our chimney waterproofing package. Water is the leading cause of masonry damage. Guarantee a prepared chimney by having out team waterproof your system!

No charge repair estimates

Whether you have a chimney leak, damaged masonry, or want to reface your firebox, now is the perfect time to call one of the chimney experts at Jack Pixley Sweeps []. Our third spring discount gives customers the opportunity to receive no charge repair estimates; if you have a chimney or fireplace repair that needs to be completed, stop putting it off and call for your no charge repair estimate today!

$40 off a dryer vent cleaning with a sweep

We might be known for our fireplace and chimney services – but we can clean your dryer vents, too! Our fourth spring coupon gives customers $40 off a dryer vent cleaning with a chimney sweeping.

The same lint that accumulates in the lint trap after each load can build up over time in the dryer vents. This is harmful in two ways. First, lint build up can restrict air flow in the dryer vents, forcing the dryer to work harder and negatively impacting performance. Second, lint is extremely flammable. The superheated air the dryer produces as it compensates for restricted airflow can ignite and lead to an accidental dryer fire. Cleaning dryer vents can improve dryer efficiency while reducing the risk of dryer fires.

Don’t forget about your masonry repairs, too!

Early spring is the perfect time of year to take care of any masonry repairs that may have arisen over the winter. The weather is perfect for masonry to cure properly. The weather ensures your repairs are completed as quickly as possible. Likewise, spring is often a low-use season for fireplaces. Having repairs done now ensures your fireplace will be ready to use again next fall.

Make sure you are gearing up for spring properly, by taking advantage of our seasonal deals! Contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today for more information about how to take advantage of our spring coupons!

Rely on Jack Pixley For Gutter Cleaning Too!

At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are known for helping our customers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area care for their fireplaces and chimney systems. But did you know we can help take care of your gutters, too?

After a long winter, spring rains will soon be on the way! Make sure your home is ready for the coming weather by having your gutters professionally cleaned by Jack Pixley Sweeps. Gutter cleaning can help protect your home’s exterior while preventing water damage issues including foundation problems, wood rot, or erosion.

Why are gutters important?gloved hand pulling out dirt from gutters

Gutters serve an important purpose when it comes to protecting our homes against water damage. The primary purpose of gutters is to protect our roofs, siding, and foundation against water damage; gutters direct water away from the sides and base of the house. Gutters also protect our roofs during the winter by preventing large icicles from forming at the edge of the roofline – and damaging shingles.

How often should I clean my gutters?

Most homeowners should clean their gutters twice per year]: once in the late fall/early winter and once again in the spring. Cleaning gutters at the end of the fall season helps to remove most of the leaves that have fallen, while a spring gutter cleaning gets rid of seed pods and blossoms. If your home is surrounded by a significant amount of trees, additional gutter cleanings may be needed.

Can I tell if I need to clean my gutters?

It can be possible to see if your gutters need to be cleaned – even if you aren’t comfortable on a ladder. One of the primary signs of clogged gutters is water that drips from the gutters when it isn’t raining; this shows that water is trapped or blocked in the gutters. Water overflowing out of the tops of the gutters during rainfall can also indicate clogs or blockages that are preventing water flow. Water damage in the basement or along the side of your home is a serious sign of clogged gutters that should not be ignored.

Reasons to have your gutters cleaned

The following are three of the many reasons to have your gutters cleaned.

1. Roof damage. When clogs cause water to overflow out of gutters, issues with shingles and roofing materials can occur.
2. Cracks in the foundation. Overflowing water from gutters often pools around the home’s foundation. This prolonged exposure to water can cause damage, such as cracking to occur. This is particularly prevalent in our area where the repeated freezing and thawing during the winter can exacerbate the damage.
3. Keep out pests. Damp leaves and other debris in the gutters are the perfect nesting ground for mosquitoes and other pests. Keep them away from – and out of – your home by having gutters cleaned.

Heavy spring rains are on the way; make sure your home is ready by having your gutters cleaned! For more information about gutter cleaning or to schedule your next appointment, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!

We Install Rain Covers

Chimneys are sturdy and built to withstand the test of time. However, there is one thing that can wreak havoc on both the interior and exterior of your fireplace system – water. Water damage is one of the primary causes of chimney deterioration. From exterior bricks crumbling to rusting interior fireplace components, water can affect every part of your chimney system. However, all water damage can be prevented through preemptive maintenance such as installing a rain cover for your chimney. At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we offer rain cover to protect your chimney fully. 

What is a rain cover?

rain cover for a chimneyA rain cover is a metal cap with mesh or wire sides that covers the top of the flue and protects the top of the chimney. While chimney caps cover just the flue, rain covers are full size and protect the chimney crown as well the flue.

They are made of sturdy, corrosion-resistant metal such as stainless steel or copper. Rain covers can protect your chimney from the elements and prevent both interior and exterior water damage. Installing a quality rain cover is also important. Those made of aluminum or other lesser metals can rust over time, creating ugly stains that are difficult to remove. Likewise, poorly constructed rain covers can weaken over time, allowing animal entry or moisture and debris to get into your system to wreck all kinds of havoc.

Reasons to install a rain cover

While most chimneys have a chimney cap, a rain cover is an additional protection that can help reduce moisture damage to your fireplace. The following are five reasons to consider installing a rain cover on your chimney.

  1. Reduce water damage. Rain covers reduce water damage in two ways. First, it covers the top of the flue and prevents water from entering the fireplace to damage delicate interior components including the chimney liner, damper, firebox, and more. Secondly, full-size rain covers protect the chimney crown. The sloped top and overhanging sides of a rain cover direct water away from the chimney and safely onto the roof.
  2. Prevent animal entry. Birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals have all been known to seek shelter – or nest in – unprotected chimneys. A rain cover help prevent animal entry and the debris, odors, parasites, and damage they can bring.
  3. Avoid downdrafts. The slanted sides pf a rain cover prevent down drafts from affecting fireplace use. This encourages a good draft and keeps strong winds from blowing smoke and gas back down the chimney, when your fireplace is in use.
  4. Block sparks. Stray sparks and embers from a roaring fire can travel up the chimney. Rain covers serve as a spark arrestor, preventing sparks from leaving the chimney. This helps to prevent accidental fires caused by sparks from the fireplace landing on roofs, trees, garages, or other structures.
  5. Keep debris out. Falling leaves, twigs, trash, and other debris can fall into an uncapped chimney to create blockages. In addition to increasing the risk of chimney fire, blockages in the flue can prevent smoke and gas from properly drafting when your fireplace is in use. Rain covers help prevent debris from falling into your chimney in the first place.

Rain covers protect your entire chimney system – both inside and out. For more information on the importance of a capped chimney or to schedule your chimney inspection, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!