Henriette Fireplace February 09th, 2018 - 12:11:00
Spring is finally here. Yeah! So now the fireplace season is winding down. But do not think that means that your fireplace must therefore go unused during the warmer months. Quite the opposite! Keeping your fireplace as the centerpiece of your home is easy. But first there is a little spring cleaning to be done, before we can get to the fun decorating. First order of business is to take care of that chimney. Cleaning your chimney thoroughly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your fireplace clean and safe. Make sure there is no creosote build-up in your chimney. If the creosote builds up, there is a chance that it will catch fire and since creosote burns at an extremely high temperature, it is a very dangerous and fast burning fire.
Nothing beats the warmth and ambiance of a crackling fireplace. If you are looking at purchasing or upgrading a fireplace, wood stove or fireplace insert (or any hearth appliance) there are lots of choices. Depending on the style and features of your home, your energy needs, design preferences and budget there are many hearth options to choose from. Masonry Fireplaces New masonry fireplaces have come a long way since the days when they provided more ambiance than warmth. Todays models are much more energy-efficient and some European models can even heat an entire small home. The cost of a masonry fireplace varies, depending on a number of factors, including type of material used (particularly on the fireplace face, which could be composed of marble, granite, brick, etc.), the hearth (brick, stone, concrete, tile, marble or wood) and other factors such as chimney liners and chimney caps.
The first thing that you would want to know about your fireplace is it in good working order? As a masonry contractor in the Seattle area we see quite a few chimney every year that are unsafe to burn and need to be repaired. Some of the things that you would want to look for would be, if the fireplace needs repair or has loose brick, smoking problems, water damage, or damper problems. One of the best ways to see if your fireplace is ready to burn is to ask for an inspection from a masonry contractor in your area. Now is the time to start that fire, and as we said above we want the fireplace to burn in an efficient way.
Once you have finished cleaning your chimney, the next step in cleaning your fireplace to prepare it for the coming warmer months, is to clean out the firebox. You will need to give your firebox walls a good brushing with a nice stiff brush. Knock down all the loose soot and ash that has gotten stuck to the brick walls and flue. Remove your fireplace grate and set it to the side on a newspaper. Keep it from touching your finished flooring, as it will leave a nice sooty footprint. You will clean this and your other fireplace tools in the next step. Using your fireplace shovel, you will need to scoop out as much of the completely cooled ash and the chunks of unburned wood as you can. Using your fireplace brush, sweep the remainder of the ash onto your shovel and into an ash bucket.