Crackles and pops of a wood burning fireplace give life to any home. While a wood burning fireplace has an allure that few homeowners can resist, it comes with soot, ash and creosote. These substances not only give your home an ugly appeal, they also put your home at the risk of fire. To protect your property you need to undertake chimney cleaning on a regular basis. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
Prepare yourself for chimney cleaning
Chimney cleaning is a dirty affair; therefore, you need to prepare yourself for it. Wear rubber gloves, dust mask and clear goggle to avoid direct contact with the chimney waste. Also lay a plastic tarp around the hearth. The plastic will protect the surrounding carpet thus reducing after-work cleanup.
Sweep the chimney interior
The best appliance to use in cleaning the interior of the chimney is a brush attachment or vacuum. When buying the chimney brush, buy a circular one that is 8-10 inches in diameter. You should attach the brush to a flexible pole and move it up and down the chimney’s length. You should repeat the process until you have no soot or creosote.
Get rid of outside chimney obstruction
In addition to cleaning the inside of the chimney, you also need to address the outside. Remove any debris that might be attached to the sides of the mesh around the chimney cap. Also get rid of tree branches hanging too close to the chimney.
Clean the chimney with water
You don’t have to clean the entire chimney with water—clean only the visible areas. Use a hard scrubbing brush and cleaning solution. Great cleaning solutions to go with are: vinegar and water, cream of tartar and detergent and baking soda. You should scrub the chimney until there is no visible creosote.
Inspect and replace chimney parts
Once the chimney is clean and dry, take one final look at all parts of the chimney and ensure that they are in perfect condition. After confirming that everything is fine, replace the chimney parts.
For your fireplace to look great and have peace of mind that your property isn’t at the risk of fire, clean the chimney on a regular basis. While you can inspect the chimney by yourself, it’s always recommended that you hire a chimney contractor to help you out. In addition to undertaking chimney inspection, the professional will also repair any areas that need fixing.
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