Nowadays every house comes with a fireplace and chimneys, some keep them to warm up the air in house while some keep it as a fashion mark. When wood burns completely it leaves ashes behind, and the smoke in the air combined with oxygen and vapor leaves dark spots behind or may also lead to chimney fire. So it is really mandatory to clean chimney on regular basis. Some of the tips that will help in chimney cleaning are as follows::
Understanding the structure well
Before cleaning the chimney, it is very important to understand its structure. Usually a chimney is made of six parts. The chimney crown-Its the area from where smoke is released, The flue, The smoke chamber-through which smoke gets released to the crown area, smoke shelf, and The damper-It maintains the temperature level in the chamber and an ash dump-where all the remaining residual are left out. You can call a chimney sweep to clean the parts usually the crown area and flue.
How often you need to do chimney cleaning
Well! It all depends on the use but if you usually burn wet green logs or materials which are not dry completely they dont burn properly and completely and leaves lot of particles behind so they usually required to be cleaned after every 50 to 70 burns. Else if you use completely dry logs of wood they burn properly in air leaving less smoke and particles behind and you will need a chimney sweep to be done only after every 100-120 burns.
Steps to be followed
* The first and foremost thing before doing chimney cleaning is to have a proper look within chimney. You can use a torch or flashlight for this.
* Check for the presence of any animals or birds residing in it like rats, squirrels, etc.
* Then try to remove as much as tar and creosote using sharp objects like knife or steel rods.
* Get the size estimate of the flue so that you can use a proper brush to clean the surface within the flue. You can use a chimney brush, ladder, stiff wire brush, dust mask, goggles, and a pair of proper hand gloves before starting the cleaning
* Place a neat cloth around the mouth of fireplace and cover it well.
* From the chimney flue remove the damper and clean it with a small-wire brush.
* Then get to the top of the roof using ladder and clean the crown area using the straight wire brush. You can attach pipe to the brush if the length of brush is not adequate.
* Finally, clean the fireplace for ashes using a dustpan and broom and wipe it clean with a wet cloth. And yes your chimney cleaning is done!