How Do You Unblock A Blocked Chimney

A blocked chimney is a disaster and it uses something which is not in your control. It happens due to external factors and debris and which can also easily catch fire. So, you need to unblock it as soon as possible by yourself or by using chimney cleaning services.

What Are The Types Of Blockages?

These are the common chimney blockages:

  • Small birds and animals hide in the chimney to hibernate for the winter season.
  • Debris from the environment such as leaves, small branches, twigs, and other small things are carried by the wind and they scatter inside chimneys.
  • Nests made by birds.
  • Frozen ice in the winter season tends to block the chimney opening.
  • Gunk inside the chimney cap.

Using A Chimney Cap

Although a chimney cap is a solution to avoid the blockages, still gunk and particles that get stuck can reside inside the chimney cap as well. Without a chimney cap more particles, debris, and small animals are stuck inside the chimney and there are high chances of a fire being struck when you start the chimney and thus can even burn down the whole house.

Also, when there are blockages then the smoke, dangerous gases, and by-products of burning wood will not be able to escape out of the chimney opening properly and instead will go into your house through the fireplace. These gases are very dangerous and can cause any infections and irritations.

A chimney sweep will charge a very high price to clean your chimney and unblock it. So first of all in order to avoid it, you need to install a chimney cap and the second thing you need to do is to self-clean the chimney from the inside on a monthly basis. This way there will be very less chances of a chimney blockage.

Unblocking A Blocked Chimney

There are many signs through which you can know that you have a blocked chimney. If you notice inefficient burning of the wood in the fireplace, or notice obstructions or smoke not escaping properly from the chimney opening or an increase in your bills then surely there is a blockage and you need to take the following steps to unblock it.

You will need the following:

  • A torch
  • A ladder
  • Goggles and safety mask
  • Safety leather gloves
  • A small cleaning brush
  • A bucket to collect debris
  • A bug brush and dustpan
  • Someone to hold the ladder
  • Extra cloth or newspaper to protect the floor


First, you will need to clean the fireplace. Make sure it is cool. Cover the area of the room with extra cloth or newspaper to protect the floors. Open the windows. Sweep all the wood and burning debris properly and collect it in a bucket.

When the firefront is swept, wear your protective gloves, mask, and goggles, and tame a flashlight and position yourself inside the fireplace and look around with a torch. If you see the sky when you look up then there is no blockage but if you see darkness then you need to get down to cleaning.

There might be debris stuck on the walls. Pull all those out and put them in a bucket and clean with a brush.

Now go outside and climb a ladder on the roof. Tell someone to hold the ladder tightly. Carefully climb on the roof and go towards the chimney.

Open the chimney cap and pull out the dust and debris from it and put it in the bucket. Now clean the chimney cap with a brush thoroughly and keep it aside. Check the inside of the chimney with torchlight and pull out the big particles and gunk or push them down in the fireplace. Sweep properly with a brush and place the chimney cap properly.

Now climb down and go to the fireplace and sweep and clean the gunk which has fallen down. Now give the whole room a final sweep.


Once you have this, your chimney is almost free from blockages. But you should hire expert chimney sweep services Upper Marlboro twice a year to get it completely unblocked. In many cases, it will save you both time and money because they work with their own tools so you don’t need to buy anything.


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