Certified Chimney Sweeping Services in Memphis: We’re Here To Serve You

You have a fireplace that you love using, and you’ve seen Mary Poppins, so you know a chimney sweep is necessary…but what exactly is a chimney sweep? Is it as messy as they portray it in the movies? How often do you need to schedule a chimney sweep?

So, you go to the Internet for answers, typing in “chimney sweep near me,” “chimney sweep Memphis,” and even “Shelby County chimney sweep,” but really aren’t getting the results you’re hoping for. Well, that’s where we come in! Coopertown Chimney isn’t here to just ensure our customers get the best chimney services around…we aim to educate and inform the communities we serve too!

Need to schedule an appointment? Have questions for us? Interested in a fireplace inspection? We’re here to help with anything you need. Call 901-358-7777 or reach out to us online now.

Technician sweeping beautiful white victorian style surround - wearing safety equipment
Technician inspecting chimney with lights and hoses
Chimney-Sweeping-Service- Tech knocking at door of home

Why Is a Chimney Sweep Necessary?

To understand why it’s important to have your chimney regularly swept, we find that it’s helpful to understand what it is that your chimney technicians are removing – and why it can be a hazard. Let’s talk creosote, a natural (but dangerous) byproduct of combustion.

Our first concern when sweeping a chimney is to rid it of creosote deposits. The simplest explanation of creosote is that it’s a deposit that builds up on your flue as a result of condensation that forms as the hot gases from your fire meet the cooler flue surface.

The burning process turns the carbohydrates in wood into hydrocarbons – and while most of these burn, some get mixed with the hot gases in your chimney. The result of this mix is what is often referred to as “tar fog” or “dense smoke.” This tar fog settles on the chimney walls as thick, flammable creosote. 

Creosote varies in some ways – sometimes it looks tar-like, puffy or crusty, but it’s always highly combustible. And if it ignites, a chimney fire will spread through your flue walls. Now, we know what you’re thinking…aren’t chimneys designed to take on heat? Why is a fire in a chimney a bad thing?

Well, it’s actually your firebox that was designed to contain flames…and that fire isn’t supposed to reach above the damper and up through the smoke chamber and flue. If creosote ignites in the flue, the damage to your chimney system and home can be considerable, from cracking of the flue liner to combustion within the walls of your home.

Even small chimney fires that ignite and don’t get enough oxygen to last can cause significant damage to your chimney. And if you use a chimney after a chimney fire, the likelihood that another chimney fire could reach combustible parts of your home skyrockets.

The scariest part of all this? Most homeowners won’t even know that a chimney fire has occurred! That means you could be using your flue when it is highly dangerous to do so – another reason to get those annual inspections scheduled before every burn season!

To sum up…having your chimney regularly swept by a certified Coopertown Services technician can keep creosote at bay and minimize your chances of having a flue fire. Call or book online now to get your spot scheduled.

Chimney cap clogged up with black creosote

When Do I Need To Have My Chimney Swept?

According to the National Chimney Sweeping Guild (NCSG), the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), all residential chimneys should be inspected annually and swept if creosote deposits have a thickness of ⅛-inch or more. The timeframe can vary depending on how often your appliance is used – roughly a cord of wood burned in an average chimney under normal circumstances will produce an eighth inch of creosote.

Most homeowners have their chimney swept annually, which allows chimney technicians to get a clear image of the state of the system and identify problems in the early stages.

Coopertown Services has been sweeping chimneys in Shelby County since 1978, so we know what to do and how to do it. You can count on us to keep your chimney clean – and to keep your home and family safer and warmer.

Can I Sweep My Chimney Myself?

While it’s technically possible to sweep your chimney yourself – and one brief online search will showcase various DIY tools for doing just this – it’s generally not recommended for several reasons:

  • There’ll be an increase in safety risks. Climbing onto your roof and accessing the chimney can be hazardous, especially if you’re not experienced or equipped with the necessary safety gear. Additionally, accessing the interior of the chimney can expose you to toxic substances like creosote or carbon monoxide.
  • An expert’s eye is always better. Chimney sweeping requires a trained eye to identify potential hazards and ensure thorough cleaning. Without the expertise of a professional chimney sweep, you may overlook critical signs of damage or fail to remove all debris effectively…meaning you’ll still be at risk when you light fires.
  • You’ll need more equipment than a basic brush. Chimney sweeping involves the use of multiple specialized tools, such as chimney brushes, rods, and vacuums. Professional chimney sweeps have access to these tools and know how to use them safely and effectively. Without the proper equipment, you may not be able to achieve the same level of cleanliness and effectiveness.
  • Areas could get missed – and leave your home at risk. Without the proper training and knowledge, you may not be able to reach all areas of the chimney or remove stubborn creosote buildup effectively. Incomplete cleaning can lead to safety hazards, such as chimney fires or carbon monoxide leaks.
  • You may overlook coding and insurance requirements. In some jurisdictions, chimney sweeping must be performed by licensed professionals to comply with building codes and regulations. Attempting to sweep your chimney yourself could result in legal consequences or the voiding of insurance coverage if an incident occurs.

Here’s our take: Instead of attempting DIY chimney sweeping, it’s best to hire a certified chimney professional to perform the job. It’ll offer that peace of mind you deserve, and it’s likely to save you money in the long run, too, when you consider the damages and other issues that may come up if an unthorough job is completed.

A qualified chimney sweep – like any of our experts here at Coopertown – has the necessary training, experience, and equipment to clean your chimney safely and effectively, reducing the risk of chimney fires and ensuring proper ventilation. Book with us today.

