You may not realize it, but your chimney needs regular cleaning and maintenance, just like any other part of your home. And while you can hire a professional to do the job, it’s possible to do it yourself with some precautions. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your chimney.

1. Prepare Your Supplies.

You’ll need a stiff-bristled brush, a vacuum with a long hose attachment, and a chimney sweep kit (available at most hardware stores). A tarp or plastic sheeting can be helpful to place around the fireplace to keep any ash or soot off the carpets. You will want gloves, a ladder, and shoes safe for climbing on the roof.

2. Climb Up on the Roof.

Carefully make your way to the top of the roof. Be careful not to slip. Once you’re at the top, locate the chimney. Bring your supplies up using a bucket and a rope. Don’t try to carry them up the ladder with you.

3. Inspect the Chimney.

Before cleaning, you’ll want to examine the chimney’s condition. Check for any cracks or damage. If there are any, you’ll need to repair them before continuing. You should also look for blockages, such as bird’s nests or debris.

4. Begin Cleaning Your Chimney.

Start by using the vacuum to clean up any loose soot and debris. Then, use the brush to scrub away any remaining dirt. Work your way from the top of the chimney to the bottom. Use a back-and-forth motion to ensure you’re getting everything.

5. Finish Up Cleaning Your Chimney.

Once you’re done scrubbing, use the vacuum again to clean up any remaining debris. Then, put all of your supplies back in the bucket and carefully make your way down the ladder. You can now enjoy a clean and safe fireplace!

Professional Service is Still Necessary

You should have your chimney professionally inspected annually to verify there aren’t any hazards or damage to the chimney.

While it may be tempting to try and clean your chimney on your own, some tasks are best left to professionals. Without the proper knowledge and equipment, you could accidentally cause damage or put yourself at risk. Trusting a professional will ensure the job is done safely and correctly.

Cleaning your chimney can save you money, but you must take the necessary precautions to do the job safely. Following our tips will help reduce some of the risks involved in chimney cleaning, but we still recommend having your chimney professionally inspected at least once a year.

Arrow Home Inspections offers inspections to homebuyers and sellers in the Charlotte Metro Area. Contact us to schedule our services.