The roots of our business you might say, Top Hat began as a chimney cleaning service in 1974 and over more than four decades, we have cleaned and serviced thousands of chimneys and appliances. Chimney cleaning may seem like a simple task, but it takes a great deal of technical know how to also ensure the chimney, and fireplace or stove it’s attached to, is in safe working order. Our chimney cleaning technicians are Wood Energy Technology Transfer (W.E.T.T.) trained, and are experienced in cleaning all forms of wood or pellet burning appliances.
Top Hat is one of the few chimney cleaning companies in Ottawa, Carleton Place and the Valley, that use a two-man team to perform our cleanings and inspections. This may cost a little more, but ensuring that all cleanings are done safely and to a high quality standard is our top priority. A complimentary 16 point report on the condition of your wood burning system is Included with all of our standard chimney cleanings. If you need something more in depth, our crews can also perform a WETT inspection.
When our chimney cleaners arrive at your home, they will do a safety assessment, to ensure it is safe to clean the chimney. The chimney cleaning is usually done from the top down, however in some cases there may be a concern over safe access to the roof or chimney, or in other cases weather may be a concern. In these cases, although it may take a little longer, we will perform a complete chimney cleaning from inside,
Our chimney sweeps will need full access to your fireplace so they can close it off to ensure no ash or soot will come into your home as they do the chimney cleaning. Floor protection is put in place and our specialised high powered chimney cleaning vacuum, and other tools are set up. This specialised vacuum is equipped with a very fine filter to ensure no soot dust enters the home as the chimney cleaning is being done.
While the inside is being set up, our other chimney sweep is outside setting up his ladder to access the top of the chimney and brings all the tools, brushes and chimney rods he will need to the chimney top of the chimney. When both chimney sweeps are ready, the chimney cleaning begins. With the damper closed and vacuum running the team works together to sweep each section of the chimney until the entire length of the chimney is cleaned. When the chimney is clean, they move on to cleaning the interior firebox, damper and smoke shelf with a hand brush and the high powered chimney vacuum. While performing the cleaning, both technicians inspect and make notes on the condition of the chimney and appliance to be included in your complimentary 16 point report. If they detect any problems or issues that would affect your safety or or the operation of the appliance, they will explain the issues and recommend potential solutions we can help provide.
A WETT inspection is a more comprehensive inspection of your solid fuel system, which goes above and beyond the complimentary inspection mentioned above. In the Ottawa Valley and Carleton Place areas, WETT Inspections are most often requested by a third party, such as a prospective home buyer or insurance companies who may request periodic WETT inspections to maintain coverage. We can have one of our W.E.T.T. technicians perform a certified inspection to detail the condition of your system with measurements of all required clearances and safety requirements and a periodic in-depth WETT inspection can provide a great deal of peace of mind, knowing everything is safe and in good shape
All systems that pass inspection are provided a certificate indicating:
- the type of unit inspected
- the date of inspection
- the address of the unit inspected
- the W.E.T.T. certification number of the technician
How Often Does Your Chimney Need To Be Cleaned?
Proper chimney cleaning prevents build up of ash and soot in the chimney before it forms a creosote coating which is a potential fire hazard to your home and can be expensive to remove. If you are in need of advanced chimney cleaning methods to remove creosote buildup, Top Hat can perform cleanings with a chimney wizard rotary whip and in extreme cases a TSR chemical cleaning of your flue.
We are often asked how often chimneys and wood or pellet appliances should be cleaned. The answer is not always simple, and depends on several factors. including, how often you have a fire, the quality of wood you are burning, and how well your chimney drafts.
For most homes, an annual cleaning is a good place to start.. Within 2-3 years, Our chimney sweeps will have a good idea, and can tell you whether you have gone for too long between cleanings or not.
Chimney Maintenance & Repair
Our experienced technicians are able to assess, maintain, repair all aspects of your chimney system including caulking around the chimney’s flashing and installing screening.
Chimney Rain Caps
Every flue should have a rain cap, even if the chimney is not in use the rain cap prevents most rain and snow from entering and damaging your chimney flue over time. Our rain caps are screened in so they also prevent birds and wildlife from entering and creating blockages in your chimney.Top Hat’s trucks are stocked with the most common sizes of chimney rain caps, and we can order in a wide variety of speciality and decorative caps at your request.
Top Sealing Fireplace Dampers
A simple solution to a sometimes complex problem. Fireplace chimney’s can be a significant source of energy loss. A lock-top damper system completely seals your chimney from the top when not in use.The Lyemance top sealing fireplace damper reduces heat and air conditioning loss, and eliminates down drafts when fireplace is not in use. Closing the top of the chimney also eliminates the risk of birds or other animals making a home in your chimney when you’re not looking. The lock top damper also keeps the interior of the chimney a little warmer, so when you go to light a fire, you will have less trouble establishing a proper draft.
Fireplace and Wood Stove Maintenance & Repair
Our chimney sweeps can also perform maintenance and repairs to your wood stove or fireplace. The most common items are the gaskets that seal around the glass and doors. These are often overlooked, as it is not always easy to tell when they need replacement. A door gasket should be replaced once there are gaps that remain while the door is closed. Our chimney sweeps can identify such issues during their inspection, while cleaning the chimney, and let you know if it’s time to have the gasket changed. we can replace the gaskets for you as well.
Other items include fire bricks, and brackets. Many newer stoves & fireplaces may also have secondary clean burning systems that may include baffles, tubes, or in some cases catalytic combustion components which require periodic replacement. Our chimney sweeps will be able to advise you which components apply to your unit.
Stainless steel or aluminium chimney liners are often a good remedy where a masonry chimney has minor interior damage or deterioration, provided the structural or exterior is sound. Chimney liners are required for gas, wood or pellet inserts, Wood stoves venting through a masonry chimney don’t require the liner, as long as the interior tile lining is in good shape, Newer high efficiency wood stoves, however will function much better if a liner is installed.
In the last 20 years or so, the use of prefabricated fireplaces and chimneys has become far more popular. These chimneys can be installed in almost any situation, and can be used to vent wood, pellet, or gas appliances. We service and repair most any brand of prefabricated chimney, Our high efficiency fireplaces and stoves are designed to operate with prefabricated metal. Whether a chimney inspect or repair, we can help. We sell and install chimneys from several manufacturers, such as ICC and Security.
Masonry Chimney Rebuild
If you have noticed mortar loosening between the bricks of your chimney, pieces of clay liner or brick on the ground, chimney down drafting or discoloration of your chimney, call Top Hat to assess the situation today, our experienced masonry department can give you are free estimate.
Chimney Chase Cap Replacement
One of the most common chimney repairs we find when performing a chimney cleaning is the need to replace a chimney’s chase cap, this is the covering for the chimney that surrounds the flue at the top of the chimney and protects the interior structure of the chimney from rain. The chase caps we install are custom built from metal flashing (with many colours to choose from) that needs to be measured; we provide free estimates for this type of repair.
Emergency Service for Blocked flues
Top Hat provides emergency service for blocked flues for all types of chimneys including gas and oil furnaces if you have a no heat situation call 613-722-1226. If there are live animals in your chimney we recommend contacting Humane Wildlife Control online, or at 877-222-9453.
Top Hat also does eaves trough cleaning and installs the Gutter Helmet System to keep your gutters clean each year.
For more information or to book an appointment please call 613-722-1226 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our chimney professionals will be pleased to help you.