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Friday, November 24 2017 @ 04:04 AM EST

How to Clean a Chimney

If you burn wood for heat, you need to clean your chimney to prevent chimney fires. He will show you how to SAVE MONEY by cleaning your chimney yourself. The right tools and a little elbow grease make it quick and easy to clean your chimney.

 

 

     Chimneys need periodic examination and thorough cleaning to maintain efficiency and to reduce the chance of a chimney fire. Build-up of creosote and soot that accumulates on the chimney walls reduces the draft needed by the stove or fireplace which may cause smoke to come out the opening or door.  Creosote is flammable and can easily fuel a chimney fire.  Methodical cleanings through the heating season combined with proper burning of fuel and systematic use of effective creosote and soot inhibitors, provides the best solution for trouble-free performance. If a fire has occurred, have your chimney thoroughly inspected by a certified professional before attempting to use it again. 

CAUTION: When cleaning chimneys by any method, wear appropriate eye protection, gloves and an approved dust mask. Cover fireplace opening or stove and all rugs and furniture in work area. Soot and corrosive debris from cleaning may cause damage. Work that requires ladders and working on the roof should only be done by competent experienced individuals with proper safety precautions. For your own safety, be aware of electrical and fire hazards at all times. Use caution when handling brushes, tempered spring like brush wire can injure eyes and puncture skin. Keep brushes away from children.

  


Dramatic results occur in a chimney regularly with
Liquid Creosote Remover.


All sizes and types of chimney cleaning products available here.

 
EQUIPMENT NEEDED:

  Correctly sized chimney brush, chimney brush rods or rope and pull rings (depending on method used), fireplace cover (for use with an ash vacuum or to contain dust), protective covering for furniture and rugs, tape, metal bucket, small shovel and broom, vacuum cleaner, and a powerful flashlight.
 
DIRECTIONS:
  Measure your chimney carefully to determine the correct brush size to select.  Carefully measure the inside of the chimney tile or pre-fabricated chimney diameter.  NOTE: An oversize brush will not improve cleaning action and could become lodged in the chimney.  An undersize brush will not provide the pressure on the walls for proper cleaning.

IMPORTANT:  TIGHTEN ALL FITTINGS SECURELY – COMPLETELY EXTINGUISH THE FIRE BEFORE CLEANING.  BE SURE THE CHIMNEY IS COLD ALONG ITS LENGTH.  BE AWARE OF HOT ASHES AND DISPOSE OF PROPERLY.

There are four common methods used to control the brush for effective cleaning.

Flexible Rod Method, Top Down (Preferred Method): – Seal off fireplace or stove opening to prevent soot from entering the home.  For fireplaces the Fireplace Cover is a great way to seal off the opening and allow a vacuum cleaner to attach to keep the dust out of your home.  Attach the brush securely to the flexible rod and lower into the top of the chimney, add more rods as necessary to reach the flue bottom.  Work the brush up and down several times until the chimney is clean.  Use a powerful flashlight to look into the chimney to be sure you have cleaned it completely.  Follow clean-up directions below.
Note:  For chimneys that have tight bends you should consider the ProFlex or Lock-Fast rods since they are very flexible yet have the strength to push a brush down the chimney.  In some cases the Super Flexible rods will do a good job but they are very flexible with light-duty strength.

Flexible Rod Method, Bottom-up: – Insert brush and rod up through the fireplace damper or chimney clean-out door.  Add more rods as necessary to reach the top of the chimney.  This method is often messy since sealing the opening cannot be done during cleaning.  Professionals use the August West SootSweeper II system to pull dust and creosote particles from the air as the the chimney is being cleaned.  Cover area around opening to prevent staining rugs, furniture, etc…  Use a powerful flashlight to look into the chimney to be sure you have cleaned it completely.  Work the brush up and down several times until the chimney is clean.  Follow clean-up directions below.
Note:  For fireplaces that have a clean-out where you want to brush the chimney from the bottom-up.  You will most likely need a flexible rod that will make a quick bend yet have the strength to force the brush up the chimney.  In these conditions we recommend using the ProFlex or Lock-Fast rods since they are very flexible yet have the strength to push a brush up the chimney.

Line and Weight Method: - Seal off fireplace or stove opening to prevent soot from entering the home.  Securely attach a compact 20-pound (minimum) weight to one end of the brush with one accessory pull ring and attach a rope that is more than long enough to reach the bottom of the flue, to the other brush end.  Lower the brush into the chimney and up again until the chimney is clean.  Use a powerful flashlight to look into the chimney to be sure you have cleaned it completely.  Follow clean-up directions below.

Dual Line Method: - This method requires two people, one on the roof and one below at the clean-out or fireplace opening.  Attach one rope to each end of the brush.  Drop one rope down the chimney to the person below.  Cleaning is done by alternately pulling the ropes to vigorously move the brush up and down in the flue.  This method is often messy since sealing off the opening cannot be done during cleaning.  Professionals use the August West SootSweeper II system to pull dust and creosote particles from the air as the the chimney is being cleaned.  Cover area around opening to prevent staining of rugs, furniture, etc…  Work the brush up and down several times until the chimney is clean.  Use a powerful flashlight to look into the chimney to be sure you have cleaned it completely.  Follow clean-up directions below.

For All Methods:  - Sweep or vacuum up all residues prior to using stove or fireplace.  Be especially careful to check the debris behind the damper and smoke shelf area, in elbows or “T” connections.  Special hand held chimney cleaning brushes are available to reach hard-to-clean areas.  Clean a wire bristle chimney brush after use and coat with a rust preservative.  During the burning season we highly recommend the use of Anti-Creo-Soot or another creosote remover product to reduce the build-up of creosote deposits.

Last Updated Wednesday, January 28 2015 @ 09:19 PM EST|12,845 Hits View Printable Version

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