Are Chimney Sweeps Lucky?

When you were a kid you may have spent some time looking for the elusive four-leafed clover to bring good luck and fortune. …but did you know in some cultures just hearing the song of a chimney sweep is enough to bring blessings on your household?

Around the world, different cultures have seen the chimney sweep as a bringer of good luck. From Europe to Asia, the humble sweep carries with him opportunities for an improved life. But is there anything to these tales or is it all just a bunch of hot air? Let’s take a look at some of those stories and see if the expert work from our sweeps at Lord’s Chimney is just because they are amazingly skilled professionals, or if they are carrying a bit of luck with them as they serve your chimney needs.

England: Marital Bliss & Royal Declarations

Many of the most famous and prominent folklore surrounding the chimney sweep comes from the United Kingdom. This is likely because London was becoming a world center of culture and diversity as the need for chimney sweeps was becoming an important part of culture. Stories of the chimney sweep bringing good luck are common in nursery rhymes, poetry, and art.

The Bride & Sweep

a bride standing next to her bridesmaids dressed in greyAs one such story goes, a chimney sweep was working high upon a rooftop when he slipped and fell. His boot caught the gutter and saved him from falling. A female resident in the house he was working on heard the commotion and ran to the window where she spotted the poor chimney sweep hanging upside down. The woman pulled him inside and, as she was rescuing him, she couldn’t help but fall in love.

The woman was engaged at the time, but quickly called off the arrangement when she realized that her heart belonged to the chimney sweep. They fell in love, got married, and lived happily ever after.

Now, it is considered lucky to encounter a chimney sweep on your wedding day. Some couples even invite a chimney sweep to their wedding ceremony where the groom actually pays him to give a kiss to the bride. Don’t worry if you missed out on having a sweep at your wedding though. It’s considered a positive omen to have a chimney sweep visit your home on your anniversary, as well.

The Royal Rescue

Another story from England involves a king, his horses, a dog, and one heroic chimney sweep. As the story goes, King George III was riding through town in his carriage when his team of horses were spooked by a barking dog. Just as things were looking like they were going to get out of control, a chimney sweep jumped in to separate the horses from the dog and calm them quickly enough to avoid disaster.

The king was so relieved that he declared the chimney sweep a beacon of fortune and good luck – a connotation that follows them to this day.

Though these stories began in England they have made their way throughout Europe and have become common in folklore throughout the entire continent.

Austria: Heroic Observations

In Vienna, popular folklore contains a story of a chimney sweep who was hired to clean out the shaft for the tiled stove in the palace of Schönbrunn. While working in the stovepipe he overheard a secret plot to assassinate the emperor. The sweep informed the emperor and saved his life – and avoided a historical shift in power for the nation. 

To this day, chimney sweeps in Austria wear the traditional all black uniform with a white cap. On the Viennese seal is the year 1447 because the first written reference to chimney sweeps in Vienna came from a document written that year. It is believed in Austria that shaking the hand of a chimney sweep will bring you good luck, good fortune, and protection for your home.

Germany: A Button Rub for Luck

a pile of different types of brass buttonsIn Germany, rubbing a chimney sweep’s coat button on New Year’s day is believed to bring blessings on a household for the year. Historically, the chimney sweep, or schornsteinfeger, would go from home to home and collect his earnings on the first day of the year. For the sweep, this day was lucky and, as the first one to wish blessings to each house, he became known as the bringer of good luck. 

Today, it isn’t uncommon on New Year’s day for a townsperson, as a gesture of goodwill, to visit homes carrying a jar of brass buttons with him for people to rub for luck.

Italy: A Sweeping Witch & Good Gifts

The story of La Befana in Italy is a tradition around epiphany where a good witch, who bears a broom is looking for baby Jesus, visits a home and brings with her gifts. With similar tones to the lore surrounding Santa Claus, this Italian witch comes down the chimney with her broom and brings gifts to good boys and girls. The story tells of the three wise men seeking Jesus asking La Befana for help.

The lore surrounding chimney sweeps is thick and has made its way around the world. For centuries stories of good luck and fortune have been applied to them. Even in the United States it is considered good luck to come into contact with a chimney sweep.

Houston, TX: Lord’s Chimney Sweeps

Here in Houston, Beaumont, and all of the surrounding areas, the Lord’s Chimney technicians will not only bring with them good luck… we also bring the most skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced team with us to make sure that your chimney is safe for use and working efficiently. Though, after we’ve left, we won’t blame you for thinking you’ve been bestowed with good luck.

