Follow these easy steps to maintain your wood burning fireplace, and get the most out of these special moments.
The first thing to remember, in terms of care, is a clean fireplace is a safe fireplace. An annual visit from the chimney sweep will not only give you a clean start to the season, but check for potential problems in the future. Specialising in cleaning dangerous creosote build-up, your chimney sweep will help ensure you have safe fires.
It’s easy to clean a wood burning fireplace. A soft damp cloth will work great for most surfaces and glass doors can be shined with window cleaner. Remember to never use chemicals or abrasive cleaners, which can leave flammable residue. Opt for dusters and terry cloths over rags, sponges and cotton mops. Made of fibers often smaller than bacteria (just 3 microns in size) they will remove fine particles others can miss.
Keeping areas clean to the microscopic level will also prevent asthma irritation for anyone prone to breathing trouble.
Do not extinguish fire with water unless there is an emergency. Water will turn ashes to a paste-like substance, making them difficult to remove. Keeping a designated ash bucket will help control debris. Remember always wait a minimum of 12 hours before disposing of ashes, and store bucket outside, never in garages. (Insider tip) Sprinkling damp coffee grounds while you’re cleaning your fireplace will help keep dust down.
Always wait 12 or more hours after embers have been extinguished, before sweeping or vacuuming.Vacuum or dust the hearth area weekly to prevent dust and soot buildup. Inspect the firebox, flue, and chimney annually for creosote accumulation. Creosote is a shiny tar-like deposit inside your chimney. Duller black spots are soot (which is also flammable). Both need to be removed to ensure safe fire burning.
Always consult a professional if you have any questions.