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Professional Chimney Sweeping for our Friends in Minneapolis, St.Paul and the surrounding areas!

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Jack Pixley Certified Chimney Sweeps

Each home heating appliance is dependent on a chimney and/or venting system that functions properly. If the chimney does not work as designed, the heating system will not perform as it should. This situation has the potential to result in serious damage to the home and its surroundings. It can also pose a risk to the health and safety of the family living inside the home. A professional cleaning is the best place to start if you’re looking to achieve a safer, more efficient chimney.

We get a lot of questions about the chimney sweeping process. The queries we hear most often are:

  • “How does it work?”
  • “Is it messy?”
  • “How often should my chimney be cleaned?”

We run into a lot of misconceptions about the chimney cleaning process—both about why it’s so crucial and what it entails. Below, we’ll answer some of the questions we hear most often. You are also welcome to ask us your questions directly by calling 763-422-0481.

How Is A Chimney Cleaned, And Is It Messy?

chimney tech sweeping a chimney from the firebox

Dave Reitan sweeping a customer’s chimney

A chimney cleaning can be done from the top or from the bottom, but is most commonly done from the bottom. A high speed rotary “brush” expands and scrubs the entire flue area, as well as the smoke chamber above the damper and the firebox, using centrifugal force; this modern system cleans much better than the old-fashioned hand and wire brushes. During the process, a vacuum is set up at the bottom to collect all the dust and debris before it enters your home.

How Often Should My Chimney Be Inspected And Cleaned?

Chimneys should be inspected and swept as needed per National Fire Standard, NFPA 211. Usually if you burn for heat or have frequent fires (3-4 times a week during the burning season)—anything more than 40 hours of burning in a season—your chimney will need to be cleaned on a yearly basis. There are other variables to consider as well. If you are burning unseasoned wood, you will see an increase in creosote buildup and may need more frequent sweepings. Creosote buildup is what can lead to chimney fires, and in some cases structural fires.

As far as inspections go, most chimneys that are in use should be inspected on a yearly basis. Even if you do not burn very often, the National Fire Protection Association states that all chimneys should be inspected annually. Inspections are done to check for creosote build-up, blockages, cracks, water damage and any deterioration of the chimney.

We also sweep the chimneys of wood-fired pizza ovens to reduce fire risk and keep that pizza tasting great.

I Think I Had A Chimney Fire; Can I Still Use My Fireplace Or Get A Gas Or Wood Insert?

No. If you think that you have had a chimney fire it is important to have a certified chimney technician clean and inspect your flue liner. When a chimney fire occurs, the flue tiles are most often cracked and in some cases they collapse. If you continue to use your fireplace, the heat and smoke can get into the internal structure of the chimney through the cracks or collapsed tiles. Continued use can often result in a structural fire due to spontaneous combustion of the wood around the chimney structure. It is a good idea to make sure that the tiles are not cracked on two sides before installing an insert. Tiles that are cracked can become unstable and fall onto the exhaust line of the insert or onto the insert itself.

We Provide Gas Fireplace Maintenance!

Did you know manufacturers recommend professional maintenance of gas fireplaces, inserts, and gas log sets on an annual basis?

Did you know Jack Pixley Sweeps provides this service? We realize that our customers have counted on us for their chimney maintenance needs for more than 32 years. We also realize that many customers and their friends have gas fireplaces.

Our gas fireplace services include:

  • 21-Point Inspection
  • Check Vent & Ignition System
  • Check Gas Pilot Safety System
  • Check for Gas Leaks
  • Check Fan Operation
  • Clean Burner & Controls
  • Restore Fireplace, Insert, or Gas Logs to “Like New” Appearance
  • Refresh Glowing Embers
  • Remove Soot Build-Up (Not Required on Vent-Free Gas Logs)
  • Clean Glass
  • Protect Home Interior


The Appliance & Venting System must be inspected before use and at least annually by a qualified service person to ensure that the flow of combustion and ventilation air is not obstructed.

Our Technicians are NFI Certified and have gone through extensive training. You can feel confident that our Technicians are qualified to service your gas fireplace, insert, or log set.


If you still have questions or need to schedule your annual sweep or inspection, give us a call at 763-422-0481 or click here to schedule your appointment online!

Inspections using our chimney camera will reveal any problems with your chimney system, helping to find damage before it gets really serious and expensive to repair. That’s why we offer it as a standard part of our chimney and vent services.

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Showroom Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm

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