Winter months become cooler, so it will be difficult to live without a heater. If you have a fireplace, you can enjoy cozy moments in your house during winter. Fireplace not only increase the aesthetic appeal of your house, but you can use them to save utility and energy bills. Before sparking up a fireplace for the first time, you have to take some safety steps. Keep it in mind that sparking fire after summer without maintaining or cleaning your fireplace will aesthetically affect your fireplace hearth. Moreover, it is dangerous for your health.
Consistent use may increase creosote buildup that is dangerous for you and your family. The black, oily substance indicates accumulation of tar, wood, smoke and other combustible particles. It will be hazardous to light a fireplace without cleaning these perilous buildups. These can increase the risk of skin damage and home fires. For the safety of your hearth and family, it is essential to keep it clean. Regular cleaning and maintenance allow you to enjoy warm evenings regularly.
Professional Inspection of Fireplace
Before sparking the first fire of winter season, call a professional to clean and inspect your chimney. They can detect creosote and dangerous buildups to clean them. While sweeping a chimney, it is essential to perform other tasks annually, such as check the chimney cap. A secure chimney cap can keep animals and debris away.
Arrange a Stock of Seasoned Hardwood
You will need dense, seasoned wood that should be dry for almost six months. It will maintain a smooth burning fire with less dark and thick smoke. Keep it in mind that dark and thick smoke is responsible for build-up in a chimney. Moreover, don’t add extra wood to fire. A small fire will cause less heat and smoke. High temperature may increase issues in your chimney, such as cracking and soot build-up.
Freshly cut or wet firewood will have a higher moisture content. This type of wood can create more soot and smoke in your fireplace. Avoid wet firewood for optimum efficiency of the hearth. Make sure to choose seasoned wood with 20% or even less moisture. Usable and safe firewood can decrease safety hazards. Keep a pile of dry firewood in a safe place to protect them from moisture, snow, and rain. Wet ground can make logs messy and soggy. Choose a tidy and neat log holder to store woods inside.
Check the Surroundings of a Fireplace
For the safety of fireplace hearth, you have to keep your smoke alarm in working order. Change its batteries in fall and spring. Make sure to test this alarm periodically. Remove all decorations and wall hangings near hearth that you use during the summer season. Remove debris and decor to avoid an accident.
Keep Reading: Gas Fireplace
Cleaning Method for Fireplace
Before choosing a cleaning method, you have to determine the material of hearths, such as iron, stone or brick. Understand the characteristics and material of your fireplace to tailor a cleaning method. It will help you to avoid damages. Here are some essential tips for cleaning.
- Brick is a standard material of fireplace. As compared to other materials, it is more susceptible to stains. You can prevent ash buildup and soot with routine cleaning and maintenance.
- Seal stone for blemish resistance. After sealing, you will need warm water to maintain a sparkling fireplace.
- A fireplace made of iron can’t take moisture. While cleaning an iron fireplace, you should not use a damp cloth. A lint-free cloth or dry, soft brush can help you in cleaning.
- Similar to brick, marble is a porous material. It can absorb liquid and create stains. You will need a microfiber cloth for cleaning because harsh scrubbing can ruin the delicate finish of marble.
Concrete, stainless steel, and limestone are some other fireplace exteriors. You will need a special cleaning solution for these materials.
There are several options for solutions and tools to clean your fireplace hearth. Some people use vinegar or dishwashing detergent with a cloth or scrub brush for cleaning. It is essential to choose the right solution to clean your fireplace. Always remember that wrong tools and solutions can damage your fireplace. Choose a specific cleaning solution, such as Tri-Sodium Phosphate can be an excellent choice to clean your hearth.
Maintain Hearth Regularly
Initial inspection and cleaning will make your heart pleasant, but it is not enough. A fireplace hearth needs regular maintenance during the whole winter season. Soot and wood particles will accumulate quickly in available spaces. Make sure to clean each part of a fireplace, such as exterior material, surround stone or bricks, chimney, firebox, and flue. Regularly tackle fresh stains in between winter fires. It will help you to increase the age of fireplace and avoid long-term damage.
You will need a coal scuttle and cast iron toolset for fire maintenance. These tools can make cleaning easy for you. A functional kit makes it easy to scoop out ash and firewood, sweep away rubbishes and control fire. Let the ashes completely cool before cleaning your fireplace hearth. It is essential for your safety. You can douse ashes with water before their disposal.