A fireplace is an important part of any house that requires regular maintenance for proper functioning and safety. Whether being used to provide warmth or cooking, fireplaces are bound to get clogged with creosote and soot. It is important to do regular chimney sweeps to remove these flammable and sticky substances that could hazardous fires.
While chimney sweeping needs to be done frequently, it may be expensive when you hire chimney sweeps or tiresome when you do it individually.
To determine when to clean a chimney:
- Using a pencil, scrape off the creosote accumulated on the walls of the chimney. Clean the chimney if the creosote is ¼ inch or more.
- During the fall as you prepare for the burning season.
Here are 7 simple quick steps to follow in chimney sweep process:
- First, set up drop cloths at the opening of the fireplace. Roll off any mats around and cover any furniture near the fireplace to ensure cleanliness during the process.
- Seal off the opening of the fireplace with the fireplace cover or set up the vacuum and turn it on.
- Go up the roof using the ladder. Ensure you are stable on the roof to avoid falling. Fasten the brush to a flexible rod and run it up and down the flue to remove the soot and creosote deposits.
- After scrubbing, flashlight down the chimney to assess its condition.
- Go back inside to the fireplace and clean the chimney from the bottom. Run a brush up the chamber. Proper cleaning requires both the up-down and bottom-up scrubbing for effective results.
- Finish by scrubbing out the firebox. Either vacuum or scoop the creosote and soot from the smoke shelf.
- Use a mirror to check whether the chimney is thoroughly clean. Once satisfied with the cleaning, broom or vacuum to clean all the dirt, dust, soot and grime around the fireplace.
Chimney sweeping is definitely an important process to the cleanliness and safety of your home and the environment in general. Whether you do it personally or it is done by chimney sweeps, ensure your chimney is cleaned at least once a year.