If you live in countries where the climate is cold throughout the year then surely you would be using the chimney every day. This means that your chimney pipe is being accumulated with a lot of creosote and you need to clean it by yourself or by getting a chimney contractor clean for you.
What Is Creosote?
Creosote is a black substance that is produced as a result of burning wood and using the chimney and stove. Initially, it is dry and flaky but turns sticky and tar-like as it deposits itself on the interior walls of the chimney and the flue liner. Over time it gradually increases and accumulates. When the deposit increases then it becomes dangerous because it acts as an obstruction for the smoke and other gases and by-products to go up the chimney and hence, they enter your house instead of through the fireplace. This leads to many infections and allergies for you and your family.
Also, the wood needs to burn more and more because it will not be efficient in producing heat in the house, thus increasing your bills. Another dangerous fact is that creosote is the main cause of many chimney fires caused in the past.
You cannot avoid the accumulation of creosote but you can prevent its dangerous effects and harm by cleaning your chimney pipe regularly.
Things You Need
- A newspaper and a washcloth.
- A small hand brush.
- Old newspapers for your floor protection.
- A screwdriver to unscrew the chimney pipe and chimney cap.
- A flashlight to properly see inside the chimney pipe.
- Rubber gloves, goggles, and a face mask to protect your eyes, hands, and nose, and try to avoid the dust, dirt, and creosote residue going in your nose, mouth, and eyes.
- Ladder to climb up the chimney.
- A specialized chimney sweep brush with an extension.
- A shovel to pick up the ash.
- A container, preferably metal, to collect all the ash from the chimney.
- A glass cleaner.
Cleaning The Creosote From The Chimney
- First and foremost, make sure that the stove, pipe, and chimney have been cooled down before you start the cleaning.
- Wear your protective gear like gloves, goggles, and mask. Then climb on a ladder on the rooftop to inspect the top of your chimney opening. Carefully inspect the area around the chimney for any cracks or holes and any repairs which need to be done. If there are then a chimney expert should be called and repairs should be done.
- Once you are done with the repairs, unscrew the chimney cap. Clean and sweep the chimney cap first and set aside. Now inspect the chimney pipe with a flashlight. Use a chimney sweep brush to start cleaning the chimney pipe from the top. Follow the instructions carefully on how to use the chimney sweep brush. All the creosote swept from the top will fall downwards in the fireplace. Sweep the pipe thoroughly and extend it to make sure you reach as far as possible.
- Now climb down and go to your fireplace. Spread cloth or newspaper on the floor for protection. Sweep all the ash and creosote which has fallen down with an ash pan and shovel and put it in a container. Now use your chimney sweep brush and clean from the fireplace to upwards. This way you will be sure that it is cleaned thoroughly. Collect all the ash in the container.
- If there are places where you cannot reach and you see creosote there, then unscrew those parts and clean using a hand brush. Discard all the ash safely and responsibly.
- Once you are done cleaning the chimney, you can clean the glass door if you have one.
Chimney cleaning should be done every 15 days or on a monthly basis and more if your chimney usage is a lot. A clean chimney will burn more efficiently and produce more heat and the air inside your house will be cleaner to breathe. Using seasoned and dry wood produces more heat, burns slowly and efficiently, and produces less creosote.
Your chimney is an important part of your house and keeping it clean and maintaining it is your responsibility. Plus, cleaning it saves you from the harmful effects. Hire chimney sweep services Bowie for proper cleaning of your stove chimney.