Chimney & Fireplace Cleaning Kit Rentals

If your property has a chimney, it’s completely natural to have questions about cleaning it. On this page, you’ll find answers to the most common questions about chimney cleaning, and by the end, you’ll see that the process has been largely demystified.

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How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney?

The required frequency of chimney cleaning is nuanced. However, according to guidelines posted by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, the national standard is to have a chimney inspected once a year and cleaned as necessary. The yearly inspection may sound unnecessary if you don’t use your chimney often, but that is not the case: Inactive chimneys can still deteriorate or collect problems such as animal nests.

Additionally, the CSIA’s take on open masonry fireplaces is that once they develop an eighth of an inch of sooty buildup, they need to be swept. The presence of glaze calls for sweeping sooner. Meanwhile, “factory-built fireplaces” require sweeping once “any appreciable buildup occurs” because they are quite vulnerable to acidic deposits. All this depends on how much you burn, what you burn, and the type of system you have.

Equipment Price Details
Equipment Rental, including visual inspection $150 (2 days) Each additional day $40
Filler (per cleaning) $25 Required to use this equipment
Shipping $75 Minimum amount
Written report $50 Available after inspection
Deposit $400 Refunded after return of equipment


Customers ask all the time how often should the fireplace be cleaned.
It all depends on three things.

How much wood do you burn?
What kind of wood are you burning?
What type of system do you have?


How Do You Tell if Your Fireplace Needs to Be Cleaned?

A thick Creosote on the back wall, damper or in the smoke chamber. If it is 1/8 of inch or more. Your system needs to be cleaned or inspected. A strong odor in your house when you have not been burning a fire. Smoke coming back into the house when using it.

What Type of Wood Should I Burn?

We recommend harder wood it is better for your system. Hardwood burns hotter and longer and it has less smoke. The manufactured logs like (Duraflame) are soaked in Paraffin/Wax the wax builds up faster so we recommend after 10 of the manufactured logs that you burn a wood fire to burn off the excess wax.

Do Chimney Sweeping Logs Work?

They do work but it depends on the type of buildup you have in your system. The logs only work on third-degree creosote. They don’t tell you that. (Caveat Emptor) The chemical in the log loosens the third-degree creosote but it is in small print they also say on the packaging (we recommend you call a chimney sweeping professional. The logs only work on the third-degree creosote. Caveat emptor: May the buyer beware.

How Long Does it Take to Clean a Fireplace?

The time it takes to clean a fireplace is a bit easier to estimate. According to HomeSaver, you can expect a chimney cleaning to take 45 minutes to an hour. Factors that may increase the time include blockages, the presence of creosote, and damage to the flue.

How Do You Know If Your Chimney Needs to Be Cleaned?

There are many signs that a cleaning is needed, as highlighted by Family Education. Keep an eye out for signals such as these:

  • The odor of burned wood emanating from the fireplace when it is not burning anything.
  • Overly smokey fires.
  • Poorly burning fires.
  • A damper “caked with creosote,” which will become black.

Can I Clean My Chimney Myself?

When it comes to the actual cleaning process, Family Education recommends hiring a professional for top-of-the-line results. A pro will take less time, deliver better results, and get dirty so you don’t have to. With that said, it is possible to adequately clean on your own. If you’re the DIY type, the only items you need are:

  • A ladder for roof access.
  • A broom for cleaning up debris and ash.
  • A flashlight to examine what you’ve done.
  • Additional sheets or cloths to cover nearby furniture and rugs.
  • A vacuum cleaner and a crevice attachment.
  • A chimney rod and brushes,
  • plus a long-handled, stiff-bristled cleaning brush (for the damper).
  • An old sheet or drop cloth and duct tape to attach it to the opening of the fireplace.
  • For your attire, you’ll need protective gear, including a dust mask and eye protection as well as gloves. Another recommendation is to wear clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty.

The best alternative is to order the cleaning kit from the Chimney Draft Doctor, which includes everything you need. If you’d like additional instructions, check out this handy guide from Bob Vila.

How Do You Start Your Wood-Burning System?

Make sure the fire grate is in the center and it is to the back wall and the damper is open. Start by putting kindling on the grate leaving space between the kindling for airflow. Kindling is 1 to 1 1/2 inch diameter sticks. Put another row of kindling the opposite direction leaving space between the kindling. You may need a third row. Now put newspaper underneath the grate. Crack a door or window 2 or 3 inches until the fire is burning. Now you can start the fire! You may need to warm up the flue by rolling up a newspaper and burning it like a candle. Put the remaining paper you were burning underneath the grate with the rest of the paper. Burn kindling for the first 15 minutes and then you can put bigger logs in. We recommend only season wood be used in your fireplace. Well seasoned wood has been allowed to dry for 6 to 12 months before burning it. Now you can enjoy the fire in your fireplace.

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Fireplace?

Neglecting to clean your fireplace can have dire consequences. The buildup of tar and other debris such as birds’ nests can ultimately result in a fire, according to American Environics. Therefore, to protect both life and property, it’s essential to keep your fireplace and chimney clean.