Chimney Maintenance and Repair: How-to Clean the Chimney

A fireplace adds warmth and provides the cozy atmosphere indoors. However, having this fixture for your home means regular chimney maintenance. It is vital to protect the value that a fireplace contributes, and to keep the family comfortable. There are two aspects you need to consider when conducting chimney maintenance: the cleanliness of the chimney flue and the condition of the actual chimney masonry on your roofing in St. Paul.

A thorough and comprehensive cleaning of the chimney can help prevent fires. This should be done at least once a year. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do so:

1.    Inspect the chimney. From the bottom, look inside the chimney flute using a flashlight. Using a pencil or plastic knife, scrape off creosote, the residue produced from wood burning found on the sides of the chimney flue. You know that you need to start cleaning if the creosote that you’ve scrapped off is 1/8 of an inch thick or thicker.

2.    Check for nests of animals. It may have been months since you last lighted the fireplace. As such, animals like birds, raccoons, or squirrels, may have made their nest atop or within the chimney. If you do find animals and/or their nests, take the necessary steps to remove them.

3.    Get an accurate measurement of your chimney flue. To be able to use the right tools for the job, you need to know the exact measurement of the chimney flue. In this step you may need to climb a ladder. Make sure you observe the necessary safety precautions.

4.   Gather your cleaning supplies. Now that you have the right measurements, you can buy the right supplies. Buy a chimney cleaning brush fit for your chimney’s measurements, acquire a dust mask, goggles, and covering for your furniture.

5.     Get yourself dressed appropriately for the actual cleaning. Get your dust mask and goggles ready.

6.   Prepare your interiors for the cleaning. Use the covering you bought to cover the fireplace and your other furnishings.

7.    Once everything is prepared, begin cleaning. Removing the damper and proceed to clean the chimney using your chimney brush.

If you need help with keeping your chimney in top condition just before the first snow falls, you can rely on roofing contractors in St. Paul MN like Garlock-French Corporation to help out. If something is wrong with the masonry (erosion, cracking deterioration), the flashing around the chimney (deteriorated or damage flashing), the flue caps (debris found on the flue caps), we can help you perform the necessary repairs. We can replace damaged clay flue or damaged chimney crowns, we can rebuild the chimney, and we can waterproof the masonry components found on your roof.

Remember, chimney maintenance is important to keep the fireplace safe and functional for your family. Through regular cleaning and repairs, you save yourself from a lot of hassle in the future. For more information on chimney maintenance, feel free to contact Garlock-French Corporation today.