How to Choose a Chimney Brush

Since there is no standard fireplace chimney, before you decide which size and type of chimney brush you will need to clean your chimney you'll have to first measure the inner dimensions of your fireplace or woodstove chimney. To measure the inner dimensions of your chimney, you will need to climb up on your roof. When accessing your roof, use the proper safety equipment and use caution as you measure the inner dimensions of your chimney.


cleaning a chimney

How to Measure the Diameter of a Metal/Pre-Fabricated Chimney:

For metal or pre-fabricated chimneys you'll need to remove the chimney cap then measure the distance across the inner diameter of the chimney. Select either a round wire or poly brush that is the same diameter as your chimney. A Poly brush is recommended for metal chimneys since it won't scratch and wear down the inner stainless steel lining.


How to Measure the Diameter of a Masonry Chimney:

measuring for a chimney brush

For masonry chimneys you'll need to measure the inner flue liner dimensions both directions. Buy a brush that is at least as big as your chimney liner otherwise it will not reach the side walls of your chimney and won't do an adequate job. If you buy a chimney brush that is too big then it will be harder to get down the chimney but will work unless excessively oversized. If you have an oval chimney liner then you could buy a brush as large as the rectangular dimensions would be then snip off the tines to make it oval. Some oval sized chimney brushes are available. Call us if you can't find what you need.

chimney brushes

Wire bristle chimney brushes are most commonly used and generally do a great job. Homeowner versions and Master Sweep versions are available. The Master Sweep version has more bristles and will generally make the job easier and faster. Wire bristle brushes are not recommended for metal chimney flues.



chimney brushes

Flat Wire Bristle chimney brushes are stiffer than regular wire bristle brushes and the flat tines provide better scraping action: great when glaze creosote is present.




chimney brushes

Poly chimney brushes are recommended for use in metal chimneys as they don't scratch the chimney walls. Standard poly brushes are very stiff and may be difficult to work into a very dirty chimney and also do not go around any bends that may be present in a chimney system. Pre-Fab poly brushes are more flexible and are recommended where bends are present or heavy amounts of creosote make cleaning difficult with standard poly brushes.



chimney brushes

Fiberglass rods do not have a lot of bend in them. They should be used in flues that are pretty much a straight shot. The 5SB-30624M rods will flex up to 90 degrees to allow you to enter the flue through most fireplaces but will not go through a 45 degree elbow in the flue. The 5SB-36048M rods do not have much flex in them at all. They are good for straight flues with heavy creosote buildup requiring strength for pushing through the buildup.





chimney brushes

Super Flexible Rods are used in chimneys where there are tight bends present. These rods will bend around 90 degree bends or more. Due to the extreme flexibility and thin rod diameter they may become too flexible in long chimney runs. They are best used when the bend is at the end of chimney and can be used in combination with other style rods.




chimney brushes

ProFlex Poly Rods are designed to be flexible enough to go through sharp bends, offsets, breaches, or thimbles; their flush brass fittings stop flue tile hang-up. Although large in diameter these polypropylene rods are flexible and versatile. These rods are generally too flexible for scraper use. Using an adapter you can attach any brush or rod that has a 3/8" NPT.



chimney brushes

Adapters are available to connect Lock-Fast Rod directly to Proflex Rods, quick connects, and several others.






chimney brushes

ProKleen 5 Foot Steel Rod - The 5' rod is made of 1/4" steel. Use the 1' Starter Rod to insert into your heavy-duty drill and then attach the other rods to your starter rod. These rods may also be used as replacement rods for the RoKleen System. The ProKleen Rods feature a spring-loaded, locking mechanism that won't unscrew. Thus, your drill can rotate your ProKleen System in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. 1 Foot Starter Rod and 2.5 Foot Rod sold separately.



chimney brushes

While you are concentrating on finding a brush for your chimney, you might as well consider getting a chimney cap too. Chimney caps not only cure drafting issues they also prevent animals, weather elements, and debris from entering your chimney. Chimney caps also keep water and moisture from penetrating the layers of the chimney liner and causing premature failure and other chimney problems.



cleaning a chimney

Failure to properly clean your chimney can have some serious consequences. Overtime as creosote builds up on the interior of your chimney and passes through the three stages it becomes more and more detrimental to the structure and function of your chimney and also the safety of your home and family. As creosote develops it becomes extremely flammable and could cause a major house fire. Choosing the right chimney brush and regularly inspecting and cleaning your chimney with creosote remover will reduce the risk of a devastating chimney fire and keep your chimney operating to it's greatest potential.

If you are looking for a chimney cleaning product you don't see please call us toll free at 866-NORTHLINE (866-667-8454) or email us.