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Ruchala Chimney Sweeping

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Our Services

Ruchala Chimney has provided top quality service to homeowners and businesses in and around Northern Worcester County since 1993 and is dedicated to safety and education in the chimney sweeping field.

Ruchala Chimney has many satisfied clients and is well respected in the local market among homeowners, realtors, and businesses.

I specialize in chimney sweeping, inspections and wood and pellet stove cleaning and servicing at competitive rates.

 

inspectionsInspections

I provide 2 different levels of inspection.  The first is a Level 1 as defined by The Nation Fire Protection Association, NFPA 211, Standards for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances.  I survey the readily accessible areas of the chimney in the living area and at the exterior of your home including the firebox, damper, and smoke chamber. Outside, I check for structural soundness and evidence of deterioration. It is a visual inspection of the chimney structure without using ladders or tools to take things apart.
Usually this is requested by and paid for by a home owner if a chimney has not been used for a while or if you are selling the house and the new buyer wants to be sure it is clean and ready to use after purchase.

The second is a modified Level 2 as defined by NFPA 211.  I look at everything in a level 1 plus add in a CCTV camera to look at the inside of each flue.  This lets me see each flue tile to be sure it is not cracked or deteriorated and that each mortar joint to be sure it is not missing or damaged.  The camera also enables me look at the top of the chimney for any cracks or holes in the crown or wash of the chimney that may allow water to penetrate and cause damage.  I will go into attics and crawl spaces if they are walk up or are readily accessible.  I will not go up into a small hatch access port or under any part of a structure unless it is readily accessible. The same goes for roofs; if it is readily accessible and does not require specialized equipment then I will inspect it. Most issues on the vertical sides of chimneys can be seen from the ground.
Usually these are requested by and paid for by the buyer in a real estate transfer, similar to a home inspection.

A real estate transfer is a major investment of time, money, and emotions for both the seller and the buyer.  It is a good idea to have the chimney inspected and any problems identified prior to listing the house for sale. On the flip side, it is a good idea to have someone inspect the chimney and venting system prior to closing on a new home to be sure everything is working correctly.

hollandSweeping

Chimney sweeping is not chimney cleaning.  Chimney sweeping removes loose creosote, soot and ash from flue passages serving fireplaces, solid fuel(such as wood, coal, and pellet) appliances and liquid flue; oil and gas appliances in order to ensure safe operation and prevent deterioration. Chimney Cleaning implies that we are getting it back to the new state it was in when it was first built.  The methods that are standard to the chimney sweeping trade remove most of the combustible and corrosive residue left behind as a product of combustion, but no method can remove 100%. 

I use the methods that are standard to the modern chimney sweeping industry. First, contrary to our image portrayed in song and film, we sweep from the bottom up. This allows the chimney sweep to be safe and clean while working in your home.  I use brushes, rotary whips and chains to gently remove debris from the flue passage of the chimney This process can take anywhere from forty five to ninety minutes depending what is being swept and how many flues need sweeping.

 

castle pellet stovePellet Stove Servicing

Pellet stoves have become the new wood stove.  They run longer and get up to temperature much faster than wood stoves.  The fuel is much easier to handle and store than cord wood. The run time is longer per load of fuel and it produces a much more even heat without the highs and lows in the comfortable temperature range.

For a lot of families the pellet stove has become a major source of heat in the home and some even consider it a primary source.  Wood and pellet prices have been very steady over the last 10 years or so and let the home owner supplement their heating bill at a lower cost without all the work of a wood stove.  The fuel arrives on a pallet and is put neatly in your garage with no bugs or bark mess that wood can produce.
For all this convenience it does require a little more maintenance than a wood stove. It is not a set it and forget it type of appliance like the stove shop said it would be.  It runs on electricity, not much but some, and has many more moving and mechanical parts.  Instead of relying on natural draft to pull the products of combustion out of the stove, it uses a fan assisted blower to move things along.

It needs yearly maintenance like the oil burner in the basement.  Along with sweeping the flue on models installed in a fireplace or a chimney, the internal motors and fans need cleaning.  Gaskets wear out and need replacing.  Sometimes switches and control boards stop working.

I have different service packages, depending on what your appliance needs. From a direct vent just the stove service to stove service with a chimney sweep, I can help.

 

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g offered at affordable

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sweep

Many chimney fires occur because the flue interior has been neglected by not being cleaned. Chimneys can become choked and partially blocked with an accumulation of soot deposit, left from burning coal or wood. Soot rises up in the smoke and is deposited by it on the surfaces of the flue.

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Carbon Monoxide
The Silent Killer

Leaves, bird nests or debris from your gas or oil heating system can block your chimney. A crack or break in the flue tile to can interfere with the chimney’s ability to vent properly.

Chimney FireIf your chimney is blocked or is not airtight, Carbon Monoxide may seep into your home unnoticed.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to those of the flu: headaches, fatigue and nausea. If undetected, this odorless, colorless gas can be fatal.

Your wood stove may be blocked if smoke is blowing back into your home. Sometimes, it may be simple flow reversal -- negative pressures in the house make the smoke blow the wrong way.

Carbon Monoxide may be present in this wood smoke as well. Carbon Monoxide from gas appliances is not so noticeable because there is no smoke.

Please see the "Portable Guide to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning" put together by www.air-n-water.com

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Creosote:
The Monster in your Chimney!


The buildup of creosote in your fireplace, wood stove and chimney is unavoidable.

creosoteA natural byproduct of the wood burning process, creosote forms a black powdery, flaky or glazed coating on the inside of your chimney.

Creosote is a potential fire hazard: it's the primary fuel in most chimney fires! During a chimney fire, the outside surface of the chimney can become hot enough to ignite surrounding walls, floor joists, rafters, insulation or roofing materials.

Suddenly, you have a structure fire, which can burn your entire house down.

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A Fine Mess

Some people believe that having a chimney fire from time to time is a good way to clear creosote from a chimney. chimney fireBad idea!

Allowing a chimney to catch fire on a regular basis increases the chances of damaging your home. Even a small fire can make a chimney unsafe to use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Telephone 978.928.3755