DIY Chimney Sweep???

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Krich, Aug 10, 2018.

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  1. Aug 10, 2018 #1

    Krich

    Krich

    Krich

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    I cannot seem to be able to find anyone in my area that does chimney sweeping or chimney cleaning. (I'm in Central Texas)

    I'd just like it cleaned real good to make sure there is no build up in inside so it would be safe to use, and I need some sort of screen put over the top to prevent bird from living in the Chimney (got a family of birds living in there now... you can hear 'em chirping)

    So, is there tools that can be purchased for cleaning such as a spinning hard bristle brush that maybe can be run on an electric drill from up top?

    I may need to do this myself so I thought I'd see what the resident experts suggest. Thanks.
     
  2. Aug 10, 2018 #2

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

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  3. Aug 10, 2018 #3

    Krich

    Krich

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    Thank for the link...

    Wouldn't these need to be spinning around by some sort of machinery in order to be effective in cleaning to buildup off of the bricks?

    Or, if this an elbow grease kinda deal?
     
  4. Aug 10, 2018 #4

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    How old is the construction of the fireplace and what kind of liner do you have?


    A lot of elbow grease is required and it is questionable how much of the really baked on stuff will come off. Having had a chimney fire once myself and never wanting to see that again I would recommend getting someone to come out with proper equipment and scope the chimney and look for cracks and such. Finding someone honest is key.


    Once you get a clean bill of health then start your preventive cleaning routine.
     
  5. Aug 10, 2018 #5

    Sparky617

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    The one I bought was a pretty stiff metal brush. Just pulling it up and down was enough to work the creosote off of the clay liner. A professional inspection isn't a bad idea.
     
  6. Aug 10, 2018 #6

    Krich

    Krich

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    The house was built in 1977 and I have no idea how thick any layer of stuff is on there.

    I guess if I cannot find someone who is "qualified" than we'll just not use the fireplace.

    Of course in this day and age just because someone claims to be "qualified" does not make them qualified by any means.

    Lots of bad things happen at the hands of so called trained professionals which is evident when we look at the world around us.

    My wife was the one wanting to build a fire. The house has a great heater and since it doesn't get that cold where we live I do believe life will go on without using the fireplace.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  7. Aug 10, 2018 #7

    joecaption

    joecaption

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    I'm very surprised in your area it's not a gas log fireplace.
    A wood burning fireplace with no insert has a whole lot of drawbacks.
    There will be soot in the home when starting it up.
    They put out very little heat, and when running will be sucking air from the whole house making the other rooms colder.
    Having to buy (unless your lucky enough to have access to free wood) cut and split, a dry place to store it far enough away from the house that it does not attract termites.
    If a clay tile lined chimney and Lowes or HD should stock a chimney cap that can be installed with just a screwdriver.
     
  8. Aug 11, 2018 #8

    Gary

    Gary

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    We have a wood fireplace. I built it about 20 years ago. Until maybe 5 years ago it would rarely cool off in the winter. Kept it stoked all the time. We had a free source for wood, so it went a long way toward keeping the heat bill down. I poured a foundation in the crawl space and built 4 walls to the ceiling with 1/2 wide filled/rebarred cinder block & covered the cinder block with brick. Brick chimney out the roof with spark arrestor cap. It's a 0 clearance , sealed fireplace with outside air make up and double wall stainless chimney liner. If there were a catastrophic failure of the fireplace or chimney there is still the brick, cinderblock & concrete for containment, top, bottom & 4 sides. It could still start a fire by throwing sparks on the roof, but the odds are pretty low. The firebox also comes with a catalytic converter type filter to arrest sparks and re-burn pitch. The cinder block was overkill for a 0 clearance box, but we think it was worth the extra effort for the peace of mind. We just burn it occasionally now, mostly because the older we get the less we want to bother with a fire. But it's still nice to have a real fire burning when we have people over.

    We have a wire brush with the extensions. The first time I used it I was nervous because it took some real forcing to push it to the bottom. I thought it would get stuck with no way to get it out. You have to go all the way to the firebox then back up, as the bristles will prevent pulling it back out. . I would run it down and up 2 times in the fall. I could shine a light down the liner and see it was shinny after the first trip, second trip was just an insurance pass, little dust would fall in the firebox on the second pass. The brush is very dense and as I said hard to push, so it doesn't miss much.

    If your liner is a square clay liner, the brush I have wouldn't work. I assume they have square brushes for square clay liners? but that's a guess. If you don't have a liner of any sort, I'd be afraid to use it personally. Sparks can find their way though weak spots in the mortar. Also, the acids in the pitch that builds up, will attack mortar, and eventually a spark will find it's way through. As I said, I'm nervous about fire in the house. Erring on the side of caution is always a good idea.
     
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  9. Aug 11, 2018 #9

    mabloodhound

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    They make square and rectangle brushes for cleaning chimneys. And yes it is grunt work....done from the top/roof side. But you can do it and since your home was built in '77 it would have tile linings. I had closeable caps installed on my chimneys that have a chain that drops down inside the flue into the fireplace the opens and closes the cap. Keeps the heat in and pests out and easy to open when you want an occasional fire.
     
  10. Sep 14, 2018 #10

    MassWineGuy

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    And don’t forget the diy fire engine in case it doesn’t get cleaned properly.
     

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