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Office Location

Apex, NC





Frequently Asked Questions

Why should we choose CHIMNEY KEEPERS as our chimney professional?
Because that is exactly what we are — Professionals. Chimney sweeping is a very straightforward, simple maintenance process, but there are aspects of chimneys and venting systems that are very technical. Ongoing training is needed to provide accurate evaluation reports and building codes are always changing. Chimney Keepers is a current member North Carolina Chimney Sweep Association (NCCSA). This helps us keep up to date with the latest changes in our industry and code changes at the state level. We carry business liability insurance for your protection. We are locally owned and operated, have been in business for over 20 years, and the owner of the company will be the one performing/completing your chimney/fireplace service. Call us for more info or to schedule an appointment, 919-772-8110.  
How often should my chimney be cleaned?

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends a yearly inspection and cleaning and repairs done as necessary. Freestanding woodstoves or fire place inserts used to heat the home should be inspected and cleaned if needed every year. Regular, open fireplaces need to be maintained and cleaned on a consistent basis as well. Usually, a cleaning is needed for every cord of wood burned or at least 2-3 years.

How long will it take to clean my chimney and is there any mess?

It usually takes about an hour to clean most masonry chimneys including setup of tarps, vacuum and tools, cleaning the chimney, and reloading our truck when completed. We guarantee absolutely no mess in your home. Pre-fab fireplaces typically take about 35-45 min. Woodstove inserts can take from 1-3 hours, depending on how often they are cleaned, the type of wood burned, and the way the stove is operated. (Choaked down to slow smolder type burning will produce more creosote taking longer to clean.)

How often should dryer vents be cleaned?

Most dryer vents should be cleaned at least every two years or so. This depends on the length of your vent, how many turns in it, and how often the dryer is used every week. Dryers that have short vents and little usage may be able to go longer than normal before being cleaned. On the other hand, if you have a large family and/or are constantly running the washer and dryer, then you might need to have the dryer vent cleaned yearly.


Cleaning the dryer vent can help prevent the possibility of a fire in your house or dangerous carbon monoxide buildup, in the case of a gas dryer, plus can save you money on electricity or gas cost. A clean vent pipe allows the dryer to move the proper amount of air through the system taking the humidity out of the clothes, caused by the heating of gas burners or electric elements in your dryer, thus allowing your clothes to dry quicker with less energy consumed. Take time to notice if your dryer is running longer with the same amount of clothes, it may be time to have the vent cleaned. And, with all the talk about power shortages, we all must do our part and make sure our appliances are operating at peak efficiency.

Speaking of energy savings, one of the best ways is with a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise and lower the temp in your home when you are away. They work by allowing the temp to rise during a summer day to around 80-81 while you are not home and, before you get home, you can program the thermostat to have the temp back to 78. Some other ways of saving energy is to set your A/C cooling temp at 77 or 78 degrees instead of 74 or lower, and during heating season try 68 instead of 70. You won’t notice the difference till the electric or gas bill comes. (If you need help figuring out how to spend all the money you saved give me a call!  🙂  I try to hang clothes out on nice days to get the FREE drying provide by Mr. Sun. I figure some things in life are free, you just have to take advantage of them.

Climbing down off my soap box now…

We often see the white vinyl vent coming out the back of bunch of dryers we service. This type of vent pipe is highly flammable and causes dangerous fumes if it catches on fire. If the lint catches on fire while the dryer is running it can blow flames into the vent pipe catching the vinyl connector between the dryer and wall on fire. It can also blow flaming balls of lint around in the area where the dryer sits and behind the sheetrock behind the dryer which causes the fire to spread faster. Hopefully, you could catch it soon enough so that the Fire Dept. gets there in time to keep the damage to a minimum. The washer/dryer area is one place we recommend putting a smoke detector to give an early warning about smoke or fire in this area. It’s also good to have an ABC-type fire extinguisher in that area handy in case you need one quick. That can be the difference between knocking down a small fire or having the house burn down.

We recommend and can replace the old white vinyl dryer vent material with the new flame-resistant silver UL listed flex.

Pricing for dryer vent cleaning starts at $129 for a one-story house with dryer venting down under the floor, and $139 for two-story with dryers upstairs and venting out high. This includes up to 25 feet of vent. Other guys give a low price but for only 5-6 feet of vent to clean. If the dryer is on bottom floor of home and vents out down low, this is considered a one-story price.

