What Is Chimney Scaffolding?

Lori Kilchermann

Chimney scaffolding is a device that mounts over the roof peak and creates a stable and sturdy area that a worker can stand on while working on a chimney. Typically manufactured from lightweight aluminum tubing, the weight capacity of a typical chimney scaffolding does not provide enough supporting strength to allow a large surplus of materials to be stored or stacked on the assembly. The typical use of the chimney scaffolding is for cleaning, relining and inspection of a common chimney. It is available in two basic configurations: half scaffold to provide a worker access to either the front or rear side of a chimney, or full-surround scaffolding that completely encircles the chimney.

There are numerous materials that can be used to build chimneys; stone and brick are the most common and reliable.
There are numerous materials that can be used to build chimneys; stone and brick are the most common and reliable.

Unlike conventional scaffolding that uses several sections of scaffold stacked from the ground up to provide access to higher elevations, chimney scaffolding is attached to the roof of a home or building to provide flat and level access to the chimney. Commonly consisting of a tubular frame assembly, the chimney scaffolding commonly uses wooden planks perched upon the framework of the scaffolding to create a standing surface. The typical scaffolding is adjustable to allow it to fit safely on a wide array of roof pitches, materials and styles.

The intended use of the chimney scaffolding is not for the building or demolition of a chimney. The lightweight design and materials used in the manufacture of the scaffolding do not provide the required strength for the support of heavy chimney building materials. The intended use of the specially-designed scaffolding is to provide a stable and comfortable place for a worker to stand while cleaning the chimney. Other uses for the scaffolding units are to provide a working platform when relining or repairing a chimney. The inspection of a chimney can also be completed from the secure and stable platform provided by the scaffolding.

When used on a tile or other fragile roof construction, the chimney scaffolding is available with a soft, padded collar that fits over the peak of the roof as well as the feet of the scaffolding. This protective covering is often commonly used when working on a more vulnerable standing seam steel or tin roof. The common construction design of the scaffolding allows it to be brought up to the roof of a building in sections to be assembled or it can be assembled on the ground and then hoisted up to the roof in a single piece. In either configuration, the wooden planks used for a standing surface on the chimney scaffolding are typically hoisted to the roof after the scaffolding is in place.

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