Here is all about cleaning a woodstove chimney.
Chimney maintenance is one activity that must be frequently performed to guarantee its hitch-free operation.
Cleaning is one of the key maintenance actions and this is where most of our discussion will focus on. Persons with a wood stove chimney will find this article an interesting read.
This isn’t a job for the faint at heart. It requires cleaning from within and without. In other words, the top of the chimney accessible from outside or its stack as well as the woodstove found within need to be cleaned.
Although some homeowners have tried to adopt the DIY approach, it’s not recommended.
Who Performs Wood Stove Chimney Cleaning?
One of the things we’ll need to make clear here is the fact that cleaning a woodstove chimney is serious business.
It involves a lot of labor and creates quite a mess not everyone is prepared for. As such, you should allow a pro to handle such a job. Licensed chimney sweeps are professionals skilled in chimney cleaning.
You’ll need to call them to handle your cleaning needs.
With such professionals, all aspects of the job are professionally handled. You don’t have to worry about the processes as you only need to point the way and allow them to get the job done.
The Need to Know
Knowing how to clean a wood stove chimney is important to every homeowner as you get to observe to see if the right thing is done or not. Even when a chimney sweep comes around, you’ll need to ask questions.
By mere observance of the process, your level of curiosity is likely to result in questions.
Cleaning a Wood Stove Chimney: The Steps
When a chimney service comes around, one of the first things they do is inspect the chimney. This action is meant to determine the extent of cleaning work to be performed.
Before their arrival, the wood stove is expected to have been turned off well in advance to enable it to cool off.
Most professionals prefer the top-down approach to cleaning. They climb up the roof to have access to the stove pipe. This is why it’s not safe for everyone to perform this cleaning procedure as a DIY project.
These professionals are well trained and have all the equipment necessary.
Before cleaning begins, a cloth or sheet will need to be spread below at the opening of the woodstove. This is necessary to help prevent falling debris or creosote from creating a mess around your room.
There’ll be no need for that if your wood stove door is closed during stovepipe cleanup.
The chimney cap is removed and the cleaning process begins. With the exterior done, the interior components of the chimney stove (those found indoors) are targeted for cleaning.
Ash is scooped out and placed in metal or non-combustible containers. Vacuuming may follow before the woodstove door is cleaned.
All scattered debris around the woodstove area is cleared up with a vacuum which signals the completion of the job. These procedures have been highly summarized.
Let’s discuss each of these points as follows;
i. Wood Stove Chimney Inspection
Before any cleaning job commences, a wood stove chimney’s condition will need to be examined. With the level of dirt ascertained, the next step begins.
ii. Turning off the Wood Stove Early Enough
The wood stove is turned in advance before cleaning commences. This is necessary to prevent accidents from burning. Cleaning cannot go on when the wood stove chimney isn’t cooled coolly.
iii. Spreading a Sheet around the floor Surrounding the Wood Stove
As a measure to contain falling debris from scattering and messing up your home, a chimney sweep spreads a sheet of cloth to hold such debris.
Sometimes, this may not be necessary when the stove door is shut.
iv. Climbing up the Roof with Cleaning Tools
The chimney sweep climbs up your rooftop with the necessary cleaning equipment.
In most cases, these include flexible chimney cleaning rods, power sweeping systems, polypropylene brush, and power-based creosote remover among others.
v. Removal of Chimney Cap and Cleaning the Stove Pipe Interior
Having gained access to the stove pipe, the chimney cap is removed which signals the beginning of the process.
Having cleared out all soot and creosote from the stovepipe chimney, the chimney cap is replaced, thus signaling the end of cleaning for the upper part of the chimney.
vi. Clearing Ash from the Wood Stove
When the chimney sweep climbs down, the wood stove is targeted for cleaning. Here, accumulated ash is shoveled out into a non-combustible container.
This helps prevent scenarios where embers reignite resulting in fire accidents. The ash may not be cleared out completely like a little of it is necessary to help with combustion.
vii. Cleaning the Stove Door
The stove door is next. Glass stove doors will need to be cleaned thoroughly to make them sparkle. For such jobs, the right cleaning supplies are used by the chimney sweep.
All combustion stains are removed using this procedure.
viii. Cleaning Up Scattered Debris
The cleanup of scattered debris is next. The surrounding areas around the chimney are likely to have scattered debris consisting of ash and creosote dislodged from the stovepipe during cleaning.
If a sheet is spread to cover the floor, it should trap all such debris, thus making cleanup easier.
The good thing with hiring a reputable chimney sweep is that they perform the entire cleanup procedure including the area around your chimney. Here, a vacuum cleaner may be used to complete the job.
The ash removed from the chimney may be left to sit for some time to ensure any embers within it dies off before disposal.
A wood stove chimney will need to be inspected and cleaned once every year. This is especially true for those undergoing more frequent usage.
Heavy usage of a wood stove chimney may require a more frequent cleaning schedule.
With the cleaning process of a wood stove fully explained, the cleaning process doesn’t have to be complicated any longer. This information will serve to benefit DIY’ers and also novices who simply want to learn about what goes on during the process.