CHIMNEY CLEANING: A DO IT YOURSELF APPROACH
Here on Long Island, it is very important that you keep your chimneys cleaned and in proper working order. We suggest that you call one of our professional chimney sweeps to do the job for you. However, there are some basic things that you can do to prep for the cleaning process. There are even some things you can do to keep your chimney clean yourself! Read on for a step by step at home chimney cleaning guide.
- Prepare the Area Around Your Chimney
First thing’s first. You should remove anything that is in front of your fireplace. Also move any furniture as far away as possible. If you don’t want anything getting dirty, make sure you cover everything with old sheets. You should also roll back any rugs that are near the fireplace. If you have carpeting, it would be wise to set down a tarp.
- Remove the Grate from the Fireplace
This may go without saying, but do not operate an open flame in the area surrounding the fireplace while attempting to do any chimney cleaning. Be sure to wear a dust mask and protective gloves while you attempt to clean the fireplace. While being mindful not to inhale any dust or soot, shovel out ashes and debris from the inside of the fireplace.
- Inspect Your Chimney
Use a torch, (carefully!) to look up the flue of the chimney. If there is a damper fitted to your flue, you will need to ensure it is open. If there is, use the damper handle to push the flap back and lock it open. Check for any animals or birds that may have taken up residence. Inspect for any cracks or missing firebricks and take remedial steps if damage is found. The lining of your flue is important to prevent gas or smoke escaping. Check the thickness of any creosote build-up using a blade or scraper. If you notice significant damage, it may be time to get some professional chimney cleaning company, or even chimney repair, with Ageless Chimney.
Select Your Brush
By now you should have determined the size and shape of your chimney flue. It will be either square or round. You should also estimate the height of your chimney. Once you choose the correct brush, attach it to a rod. Push the rod up the flue until the bottom end of the rod is in the middle of the fireplace.
- Scrub, Scrub, Scrub!
Start scrubbing up your chimney by going through the hole in your dust sheet or cardboard, attach another rod to lengthen your chimney brush. Scrub using a slight clockwise movement as you push, and never twist the brush counter-clockwise. With a hard and vigorous thrust, scrub the flue with the brush, adding more rods as you proceed up the flue.
- Remove Brush and Soot
You will know that you have reached the top of your chimney when you feel less friction. Withdraw the brush unscrewing one rod at a time. As you unscrew the last rod, let the brush fall into the soot pile that now lies at the bottom of the fireplace. Lift the bottom of the dust sheet or cardboard covering, remove the brush and carefully shovel the pile of soot into a metal bucket.
- Cleaning Up
First, remove any dust cloths or cardboard you have assembled. Now is the time to get your vacuum or shop vac and get up all that soot! Your next step is to reassemble the grate of the fireplace. Take any old sheets you used and shake them out outside. Soot can be disposed of by burial, as although it is flammable it is non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Hard deposits of creosote are corrosive and more toxic, however they can be buried too. Any edible plants in your garden will not absorb creosote, and when you eat the fruit or vegetables they produce, they will not contain the chemicals present in creosote.
While this is a very basic guide to cleaning a chimney, we do suggest you call the best chimney company on Long Island, Ageless Chimney! We will save you a lot of time and effort for you. Don’t trust just any chimney company, call us today!