A short play about the importance of a Houston chimney sweep for your enjoyment!
EXT. HOLMES HOUSE – DAY
BRIAN, dressed in a Masters’ Services uniform, walks onto the porch and up to the front door of a small one story brick home. He takes a second look at his tablet and then knocks on the door.
The door open and JERRY HOLMES appears.
JERRY: Can I help you?
BRIAN: Mr. Holmes?
JERRY: That’s correct.
JERRY: Oh…yes…yes. I’m so glad you’re here. This here thing has been giving me some trouble.
BRIAN: I’ll be happy to take a look at it and see how we can help you out.
INT. HOLMES HOUSE – LIVING ROOM – CONTINOUS
(Brian pulls out his flashlight and looks inside the fireplace as Mr. Holmes watches from the side.)
BRIAN: What is it doing?
JERRY: Well…the other day my Rose was little cold so I lit a fire just like normal. I went into the kitchen to make some hot tea and the next thing you know, I started smelling something funny. I thought it was the burner on the stove at first then I looked around and saw smoke coming out the fireplace into our family room. My Rose was terrified.
BRIAN: How old is the fireplace?
JERRY: Umm…About 50 years old. Give or take a few years. My wife and I built this house when we first married. We were high school sweethearts you know.
BRIAN: Oh…Oh…Umm humm.
JERRY: Met at the concession stand at a football game. Right here in Houston.
(Brian pulls back and looks at Mr. Holmes.)
BRIAN: That’s very sweet. Mr. Holmes, when is the last time you cleaned the fireplace?
JERRY: About a week ago or so I reckon.
(Brian looks inside again.)
BRIAN: Mr. Holmes, I’m not sure who you had do your chimney sweep but they didn’t do a very good job. You have about a 7” flue pipe and I can see about a pinky size hole to the outside. Your vent is fully clogged with nesting and debris.
(Brian pulls out of the chimney again.)
BRIAN: You may want to call that company and have them to come back out.
JERRY: It wasn’t another company, I do it myself.
BRIAN: Do you use a chimney brush?
JERRY: Nope. I use them creosote sticks, they’ve always worked.
BRIAN: Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. It can’t scrub out all the soot in your chimney like a chimney brush can.
JERRY: Well, I thought it was good enough.
BRIAN: A stick can never replace a chimney sweep.
JERRY: You can just clean it now can’t you?
BRIAN: Of course.
A FEW MOMENTS LATER
(Brian rolls out his tarp neatly in front of the fireplace. He takes out his chimney brush, looks at it and smiles.)
JERRY: Would you like a cold drink?
BRIAN: That would be great.
(Mr. Holmes exits the room. Brian starts the chimney sweep by running his brush up the chimney and pulls it back out. Nothing happens. He repeats this a number of times. Still nothing.)
(Mr Holmes walks back in carrying a bottle of water and a bottle of beer.)
JERRY: Here you are.
(Brian looks up.)
BRIAN: Thanks Mr. Holmes but I can’t have beer while I’m working.
(Mr Holmes looks at the beer.)
JERRY: I brought that one for me. (Chuckles)
(Mr. Holmes hands him the bottle of water. Brian opens it and takes a long drink.)
BRIAN: I got some bad news Mr. Holmes.
JERRY: What’s that son?
BRIAN: The soot in your fireplace won’t budget.
JERRY: I don’t understand.
(Mr. Holmes points to Brian’s brush.)
JERRY: All you had to do is take that brush there and knock the clog out right?
BRIAN: Mr. Holmes I’ve tried that and the soot isn’t budging.
(Mr. Holmes sighs.)
JERRY: I guess this is the importance of getting a professional to come out, inspect and clean your fireplace on a regular bases. We really like that fireplace.
BRIAN: I understand sir.
JERRY: So what do we do now?
BRIAN: We would have to tear the fireplace down and completely rebuild it.
JERRY: Sounds expensive.
BRIAN: Unfortunately, when you don’t keep your fireplace well maintained, it can be pretty expensive in the long run.
(Mr. Holmes scratches his head and heads towards the bedroom.)
JERRY: I’ll be right back.
BRIAN: Yes sir. Take your time.
(Mr. Holmes and ROSE come out of the room wearing matching floral shirts. He pack a suitcase in one hand.
Brian notices them.)
BRIAN: Mr. Holmes?
(Mr. Holmes looks around.)
JERRY: Yes son?
BRIAN: Did you guys get a chance to discuss the rebuild?
JERRY: Yep. We’re going to Hawaii instead!
(Mr. Holmes grabs a cap and places it on his head then looks back at Brian.)
JERRY: Lock the door behind you please.
(They exit the front door.)
Call Masters Services (713) 723-4854, where your chimney is not just for show, your Houston chimney sweep matters!
How important is a Houston chimney inspection and cleaning you ask? VERY. This light and funny story is an illustration of what actually happens when annual chimney inspections and sweeps are not performed by professionals. As the story showed, creosote sticks or soot removal sticks can’t take the place of a professional servicing your fireplace. The sticks can’t let you know if there is hazardous cracking, debris on the smoke shelf, separation in the lintel or any other problems occurring with your fireplace in Houston. If minor repairs are not caught and taken care of, they will become major repairs and be quite expensive later on. More importantly, your family’s safety is at stake. Lighting a fire over and over not knowing if your fireplace is safe or even up to code can turn out to be tragic. So, not only will it save you thousands of dollars on future repairs, you and your family will be able to enjoy the fireplace in peace knowing that a professional has serviced it.