How Do I keep My Fireplace Clean!
When we recently moved into our new house, one of the features that we were the most excited about was the fireplace! Since we moved in during the summer months, I didn’t fuss much with the fireplace except to comment on how nice it looked every time I walked by!
Fast forward to the colder months in autumn and winter. Our family enjoyed so much time around the warm fire on many cold nights. It really became the center of our household and it brought our family together. As the colder nights turned into warmer spring days and then hot summer weeks, we have ventured outdoors and left the fireplace behind for a while. The other thing that has been left behind is a bit of a mess!
While we were very good at always having a supply of wood and burning materials handy to light a roaring fire, we were not very good at keeping our fireplace clean! As I think about the cooler months that are just around the corner, I must address my filthy fireplace if I want to ensure the safety and effectiveness of this much beloved area of our home!
As a lucky new homeowner of a house with a fireplace, I have learned that in order for a fireplace to be both safe and effective, it requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Based on my experience and a little help from HowStuffWorks.com, I have compiled a list of some tips to keep your fireplace clean and safe:
• Sweep, vacuum or dust the hearth of the fireplace after each use to prevent dust and soot buildup. Do not sweep or vacuum until all the embers have been extinguished for at least 12 hours.
• Inspect the firebox, flue, and chimney annually for creosote accumulation. Creosite is a black residue (or tar) that builds up in the chimney after wood burning. Creosote is highly combustible and if it builds up in sufficient quantities and the internal flue temperature is high enough, it could cause a fire.
• Burn only seasoned and well-dried wood which can minimize dangerous creosote buildup.
• Never use an abrasive or chemical based cleanser inside the fireplace – it may leave a flammable residue which can start a fire.
• Let a fire burn out on its own, or if necessary, put a little sand on the fire to put it out. Never use water to drown a fire unless there is an emergency. It will make a paste of the ashes, which is very difficult to remove.
• Never leave the fireplace or your home unattended if the embers are not fully extinguished.
In addition to the regular maintenance of your fireplace, you should always have your chimney and fireplace checked and cleaned at least once a year by a professional. Have a reputable and experienced chimney sweep properly inspect your chimney to ensure the safety of your home and most importantly, your family.
Pro-Tech Chimney Sweeps offer complete chimney cleaning services that include high powered vacuuming of your entire system, removing hazardous or combustible creosote, eliminating any accumulation of soot from coal and oil systems and thorough fire prevention inspections and maintenance services. Contact Protech Chimney Sweeps at 631-806-8550 or 516-284-1295 to schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning service today.