Your chimney is a structure that provides ventilation for smoke from your fireplace to the outside environment. In order to keep the chimney safe, you need to carry out proper maintenance. And this includes regular cleaning. See how to clean a chimney here…
Why does my chimney get dirty?
When the wood burns creosote forms. This tarry substance adheres to the inside of the chimney and traps soot which is another ingredient that forms part of the smoke. When this mixture dries and hardens against the side of the chimney it causes problems with ventilation.
Is a dirty chimney dangerous?
Yes, as waste materials cause the fire to burn inefficiently. And have the potential to cause a hazardous chimney fire. Partially blocking the air flow can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. And bird’s nests and other debris can obstruct the chamber and need to be removed.
How do I inspect the chimney?
You’ll need to wear protective clothing – goggles, gloves, and a hard hat. Open the maintenance door and shine a torch onto a mirror which allows you to see up into the chimney. Look at the flue inside the fireplace. And outside of your house. When the chimney has been unused for some time there can be an excessive amount of debris so you must be really careful.
Can I clean my chimney myself?
Home remedies for chimney cleaning include using:
Copper Sulphate – this effective ingredient coats the soot embedded inside your chimney. And interacts chemically with the creosote helping it to burn away at a lower temperature. When combined with water this can create sulphuric acid which can potentially damage the chimney interior so you need to be careful.
Sodium Chloride – buying rock salt to clean the chimney is a simple solution. Add a little to the burning fire to create a weak acid that’s able to dissolve small amounts of creosote as it travels up the chimney. You won’t be able to use this if you have a metal chimney as when the acid interacts with the metal it can corrode.
An appropriate brush – to manually scrub the interior of the chimney. Round and flexible flue brushes are ideal for cleaning soot from hard to reach areas. Stiff, bristled heads are recommended. And extendable rods can be screwed together to attach the brush head to.
How often should I sweep my chimney?
It’s a good idea to sweep the chimney as soon as you move into a new property. You need to ensure that there are no damp patches on the chimney breast indicating the fire hasn’t been used for a while.
If there are any signs that the flue isn’t working properly such as smoke leakage or an ineffective fire you’ll need to sweep. Otherwise simply sweep frequently to stay safe.
Get a Professional
The best way to keep your chimney clean and safe is to hire a professional. The chimney sweep will come to your property armed with all the equipment needed to get the job done. This includes a flexible and strong long wire brush, stiff, flat wire brushes, and a selection of hand brushes.
The long brush will be used to access tight and inaccessible spaces that require cleaning. The creosote is then scraped off with the flat brushes. Hand brushes are used to clean chimney caps and smoke chambers.
Vacuum cleaners designed specifically to remove pollutants as the work is carried out ensures your home stays unsoiled.
Your chimney sweep will also have the experience and the knowledge to detect signs of potentially dangerous flaws including deterioration of the flue, flashing, or brickwork. And any damage caused by moisture. Chimney professionals will always deliver high-quality workmanship that will keep your chimney clean. And you safe.
Want a Completely New Fireplace?
If you decide that cleaning your existing fireplace is getting too much why not call in an expert? You’ll be able to choose from a bespoke gas or electric fire to fit your fireplace. Or a complete replacement suite. From traditional to contemporary. Made to measure, or fitting a fire you’ve already bought.
Your old fire or fireplace will be removed. And alteration work and installation carried out quickly and effectively. You’ll soon have a fire that’s attractive and efficient – without the need for a chimney sweep!