The What, When, Why And How Behind Mason’s Chimney Sweeping

Have you ever noticed a smoky draft coming from your fireplace? Are you having trouble operating the damper properly? These could be signs of a neglected chimney, sending out SOS signals that it’s in desperate need of a good chimney cleaning.

In the chimney and fireplace service industry, we refer to this as chimney sweeping. At Mason’s Chimney Service, you’ll find we are the experts in not just chimney sweeps, but inspections, repairs, and routine maintenance.

So before you go searching for “chimney sweep near me,” skip the hassle of weeding through every chimney service company in the Cherry Hill, NJ area, and contact Mason’s Chimney Service instead. We make it easy for you to schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-559-6276 or by requesting an appointment right on our website.

What Is Creosote Made Of?

As you use your fireplace or stove, the wood you are using to heat your home doesn’t always burn perfectly. Things like wet wood, low fire temperature, or insufficient air can lead to what we call incomplete combustion, which means some of the wood particles don’t fully burn and escape up the chimney as smoke.

As heat, debris, hot gases, and these wood particles make their way up the flue, they beginsto condense on the cooler surfaces of the chimney walls. Over time, this leads to a residue called creosote. It starts out as looking and feeling flaky, almost like soot, with a dark brown or black color. But unlike soot, which can be easily brushed away, creosote has a slightly sticky texture.

As this buildup continues, the creosote thickens and hardens, and becomes glossy and tar-like, with ridges and bumps forming on the surface. Creosote and other debris can build up, creating blockages that make your chimney work less efficiently, and dramatically increasing the risk of a dangerous chimney fire.

Unfortunately, with wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, creosote can’t be avoided. However, the risk of chimney fires can be mitigated with a regular chimney sweep. Here at Mason’s Chimney Service, one of our certified chimney sweeps will thoroughly clean your entire system, bottom to top, ensuring that you and your family can enjoy a fire without the worry of hazards lurking in the chimney.

technician performing chimney sweep through fireplace

What Is Chimney Sweeping?

A chimney sweep is someone who has been certified to perform chimney cleaning and maintenance. Their sole purpose is to keep your chimney functioning safely and efficiently. When a chimney sweep appointment has been scheduled, one of our certified chimney sweeps will thoroughly clean your flue using special brushes and a three-motor, tri-stage HEPA vacuum to remove debris, ash and deposits. The fireplace walls are cleaned by hand with wire brushes, and other brushes are attached to flexible poles to safely and efficiently clean all the way up the flue (controlling dust along the way).

As detailed in the following video from the Chimney Safety Institute of America, you can get a more detailed look into the chimney sweeping process:

At the end of your chimney service, you’ll have a chimney flue, firebox, smoke shelf, smoke chamber, grate and damper that have been thoroughly swept. We’ll also perform a thorough safety inspection with state-of-the-art video equipment to be sure that your chimney is performing as safely and efficiently as possible.

We understand all this talk of ash and debris can make homeowners nervous. Rest assured, Mason’s Chimney Service prioritizes a clean experience. We start by laying down protective rug runners and tarps. Our technicians wear shoe covers, and throughout the cleaning process, we use a powerful HEPA vacuum to contain any dust or debris. This meticulous approach ensures a clean sweep and a home that is in better condition than when we first arrived.

How Often Should a Chimney Be Swept?

While annual chimney sweeping is a good place to start for most homeowners to make sure your system is as safe and efficient as it should be, several factors can influence how often you truly need a cleaning. For instance, frequent fireplace users (think several times a week during the winter season) or those who burn primarily wet wood will likely require more frequent chimney sweeps due to the increased creosote buildup. Additionally, an older chimney with a clay liner may provide more nooks and crannies for creosote to cling to and may benefit from more frequent cleanings as well.

But regular maintenance isn’t just for wood-burning fireplaces! Your boiler and furnace also require attention as particulates can build up in these flues as well. To ensure optimal performance and safety for your entire heating system, schedule regular inspections and cleanings for these appliances too.

Why You Should Choose Mason’s Chimney Service

Is your fireplace ready for cozy nights by the fire? Ensure a safe and efficient heating season with professional chimney sweeping from Mason’s Chimney Service. We serve customers in Gloucester, Camden, Salem and Burlington counties. Since 1955, our family-owned-and-operated business has held true to one overriding goal: We want to provide a level of service from the start that will earn our customers’ trust and loyalty. Call Mason’s Chimney Service to set up your chimney sweeping appointment today!


Using video equipment during a chimney inspection can reveal hidden problems inside your chimney, allowing us to fix those issues before they become even more serious. Schedule this simple chimney service soon.