Chimney Services Roanoke VA

We provide complete chimney services including sweeping, repair, relining and more. Call today! Lynchburg: 540-586-9778, Roanoke: 540-767-5809

Chimney Sweeping Service

Chimney Sweeping

Chimney, fireplaces and wood stoves can become a cause of increased carbon monoxide in your home, as well as fires and more. Having your chimney cleaned regularly will help to cut down on all of these problems. You can trust the expert team at Black Goose Chimney Sweep, Inc. to clean your chimney, wood stove or fireplace completely and effectively.

Chimney Repair and Build

Chimney Repair & Build

Need chimney repairs? Black Goose Chimney Sweep, Inc. also provides chimney repairs including waterproofing, replacement dampers, relining, troubleshooting and much more. If you are looking to add a new fireplace or replace your current chimney, we provide entire chimney rebuilding services. Our experienced team is dedicated to offering the best workmanship and service at affordable rates.

Clean Wood Fireplace

Wood Stoves

Since 1989 Black Goose Chimney Sweep, Inc. has installed and serviced thousands of wood stoves throughout Southwest Virginia. Our experienced and knowledgeable team offers personalized service, expert guidance and professional installation and service. We will work with you to determine which product will be best for your home and your budget.

We have become a “one-stop” company both out of necessity and concern for our customers.  It seemed that so many “retailers” were really just “order takers” and didn’t know much about their products, its capabilities, or limitations.  At least as important they didn’t know much about chimneys, vents, or fireplaces. Most were not even offering site inspections prior to a sale to determine their customer’s needs and expectations. Never mind the plain feasibility of a job!  Too many times I had the unpleasant task of telling a homeowner that the stove they’d chosen wouldn’t fit, or wouldn’t meet their needs, or simply could not be installed in the way they had envisioned. These things should never happen. At Black Goose we offer personal service, expert guidance and professional installation. On this site you will find links to the manufacturers we are proud to represent.

Fuel economy, freedom from utility companies, unlimited heat, cozy atmosphere, environmental soundness…any or all of these are good reasons to install a wood burning stove.  Properly installed and maintained, a solid fuel heater can provide years of safe, reliable warmth for your home.

Choosing a Stove - New or Used?  Occasionally one can find a bargain in a used stove.  Sometimes people move and must leave one behind or are buying a newer stove and have to move “old reliable” out for room; however, in my experience used stoves are more often problems rather than bargains.  Usually they are unlisted or untested which means it is best to keep the maximum distance from combustibles.  Listed stoves (UL or ETLM or other laboratory) will have a nameplate giving clearance requirements and special installation instructions. These are generally more reliable and predictable stoves if they are in good condition and have not been altered.

What about those old pot belly or sheet metal stoves? Basically, they usually work but they are terribly inefficient.  The initial savings in stove cost is quickly lost in fuel economy and frequent tending.  You will probably have a more positive experience by not buying a stove, which must have constant attention. Also whether you cut and split your own wood or buy it, you might as well get the most heat for your effort.  A certified sweep will shy away from installing anything other than a tested, listed appliance, vented according to NFPA-211 or other applicable codes.  We don’t sell or install EPA exempt or unlisted, untested appliances.

New Stoves: All stoves made after June 1, 1992 must meet EPA \phase II Emissions Standards.  What that means to you as a consumer is that the federal government has stepped in to force the wood stove industry to improve its product.  As a sweep the Emissions Standards mean less soot and creosote inside the chimney, as a consumer – much less noticeable smoke (and safer chimneys).  Many of the older used stoves offered up for sale were made by companies that went out of business because they refused to submit their product for testing, or their stove just couldn't be made to burn cleaner.

Simply stated, stove manufacturers have two methods for complying with emissions standards: 

1) keep the same basic design and incorporate or retrofit a catalytic converter to clean up the emissions;

2) change the design to burn hotter and more efficiently without having to use catalysts.

