With the worst of winter so close upon us, it’s high time to brush up on our fireplace maintenance strategies. Do you know how to keep your masonry fireplace clean? If you need a little reminding, here’s what you need to know:
Use Good Firewood Only
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, using the wrong type of firewood can lead to the excess buildup of creosote. This dirty substance is not only visually unappealing, but it’s potentially hazardous, too. To prevent the accumulation of harmful creosote, use only correctly seasoned and appropriately stored firewood.
Don’t Treat Your Fireplace As a Trash Can
It’s a fire, it should burn everything that you put it in it, right? Maybe so, but burning things other than firewood in the fireplace can create more soot and debris for you to clean up after. Hence, avoid throwing things like paper, plastic, and metallic objects in the fire.
Clean Your Fireplace Regularly
The best way to keep your fireplace clean is to sweep up the ashes as frequently as you can (at least once or twice a week, depending on how much you light your fireplace). You can do this by shoveling the ashes into a bag and using a vacuum to clean the tiniest particles of ash. However, you need to wait at least three days from the last fire to make sure the coals won’t ignite in the garbage.
Remove Smoke And Soot
If your flue is clogged or you fail to open the flue damper, smoke and soot may accumulate on the surrounding area of your fireplace. To avoid this, don’t forget to open the flue damper and get your flue unclogged a few weeks before winter. When poor drafting has already caused soot to blacken your fireplace opening, you can use a stiff brush and masonry fireplace cleaner to remove it. Similarly, if your fireplace has glass doors, use a glass cleaner and non-abrasive cloth to remove the soot.
Keeping your fireplace clean is critical to prevent hazards like chimney fires or smoke buildups, so don’t forget to follow these fireplace cleaning tips when the coldest days of winter roll around.