Litchfield County real estate information, local events and more.


Aw, come on, how important could that chimney really be?

Let something go wrong and you will find out how important your chimney really is!

Washington Chimney SweepPerhaps those who don't have a fireplace don't fully grasp the importance of the chimneys in their homes.

My daughter was one of them, guilty as charged. Her boiler stopped working for a very good reason, the chimney was plugged. She was lucky that nothing bad happened as a result of it. She called in Scott Waldron of Washington Chimney Sweep in New Milford, CT and he arrived the same day to clean the chimney.

After he inspected the chimney he told her the chimney needed a liner in order to keep them safe and to keep from having to rebuild the chimney. The chimney was showing signs of deterioration, but was still in good enough shape to avoid the expense and aggravation of having to install a new chimney. 

He explained that trying to run your oil fired burner with a plugged chimney would be like sticking a potato in the tail pipe of your vehicle. Good visual there... kaboom!

He came back with his son Jason on Saturday morning to put in the liner. My daughters house was built in 1900, and the chimney is true to form for a house that old. It took them quite a while to get the liner inside, Scott explained to me that the older chimneys are not straight, they often have "steps" inside, and they are small.

Washington Chimney SweepThe flexible liner, which is round, first has to be hammered to a more oval shape, then it is just a matter of skill and patience to get the liner to go down the older chimneys. It did take them a few hours to get the liner inside the chimney. He told me one old chimney took him an entire day, he has never not been able to get a liner down an old chimney. I was grateful my daughters house didn't break his streak!

I asked about maintaining a chimney that is only used for a heating system. He said it should be cleaned once a year, and with the liner it must be cleaned and inspected once a year to satisfy the warranty. 

Looking around the neighborhood I saw the same size chimneys on just about all the houses...  and I wondered if he would be getting any other calls and spending half a day up on these old roofs trying to maneuver a flexible pipe down inside the old chimneys. If the owners knew the risk of not taking care of their chimneys they will be calling right away! I saw some pretty sad looking chimneys as I looked around. 

If you have a chimney of any type I would recommend a call to Washington Chimney Sweep, Scott has been in business since the 1980's and he knows his stuff. And his son Jason is following right in his footsteps. They service Litchfield & Fairfield Counties in CT.

I was only disappointed with one thing, they didn't sing "Chim chimney, chim chimney, chim chim cherree..."

Don't ignore those chimneys. They may be out of sight, but it is very, very important to properly maintain them in order to keep your heating systems and fireplaces functioning properly and to keep you and your homes safe from fires and fumes. 

And by the way, if you do have an older, unlined chimney, prolonging the agony out of fear is really only going to make it worse. Far better to put those liners in before the chimney deteriorates to the point you need a new one. The prices Washington Chimney Sweep charges are more than reasonable, no need to put it off. The cost of cleaning a chimney is around $125-$130. That is more than reasonable for the safety issue and peace of mind it will give you!

Washington Chimney Sweep in New Milford, CT and Aspetuck Chimney Sweep are one in the same, call them in New Milford, CT at 860.354.9407 or Newtown, CT at 203.426.6800. Their service is fast, friendly and they do know their chimneys!

Washington Chimney Sweep New Milford CT

A bit of trivia about chimneys. (I do love trivia) If you lived in a pre-chimney era, you would have had a fire ring on the floor (which would have to have been dirt), and holes in the roof to let the smoke out. People tried hoods, bays, then finally chimneys. With the invention of chimneys people could use their second floors as actual living space, not just a place to smoke your meat. For something we see very little of and think even less about, chimneys have made a huge difference in how we live. 

Of course the chimney sweep has been around for a long, long time keeping our chimneys functioning at peak efficiency. And that is a very, very good thing.

And they also are not afraid of heights... 

Chimney cleaning New Milford CT

Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 43 commentsAndrea Swiedler • October 12 2013 11:46AM


Hi Andrea...nice shout out for Washington Chimney Sweep.... it's very important to have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 6 years ago

Andrea, in this area a lot of the old houses had their chimney liners jumbled during the earthquake a few years ago.  I need to have mine relined before I can light a fire. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Andrea, that chimney sweep is using the wrong type of hat. Your daughter was very fortunate that she got the warning and acted quickly on it.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 6 years ago

Andrea-I am glad your daughter got a new liner for a chimney a plugged chimney is an accident waiting to happen. It is nice that you got such prompt service too.

