If you know your chimney needs cleaning, you may have already made an appointment for a professional chimney sweep. While that’s definitely the first step, there are a few other things you can do before they arrive. By being prepared for your chimney sweep, you can make the process easier and faster for them. Here are a few things you can do to help us make your chimney cleaning process smoother.
Don’t Use Your Fireplace for a Few Days
Your fireplace needs to be completely cool for a chimney sweep to properly clean it. While it might feel like it’s cooled down a few hours after you’ve put a fire out, only the lower part of the fireplace is actually cool. The chimney itself can hold heat in for as long as 48 hours. You need to make certain you don’t use it for at least that long before your chimney sweep is scheduled to come. Otherwise, it may be too warm for them to work.
Clean Out the Fireplace
Remove any logs that are currently in your fireplace along with any ashes you want to use as fertilizer in your garden. The sweep will handle removing any ash that is left over. You should also remove the log holder, the grate, and anything else that could prevent access or get broken while the chimney sweep is at work.
Clear Off the Mantle
In addition to removing decorative items, fireplace tools, and anything else around the fireplace, you should also clear off the items on your mantle. This is especially true if any of those items are fragile. While the chimney sweep will do their best not to disturb these items, the cleaning process can cause vibrations that could cause them to fall. Remove anything that could fall on the chimney sweep as well.
You May Need to Move Some Furniture
If you have any furniture in front of the fireplace that could make it difficult for the chimney sweep to access it, you will likely need to move it. The equipment needed for the job does require some space. While the sweep will put down a drop cloth around the fireplace to protect it from soot and dirt, you may want to cover any nearby furniture or move any rugs just to make certain they don’t get dirty. You don’t need to empty the room by any means, but you may want to move things that are near the fireplace that are irreplaceable or are difficult to clean.
You may also need to move furniture situated between the front door and your fireplace. The chimney sweep will have a number of different tools to bring in, some of which are bulky or awkward in size or shape. Removing any obstacles will help make the process easier.
Put Your Pets in Another Room
If you have pets such as dogs or cats, you should shut them in another room while the chimney sweep is working. While there is nothing immediately dangerous about the equipment or tools used, it’s always best to protect your pets. They won’t be used to the sounds of the equipment or having a stranger in the home.
Stay Clear of the Area Yourself
Likewise, the soot and dirt that could come out of the fireplace as it’s being cleaned can cause you to get choked up if you breathe it in. Be sure to stay back and keep your children back from the fireplace while it’s being cleaned. Those who have asthma or other breathing conditions may want to leave the room.
Talk to Your Chimney Sweep About Anything Odd with Your Fireplace
If you have noticed anything odd going on with your fireplace, be sure to mention it before the chimney sweep begins work. This includes any weird smells you’ve noticed or signs of moisture. Your chimney sweep will talk to you about your fireplace and its condition before beginning but be sure to bring up any concerns you have at this time. You may want to make a list of these concerns just so you don’t forget anything.
This list helps the sweep know what they’re dealing with and what areas of the chimney may need close attention. It also helps them know if there’s any likely damage to the chimney that may require additional repairs.
If you have any of these concerns or know it’s about time to have your chimney cleaned, give us a call today. We’re ready to come inspect and clean your chimney so that you can stay safe and warm.