Wait: read first! – Beware
If you have been solicited by another company – even with a name similar to ours – it is NOT us. We will never call to pester you with offers of an “in the neighborhood special”.
We have 5 major services plus inspections and minor services: chimney flue and woodstove cleanings, animal / rain caps, stainless steel liner installations, masonry repairs, waterproofing, inspections, and add on services like paint and peel soot stain removal. Read about each in their drop down boxes below.
Visit our Greetings from the Owner page for our business philosophy and offered services. It may just answer all your “burning” questions.
Why Choose Northeast Chimney Sweeps of Woburn?
Northeast Chimney Sweeps is a Woburn, Massachusetts based chimney service business that has been in operation since 1978. We specialize in high-quality attentive service in the areas of chimney cleaning, capping, lining, water intrusion prevention, and small to medium masonry repairs. We visit approximately 750 homes each year to assess, advise and perform chimney maintenance related to these specialties.
Recommended by Your Neighbors
Northeast Chimney Sweeps acquires 100% of our business from customers like you, spreading the word through friendship and social media. We do not solicit or advertise. That says a lot about a business and we strive to maintain the reputation we have earned.
Products and Services that Last
A One-Stop Shop
Frequently Asked Questions
- A single flue cleaning costs $285 and subsequent flues are each $255.
- A chimney cap will range in price from $150 – 600 including installation. The price varies according to size type, necessary prep work and installation.
- A stainless steel single-flue chimney liner will cost in the range of $1800 – 2800 for typical installations. Rates vary based upon flue length, diameter, roof access and required prep.
Prices are for general purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Please use our form more information. Payment is by cash or check, to Northeast Chimney Sweeps, at the time of service.
Attention all Wood stove and Fireplace users
If you are one of our many wood-burning customers, you are aware that you have an enemy when it comes to your chimney safety- that enemy is CREOSOTE. Creosote is a black, tarry or glazed material that can coat every surface inside your flue system that is on the path of your smoke’s exit from the chimney. Creosote is a carbon residue that accumulates as a by-product of the combustion of wood. As smoke travels up the chimney, some of it condenses and turns to soot and creosote. It is especially prone to building up at chimney “cool” spots (such as the smoke chamber of the fireplace, or the very top of your flue), and at bends in the flue. Creosote is your enemy because it is flammable– it can ignite inside your flue system and become fuel for a chimney fire.
The most important way to avoid creosote build-up is to have your chimney cleaned regularly. For most woodstove burners, that means every year, or after 2 cords of wood. For standard fireplace users, once every 3 years is usually right, because the average FP customer takes that long to burn 2 cords. However, please read about ACS (below). We cannot remove the most-hardened creosote deposits using regular sweeping methods. ACS can help.
For many customers, regular cleanings are all that is necessary to keep creosote levels to a minimum. Additionally, all wood-burners should observe the following rules:
- Burn clean, seasoned hardwoods (avoid pine).
- Don’t burn trash, paper, or newspaper (a piece or two to get started is OK)
- Place a woodstove thermometer on your stove. Check it often.
- Don’t run your stove too low. Burning at 200 degrees saves on wood, but causes excessive creosote build-up.
- Don’t run your stove too high. Over-firing can damage your stove and may start a chimney fire.
- Don’t put a large stove in a small room. You will be tempted to run it too low.
- A good temperature is 400-500 degrees.
- When you start your fire, let the chimney warm up gradually. Shocking it can crack the inner brickwork or clay liner.
- Have a plan for a chimney fire- keep a fire extinguisher ready.
- Use ACS – Anti-Creosote Spray! We cannot overstate the value of this helpful maintenance product. Simply spray on the burning logs. About 10-15 pumps per day will work, but you can double that for stubborn creosote problems. The agents in the liquid react at 300 degrees, and attack the tarry creosote, which is transformed into a dry, crunchy, and less flammable substance. The new substance is much easier for us to loosen and remove during normal chimney sweeping operations. ACS should be kept away from kids and pets and will stain fabrics, so be careful. ACS can be purchased at some hardware stores. Alternatively, we are glad to deliver it to your door for $15 per bottle. We suggest that you use 1 bottle per 1 cord of wood burned.
The Best Way to Upgrade your Woodstove Safety
- We strongly suggest that all our wood-burning stove customers consider having us upgrade the installation of their stove. Many of you had your stove installed 10,15 or even 20 years ago. Installation codes and techniques have advanced every year since.
- Simply put, we suggest the installation of a direct-connect stainless steel chimney liner with hook-up to the smoke outlet of your woodstove. The advantages of this system are many:
- Smoke is contained inside an extremely strong and durable sleeve and is carried directly to the top of the chimney.
- The new liner is a consistent size and shape. This eliminates cool-down spots (such as your smoke chamber spill area) and by-passes any unseen cracks / flaws in your existing flue.
