At Hancock Chimney Service, we believe in educating our customers – YOU!  This makes it easier for you to make a decision that affects your health, safety, and the value of your home.

There are many options in choosing your chimney contractor, and this decision is made complex by an incredible amount of misinformation and “cheap” contractors found online. We hope these resources will help homeowners make the right decision. If there are any unanswered questions – please don’t hesitate to call us- we are here to help!

Chimney 101


Typically built of brick, masonry chimneys include a firebox, where the wood is burned, and a flue, an air shaft inside the chimney. The top of the chimney usually features a crown to deter animals and prevent water from entering the home. All chimneys are equipped with a damper, which is a moving metal plate that opens to release smoke and carbon monoxide and closes to control the temperature inside the home when the fireplace is not in use. Flue liners improve the performance and safety of the chimney by preventing the overheating of the chimney and preventing corrosion. Finally, a chimney cap, a minor and inexpensive product, can save thousands of dollars in repairs, and possibly prevent a fire. Chimney caps keep the animals out of the chimney, prevent moisture from entering the home, and keep burning embers from landing on the roof, causing damage, and even a complete destruction of the home.

Homeowner FAQs

Why sweep your chimney?
PREVENT A FIRE — A chimney fire is typically accompanied by dense smoke and a strong smell.  These may be loud and noticeable, or at times, barely visible.  Even so, these can reach dangerously high temperatures that reach the walls of your home, and ignite anything flammable.  Soon, these flames reach the roof and cause complete destruction of your home.  The cause of these fires is typically a creosote build-up inside your chimney, which is a by-product of wood burning.
What is creosote?
Creosotes are basically chemicals formed by distillation of tars and burning of wood and coal.  There are many uses for creosotes: from wood preservation to smoked meats.  While very positive in medical and industrial uses, creosotes can cause total destruction of a home if not properly cleaned.
When burning wood in a fireplace or wood stove, the lack of airflow causes some of the oils in the wood to rise with the smoke up a chimney, where it cools off and sticks to the walls of the chimney flue.  This creosote build-up is black, oily residue, which can become several inches thick.  As the build-up grows in size, it reduces the airflow, increasing the amount of the oil deposit on the interior of the chimney.  Since creosote is highly flammable, it can ignite inside the chimney, and spread through the house by igniting the wood, or by sparks landing on the roof of the home.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Even if a homeowner is fortunate to avoid a fire, there are still dangers lurking in that chimney. Without proper airflow caused by creosote build-up, or a poorly functioning flue, carbon monoxide escapes into the home, causing headaches, nausea, dizziness, fainting, and in some cases, can be fatal.
Smoke Damage
With poor chimney maintenance & reduced air flow, the smoke can’t draft upwards, and it enters the home, causing the soot to settle on the carpet, furniture, and everything else in the room. These black stains can be impossible to clean, forcing the homeowners to replace their furnishings.
Best time to sweep your chimney
Many people assume that the best time to have the chimney swept is in the fall, right before they start using their fireplace. While intuitively correct, spring and summer are usually better! Most reputable chimney companies will have a spike in demand, with waiting lists weeks, if not months, long.
Another reason is to allow homeowners time to make repair arrangements, should the contractor find damages inside the chimney. While we repair chimneys year-round, some more extensive work requires above-freezing temperatures.

Fireplace Maintenance

With cold weather around the corner, now is a perfect time to check your fireplace. While the best thing to do is to hire a professional for an inspection, there are some basic assessments a homeowner can perform to identify issues. These are not guaranteed to uncover all problems, but rather give homeowners a start on their basic inspection. A professional can see signs of damage even the most diligent homeowner would miss.


Take a look at the chimney from the outside. Can you see any chipped bricks? Is the chimney leaning? Are there any visible cracks or holes? If the chimney is running through the attic, make sure to look there too.

Stains & Leaks

Check around the chimney for dampness or stains, which could be caused by bad flashing or damaged liner. If there are signs of water damage- ACT NOW. Call a professional- further delays can add thousands of dollars to repair costs.


Chimney Cap

Check out your chimney cap: look for nests, rust, and gaps in the screen mesh.


Check your Fireplace

Check the bricks and the damper. The damper should operate smoothly. Peek up a chimney for signs of creosote build-up.


Why should you hire Hancock Chimney Service?

How long have we been in business?

We have proudly served West Michigan since 1980, and have built a reputation for our quality, integrity, and reliability.  Our experienced, certified technicians have achieved a professional level of knowledge of codes, standards and practices.

Are we insured?

We are carry both Worker’s Compensation and liability insurance.

Are we licensed?

We carry both a mechanical contractor and residential builders license. A mechanical license is required to install chimney liners. 

Are we accredited by the Better Business Bureau?

We have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2001, and are proud to receive an A+ Rating.

Do we have current online reviews & testimonials?

Our current Google rating is 4.7/5. We take great pride in providing our customers with great service, personal attention, and skilled craftsmanship. We work hard to deliver an amazing experience.

Both good and bad reviews help provide us feedback from our customers, which then allows us to better serve our 

Hancock Chimney Service Co., Chimney Cleaning, Grandville, MI

Michigan State Mechanical License # 71-06504     ◊     Residential Builders License #2102216207