What are Some Tips for Chimney Cleaning?

M.R. Anglin

A clean chimney is an important aspect to a home. Fortunately, there are some simple tips for chimney cleaning that can help keep a home safe and inviting. These tips include wearing protective clothing and slip resistant shoes when cleaning the chimney and keeping animals from nesting in the chimney. It is also important to have your chimney inspected so that you will know when it is time for a chimney cleaning. When chimney cleaning time comes, you should make sure to use the right size brushes for your chimney.

Burning logs cause creosote to build up inside chimneys.
Burning logs cause creosote to build up inside chimneys.

It is recommended to have your chimney inspected at least once a year. Not only will these checks spot buildup which could start a chimney fire, but they will also catch any problems with the chimney such as blockages. Animals will sometimes build their nests in your chimney and birth their young. The resulting blockage can cause excessive smoke and odors in the home. Therefore, it is also wise to install some sort of guard to keep animals out.

A dust mask should be worn during chimney cleaning.
A dust mask should be worn during chimney cleaning.

Burning a fire in a fireplace means that you will have to have your chimney cleaned eventually. Chimney cleaning is important for not only cleanliness but also for safety. Creosote, a buildup caused by burning logs, can accumulate on the sides of your chimney and present a fire hazard. In addition, if the chimney is not clean, it can cause the buildup of carbon monoxide in your home. Therefore, if any buildup is present, you should clean your chimney as soon as possible.

Some people recommend that chimney cleaning should be done twice a year—once before the season starts and once during the season. However, it is more practical to have the chimney cleaned whenever it needs cleaning. Depending on how often a chimney is used this can be more than twice a year or once every two years. Having your chimney inspected once a year will tell you if this is the time to clean your chimney. Professionals will also be able to tell you about any damage that needs to be repaired.

When it is time to clean your chimney, it is advisable to get a professional chimney sweep. Though chimney sweeping can be done by yourself, a sweep will have the tools and expertise to do it safely. If you choose to have a chimney sweep clean your chimney, be sure to choose a reputable one who will do a good job. Ask them for references and then check them. You can also make sure they are licensed with the appropriate authority and make sure they have no complaints against them.

If you are doing chimney cleaning yourself, then be sure you understand the process and how to do it properly. Be sure to take all safety precautions. You should always wear protective clothing such as eye protection, gloves, and a dust mask. If you go on the roof, be sure to get slip-resistant shoes. It is also important to make sure you are aware of any electrical lines or fire hazards.

The brushes you choose for chimney cleaning are also important. These brushes need to be the right size for the chimney. A brush that is too big may get stuck in the chimney—too small and it won’t clean it properly. Therefore, it is wise to measure the chimney in order to get the right size. It is also important to be careful when handling the brushes, as the bristles can cause injury.

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