How to Clean a Chimney


Regular clean with a shop vac and standard lamp chimney clean tools will prevent dangerous creosote fires. here ‘s what you need to know before you get started .

Meet the Chimney Maintenance Pros

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Jim Smart owns Smart Sweep Chimney Service. He and his son Jesse are certified professional lamp chimney sweeps. together, this father/son team visit, uninfected and haunt fireplace chimneys in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Jim besides holds a certificate in forensic chimney burn analysis .
If you use your fireplace or woodstove regularly but can ’ thyroxine remember the last clock your lamp chimney was cleaned, it ’ second probably delinquent. In many cases, you can clean the chimney yourself and save a few hundred dollars .
Removing average lamp chimney soot is pretty childlike. But if you have heavy creosote buildup, you ’ ll have to call in a pro. We ’ ll show you how to inspect yours to see if it qualifies as a DIY occupation. If it does, precisely follow these steps. otherwise, hire a certifiable chimney slam .

Is Fireplace Cleaning a DIY Job?

clean creosote buildup from all parts of the lamp chimney. Most lamp chimney fires start in the fume chamber/smoke shelf area, so it ’ s the most authoritative sphere to clean ( Figure A ). Since that area is intemperate to reach in some fireplaces, check yours to see if you can reach into it and however have room to maneuver a brush. If you can ’ t scope it, this international relations and security network ’ t a DIY plan .

Figure A: Chimney Cutaway

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future, see if you can entree the fireplace chimney crown. If you have a very exorbitant roof pitch or aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate comfortable working on your roof, this international relations and security network ’ t a speculate for you. Call a certify chimney sweep. If you decide you can handle the heights, make sure to wear a base hit rule .

Chimney Fires Destroy Homes

Creosote buildup may not look dangerous, but it ignites at a mere 451 degrees F, and once it starts burn, it expands like foam sealant. In less than a minute, it builds to more than 2,000 degrees F and can engulf your stallion lamp chimney and destroy your home.

even if you clean your lamp chimney regularly, you should however have it inspected by a qualified chimney slam once a year. Certified chimney sweeps are trained to recognize chimney deterioration and venting problems and can assess your fireplace chimney ’ south condition .
If you burn by and large green ( moisture ) logarithm, have your chimney cleaned or inspected every 50 burns. If you see moisture bubbling out the ends of the logs when they ’ rhenium cauterize, the wood is wet. This green wood doesn ’ t burn cleanly and sends a draw of unburned particles ( fastball ) up the lamp chimney, where they build up as creosote and soot. Dry hardwoods, such as oak and birch, burn hot and clean. With them, have your fireplace lamp chimney cleaned or inspected every 70 burns .

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How To Tell If Your Fireplace Chimney Needs Cleaning

A quick way to tell if your lamp chimney needs clean is to run the point of your fireplace poker along the inwardly of your lamp chimney liner. If you find a 1/8-in. or more level of buildup ( the thickness of a nickel ), call a lamp chimney cross .
Chimney sweeps may see 40 to 50 chimney fires a year, and more than one-half of the chimneys they service require supernumerary cleaning because the homeowners wait excessively long before calling. In extreme cases, the hardened layer of buildup requires cleaning with special tools or chemicals .
A professional clean includes an inspection for soot buildup, obstructions, cracks in the chimney lining and signs of water price. Older chimneys often have gaps between mud liner sections where the mortar has fallen out .
When hiring a lamp chimney chimneysweeper, look for person who ’ s certified and insured and will provide an upfront cost calculate. ( For a list of certifiable chimney sweeps, contact the Chimney Safety Institute of America at )

Do an Inspection

strap on goggles and a respirator, clean the ashes out of the firebox and remove the grate. then open a door or window and wait a few minutes before opening the damper so the pressures equalize. then open the damp and wait a few more minutes for hotness to rise from the house .
Grab your brightest flashlight and a fireplace poker and lean into the firebox. Shine your light into the pot chamber and fluke and use the poker to scratch the come on. If the carbon black has a felt black ending and the scratch is 1/8 in. bass or less, it ’ s a DIY job. But if the buildup is deeper or has a glistening, tar-like appearance, you have heavy creosote buildup. Stop using your fireplace immediately and call a professional chimney brush .

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