Top Hat Chimney Services, LLCwarm and cozy


PLEASE NOTE: Top Hat Chimney has a new web site, Please update your bookmarks as we will be shutting down this web site as of Aug 1, 2015. After that, visitors will be automatically transferred to our new site. Thank you for your interest.

Chimney Sweeps Institute of America
Call: (703) 750-1900
Certified by CSIA

We inspect, clean, & repair chimneys & dryer vents all over Northern Virginia.

Member of

CSIAchimsweeps guild

Top Hat Chimney is proud to announce our new partner in home energy improvements, Natural Light Energy Systems. To learn more about their new Solar Attic Fans, please click on their icon below.

Natural Light Solar Fan Systems

Safety Tips

The safety guidelines set by the National Fire Protection Association call for annual professional inspections of all wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, and chimneys. Follow up cleaning should be done according to inspection results.

1) Do not bank fires or close dampers to prolong burning.
2) Burn properly aged wood, not green wood.
3) Burn fires hot to minimize creosote buildup.
4) Regularly check the outside parts of your chimney and any connection points for any visible damage

Service Locations

We service the following areas in Northern Virginia.

Alexandria Annandale Arlington Ashburn Burke Centreville Chantilly Clifton Countryside Dale City Dranesville Dumfries FallsChurch Fairfax Fort Belvoir Franconia Great Falls Herndon Lincolnia Lorton OakHill Oakton Old Town McLean Merrifield Montclair Reston Seven Corners Springfield Sterling Sugarland Run Tysons Corner Vienna Woodbridge

Please call us today to see if we service your area.

(703) 750-1900

Why Chimneys Get Dirty

Creosote and soot are natural byproducts of burning fuel, Dirty Chimneydeposited on the inside of your chimney or flue pipe as a solid sticky, black layer that is highly flammable. This needs to be regularly cleaned from your chimney or flue pipe. To reduce build up and use fuel efficiently, keep your fires hot, and provide them with plenty of oxygen. Damping fires to keep them burning longer produces more smoke and solid by-products. On average, your chimney needs to be cleaned after every two cords of wood that are burned. An annual inspection and cleaning is recommended for most average wood stove users.

How the Chimney is Cleaned

Brushes are used to remove creosote and soot from the firebox, smoke shelf, elbows, and connector pipes. This is done from both outside and inside the house. Occasionally there is Clean chimneycreosote buildup that cannot be removed by brushing. Professional chimney sweeps use chemicals to alter the composition of the hardened creosote and turn it into a powdery substance that can be easily removed. Chemical chimney cleaning products are available for use by homeowners. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) cautions against using these products to replace professional, mechanical cleaning of the chimney. Homeowners should be aware that these products can loosen debris that can fall into hard to reach places in the chimney structure and cause malfunctioning of the chimney. In addition, professional inspection is important because it often reveals hidden problems with the structure of a chimney that would otherwise go unnoticed, and could be potentially hazardous.

Chimney Inspection for Proper Operation

A properly functioning chimney has enough draft to pull smoke out of your home and provide enough oxygen for hot, complete burning of wood to occur. It is important that your chimney is the right type and style for your firebox or stove. In addition, it should be installed properly in your home in compliance with building codes and manufacturer instructions. A well-designed system has the following performance characteristics:

* fires light easily and burn bright and hot.
* draft builds quickly.
* lighting fires does not cause smoke to fill room.
* opening the door does not cause smoke to spill out.
* when not in use, air flows into the stove.
* Cold air and bad smells do not come out.

Chimney inspections are done by certified professionals using state of the art techniques and tools. A malfunctioning chimney can allow carbon monoxide into your living space. It causes illness and death if it is inhaled in large amounts. For the safety of your family and guests is critical to that your chimney is maintained properly with annual inspections. You should also have carbon monoxide detectors installed on each floor of your home, as well as in sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide detectors can let you know if there are possible problems with the venting systems of your furnace, gas hot water heater, or gas stove and will keep you from being harmed from prolonged exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide.

Common repairs

The purpose of your chimney is two-fold. It must remove harmful byproducts created when fuel is burned, and it must carry excessive heat away from combustible items near the fire. Besides being cleaned and inspected each year, your chimney will also need occasional repairs to ensure that it is performing these functions properly. Top Hat has licensed masons on duty to perform these repairs.

* Firebox repointing and rebuilding—the firebox is the brick area where you build your fire; loose bricks and degraded mortar should be repaired.

* Mortar crown repair—the mortar crown is the concrete like surface at the top of your chimney that keeps water out of your flue; a cracked or broken mortar crown should be repaired immediately to avoid serious water damage

* Damper repair—A damper closes the flue when you aren’t using the fireplace so heat doesn’t escape through the chimney

* Flue repair —the flu is the internal part of the chimney that funnels exhaust from your fireplace to the outside; if it cracks, breaks, or is blocked by debris or creosote build up it is a safety hazard that needs to be repaired.

About Top Hat Chimney

We are a family-owned business with over 30 years of experience

Licensed Fire Fighter & Master Sweep, Class A, and Venting Design Specialist on staff.

• We also perform dryer vent Inspections and Cleaning.

• We also repair and replace damaged chimneys.

• Animal removals and chimney caps are our specialty.

• We also sell and service Natural Light Solar Attic Fans now. Click HERE for more info.

• We are a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild and the Chimney Safety Institute of America.


Did you know that Top Hat Chimney Services also cleans and inspects dryer vents to insure their proper operation and safety.


Top Hat Chimney Services, LLCTop Hat Chimney Services, LLC appreciates your business. Please let us know how we may serve you better. We honor the following cards: