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Chimney & Fireplaces/cleaning smoke shelf or top of fire place


how hard is it to take damper out so top of fire place can be cleaned?  I sweep the flue at least twice a season. but failed to clean top of fire place.  had a small fire, but held it down with foam extinguishers until firedepartment arrived. I need to clean off top as it still has some ash and other material on top.   Thanks  Mel

Hello Mel, if  you have a traditional masonry fireplace the damper should come out very easily there should be a cotter pin that holds the damper in place, remove it and save, then lift out the damper up on one side then lower the low side down into the fire box and out, wear gloves, safety glasses mask and run the biggest vac you have and open a window in that room, reach up with your arm and hand and sweep off the Shelf after it is clean replace the damper, handle and cotter pin and you are done.
if the damper wont come out then you have to get behind it with a vac hose.
hope this helped

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James Ball


I am a chimney sweep with over 22 years of experience, CSIA certified and member of the NCSG, I can answer questions about smoky fire places, wood stoves, and heating units (boiler and furnace chimneys) do you need a relining? A cap? And much more


over 22 years

Chimney Safety Institute of America, National Chimney Sweep Guild

CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified

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