Do I Need Chimney Sweeping Services if I Have a Gas Fireplace?

Yes, chimney sweeping is still necessary even if you have a gas fireplace. Actually, it’s necessary no matter your fuel type!

While it’s true that gas fireplaces produce fewer combustion byproducts than wood-burning fireplaces, there are still several reasons why chimney sweeping is important for proper gas fireplace maintenance:

  • Gas fireplaces still produce debris. Although gas fireplace flues take on minimal amounts of creosote compared to wood-burning fireplaces, they can still accumulate other debris such as dust, dirt, and animal nests. Regular chimney sweeping helps remove these obstructions and ensures proper airflow and ventilation.
  • Sweepings give the tech a chance to look things over. Chimney sweepings provide an opportunity to inspect the chimney for any signs of damage, deterioration, or blockages. This includes checking for cracks, loose bricks, or damage to the chimney liner…all of which can compromise the safety and efficiency of the fireplace.
  • Regular maintenance prevents dangerous scenarios. Even though gas fireplaces produce cleaner combustion, there is still a risk of blockages in the chimney due to debris buildup or animal nesting. These blockages can obstruct airflow and lead to poor fireplace performance or even carbon monoxide buildup indoors.
  • Sweepings ensure warranty requirements are maintained. Some gas fireplace manufacturers recommend regular chimney sweeping as part of their warranty requirements. Failure to adhere to these maintenance guidelines could void the warranty coverage in the event of a malfunction or damage.
  • All of the above will keep you safer! Regular chimney sweeping helps ensure safer operation of your gas fireplace by reducing the risk of chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and other safety hazards. It also provides peace of mind knowing that your fireplace system is functioning properly.

So, yes – while gas fireplaces may require less frequent chimney sweeping (since some wood options need 2 – 3 per year), it’s still important to schedule annual inspections and cleanings by a certified chimney professional.

Will Chimney Sweeping Make a Mess in My Home?

Despite how old films portray a chimney sweep, modern chimney sweeping practices generally involve a clean process when performed by a professional chimney sweep. Professional chimney sweeps take precautions to minimize mess and protect your home during the sweeping process.

Technician Cleaning Stove

This includes:

  • laying down protective coverings around the fireplace area to catch any loose/falling debris
  • using specialized tools and equipment designed to contain and remove debris efficiently
  • operating high-powered vacuums to capture soot, creosote, and other debris
  • exercising care and precision to minimize disturbance to your home
  • covering furniture and valuables near the fireplace

Then, after completing the sweeping, we’ll conduct a thorough cleanup of the work area. This may involve vacuuming any remaining debris, wiping down surfaces, and removing protective coverings to leave your home clean and tidy.
All in all, while chimney sweeping may involve some minor disruption and dust, professional chimney sweeps strive to minimize mess and ensure a clean and safe environment for you and your family. If you have specific concerns about cleanliness during chimney sweeping, you can discuss them with us! We’re here to help.

What Happens if I Light Fires in a Dirty Chimney?

If you light fires in a dirty chimney without having it properly cleaned, several potential dangers may arise…the most immediate being an increased risk of chimney fires. Soot, creosote, and other combustible debris that accumulate inside the chimney can ignite when exposed to high temperatures. Once ignited, chimney fires can rapidly spread, causing extensive damage to the chimney structure and potentially spreading to other parts of the home.

A dirty chimney can also impede proper ventilation, leading to smoke backup and poor indoor air quality. Breathing in these pollutants can exacerbate respiratory issues and pose health risks, particularly for individuals with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions.

And there’s the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced during combustion. A blocked flue can lead to the buildup of carbon monoxide indoors, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even death in severe cases.

Finally, if you already have structural issues, having a dirty chimney can worsen them – or even trigger new damage. Creosote and other materials have been known to break down your brick and mortar, as well as increase the chances of experiencing rust, corrosion, and other issues. And repairing structural damage can be costly and may require extensive work to restore the chimney’s safety and functionality.

Do I Need To Prepare for Chimney Sweeping?

There are a few steps you can take to prepare for chimney sweeping to ensure a smooth and efficient appointment – and help us out while you’re at it.

  1. Stop using your fireplace 24 hours ahead of time. Heat and live embers can linger for hours, so please don’t use your fireplace the day before our visit. This is the best way to ensure our techs stay as safe as possible!
  2. Clear the area around the fireplace. Remove any furniture, decorations, or other items from the vicinity of the fireplace to provide the chimney sweep with easy access to the chimney and workspace – and keep your belongings safe.
  3. Protect flooring and furnishings. Lay down protective coverings or drop cloths around the fireplace area to prevent dust and debris from settling on floors, carpets, or furniture. This will help minimize cleanup afterward.
  4. Secure pets. If you have pets in your home, consider confining them to a separate room or outdoor area during chimney sweeping to prevent them from getting in the way or being exposed to any potential hazards.
  5. Communicate with us – and ask questions! If there are any specific concerns or preferences you have regarding the chimney sweeping process, such as allergies, sensitivities, or fragile items near the fireplace, be sure to communicate these to the chimney sweep beforehand so we can accommodate your needs. And if you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask!

Call Us Now To Get Scheduled

Ready to ensure your chimney is clean and safe for use? Schedule your professional chimney sweeping today to prevent chimney fires and maintain optimal performance of your fireplace or stove. Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact us now to book your appointment!

Call Coopertown Services at 901-358-7777 or schedule an appointment online today.


We can handle any chimney or fireplace service you need, including major or minor chimney repairs of all kinds.