Do you enjoy the cool days and cozy evenings of autumn? Of course, you do, because few things are universally loved and a warm, crackling wood fire is the same. You definitely know how beautiful and blissful it feels spending evenings in front of the fireplace. You just can't resist that relaxing and soothing feeling that it gives. So, you opt for chimneys? Not a bad idea. But do you know that the comfort from chimneys bring along a lot of duties for you to be done. Your fireplace is so inviting that you can't resist it, but you also need to make sure that it's equally safe.
Studies show that a dirty chimney causes chimney fire, which can quickly spread to the rest of the house. Studies show that the reason behind maximum cases of home heating fires was dirty chimneys. When a chimney mess is left ignored, it has a direct effect on its operation and leads to notorious energy inefficiency. If not a house fire, a dirty and slow-drawing chimney will definitely build up extra smoke in the house.
So, you know it's very important to pay attention to the chimney, inspect it and clean it from time to time. Well, intellects say that it's best to hire certified chimney sweep for this as it takes a lot to inspect and clean it. But doing this every time would add up to a huge cost. So, it's a better option to learn how to clean the chimneys from experts and do it yourself. This DIY would keep you safe and also save you a handful of money.
1. First of all, you will need some tools for this process which include different types of chimney brushes. Makes sure you've got those tools and also get ready with some safety tools like dust mask, googles and gloves. You just can't ignore the importance of protective gear.
2. Before you start off cleaning, know that you need to isolate the fireplace from the room so that you don't find any dust coating on your furniture after you're done. Take a drop cloth and spread it to protect the floor area from your place. Now remove the stray bits of wood and clean the ash. When done, isolate the fireplace by sealing its front place with thick plastic sheet and quality tape.
3. Remove chimney cap, animal guard and every type of hardware that obstructs the chimney top. Bring the largest diameter chimney brush and use it to brush from top down, making your way in the direction of the flat area in the crook, behind the damper. This would take a lot of time. So be patient and once you're done sweeping the flue, replace and secure the fasteners of the hardware that you removed.
4. Take rest for some time till the upset dust settles down into the fireplace. After the resting period, remove the small part of tape and make a small opening in the taped seal in the front part of the fireplace. Now take a small diameter chimney brush and use it to scrub the dust far up into the chimneys to the height as much as possible. When done, seal the opening again and enter the rest period once more by the time additional dust settles on the fireplace floor.
5. Now peel back the plastic slowly and carefully making sure that you aren't on the way to some other mess. Also note that no exterior door is open so that you don't stir up soot and lead to a larger mess. Cut corners here, and all your purpose to confine the debris behind the plastic membrane will go to vain, sending dust to all your furniture and carpet of the living room.
6. After removing the sheets carefully, use a shop vacuum to clean the fireplace box. Do it carefully and make sure you empty the cleaner mid-time, if the capacity of your machine is not too high. Don't forget to clean the fallen debris, if any on the plastic or drop cloth on the floor surrounding the fireplace. When done, empty the machine and remove the drop cloth from the floor.
Learning cleaning chimneys includes every task being done perfectly. Make sure you're all dressed up in the protective gear during the whole process if you want to avoid the ride to the doctor. Also, if you don't have any experience regarding chimney cleaning, or if you've never seen chimneys being cleaned, maybe it's not the right time to learn. So, we recommend you to call sweep and get it done. The second time when you'll think of cleaning the chimney, you can do it yourself!
So, these are the steps to follow for cleaning the chimney. Also, there are few more things to be kept in your mind regarding chimneys. Some of such points are mentioned below:
1. Clean your chimney when you see a minimum of 1/8 inch of debris in the firebox.
2. Conduct an annual inspection to know if any sweeping or repair is needed.
3. Everytime you hire a sweep, make sure you look for CSIA certified sweeps. Also, ask for all the services provided. And yes, no harm asking for some maintenance tips.
With the end of this article, you're all set to clean your chimney effectively and save a lot of money for, shopping, maybe?