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Rely on the Tools of Professional Chimney Sweeps- Skip DIY!

Chimney Cleaning and Inspection

It’s important that your chimney be clean, for safety reasons as well as to ensure that the chimney can operate efficiently.  Some people try to dodge expenses by accepting slick offers for low-cost cleaning, but they are actually being scammed by people who are taking unfair advantage of the unregulated industry of chimney sweeping.  Other people use home remedies, which can’t possibly provide reliable results.  For anyone who understands the importance of a safe chimney, entrusting chimney cleaning to a licensed professional chimney sweep company is the only way to go.

Creosote and Soot

The primary reason chimneys need to be cleaned regularly is because of a buildup of creosote and soot in the flue.  More about soot and creosote:

  • Creosote is a tar-like substance that is black or dark brown in color, and it is deposited on the flue lining whenever combustible materials are burned
  • There are three forms of creosote, all of which are flammable; the most flammable and difficult to clean type of creosote is a slick, shiny substance.
  • Wood smoke causes creosote.  Seasoned hardwood burns cleanest, and unseasoned firewood leaves the largest amount of unwelcome deposits in the chimney.
  • Soot is a black flaky or powdery substance which largely consists of amorphous carbon.  It is produced by incomplete combustion of organic matter, such as wood and coal.  The fine particles go up the chimney and adhere to the lining.
  • Creosote can be the cause of chimney fires.
  • When creosote and soot are mixed with moisture, the flue lining can become damaged.
  • A buildup of creosote can hinder the flow of smoke, air, and heat out of the chimney.  This reduces fireplace efficiency and can cause dangerous gases to enter the home.  An obstructed chimney is a cause of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Problem with Home Remedies


Creosote buildup

Now that you know more about creosote and soot, you understand the primary purpose of cleaning a chimney.  Check out the following home remedies, none of which adequately address the issue of removing the deposits in the flue lining:

  • Burn potato peels in the fireplace; this is supposed to soften the creosote deposits.
  • Throw salt on the logs in the fireplace as they are burning.
  • Run the top of a pine tree down your chimney.
  • Start a chimney fire; this is extremely dangerous, since chimney fires can start house fires and can seriously damage chimneys.

Tools used by Professional Chimney Sweeps

Chimney cleaning has come a long way since the days when sweeps were covered in soot and small children were essentially enslaved to the job of climbing chimneys for the purpose of cleaning out the soot and creosote.  The primary tools used by professional chimney sweeps are brushes, vacuums, and chemical substances used to remove the shiny form of creosote.

  • Brushes –The most basic and essential brush used by chimney sweeps is a long wire brush which is designed to have strength and flexibility, allowing tight spaces to be cleaned of all chimney deposits.  Stiff flat wire bristle brushes are used to scrape off creosote that is in glaze form.  For cleaning tight spaces, such as smoke chambers and chimney caps, hand brushes are used.
  •  Vacuums – Vacuums are effectively used to prevent the sooty mess from the chimney from entering the home.  Vacuums are also important in that they remove pollutants which enter the air during the cleaning processes.
  • Chemical Cleaners – Professional chimney sweeps use chemical cleaning agents when brushes can’t get all of the creosote and soot deposits from the walls of the flue lining.

Our professionals are trained, licensed, and certified experts who can be depended upon to do a thorough and reliable job of performing all chimney services.

Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110
Phone: 860-233-5770

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