Power WashingResidential Pressure Washing chimney power washing

Chimney power washing is an essential service that all property owners should include in their maintenance schedule. It may cost money, but the benefits are well worth the price. After all, a clean chimney ensures an overall appealing look, promotes safety and security, and can save owners a hefty sum in the long run.


Understanding Chimney Power Washing

Chimneys are a common fixture in homes and buildings. They play a crucial role in maintaining healthy living spaces by directing smoke and toxins that come from stoves and fireplaces. Of course, as with anything, chimneys can get dirty over time. They are even more prone to grime and other contaminants when used regularly.

While cleaning chimneys the old-fashioned way produces decent results, nothing quite compares to chimney pressure washing. A pressure or power washer is a more effective tool for cleaning chimneys, as it combines high-pressure water with powerful detergents to produce good-as-new results. A power washer also uses heated water, which tends to be better suited for removing stubborn stains, oil, and grease.


Can You Power Wash a Chimney?

Given how forceful pressure washers can be, it is understandable to be concerned about potential damage. Using a pressure or power washer is a great way to clean a chimney effectively and efficiently. While you can undoubtedly pressure wash a chimney, it is essential to be mindful of the condition of the chimney as well as the materials it is composed of.


Can you pressure wash a brick chimney Is It OK to Pressure Wash Brick?

While pressure washers can produce outstanding results, it is important to use them with caution. Not all materials can withstand the force of a pressure washer.

Can you pressure wash a brick chimney? Pressure-washing a brick chimney is possible, but you should use a lower-pressure setting. Brick, especially old brick, does not hold up well against constant high pressure. If you use a setting that’s too high, you run the risk of blasting away the mortar and knocking the bricks loose.


How Often Should You Clean a Chimney?

It is best to clean your chimney or have it cleaned at least once every year. This way, you can clear the chimney of any dirt and debris that may have accumulated during the past 12 months. In addition to cleaning, it is also a good idea to schedule a chimney inspection every year. This ensures that your chimney is ready and safe to use.


How to Pressure Wash a Chimney

As with a lot of things, there is a correct way to clean your chimney using a pressure washer. Here’s how to power wash a chimney.


1. Inspect for Damages

Before you clean, inspect your chimney and fireplace for damage like cracks, loose bricks, or other problems. If you see any damage, it’s a good idea to call a professional for help.


2. Prepare the Surrounding Area

Use plastic sheeting or tarps to protect plants and landscaping close to the area. Additionally, cover electrical outlets and light fixtures near the chimney and fireplace.


3. Dry Clean First

Don’t jump straight into cleaning the chimney. Start with a dry cleaning process using a brush and scraper. First, clean and buff the inside and outside walls of the chimney to remove soot and creosote residue. If you use water right away, the soot can solidify and make the walls harder to clean. Therefore, begin with a dry brush on the inside, then move to the outer walls. This method saves water and makes the actual pressure washing much easier.


4. Use the Right Equipment

When dealing with brick chimneys, it’s crucial to use the right pressure setting to avoid cracking and damage to the bricks. Go for an optimal pressure of 400 PSI. Use a wide nozzle to cover more area and distribute pressure evenly.


5. Use the Correct Cleaner

Select a cleaning solution that is safe for your chimney and fireplace. Stay away from harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can harm the brickwork or mortar. Opt for a mild soap or a cleaning solution explicitly formulated for use on masonry.


6. Work Top to Bottom

Start pressure washing from the top of the chimney and move downward. This prevents dirty water from running onto the areas you’ve already cleaned. Employ a sweeping motion to clean the chimney and fireplace, ensuring thorough rinsing.


7. Avoid the Flue

Don’t pressure wash the flue directly to avoid water entering your home. Instead, use a gentle stream of water to clean the area around the flue.


8. Rinse and Dry Completely

Once you’ve cleaned your chimney and fireplace, thoroughly rinse to eliminate any soap or cleaning solution residue. Let the chimney and fireplace dry completely before using them again.


Benefits of Pressure Washing a Brick Chimney

The chimney is a crucial part of a building or home. It functions as a way for smoke and toxins to escape while your fireplace or stove is on. However, chimneys tend to require more maintenance and upkeep than other heating options. Instead of scrubbing your chimney using elbow grease, a pressure washer works infinitely better.

Here are the benefits of chimney power washing.


1. Maintain Aesthetics

Over time, chimneys can accumulate soot and grime, which can have a negative impact on appearance. If you want to keep your property looking great, you should give equal attention to your chimney.

Pressure washing a chimney can get rid of the nasty contaminants that have stuck to it over time. It’s a good method for chimney stain removal and can even restore the look of your chimney back to almost original form. If you’re selling your home, having your chimney pressure washed can attract more potential buyers and even increase property value.


2. Reduce Wear and Tear

Time and the elements can be very unforgiving. Mold, mildew, algae, and grime can build up on your chimney. If you allow these substances to remain, deterioration will soon follow. Pressure washing your chimney regularly can remove these contaminants and prevent premature wear and tear.


3. Boost Heating Efficiency

When you clean your chimney regularly, it can run at optimal efficiency. This, in turn, enhances your home’s warmth and allows for a more comfortable living space. If you let your chimney clog, there won’t be enough oxygen to burn wood efficiently.


Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 4. Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills at least 420 people every year in the United States. Yet, it’s totally preventable. When dirt, twigs, and other debris accumulate in your chimney, it prevents smoke and toxins from escaping the house or building. This ultimately leads to carbon monoxide filling the space and putting everyone inside at risk. Keep in mind that carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible, making it that much harder to detect without a machine.


5. Promote Fire Safety

Wood-burning fireplaces add a classy feel to any home or building, but they come with a risk of fires. Regular chimney use results in the build-up of creosote, which is highly flammable. Pressure washing your chimney on a regular basis, though, can help get rid of creosote and reduce the risk of a fire.


6. Prevent Interior Damage

When chimneys get clogged due to dirt and debris, smoke has no way to leave the space. A blocked chimney pushes smoke down and not only puts everyone in danger but can also result in interior damage.

Smoke and ash can stain furniture, enter vents, and infiltrate electrical sockets. They can also leave a charred or musty odor that can stick to carpets and upholstery. As a result, you will need to pay for costly repairs and further cleaning.


Frequently Asked Questions


Will power washing a chimney damage my siding?

Power washing will not damage your siding, provided it is done properly and there is no pre-existing damage to your siding. To ensure the best results, it is recommended to hire a professional service to do this for you.


Does chimney pressure washing damage windows?

As long as you use a low pressure setting and the correct nozzle tip, you won’t have to worry about damaging your windows when pressure washing a chimney.


Can you use a chimney right after pressure washing?

You should let your chimney air dry completely first before using it. This will result in better performance. Plus, the smoke won’t stick the bricks, which might absorb the filth while wet.


Hire the Pros

As you can tell, chimney power washing is an effective cleaning method that should be on your annual maintenance checklist. While you can rent pressure washers and clean chimneys yourself, hiring professionals to do this job for you is better. Professionals know what they are doing and have access to necessary equipment and products. Plus, trying to DIY chimney cleaning could put you in danger.

Washh offers expert residential pressure washing services. Call us today at 704.321.8000 or contact us online to get a free estimate!