Cleaning the chimney in your home may seem to be a good idea (it is). You may think it’s also a good idea to attempt it on your own. This may not be such a good idea. You can take one of those special long-handled brushes, scrape out most of the soot built up in the chimney, and then think that you’ve done a complete job of making it safe to use.
Nothing could be further from the truth. If you don’t complete this task with the correct information and the right tools, you’ll be doing an incomplete job at best. Most property owners don’t know the proper way to inspect a chimney for places that might cause trouble or places that are already causing problems. This makes it essential to have a professional maintain your chimney on a regular basis.
You’d be wise to get in touch with specialists such as Milborrow Chimney Sweeps who are experienced in the correct way to inspect and clean a chimney. A quick pass through the flue with a special brush won’t keep fire from causing damage. A professional sweep knows that the masonry won’t burn, of course. But he or she knows that the heat passing through could lead to a structural fire if the flue isn’t perfectly sealed. Cracked tile and missing mortar may seem as if they are minor issues but these conditions can lead to major problems.
In addition, you may experience problems from additional heat if the creosote built up in the chimney ignites, one of the primary causes of house fires starting in the stove or fireplace flue. Some chimneys are not constructed to withstand this added heat or contain a fire. Wall thickness is extremely important, as is a solid firebox lining.
If you try to handle this task on your own, will you take the extra time to look for potential problems? Most 21st-century companies use video equipment to get a better look at the inside of the chimney, allowing them to see cracks and other damage that could lead to serious problems. You may also benefit from having this video available if questions come up about insurance coverage in the future.
The Right Stuff
If you own a chimney brush, you have just started a collection of the right equipment for keeping a chimney clean and safe. Call a professional sweep and you won’t have to invest in the right type of vacuum, which is an important tool in this process.
These vacuums not only have larger motors and HEPA filters but they are generally used by specialists who make sure that the soot doesn’t get into your home. Professionals wear gloves, respirators, masks, and protective goggles in most cases.
Your next step should be to contact your area professional to arrange for an inspection and thorough cleaning.