After a long, cold winter, your fireplace is probably feeling a little tired. But there are still a few things you can do to prepare your fireplace for this spring season.
Clean The Flue
Keeping your chimney clean is the single most important thing you can do to keep your home and family safe. Whether you have a gas- or oil-fired appliance, you need to ensure the flue is in tip-top shape. The first step is to inspect the chimney for damage or build-up of creosote. To do this, use a flashlight to shine into the flue and smoke chamber. If you see a black, flaky substance, it’s most likely creosote. If it’s very thick, you might need a professional to remove it. Once you’ve spotted the problem, take care to sweep your chimney frequently to prevent creosote buildup from reoccurring. Also, make sure you’re using dry, well-seasoned wood.
Clean The Grates
Whether you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace, the grates should be cleaned and inspected regularly. This will help keep them in good shape so that they last as long as possible and will prevent the grate from becoming worn down or damaged by water or rust. To clean the grates, start by scraping them off after every use. This will remove any food debris that is stuck on them, and it should leave them looking fresh and new.
Clean The Hearth
Cleaning the hearth is a simple task that will help you get ready for the new season. Just make sure you use the right materials and techniques based on what your fireplace is made of. Slate, marble, and granite are porous materials that need special care in cleaning. The surface can easily break down with the wrong cleaning products, so it’s important to use the right methods. Brick is another common material and can be cleaned with dishwashing detergent or vinegar. However, it may be necessary to saturate the brick with water before cleaning to avoid streaking or color changes. For hard-to-clean stains, try an ammonia mixture of 5% to 10% with water. This will leave your masonry feeling soft and shiny again.
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