There is nothing more pleasing than contemplating a heart-warming fire going in the hearth as the weather starts to cool. Fall is probably the best time to make sure all is in good working order ahead of the cooling weather. Chimneys, fireplaces and vents should be inspected and cleaned just prior to, and after the winter to work optimally. This will ensure regular maintenance clears debris and blockages, and venting works efficiently. Check with a flashlight to see whether the creosote is thicker than 1/8th inch and if so, the job needs to get done.
If you are not comfortable getting onto your roof you can clean your chimney from the bottom up. Chimney brush sizes and shapes are determined by whether you have a round or square-shaped flue. Small brushes make the work of cleaning the flue a lot harder; the size should be snug enough – just slightly larger than the flue to move with ease.
Fibreglass rods can be purchased for straight chimneys. Make sure the brush has the same connection type as the rod. The rod lengths will be the height from your chimney to the damper. You or someone can drop a rope down from the top of the chimney to determine the length.
Make sure to wear gloves and have the surrounding floor covered with a protective mat or plastic liner. To start, attach the brush to your first rod. As you move it up the flue adds the additional rods for ease. As you get your brush through the damper, push further up to attach additional rods. Push through to get an up and down scraping, sweeping motion. Once you have completed cleaning the creosote and debris, pull your broom out and use a brush and bucket, or an ash vacuum to pick up the ash from the floor and inner ledge.
Keeping your chimney regularly checked and clean will ensure you don’t have any issues when colder weather comes to stay and is good for your health. With this work done, you can now relax and enjoy an efficient and warming fireplace.