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15Jan 2014

How to Sweep Your Own Chimney

Cleaning your chimney is essential. A build-up of creosote increases the chance of a chimney fire and puts you and everyone else in your household in Wimbledon at risk. To have a safe and efficient fireplace, you first need a clean chimney.
What will I need?

To clean a chimney, you need different things for different methods. Things you should have handy are a broom to clean up with after, covers for all of your furniture in the home in Wimbledon, SW19, protective clothing like overalls, masks and goggles, and a light to check your handy work at the end. Other equipment you might need is dependent on how you go about cleaning your chimney which include things such as a chimney brush, rods, rope and a fireplace cover.

Different methods
There are a number of methods that you can use each with their own pros and cons. Methods where you start from the top and work down are particularly useful as you can put a fireplace cover over the bottom so the inside doesn’t get covered with flue and you don’t need to worry about hovering up all over the place as everything collects in the fireplace itself. If you don’t use a method that involves you getting on the roof, you should cover all of your furniture before you start. It turns out that you can no longer put children up your chimney to clean it so if you decide to get someone else to do it, you’ll have to pay the professionals.

1.    The first method uses chimney brush rods and can either be done from the outside or the inside. You start with a chimney brush and use it to clean the walls of the chimney and as you get further away, you add rods onto the brush so that you can reach further.  

2.    The second method uses rope and weights. This method requires you to be on the roof so be careful not to fall off and make sure your ladder is stable. When using this method, you attach a weight to the brush and use rope to pull the brush up and down to clean the walls. With this method you can close off your fireplace so it is simpler to collect all the debris at the end.

3.    Another method involves attaching two pieces of string either end of the brush and while one person is on the roof, the other is at the bottom of the chimney. With this you both take it in turns to pull your string and thus cleaning the chimney walls.

4.    There are special chimney cleaning logs and other chemicals that you can burn that are designed to break down the creosote that is collected on the chimney walls. Once it is broken down, the debris falls. Some problems with this however are that it makes a big unexpected mess as you don’t know when things are going to fall from your chimney and as it falls with an impact, the debris can go anywhere in the room. It also doesn’t remove all of the build-up and therefore shouldn’t be used as an alternative. Instead it should be used to slow down the build-up.

Safety to consider
Make sure the fireplace is cool before you start and no fires have been lit recently. You should also make sure you protect yourself from the creosote and any other debris that may be dislodged. Protective eyewear and a mask are advisable. If you are going to clean the chimney in your home in Wimbledon from the outside, be very weary of ladders as a simple fall can still end very badly.

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