If you have a fireplace or a wood stove, it is important that you have the chimney swept periodically to prevent the accumulation of soot and debris. A chimney that has an overabundance of creosote and soot can make it difficult for the chimney to do its job, which is to expel smoke and fumes from the house. When the chimney sweep professionals arrive on your property to clean your chimney, they will usually bring along very specific pieces of equipment. Here is a look at just a few of the tools you may see used in the chimney sweeping process.
Long-Handled Chimney Brush
The long-handled chimney brush is the most essential piece of equipment used by a chimney sweeper. This is no ordinary brush; it has a long, sectioned handle that can be extended to the full length of the chimney. Additionally, the brush itself is created out of stiff wires that do not bend so easily. It is important the wire bristles of the brush are not flexible because they have to be strong enough to slough away baked-on debris on the inside of the chimney. Most of these brushes have a thin rod, but the handle is made to be thick so it is easy to grasp and maneuver.
Fluid Chimney-Cleaning Agents
In order to loosen up some of the material inside of the chimney before the brushing process begins, most chimney sweepers will douse the interior of the chimney with a specially-formulated cleaning solution. This solution is designed to soften or break down the layer of creosote inside the chimney. The chimney sweeper will likely pour or spray this cleaning agent down the walls of the chimney and then allow it to sit for a period of time before they get started with the scrubbing process.
Commercial Vacuum System
Once the chimney has been doused in the cleaning agent and then scrubbed with the heavy-duty brush, the debris that has been sloughed from the inner walls of the chimney will need to be removed. Most of the debris will be located in the fireplace or wood stove because debris naturally falls as it is broken loose. Therefore, the chimney sweeper may bring a long hose inside the house to pull out the debris at some point. If there is more than one professional at work, one may be sweeping the chimney while the other captures debris with the vacuum down below.