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What to Do If Your Chimney is Blocked

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Chimneys will get blocked as long as you use them, and the reasons are very common. Either some ash fragments are stuck to the inside of the chimney, or there is a physical blockage that you need to get rid of. 

Depending on what is blocking your chimney, you may need a variety of tools to clear the passageway of the flue. Anything flammable that is lodged in the chimney can be dangerous as it can cause the whole chimney to go up in smoke. If your chimney is blocked and you are unsure what to do, read on.

Determine the Blockage

Any number of things can cause a blocked chimney. Birds that choose to nest may drop debris down that gets stuck. Another animal may have looked for shelter in your chimney if it hasn’t been in use for a while. Regardless of the reason, you need to determine the blockage first so that you know what first step to take.

If you find an animal in your chimney, contact the local shelter or rescue team to help you. You don’t want to risk getting bitten by an animal that has been nesting in your chimney. You can avoid blockages like these if you install a chimney cap. Smoke will still be able to leave the chimney, but nothing will be able to climb down it.

Ready Your Supplies

Cleaning a blocked chimney is easy but time-consuming. You will need a few vital tools, such as safety goggles, wire or plastic brushes, extension pipes, a ladder, broom, and dustpan. There could be hazardous debris in the chimney, and if you work on it from the bottom, you will need to keep your face protected. Many of these parts can be obtained by looking into tool rental. Because you might only need to unblock a chimney once every few years, it can be expensive tools if you don’t utilize them often enough.

You not only need safety goggles, but a mask that will catch any dust from getting into your eyes, nose, or mouth. You will need a ladder to get to the roof and clear out any blockages from the top. It may require physical force with an extension pipe if the object is really stuck in there. You will need a tall ladder so consider ladder hire from a professional instead of buying your own.

Remove and Clean

Even if your chimney isn’t blocked, there will be signs that it needs cleaning. For instance, if smoke is escaping from the bottom, it’s a very clear indication that something is blocking the flue. This can be from moisture that has attached to remnants of wood ash. It can build up along the sides, narrowing the passage where the air escapes.

If at all possible, clean from the top down. You can avoid getting hit in the face by a large object, and you can extend pipes down much easier. From the top, you will also have a clearer view of the extent of the blockage.

With winter around the corner, be sure to check your chimney for any blockages so that you can have a warm festive season around the fire. 

partnered post • image by Pixabay

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