End of Season Fireplace Cleaning Tips

25th September 2019


clean fireplace in a living room

Winter is over, well very close to it, and the last thing you’ll be thinking about in the warm summer months is your fireplace. But not so fast, before you close the door on your fireplace you need to do a major clean up. You need to organise an annual chimney sweep to rid your chimney of excessive creosote (excessive carbon resulting from wood burning). If you don’t you may start a dangerous chimney fire. This can  happen when you start to use your fireplace again and you haven’t removed the build up. 

Creosote weakens masonry and metal chimneys and if it builds up it can lead to an incomplete combustion and catch fire. If creosote catches fire and you are unaware, that can be extremely dangerous.

To help, you can use a creosote sweeping log to your last fire or two of the season. The firelog transforms to an active gas and attacks the creosote in the chimney. It’s a simple and mess free way to reduce creosote. Regardless of whether it’s the middle of the season or the end of the season, if there’s more than a 1.5 centimetre build up of creosote it can be potentially dangerous.

Starting by cleaning ashes from your fireplace. sweeping and cleaning out the front of your fireplace using a drop cloth to protect your floor. You can deposit the ash and creosote dust in your garden beds because they’re filled with calcium and other nutrients. 

It’s important to follow a guide on how to clean a wood burning fireplace. You may want to get in there and clean your own chimney. You may be a little unaware of what you’re letting yourself in for? Cleaning a chimney is a pretty messy job. You need some very specific equipment and you may not be prepared for what you might find. And because it is such an important job given the safety concerns associated with fireplaces, it might be a job that you should leave to a qualified fireplace installer.

But if you do insist on doing the job yourself then start with a wet cloth because cleaning your fireplace insert or fire grate can be a messy job. A wet cloth prevents the spreading of excessive amounts of ash and dust. After wiping down your fire grate it’s time to use your wet-dry vacuum to clean the base and walls of your fireplace. After that, clean the vacuumed areas with a wet cloth to clean away any remaining dust particles. For a final clean it’s good to use warm soapy water on the walls and the floors. Don’t forget to clean your fireplace screen and fire tools while you’re cleaning around your fireplace.

With your light, make sure there are no animals nestled in there and if there are, you will need to have them removed, probably professionally.

A proper fireplace sweep should include the fireplace and the firebox, liners, smoke chamber and flue, chimney exterior and inspecting the appliance for proper clearances. You should also clean the damper with a strong wire brush and then put it aside so you can clean the other parts of the fireplace. Clean the ledge of the damper before you replace the damper because creosote dust builds up there too. When you return the damper, check that it’s positioned correctly in the interests of conserving heat and ensuring safety.

Of course, a freestanding wood or gas fireplace would remove the need to clean a fireplace. There’s not too much maintenance in cleaning in gas fireplace cleaning. If you call into Fireside fireplaces in Castle Hill they can take you through a range of fireplaces to suit the aesthetic and heating requirements of your home. They can also guide you on how to get the most heat from a fireplace 

If you call into Fireside fireplaces and their amazing new showroom in Castle Hill they can take you through a range of fireplaces to suit the aesthetic and heating requirements of your home.