How to Clear Out a Blocked Chimney

  • 5-10 hours
  • Advanced
  • 150-800
What You'll Need
Cleaning brushes
Bungee Cord
Goggles or other Eye Wear
Sheets or drop cloth

Chimney cleaning is one of the most important things you can do for your chimney. It will protect your home against fires and other damages caused by the accumulation of soot and creosote, the residue left in a used fireplace. Creosote is the cause of many house fires and it has carcinogenic effects. A blocked chimney will trap the creosote in and may ignite a fire. Here is what you can do to clear out a blocked chimney.

Step 1 – Get Out the Ladder

Get your ladder out of the garage and place it against your house. Extend the ladder until it meets with your roofline. Shake the ladder to make sure it is secure on the ground. Have a friend come out and hold the ladder steady as you climb.

Step 2 – Get Onto the Roof

Climb the ladder until you reach the roof line. Transfer yourself from the ladder onto the roof. Again, be careful. Make sure your helper is down below holding the ladder for you while you transfer from the ladder to the roof. Make your way to the chimney and chimney cap.

Step 3 – Clean the Chimney Cap

Before you begin, put on a pair of gloves and your eye goggles or mask. Safety always should be first. Pull the chimney cap off the chimney and clean it using a soft scrubbing brush. You will want to remove any big pieces or particles that are inside the chimney cap. Place the chimney cap in a bucket and attach the bucket with a bungee cord around your chimney piece.

Step 4 – Check the Top of the Chimney

Use your flashlight to check the top portion of the chimney. Using a brush, poke inside the top portion and push down or pull out any debris or blocked pieces. Throw them in your bucket.

Step 5 – Put Your Chimney Cap Back

Put the chimney cap back and get back down off the ladder. Now it’s time to head indoors

Step 6 – Cover the Room

Cover the room with drop cloths. Soot can get everywhere and this is a dirty job.

Step 7 – Check the Chimney

Get yourself positioned so you can push a flashlight up the chimney. Take a look to see where there may be additional pieces or things that are blocking your chimney. Once you have them identified, proceed to the next step

Step 8 – Insert Brush

Insert the wire brush into your chimney. Push the wire brush to the location that you see is blocked. Rub the brush over and under the sides of the chimney until you have freed up the blockage. The debris should fall to the base of your fireplace. Clean up the debris and the room. You should now consider hiring a professional chimney sweep to give your chimney a good overhaul.