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) over 6 years ago

Andrea, like Ed said your daughter is very lucky this found out in time.  I would hate to think what could have happened.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 6 years ago

Andrea thankfully that disaster in the making was discovered and all will be safe. And in the process I too learned more about chimneys than I ever knew. Great post!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, GRI, WLS, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Elite Group) over 6 years ago

Thank you for the update on chimneys and so glad you have a great contractor to call on.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 6 years ago

We have a wood burning stove and I usually call the chimney sweep dude in my area in May... when I'm sure we're finished with fires for the season and have it done.  Waiting until fall  it takes longer for them to get to you and costs more.  I generally get a discount when it's their slow time.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 6 years ago

Andrea, glad you caught things in time to spare you of any serious problems and what a great shout out to your chimney sweeps. 

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 6 years ago

Dean, Dean, wonderful shout out for Washington Chimney Sweep.....sorry you were disappointed by him not singing though.  Did those Little Guys sing while Scott and his son Jason worked on installing the liner?

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 6 years ago

Good morning Andrea. Really great post about an important subject; Safety matters. Thanks for the reminder. Suggested.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the reminder. I need to get my chimney swept. Safety comes first.

Posted by Michael Mahoney, Boston Realtor (Century 21 American Properties) over 6 years ago

Did she get her home inspected when buying it?

An unlined chimney is obviously a big safety issue as you stated here, moreso with an oil-fired appliance.  Great info and pics, btw.

Posted by Joshua Frederick, Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio (Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC) over 6 years ago

Andrea, we had a chimney fire a few years ago. It it weren't for a couple of young men passing by and telling us, who knows what would have happened. Due to their quick reaction a major fire was prevented. Well worth the money to have your chimney inspected every year.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

Does "fire hazard" mean anything? I always insist that my buyers have a chimney inspection on homes with chimneys. To-date, I am batting 100% that something major needs to be fixed by the seller. Part of the problem is that sellers don't think about maitaining their chimneys.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) over 6 years ago

Andrea, thanks for a timely reminder as we start into another heating season.  I have personally seen two homes destroyed by fire because there were spaces between bricks in fireplace chimneys.  Both of those homes were less than 20 years old!

In another situation, the gas company refused to turn on the gas service to an older home because a blocked chimney could asphyxiate the occupants - which had not been disclosed by the sellers to the new buyers.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 6 years ago
Great post Andrea! Chimney maintenance is often overlooked. Never knew that second floors were used to smoke meat.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Great post!  I often get a blank stare when I talk about the importance of a chimney liner in an older  building.

Posted by Tom Jansson, Chicago Area Home Inspector - InterNACHI Certified (Acuity Home Inspections) over 6 years ago

Good advice and also don't ignore the chamber, if it has cracks and openings that could also be a fire hazard.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 6 years ago

For those that love the fireplace and all its warmth and memories...Giving a little LOVE back makes sense

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

My grandmother has a chimney that she didn't properly maintain. Went to start a fire one day and smoke started coming out of the actual house from the inside. Not a good thing!

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) over 6 years ago


I dread listing or selling an older house with a chimney. There are always problems...and they're always expensive.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Andrea, it's great that Scott was able to get the liner in place in the old chimney. He must be a patient guy.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Platinum Realty) over 6 years ago

Her he got rid of the birds nest and the dead squirel cleaned the flue and then put a wire cage up to keep it from happening again.

Posted by Dwight Puntigan, Dwight Puntigan (DRP Realty, LLC) over 6 years ago

This is very good information for home owners. There are many clogged chimneys out there tha are dangerous for the occupants.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 6 years ago

Barbara, it really is important. And people often ignore the chimney. They were so fantastic, he really was concerned for her well being.

Pat, oh no... hope you get it done soon and enjoy another fire!

Ed, she really was. It was a tough  nut to swallow... but his price was less than half of what she was quoted from another. And he was quick too. Even if he had the wrong hat on.

Sharon, it is always a pleasant surprise to have someone so good show up for the job!

George, she is very lucky and she knows it!

Anna Banana, when I stop to think what could have happened... well.. lets not go there. Thank you!

Margaret, thank you! Always good to have dependable contractors to call on!

Tammy, good thinking. She doesn't have a fireplace, this chimney is for her oil burner.

