Preparation Before You Clean
Chimney cleaning can be an overwhelming task for anyone who has never done it before. There’s much more to cleaning it than just scraping the sides off and sweeping up ashes. First off, you need to determine if you even need to clean it, but if it’s been a year or longer chances are it needs to be cleaned. Take a plastic utensil to scrape off some of the the creosote that has accumulated on the inside of the chimney. If the creosote is 1/8 of an inch or thicker, it needs to be cleaned. You also must clean it in the fall, right before the events where you would have an indoor fire. This prevents a chimney fire from happening.
You also must use a flashlight and check the chimney for animals that may have made their way in there over the past year like birds or any sort of rodent. If you find an animal you must take the proper steps to have it removed.
Time to Brush Away
To make sure you have enough piping to reach up to the top of the chimney, add six inches on top of your estimate to guarantee yourself you have enough to clean the entire thing. Your local hardware store should have all the materials you need to successfully clean your chimney properly. A wire cleaning brush is a necessity along with the extension pipes in order to reach all the way to the top. It’s also important to make sure that you lay a tarp or towel down below you to catch all the debris that you’re scrapping off from the wall as this can be harmful if not contained. With that said, it’s also important to wear safety goggles and a dust mask so you don’t inhale any of the soot that comes off the inside of the chimney. If there are windows near you, you should cover them as well especially, if they’re windows installed by Wallside Windows.
Disposing of the Soot
After taking a hand held wire brush to do the bottom of the chimney, it’s time to dispose of all the debris you’ve cleaned from the inside. You can’t empty everything into your garbage can, but rather a separate bucket that you can transfer to a waste station and empty. Call the city to see where the nearest place is that you can empty the creosote. This is important because the creosote is flammable, and harmful if emptied into a garbage near you. After all this is completed, you’ve completed cleaning your chimney. Make sure you wear clothes that you’re not afraid to throw away if need be because of the toxic material that may get on them. At least you won’t have to clean it for another year, and you and your family can enjoy nice cozy fires all winter long.