In the United States, more than 1 million chimney fires occur each year. Families love to sit around a fireplace, all warm and cozy. But not everyone realizes that chimneys must be cleaned frequently to ensure their family’s safety. However, it is crucial to perform chimney cleaning in Trenton annually to avoid this expense and prevent any fire risks.
If you use your fireplace or wood stove frequently but do not recall when you last had your chimney cleaned, it is probably overdue. There are many instances in which you can clean your chimney yourself and save a few hundred dollars by doing so.
It is relatively easy to get rid of ordinary chimney soot. But if you have creosote buildup, then you will need a professional. We’ll show you how to assess yours and determine whether a DIY job is possible. If it is, simply follow the steps below. Otherwise, hire a professional.
Is Fireplace Cleaning a DIY Job?
The smoke chamber/smoke shelf area is most likely to cause chimney fires. Remove creosote buildup from all parts of the chimney. Check your fireplace to see if you can reach inside and maneuver a brush in that area because some fireplaces have hard to reach areas. If you can’t reach it, this isn’t a DIY project.
In the next step, determine if you are able to access the fireplace chimney crown. If you do not want to work on your roof, contact a certified chimney sweep. Before you go up on your roof, put on a harness if you decide to climb.
Chimney Fires Destroy Homes
A buildup of creosote may not seem dangerous, but it ignites at a mere 451 degrees Fahrenheit and expands quickly once it begins to burn. In less than a minute, it builds up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and can destroy your entire home.
A qualified chimney sweep should inspect your fireplace chimney once a year, regardless of how often you clean it. They are trained to recognize chimney deterioration and venting issues and can assess its condition.
When you burn mostly green logs (wet wood), you should have your chimney inspected or cleaned every 50 burns. If you see moisture bubbling from the ends of the logs, they are wet. Rather than burning cleanly, this type of wood sends a lot of unburned particles (smoke) up the chimney, where they build up as creosote and soot. When using dry hardwoods, like oak and birch, your chimney must be cleaned every 70 burns.
How To Tell If Your Fireplace Chimney Needs Cleaning
When there is 1/8-in. or more buildup (the thickness of a nickel) on the inside of your chimney liner, it’s time to hire a professional to clean it.
It is estimated that chimney sweeps encounter 40 to 50 chimney fires a year, and more than half of the chimneys cleaned require special care because homeowners wait too long before seeking help.
In addition to inspecting the chimney liner for cracks and soot buildup, the chimney professional will also check for signs of water damage. Older chimneys may have gaps in the mortar between clay lining sections.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America provides a list of certified chimney sweeps at csia.org. When hiring a chimney cleaning in Trenton, ensure they are certified and insured.
Do an Inspection
Put on your safety goggles and a respirator, sweep out the ashes from the firebox and remove the grate. Now open a window or door and wait a few minutes before opening the damper to equalize pressure. Open the damper and wait a few more minutes for the room to warm up.
When you lean into the firebox with your brightest flashlight and fireplace poker, shine the light into the smoke chamber and flue. If the soot has a matte black finish and if the scratch is 1/8 inch or less, you can do it yourself. It is important to stop using your fireplace and call a chimney sweep as soon as possible if there is heavy creosote buildup or if the buildup is deeper or has a shiny, tar like appearance.
The Cleaning Process
- Using the cleaning brush, ram the brush up and down several times in a small section of the chimney to remove chimney soot.
- Before moving on to the next section, check your work with a bright flashlight.
- Vacuum the chimney top and begin cleaning the fireplace.
- Move down the fireplace chimney until no brush resistance is felt.
- This indicates you have reached the smoke chamber, and it is now time to descend from the roof and work from inside the firebox.
- Using a long-handled brush, remove a small portion of the poly sheeting and clean the smoke chamber by peeling back a small section of the sheeting.
- Take a noodle brush and wipe the smoke shelf clean of all soot.
- To clean the sides of the firebox, switch back to the long-handled brush.
- Lastly, vacuum the entire firebox.
- As soon as the canvas tarp and poly sheeting have been folded up, they should be moved outside.
- When you next clean the fireplace chimney, shake them out and reuse them.
Chimney Cleaning Trenton
No matter what type of fireplace, stove, or insert you have, our certified technicians will help you get it inspected and cleaned as quickly as possible. Best Cleaning 4U offers chimney sweeping services in the New Jersey area. During the sweep, we will ensure that your system is in good working condition.
In order to maintain the health of your family and environment in your home, you should have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis. Best Cleaning 4U offers a variety of chimney cleaning services in New Jersey. We can clean and repair chimneys, construct masonry, repair fireplaces, and much more. We can sweep your chimney today! Call (973) 922-0195 for a free consultation with one of our experts or to get a free quote for chimney cleaning in Trenton.