Metro Chimney Cleaning FAQs
At least 12 hours. Make sure there are no burning embers in the fireplace before we arrive. Burning embers can damage our vacuums and cause other issues.
An adult must be present at time of service. We need an area roughly 6’x6′ space in front of the fireplace for our tools and to do the cleaning. It is helpful if you could move any furniture (couches, tables, chairs, etc.) out-of-the-way before we come to do the sweep. Also, if you could clear a path leading from the entrance door to the area of the fireplace/wood stove so that we can have an unobstructed route to bring in our gear. It would also be helpful if you could remove any large pieces of wood or stacks of garbage from the fireplace as well.
Most times we do not need to go onto the roof to clean the fireplace unless the smoke shelf or damper is constructed in such a way that we can not clear those areas and get out brushes up into the flue. Only then do we need to go on the roof to clean the flue. We almost never need to go on the roof to clean Zero Clearance fireplaces. Pellet Stoves and Free Standing Wood Stoves we do need to get on the roof to clean them.
No. But do let us know when you call if you do so that we can bring the right gear. The only time there will be an extra charge is if we have to set up our scaffolding to reach the top of the chimney to clean it from above if we can not clean it from below. This is very rare.
No. Inserts are the worst of a fireplace and a wood stove combined. Inserts generate a lot of creosote. Because there is no liner, the creosote embeds itself into the pores of the bricks and does not come out with a chimney sweep as it creates a varnish like resin that the brushes skate over. They most times are impossible to clean with any guarantee of safety so we do not clean inserts without liners. The difference of an insert with a liner is that the creosote is removed from a liner far more easily as there is nothing for it to bite into.
That depends on how dirty the system is, how hard it is to reach the smoke shelf area to clean it and how much soot is in that smoke shelf area. If we do have to get on the roof to clean it, that will add time as well. If you have a free standing wood stove, it depends on how many liner pipes leading from the wood stove into the flue that we have to take apart to reach the area to clean the bottom inside of the liner flue. The same goes with pellet stoves. If the chimney that is scheduled prior to your chimney appointment is taking longer than expected to clean due to complexity of the job, or it being extremely dirty requiring longer than the usual time to clean, we usually try to call 45-30 minutes notice in advance to see if we can push your appointment up that later that day, or reschedule it for another day.
Credit card payments are accepted exclusively for chimney cleanings. Repairs, on the other hand, must be paid for with cash or check. Please note that credit card processing is contingent upon a stable cell phone connection, as it requires a minimum of three bars of coverage on the cellular network.
We kindly request that you have a blank check or cash available as a payment option just in case, especially for every chimney cleaning.
No painted chimneys. No roman brick chimneys. No rug bricks chimneys. No rug styles bricks. Even if your chimney has been painted recently, we still have to do a test on it to see if there is no lead and less expensive. When you paint the chimney you doom the chimney, and it will have continued moss and leakage issues as long as it is painted. Metro Chimney will not do painted chimneys, so we don’t want to assume to continued problems associated with painted chimney. NO PAINTED CHIMNEYS!
Chimney work is messy in the area where the chimney is located. Plants in the vicinity of the chimney will get damaged. Tuck pointing causes a big line cloud that we can’t tent around or over and it gets everywhere. While we are working on the chimney, do not park your car near the chimney.
If you have a neighbor that bases on the side of your chimney is on, you would need to let them know about the work as well.
If the job entails having to put any part of our gear on parts of the neighbor’s property, we will not bid nor accept the job.
Regarding repairs and rebuilds, minor rebuilds only. We do not do full chimney rebuilds.
Most chimney companies do not vacuum out the smoke shelf anymore to allow them more time in the day to schedule more chimney sweeps for their employees. Not vacuuming out the smoke shelf is like getting an oil change and not having the oil filter changed. The smoke shelf is the engine of your fireplace. When it gets filled up with soot, the soot insulates the area, and heat does not transfer to it. This severely impedes the inversion process which causes the fireplace to work. It needs to be properly vacuumed for the fireplace to work correctly. Because of the access to the area, and depending on how much soot is in the smoke shelf, it can take time to vacuum it out properly.
