Cleaning the chimney liner or flue is a maintenance process that should be conducted at least once a year. Whether that chimney is used for wood burning or gas products, sweeping or cleaning that chimney can be done by the homeowner. By following a few basic procedures, you can clean that chimney liner in less than hour or so and keep some hard-earned cash in your pocket.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Steel flue brush (size and shape of flue liner)
- Extension pole for flue brush
- Extension ladder
- Small steel brush
- Outdoor wet vacuum
Assemble the correct size and shape steel flue brush for your chimney. Chimneys generally come in four basic sizes: 4, 6, 8 and 10-inch square or round diameters. The steel flue brush can be found at your favourite home store and in the shape of the flue. Attach the extension poles for the length of your flue before you get on the roof, it will be much easier to handle the long brush.
Open the chimney flue clean-out door so any excess debris will not build up around the liner area that exits from the house when you are cleaning the chimney.
Set the extension ladder against the home's roof in a correct and comfortable position to gain access to the chimney from the upper portion of the flue.
Remove the chimney cap and inspect for any damage to the flue screen. You may want to clean the screen around the flue cap with a smaller steel brush to remove any clogging debris.
Push the steel flue brush into the chimney and push it downward, rotating it in a clockwise direction for a round-type flue liner. A square-type chimney should only require a straight push downward.
Pull up on the steel clean-out brush and remove it fully from the chimney. Some debris may fall out on the roof; this can be cleaned up later.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 several times to fully clean out the liner of the chimney.
Replace the chimney cap. Use the outdoor vacuum cleaner to thoroughly suck out the clean-out door area at the bottom of the chimney.
Tips and warnings
- Do not attempt to clean out a chimney if you have a fire or gas device under operation. Cleaning the liner may create a temporary clogged situation in the chimney, causing a backup of gases into the home.