With the temperatures starting to drop, we are heading towards the season of sitting next to the fireplace. But before you light it up and snuggle up close with your favorite hot beverage, you need to make sure it is safe and clean. That’s why we are teaching you how to clean your chimney and fireplace.
When Should You Clean Them?
The number of times you clean your chimney in the year depends on how often you use it and where you live. If you use your fireplace often, we suggest cleaning it once a season. If you live in areas where you only use it for a few months or less, we recommend cleaning it before and after the season you choose to use it. You need to also clean your chimney whenever you see creosote, a tar-like byproduct of wood combustion.
How to Clean Chimney?
We are going to preface this section by saying that you can clean your chimney on your own, but it is not as easy as it seems. You will first want to climb to your roof with the tools you need and remove the rain cap on your chimney. Once you have it open, you will take your cleaning tool (most likely a brush) and brush the inside of the flute. We suggest having a brush that has an extension so you can reach all the places. Once you finish cleaning, you can close the rain cap and bring your tools down.
How to Clean Fireplace?
After you cleaned your chimney, the first step you need to take is to clean out the area. Remove tools, covers, wood and any other items in the way. You will want to place a tarp or cover to collect any floating debris. Once you have your station ready to go, you can start by clearing out any ash, dirt or debris you see. You can clean accessories, screens and covers with warm water, distilled white vinegar and cornstarch. You will also want to scrub done the walls with the same solution. Remember to wear a mask, gloves and used clothing during the cleaning process. While cleaning, you will also want to open the damper.
When Should I Call a Professional?
When in doubt, you should call a professional masonry expert or chimneysweep to help you clean your fireplace and chimney. You need to have the right tools and experience, especially since you can be putting yourself in danger while cleaning these two places. While Valor Home Services does not clean chimneys and fireplaces, we can refer you to skilled professionals we trust. Instead, we can help you with all your other home remodeling needs like bathroom remodeling, hardwood floor refinishing, flooring and handyman/carpentry projects. For more information or to get our list of chimneysweeps in your area, contact us today.