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Why DIY Chimney Cleaning Is Not a Good Idea

If you use a wood-burning fireplace, you have a chimney that needs regular cleaning. The main purpose in sweeping a chimney is removing creosote, soot and debris. This job must be done to prevent chimney fires and drafting blockages.

Is this a job you can do yourself? Probably not. Ye Olde Brit Chimney Sweep of San Bernardino, CA, would like to tell you why.

Level Two Chimney Inspection in Ontario CAHow chimneys are cleaned

Hearth and fire safety agencies across the United States all recognize that chimney cleaning isn’t a simple job. It requires specialized tools and the ability to safely and correctly use them.

Professional chimney sweeps use industry-grade brushes, rods, whips, chains, solvents, commercial vacuums and other equipment to remove built-up creosote from chimney flues. The average homeowner doesn’t have access to this kind of equipment.

Along with creosote removal, chimney sweeps handle buildups of leaves and twigs from nearby trees. They also remove the nesting material of small animals and the dead bodies of animals that have died in the chimney. All of this debris can lead to a drafting problem that sends deadly carbon monoxide into your living spaces.

Chimney sweeping is a dirty job, no two ways about it. It’s dirty for the technician, and it can be very dirty for the home if certain precautions aren’t taken. Professional chimney crews take extra care to cover and protect interior surfaces while expertly using their vacuums to keep soot and ash from flying all over the place.

More than just cleaning

The chimney cleaning process includes a thorough visual inspection of all readily accessible areas of your chimney system. Trained technicians know how to spot early signs of problems with:

  • Chimney liners
  • Chimney caps
  • Chimney masonry
  • Chimney crowns
  • Chimney flashing
  • Structural inconsistencies

They also know how to gauge the creosote level in order to remove it in the most efficient way. Creosote can be present as a flaky, puffy, sticky or solid substance. Each level has its own removal techniques.

Invaluable advice

Certified chimney professionals will advise you on the best ways to use and care for your fireplace and chimney.

Your technician is a storehouse of invaluable tips on:

  • Proper wood-burning techniques
  • How to create less smoke with a fire
  • Achieving an optimal draft
  • Signs that something is wrong somewhere in your chimney system
  • Ways to detect the earliest signs of a chimney fire
  • How to reduce chimney odors

and many other helpful pieces of knowledge.

What about chimney cleaning logs?

Chimney cleaning logs contain a chemical that’s released upon combustion and is designed to remove light creosote from a chimney flue. There are two things you should know about these products:

  1. Chimney cleaning logs will not work well on solid Stage III creosote, the most dangerous formation and the one most likely to cause a chimney fire.
  2. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states that cleaning logs are fine to use as supplemental chimney maintenance, but they’re not a substitute for cleaning done by a trained chimney sweep.

fireplace cleaning in Rialto CA

The right way to have your chimney cleaned

There’s no reason to attempt to clean your own chimney when you have easy access to experts like those at Ye Olde Brit Chimney Sweep. For more than 30 years, we’ve served the greater San Bernardino region with chimney sweeping, chimney repairs and licensed chimney inspections.

Save yourself the hassle and let us do the dirty work. Reach a chimney pro today at (909) 880-2120, or get in touch with our simple contact form.


Please Choose a Certified Chimney Sweep!

We hold the designation of Certified Chimney Professional (CCP)
We are GSCSG (Golden State Chimney Sweep Guild) Certified
We’re also proud members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG)
Trust a State Licensed Contractor (#775386)
We’re here to help with all your chimney repair