Cleaning Your Chimneys: Why It Is Necessary And How To Do It
Chimney repair can be expensive and quite disruptive to your life. However there's one simple way homeowners can reduce the necessity of repairs -- taking care of preventative maintenance. Preventativ...
Why Cleaning Is Important
It may seem silly that you need to clean chimneys to reduce the risk of a fire -- after all, that's what a fireplace is for right? However, each time you build a fire, something called creosote builds up. Creosote is the residue left over when wood is burnt and it's a dark tar that coats the inside of your chimney. The material is highly flammable, which is why it's important to remove it on a regular basis.
It's possible to call a company to clean your chimneys, but many homeowners want to complete this task themselves. They can be cleaned from the inside or the outside -- the proper method depends solely on your personal preference.
It can be hard to know when it's time to clean your chimney. However, take a look at the interior walls. If the layer of creosote is paper thin, check again in a month or so. If you can scrape away a layer that's 1/8 inch thick, you should make time to clean it. If the layer of creosote is 1/4 of an inch or thicker, stop using your fireplace immediately until you can schedule a cleaning.
Cleaning Chimneys From The Bottom Up
If you prefer to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, you can complete the cleaning from inside your home. This can cause quite a bit of a mess so it's vital that you cover everything with drop cloths, tarps or plastic. If it's been a while since you did this maintenance task, you may want to put plastic down and then put a tarp on top for extra protection.
You'll likely need to attach special long handles onto the brush handle so that you can reach all the way up to the top. Brush the interior walls until they're clean.
Cleaning Chimneys From The Top Down
If you don't mind heights, one of the easiest ways to clean it is from the roof. You'll need a pair of sturdy shoes with grippy rubber soles, such as a pair of gym shoes or sneakers, a brush and some tarps or drop cloths. It's vital that you close off the opening to the fireplace because this can help reduce the chance that soot and dirt covers your carpets and furniture. Then stand on your roof and use the brush to clean the interior walls of the chimney.
Cleaning your chimneys can keep your family protected and your chimney in great working condition, which can help reduce the chance that you'll need chimney repair after a fire. If you haven't cleaned your chimney in a while, it's important that you inspect it on a regular basis.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
G.F. Sprague can help with chimney repair in Newton, including removing animal nests or clogs from tree branches or other debris. If you need help with chimneys in Newton or want to learn more about the services from G.F. Sprague, please visit http://www.gfsprague.com/.