DIY tips and tricks for chimney cleaning

In cool winters a warm glow of fireplace is the only thing that you would want in the evening. In order to keep things simple and safe it is highly important to ensure that the fireplace is cleaned regularly. Moreover, it is also important to know that it is built well which allows better cleaning. In order to maintain chimney cleaning well it is extremely important that you get it inspected regularly by professionals.

Here in this article you will find some of the most amazing tips and tricks that will help you clean chimney all by yourself and get the desired results.

Tools required

The first and the foremost element is to gather the necessary equipment that could help you start off with chimney cleaning

  • Drop cloth
  • Dust mask
  • Flashlight
  • Flue liner brush
  • Long-handled brush
  • Noodle brush
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety harness
  • Shop vacuum
  • Materials Required
  • Duct tape
  • Poly sheeting

Materials Required

  • Duct Tape
  • Poly Sheeting

Go for an inspection

It is important that you should go for an inspection before starting cleaning. To do so strap on the goggles and a respirator and access the area where you will be requiring cleaning. Clean out the ashes out of the firebox and remove the grate. Now if you are done with it you need to open a door or window and stay there for a few minutes before opening the damper. It is important to pressures equalize. Once you are done with this you need to open the damper and wait patiently. As the heat rises from the house you may grab your flashlight to get an idea what is going on. With help of a fireplace poker lean inside the firebox. The torchlight will help you to shine light into the smoke chamber and flue. Use the poker to scratch the surface if you find out that the soot is matte black and scratch is almost of 1/8 deep then it could be easily done with DIY techniques otherwise you need to call for certified professionals to get the job done. When the buildup is deep, has a tarlike appearance or its shining then you need to know that creosote has built up inside your chimney and you will need an expert to help you get out of this problem. Moreover, if you have found it out how bad it is and still using it to warm up your lounge then you are causing some serious damage to your house.

Lets get started

Step 1

After reading this article you would need to go for a shopping spree for chimney dusting because DIY chimney vacuuming is not as easy as you think. The first step is to get a metal bristle brush for a clay flue liner and a brush with plastic bristles for a metal liner. It is important to get long rods according to the height of the chimney. To measure the height, you may look into the dimension book of the house or you may call experts for inspection.

Step 2:

Use special brushes for your chimney washing because you never know where the tar is stuck. You need to buy a bendable “noodle brush” that goes into the corners and bring along ash. There is no specific size for different chimney models as every house has a different measurement. So you will have to climb up to the roof and measure the size of the flue liner to get the best fit.

Step 3:

While cleaning chimney you would not want to mess other things up with the ash and other toxic material. Just to protect everything it is highly important to ensure that you cover the interior of the house with a plastic sheet on the nearby things. To ensure that the plastic sheet keeps its place intact place some heavy material on to the sheet so it doesn’t move. You may also use tape to ensure that the plastic sheet remains intact.

Step 4

Moving on to the next step you need to add sections to ensure the length of the vacuum hose is increased. Now connect it to the shop vacuum that is place outside the house. Turn on the vacuum and run it along with brushing the place. Whenever you notice that the filter is clogged take a break and clean it up so that very bit of ash is soaked up by the vacuum properly.

As we have discussed above that protecting the house from interior soot is highly important thus it is extremely significant to use poly sheeting. Other options that could help you in this regard include canvas trap and shop vacuum.

There are a few shop vacuums that are not very efficient in trapping all the fine soot from a fireplace and there are some that will blow off right from the exhaust port. Thus it is highly important to ensure that you buy extra lengths of vacuum hose and keep the vacuum outside the house. Moreover, you also need to ensure that you keep the house doors and windows closed so that all those rooms where there is no link of chimney are safe from soot.

Step 5:

Now take the cleaning brush and let it go up and down several times within a small section. This will help you in removing the chimney soot. You can use a flashlight to keep a check on your work. Turn on the vacuum and start fire place cleaning at the top of the chimney. Continue prolonging the brush by adding rods until you feel that you have reached out to the maximum. Once you reach to the maximum it means you have cleaned out till the smoke chamber and now your job starts from the inside part of chimney cleaning.

Take a small portion of poly sheeting and use the long-handled brush to clean out the chamber. Noodle brush will be used to remove the soot from the smoke. Now go back to the long-handled brush and remove soot from the sides. At last vacuum the complete chamber and finish up the entire firebox.

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