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Henriette Fireplace February 10th, 2018 - 12:50:10
Fireplace screens can serve as spark arrestors for the wood burning fireplace and as decorative items or they can help protect a hearth floor area from rolling logs moving around as flames burn off a wood stack in the case of sturdier types of screens. Most screens are made of metal such as brass or more commonly wrought iron or steel. Since fireplace screens are subjected to the full heat of the fireplace they must be made of durable materials. Perhaps the most common type of fireplace screen is the mesh spark arrestor made of finely wrought interlinked chains, which are hung from a rod suspended from the lintel inside the fireplace opening. The screens can be drawn shut like a curtain when needed or opened when the fireplace is not in use.
While these screens will not stop a rolling log they will protect areas outside the hearth from flying sparks from popping wood sap. One of the greatest advantages to mesh screens is that they require no extra space or braces and do not extend past the flush face of the fireplace. Another very common type of fireplace screen is made of iron, brass or steel and mounts in front of or on the hearth free-standing in front of the firebox. These fireplace screens can be a simple flat screen, might be free standing on leg-brackets and could be the more common three-sided screen. Three-sided screens have a center section that spans the width of the fireplace. The two sides are hinged to turn at a thirty to forty-five degree angle thus holding the screen plum straight up. The fireplace screen can have fireplace tools, candles and all manner of artistic décor built into the design.
An alternative to using a fireplace brush to get the rest of the ash out would be to use a vacuum. Make sure you use a vacuum that has a good filter on it, as ash has very tiny particles. Ash vacuums are specially designed with extra fine filters, so this would be a great option. It is not as messy as sweeping up all that ash, either! Another advantage to using ash vacuums is that you do not have to wait until your ashes and embers are completely cooled before vacuuming them up. Make sure you carefully read all labels and instructions on your specific ash vacuum. If you really want to do a deep cleaning, you can use a damp rag and wipe down the walls and floor of your firebox. This is completely optional and only for those who like that "white glove" test.
There are actually several good ways to clean out a chimney. One is to purchase a chimney brush that matches your size and type of chimney. These brushes are specially designed for cleaning out chimneys, but you need to make sure you have the right size for your specific chimney. Also, if you have a brick and mortar chimney you should use a wire brush, whereas if your chimney is prefab, you should use a brush with poly bristles. The shape of your chimney is also important in considering which brush to buy. Some chimneys are square or rectangle, while others are round. Once you have determined which brush is best for your chimney, you need to decide whether you are more comfortable climbing up on top of your roof to clean or sitting next to your fireplace.