Connect With Us

What Are Alternative Ways to Clean a Chimney?

by HomeRepairExpert.com
To maintain the efficiency of your fireplace or home-heating stove and to minimize fire risks, you should examination your chimney periodically and clean it thoroughly at least twice a year. Creosote and soot accumulate on the walls of your chimney, reducing the amount of draft that is needed, and causing smoke to back up into the house through the chimney opening. Creosote is especially flammable and can easily cause chimney fires.

To maintain the efficiency of your fireplace or home-heating stove and to minimize fire risks, you should examination your chimney periodically and clean it thoroughly at least twice a year. Creosote and soot accumulate on the walls of your chimney, reducing the amount of draft that is needed, and causing smoke to back up into the house through the chimney opening. Creosote is especially flammable and can easily cause chimney fires.

Using Specialized Chimney Cleaning Brushes

You can clean your own chimney with long-handled brushes, which can be used with either a top-down or bottom-up method. Either way, extreme care should be taken; wear protective clothing and eyewear and stay away from electrical lines when working with ladders. Measure your chimney to make sure that you select the right-sized brush for your chimney. If the brush is too small, you will not be able to exert enough pressure on the chimney walls to completely remove the creosote and soot. If your brush is too large, it could become stuck in your chimney. Make sure that your fireplace and chimney are cold and that there are no burning ashes. Cover the opening of your fireplace so that the soot and dust do not enter your home. Keep a vacuum and metal pail to vacuum and sweep up any dust that collects at the bottom of the fireplace. After several scrubbings, use your flashlight to check for any spots that you may have missed. Carefully sweep and vacuum up the scrubbed soot and creosote and dispose in a metal container.

Using Creosote Removers

There are many types of creosote removers that you can use during the fireplace-burning season. Creosote cleaners are available in liquid form, powder form, gels and bricks that can be burned in your fireplace to clean while they burn. How often you use creosote cleaners depends on how much you use your fireplace.

Using Professional Chmney Sweeps

Many of us remember the 19th-century chimney sweeps from the "Mary Poppins" movie; today there is a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CISA) that regulates chimney sweeps and chimney cleaning companies. Professional chimney sweeps not only clean chimneys, but also provide additional services such as inspections and restorative services. In North America, there are more than 1,900 certified chimney sweeps who have credentials from the CISA. Homeowners can ensure that the chimney sweep they hire is a credible technician with a viable business, valid business liability insurance and current references.