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Clean Sweep Chimney Service

4004 Emerald Drive
St. Charles, MO 63304

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Clean Sweep Chimney Service


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What You Need to Know Besides How to Clean a Chimney


If you know how to clean a chimney, the DIY project can sometimes help to cut home maintenance costs. There are times, however, when chimney professionals are needed. Creosote is the primary cause of a dirty chimney, though it is only a problem when wood is the fuel. Various hazards can result from creosote buildup, and regular cleaning is recommended by all leading fire safety experts. Read on to learn the circumstances in which a chimney sweep professional must be called as well as brief DIY tips for chimney cleaning.

When Does Chimney Cleaning Require a Pro?

Creosote has three different forms, and only 1st-degree creosote is sooty and easy to remove. A chimney brush can get rid of 1st-degree creosote completely if you have the proper tools. There are a few “cons” to cleaning away 1st-degree creosote yourself, however, and they are explained further below.

2nd-Degree Creosote

Removal of 2nd-degree creosote is difficult. Special professional-grade equipment is required because the tar-like deposits that look like black corn flakes don’t easily sweep away with a brush. The equipment must be operated by a professional to avoid damaging the chimney flue while still managing to remove the stubborn substance.

3rd-Degree Creosote

Third-degree creosote looks as though tar in liquid form is oozing down the sides of the chimney flue. Removal of 3rd-degree creosote can be impossible, though chimney professionals have various types of equipment, products, and tools to tackle the job, oftentimes effectively. One option is to install a new stainless steel chimney flue liner, safely leaving any remaining 3rd-degree creosote where it was deposited.

More Reasons to Schedule a Chimney Sweep

Before you tackle the job of cleaning a chimney, the following are some cautions and warnings to consider:

  • It is necessary to work on your roof for chimney cleaning, which is highly dangerous. Because of the risk of falling, roofing is the 4th most dangerous occupation in the U.S.
  • If you don’t have all the right supplies and techniques to prevent it, the creosote stirred up in the chimney and fireplace can make a terrible mess in your home interior during DIY chimney cleaning.
  • If creosote gets into your home during the removal process, occupants of the home are exposed to a highly toxic substance. Creosote is known to cause health problems for anyone vulnerable to respiratory problems.

Supplies for DIY Cleaning

The following are the supplies needed for cleaning a chimney that has 1st-degree creosote:

  • Respirator dust mask
  • Protective goggles
  • Chimney brushes
  • Ladder
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • lastic sheeting
  • Shop vacuum

Step-by-Step Chimney Cleaning

Ensure that the last fire in your fireplace has gone completely cold before cleaning your chimney. Safely remove the ashes to make sure no hot embers remain. Follow these brief step-by-step directions, looking up more details if unfamiliar with the process:

  1. Protect the floor around your hearth with a drop cloth or a plastic tarp
  2. Isolate the fireplace from your home interior. Completely seal the front of the fireplace with thick plastic sheeting and reliable tape.
  3. Put on protective gear and carefully access the roof with needed supplies
  4. Remove the chimney cap.
  5. Brush the chimney with chimney brushes.
  6. Replace the chimney cap.
  7. Allow time for the creosote dust to settle in your fireplace.
  8. Slowly remove the seal over the fireplace.
  9. Clear the firebox using a shop vacuum.

Call Clean Sweep Chimney Service Today

CSIA-certified chimney sweep experts at Clean Sweep Chimney Service are ready to provide professional chimney cleaning services for you in St. Charles and throughout the St. Louis MO area. We have proudly provided top-quality chimney sweep services in the region since 1977. Contact us with questions on how to clean chimneys yourself and for pro chimney maintenance services by calling 636-477-9966.