How to Clean a Chimney
If you’re here, you probably understand that cleaning your chimney is important for more than just cleanliness purposes. Regular chimney sweeps remove flammable deposits, like soot and creosote, from the interior walls of your chimney—improving overall fireplace efficiency and reducing your risk of chimney fires.
Before we get into the details of how to clean a chimney, let’s first discuss how to tell if it’s time for a chimney sweep. While the frequency of your chimney sweeps will greatly depend on how often you use your fireplace, there are several ways to tell if your chimney needs to be cleaned:
- Take a look at your chimney flue(s). This is the part of your chimney where smoke and gas are vented. If you notice a glaze on your flue, it’s time for a chimney cleaning.
- Check the level of soot buildup on the inside of your chimney. When you have a soot buildup of 1/8 inch or more, you need a chimney sweep.
- Ask a professional if you need a chimney sweep during your yearly chimney inspection. This is best done during summer or early fall before you plan to use your fireplace.
Now that you’ve determined whether or not you need to clean your chimney, keep reading to learn about the chimney sweep process.
The Chimney Sweep Process
The chimney sweep process is different depending on what type of chimney and fireplace you have. In general, when you call a professional chimney sweep like Capitol Chimney Service, the chimney sweep will first access your chimney from the roof to clean out your flue (your chimney’s venting system) from the top. A vacuum is used at the bottom of your fireplace to collect any soot and debris from contaminating your home.
Once your chimney is cleaned from the roof, the chimney sweep will then clean your fireplace, woodstove, or fireplace insert from the inside of your house.
Between professional chimney sweeps, you should sweep and dust your fireplace hearth after each use to help prevent residue buildup in your fireplace. In addition, avoid using chemical cleaners on your fireplace. Even after they dry, some cleaners can leave a flammable residue on your fireplace surface.
Hire a Chimney Sweep in D.C., MD, or VA
If you don’t have the tools required to properly clean your chimney, contact Capitol Chimney Service. From chimney cleaning to chimney repair and chimney rebuilding, we are your one-stop chimney service. We are licensed, insured, and certified, so know our primary objective is to make your chimney, fireplace, and venting systems cleaner, safer, and more energy-efficient.
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