Tuesday, January 24, 2017

DIY Tips On Chimney Cleaning And Maintenance

By Mary Bennett

Chimneys are prone to accumulation of creosote and soot due to frequent use. This substance is sticky and flammable, exposing your house to fires if not removed. To reduce this danger, you need regular chimney cleaning. Hiring a professional cleaner might be expensive. To keep the place clean, you need ordinary tools from the hardware and a few minutes during your regular general cleaning session.

The status of your flute will determine where it needs to be cleaned or not. With simple tools like a knife or pencil, you peel a little of the accumulated creosote at the base. Should it exceed 1/8 of an inch, you need to clean the area as fast as possible. The fall gives you a chance to clean the area before the season where most burning takes place. Leaving the soot and creosote hanging increases the chances of fire.

There is a possibility that animals could have camped there especially during the cold months. The most common visitors are squirrels, raccoons and birds. Ensure that none of these animals has found a home up your flute. By shining a flashlight, you will spot these animals. Remove them before commencing with cleaning.

An ordinary brush or rag cannot be used to clean the flute section. You need a brush whose design matches that of your chimney. If the area is round, a circular brush is required. Where it is rectangular, choose a brush that can scrub all corners. A ladder will also enable you reach the top of your roof. Use masks and goggles to protect you against dust.

Protective gear is required whether the area is being cleaned up down or down up. It will cover your ordinary cloths from dirt. You need a brush with a firm handle that can be pushed up or down without bending. If you are dropping a rope down the flute, a heavy weight must be tied at the bottom to pull the rope and provide a firm grip as you brush. However, with two people, the brush may be tied in the middle so that one person pulls from the top and another from the bottom in alternative motions.

Once you remove the soot and creosote from the flue, remember to work on the entrance. In fact, soot and creosote accumulate on this area. Scope the dust removed from the flute using a spade and carry it off in a bucket. Blow the area to get rid of fine particles hanging on the wall.

Considering that soot and creosote are flammable substances, they are not disposed off in the pit. Use local laws to determine the best disposal method. While clearing the flue, inspect all sections of your chimney for cracks or deformities that demand repair or replacement. Check the outside as well and remove any substance that may be hanging from there. It will keep your flute light and thus effectively serve you.

There should be no branches or animal nests near your chimney. This intrusion may introduce debris down your flute leading to blockage. Hire a professional chimney cleaner in San Diego, CA if the amount of work demands such.

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