Ready to Book Your Spot?

Call us today to find out how we can bless your home. Dial 832-280-9964 or reach out to us online now.

Your Chimney Waterproofing Questions Answered

Spring is upon us bringing longer days, warmer weather, and, sometimes, lots of rain. With all that water hitting your roof, it’s a good idea to make sure your chimney is in tip-top shape and properly sealed so that water stays outside where it belongs.

At Lords Chimney we specialize in the care and maintenance of chimneys. We want to help homeowners keep their chimney standing strong, looking good, and functioning properly, which is why we urge customers in the Houston area to invest in professional waterproofing services with us. Call today to get started.

Why Is Waterproofing My Chimney Important?

heavy rainfall coming off of a slanted roofYour chimney is fully exposed to the weather and whatever precipitation may come with it. And through all this, it has two very important jobs it has to do. The first is to allow smoke and the byproducts from burning wood to exit your house safely, and the second is to keep water and other debris from getting into your house.

…which is why waterproofing your masonry is an important part of your chimney maintenance routine. It strengthens your brick and mortar and protects your chimney from natural processes that can destroy your masonry – and even work their way into your home.

How Can Water Damage My Chimney?

Although looking at brick and mortar might cause you to think that water would have little to no effect on such a sturdy and durable structure, the truth is quite the opposite. Masonry is full of tiny pores that absorb moisture. Little pockets of water can hide out in your brick and mortar for long periods of time, which then makes your chimney susceptible to damage.

If left unchecked, damage will continue until one day your chimney will be broken down and unsafe for use.

What Are Some Signs My Chimney Needs Waterproofing?

There are some things that can tip you off to the fact that your chimney needs to be sealed. The most obvious might be cracking and crumbling brick and mortar. If you notice that your masonry seems weakened, it’s time to call a professional to help you repair and waterproof your chimney.

Another thing to look for is efflorescence appearing on the outside of your chimney. Efflorescence shows up when deposits of salt are picked up by water within the brick and mortar of your chimney. As the water evaporates it leaves behind a white, chalky-looking residue. This is a sign that water is being absorbed by your masonry – and it needs to be waterproofed.

Finally, if you notice leaking within your fireplace or around your chimney it likely means that water is getting into your chimney where it shouldn’t. Don’t hesitate to call us at Lords Chimney, so we can help you locate the source of the leak, get it repaired, and waterproof your masonry before more costly damage is caused.

How Long Does Chimney Waterproofing Last?

water droplets on a bright green leafA thorough waterproofing job done by a professional with a high-grade vapor-permeable product can keep your chimney’s water defenses up for years. Most products, when professionally maintained, will stand strong for around ten years. However, that length of time gets drastically shorter when the job is done by someone inexperienced  with improper chemicals and equipment.

Can I Waterproof My Chimney Myself?

An amateur waterproofing job will vary in effectiveness, and if done before repairing weak spots in your chimney, it can be a very costly endeavor. Using vapor-permeable sealants is a necessary part of sealing your chimney, and these not always readily available in retail stores. Having the knowledge about what kind of treatment will work best on your specific masonry is a must.

Fortunately, Lord Chimney’s team of trained techs have the experience and know-how to get your job done right the first time, saving your money, time, and lots of stress.

Will Chimney Waterproofing Prevent All Water Damage to My Chimney?

Water can damage a chimney in a lot of ways, and often, damaged or improperly installed chimney caps and flashing can be culprits of letting water in. So, while waterproofing your chimney will protect the masonry and keep it strong, your chimney may have other weak spots through which water can find its way inside.

Long story short – it’s essential to cover all of your bases! Lords Chimney is trained to be able to spot these weak areas. Our team is fully equipped to notice small imperfections that can have a big impact on your chimney, and we can help you repair these imperfections, eliminate weak spots, and drive water away from your chimney – for good.

Trust Us for a Job Well Done

Lords Chimney can get the job done right and done efficiently. Our professionals will make sure you’re left with a chimney that is able to perform how it was meant, providing you with the warmth and joy that a fireplace is meant to bring – all while keeping water outside for the long haul. Call us today to schedule your waterproofing job, or you can book online through our site.

Thanks for choosing us.