Let’s face it. Hiring a chimney sweeper can be pretty expensive nowadays. So why bother spending a fortune on them when you can easily get the job done on your own without any professional help? – Read ahead to find out all about cleaning chimneys and how often you should do it.
How Often Should You clean it?
Chimneys tend to get the dirtiest during wintertime and hence, it is best to clean it before the fall season begins. It is ideal to clean your chimney at least once a month, however, it greatly depends on the amount of soot or creosote accumulating in it. Creosote usually forms a ¼ inch thick layer, so you should immediately clean up your chimney if can see the layers forming in the chimney flue.
- Planning & Organizing
Before you begin to clean your chimney, there are certain steps that you have to follow in order to get the work done properly. For starters, use a flashlight to check for any animals that might be living in your chimney space due to the cold weather outside.
Secondly, you will need to have an idea of the height of your chimney flue so that you can buy appropriate equipment for cleaning. You may also have to head to the store and grab some of the equipment which will include the following: a chimney brush made out of plastic or wire, small stiff wire brush, broom and dustpan, chimney brush extension pipes, ladder, goggles and a dust mask.
Once you’ve gathered all the right sized equipment for cleaning, wear old clothes, the new goggles and the dust mask that you have bought from the store. Don’t forget to wear gloves to protect your hands.
Place an old rag or sheet on the floor around the chimney to keep it free off all the dirt. And for the final step, reach out inside the chimney to clean up and detach the damper so that you can easily move around your equipment inside the chimney flue without any hindrance.
- Climbing up & Attaching Pipes
Climb up the ladder with a bag of the equipment that you will need to clean the chimney. Begin with a brush attached to one of the extension pipes. Scrub from top to bottom until the chimney is clean up to a certain length. Join more pipes in order to clean the full length of the chimney flue. Once you’re done cleaning it, detach all the pipes and get down the ladder with all your equipment.
- Further scrubbing
After you have cleaned the top of the chimney, it is now time to clean the bottom part of it using the small wire brush. This will help you to clean up all the dirt that you couldn’t have reached from the top of the chimney.
- Cleaning the entrance
Use a spade to clean the entrance of the chimney flue at the back which you will usually find at the basement. Scoop out all the soot and creosote which have built up over time and put them in a bucket.
- Attaching the damper
Clean the damper again using the small wire brush and attach it back to the chimney flue.
- Brush it off
For the final step, take the broom and dustpan to clean the fireplace. This should help you get rid of all the debris. Throw away the soot and debris in your trash can to be collected by your local authorities.
Follow all the steps properly to clean up your chimney and avoid the risk of chimney fires or the accumulation of creosote and soot. Clean up your chimney at least once a month to avert the expense of hiring a chimney sweeper and vigorous cleaning in the future.