The standards for non-catalytic equipped stoves are slightly less stringent than those for converter type stoves: however, and this is important, non-catalytic stoves are lower maintenance, more predictable and you will never have to buy and install expensive replacement converters.  Generally, a non-catalytic, Phase II stove is a better buy.

Installation Clearance requirements are beyond the scope of this brochure – mainly because there are so many variables involved, stove types, shielding, combustible material types, stove leg heights, etc.  We can guide you from the selection through the installation of your new stove.  We use the manufacturer's criteria.

Venting Requirements: All wood burning stoves, except for pellet stoves which are treated separately, must be vented into a lined chimney built in accordance with NFPA-211 and ICC Codes, or into a factory-built class A chimney.  If you don't know for sure whether your chimney is up to snuff, call us.  We do both visual and closed circuit video inspections of chimney flues.

Maintenance: Neither stoves nor chimneys are high maintenance items.  Properly installed and operated appliances should have their flues swept once for about every 200 cubic feet of wood consumed.  Simply stated that is a densely stacked pile of wood 4 feet high, 4 feet wide and about 12 feet long (roughly once per heating season).  Occasionally you will need to check and make sure your chimney connector and gaskets are in good shape.  Other than that just sit back and enjoy the good warmth from your own heat source.

Wood stoves and pellet stoves are the most ecologically sound heat source available to homeowners. They don't burn fossil fuels like natural gas or oil or generated electricity, which pollutes the atmosphere.  Wood stoves do not add to the carbon dioxide load in the earth's atmosphere, which is thought to be the cause of El Nino and other major climatic disasters.

All airtight stoves made after June 1992, and sold in the U.S. must meet the EPA Phase II Emissions Standards. The only exception deals with stoves that are not airtight.  These are generally not suitable for residential use and are not usually listed by any national testing laboratory as such.  These are called "exempt" stoves and we do not sell or install them. Included in this category are "reproduction" stoves and tin heaters. A few companies reproduce old pot belly type heaters and such, mostly for nostalgia buffs. They are cute and yes, some of them burn just like Grandma's old stove.  But I haven't seen one yet that carried a UL 1482 test tag.  In a word that means they are not suitable for modern residential use.  A homeowner self installing one of these old beauties may nullify their homeowners insurance.

Black Goose Chimney Sweep, Inc. is a fully insured and licensed Virginia contractor.  We are members of and support the efforts of: the Better Business Bureau, the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and the Virginia Association of Chimney & Hearth Professionals.  All of our technicians, installers and service personnel have been factory trained and maintain national CSIA certification.  We are easily the most trusted chimney and hearth service professionals in Central-Southwest Virginia.  Accordingly we will only contract work, which complies with the International Residential Code and NFPA-211, NFPA-31, and NFPA-54.Fireplace Inserts

Fireplace Inserts

Proper fireplace insert installation will help keep your home safe from and creosote buildup and chimney fires. Black Goose Chimney Sweep, Inc. specializes in the installation and service of fireplace inserts. Our expert team will inspect your current insert to make sure it is working properly. 

Fireplace inserts first became popular in the late 1970's due to the nation's first oil crisis. They were easy for a homeowner to install themselves, and allowed anyone with an existing fireplace to quickly and simply adapt to wood burning for heating requirements for the home. It soon became apparent that fireplace inserts presented their own unique installation problems, and their safety became questionable. The principal safety problem with an insert is the excessive production of CREOSOTE in masonry fireplaces and chimneys. This creosote is caused when the already cool smoke from the insert lingers in the large volume areas of the masonry firebox and smoke chamber prior to entering the chimney flue. Further cooling of the smoke flow is caused by cold air leaking in around the edges of the insert. This cooled smoke readily condenses on the inner walls of the fireplace and chimney and becomes creosote, which is basically a form of fuel. This unburned stored fuel becomes the fuel that causes intense chimney fires when ignited.

