Chimney help!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by stonerebel, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. stonerebel

    stonerebel Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    I have a fireplace in the den which is over 120yrs old. I have been here five years and I have not used it. The brick and motar looks good from the outside. I will not use to heat with only use for looks so no real big fire will be used. What should I look for before I set a small fire to make sure it draws good. What is the best way to clean it?
  2. groovy mike

    groovy mike Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    start by looking up the flu and check to be sure you can see day light. I know it sounds obvious - but the chimney could be blocked with leaves, dead birds, ANYTHING.

    If you can see light from above, start by putting a lit candle in to warm the air in the chimney.

    If you can see smoke or feel the air going up instead of feeling cold air pushing down - step up to burning just a handful of paper and see where the smoke goes.

    As for cleaning - you can buy a flu sized brush and extending pole pretty cheaply - but I would strongly recommend hiring a chimney sweep to inspect it just this once to ensure that it is safe to use.

  3. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

    Jul 29, 2003
    flatlands of Ohio - sigh
    Isn't there supposedly some kind of "log" that you can buy that burns the creosote, etc., out of the chimney. I remember hearing that this "log" was $25 or so, and pretty expensive, but cheaper than a yearly cleaning bill.
  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Feb 24, 2003
    First off I would have someone come out and inspect it.Go from there.

    In some ways I feel small fires are worse than big fires,because the build up creosote and don't bun it out.But when it does catch hold you have problems.

    big rockpile
  5. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    I would not recommend burning ANYTHING in your chimney until you have a qualified person check it out from the inside. If you don't know of or can't find a chimney sweep in your area, contact your local fire department. They may have someone who can do it or will likely know someone for you to contact...

    Our chimney was built when this house was built in 1965 but my father had a wood heater hooked up to it and had several chimney fires....they damaged the inside of the only takes ONE TINY CRACK for fire to slip through, catch wood on fire, and burn your house with you in it!

    We have a wood heater sitting on the hearth now but we have metal pipe INSIDE the brick chimney. the only problem we've had is rainwater coming in and rusting out the elbow where it turns to go up the chimney. We're having to replace that about every year, in spite of having a cap on the top.

    It's better to be careful than to be sorry later. Wood heat is wonderful, but even a tiny fire in a fireplace that hasn't been checked out can burn your wishes!
  6. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 4, 2004
    Yes yes yes to everything BamaSuzy said. We had to have our chimney inspected when we first moved here and good thing we did. We had to have it rebuilt due to cracks, and they put a metal liner in too. We have a cap on ours due to being sorta down in a valley here and catching all the down drafts, but even at that, we check and clean our chimney and stove pipes OFTEN. You just simply cannot be too careful. We also have a metal door on the outside of the chimney near the bottom that we use to help clean out the cresote ever so often. This door locks with a sealer. We also have a long metal poker the length of the chimney that we use by getting on the roof and poking it down to loosen any cresote that accumulates from time to time.