If you have a functioning fireplace, it is important to maintain it in order for it to operate properly. If you neglect your chimney, it will gather a lot of trash and tar that can impact the efficiency of your fireplace and even create a fire hazard in your home. Each year, there are more than 45,000 chimney fires in America that cause about $125 million in damaged property and an average of 30 deaths.
Cleaning your chimney is one of the most important things you can do to keep your fireplace clean and safe. Chimney repair can be expensive and quite troublesome to do, but fortunately there are several ways you can clean it yourself.
1. One of the easiest ways to clean your chimney is from the roof. Wear pair of sturdy shoes with grippy rubber soles and bring a brush and tarp or drop cloth. Stand on your roof and use the brush to clean the interior walls of the chimney. Just remember to close off the opening to the fireplace first in order to prevent soot and dirt from falling down and covering your carpets and furniture.
2. If you are planning to clean the flue, you can easily get rid of the ashes by using a flat fireplace shovel to remove stubborn ashes and a high pressure vacuum cleaner to remove dust. Make sure that the ashes do not accumulate more than two inches at any given time.
3. Make sure you have a good chimney cap to prevent moisture from the elements from seeping into the chimney. That can cause the tiles to dissolve and allow corrosive elements from the exhaust to mix and weaken the liner. If you don’t have a chimney cap, purchase one with screen mesh that has a lifetime warranty. The screen mesh will prevent animals from getting in your chimney and also keep sparks from reaching the roof.