- Flue temperatures are kept more consistent, lessening the build-up of creosote.
- Draft is usually improved.
- Annual cleanings are more thorough – there are no unreachable crevices that creosote can collect in.
- Finally, if a chimney fire were to start inside your chimney, it would be contained, and would likely burn itself out. In an un-lined or even clay-lined flue, chimney fires often damage the chimney’s inner walls; in a worst case, those cracks allow heat and flame to spread to the wood framing surrounding your chimney. A home fire could result.
TESTIMONY: The author (Joe) has a large wood-burning stove, through which 4 cords of wood are burned each year. Along with use of Anti Creosote Spray, and a cleaning each spring, I elected to lined my woodstove’s flue with a stainless steel liner, though I already had a clay liner inside the chimney.
I can sincerely say that it was well worth my time and expense. The benefit to me was the knowledge of a job well done with no safety compromise, increased performance, ease of cleaning, and the peace of mind that allows me to load up my stove, set the damper, and leave the house for the day with no worries.
Please talk to us if you would like to upgrade.
A good name is worth more than gold.
Our company has been serving the Woburn, Massachusetts area since 1978. We value the relationships we have built with our customers over the years. Not only have we developed a strong reputation with these customers, we have also earned the trust of some the area’s best trades professionals.
Look at some of the top companies recommending Northeast Chimney Sweeps!
- Lawrence V. Sweet Plumbing and Heating Corporation –
Lexington, MA (781) 862-1387
- Arlington Fuel Oil Company – Arlington, MA
- Jim’s Heating Service – Woburn, MA
- K and N Oil Service –
Woburn, MA (781) 933-2452
- Circle’s Choice is a great place to read about our company from a customer’s viewpoint.
- S M Hodson Oil Company –
- William Fitzmaurice Electrical Contractors –
Arlington, MA (781) 648-4120
- Scally Plumbing –
Woburn, MA (781) 933-1758
- ProCare Inc. – Woburn, MA
- A M Busa Construction –
Bedford, MA (781) 275-5999
- Beth Stakem / Remax Heritage – Reading, MA
- Don Coughlin Remax Leading Edge Agency – Winchester, MA
- Sven Andersen – The Andersen Team – Winchester, MA
(Services and Prices Explained:
A few considerations about pricing: Most customers find our prices to be quite reasonable, especially if compared with other like-quality professionals.
Stainless steel chimney caps – $225 – 600: Price includes installation, for single to multiple-flue chimneys. Chimney caps offer a permanent, non-rusting, maintenance-friendly protection, the cost of which seems small compared to that of removing raccoons or squirrels from your chimney (or living room).
Chimney cleaning – $285 for a single-flue cleaning. Well worth the price of avoiding a chimney fire in a fireplace flue, or removing a pile-up of soot and debris restricting the draft in a furnace flue. (Subsequent flues are $255.)
Waterproofing – $200 – 1000, depending on surface area. This is a water-repellent application from Saver Systems that has its primary benefit preservation of brick surfaces, the avoidance of damage caused by water absorption, deterioration, and freeze / thaw damage. Always much less expensive than fixing masonry structures that were never protected.
Chimney liners – $1800-2800 including installation: A chimney liner system is a complete single-flue package that includes all supports and connector / adapter components, as well as connection to the appliance; i.e. oil burner. Chimney lining is certainly our most expensive service. While most customer quickly understand the importance of having a strong and healthy path through which their heating system can “exhale”, a few wonder if there is another way to return their flue to health. The truth is there IS another choice. Your chimney has given 40, 50 or more years of service. If you would like to return it to its original condition, it can be entirely torn down and rebuilt, brick by brick, clay liner by clay liner. As you have probably guessed, this alternative is impractical, messy, time consuming, and as much as 15 times more expensive. It is an alternative chosen by no one. On the other hand, a new stainless steel liner system is completely installed in one day with no mess and little disruption to the customer’s daytime routine. Once installed, it provides a permanent correction to a worn-out flue, truly making your chimney new on its important side, the inside!
TERMS: No deposit is required, expect on certain specialty work. Payment in full is required upon job completion for all services. Every project in unique. Installations will vary according to chimney construction, manufacturer’s instruction, code requirements, and preferred materials.
NECS accepts cash or checks for payment. Sorry, but we do not accept credit cards. This keeps things simple for us, and keeps costs lower for you. You will always know the exact cost of any job before we begin.
We will occasionally require a “1/3 – 1/2 deposit” on custom jobs such as liners or special order chimney caps. However, most of the time, we will do your work from start to finish without asking or a penny up front. Our customers are good people and consistently pay on time; and we trust them!
We do ask that you bear in mind and take very seriously that we will be expecting payment in full on the day of job completion. Whether your job is small or large, we will have, by completion, invested at least our time in it. In many cases, where materials have been used, we have already paid for them by the time they arrive at your home.
Please be ready to “settle up” when we are finished. Thank you!
