Cleaning a chimney pipe is extremely important whether you do it yourself or get a professional to do it for you. This is because dirty chimney pipes can be a fire hazard. However, hiring a chimney sweeper can be expensive, depending on how high or how dirty your chimney is. Given below are some easy tips for cleaning chimney pipes.
Get the Right Equipment
Cleaning a chimney pipe can be a nightmare if you do not have the right equipment. So, before you get started make a checklist of everything that you will need:
- Chimney rods
- Chimney brushes
- Vacuum cleaner
- Crevice cleaning attachments
- Plastic tarps
- Safety goggles
- Dust Masks
Selecting the Right Brushes and Rods
There are many different types of chimney rods and brushes available in the market, so it is best to choose what is right for you. First, you need to measure your flue tiles. Your brush needs to be the same size as your flue tiles; if your brush is smaller, it will not make surface contact, and if it is larger, the bristles will bend. You next need to decide what type of brush you will need. A double spiral brush is ideal for moderate cleaning, while a single spiral is useful only for light cleaning. If a lot of cleaning is required, opt for a flat wire brush. Keep in mind that if your chimney surface is metal, you will need poly brushes so as to not scratch the metal.
Next, determine the height of your chimney. The height will play in role in deciding which chimney rods to buy. Chimney rods are available in varying lengths, so pick the right combination. Chimney rods made of fiberglass are the most effective.
Choose the Right Method
There are many different ways to clean a chimney. You need to decide which one will work best for you.
- Top-down Cleaning - Close the chimney opening inside your house, and get onto your roof. Next, remove the chimney cap and lower the chimney brush into the pipe. Use chimney rods to adjust the length. Simply move the brush up and down along the sides.
- Bottom-up Cleaning - This is the same as method one, the only difference is that your clean chimney from inside your house. This is good if you do not have a ladder or cannot get onto your roof.
Always ensure that your rods are screwed on tightly before beginning the cleaning process. There are other more complex ways of cleaning your chimney with the use of pull rings and weights. However, it is best to steer clear of complicated techniques when cleaning your chimney yourself.
Do Not Use Water
Avoid the use of water to clean chimney pipes and fire bricks as this will affect the heat retention of your chimney.
Check for Damage
Apart from keeping your chimney clean, it is also important to check your chimney pipe for damage and deterioration. If you find anything askew, may be it is better to call for professional help.