How to Sweep a Chimney

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Chimney brush and rod
  • Shop vacuum
Materials Required
  • Drop cloths
  • Respirator
  • Spot light or flashlight

Before You Begin

Below are the steps involved to clean a chimney. Not sure you want to tackle this job yourself? Click Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with local contractors.

  • Step 1 : Prepare the room

    Lay heavy drop cloths on the floor surrounding the hearth of the fireplace or wood stove to catch any debris or dust as it falls from the chimney when it is scoured with a brush and rod. Overlap them so they protect the floor and any nearby furniture. Close the fireplace damper.

  • Step 2 : Set up the ladder

    Carefully set up an extension ladder leaning it against the house so you can easily reach the top of the chimney. Have a helper hold the ladder while you climb and stand by as you work on the roof. Wear a respirator to protect your lungs from inhaling any residue that will be harmful.

  • Step 3 : Clean with a brush and rod

    Follow the directions to assemble the rod and brush and operate it being careful as you work. Use the flashlight to direct the brush to clean the interior surface of the chimney.

  • Step 4 : Clean up the interior

    Open the fireplace damper and have the shop vacuum ready to suck up any soot and debris that falls through the chimney flue onto the floor of the hearth. Carefully fold the drop cloths and remove them and shake out the debris.