Some tools are required for the job, and then there are tools you can have that will make your job easier. Every chimney sweep has a wish list, yet there are several essential tools that every professional sweep should have. Knowing what tools chimney sweeps use will help you understand what goes into the work, and professionals should understand them.
We have assembled a list of essential tools for all chimney sweeps, some of which are mandatory. Having the right tools for the job makes your job easier, and in the end, you’ll get a much better result.
We have assembled a list of tools and organized them into several sections.
- Wire brushes
- Power tools and vacuums
- Additional tools
Let’s take a look at some of these tools here:
The first type of tool in any chimney sweep’s arsenal is the wire brush. Wire brushes are relatively inexpensive and functional for just about any chimney cleaning work. There are several types of brushes in a professional’s chimney sweep kit.
1. The Smoke Chamber Brush
The smoke chamber within a chimney needs adequate cleaning; otherwise, improper cleaning can lead to potential house fires. The smoke chamber brush permits you to eliminate soot from built-up areas in the client’s chimney. If you don’t remove soot from the smoke chamber, it can fall into the firebox and create fire hazards in the home.
2. The Polypropylene Brush
Ideal for metal material chimneys, this brush uses a combination of plastics and bristles to clean up chimneys thoroughly. These chimney cleaning brushes are typically unaffected by the built-up acidic effects found within gas chimney flues or coal.
3. The Long Wire Brush
You will want to use the long wire brush when encountering hard-to-clean and hard-to-reach spots. These wire chimney brushes have a design that features an oil tempered spring wire for complete and thorough chimney sweeping. These brushes are perfect for working within chimneys fabricated with stone.
4. Chimney Sweeping Rod
The chimney sweeping rod kit is flexible, and it will hold a variety of different brushes.
Usually, they are about 3 feet long and easily bent or positioned, which provides a perfect solution for cleaning chimneys with challenging architecture. The versatility of this chimney brush rod allows you to adapt to any structural changes you may encounter on the job without needing to fidget with other chimney sweep equipment.
Cleaners You Will Need
Chimneys contain various materials that need to be cleaned with professional cleaners.
All chimneys require cleaning with professional cleaners. At times, you may need a variety of products in your chimney cleaning kit for different types of jobs.
5. Glass Cleaner or Ceramic Glass Cleaner
One area that gets overlooked by some is the fireplace door, and you will need a glass cleaner to take care of that item. Also, you may need ceramic glass cleaner. If you encounter ceramic glass, you need a cleaning agent specifically designed for ceramic glass.
As part of your fireplace cleaning tools, you may also need a hearth and grill conditioning liquid that permits you to remove creosote or soap buildup. This happens as there is often chemical accumulation on the surface of the ceramic glass.
6. Creosote Remover Cleaner
Creosote buildup is a real problem for most chimneys. A chemical cleaner that works to remove creosote within airtight fireplaces is the best way to prevent future complications. For some, you will need a powder-based formula that will remove any soot or ash accumulation. You may also need creosote remover to work on the metal flues in some chimneys.
Regular maintenance to combat accumulation directly improves airflow for zero clearance fireplaces. It is a popular trend for newer home models to have zero clearance fireplaces.
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Power Tools and Vacuums
In other stages of chimney work, you will need to have various equipment suitable to clean the chimney. Several types of power tools are essential for any chimney sweep.
7. Industrial-Grade Chimney Vacuum System
You always have to keep your workspace contained, well-kept, and as clean as possible. If you have a high-grade chimney vacuum system, you can easily clean up the mess associated with working on chimneys. They are also good to remove pollutants released when you are engaging in the cleaning process.
You will want an excellent industrial-grade vacuum with many professional-grade filters. These vacuums clean out the different dirt and chemical particles when cleaning chimneys. They are also good at removing dust and debris.
8. Chimney Sweep Inspection Camera
Having an inspection camera is an excellent idea as you can inspect the chimney before you get down into it, so you know what you’re going to be working with before you begin working. You could also use it to show clients what is going on in the chimney.
A client who can see what you are referring to will be easier to coordinate to get the job done correctly and to their standard. With a visual representation of the necessary work, negotiating terms and maintenance with clients is more manageable.
You should get a quality inspection camera that features a recording video capability, as this enables you to track your progress as you clean the client’s chimney. You can also use this to show the client when you finish the job.
9. Power Sweeping Tool
You will want to get a power sweeping tool that features a rotary system so that you can sweep outflows. When cleaning the customer’s chimney, you can use the tool by putting it through the pipe of the chimney’s opening and then pushing it upwards. A power sweeping tool can save you from using ladders or trying to climb on the roof to clean up the flues, which makes the work safer and more efficient.
Additional Equipment you need
You will also need a variety of other critical equipment essential for the chimney cleaning work.
10. Face Respirator
A respirator is an essential piece of equipment to protect you from dangerous chemicals that can cause cancer or other bodily harm. You will need a face respirator to protect you from inhaling hazardous chemicals while performing the cleaning work in your client’s chimney. These face respirators usually have a filter and allow safe breathing while performing your job.
11. Masonry Sealant
The mortar in masonry chimneys can break down if exposed to excess moisture, which causes the bricks to disintegrate. Other effects of excessive damp include interior water damage, tilting chimney structure, and disintegrating mortar.
Applying masonry sealant to your chimney will prevent future deterioration by helping trap water vapors. When you apply masonry sealant, you pour the liquid into the pores of the chimney bricks. This sealant creates resistance against moisture to prevent future damage to the chimney.
12. Lighting Fixtures
Proper lighting is instrumental in the cramped, dark spaces of chimneys. You will also want to have several lights to illuminate the work area. You will need a powerful lighting system, and these are also necessary when you are inspecting the chimney area. You can also use them to show the homeowner’s work area and identify problems.
13. Inspection Mirrors are an Option
You may not be able to afford an inspection camera for your work toolkit. In this case, you can buy an inexpensive inspection mirror and use it to take views of the client’s chimney and see its condition before you take other measures. While a mirror may not provide the same reach or clarity as a video system, it will still allow you to see potential hazards or damages that you will need to discuss with the client.
Before you Go
This is a list of the essential chimney sweep tools you will need to perform chimney sweeping work. If you can think of other tools or equipment that are going to help you, by all means, add them to your chimney brush kit. If you can’t afford everything on this list, make sure you have enough equipment that it’s going to be able to get the job done properly for the safety of your client.
Above all, you will want to make sure that you are correctly performing the job and that your client’s chimney is going to be completely clean by the time you finish. No matter what happens, you will want to make sure that there is no fire hazard or potential other dangerous conditions that could exist by the time you complete your work.
Safety is the number one concern for a chimney sweep; after all, you are there in the first place. There is no worse outcome than for a chimney sweep to be hired and not properly clean the chimney.
Getting the equipment needed for the job is part of a chimney sweep’s responsibility. You can get most of these tools for a relatively reasonable amount of money, and you can purchase optional, expensive instruments when you start to make money off of your work.
You will find that if you have the right tools and can perform a safe, efficient, and thorough job, you will satisfy your clients and receive a good reputation. Using the right equipment for the job is indispensable, especially when cleaning chimneys.