Can I Clean My Chimney Myself?September 15, 2017
With fall coming and cooler temperatures slowly making there way to Maryland you may be starting to think about crackling fires on cool fall and winter nights. But before you build that first fire, it’s important that you check and clean your chimney first. It may be tempting to clean your chimney yourself, but it is more complicated than you may be expecting. Let’s look at what is involved in cleaning the chimney, the tools you’ll need, and whether or not it makes sense to just hire a professional.
What Exactly are you Cleaning?
Over time chimneys develop a buildup of creosote, a tar like residue left over from fires. This creosote is deposited in the fireplace and chimney as the fireplace is used, and can become flammable when too much builds up in the chimney. Creosote is blamed for about one quarter of home fires each year, so it is important to understand the importance of having a clean chimney.
How is the Chimney Cleaned and What Tools are Needed?
To clean the chimney, you’ll need several tools at your disposal. First you’ll want to make sure you have a tarp at the base of your fireplace to cover your flooring. Cleaning a chimney is messy work, and you don’t want ash and soot all over your home. Once you’ve cleaned out the ash, soot, and wood remains from your fireplace, you can open the damper and then cover the entire opening of your fireplace with plastic to prevent the mess inside the chimney from getting in your home.
Next you’ll be using a chimney brush to clean the inside of the chimney from the roof, but before you get started make sure you’ve got on eye protection and a dust mask for your safety. Once you’ve finished brushing from the top down, you’ll want to go inside and brush from the bottom up, but be sure to open as small of a section as possible on your plastic covering the fireplace, or else you could be left with a mess of dust, ash, and soot. After the dust has settled you can carefully remove your plastic covering, and clean out the fireplace with a shop vac.
Why Hiring a Professional Makes Sense.
While the basic steps of cleaning a chimney are not complicated, it does take some skill and finesse to do it without making a complete mess in your home. A professional chimney cleaning service can clean your chimney thoroughly while also keeping your home clean. Hiring a professional also prevents you from investing in cleaning tools, and keeps you safe from dust and debris that could be an irritant if you aren’t properly protected.
If you are looking forward to a crackling fire on cold nights and are in need of a Maryland chimney sweep, give us at Town and Country a call today! Our professional team can quickly and efficiently clean your chimney without risking a mess in your home, and can put your mind at ease going into the fall season.