If you have a fireplace, you have a chimney. If you ever have a fire, then you have a dirty chimney, and you need to make sure that you get it cleaned regularly. A dirty chimney is an unsafe chimney. Soot and creosote from the fires will build up on the sides of the chimney. Those things are actually flammable, and you can end up with a chimney fire, which could end up burning your house down before you even realize that you have a fire. The way to keep that from happening is to make sure that you have someone come clean your chimney out every year. There is a process that any chimney sweep is going to go through so that your chimney will be as clean as possible.
Clean the Fireplace
This might be the first step or the last step, depending on which way the sweep decides to go. If they decide to go from the bottom up, then cleaning the fireplace will be the last step, because a lot of dirt and debris will be knocked into the fireplace, and they may have to get into the fireplace to reach part of the flue. Otherwise, the sweep may decide to clean out the fireplace and seal it off so that the soot and creosote won't get all over the place.
Access the Flue
The next step is to climb up on the roof so that the chimney sweep can get into the flue to start cleaning it. If you have a rain cap, screen, or another kind of topper on your chimney, the sweep will remove it so that they can get into the flue.
The sweep will have a series of stiff-bristled brushes. Some of them will have long handles on them so that the brush can be used to really scrub at difficult areas. The sweep may also have weighted lines with brushes on them that can be dropped down the flue. The combination of the weight on the end of the line and the brush will knock the buildup off the sides. The sweep may also have a partner. That will allow them to use a dual-line method. This method means that the person on the roof and the person in the house will both hold an end of the line and pull it back and forth, cleaning the flue.
If you have a fireplace and you use it, then you need to make sure that you keep it clean. Have a chimney sweep service come and clean your chimney for you on a yearly basis.