Most chimneys are typically low maintenance, but they do need to be kept up to avoid major repairs. For this reason, there are several chimney products available. Some are designed to keep debris out of chimneys, while others are meant to keep them clean year round. Owners of chimneys can choose to either perform the maintenance themselves by purchasing the necessary chimney products, or hire a company to do the work.
Chimney cleaning cannot typically be performed using the usual cleaning products. It often requires special tools, one of which is a flue brush. This item is usually made of durable materials like stainless steel or polypropylene, and can be used to remove creosote or other tough stains. Since it is usually difficult to reach every spot inside a chimney, most brushes are attached to long, sturdy rods. For the toughest stains, a rotary cable can be attached to a drill, which spins around the chimney in order to break up deposits.
Some chimney products help solve problems like excessive smoke coming from a fireplace. If the smoke is blown into the house only on windy days, installing a chimney cap might help, as it covers the top of the structure. If smoke is an issue constantly, installing a fan might be a better solution, as it can pull excess air and smoke out of the flue. Both of these chimney products are simply mounted at the top, outside the chimney.
For those who do not use their chimney often, there is a product specifically meant to stop up the opening. It is called a chimney plug, and is an optional product that is often used to stop air from coming in or leaving through the structure. Preventing cold air from coming into a home and hot air from leaving, or vice versa, can save homeowners money when it comes to utility bills. Such chimney products can typically be screwed into place within minutes.
A good quality chimney crown is essential to keep the structure lasting as long as possible. It is located at the top, and its main role is to protect the rest of the chimney from deterioration due to inclement weather. The best crowns are typically constructed of metal or cement, not brick and mortar. This is because extreme weather, such as rain or snow, can gradually break down mortar over just a few years, leading to the complete deterioration of the top of the chimney.