Leah, he was fantastic!

Roger, Roger, no, they weren't singing, they were busy tying me up...

Sheila, why thank you! Safety is very important indeed.

Michael, glad you remembered!

Joshua, she did. The inspector could not get on the roof so he didn't know. We had much snow here at the time.

Brian, in the winter it is hard to inspect sometimes, but it is very, very important.

Bill & Maryann, isn't that interesting? I didn't know either until I did a bit of research.

Tom, I guess I learned something very important also.

Joe, you are right about that.

Richie, I wish I had a fireplace... even if it ment cleaning the chimney every year.

Suzanne, no, that is not a good thing. Hope the damage was minimal.

Rich, I know what you mean... and now I will be even more cautious.

Maria, he is very patient. These older chimneys can take all day to get the liner in.

Dwight, no dead animals in there, thankfully. All is right with the chimney now!

Roy, people don't realize how dangerous it is.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 6 years ago

Carbon Monoxide monitors work for oil-fired boilers too.  CO is CO and can be detected.  A good thing to have with any component producing CO.  Glad your got the folks out!!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 6 years ago

Loved this post - especially considering we had our chimney cleaned this weekend.  We heat our entire house with a wood fireplace insert and absolutely wouldn't give it up for the world.  It makes us feel just a little independent!

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 6 years ago

This is a life saving post! In Texas, it is important to check the chimney and all other vents on a regular basis.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 6 years ago
You've broached a subject not very glamorous, but chimneys do need attention. Nice way to get the word out, Andrea.
Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Carla, she is happy nothing bad happened, that the burner just stopped working.

Susan, I wish I had a wood stove, maybe someday! And if I did, the chimney would get cleaned yearly.

Sharon, it is important everywhere!

Lottie, thank you. It is something people often forget, especiallly when they don't have a fireplace, when the only chimney is for the heating system. 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 6 years ago

That's good your daughter had her chimney inspected just in time!

Posted by Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~, Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green (Coach House Realty) over 6 years ago

The many horror stories I've heard and the problems I've seen associated with neglecting a chimney would fill a book! It's simple, don't do it!

Posted by Vanessa Saunders, From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York (Global Property Systems Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Thank you for the heads up on how important it is to care for the chimney. Out of sight is out of mind and we need to be constantly reminded about repairs to the home.  Thanks.  Jim

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 6 years ago

Just makes so much sense with the build up smoke can cause.

Posted by Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA, #ChandlerRealEstateAgent (Liz Harris Realty) over 6 years ago

great information to anyone who has a chimney

Posted by Michael Gellert, Keller Williams Realty Direct 954-534-0730 over 6 years ago

Andrea, having a chimney fire is a terrible experience and I had one once in an old house that had no liner when my husband decided to burn cardboard in the woodstove...that was it ...we were lucky the house did not burn down.  A liner is a necessity in any chimney but especially an older one...I can't imagine keeping the 2nd floor open!  I'd live in a wigwam first!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Andrea - a wonderful hymn to chimney. Gee, I did not know all this interesting stuff. Then, probabluy we do not need it that much here in Florida, anyway :)

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 6 years ago

Andrea, Chimneys can really hurt re-sale come inspection time, and taking care of them is so important! Very insightful blog, who would have thought you could cover so much information on chimneys, thanks for the post!

Posted by Jared Garfield, Invest With The Best For The Highest Returns! (Rich Life Real Estate Team) over 6 years ago

When we warn people about this issue, they think we are just blowing smoke! 

My in-laws burn wood all winter.  I clean the chimney every 2 weeks.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 6 years ago

This is SO TRUE! We always recommend a separate chimney inspection to supplement the home inspection....this has saved us and our clients from great annoyance and thousands of $.

Posted by Steve and Jan Bachman, Realtors - Northern Virginia (RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax ) over 6 years ago happy that your daughter was able to get this fixed before anything serious happened and kudos to Washington Chimney Sweep in New Milford for getting the job done so quickly!

Posted by Julie Dumaine-Russell (RE/MAX Alliance) over 6 years ago

Andrea, I'm so happy that this story had a happy ending. I know of many that haven't been as lucky. There's a lot to be learned from this post, so I hit the little twitter icon on this one. Think I'll probably share it across the board and give it a re-blog as well. 

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) over 6 years ago