Have you ever wondered how Santa stays so clean even after sliding down millions of chimneys on Christmas Eve? Most people would not stay as clean as Santa if they were to slide down just one fireplace. There are many ways to clean your fireplace and get it ready for the winter season. Here are 6 maintenance tips for your chimney this winter.
1. Remove Ash
During the winter it is important to watch for build up of ash in the fireplace. Too much ash can cause fires to burn out quickly and no one wants that when they are trying to stay warm with their family around the fire. An inch of ash can help build and maintain a fire better, but more than an inch will not be beneficial for building a successful fire. Ash makes for great compost in gardens or can be disposed of. If your driveway or sidewalk is icy, ash can help melt the ice.
2. Clean Glass Doors
Over time, soot sticks to glass doors in front of the fireplace. Removing the soot buildup on the glass is important for maintaining a fireplace. Clean doors allow for a clearer view of the fireplace and can create a cozier atmosphere. Sometimes cleaning glass can be difficult. A razor blade can remove thick layers of soot. Any cleaning supplies or soap and water can clean the thinner layers. You can even try using ash to clean fireplace glass by dipping newspaper in water and ash.
3. Clean Hearth
Similar to the glass door, the hearth can also get stained with a buildup of soot. You should clean the hearth about every six weeks. You can clean hearths with oxygen bleach and water and hydrogen peroxide. If you are cleaning your fireplace yourself you can use water, a scrub brush, and a special brick cleaner.
4. Remove Debris From the Roof
No matter what the season is, there is still a significant amount of debris that can land on the roof. Leaves and pine needles can fall into the chimney which can lead to hazardous situations. Chimney caps reduce the risk of debris falling into the chimney. Making sure there are no branches and debris near the chimney area is important before using the fireplace. You do not want to risk any dangerous conditions when enjoying your fireplace.
5. Check Smoke Alarm
A properly working smoke alarm is essential when keeping up with your fireplace maintenance. This is especially important during the winter since your fireplace is being used more frequently. Smoke alarms should be placed inside and outside the bedrooms on each floor of the house, and they should be checked once a month to ensure they are functioning properly.
6. Build Small Fires
Smaller fires generally create less toxic byproducts in the air. This will help with keeping up with maintenance. This means your fireplace will be kept cleaner for longer, and if you are cleaning regularly, continuing maintenance will be much easier.
How We Can Help!
Fireplaces are the centerpiece of a room. Keeping them clean, inside and outside, helps prevent unwanted fires while also making the room look cleaner. Prior to winter and after, it is recommended to hire a chimney sweep to do more in-depth cleaning and maintenance. It is never a bad idea to hire a professional. Professionals will help ensure your fireplace is maintained safely. Contact us today and we can help get your chimney ready for the winter.