To put it simply, masonry fireplaces and their chimneys, ARE TOO BIG to properly vent a fireplace insert stove. On the average, your masonry chimney is designed to vent 1200 square inches (the opening size of your fireplace). The average older insert stove requires an 8" round chimney, which is about 51 square inches. Newer EPA Phase II inserts are usually vented with 6" chimney, which is only 28 square inches. As you can readily see, bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to properly venting wood smoke.

Proper sweeping of masonry chimneys after use of an insert stove can be a major problem.  Due to the difficulty and time consumed in the sweeping process, chimney sweeps must charge higher prices. These higher prices discourage customers from getting their inserts swept on a regular basis, after all, the insert was supposed to save them money in the first place!  The end result is a greater risk of the dreaded chimney fire. The money a customer would pay for a regular sweeping pales to what a serious chimney fire will cost, not to mention the safety threat to all who live there.

The fireplace insert stove received national attention in the early 1980's, due to the number of serious structure fires they were causing. In 1984, the NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION adopted the following code in its safety publication. As of 2006 it reads as follows:

NFPA211 (2006)

12.4.5 Connection to Masonry Fireplaces: A natural draft solid fuel-burning appliance such as a stove or insert shall be permitted to use a masonry fireplace flue where the following conditions are met:

(1) There is a connector that extends from the appliance to the flue liner.

(2) Any unexposed metal that is used as a connector and is exposed to flue gases is constructed of stainless steel or other equivalent material that resists corrosion, softening, or cracking from flue gases at temperatures up to 1800°F (982°C).

(3) The cross-sectional area of the flue is no smaller than the cross-sectional area of the flue collar of the appliance, unless otherwise specified by the appliance manufacturer.

(4) The cross-sectional area of the flue of a chimney with no walls exposed to the outside below the roofline is no more than three times the cross-sectional area of the appliance flue collar.

(5) The cross-sectional area of the flue of a chimney with one or more walls exposed to the outside below the roofline is no more than two times the cross-sectional area of the appliance flue collar.

(6) If the appliance vents directly through the chimney wall above the smoke chamber, there is a noncombustible seal below the entry point of the connector.

(7) The installation is such that the chimney system can be inspected and cleaned.

(8) Means are provided to prevent dilution of combustion products in the chimney flue with air from the habitable space.

Since the 1990's insert use has changed drastically and most of it for the better.  The EPA has stepped in and regulated stoves of every type.  This has caused the consumer to pay a little more for current stoves, but they are much safer as well as more efficient and this trend will continue.

We still have a large number of the older inserts in use and these are the ones causing so much concern. Perhaps one of these is in use in your fireplace, which is reason enough to read this.  If you are using a fireplace insert stove that is NOT directly connected to the chimney flue, YOU ARE AT RISK. Please consider one or more of the following options to increase your family's personal safety in the home.

1. CEASE OPERATING the fireplace insert if it is not properly installed.

2. Remove the fireplace insert and convert your fireplace back to its originally intended use. This option requires a very thorough sweeping to remove the excessive creosote deposited in the smoke chamber and chimney. Please realize that even a professional, using the best tools, can only clean to about 85% after extensive insert usage. The use of an open fire in the fireplace will dry out the remaining creosote glaze, making it relatively easy to remove. By the way, the chance of a homeowner sweeping this type of glazed chimney to a reasonable condition is nil.

3. You may consider the installation of a vented GAS insert. These require an outside source of fuel, such as a propane or natural gas. Please remember, with this option you still need the use of your chimney for a vent. DO NOT install a gas appliance or any other heat source until the chimney has been swept and inspected for such use.  Also, read their instructions! We do not recommend unvented gas logs in fireplaces, which formerly vented wood stoves.

4. If you decide to PROPERLY connect your present wood insert to the chimney, there are two available ways; a) direct connect and, b) full liner. First, you must realize that the only chimney material allowed to be used in relining a masonry chimney is stainless steel. That old black pipe or even new heavy galvanized pipe is not allowed under the building code. If your stove is pre-EPA Phase II, do not even think about simply direct connect. These need to be connected to a full liner.

