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How to maintain your fireplace

3rd Aug '20 • By Rohit Mankame

Maintaining your fireplace is an important component of your home cleaning routine. Here is a step-by-step process on how to clean your fireplace.

A wood-burning fireplace is an ideal addition to every house. It delivers energy, warmth and style to any room. It's necessary to maintain your fireplace and maintain it in the best shape for successful use. In addition to saving your time and energy, a well-maintained fireplace would add value to your property and amaze your family members.

After the cold season, a fair amount of ashes would have built up in your fireplace. To increase the longevity of your fireplace, you should remove any ashes and clear the fireplace.


Maintaining Your Fireplace

Maintaining your fireplace is an important component of your home cleaning routine. Here is a step-by-step process on how to clean your fireplace.

Tools Required

  • Bucket
  • Flat shovel
  • Bagged Vacuum
  • Rubber gloves
  • Muriatic acid
  • Soapy water in a spray bottle

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How to Remove Ashes

  • Use a flat fireplace shovel or dust pan and clean the ashes from the fireplace. Place the ashes in a bucket; this is easy for disposal and removal of ashes from the fireplace.
  • Remove any remaining ashes or other dry debris in a shop filter bag that has vacuum.
  • If you are planning to put the fireplace away for the season, it is recommended that fire stains and soot are removed. Begin spraying soapy water mixture. Spray liberally and allow the solution to remain for 30 minutes on the surface.
  • The moment the residue softens, you may scrub the surfaces with a stiff wire brush.
  • Remove stubborn stains using Muriatic acid. Muriatic acid is toxic and a harsh chemical. Read the printed safety precautions. Mix a part of this acid with 10 parts water and use the solution to the firebox stone or brick surfaces.
  • Ensure the solution remains for about 30 minutes on the surface before scrubbing using a wire brush. Use a metal brush, remove debris and rust from the damper. It is difficult to access, so wear gloves, eye protection and old clothing. Ensure the damper mechanism works properly, so that damper opens and closes freely.


Maintain the Chimney

Maintaining the chimney is a professional job, but it is also good to check the chimney at regular intervals.

  • Ensure the cap of the chimney is in a good condition and it should not get clogged with debris or any other leaves.
  • A wire screen keeps animals and debris away such that these animals do not get into the chimney. Moreover, birds do not build nests in the chimneys if you ensure a proper wire screen is fixed on it.
  • Examine the mortar between bricks to ensure it does not get cracked. Without fail, check the flashing in the place that the chimney meets the roof. Ascertain there is a tight seal enveloping the flashing. In case the seal gets cracked or damaged, it is easy to patch using caulk.

SweepSmart recommends having your chimney professionally swept regularly to protect your health and to avoid chimney fires and smoke damage.


Maintaining the Fireplace

  • Clean the interiors - Wood burning in our fireplaces also induces a mixture of soil, ashes, smoke, and soot to be accumulated and buildup. So, you should  make sure you periodically sweep up the interior portion of the fireplace. Not only will this make it look more presentable, it will also make fireplace burning more effective.
  • Burn the right wood - Fire burning is both an art, and a science. You should also learn what kind of wood you use in your fireplace, and choose the right wood-burning methods.Understanding what kind of wood you're burning is essential. There are various types of woods – expensive and cheap – but the cost does not automatically decide the quality. Hardwood is the perfect sort of wood for burning in fireplaces. 
  • Watch for smoke - A fireplace which burns efficiently should not bring smoke into the house. Therefore, should you detect any smoke from the fireplace it could be an alarm signal and you should consider cleaning the fireplace immediately. The key explanations may be that there is a incorrect method of wood-burning, or a dusty chimney with soot or creosote buildup. That may also be that the chimney contains debris that prevents the smoke's venting.
  • Install fireplace glass doors - Fireplace glass doors will greatly improve fireplace efficiency by serving as a shield between your house and the chimney. An open fireplace is more of an unlocked room. The fireplace can allow warm air to escape up and out the chimney when left open in the winter, and cold air conditioning will escape from the chimney during the summer.Glass fireplace doors significantly minimise the risk of tumbling sparks or logs out of the fireplace that can burn tile or wood flooring, ruining the carpets, melt linoleum or much worse roll straight into someone standing next to the fireplace.

Proper fireplace maintenance is a nice start to keeping it efficient for years to come. Moreover, it also helps to protect the house from any possible risks from dirty and unchecked fireplaces. It is safer to prevent incidents involving fireplaces than to try finding solutions to them.

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