In addition, we are equipped to completely replace an old unsafe dryer vents with new sheet metal vents or metal flexible vents where needed in most cases. Call Chimney Keepers at
919-772-8110 today and get your dryer vent system serviced and cleaned. 

What is the difference between a Pre-Fab fireplace and a Masonry fireplace?

The quickest way to tell is by the chimney outside. If it’s covered in wood or vinyl siding like the house it is most likely a pre-fab. Pre-fab fireplaces are installed on site from UL-listed components made in a factory, while a masonry chimney is constructed on site by brick masons. A pre-fab chimney has a metal pipe flue to vent smoke out of house. Pre-fabs are smaller and some have blowers built in. All pre-fab fireplaces are UL listed. The pre-fab chimney is encased in a wood chase covered by a metal chase top to prevent water damage and provided with termination cap on top.


A masonry/brick chimney is built on site using brick and terra cotta tile for liners and is more expensive to build and maintain. Most masonry chimneys do not have chimney caps installed, allowing water and animals to get inside the structure and sometimes inside your house. A pre-fab fireplace can be removed if damaged and replaced with a new unit for less cost than rebuilding a masonry chimney. Pre-fab fireplaces are not any more or less safe than masonry fireplaces. They are just different. But both will help keep you warm, and they are romantic!! Call 919-772-8110 for more info.


What can be done to prevent the white stains on my brick?
The first step is a visual evaluation of the chimney crown, mortar joints and flashing. Often we find the crown has cracks caused by shrinkage of the mortar during construction. These start out as hairline cracks but get bigger over the years from freeze/thaw cycles and the natural expansion-contraction that occurs during the spring and summer seasons. If the chimney has darkened from mold and mildew, we recommend cleaning the surface of the brick with a power washing. This opens the pores of the brick and cleans off mold and mildew deposits. We apply a layer of CrownSeal on the mortar crown, sealing the cracks but remaining flexible to allow for expansion-contraction cycles. Afterwards, we apply the water repellent product ChimneySaver® with a low pressure sprayer. Both products have a 10-year warranty, and we have confidence in their ability to perform as stated.  
My chimney has white stains on the brick. What is this?
The white stains or powder-like material is often the result of water penetration of the chimney. During a rain, snow, or ice storm, water is absorbed by the brick and mortar crown. In the case of snow or ice, the freeze/thaw cycles can enlarge the cracks on the top of the chimney mortar crown allowing water to enter the structure this way. The chimney will soon saturate with water. As the chimney dries, lime and salts from brick and mortar are pushed out of the pores of the chimney. Wood in contact with the chimney can also absorb water, and in most cases, starts to rot. This is a common problem that we can help prevent. The cost of this service depends on many factors. Call us for more info or to schedule a visit.  
What can I do about the birds in my chimney?

The chimney swift, a colony bird from South America, spends the summer in your chimney nesting, raising their young and getting ready for the long flight back to the forests of Peru. Chimney Swifts on average eat several times their weight in flying bugs such as mosquitos. Being a colony bird they will return to the same chimney they hatched in each year. We start seeing the birds in this area mid- to late-April. They stay until mid-Sept and are usually gone by the first cold snap. We like to wait until the birds are gone or between nesting activity to put out the “No Vacancy” sign.
These birds can have 1-2 nestings a year, depending on weather and other factors. The hatching period usually lasts 4-5 weeks with a 1-2 week period between hatchings. We recommend cleaning the chimney to remove the bird debris and any flammable material that may be in the chimney area. Next step is to install a stainless steel chimney cap. This will prevent birds, squirrels and other animals from entering the chimney along with rain and leaves. From then on your bird and small animal problems are solved, and you are the hero. So, make that call today to schedule your appointment.  919-772-8110

Can you remove live animals from my chimney?
Removing live animals from a chimney is a specialized service in which we recommend a local provider. In some cases the services can be performed the same day while others need to have humane traps set to lure the visitor out of the chimney for evacuations. Southern Wildlife performs animal removal and covers the area from Raleigh to Chapel Hill and north to Durham. Be sure to let them know Chimney Keepers sent you. The phone number for Southern Wildlife  is (919) 796-1829, Alex Freeman.