Why You Need To Have Your Chimney Cleaned
Regular chimney cleaning is essential for maintaining the fireplace in a good working condition. Cleaning is done to remove soot and creosote that is highly flammable and hazardous. Chimney cleaning may be a little complicated but with basic cleaning tips, someone could do it without hiring a professional.
Cleaning starts with gathering the necessary materials and tools. Some of the tools needed for an effective chimney sweep include gloves, a chimney brush, a ladder, dust mask, a rope, flash light and protective goggles. Before purchasing a chimney brush, it is advisable to measure the inner part of a chimney liner so that you buy the appropriate size.
Among the many ways of cleaning a chimney is starting from the rooftop. This is done after sealing the fireplace to avoid spreading soot through the room. The flue cap should as well be removed to allow unrestricted access to the chimney. In this method, a flexible rod is fitted with a chimney brush and then lowered through to the chimney. The rod should be long so that it covers the whole chimney. After the chimney brush has touched the base, it should be turned to scrub the area before it is brought back to the top. This should be done several times, before examining the whole chimney using a sharp flashlight.
Another method of cleaning the chimney entails attaching the chimney brush to one end of a rope. The opposite end of the rope is tied to a weight, but the rope too should be equal to the length of the chimney. The rope is then lowered to the base before it is pulled up and down several times to ensure the chimney is swept clean.
The other method involving use of the rod is whereby a chimney brush attached to a rod is inserted from the bottom rather than the roof. This may however not be effective because it is not possible to seal the kitchen area. Soot will therefore spread all over the area.
There is also a procedure called the two-person cleaning method. Chimney brushes are tied to the two ends of a rod, and then ropes are extended. A person inserts one end from the rooftop while another holds the rod from the bottom and they alternately pull the rope so that the brushes move back and forth.
One reliable method that does not need such cleaning material is the use of cleaning logs. These logs emit some chemicals which dissolve and loosen creosote so that it does not stick to the chimney walls. Instead, the soot drops to the base where it is easily collected.
The frequency at which the chimney is cleaned depends on how often it is used as well as the type of fire and wood used. It is however advisable to do a chimney sweep once every year and preferably during a cold season. Conclusively, a fireplace can only last long if you periodically clean the chimney and carry out diligent inspections.