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Chimney Sweep Brush: What is it and how it works

A chimney sweep brush is undeniably the most important tool to a chimney sweep. If you are a fan of Victorian-era movies, you would probably think of it as the only tool needed for a sparkling chimney.

So what exactly is a chimney sweep brush, and how does it work to clean up your sooty chimney?

What it is and how it works

The Collins dictionary defines a chimney sweep brush as “a specialized brush made of strips of steel or wire used to cleanse the interior of a flue from soot and creosote.”

Most chimney brushes are designed to reach your chimney’s nooks and crannies to remove soot and creosote. Undoubtedly, they play a crucial role in the cleaning process.

A chimney sweep brush cannot function independently. It is fitted to several chimney rods, one at a time, as it moves up the flue. The number of rods you use will depend on your chimney’s height.

If you choose a chimney brush that perfectly fits your flue, you’ll need little effort to move the rods in an up-down motion to allow the chimney brush to clear up the debris.

With each rod addition, take enough time to work the brush upwards and downwards to clear away soot and creosote buildup. You can repeat this procedure as many times as you need.

Types of Chimney sweep brushes

Since there’s no standard fireplace chimney, you need to select a chimney sweep brush that suites your chimney. Below is a list of brushes you can choose from:

1.    Wire Chimney brush

This is the most commonly used chimney sweep brush. It is not recommended for metal chimneys because of the tendency to cause scratches.

There are two versions of the wire chimney brush; the regular and the master sweep version. The latter has more bristles and makes the chimney sweeping process faster and easier.

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2.    Flat wire chimney brush

This chimney brush type is most suitable in chimneys with evident creosote buildup. They are stiffer than regular wire brushes and provide a great scraping action. Like the wire chimney brush, the flat wire brush is not recommended for use in metal chimneys.

3.    Poly brush

This should be your go-to brush if you have a metal chimney. Poly brushes are very stiff and are often recommended for use when there’s significant creosote buildup. On the downside, their stiffness prevents them from going around bends. Nevertheless, if flexibility is at the top of your priority list, you can opt for a prefab poly brush.

How to choose the right chimney sweep brush

The right chimney sweep brush will make the cleaning process easier and give you the best results. When choosing a brush, be sure to select the shape and size that matches your chimney.

For metal or prefabricated chimneys, you need to measure the distance across the inner diameter. If yours is a masonry chimney, measure the inner flue linings dimensions. Knowing your chimney size and shape will help you purchase a chimney brush that fits your chimney like a glove, and give you the results you desire.

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