Chimney cleaning is an important task, as it allows you to remove creosote, the buildup that results from smoky fires. An accumulation of creosote inside a fireplace or chimney can create a possible chimney fire hazard.
While there are ways to reduce creosote buildup, it’s also necessary to schedule regular chimney cleanings so you do not have to worry about the potential for a chimney fire.
But how do you know if you need to start thinking about cleaning your chimney? Here are some chimney cleaning tips to consider before you take action.
Inspecting for creosote
Before you start cleaning, you should first check for creosote to determine the level of buildup.
Open up the fireplace, and if you feel airflow, make sure you open a door or window on the same floor to stop or reverse the downdraft so air flows up. Put on some goggles and a dust mask, then shine a flashlight up into the chimney. Use your fireplace poker and scratch the surface over the damper.
If you just make a very thin scratch in the creosote, you don’t need to worry about cleaning. However, if it’s an eighth of an inch thick or more, you should schedule a cleaning soon. If it’s a quarter-inch thick or more, you should not use the fireplace again until you get the chimney cleaned, as it’s a fire hazard.
Tips for cleaning a chimney
It is possible to remove creosote from a chimney by yourself. To do so, you’ll need to wear a dust mask and goggles and have a flashlight handy. Stiff-bristled brushes are the best tools for dislodging the dust, and a shop vac will help you to remove the dust from the area.
In most cases, however, it’s in your best interest to work with a professional chimney cleaner, who will have all the tools and knowledge necessary to get the job done safely and correctly. The National Fire Protection Association recommends homeowners clean their chimneys, vents and fireplaces at least once a year to avoid any damage caused by creosote buildup.
Some homeowners also swear by the use of fireplace cleaning logs. When these logs burn, they help to remove some of the debris that builds up along the walls of the chimney. These logs are easy to use—simply unwrap the log and place it in a fire that’s already burning, and it will help you to remove some of the creosote from the wall.
We recommend having your chimney inspected once a year to determine whether cleaning is necessary and to save money in the long run so you can avoid potential fire damage and other preventable issues. Get your chimney cleaned now before the fall season really gets into full gear and demand for chimney cleaning becomes much greater! You can then rest easy and enjoy safe fires in your fireplace all season long.
For more information about the “how to” and tips on cleaning your chimney, contact the team at Marcell’s Specialties Inc. today.
Categorised in: Chimney Cleaning
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