When it comes to sweeping chimneys, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the chimney cleaning tools that are available on the market. Professionals generally use tools of a higher quality than homeowners. Homeowners generally use fiberglass rods with a twist lock connection. Professional chimney sweep brushes use a button lock system with a more durable rod. This heavier rod can be adapted for use with a drill or other rotary for enhanced cleaning. The single, thin fiberglass rods that homeowners use are not strong enough for such work. These varying thicknesses of rods are connected to chimney cleaning brushes.
Soft poly brushes are generally used to clean prefab units. These brushes fit perfectly in the round flue system of these metal chimneys to clean them. On the other hand there are square chimney sweep brushes which are used in rectangular or square flues. These brushes are made from heavier wire and are ideal for cleaning the corners of a chimney lined with flue tiles. There are brushes specifically formed for cleaning the smoke chamber. These brushes are shaped like a Don King hairdo and are spun around in the smoke chamber. This type of chimney brush is excellent at reaching all the nooks and crannies.
Chimney cleaning kits are also available for power brushing. Power brushing flue systems has become extremely popular in recent years. It is the most effective way to remove loose creosote that can be swept from the chimney. Glazed or tarred creosote is best removed with flat wire brushes. These brushes aren’t very common and can be expensive.
The most important chimney sweep tool however is the vacuum. Professional chimney sweep vacuums have multiple stage filters to prevent particulate matter from leaving the vacuum. Vacuums actually move air up the chimney to create a positive pressure draft in the chimney. Because of these vacuums soot doesn’t get all over the living room. Drop cloths are also very important because the vacuum itself is often dirty. Never use plastic on the floor because the static electricity will attract the particulate matter to the plastic instead of up and out the chimney.