With regular maintenance, a chimney rarely has any issues, so it is easy to take this structure for granted. Some people might even start to think that keeping it clean is simple. In fact, there are many tips online for do-it-yourselfers. While simple cleaning is generally not discouraged, the average person will not have the necessary tools to do the job a chimney technician would do. The following information will help in understanding why this is the case.
The Dangers of Creosote
You might not be able to see it, but deep inside the chimney, creosote is building and creating a danger. Aside from possible structural damage, this is the main danger associated with chimneys. There are three levels of buildup. At its worst, it is thick and shiny looking, and highly flammable. When it becomes wet, a foul odor can fill the home. Since it is a byproduct of wood burning, creosote buildup is unavoidable. A chimney technician will carefully remove these deposits, leaving the chimney safe for use during the cold season.
Home remedies for chimney cleaning have existed for many years, but many are not considered reliable. Some of the most well-known tips are:
- Putting potato peels in the fireplace to loosen creosote
- Throwing salt on burning logs
- Using the top of a pine tree to remove creosote
The most risky do-it-yourself method for creosote removal is to start a fire in the chimney to burn some of it out. This is extremely dangerous, as this fire can quickly get out of control. This can cause damage to the chimney and to the house.
Chimney Cleaning Tools
No technician can do this job effectively without the right kind of equipment. The essential tools they have are:
- Brushes – these come in various lengths and sizes. A technician can reach deep inside the chimney get rid of soot and creosote deposits.
- Vacuums – the sweep will use this to remove loose creosote and debris that is inside the structure
- Chemical agents – these products help to do a thorough cleaning job, clearing out the chimney and flue.
Another major difference between chimney professionals and the average homeowner is that technicians are trained and certified to do this job. These professionals can spot even the smallest signs of damage and carry out repairs to ensure that chimneys are safe and that they perform efficiently.
Fireplace Safety and Chimney Inspections in Drexel Hill
We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning. We provide chimney services throughout the Main Line region.