Chimney Cleaning Like A Pro

Learn the secrets of chimney cleaning and do it yourself.

There is nothing quite as nice as a roaring fire on a chilly winter's evening. To enjoy this little luxury, however, you'll have to at some stage tackle the problem of cleaning your chimney. If you don't maintain your chimney, you will have an increased risk of chimney fire. So, get ready to encounter a plentiful supply of ash, dirt and creosote and go out and get the tools you'll need to clean up your chimney. Here's a list of essential tools:

*** extension ladder

*** vacuum along with crevice attachment

*** chimney rod and brushes

*** stiff bristle cleaning brush

*** broom

Follow these steps to clean your chimney:

(1) Lay a drop cloth in front of the chimney

(2) Locate the fireplace's damper ( a metal door up inside the fireplace above the firebox) and open it.

(3) Use your extension ladder to get on the roof. Take your chimney rod and brushes up there with you.

(4) Take off the chimney cap, clean it and check for signs of damage.

(5) After assembling your rod and brushes, place the rod down the chimney and clean the inner walls with an up and down motion. Continue until you have worked the entire inner walls of the chimney.

(6) Get off the roof and go back inside. Clean the flue ( the pipe between the fireplace and the chimney) with your stiff bristle cleaning brush.

(7) Remove cold ash from the fireplace and damper with your vacuum cleaner.

(8) Clean the walls of the fireplace with your stiff bristle brush.

(9) Clean up all the debris with your vacuum cleaner.

Clean out your fireplace at the onset of winter before you start using it regularly. You only need to do this once per year. You should, however, clean out the fireplace at least every couple of weeks. After you have completed the job, you should clean your tools, especially your chimney rod and brushes. Use kerosene to remove all the debris. Then store your rod and brushes in a clean place, ready to be pulled out for next year's chimney cleaning foray.

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