Winter is coming and temperatures are dropping, so if you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace now’s the perfect time to make sure yours is ready for use during the colder months.
Fireplaces are a great way to make your home more atmospheric and cosy during, and will help to keep your family home warm during COVID-19 quarantine and beyond. But, as with most things, fireplaces need proper maintenance to keep them safe and fully functional. Here are some tips to help you keep your fire burning for years to come:
Basic fireplace cleaning
For a wood burning fireplace, you’ll need to remove the ashes when they begin to smell or get in the way of building a fire. Before cleaning them out, make sure that you haven’t used the fireplace for over a day to ensure there are no remaining embers that could catch alight.
Try to avoid using water to extinguish a live fire. Yes it will cool everything a lot faster, but it will also bind with the ash, forming a paste that can be very difficult to remove when dried. At that point it’s much easier to call for professional assistance.
If you have carpet or want to minimise mess, place a towel underneath the base to catch falling ash. It’s also a good idea to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Ash is very fine and can easily linger in the air, so take care when handling ash and try not to inhale too much, as it can take a serious toll on your body later on. Wearing a face mask may be a good idea.
If your fireplace has an ash dump, take out any remaining wood from the fireplace, then use a brush to gently brush the ashes through the metal plate into the floor of the firebox. Don’t forget to get into the walls and corners! Once you’re done, put the ash into a bin and place it outside. From here, vacuum up any excess ash that remains. Take a close look around the hearth and on the floor as cleaning up thoroughly will help you get rid of fireplace smell more easily.
If your fireplace has glass doors, feel free to use your standard glass cleaner on the inside and outside panes.
If you ever forget to open the flue damper while using your fireplace, you’ll find a lot more buildup of soot and smoke in the area. To clean bricks, we recommend using a stiff brush with masonry cleaner, while wearing gloves of course!
If you are thinking about purchasing a fireplace and the care wood requires is intimidating for you, consider looking into Fireside gas fireplaces.
If you own a gas fireplace, then there is much less maintenance work for you than a wood fireplace. You will still need to do a bit of vacuuming to get the ash, but there will be a lot less to vacuum up.
Fireplaces are a great way to provide you and your family with great heat for the colder months coming up. Hopefully these tips will help you keep your fireplace in tip top shape.