New Year, New Fireplace? Replace or Clean?

So, it’s a brand new year – and you are thinking about how nasty your fireplace (and probably chimney) is after this last seasons enjoyment.

You’ve been thinking about maybe remodeling your fireplace and mantle area, but you’re also contemplating just giving it a good clean and restoring as much of it as possible to it’s glory.

What should you do?

First, we could encourage you to simply use the old “pros vs. cons” method to see what may be best for you. In the process, don’t forget to include pricing and your time spent.

If you think you may want to try your efforts on cleaning and doing it all on your own… here are a few helpful tips in doing so:


    • Take a flashlight and peer inside the chimney flute. Use a pencil or plastic knife to scrape off a bit of the creosote that has accumulated on the side of the chimney. If it’s 1/8-inch thick or thicker, it’s time for a cleaning.
    • If it has been awhile since the last time you used your chimney, check for critters before you begin cleaning. Birds, squirrels and raccoons like to nest there, especially in the cooler months. Shine a flashlight up the chimney from the fireplace, and if you find an animal, take steps to have it removed.
    • To clean your chimney, you’ll have to use properly-sized tools. Measure the sides of your chimney from the bottom, through the fireplace. You could also climb up a ladder and measure it from the top.
      • Determine the size and shape of the flue. It will be either square or round, 6″ or 8.”
      • Determine the height of the chimney. If you’re guessing, it’s better to overestimate, so you have more than enough extra rope or piping to make sure the chimney brush can reach the entire length of the chimney.
      • A chimney brush, either wire or plastic. Use your chimney’s measurements to buy the right size.
      • Chimney brush extension pipes, to help you clean the whole length of the chimney. Alternatively, you could buy a weighted rope designed to be used with the chimney brush, or a rope pulley system.
      • A smaller stiff wire brush.
      • A plastic tarp or drop cloth for use inside your house.
      • A ladder tall enough to reach your roof, if you plan to clean your chimney from the top down.
      • A broom and dustpan.
      • A dust mask and goggles.Go to the hardware store and buy the following items in preparation for cleaning the chimney:
    • Wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting messy with soot. Cover your hair with a bandanna. You may want to wear work gloves to protect your hands. Use a dust mask and goggles to prevent soot from getting in your mouth and eyes.
    • Drape the drop cloth or tarp around your fireplace, extending it out into your living room several feet. Use sheets or tarps to cover furniture with light fabric.

THEN, start cleaning!!

Well, if that already sounds like way more than you want to tackle on your own… here’s a one step simpler method:

Call us here at First Choice Chimney, and we will professionally inspect AND properly clean your chimney for you: (817) 791-4606   And yes, we are CSIA Certified!