Got a fireplace full of soot? While most people tend to know the importance of cleaning their chimneys, they often overlook their hearths. That’s why today we’ll go over the main steps on how to clean your fireplace. That way, you’ll be able to avoid any misfortunes such as house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Follow These Steps on How to Clean Your Fireplace
Whether you are blazing logs to keep the home warm or treating the fireplace as a decorative centerpiece, it is critical to keep it free of ash, grime, and creosote.
Luckily, cleaning a fireplace is not complicated. However, it takes time, skill, and understanding to handle the situation effectively.
As we said before, fireplace cleaning is essential to avoid mishaps like chimney fires. Not only that, but this process often enhances its appearance by a lot.
For this reason, just like a chimney’s cleaning interval, you should make sure to clean your fireplace at least once a year.
Moreover, you should also get yearly professional inspections to ensure that its structural integrity is in check. Both of these recommendations come from the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Nevertheless, while chimney sweeps are more straightforward since all you need to do is call a professional, many homeowners are clueless about fireplace cleaning.
That’s why we’ll go over the process people must go through to ensure that their hearth remains safe for usage.
Here are the steps to follow on how to clean your fireplace:
- Cover nearby furniture and carpeting.
- Shut off the valve for gas chimneys.
- Clear debris and creosote with a fireplace shovel.
- Clean the firebox walls with a soft bristle brush.
- Wipe the logs for gas fireplaces.
- Clean glass doors.
Moreover, be sure to be wearing old clothes when doing this process since it’ll be difficult to remove the soot from them.
Additionally, you must wait until your fireplace has completely chilled if you have recently had a fire.
Cover Nearby Furniture and Carpeting
Spread drop cloths at the hearth’s base, where you will be sitting. Doing this will prevent a lot of ash from spilling on your carpet or floor. It is also a good idea to cover any adjacent furniture and roll up any rugs.
Shut Off the Valve for Gas Chimneys
Unlike wood-burning fireplaces, you’ll need to turn off gas valves if you have gas ones. This step is to ensure that there are no harmful emissions.
Clear Debris and Creosote with a Fireplace Shovel
Before using any brushes, be sure to sweep off the fireplace area with the shovel. You can also use the burning rock salt method to remove creosote.
Clean the Firebox Walls with a Soft Bristle Brush
The messiest elements of your fireplace are dust and soot. Here is how you can clean a fireplace and get rid of them:
Place a small garbage bin nearby and remove any soot or ash from the floor and walls of your fireplace using a handheld wire brush and a shovel.
When you finish, gently bag up the dust and throw it in outdoor garbage.
You may also clean the fireplace bricks using dish detergent and baking soda.
To make a thick paste, combine three teaspoons of dish soap and 1/2 cup baking soda. If the mixture is too thick and difficult to spread, add more dish soap.
Dip a scrub brush into the paste and use tiny circular motions to clean the inner fireplace wall. Allow three to five minutes for this solution to settle.
Finally, use warm water to rinse the paste.
You can treat specific spots with a cream of tartar and water. However, before attempting the approach outlined below, perform a spot test.
Make a paste with two teaspoons of cream of tartar and a little water.
Apply the paste to the damaged sections of your fireplace. Allow it to settle for 5 to 10 minutes.
Just like with the previous solution, be sure to use warm water to rinse it.
Feel free to reapply this paste to clean your fireplace.
Wipe the Logs for Gas Fireplaces
Gas fireplaces come with synthetic logs that require cleaning from time to time. Be sure to use the right cleaner and paper towels for this step.
Clean Glass Doors
Lastly, be sure to clean the firebox’s screens and doors. Use a soft cloth when doing so. You can also use a wet brush for any visible buildup.
What Are Other Chimney Maintenance Tips to Keep in Mind?
Cleaning your chimney is only one of the many things you should do to keep it in top shape. That’s why we’ll share with you some other recommendations to remember if you wish to make the best out of your chimney and fireplace.
First, you’ll want to make sure that your fireplace counts on a functioning damper. By doing so, you’ll avoid high energy bills- This is because outside drafts coming into your home through the chimney make your HVAC system work harder than it should.
Next, waterproof your chimney by asking a professional contractor to apply a water sealant to it. As you may imagine, moisture can damage your chimney’s structural integrity. As a result, the walls and floor deteriorate over time. In other words, it’s essential to waterproof elements such as your chimney’s crown, cover, and flashing.
Lastly, always inspect your chimney’s mortar joints and bricks. It’s normal that chimneys start to crumble and crack, allowing them to deteriorate. However, this issue can easily be solved with chimney tuckpointing.
Knowing how to clean your fireplace helps you enjoy a cozy fire while staying on the safe side.
While these steps will help you clean the hearth, you need to beware of what types of wood to use for your chimney. Not only that, but you’ll also need to opt for a deep clean from professionals at least once a year to remove glazed creosote.
Remember that you can count on EA Chimney and Roofing if you require professional assistance on this type of job.