If you have a do-it-yourself spirit and would like to clean your home's chimney yourself, then it is important that you understand the proper procedure for doing so. Without proper cleaning, the creosote will build up in your fireplace's chimney and can cause a fire. While cleaning a chimney is not a difficult task, it does require that you are comfortable climbing up on your roof and handling simple tools.
Follow this procedure to safely clean your home's chimney like a professional chimney sweep:
Step 1: Check Your Chimney Size
Before you buy a chimney brush, first you need to identify the size and shape of your fireplace's chimney. Climbing on your roof and looking down the chimney will determine the shape, and you can use a tape measure to determine the size of brush that you need. You also need to measure the depth of your chimney so that you can purchase enough rods to clean the chimney from the top all the way down to the fireplace.
Step 2: Place a Drop Cloth in the Bottom of Your Fireplace
To make clean up easier, place a large drop cloth in the bottom of your fireplace to catch any material that drops down out of the chimney as you are cleaning it. You should then place a solid screen over the front of it to prevent the material from getting into your home's air.
Step 3: Dress Appropriately for Cleaning the Chimney
Whenever you are on your home's roof you should always wear rubber-soled shoes, long pants, long sleeves, and proper protection for your lungs. To protect your lungs from toxins, you can purchase a face mask rated for ash and small particulate matter at your local hardware store.
Step 4: Brush the Chimney
Lower the chimney brush into the chimney and brush off all of the built up ash and creosote along its sides. Use the rods to extend the brush so that you are able to reach all the way to the very bottom of the chimney. Take the time to also clean the damper area by scrubbing it with the brush.
Step 5: Remove the Drop Cloth
Once you have removed all of the built up materials inside of the chimney, then you should remove the drop cloth and dispose of it in your household trash.
Finally, use a shop vacuum to remove any ash or creosote that is left behind in your fireplace. Do not use your household vacuum because it can be damaged by the burned material and creosote.
For more help and tips, contact a chimney cleaning service like AAAA Dave's Chimney Service or another location.