A Union man is following in his father’s footsteps and has opened a chimney cleaning service.

Joe Straatmann recently started Chimney Dusters, a company that services include a full chimney cleaning, maintenance, chimney realignment and chimney caps and accessories.

Straatmann’s father, Dale Straatmann, operated a business with the same name for 12 years before he sold the company.

Dale Straatmann sold his business more than 10 years ago.

This is not the same company, but it is the same name, Joe Straatmann said.

Straatmann, who is a career firefighter, noted that it is important to remove soot and creosote to prevent flue fires.

“Cleaning the chimney keeps silt from building up,” he said. “That is what causes flue fires.”

Straatmann further added that built-up material also can cause a damper to break.

“When the damper breaks you can’t control the fire,” he said.

Another important element to chimney maintenance is chimney caps, Straatmann said.

“The caps keep some of the rain and the animals out,” he said.

When the rain gets into the chimney, it causes rust to some of the metal pieces. The moisture also will get into the clay liner’s cracks causing the liner to break.

Straatmann said he has a referral partnership with Hearth and Home, Washington.

“I have been talking about getting into the business for years and I finally decided to do it,” Straatmann said. “Getting chimneys cleaned is something that people need to do — because I have a background in fire service, I know the damage it can do.”

People may call Straatmann at 636-713-2316, or email chimneydusters@yahoo.com.

People also may visit Chimney Dusters Facebook page.