services 10.29.04

Chimney Sweeping

The squirrels are especially fat this year. This is supposed to mean a tough winter ahead since, squirrel-watchers say, they know what's coming and bulk up accordingly. Uh, anyway. Winter is coming, so those with fireplaces may want to get them ready.

William Barreto's company, Kings County Chimney and Furnace Cleaning, 718.891.0766, cleans and repairs chimneys and relines them if necessary. They clean by forcing a wire brush down the top of the chimney, then come inside and pull the damper down and clean above the hearth.

A reputable chimney sweep should not make a big mess, but Mr. Barreto (who's been doing this for over 20 years) advises covering any furniture that is close to the fireplace. If a fireplace is used more than a dozen or so times a year, the chimney should be cleaned on an annual basis because creosote, a gummy substance that is released from the burning wood, can build up — it's flammable and should be removed.

It takes up to an hour to a clean a chimney and the average charge is $125, cash or check. This is the busy time of the year in the chimney sweep trade, so figure a two-week wait for an appointment.
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