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Wood Burning: If It Ain't Drafting It's Time to Clean the Chimney

Updated on January 23, 2016

Creosote is the Enemy


It Ain't Me - Really!!!

Apparently, your nose knows when your chimney is starting to plug up. The not so subtle signs are evident of venting gone awry are there long before it completely closes up.

When you open your door to put a new log in, there should not be any smoke hitting your face. That is a direct hint that your chimney is not drafting properly.

We Have a Tall Chimney

Our chimney is a little taller than the height of our two story house. The chimney is approximately 28 feet tall. We bought some screw together sticks at Menards with a square bristle cleaning brush and we need 7 of them to reach the bottom of the chimney.

Cleaning Requires Climbing a Ladder

My husband isn't afraid of heights, so he is nominated to climb up there and force this cleaning stick down the chimney.

My duty is to go into the basement and shovel whatever he knocks down the chimney into a metal bucket for disposal outside in our fire pit.

Our Chimney Had Creosote Built Up

Creosote is a black, crispy coating that gets stuck on the inside of your chimney walls and your chimney pipes. It builds up and suddenly you notice that your fire doesn't stay lit, or doesn't even start. Or, if it does start, the smoke puffs out from the firebox or from the pipe leading to the chimney.

It Needs to be Out When You Clean

If you are planning to clean your chimney, the firebox should be free of burning objects, since the person looking into the chimney needs to be able to work on it without getting cooked like a bad barbeque.

Yes. Smoke is hot and will injury you if you are not careful. Be careful. Safety first.

It's bad enough that you are up on that chimney to start with. Better not add breathing smoke to your list of bad things to do. That ground is a long ways down.

Note: It's not the fall that kills you. It's that abrupt stop at the ground that does the damage.


Clean Chimney = Happy Fire


Easy Store Brushes Screw Together


How About You

Do You Use Wood to Burn for Heat in Your Home?

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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      2 years ago from New York

      Nicely done. A creosote buildup in your chimney can certainly start a house fire. Very dangerous. We can't be reminded to clean out the chimney enough!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      It's very important to keep those chimneys clean.

      Helpful hub.


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