Regardless of whether you use your fireplace often or not, you should clean your chimney from time to time. Following these simple tips can make your life a lot easier and your chimney a lot cleaner:
Before you get to work, you'll need to take some precautions. Chimneys can often contain a variety of airborne particulates that are unhealthy to breathe in. Therefore, you should properly protect your lungs. A respiratory mask should be sufficient for cleaning out your chimney.
You'll also probably want to prevent the spread of dirty substances from your chimney into the rest of your house. To do so, you should prepare the floor around your chimney. Cover the ground with a tarp in order to catch all of the dirt, dirt, and soot that will be expelled from your chimney. It's going to be impossible to totally protect your house from the effects of cleaning your chimney, so you might want to clean your house afterwards.
Finally make sure that you have somewhere to put the dust and soot after it is removed from your chimney.
Diagnose the Problem
The first thing you will want to do is gauge the severity of the problem. With a flashlight and a hard object that you can use for scraping, you should take a look at the chimney from the bottom. With your nose and mouth properly protected, shine the flashlight upwards from the fireplace into the chimney. You should be able to get a good idea of just how much cleaning you have ahead of you. Depending on the amount of time since your last cleaning, you might want to entirely refrain from using your fireplace until it has been thoroughly cleaned. If your fireplace has been building up soot and debris for a long period of time, then using the fireplace may result in a lot of harmful chemicals and substances being released into the air.
Before you commit to a lengthy cleaning process, you can do a bit of initial cleaning on your own, with some tools that you likely have lying around. Once you have prepared the site, you can begin cleaning the lower part of the chimney with a hard brush. Cleaning these easily-accessible parts of your chimney might not be enough to entirely fix the problem, but it can provide some short term relief while you are waiting for a serious cleaning.
To learn more, contact a company like AAAA Dave's Chimney Service.