Essential Tools Used by Chimney Sweeps
If you own a home with a fireplace, you know how important it is to keep your chimney clean and well-maintained. The best way to ensure your chimney and fireplace run efficiently and safely every year is to hire a certified chimney sweep for cleaning, inspection, and maintenance.
In this post, we look at the most common tools our chimney technicians use and their purpose.
Like you, our chimney and fireplace specialists use various basic tools like ladders, flashlights, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches. We use these tools for many of the same purposes as you, like accessing the roof, seeing in dark places, and removing screws.
We use chimney brushes to clean the inside of the chimney. Brushes come in different shapes and sizes to fit various chimney flue sizes. Our brushes are made from stiff bristles to scrape creosote and soot from the chimney’s interior walls. Creosote is a tar-like residue that builds inside the chimney and is highly flammable if you don’t remove it regularly. Depending on how big the chimney is, we can attach the brushes to rods that extend the chimney’s length, and we also employ a drill to spin the brush for a more thorough cleaning.
One word of caution: Many homeowners rely on chimney cleaning logs to remove creosote, thinking they won’t need to hirea professional chimney sweep. However, while these products work by loosening creosote, they don’t remove it, and you could still be at risk of a fire.
Vacuums suck up debris and soot that become dislodged during the brushing process. The vacuum system is much like your home vacuum, consisting of a tank and hose; however, our system has a more powerful motor than most home vacuum cleaners to create sufficient suction to remove large debris chunks.
Experts recommend annual chimney cleaning and inspection to ensure your system is safe. Our technicians use inspection tools like cameras and smoke machines. The camera allows us to inspect the chimney’s interior to see if cracks or other issues could put you at risk of a fire. Like plumbers who use cameras for drain and sewer inspection, we maneuver our camera throughout the chimney and receive real-time video back to the operator.
Finally, the smoke machine tests the draft to ensure it flows properly and there are no blockages in the flue.
Chimney repairs or rebuilds require more advanced tools, like masonry saws, mortar mixers, trowels, etc. We use the masonry saw to cut bricks and other masonry materials. The mortar mixer mixes the mortar used to hold the bricks together, and we use the trowel to spread the mortar and create a smooth, even finish.
Flashing is essential to protect your roof and chimney from water damage by sealing the area where the roof contacts the chimney. Like your fireplace and chimney, you should get your flashing checked every year to ensure it fits properly and there aren’t gaps that could allow water entry. Most flashing is made from metal, and we use tools to bend and shape it to ensure it forms a tight seal.
Although not strictly a tool, chimney caps are highly recommended by chimney and fireplace experts. Chimney caps prevent debris and critters from entering the chimney, causing blockages and wreaking havoc. Depending on your specific needs, we have caps designed to keep animals out animals or rainwater.
If you need chimney cleaning, inspection, repairs, or a cap or cover installation, call the certified experts at National Chimney Cleaners Inc. We proudly service homeowners throughout Fairfield County, Stamford, CT, Morris County, and Parsippany, NJ. Book your appointment today at 800-631-6177.