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December 1, 2020

 

Chimney Sweep Tools Every Technician Needs

Do you use all the right tools for thoroughly inspecting and cleaning chimneys? This article covers everything you'll need on the job.

In a typical chimney, creosote build-up poses a great risk of fire, necessitating regular cleaning. Other things like bird nests, dead animals, or other debris can lead to clogging. As a chimney pro, you need the right tools to properly clear any blockage and to prevent a chimney fire (and ultimately a house fire). Below we’ve compiled a list of things you’ll need to get the job done and keep your customers happy.

Chimney Sweeping Brushes

Brushes represent the most essential tools needed to clean the inside of a chimney and its components. These vary in material and purpose.

  • Round wire brushes are the standard brush used for most flue and pipe cleanings.
  • A smoke chamber brush is used for cleaning the smoke chamber specifically.
  • Noodle brushes are typically used for firebox cleaning corners, or wherever a small brush is needed.
  • Duct cleaning brushes are for cleaning ducts.
  • Flat wire star brushes take care of harder to clean surfaces like mortar or tile.

You’ll find quite a few of these brushes available on the market. Grab a few of each of the more common ones to get started. Fill out your inventory as you expand.

Extension rods

Extension rods allow greater reach throughout the chimney. They come in varying material types and sizes. Some materials include nylon flexible rods, polypropylene rods, fiberglass rods, and rigid steel rods. Flexible rods allow slight bending to occur, but require a torque “spin-up” time. Rigid extension rods don’t bend, but provide immediate torque. 

Power Drill

Use a solid drill rated for a long lifetime. Generally, an AC powered drill will give you all the power you need, even with multiple extension rods attached to the brush.

Hand Brush

Hand brushes can help to get into the cramped areas and spots a drill-powered brush cannot reach. Most chimneys have corners and small areas that require a more delicate touch. You can also use a hand brush to sweep up debris into a vacuum.

Vacuum

Get all the loose material on a job site swept up in a tidy manner by sucking them up with a vacuum. You’ll find many small, industrial-grade chimney cleaning models on the market.

Roofing Safety Harness

Stay safe when you need to climb the roof to inspect or clean the top of the flue and cap. Strap yourself to the roof in case of a slip to avoid potential injury. These harnesses save lives.

Specialized Chimney Camera

Closely inspect areas throughout the chimney with a specialized camera suited for the job. Run the camera through the chimney and pipes to inspect for buildup. These can get to the areas of the chimney a hand-and-mirror setup just cannot reach. They provide a complete picture and can record the feed for later review.

Ladders

Keep a ladder or two on hand to get to the roof for inspecting the cap, crown, and all other components. Shop around for a strong, reliable ladder that will get you to the heights you need. An extension ladder should reach the highest of roofs.

Drop Cloth

Lay this out in front of the chimney foundation to protect the carpet or other flooring from the debris of cleaning. The last thing you want to do is leave your customer’s property dirty after completing a “cleaning” job. Regularly clean/replace your drop cloths.

With these items in your inventory you can ensure your customers will receive the best service. Shop around and avoid cheaply built materials so you do not end up wasting time and money on something that will break on the job. Stay prepared, stay safe, and most importantly provide a safe chimney to fire up in those cold winter months.