your silence is deafening
ok,,, ill rephrase
what questions should i be asking the profesional i hire to inspect and clean my chimney
silence may be from exhaustion
This is the heart of the Silly Season so many pros simply are too pooped out to respond to an in depth post. I'll try:
I do heartily recommend you hire a pro to inspect the chimney and sweep it as necessary for many reasons. First of all, they live and breathe hearth appliances only. What may seem logical or ok to you may in fact be a problem. For example, you refer to a "zero clearance fireplace". The only place 99% of them are is to the floor. Sides and top do have stated clearances so I advise not to use that term. Try "factory built fireplace" instead.
The term "class A chimney" really does not exist in the US. It is a Canadian term brought across the border describing factory built chimney. In today's vernacular, 'class A' chimney would refer to factory chimney listed to UL103HT for a 2,100F rating and is used on woodstoves and a few hybrid EPA fireplace/ stoves. Triple wall air cooled chimney was invented in 1949 by Bob Thulman and used throughout the industry up until the early 90's when double walled chimney replaced it. The triple walled chimney cooled by thermosyphon effect and actually worked so well, it caused increased creosote formation in a lot of cases. Double walled chimney is a lot cheaper and runs a little warmer, thus less creosote condensation. All factory chimney must use only terminations listed for use with that chimney.
Amateur sweeps can run into several problems with the actual sweeping of a factory built fireplace and chimney. First of all, read the listed instruction manual cover to cover---twice. Read it again after dinner and again in a few days. Ok, now that you are vaguely familiar with this Fp, identify all the components using the factory terminology. It helps when you damage something to call it by its correct name... Seriously, you need all sorts of preparation to keep the black stuff out of the home. One slip and you could cause tens of thousands of dollars in cleanup costs. You need special brushes for these fireplaces and chimneys. If it has a slip section at the top, your brush could pull the inner slip out of place causing a fire or smoke to back up into the home. You should get up on the roof to inspect it and clean as necessary from up there.
the general recommendation is to sweep when there is a 1/4" build up on the flue. Sooner if it is third degree, which is not removeable with brushes. Do not install top dampers, VacuStacks, Exhausto fans or other unlisted components on factory built fireplaces.
A pro will hold several certifications, be experienced, have professional equipment, and plenty of insurance.