Stove heating is still popular in country houses. But along with the use of stoves, the problem of cleaning the chimney riser from soot and other deposits also arises. You can use the services of professional chimney sweeps, or you can save money and clean the chimney yourself. The main thing is to know how and with what to do it.
Causes and dangers of clogging stove chimneys
When fuel is burned, soot and soot are always formed. Most of it is carried out by thrust. But a certain amount settles on the inner surface of the chimney. The main causes of clogged chimneys:
- Weak traction in the riser. Incomplete combustion of fuel leads to abundant soot formation.
- The use of resinous firewood. Resins are mixed with soot, forming a dense, hard-to-remove mixture.
- Burning household waste and plastics in an oven. The substances released during this also contribute to the deposition of soot on the inner walls.
If you do not clean the chimney from soot in time, then its abundant layers will not only worsen the operation of the stove, but can also become a source of danger for people living in the house. Here is what happens when large deposits form in the furnace chimney:
- The traction is reduced. This leads not only to possible smoke, but also to the accelerated formation of new soot.
- Under adverse weather conditions, «thrust rollover» can occur. In this case, the smoke from the furnace will go inside the room. There is a risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Soot fire in the chimney. This will lead to the destruction of the inner walls of the pipe from overheating, and with a large amount of soot — to a fire.
Beyond these real dangers, long breaks in chimney cleaning will allow deposits to coke. After that, removing them from the walls will be much more difficult.
Folk remedies for soot removal
For a long time using stoves, methods have been developed to help remove small layers of soot in the pipe and prevent their further growth. The use of these tools will make it possible to clean the chimney in the stove of a private house on your own without much effort and expense. Under their influence, soot lags behind the walls of the pipe and either flies away with the smoke to the outside, or crumbles into the furnace.
It is useful to pour a few tablespoons on prepared firewood before lighting the stove. The vapors of burnt salt soften the soot that has already settled on the pipe walls and do not allow new layers to be fixed.
Potatoes are rich in starch, which, when burned, also releases substances that help separate soot from the walls of the chimney. For one kindling, you can burn up to 5 kg of this product. It is not necessary to use just cleaning, spoiled tubers will do. But it is better to dry all the material in advance so that excess moisture does not worsen the combustion process. Instead of potatoes, you can use legumes — peas, soybeans — or buckwheat and rice grains. They also contain starch.
It has the same effect on soot deposits. The only problem is that it is difficult to stock up on a large amount of this tool.
It must be used in a well-heated oven. The powder is thrown into a red-hot furnace, but the unpleasant odor emitted during combustion can enter the heated room. For this reason, it cannot be used to clean the pipes coming from the fireplace.
Their action is based on a different principle. Aspen has a high combustion temperature. Hot air from them does not soften the soot, but burns it. But the use of high-temperature firewood with abundant overgrowth of the pipe is dangerous, since the ignition of a large amount of soot can cause a fire.
But for a fresh thin layer and as a prophylactic, aspen cleaning is quite effective.
Alder and birch firewood also have a similar effect. But birch, and especially its birch bark, emit a large amount of soot when burned. Therefore, aspen is preferable.
Modern chemistry for soot removal
The action of various reagents is based on the same principle as folk remedies — the transformation of soot into a structure that is unable to adhere to the walls of the chimney. But an industrial cleaner for stove chimneys contains a whole set of pre-prepared substances that act on soot. Therefore, its action is especially effective. Of the numerous reagents of this kind, the following can be noted.
This abbreviation stands for anti-scale chemical composition. Produced in the form of a powder packaged in paper bags. It is not required to pour it on firewood prepared for kindling, you can throw an unopened package on them. The consumption of funds is minimal — 200 g is enough for 1 ton of firewood.