What is the procedure for a Fireplace flue cleaning?
Please note that every FP is different and cleaning techniques are adjusted accordingly:
- The work area in front of the fireplace is protected using drop cloths and cardboard panels.
- A special vacuum runs during the entire cleaning process to ensure total dust control.
- The flue is swept from the rooftop down or the bottom up, depending upon many factors (such as roof access, damper type, weather conditions, etc.). A Fireplace flue is usually a rectangular shaped vertical tunnel. It will be 15 to 35 feet in height in the homes we generally work in. Cleaning the flue is achieved using brushes and rods.
- The damper door is disconnected from its controller and removed from its frame in the throat of the FP. This allows for complete cleaning of the damper as well as access to to the smoke chamber and shelf.
- The smoke chamber is whip-cleaned, scraped, brushed. This mysterious sounding area is the bell-shaped passage that funnels smoke from the top of the firebox (waist-height) to the bottom opening of the flue (typically about ceiling height in the Fireplace room). This part of the cleaning is the most crucial, as it is the area of the FP system where soot / creosote accumulate most and where a chimney fire is most likely to start. It is also the most difficult area to clean and the reason we clean chimneys slower than anyone! Many “Brush & Go” chimney sweeps skip this piece entirely.
- The firebox is wire-brushed and vacuumed. Soot and creosote that have been extracted from the flue and smoke chamber are now brought into the firebox, bagged and removed from the work area.
- When all cleaning work has been completed, the damper door is re-installed and tested. We typically leave the damper in the CLOSED position to prevent heat loss until the customer is ready to have a fire.
- With everything done, we tidy up the work area and remove our equipment. Other than a clean chimney, the customer should find it hard to tell that work had ever been done in their living room!
What is NOT included in a Fireplace cleaning?
The Ash Pit is not included! Some homes with Fireplaces also have an ash pit located just below the FP floor. It is a convenience item that is utilized by opening a small door in the floor of the Fireplace and pushing in ashes from past fires. An ash pit may be small, medium or large. There is often an Ash Pit cleaning access door located in the cellar directly below the Fireplace. It may contain one or two bags or ash, or twenty five! An Ash Pit clean-out is NEVER part of a regular Fireplace cleaning service. Note: Customers wishing to have Northeast Chimney Sweeps clean their Ash Pit may request this as a springtime only service.
Multiple cleanings are not included in our standard pricing, though we do offer a discount for cleaning more than one item at a single appointment. Please understand that each FirePlace or WoodStove or Boiler / Furnace will have its own flue and will be treated as an individual cleaning.
Cleaning of the Furnace flue is not included! It is important to understand that when a Fireplace system cleaning has been performed, we have not also cleaned the flue for the Furnace / Boiler / Water heater. We do perform the service of Furnace flue cleaning on a regular basis as a separate item and at an additional, single-flue charge (discount applies). Please do not mistake your multiple-item chimney for a single-flue structure. If you have a Fireplace and a Heating system (gas or oil), each will vent separately through two (or more) individual flues. Cleaning of one will leave the other untouched.
What is Northeast Chimney Sweeps’ service area?
Northeast Chimney Sweeps services many towns in the eastern Massachusetts area. The list is growing but typically we provide chimney service in Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Burlington, Billerica, Lexington, Lynnfield, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, Winchester and of course Northeast Chimney Sweeps has serviced and maintained customers in Woburn, MA since 1978.
How often should I have my chimney cleaned?
Rule of thumb in cleaning frequencies are listed below:
- Wood burning stove – Yearly
- Fireplace – 2 – 3 years depending upon how much you burn
- Oil burner – 5 years (inspected every 3)
- Most gas-fired heating does not produce soot, but its flue should still be checked for flue deterioration and debris regularly; about every 5-7 years.
How many flues does my chimney have?
A chimney (some call it a chimley) is a structure that may contain up to several separate flues. Each flue is an independent escape path, through which smoke exits the home (think volcano or hallways of escape). Generally speaking, each fireplace or heating system in your home will have its own flue. How many flues you need cleaned is dependent upon the use and output of each system. For instance, your fireplace will need cleaning more often than your gas flue because it leaves more residue, even though you use your gas burner more.
Do I need to have all of my flues cleaned at once?
Having several flues does not necessarily mean that you will need them all cleaned. Each flue is assessed independently. In contrast to some, it has always been our policy to clean only those flues that need cleaning.
Doesn’t my oil burner company clean my furnace flue?
Nope! No oil service company can clean your furnace flue. They don’t have the equipment and it is outside their area of expertise.
- A good oil company cleans the internal parts of your furnace or boiler.
- A better oil company might also clean your furnace smoke pipe.
- The best oil companies know to refer you to the experts at Northeast Chimney Sweeps. 80% of our business comes from referring companies and repeat customers.
See below for a list of service companies we are proud to recommend for other services than we provide.