Cleaning a Chimney

Chimney Brush 238x300 Cleaning a ChimneyWith the winter months upon us, it is necessary to keep your chimney and fireplace performing properly. You could always hire a professional chimney sweeping service (check out chimney sweep cost), but if the thought of being covered in dirt, grime, soot, and whatever else doesn’t send you scrambling for a phone, then you can always try to complete the job by yourself. If you think you might have unstable masonry, then you should contact a tuckpointing professional immediately. Please see Capital Chimney Chicago tuckpointing for more information about masonry issues. Read how to get started on your home improvement project for tips.

Whether you decide to clean a chimney yourself or hire a professional, you will want to make sure a good job is done. Cleaning and maintaining a chimney is essential to prevent chimney fires that could cause serious damage to your chimney, fireplace, and home. These fires will also cause extremely hazardous conditions for you and/or your family. For these reasons the cleaning must be completed properly and thoroughly. Remember, you’re not just clearing out the soot and dust from your fireplace, but you also need to scrape and remove creosote that has built up on your chimney walls.

Before you begin cleaning your chimney, it is essential that you make sure the fireplace and chimney are structurally safe. If it is not, the chimney can fall over if when a ladder leans on it. There are a couple of things to look for to ensure your chimney is safe:

  1. Water damage. Water damage is incredibly harmful for chimneys. If water gets between the bricks of the chimney or fireplace the bricks may start to flake or deteriorate and cause instability.
  2. If your chimney is leaning to the side, it might be time for a chimney repair or rebuild. Please see Chicago chimney repair for more information about fireplace repairs.

In order to clean your chimney, you will need:

  • A chimney brush
  • Fireplace cover
  • A tarp, drop cloth, or other covering for the floor and furniture
  • Tape
  • Mirror
  • Metal bucket
  • Shovel and broom
  • Shop vacuum
  • Flashlight
  • Dust mask/goggles
  • Ladder

The most preferred method of cleaning a chimney will be scraping it with a wire chimney brush. The brush may seem expensive, but for people who frequently use their fireplaces and need to clean their chimney a couple of times a year, a wire chimney brush gives the best results.

Now that you have your tools you will need to start scraping your chimney with your brush. Before you begin, cover anything near the fireplace i.e. furniture, flooring, TV, etc. with the tarp to protect these items from becoming dirty and damaged. Then set up your fireplace cover to keep the soot inside of the fireplace when you are sweeping the chimney.

Chimney Sweep Cleaning Cleaning a ChimneyShovel the soot out of the fireplace into the bucket and vacuum up anything that is left over. Use the mirror and flashlight to look into the chimney to see if there are any areas you might have missed. The dusk mask and goggles will keep your eyes and your lungs safe from particles floating in the air. Viola, you have just cleaned your own chimney, how does it feel? It’s not so hard, right?

If this process seems too comprehensive to you, then consider hiring a professional for chimney cleaning services.



Hello, thank you for checking out my blog, CS Wraith. My name is Ralph Hodge and I am the owner, operator, and creator of CS Wraith. I am really excited you have shown interest in my website. If there is anything I can help you with please make sure to contact me. This page is where my blogs will be updated. I will update them as frequently as I can. Please take the time to read other blog comments or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ by following the links on the bottom of this page. I look forward to networking and communicating with you.

homerepair handyman Ralph Hodge 300x224 Welcome!

How to Get Started on Your Home Improvement Project

Since this will be my first blog I wanted to talk about the first thing you need to do when starting home renovations: think. The best advice I have ever received and now give to everyone who is looking for advice for their next project is to think carefully. Think about what you want the end result to look like. Carefully consider how you will get their. Will you hire someone to do the work for you? Will you try to attempt to do it yourself? Are there certain laws/codes in your area that prevent you from doing the job on your own or doing it the way you want to? In order to get started on your home improvement project the right way, you MUST take into consideration all of these things. Most mistakes/accidents happen because people do not properly plan out the work ahead of them.

Obviously if you are going to hire a contractor to do the work for you, which is usually the better, more expensive option depending on your level of expertise and the company’s experience, you don’t do much of the planning. However, it is necessary for you to communicate to the contractors what you want and when you want it by. By telling them this information they will be able to give you a more accurate estimate. Your best bet when hiring contractors is to perform research on each company in question, i.e. check out their Yelp and Google them, or ask your friends or family. Usually, word of mouth is the best way to get an honest opinion about a home improvement company in your area. You cannot trust the majority of stuff you read online or see in the paper.

When a company comes out for an estimate make sure you ask them questions like, “Have you done anything like this before?” or “What would you do if this happens….?” in order to find out the skill level and on-the-job experience of the workers.

For more information please reference the video below from Lowe’s about getting started on a kitchen home improvement project.