What Kind of Tools do Chimney Techs Use?
Chimney techs, also known as chimney sweeps, are professionals who inspect, clean, maintain, and repair chimneys. You may ask- what kind of tools do chimney techs use? They use a range of tools and equipment to ensure that your chimney functions safely and efficiently. A chimney sweep’s goal is to remove a highly flammable substance known as creosote. Every time you burn a log in your fireplace, creosote is created. It can build up inside the flue and start a chimney fire if left alone; it also causes a strong smell in the summer when the weather is warmer. With that in mind, let’s review some of the tools chimney techs use in their work.
Tools of the Trade
The primary tool used by chimney techs is the chimney brush. These brushes come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different chimney types and dimensions. Wire brushes with stiff bristles are used for masonry chimneys, while polypropylene brushes are preferred for metal chimneys to prevent damage to materials.
So that they can reach the entire length of the chimney, chimney sweeps use rods that connect to the brushes. These rods are made of fiberglass or metal and can be extended by connecting multiple rods together.
Chimney techs use a specialized industrial vacuum cleaner to remove soot, ash, and debris from the chimney and fireplace. These vacuums are equipped with HEPA filters to ensure harmful particles do not escape into the air during cleaning.
Tarps and Drop Cloths
To protect the home’s interior during the cleaning process, chimney sweeps use tarps and drop cloths to cover the surrounding area of the fireplace. It is still recommended that furniture and items on the mantle be removed to prevent them from getting damaged.
Technicians utilize inspection cameras or chimney video scopes to get a clear view of the interior. These cameras are mounted on flexible rods, allowing them to navigate through bends and turns in the chimney that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
Flashlights and Mirrors
Adequate lighting is crucial when inspecting the interior of a chimney. Chimney techs use flashlights, headlamps, and mirrors to enhance visibility and identify potential issues.
As previously stated, creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up on the chimney walls as a byproduct of burning wood. Chimney techs use creosote removers in the form of chemicals, sprays, or powders to help break down and remove the buildup.
Smoke Puff Testers
Sometimes hairline leaks and blockages are difficult to see, even with a camera. To test for leaks or blockages in the chimney, technicians use smoke puff testers. This equipment generates smoke that is blown into the chimney, revealing any obstructions or compromised areas.
Ladders and Roof Harnesses
In order to access the exterior parts of the chimney, chimney sweeps use ladders and roof harnesses for safety. These tools enable them to climb onto roofs and inspect chimney caps, crowns, and flashing. Roof harnesses are especially important in winter when ice and snow make the footing on your roof slippery.
Basic hand tools you might find in your toolbox, such as hammers, chisels, pliers, and screwdrivers, are used by chimney techs for various tasks like removing damaged bricks, repairing or replacing metal components, and adjusting chimney caps.
To Sum Up
These tools are just some of the essential equipment that chimney techs use to ensure the proper functioning and safety of chimneys. Annual maintenance and inspections performed by professional chimney sweep can prevent chimney fires and other hazards.
Does Your Chimney Need Inspection or Repair?
If it’s been over a year since your last chimney inspection, let Felgemacher Masonry and Chimney inspect your fireplace. Call 716-907-4914 in the greater Buffalo area or 585-308-4914 if you live in, the greater Rochester area. We will happily schedule a time when our techs can come out and inspect your chimney. We are members of the Northeast Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association. Our techs are National Fireplace Institute certified, so you can count on us for the professionalism to get it done right.