It’s quite romantic to walk in the street with your partner during the winter. It’s fun to take a sip of warm coffee in a restaurant as you watch the snow outside. But the long cold season can be a headache in the evening. This is where a fireplace and chimney come into play. Apart from balancing the temperature inside the room, it boosts your comfort and reduces high electric bills.
Fireplace and chimneys, however, lose their functionality over time. This is especially true when dirt and other debris accumulate in the chimneys. So, why does chimney require cleaning? How to clean your chimney? Is it worth to make it a DIY project? In this simple and comprehensive guide, you will know them all. Are you ready? Let’s get started!
Why Does your Chimney Require Cleaning?
Appliances (washing machine, oven, and refrigerators) can stay functional for months. After repetitive use, they tend to lose their features. The chimney is no exception, as it requires regular maintenance and cleaning. Apart from making it functional, here are the other reasons why chimney requires extensive upkeep:
Avoid a House Fire and Promote Safety
Chimneys have been around for centuries now. Over the past years, homeowners have been using wood to burn in their fireplaces. But did you know that wood is susceptible to creosote? Yes, you heard it right! As a carbonaceous chemical, creosote is highly flammable and can reduce the chimney’s efficiency. So, get rid of any creosote buildup in the spring for everyone’s safety and convenience.
Enjoy a Functional Chimney of all Seasons
A buildup of creosote can also affect your chimney’s functionality. That’s why homeowners would turn into HVAC appliances to take the chill off cold evenings. So, electric bills, repair costs, and replacement expenses may skyrocket. To save some cash and avoid other hassles, clean your fireplace and chimney as well.
When to Clean your Chimney?
It is ideal for cleaning your chimney before the winter season. Some experts suggest intensive maintenance during summer or late summer. But it depends on the situation. When you see some soot and creosote into the firebox, contact a qualified specialist right away.
What are the other signs to look for? Honeycomb textured creosote and 1/4 inch thick creosote should not be overlooked.
Whether you burn artificial logs or unseasoned firewood, let a professional check your chimney on a regular basis. Although it requires an extra budget, the services are of high quality and secure too.
Guide on How to Clean Chimneys
Now that you know when chimneys require maintenance, your job does not stop there. It’s time to understand how to clean the space. To get started, prepare brushes, fiberglass extension rods, vacuum with a dust filter, extension ladder, duct tape, sheet plastic, safety glasses, dust mask, cordless drill, and other necessary materials.
After that, follow the simple steps below:
Seal up your fireplace -To seal up your fireplace, cut a section of sheet plastic, and tape it on the floor in front of the fireplace. Then, cut another piece of sheet plastic and use it to cover the opening of the fireplace.
Go to the roof – After covering the fireplace, go to the roof and bring necessary cleaning tools. Also, don’t forget a dust mask and cordless drill for your safety. Be wary when doing this tedious task. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced homeowner, it’s best to hire a qualified professional.
Get rid of chimney caps – Once you find a safe position on the roof, remove the chimney caps with a cordless drill. Then, set it aside carefully.
Prepare the right cleaning brush – Now that you have access to the flue, you can now prepare the brush. Just turn them onto the first extension rod. Be sure to keep extra rods in case of an emergency.
Scrub your chimney – To scrub the chimney, start from the top to bottom. Remember to prepare yourself as this task is exhausting. It also takes time and effort. So, do the chore at the weekend.
Finish other roof operations – After hours of scrubbing the chimney, replace the caps. Simply gather your materials, hand them down to your buddy, exit the roof, and place the ladder in your storage room.
Finish other tasks downstairs – Before you peel away the plastic, wait for a few minutes so that the dust and other dirt particles will settle. Next, clean other visible areas and suck up the debris through a quality vacuum. Then, wad up the flooring plastic. That’s it! You’re now ready for a long, cold season.
DIY Cleaning vs. Professional Chimney Services
Chimney cleaning can be a DIY project, especially when you have the experience. A DIY maintenance is cost-effective and convenient. But nothing can beat the services of a professional. Here are the reasons why you should choose a certified company:
Quality Inspection and Cleaning
It’s hard to find where the buildup of creosote. An expert, however, gets it done without delays. Thanks to their years of experience, diverse teams, and a complete set of high-end materials. Before the cleaning starts, a reliable professional inspects the chimney and modify their services to best suit your unique needs.
Hiring a professional can also save you time. A DIY chimney cleaning, on the other hand, lasts for hours to complete. With an expert, they can finish the project according to your schedule.
Equipped with the Right Tools
Cleaning the fireplace and chimney is a messy job. You can see soot and ash in different corners of your home. The good news is that professionals have the highest quality vacuums that can get rid of any debris within a minute or two.
Another thing that makes hiring an expert a good decision is that they use cutting-edge tools. They don’t utilize substandard materials to promote the client’s safety and confidence throughout the project.
So, which is better? Letting a trusted chimney cleaning provider is worth the investment. Look for a company that has the expertise, competitive pricing, and 100% customer support.