Cleaning the Chimney

by Julia Woodbury
(last updated June 12, 2017)

Since professional chimney sweeps charge upwards of $100 to clean your chimney, save your money and do the job yourself. While your initial cash outlay for equipment will be about $150, it is a wise investment. Some of the equipment you will need to clean your chimney includes brushes and rods, tarps or covers, and elbow grease. The most difficult part of cleaning your chimney is getting the ladder out and setting it up. Follow these guidelines to clean your chimney and keep it free of dangerous, combustible creosote:

  • You will need a pad of paper, a pencil, and a tape measure when you're on top of the roof, so be sure to take them with you when you climb your ladder.
  • Climb to your roof and remove the chimney cap, if you have one. Simply loosen the screws at the base, and remove it.
  • Measure the side of your flue and write down the measurements. Look down the chimney and determine if you have a lot of creosote buildup, or just a little bit of soot. It doesn't matter how large or how small your soot/creosote deposits are, you still need to thoroughly clean your chimney.
  • Once back inside of the house, determine the height of your chimney. If you have a two-story home, your chimney will be about twenty-five feet high. A one-story home has a fifteen-foot chimney.
  • Go to your hardware store and buy a chimney brush. They come in three-, four-, five-, and six-foot sections. Buy enough sections to screw together to clean the length of your chimney. Make sure that you use the size of your flue tiles to determine the width of your brush.
  • Completely seal the fireplace opening, even if you have glass doors on your fireplace. Soot is a fine dust that can escape through the smallest cracks, so make sure that you cover the fireplace and tape your tarp flat against the brickwork.
  • Screw the brush rods together tightly and climb back to the top of your roof. Clean your chimney one foot at a time by pressing the brush down the chimney, and allowing it to spring back a little. Repeat the process until you clean the entire chimney.
  • Replace the chimney cap when you're finished, and remove the tarp from the fireplace, and then use a heavy duty or shop vacuum to vacuum the fireplace and surrounding room.

Take care not to over tighten the screws when you replace the chimney cap, as you could crack the flue tiles, resulting in very costly repairs. Make absolutely certain that you wait at least five days after a fire has been kindled in your fireplace before you attempt to clean your chimney.

Author Bio

Julia Woodbury

Julia Woodbury is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University. She delights in the written word and has interests in magazine writing and editing. ...

MORE FROM JULIA

Cleaning Your Couch Cushions

Best-case scenario: your couch cushions are just a little dingy from use. Worst case scenario: kids or pets leaving their ...

Discover More

Cleaning Plexiglass

Despite their similar uses, glass and plexiglass are not exactly alike and therefore should not be treated like the same ...

Discover More

Washing Your Cat

Anyone who has chased a soapy, sopping wet feline around the house knows the risks of bathing cats. Here are some tips on how ...

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Air Duct Cleaner

Over time, the air ducts in your home can build up dust and debris that can cause allergies and other problems. If your ducts ...

Discover More

Air Duct Cleaners

Air ducts are situated throughout your entire place of living and are what help to contribute to the clean air you breathe ...

Discover More

Cleaning Blackened Air Vents

When cleaning blackened air vents, it's nice to think that all you need to do is do a little dusting and your finished. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.