Bought A Home With A Fireplace And Chimney? 2 Tips On Taking Care Of Everything
If you purchased a new home and it has a fireplace with a chimney you have to provide maintenance to keep everything running well and to keep the fireplace working safely. If you have never had a fireplace and chimney in a home before, you may be confused about what to do. If so, below are two tips on taking care of the fireplace and chimney so you can enjoy warm fires throughout the winter.
1. Clean the Fireplace Inside
You need to keep the fireplace clean from the inside. Remove ashes daily if you use the fireplace each day. The ashes should never build up to be more than approximately two to three inches. This is because ashes stay hot much longer after the fire goes out. If there are a lot of hot ashes and you start a fire in the fireplace, the ashes could also catch on fire.
You can use a shovel that is made for this purpose. Keep this shovel near the fireplace to make it easy to remove the ashes. Have a bucket also to put the ashes in as you shovel them. At the end of the season, use a shop vacuum to remove all ashes and any other debris.
Soot also should be cleaned regularly. To do this, mix up a bucket of water with a few drops of liquid soap. Put the liquid into a spray bottle and spray the liquid liberally onto the soot. Let it sit for about an hour and then use a stiff wire brush to scrub the soot stains. If there are stains that will not come off purchase a chemical known as muriatic acid. Follow the directions carefully on how to use this chemical, as it is toxic.
2. Maintain Outside
Check the chimney cap to ensure it is intact and has no damage. The chimney cap often becomes clogged with debris, such as built up leaves and small sticks. Place a wire screen over the chimney cap. This will prevent animals from getting into the chimney, such as raccoons, birds, or squirrels.
Inspect the mortar to see if any of the mortar is damaged or cracked. If so, this mortar will have to be replaced.
The inside of the chimney also needs to be cleaned. There are tools you can purchase to do this yourself, but this can be a difficult and dangerous job. Instead, you should hire a chimney sweep to do this for you. This professional can clean all interior surfaces of the chimney walls to ensure everything is clean. The chimney sweep can also inspect the chimney for you for any kind of damage.
Talk with the chimney sweep company like A & A Chimney Sweep about this information and they can give you many more details.