Approaches to Cleaning your Chimney
Let’s start out here with the assumption that readers already know how important it is to keep a chimney clean. A buildup of creosote and soot in the chimney lining can lead to a hazardous chimney fire. What we’ll assume you don’t know is that it matters very much how you go about cleaning your chimney. You want to avoid being a victim of a chimney sweep scam and trying ineffective home remedies for cleaning your chimney. Nothing beats hiring a certified professional chimney sweep equipped with all of the best tools for cleaning, inspecting, and repairing your chimney.
Beware of Chimney Cleaning Scams
When you are budgeting for an annual chimney cleaning and inspection, don’t make the mistake of bargain shopping for the lowest price you can find. Chimney sweeping is an unregulated industry, which means anyone can go into the business, even with a complete lack of knowledge, skills, and equipment. It is not unusual for scammers to take advantage of the absence of industry regulations. Some will pressure homeowners into paying large sums to fix a nonexistent problem. Others will accept payment for a costly repair that may or may not actually be needed and then vanish without performing the work. Perhaps the worst scenario is when scammers who are clueless about chimney sweeping actually do the work and give homeowners a false sense of security that their system is fine when it may not be.
Chimney cleaning and maintenance can be a matter of life or death, and it should not be entrusted to people who have no idea what they are doing.
Beware of Home Remedies
There may be hundreds of truly effective and helpful home remedies for hundreds of things, but chimney sweeping is not among them. The following are rumored to be home remedies for chimney cleaning, but none are recommended by informed chimney professionals:
- Soften the creosote in the chimney liner by burning potato peels.
- Throw salt on burning logs.
- Fill a burlap bag with bricks a drop them down your chimney.
- Intentionally start a chimney fire (Warning: Chimney fires can easily ignite a house fire.)
A Professional Chimney Sweep’s Tools of the Trade
There is nothing to compare with hiring a professional chimney sweep, when it comes to keeping your chimney clean and safe. There was a time when small children were forced to climb chimneys in order to clean out the creosote and soot. That practice was finally outlawed, after hundreds of years; and effective chimney sweeping tools were invented. In fact, the original basic design of chimney brushes was so inspired; it is still in use today.
The tools of a chimney sweep’s trade include vacuums, brushes, and chemical substances. The chemical products are used to remove the form of creosote that is most difficult to clean.
A long wire brush is the essential and most basic type of brush that chimney sweeps use. The long wire brush has flexibility and strength, which allows it to reach all of the tight spaces which need to be cleaned. Creosote in glaze form is scraped off with stiff flat wire bristle brushes. Finally, hand brushes are used to clean tight spaces, such as chimney caps and smoke chambers.
The way professional chimney sweeps use vacuums ensures that pollutants will not enter your home during the process of cleaning. Without this proven method, cleaning a chimney can have disastrously filthy results for your home’s interior.
There are times when cutting costs is good but not when it comes to chimney care and maintenance. A chimney sweep professional has the expertise not only to clean your chimney but to spot signs of moisture damage and potentially dangerous deterioration of the chimney flue, flashing, or chimney masonry.
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004
Office 770-255-1300 / Toll Free 877-697-9337