Chimney is considered to be one of those unseen areas in pour home which is very easy to forget about and also ignore. You might consider every other part of the home in cleaning, but you never even realize that chimney is also a part of your chimney which needs to be cleaned frequently. Cleaning your chimney is very much important for your own safety that too when you are using it on regular basis. Cleaning your chimney and maintaining it is very much vital. With use of chimney over a period of time, soot and creosote can easily build up in your chimney. This build up is very much risky and dangerous as it is a flammable substance and there are chances of inviting a fire hazard in your home. Cleaning your chimney and regularly maintaining it is extremely essential. Cleaning your chimney includes removing any of the debris, birds nest, dust, animals or insects left overs and other thing found there. Whether it is creosote or it is soot or it is any other type of debris, it can cause a problem as it can impede the escape of the smoke from your fireplace. This impediment can create a fire hazard and also make a buildup of carbon monoxide or even the excessive smoke level in your home.
It is advisable to have your chimney inspected twice a month if the use of your chimney is excessive and regular. Frequently inspecting your chimney and cleaning your chimney can be very much expensive if you are opting for a professional. Why to waste money on cleaning your chimney by professional when you can easily go for doing it yourself. Yes of course you can clean your chimney by yourself. You just need to learn the proper process and follow the right tips and you are done with cleaning your chimney. Here is a detailed process to guide you on cleaning your chimney.
The first step of cleaning your chimney is to spread out a plastic tarp or even painter’s damp cloth for protecting the floor surrounding your chimney. The next step is to proceed with removing stray bits and ash of wood from the firebox. Once you get it all free of loose debris, then go ahead and then open the damper. At this point of time, it is really difficult to isolate the chimney from the rest of the living room. Use the thick plastic sheeting along with a quality tape and then seal the front of the fireplace totally without any of the gaps in the seal. After that cut the corners here and then later on you will leave with only the fine dust coating over all your furniture.
Safety measure is very much important while cleaning your chimney. You must put on a safety goggles while cleaning your chimney to give protection to your eyes. If you are ignoring this safety tip, you might an inviting a risk to visit a doctor while the process of cleaning your chimney. Along with safety glasses, you also need to put on a safety mask to keep your away from inhaling all the dust coming out of the chimney while cleaning it. Also take some good brushes for cleaning your chimney and steady ladder for getting you on the roof.
Make sure to remove any of the hardware which is obstructing the top of the chimney. It can be anything like a chimney cap or animal guard. Then start up with the real job of cleaning your chimney. Take a chimney brush with largest diameter and start cleaning your chimney. Start brushing from the top to down while taking your way towards the smoke shelf. Smoke shelf is the flat area which is located in the crook exactly behind the damper. Take enough time and do proper cleaning task. Start to sweep the floor and when you are done with it, replace the hardware which you removed making sure that all the fasteners are adequately secured. Then make the way safely and securely down the ladder.
Give some time for the dust which you have upset for settling down into the firebox. After the waiting period is done, peel a small opening apart which is in the taped seal which you have positioned over the fire box. Take a small diameter chimney brush and get to the opening and scrub it as far as you can go in the chimney till your chimney cleaning brush can go. When you are finished doing that, cover the fireplace again and let the extra dust fall on the floor of your chimney.
When you peel the plastic sheeting back, make sure you do it slowly, carefully and deliberately. If you stir up the soot, it means you have to deal up with the mess which is even bigger than the one you are already waiting for you. Another must follow advise is that you have to ensure that no one will open the exterior doors as it can allow the sudden draft to send the ashes and dust all over your carpet, furniture and living room. This simple act of opening the door would make all your efforts to go in vain and all the dust and debris accumulated on the plastic membrane will go in the chimney and make your chimney dirty again. When opening the door, you need to be very careful first of all you need to move the sheeting accurately and then make use of a shop vacuum and clear the firebox. You might need to empty the vacuum half of the way only based upon the capacity of the machine.
Things you will need
- Chimney brush
- Metal bucket
- Shovel and broom
- Damp clothes
- Shop vacuum
- Fireplace cover
- Dust mask
Make sure you collect all the things before you start with the process of cleaning your chimney as it is really irritating to leave the job halfway and run to collect the supplies.