In the previous article, you have read about the things you need to consider when constructing a fireplace in your own backyard. This article is a continuation of the last one. Here, you will learn how to properly maintain and clean your fireplace after you have used it. This is very applicable to all homeowners now, especially when the winter season is almost over.
- Wood. The type of cleaning that is required for this type of chimney depends on the kind of wood that you use to heat up the fireplace. It is for this reason that burning well-seasoned firewood is recommended to avoid dangerous and dirty creosote. Creosote buildup can lead to chimney fires, which is something that you don’t want to have for your home or backyard.
- Removing Ash. If you are burning wood in your fireplace, then it is right to expect ashes in it after using the fireplace. However, you don’t need to remove the ashes from the fireplace every time you use it. You only need to do this when the ashes have become smelly or if it is obstructing fire from building. When this happens, you only need a shovel to have them remove. A small one would do. Put the ashes in a trash bag and dispose of the bag properly. If you see remaining ashes around the hearth and through the metal floor of your firebox, you can remove them by using a vacuum. Just a heads-up! You can remove the ashes from your fireplace three days after you have used the fireplace as the ashes may still contain burning charcoal or wood from the last time you used it. Hot charcoal and burning wood can start a fire, especially when you dump it in a bin full of light materials.
- Soot and Smoke. When using your fireplace, make sure that the flue damper is open so smoke can freely go out of the chimney and that soot will not start to build-up. However, if you see soot around your fireplace, you can clean the soot out of the fireplace by using a masonry cleaner. Wear gloves and use a stiff brush when doing this. If you have glass doors for your fireplace, you can clean them using a standard window cleaner or any cleaner of your choice.
- Professional Cleaning. If you don’t have the time to clean your fireplace on your own, it is always best to contact the professionals to do it. Burning the driest wood available will still form creosote, which could eventually start a fireplace fire as they are flammable. To stay on the safe side, always hire a professional whenever you are not able to maintain and clean your fireplace yourself.
Gas-burning fireplaces do not require as much maintenance as the wood-burning fireplaces. However, it does not mean that you don’t have to take care of it at all. Whenever possible, remove and clean the glass doors of your fireplace. Use cleaners that do not have ammonia as this is flammable. You can also use a homemade vinegar solution to clean your glass doors. Also, make it a habit to check your gas logs. See if it is in the proper position and is functioning well.