If you own a fireplace, you are most likely to be familiar with the necessity of chimney cleaning. It requires attention and periodic cleaning as soot, ashes and creosote (tarlike flammable substance) accumulates in the chimney which, if goes unnoticed, can be a cause of dangerous creosote fires.
Chimney cleaning tips
- Know When Cleaning Is Needed
There is no hard and fast rule to know when chimney cleaning must be done. However, as the wood is burned in the fireplace, unburned tar vapors can accumulate as flue which must be checked time and time again. You can monitor creosote buildup by scratching the condensed vapors of tar (while considering the appropriate precautions, of course, like wearing goggles, dust mask and ensuring there is no downdraft). The thickness of the scratched creosote is a direct measurement of guiding if cleaning is needed; if the thickness is negligible, chimney sweeping is not required, if it is 1/8 in, chimney cleaning must be done soon and if it is ¼ in, then a creosote fire is very likely. Thus, the fireplace must not be used until chimney sweeping is completed.
- Be Prepared Before You Begin
In order to begin your cleaning, you must be well-equipped with necessary tools. There is no one-size-fits-all phenomenon for your chimneys; thus, the brushes with the right size must be used for chimney sweeping. You’ll also need a few other materials like drop cloth, dust mask, flash light, flue liner brush, long-handled brush, noodle brush, safety goggles, safety harness and shop vacuum, duct tape and poly sheeting. Using a respirator during your cleaning project is particularly important, as the creosote tar has detrimental effects on your health. Particulate respirators help to remove harmful particles from air, as you breathe.
- You Are Now Ready to Begin Chimney Cleaning!
The process of cleaning your chimney has a few steps that must be taken care of; particularly, ash removal and removal of soot. Ash can be easily removed using a shovel or a vacuum while the soot can be removed using a masonry cleaner. Soot is easily deposited due to poor drafting, which is mainly due to the accumulation of flue and not using the flue damper! On the other hand, maintenance and cleaning of chimney is also provided by professional chimney sweeps that can be of great help, if you don’t want to do the hectic work yourself!
- Scheduled Cleaning
The number of times that your chimney requires clothing is mainly dependent on the number of times it is used. The cleaning can be as frequent as once a week or as less frequent as once a year, depending on the number of times you used the stove, along with the type of wood that is burned.
Hiring Chimney services
If the aforementioned tips are vigilantly abided by, chimney sweeping md can be a piece of cake! Thus, put your gears on, prepare and begin your cleaning project, to enjoy the winter season with much ease under the warmth of your fireplace.