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Modern Chimney Sweeping

Sweeping has progressed a long way since the Victorian era, when small children were sent up chimneys. By contrast, modern chimney sweeping is a clean and efficient process. Traditional brushes are still used, as these still provide the most effective method of soot removal. Today, however, the front of the fireplace is completely sealed prior to sweeping, and powerful vacuum cleaners are used to remove all traces of soot after cleaning.

The chimney cleaning process doesn’t sound like it should be much work, but not only is it detailed, but important. The chimney should be cleaned regularly and by certified cleaners. The first step in the chimney cleaning process is an inspection. The inspection will determine if there are any repairs that need to be done as well as how built up the creosote is in the chimney. Once the inspection has been performed, then the technician will start the chimney cleaning. The technician will lay out floor protectors around the fireplace or wood source to protect your floor. The technician will climb on top of your room and start from the top, then work their way down. The cleaning will be done to the damper, chamber and flue. If your chimney doesn’t have a liner system, then an insert device is used by the technician to clean the liner system thoroughly. A HEPA soot vacuum can be used to remove any ash or particles in the fireplace and chimney. The HEPA filter will trap all dust and dirt particles leaving the homeowners home free of any particles. 

The HEPA soot vacuum is specially designed for chimney cleaning as it will leave your chimney clean, but also homeowners won’t see a trace of the chimneys soot in the home when the cleaning is taking place or after the job has been performed.

Chimney cleaning should be performed by professionals. It involves climbing on the roof and handling harmful toxins that are in the chimney. It should never be done by anyone that hasn’t been certified and trained. The cost is affordable and it will keep a home heating properly and keeping families safe. The cleaning process can take up to two hours to be performed and only needs to be annually, depending on the use of the heating source. A chimney should be done after the summer months. This will have your fireplace ready to go when the cold days start to approach. The cleaning process is an important maintenance that is needed to keep your home heating producing effective heat. 

Chimney fires happen when soot or creosote deposits in the chimney catch light due to high temperatures or flames from a very hot fire extending into the outlet. These types of chimney fires are sometimes associated with:

  • A loud roaring noise, the result of massive amounts of air being sucked through the burner or fireplace opening          
  • Sparks and flames seen shooting from the chimney top, which can be similar to fireworks in appearance          
  • A glowing or shimmering outlet or connector          
  • A vibrating appliance, outlet or connector          
  • Flames visible through any tiny cracks in the outlet or connector          
  • Smoke or smells noticeable in adjoining rooms or the loft space          
  • The chimney breast of flue pipe heating up in either the same room or other rooms they pass through.

All chimney fires are extremely dangerous – internal flue temperatures can reach 1,100 degrees Celsius. As a result, massive radiant heat is emitted through the chimney walls and, with the addition of a thatched or wooden roofs, a devastating house fire can start quickly. Flames and sparks can leap from the chimney top or through cracks in the flue and ignite the roof or other parts of the house. The bricks of the chimney can become hot enough to combust nearby flammable materials such as thatch and wooden beams. Adjoining houses and nearby trees can also be affected. If there is no apparent damage to the outside of the chimney breast or flue, it is still highly likely that there is damage to the lining of the chimney. Chimney fires burn hot enough to damage liners, crack chimney walls and pots and damage factory-built metal chimneys.