Always Hire a Certified Expert

Our founder, Louis Lee proudly serves as the Vice President of the O.C.S.A. , and we encourage homeowners to hire certified experts. You can learn more by visiting the Oregon Chimney Sweep Association.

We strongly recommend that people take a few steps when considering which chimney sweep will perform an annual inspection or related service on their chimney or vent. Because proper care and attention to service can help protect people from unnecessary fires and carbon monoxide poisonings, it is important to choose the professional wisely. While the O.C.S.A. recommends that people consider a O.C.S.A. Certified Chimney Sweep, there are additional questions that should be asked to ensure that the person hired is a credible service technician:

How long has the company been in business?
Do they offer current references?
Are there any unresolved complaints filed within the city or state consumer protection agency or Better Business Bureau?
Does the company or individual carry a valid business liability insurance policy to protect your home and furnishings against accidents?
Does the company ensure that a O.C.S.A. Certified Chimney Sweep will be on the job site?​​​​

To ensure that homeowners receive a certified sweep at every job, all chimney sweeping companies promoting themselves as “O.C.S.A. Certified” or displaying the O.C.S.A. Certified Sweep logo are required to have a O.C.S.A. Certified Chimney Sweep sign off on every job.

The O.C.S.A. meets the highest of educational standards.

The O.C.S.A. credential was established in 1983 to provide homeowners a means to measure a chimney sweep’s technical expertise.

Code of Ethics
In addition to passing a rigorous examination, each person wishing to hold a O.C.S.A. certification must also agree to abide by a stringent Code of Ethics. We feel this is critical to protecting homeowners from potential scams. If a O.C.S.A. Certified Chimney Sweep is found to be in violation, their certification may be revoked.

​Focus on Public Safety and Industry Advancement
O.C.S.A. does more for the industry than certify chimney sweeps. O.C.S.A. ’s mission includes public and professional education with a commitment to the elimination of residential chimney fires, carbon monoxide intrusion and other chimney-related hazards that result in the loss of lives and property.

​Continuing Education
O.C.S.A. Certified Chimney Sweeps must re-certify through examination or continuing education credits every three years. Since the industry is constantly evolving, O.C.S.A. does not believe in providing a “one-and-done” lifetime certification.

Reciprocal Affiliated Trades Relationships
O.C.S.A. devotes its resources to educating the public and related industries through traditional and social media and its relationships with affiliated trades such as home inspectors, realtors, and homeowner associations. Many of these same trade groups promote O.C.S.A. ‘s mission through their own channels.

Care for your fire glass or lava rock

Fire glass and lava rock, should only be used with units that utilize natural gas or propane. Never use either in a wood burning fireplace. Here are some tips, to keep the media in your gas fireplace or insert working well for years to come.

-Soot build up can occur, especially if you have a liquid propane unit. However, watch for excess amounts of soot on your fire glass. This is NEVER a result of the media. If you notice that your fire glass is soot covered, your air mixture may be incorrect. Contact your installer to verify that your unit is burning cleanly and efficiently.

-Your installer should also be able to ensure that the burner pan in your outdoor fire pit is properly ventilated on all sides. Otherwise, the trapped heat has the potential to crack or melt your fire glass. Contact your installer if this becomes a concern.

-If using fire glass or lava rock outdoors, make sure to keep your fire pit covered when not in use to prevent moisture from entering the unit. Heated water – even condensation – will cause steam, which can negatively impact the performance of your media.

-The longer that your media has been in an operating fireplace or fire pit, the hotter it will be. Remember that the bottom layers of media will continue to radiate heat even after the fire has been extinguished. Only handle media after it has had time to completely cool.

-If you have children or pets, use a fireplace screen to keep little hands (and paws) out of reach.

-Many kinds of fire glass are designed to have smooth edges – but you are still handling glass! If you drop it, this product has the potential to crack or fracture, creating sharp edges.

-Never place any kind of other fire media on top of fire glass.

Need an inspection or service on your gas unit?
Give Portland Fireplace and Chimney a call, (503) 758-4710

SW Portland Rebuild

This chimney had no chimney cap, as a result the chimney has absorbed extensive amounts of water and has become saturated. During this saturated period, freezing temperatures have caused expansion and contraction in the brick and mortar joints. The chimney is now loose and crumbling. Our recommendation was be to take the chimney down to the roofline and rebuild using new Mutual used brick. This way you don’t have two sections of the chimney decaying at different rates, it will be consistent and match.

We took this chimney down to the roofline and rebuilt it using new mutual used brick.  Built a new crown with four new 12″ x 16″ flue tiles, staggered the flue tile terminations. Also supplied and installed new black masonry counter flashing. We supplied and installed three new 12″ x 16″ top seal damper kits, and finished with a custom stainless steel chimney cap that we powder coated black at the customers request.


Portland Fireplace and Chimney has long been doing roofing in conjunction with chimney projects (As you may have seen in prior blog entries). We’re now officially offering roofing as a standalone service as well. Our roof replacement service includes the tear off of all layers of roofing and an inspection of the roof deck for any damaged or deteriorated decking. We use high quality materials as well as experienced, knowledgeable and efficient installers. We will make sure to work within your budget to install a roof to protect one of your most valued assets, your home. PFC is licensed and insured in both Washington, and Oregon, rest assured your project will be properly permitted and inspected.

We specialize in Composition (asphalt shingles) and membrane roofing applications. Call us today to get an estimate on your project! (503) 758-4710