Czech means for removing soot and soot layers of small thickness. Also available in sachets. The manufacturer recommends using it at least 1-2 times a month.
log chimney sweep
It is a pressed briquette made of sawdust and wax with the addition of several chemicals. It is produced in the standard version — 25 cm long and shortened — 15 cm for small-sized stoves. It burns without the formation of soot, and loosens the soot already on the walls until it falls down. For preventive cleaning of the chimney, it is recommended to use 2 — 3 logs per heating season.
A powder agent that acts not only on soot and soot, but also allows you to clean the walls of tar and other dense soot. Under its action, the solid layers are transformed into small crystals, which crumble down from the movement of air.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to understand that only folk remedies and industrial chemicals are not able to completely clean the chimney from large accumulations of soot. They are good against fresh, thin layers, useful for preventing grime from setting on walls, and as a pre-treatment before a thorough cleaning of the entire chimney.
Mechanical methods for removing soot
Traditional cleaning of the chimney from the side of the roof and using simple tools is still the best way to free the entire smoke channel from a variety of soot, and in case of serious blockages in the chimney, the only effective method.
Do-it-yourself cleaning of the stove chimney is impossible without a few tools that can be purchased at specialized stores. But some of them are easy to do with your own hands. These include:
- chains or strong ropes for lowering cleaning devices into the chimney channel;
- heavy weights for breaking through thick layers of soot;
- a variety of ruffs with weights for cleaning the chimney from the roof;
- the same ruffs, but fixed on a flexible cable for work from inside the house;
- Scrapers and brushes with a hard bristle on a long handle for removing particularly stubborn dirt.
Before carrying out direct cleaning of the chimney, preparatory measures are necessary:
- it is advisable to heat the stove using a folk or chemical agent to soften soot,
- after cooling, cover the stove cloth with a damp cloth to prevent soot falling from the chimney from escaping through the cracks,
- close the firebox and blower doors tightly,
- gate open fully.
To carry out cleaning work, it is necessary to climb onto the roof along with the necessary devices. Further actions depend on the degree of overgrowth of the chimney with soot:
- With thick layers of soot on the inner walls, primary collapse is carried out. To do this, use a weight without additional cleaners. In this case, it must not be allowed to sway, as a heavy object can damage the pipe walls.
- The main cleaning is carried out using metal ruffs attached to a rope or chain along with a weighting agent.
- Protrusions, outgrowths and areas with dense layers of soot are processed with scrapers on long handles.
- Fine cleaning is carried out with brushes with long pile.
After carrying out these actions, it is necessary to remove the soot that has fallen down from the furnace furnace.
In this way, straight chimneys are easily cleaned. But if there are curved sections in the chimneys, they can be cleaned from below from the side of the firebox or through special doors in the riser. It is especially convenient to do this in a fireplace chimney.
There are alternative ways to remove soot. One of them — vacuum cleaning — is based on creating a powerful thrust at the upper end of the pipe. For this, special installations or improvised mechanisms are used to replace them — vacuum cleaners, fans, chainsaws. Under their action, soot is blown out of the chimney.
Some craftsmen use firecrackers that explode inside the chimney to collapse a large layer of soot.
Chimney Blockage Prevention Tips
Particular attention should be paid to the smoothness of the inner surface of the chimney. It will be difficult for soot to catch on it, and it will either fly out or fall down.
At the design stage of the furnace, you can consider the option of using a sleeved chimney. In it, brickwork creates a pipe frame, and a separate sleeve made of galvanized steel, stainless steel or ceramics is inserted into the inside.
For an already built chimney, it is useful to do the following:
- if possible, heat the stove with hardwood firewood;
- do not put polyethylene, plastic and household waste in the furnace;
- do not use raw firewood;
- at the end of each firebox, burn 2 — 3 aspen or alder logs for the prompt destruction of fresh soot;
- carry out mechanical cleaning before the start of each heating season;
- If the oven is used continuously, use chemicals every month.
If there are signs of clogging of the chimney, it is important not to postpone cleaning, but to immediately call a chimney sweep or start independent work. Removing old soot will be both more difficult and more expensive.