While many homeowners are aware of the importance of cleaning their chimney, most forget about the fireplace in their home. Without proper maintenance and cleaning, even the best fireplaces will soon lose their appeal. While there's no substitute for professional services, there are things you can do to prolong the life of your fireplace and still get the most out of every fire you light:
Cleaning your fireplace is more than just a seasonal matter, like chimney cleaning. The soot and ash in the firebox can create a highly acidic compound known as lye, which will corrode metal, eat through mortar and compromise bricks. The only way to address this problem is by clearing out as much of the ash from inside as possible.
Make sure you're using a non-reactive metal, such as aluminum or steel, to remove and store the ash while it cools. This is also a good time to clear any scattered debris on the hearth around the fireplace as well. Before disposing of the ash, make sure they've completely cooled, especially if you've had a fire lit in the last 24 hours. Hot embers can stay active for a long time, and will quickly eat through a plastic garbage bin if you're not careful.
Grates and Other Accessories
Your fire grate is one of the most important components of your fireplace, so make sure you know what you need and what to look for before you purchase a new one. Improperly positioned fire grates, or those that are the wrong shape or size, can chip away at the mortar inside the firebox, compromising the integrity of the bricks inside. Without the protection offered by the fire bricks inside, you'll increase the risk of your fireplace igniting any surrounding structures, and it will reduce the amount of heat reflected into the room.
Measure the inside of your firebox before purchasing a grate, including the height of any bricks inside it. Avoid grates that are large enough to span the entire firebox or that might dig into the mortar. This will make cleaning easier, and minimize possible damage to the masonry.
Anything intended for use inside your fireplace during a fire should be cast iron or steel, as they have a much higher melting point than other metals. Tools should include a scoop for clearing ash, a poker for manipulating burning logs and a course brush for dislodging soot or stuck on ash inside your fireplace.
Most fireplaces are designed to last for decades. If you take good care of yours you'll be rewarded with efficient heating and greater longevity. Not only will this keep you warmer in the winter, but it's cheaper than replacing your fireplace every few years. To learn more, contact a company like B C Fireplace Service Inc.
Hi, I'm Lenora. One of my favorite things is traveling. And when I travel, I especially love to see the various architecture around the world. Ever since I built a house (well, you know, hired a contractor to help me design it and then build it for me), I have been fascinated with the construction process. I love looking at international architecture like Saint Basil's Cathedral in Russia or Angkor Wat in Cambodia. How were they made? It is just so interesting to me, from the foundation's support to all the intricate details such as paving or roofing. I started this blog to talk about all the parts of construction. I hope you enjoy it!