According to the National Fire Protection Association of South Africa, unclean chimneys account for 16 percent of fire outbreaks. An unclean chimney is, therefore, a disaster in the making. The main cause of chimney fires is a substance known as creosote. Creosote alongside soot, sticks on the walls of the chimney during log burning. This substance is highly flammable and its accumulation may lead to a fire outbreak. Make sure you check out chimney cleaning tips along side this article for a better understanding on how to do it yourself.
Most people use their fire place during the cold season. It is, therefore, necessary to get the chimney cleaned in the fall so that it can be used during the winter. It is advisable to clean your chimney at least once per year. For those who use the chimney more frequently, cleaning can be done more regularly. Here are some DIY tips on how to clean your chimney from the bottom.
Determine when the chimney should be cleaned
The first step is to find the right time to clean. If you only use your chimney for the cold season, it is reasonable to clean at the start of the season. You can determine whether the walls are dirty by looking through the chimney from the bottom. Using a flashlight, check to see if there is a layer of soot and creosote that warrants cleaning. Any thing above 3mm thick warrants cleaning. If you take long before cleaning, you should check for birds and insects. Find away to remove the birds and insects before you start cleaning.
Get chimney cleaning tools
Once you are sure that your chimney needs cleaning, assemble the necessary tools. The tools you will need to do all the work and your working gear. The tools include;
- A chimney brush, preferably a wire brush
- Chimney brush extension pipes
- A dust pan
- A broom
- A dust mask and goggles
- An apron and gloves
Once you have all the essentials assembled, put on the working gear and get ready for work.
How to perform a chimney sweep
The brush will be used to scrub the walls and get rid of the dust, however, the problem is cleaning the higher walls. That is the reason why you will need several extension pipes depending on the height of the chimney.
- Assemble the brush and a section of an extension pipe.
- Attach the pipe to the brash
- Holding on the lower end of the pipe, insert the brush inside the chimney and scrap the walls.
- Add a section of the pipe to reach higher levels in the chimney.
- Using a broom, collect the dust that falls on the floor of the chimney on a dust pan.
- Dispose of the dust.
The soot and dust from the chimney may affect your eyes and hands if you do not wear the right gear.
Chimney cleaning is an easy process that you can do by yourself and avoid the extra cost. The simple task will ensure that your home is safe from fire outbreaks. However, if you find cleaning a chimney from the bottom a difficult task, you could call a chimney cleaning company. Whichever way you choose, make sure your chimney remains clean at all times. To avoid regular cleaning, use dry logs that will reduce the amount of soot produced.