On calling to schedule an appointment, let us know any existing problems you are experiencing with your system so we know what to look for it during the sweep. If you have a Free Standing Wood Stove or Pellet Stove, it would be helpful to know the make and model as well to find out before the sweep if there is anything extra we need to know to properly clean the unit. They usually have a manufacturer name on the front, and if you can see it, a UL sticker on the back of the unit telling you what model you have.
Not at that time. We will email you a concise bid that will fully inform you of all that is wrong with your chimney, and what needs to be done. We send bids in email form so that we can give you you with all the detailed information about your repair so that you can make an informed decision. If you have a zero clearance fireplace or wood stove, those systems are sent to United Laboratories for testing for each new model unit that a Manufacturer produces. Zero Clearance Fireplace must sent to United Laboratories for testing for each new model unit that a Manufacturer produces. When the units pass U.L. testing and are cleared for mass production, they are manufactured with a placard denoting Manufacturer, Model Number, Serial Number and Date of Manufacture that is affixed somewhere at the front of the unit. Some are silver with black, others are copper with black, but they resemble the one see in the example picture below.
The unit is tested as one unit (with liner, damper, cap and everything installed as one complete unit that makes up that model number) for safety rating and insurance purposes. If a part has gone bad, it needs to be replaced with the original Manufacturer’s Part (if available) to comply with UL testing and for insurance purposes. Only if the manufacturer is no longer in existence, or they no longer make the original replacement part can we replace it with an after market part ON SOME PARTS ONLY – Caps, chase covers, dampers, storm collars and refractory (ceramic heat shield) panels on the interior of the firebox IF AVAILABLE.
Note – It also may take a bit of time to track down the Manufacturer as many have changed hands or sold themselves off to other larger heating companies and are hard to find. Depending on the age of the unit, some Manufactures may not stock replacement parts for that model number anymore. Some Manufactures have gone out of business but sold their existing replacement parts stock to another company and parts may only be available in the stock they have left in the warehouse. Many Manufacturers have gone out of business entirely and replacement parts of any kind are not available. At that point, only some parts may be replaced with after market parts, specifically caps, chase covers and storm collars.
No. The Construction Contractors Board separated Chimney Contractors from that back in the 90’s. You will need to contact a licensed Wood Stove Installer for that.
No. Those are burn stains and have to be removed with strong chemicals or sand blasting and that is something that is not covered under the scope of work we are allowed to do under the Oregon Construction Contractors Board Licensing Rules.
That was our old uniform. It was too hard to keep clean and not cost-effective for this type of work so we switched to a uniform that works better and keeps him clean for the next chimney sweep in his schedule.
Some chimney companies have moved into the area and quoted a low price over the phone. When they arrive on site, they increase the price 4x – 8x. Metro Chimney doesn’t do this.
The price that Metro Chimney tells you over the phone is the estimate, unless you require something different from what you initially called for.
We only clean the pipe sticking up at the back of the pellet stove. We are not allowed to clean anything inside the pellet stove except for the front panels.
A licensed wood stove installer is permitted to clean the internal mechanical components of the pellet stove. This is in accordance with Oregon law for contractors.
We cannot clean or repair any of the internal components of the pellet stove.
If you have the pellet stove manual, please keep it handy so we can use it during the chimney cleaning.
If your pellet stove is installed incorrectly, Metro Chimney can’t fix it. We are required by law to note it on the safety inspection report.
Regarding zero clearance fireplaces, we can only replace caps with the manufacturer’s specified replacement caps for that particular model. If it’s an older model for which a replacement isn’t available, or if it’s an aftermarket chimney cap, it cannot be installed.
Children cannot be in the same room and must wear clothing. This is due to insurance policy requirements.
There must be an 18-year-old adult present in the house when we perform chimney cleaning or any interior housework. If we need to enter your house, an adult aged 18 or older must be present; individuals under 18 cannot fulfill this requirement.
Please remain within the vicinity of the fireplace we are cleaning or repairing. This is an insurance policy requirement.
Cancelled appointments will be subject to a cancellation fee. Once you schedule the chimney cleaning, at that point you are authorizing the terms of the cancellation fee. Cancellation fee applies to people who cancel the chimney cleaning or call in to say they need to reschedule but are not actually rescheduling the appointment at that time. To not get the cancelation fee, you actually need to call up and physically reschedule the appointment time to another day/time. The charges do not apply to people who call in and actually reschedule the time.