If you have seen the classic movie Mary Poppins, then the idea of chimney sweeping might seem like more of a song and dance number than a complex and potentially dangerous task. At Atlanta Chimney Doctor, we can tell you that cleaning your chimney requires some special tools and some specific expertise to do it right. Here are some of the tools and techniques to know before attempting to clean your chimney on your own.
Chimney Rod and Brush
A chimney brush is not just a broom, although when you first see one it might look like it. When cleaning a chimney, you can either go from the top of the chimney and sweep down, or start in the fireplace and sweep up. You will need a chimney brush and rod for either method so that you can reach down or up with the brush to scrub all sides of the chimney.
Drop Cloth for Your Furniture
As any chimney sweep in Alpharetta can tell you, cleaning your own chimney is a dirty job. Even if you take precautions to keep the soot from flying around, some is likely to escape. Protect your belongings and furniture with a tarp or drop cloth.
Dust Mask and Goggles
Make sure you have a dust mask and goggles when cleaning your chimney. This is not just to make the job more comfortable. You can breathe in soot and ash and develop serious health conditions if you do not take some precautionary safety measures.
While there are many people who have cleaned their own chimneys for many years, there are many reasons to work with a professional chimney sweeper for this work. Here are the top 5 reasons to work with a professional like Atlanta Chimney Doctor.
Get the Job Done Safer
There are many reasons why trying to clean your chimney on your own can be very dangerous. Not only does it require that you get on top of your roof and work at a great height, but there are also substances like soot and creosote that can be dangerous if accidentally inhaled.
They are Licensed and Insured
Because chimney sweeping can be so dangerous, you should work with a professional because they are licensed and insured to do the work. This means that they are not only qualified, but with workers compensation insurance, you will not be held liable if the contractor is injured while working on your property.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Another reason to hire a professional chimney sweeping company is because they can perform regular maintenance. They can also give you advice on how to take care of your roof in between maintenance visits. This advice and guidance can be invaluable and will probably save you lots of money on potential costly repairs and extra cleanings in the future.
Identify Serious Issues While They are Minor
You might do your own chimney cleaning in Atlanta, GA, and think you are doing an okay job but there are many times when a professional chimney sweeper looks inside someone’s chimney and sees many hazards that the homeowner didn’t even know were there. There may be times that you have a health or safety hazard lurking in your chimney and not even know about it until it becomes a major problem.
Feel More Comfortable
Many people feel better hiring a professional chimney sweeper simply because they feel anxious about climbing on top of their roof. This is understandable. A professional will bring their own tools and safety equipment to make sure the job is done efficiently and safely.
Chimney cleaning in Atlanta can seem like a scary job, especially if you have never attempted it on your own before. Here at Atlanta Chimney Doctor, we help make this process easier for people. Keeping your chimney cleaner and safer comes down to doing the following 3 things regularly.
Keep Flames under Control
Part of the reason your chimney is getting so dirty is because you might sometimes let your fire get out of control. If the flames of your fire are reaching up too high into the chimney, it is going to be very difficult to keep it clean. Sprinkle baking soda on hot coals and flames to keep them from getting out of control for a safer fireplace.
Fight Ashes with Ashes
It might seem odd, but using a wet cloth that has been dipped in fireplace ashes to polish your fireplace glass doors will get rid of soot and ash that has built up on the inside of the doors. Do this regularly as part of your chimney cleaning routine.
By far, the best way to keep your chimney clean is to hire a chimney sweeper to come once per year to perform a checkup and make sure your chimney is safe to use for the following year. You might have done a good job cleaning it up throughout the year but there could be creosote and buildup in your chimney that can easily catch fire and cause serious damage in your home.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, then you have a lot of maintenance that needs to be done to ensure that this fun feature in your house is working correctly. Here at Atlanta Chimney Doctor, we work with a lot of people who end up needing big repairs because they didn’t take proper care of their chimney. This is not a problem you want to run into, so you need be on the lookout for the following signs that you need a professional chimney sweep in Atlanta, GA.
Smoke Is Coming In
The idea of the chimney is to provide a way for the smoke to escape from your home. If the smoke is coming back into the room, then you know that something has gone amiss with your chimney. We suggest safely extinguishing the fire and calling us immediately.
It Has Been More than 2 Years
Even if you don’t burn fires in your fireplace very often, it is still important to get the chimney cleaned at least once a year. If it has been more than 2 years, then it is time to get it cleaned out. Other things besides soot can get stuck in this space, including dust, leaves, bird nests, critters, and other debris.
You Are Burning More than Usual
If you have been burning fires more often than usual, than it would make good sense to have your chimney cleaned out more frequently. We prefer coming out to clean the chimney before the real burning season begins, but we can come and service your chimney any time of the year.
Soot Is Falling
If you are noticing soot falling into your fireplace, then you know that there is a good amount of buildup along the sides of your chimney. This is a very good sign that you need to have things properly cleaned out. Leaving this excess can cause a lot of needless danger and damage.