5. DIRECT CONNECT. A direct connect is allowed under the NFPA-211 code, but in reality, is next to impossible to do even for a trained person. The problem is getting up into the smoke chamber and sealing the ROUND pipe to the SQUARE or RECTANGLE shaped flue.  The entire chimney industry is unhappy with the direct connect and very few of them are ever attempted. The rest of the upper chimney flue will continue to cause excessive amounts of creosote to be deposited because of its large size and cold nature.

6. FULL LINER. The ultimate but most expensive solution is the installation of a full length, stainless steel, insulated chimney liner. This option provides the homeowner greatly enhanced safety, high efficiency, and low maintenance and sweeping costs. This means the insert will no longer have to be removed for sweeping as all the chimney's creosote is brushed directly into the stove box. These liners come with a lifetime warranty and allow a wide range of additional options.

POLICY STATEMENT: 

Black Goose Chimney Sweep, Inc. is a certified and insured company. We are licensed contractors, and a member of the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Central Virginia. Accordingly, only chimney work or relining that conforms to NFPA-211 and the state building codes will be contracted. If you desire to have your chimney swept after the use of an insert stove, you must be permanently removing it from use or you are in the process of having the masonry chimney properly relined. This company will no longer remove your insert, sweep, and then improperly reinstall it. If this is the service you desire, please call another company.Chimney Liner

Chimney Liner

What is a chimney liner?  A liner is a component of a chimney that is designed to fully contain the products of combustion, including heat, gases, and moisture.

Traditionally chimney liners have been made of "fireclay", also called terra cotta.  They are formed by pressing clay into a square or rectangular tube and firing it in a kiln. These liner sections are mortared end to end inside the brick or block casing of a chimney. In the case of a chimney, which vents a fireplace, these liner sections begin at the top of the smoke dome – the funnel shaped chamber directly above the throat (damper). For a chimney venting a stove, furnace or boiler, the liner should begin 8" below the thimble (where the pipe from the appliance connects to the chimney). The purpose of the chimney liner is to create a safer, more efficient passage for venting the smoke, gases, or emissions from a fireplace, wood stove, or other solid fuel appliance or gas, oil, or solid fuel central heating system to the outside atmosphere.

A significant number of chimneys need to be lined. A great many chimneys were built before chimney liners were available or commonly installed.  Then there are thousands of chimneys that were built with terra cotta liners that have sustained damage resulting from chimney fires, building settling, foundation settling, and freeze/thaw cycle or water penetration.  How do you line or reline an existing chimney? Before the advent of stainless steel liners and cast in place systems, the only code-worthy practical way to line a chimney was to tear it down and rebuild it from the ground up. Nowadays there is a good selection of listed, tested material to choose from, and most chimneys can easily be relined without any outward sign of change.  Special shapes and flexible systems make just about any possible chimney configuration a candidate for lining. Liner installation is always much more economical than rebuilding.

Chimneys simply were not designed to withstand the ravages of chimney fires resulting from either misuse or failure to maintain the airtight wood stoves that emerged in the 1970's and 80's. Nor were they designed to handle the high levels of acid laden condensation produced by today's high efficiency gas heating systems.

Black Goose Chimney Sweep, Inc. is a fully insured and licensed Virginia contractor.  We are members of and support the efforts of: the Better Business Bureau, the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and the Virginia Association of Chimney & Hearth Professionals. All of our technicians, installers and service personnel have been factory trained and maintain national CSIA certification. We are easily the most trusted chimney and hearth service professionals in Central-Southwest Virginia.  Accordingly we will only contract work, which complies with the International Residential Code and NFPA-211, NFPA-31, and NFPA-54. 

What happens if I use a flue with no liner or a damaged liner?  Sometimes nothing – sometimes it will burn a structure down. The important thing is to be as sure as possible that your installation is up to standards.  If you have no liner, get one.  If you have a damaged liner, replace it.

Service Areas Include: Roanoke, Lynchburg, Bedford, Salem, Roanoke County, Bedford County, Botetourt County, Campbell County, Amherst County, Appomattox County, Franklin County