Now Is The Time To Check Your Fireplace
We’re sure the last thing on your mind right now is lighting your fireplace. But it really should be – at least the maintenance of it. Do not wait for cold weather to hit before you get your fireplace inspected and cleaned. Doing it now while the weather is nice–and while it’s still considered offseason–will have you ready to light that a match as soon as the first cold fall night arrives.
Has it been at least a year (or more!) since your last professional cleaning? Then definitely hire a professional chimney sweep so they can clean the flu and inspect the entire fireplace for hazardous cracks.
If it’s been less than a year since your last professional chimney sweep…then you can easily clean and inspect the fireplace yourself by following these steps:
- Check the flu for nests, animals or leaves.
- Check the chimney. Use a flashlight and mirror to look up to the open damper.
- If you see blockages of any kind you’ll have to call a professional chimney sweep.
- Repair cracks in the chimney, firebox or hearth–making sure you use the proper materials. Click here for tips and DIY advice.
Once you’ve inspected your chimney, it’s time to clean it:
- Gather your materials: a vacuum, bucket, gloves, two cloths, mild dish soap, stiff-bristled brush, table salt, and water.
- Vacuum the soot from inside the chimney.
- Mix one ounce of soap with one ounce of table salt in just enough water in a bucket to make the mixture creamy.
- Thoroughly rub it into the brick with a cloth (wearing gloves if you so choose).
- Allow it to dry for at least ten minutes. Then use the stiff-bristled brush to remove the residue and scum from the bricks. Repeat if necessary until your fireplace is “shiny” and clean!
- Take another wet cloth and wipe away any leftover soap scum or residue.
Now, stock up on wood before it gets too cold. Buy a full face cord or a half face cord of firewood to last you a full winter (or two). Remember to purchase only local wood to prevent spreading invasive species. Choose hardwood like walnut and maple for a clean, longer and hotter burn. Then sit back and enjoy your warm fires in your clean, safe fireplace!
Talk to us: What month do you usually light the first fire?