Spring Cleaning the Fireplace – Here’s Why It’s a Necessity
29th October 2018
Fireplace cleaning and maintenance can be a ‘do it yourself’ job if you are properly prepared. But if you’re not, it can be a job that’s more complex, messy and risky for your health than you might think. For you to be able to clean your own fireplace it’s good to know how the professionals prepare; the equipment they use and the precautions they take to make sure you get the right result.
The best way to source gas and wood fireplace cleaning tips is from professionals. If you were to get a professional to clean your fireplace, he or she would ensure the cleanliness of your home by laying a drop cloth, lighting up the area that needed to be cleaned and plugging in a special ‘wet and dry’ vacuum for suctioning heavy debris and or liquids. They would definitely be wearing a face mask for protection.
And they would also have an assortment of tools and brushes to chip away at the old mortar and to clear the fireplace walls of dust. There are a number of chimney sizes so make sure the brush you use fits the chimney you’re cleaning.
You can do a quick assessment on how much dirt is in your chimney flue by inserting a pencil and scraping the side of the pipe. About three millimeters of dust is enough to suggest that your chimney needs a good clean.
The first place to start is to sweep out and clean the front of your fireplace using the drop cloth to protect your floor. A good thing to remember is that ashes and creosote dust (the combustible material in the venting portion of the chimney) are great for garden beds because they’re filled with calcium and other nutrients.
Cleaning your fireplace insert or fire grate can be a messy job. Start with a wet cloth to your grate. Moisture 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.
Firstly you should start with the damper. 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. When you return the damper, check that it’s positioned correctly in the interests of conserving heat and ensuring safety.
When you’re cleaning the walls of your chimney you may find that the regular bricks may be cracking under the heat and the mortar could be crumbling. If the mortar is crumbling remove any excess and it replace it with high-temperature cement. Your chimney brush should have an extendable arm so you can scrub as high as you need to go to make sure your chimney is properly cleaned. Your drop sheet should have remained in position to collect the falling dust and mortar but it will probably be necessary to collect the remaining debris with a wet cloth, and if necessary your vacuum.
Fireside fireplaces in Sydney is the Hills District’s premier retail outlet for Lopi, the world’s finest freestanding and inbuilt slow combustion wood and gas fireplaces. Fireside are happy to answer any of your questions about cleaning your fireplace. A good clean every season should suffice but it’s best to check up on the build up of creosote dust – at about six millimeters it should be cleaned away. Of course, a freestanding wood or gas fireplace would remove the need to clean a fireplace. 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.