Henriette Fireplace February 15th, 2018 - 10:14:42
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.
This is not the case, heat from your fireplace will radiate out through the glass even if the glass-doors are closed, so a good way to use your glass-doors is to burn the fireplace with the glass-doors open and the safety screen closed. In this way you have all the beauty and ambience of your fire before you. If your fireplace is equipped with outside air or make up air you can also burn the fireplace with the glass doors shut and the safety screen open, in this mode you will be able to see your beautiful fire and feel the radiant heat, but not be losing any of the air in the room up the chimney. Make up air or outside air can be installed on most fireplaces if you dont have it in your fireplace now. These two things will also overcome the reasons that some fireplaces smoke, and also why your fireplace has a drafty smokey smell to it when it is not being used. Just for those two reasons every fireplace should have glass-doors installed on them.
While other fireplaces & accessories look better when they are clean and shiny, the rustic charm of wrought iron or antique brass cannot be discounted. These metals on fireplace tools and door frames make them virtually maintenance-free because they do not have to be completely shiny to look good. However, these metals have a tendency to heat up, so it is highly recommended that a pair of kitchen mittens be kept nearby in case one has to open the hot doors. As an aid in making a purchase, one should take a picture of the fireplace and hearth, along with the fireplace tools, and take it to the home improvement center. The picture will help the buyer visualize the room and select the right fireplace door to fit the décor.
The next step is to clean those well-used fireplace tools and fireplace grate. Black soot and resin can easily build up on your tools and can make them unsightly and grungy-looking. Here are a few simple steps to help bring back their original luster and shine. Take your fireplace grate and tools outside and give them a good hosing down. This will quickly remove all of the loose soot and dirt from the surface. For the fireplace grate, fill a bucket with hot water and a small amount of abrasive cleaner. Scrub with a steel wool pad to remove the caked on resin and soot. You may need to use a stiff-bristled brush to get the really bad parts. For the fireplace tools, use hot water and a small amount of ammonia cleaner. Avoid using abrasives, as these may scratch the finish on your tools. You may use a scrub brush to get the stubborn dirt particles, but use caution so as not to damage the surface.