Fireplace Cleaning Tips
With thunderstorm warnings and snow still impacting unseasonably cool temperatures throughout the Greater Buffalo and Rochester regions, it’s hard to believe it is spring. However, the cool weather we are experiencing late into the season will eventually result in warmer weather. Before you know it, the sun will be shining, the flowers will be blooming, and we will enjoy everything that spring has to offer. So, keep these fireplace cleaning tips handy for your spring cleaning.
How to Clean Your Fireplace
If you have been using your fireplace, you will need to allow it to cool for at least 48 hours before cleaning. In the meantime, you will need to gather some cleaning supplies:
- Old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty
- sturdy non-slip shoes
- Fireplace masonry/cleaner
- a mask, a pair of gloves
- safety glasses or goggles
- metal container for the ash
- chimney shovel
- scrub brush
- wet/dry vacuum or broom
- plastic tarp or cover
- When you’re ready to clean the fireplace, move any nearby furniture out of the way. Cover your furniture, flooring, and any objects with a plastic tarp to protect them from soot.
- Take the fireplace grate and andirons out of the fireplace and place them on the patio or porch.
- Use a chimney shovel to scoop the ashes into an ash can or metal container. Even though ash may appear cool, it can reignite, so you should always keep them in a metal or non-combustible metal container.
- Vacuum or sweep the firebox to remove loose debris on the firebox floor.
- Clean the firebrick with a cleaner for brick masonry to scrub soot and creosote stains from the masonry.
- Carefully clean the glass fireplace doors with a glass cleaner or a fireplace masonry cleaner specially formulated for use on both brick and glass.
- While allowing your fireplace to dry, clean the grate and andirons. You can fill a small bucket of water with mild dish soap to help scrub the soot, creosote, and stains.
- When dry, place the grate and andirons back in the fireplace.
- You can recycle the ash in your garden or use it as fertilizer, but keep enough ash in the metal container for a 1-inch layer under the grate to help light your fireplace next season.
Do Gas Fireplaces Need to Be Cleaned?
Yes, your gas fireplace needs cleaning too. Dust, pet dander, and other particulates in the air can get trapped inside your gas fireplace and clog burner ports. Regularly cleaning your fireplace and log set will help avoid unnecessary repairs and prolong the life of your appliance. Consult with the user’s manual for your gas fireplace model for cleaning instructions. In addition, the chimney sweeps at Felgemacher Fireplace Shop are certified to clean and inspect gas fireplaces too.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
Professional chimney inspections are critical for ensuring your chimney and fireplace are not a fire or health hazard. The creosote that accumulates in the fireplace or wood stove and chimney hardens into a highly flammable material if it is not removed with regular chimney sweeping. Every year, fire departments throughout the Buffalo and Rochester region respond to house fires caused by creosote build-up or failure to maintain a fireplace or wood stove properly. Sadly, five children lost their lives in a neighboring state. Investigators determined that it started in the basement due to an issue with the chimney or wood stove.
An annual chimney inspection is critical to discovering whether there is excessive creosote build-up, masonry damage, flue liner cracks, obstructions, and other issues that can affect the safety and performance of the chimney, vents, and attached heating appliances. Detecting problems earlier will reduce future chimney repairs, reduce the risk of fire and exposure to toxic fumes, and protect your home and family. So, if you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to schedule your annual chimney inspection.
Chimney and Fireplace Maintenance in Buffalo, NY
Whether you are maintaining an existing fireplace or are considering an upgrade, the Felgemacher Fireplace Shop has everything you need with a large selection of fireplaces, heating stoves, and accessories. Visit us at 2727 Broadway, Suite 5 in Buffalo. We have been serving Henrietta, Spencerport, Elma Center, Tonawanda, and the surrounding Buffalo-Rochester communities since 1953. Call (585) 684-8791 or (716) 452-9157 or contact us online to schedule a chimney inspection today!