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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Chimney cleaning



Anyone who's ever burned wood for heat knows the value of a clean chimney. There's a lot of money that can be saved by being your own chimney sweep. Chimney brushes along with their fiberglass poles are reasonably priced and last for years.

Of course, that's only the beginning. Most people need a ladder to get up on their roof. This is one place not to skimp. Good heavy duty fiberglass ladders are not cheap, but are a lot more secure than cheap lightweight aluminum ladders.

If the only thing you ever use a ladder for is to clean your chimney, just hire a good chimney sweep. Most DIY homeowners have plenty of opportunity for using good ladders, everything from painting the house to tree surgery. Quality ladders make all the difference. Climbing ladders is dangerous enough so why make it even more hazardous?

Recently I've wised up enough to do one more thing that greatly increased my safety. A friend of mine came over to help me. Being independent I've often cleaned my chimney all by myself. It goes a lot better with two. Having a second person footing the ladder to steady it made all difference in the world. Not only that, if you do something stupid and fall off your roof, there's someone who can call 911 for you.

A clean chimney is a safe chimney. If you are comfortable with heights, it might be worth looking into getting the equipment to clean your own. A person with good equipment is more likely to do the job before it gets too bad. However, don't be afraid to call a chimney sweep if ladders and heights are not your thing. It doesn't matter who cleans the chimney, as long as it gets done.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. We have ours cleaned every year in July. The man we bought the house from did it himself with weights hung on a chain. We had to have the entire chimney relined when the new stove insert went in. It's worth the $125 to have the chimney cleaned and the stove (they pull the stove out of the fireplace and check it, too). Plus Hubby does not have to go on the roof.

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    1. That's money well spent. It's easy to damage a chimney using weights and chains. Brushes are cheap enough.

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  2. I used to do it on a job, years ago, but my current weight has pretty much ended my using of ladders, though I have a good heavy-duty aluminum one.

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    1. I still get up on roofs, but only roofs I know can take the weight. (usually roofs I've built!) My ladders are the heaviest duty I could get.

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  3. In my other home, I used a fireplace and a wood stove to heat it. Usually just burned the wood stove. I made an insert to fit in a window behind it and ran the pipe though it and then up and above the roof line. Worded really great and heated the house very well, kept it warm and cozy.

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    1. My dad had that type of set up in his workshop years ago, but most fire districts frown on it now. At the very minimum they'd require triple walled insulated pipe.

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  4. I find it curious that you clean the chimney from the top down. Here in the UK you clean them from the bottom. Most chimneys are brick here with a stainless steel liner fitted but even modern triple walled ones have a low access point for sweeping. No ladders involved so far less dangerous!

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    1. A few in the US are constructed so they can be cleaned from the bottom, but most are not.

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