A chimney with creosote and debris buildup poses a threat to your safety so you should get your chimney and fireplace ready for the chilly months ahead. You can also consult chimney cleaning services, however, here are cleaning tips for your fireplace and chimney.
Let It Cool Down First
Before doing any sort of cleaning, it’s very important that you let the chimney cool down completely. If you want to get your chimney cleaned, then try to keep the fireplace off for a day. It will allow all of the dirt and soot to settle and it won’t leave behind any residue in the walls of the chimney.
If your fireplace is warm, then it will be very hard to clean, because soot, when it’s slightly warm, can be very difficult to remove from the inner walls of the chimney. Also, dealing with a colder fireplace is much easier than a hot one.
Clean Your Fireplace
Aside from the chimney, your fireplace also needs to be cleaned. There can be soot buildup on the walls of the fireplace too and you need to know to get rid of it, if you want your chimney to work properly.
One way to do it is to scrape off the soot from the walls as best as you can and then scoop it all up. Make sure that you don’t leave any residue of soot behind, because it will harden once the fireplace is hot and it will become a sludge and it will be almost impossible to remove.
Remove The Ash And Dust
A fireplace is meant to have a lot of ash and dust in it, so it’s a good idea to clean it as well. If you don’t clean the leftover ash from the fireplace, it can clog the grates and the fireplace will not warm up the space well enough. To clean ashes, the best tool to use is a hand-held vacuum cleaner. You can get this tool for very cheap online or even at a store and you can keep it specifically for your fireplace.
There won’t be any fallout of ash on your floor and everything will be nicely contained in the vacuum cleaner. You don’t want to use your normal vacuum cleaner for this, otherwise, it will get dirty and deposit ash all over your house.
The grates of the fireplace are, oftentimes, forgotten and they need to be cleaned as well. You can easily remove the grates from the fireplace and handle them, once they are cool enough. You can clean the grate with a wet washcloth and detergent or you can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda if the grates are extremely grimy and they need a deep cleaning.
Make sure that the grates are dry before you install them back in the fireplace otherwise, it might affect the performance.
Clean The Doors
Usually, fireplace doors are made out of tempered glass, so that you can see the burning embers safely from the fireplace. When cleaning the chimney and the fireplace, you shouldn’t forget about the doors either.
The doors can get dark and soot can get deposited on the walls. You can clean the doors with a glass cleaner and a washcloth and it will be spotless and ready for use again.
Check For Leaks And Other Damaged
If your chimney is old and you haven’t cleaned it in a long time, then you might want to check for leaks and damages as well. One way by which you can be sure that your chimney is leaking is by checking the heat from the fireplace. If the fire is taking a long time to heat up or there is smoke buildup in the room, then your chimney might have leaked from somewhere.
It’s better to get the chimney inspected as soon as possible because you don’t want the leak to get bigger and damage your chimney or house in any way, shape, or form.
Clean It Regularly
Chimneys are not that hard to clean, but it can take you a lot longer if you haven’t cleaned your chimney for a couple of months. It’s best to get your chimney cleaned every month or every other month, even if you’re not using it, because it will ensure that the chimney is clean, there isn’t any residence of birds or animals in the chimney.
Plus, by cleaning it regularly, your chimney will also last for a long time and there won’t be problems like leaks, cracks or soot build-up in the walls. Hiring chimney contractors Upper Marlboro for cleaning the chimney regularly will save you a lot of time.
Protect The Surroundings
When cleaning the chimney, you don’t want your entire house to be covered in ashes. One way to protect your floors and the surrounding areas is to cover them up with a tarp. Tarp is really easy to use and you can just pick the whole thing up, pack it, and throw it in the trash after the cleaning is complete.
You want to cover your floors, the ornate decorations around the fireplace, and some surrounding furniture, because ashes will fly around a lot during the whole cleaning process of the chimney, so it’s better to be prepared.
Cleaning Solutions For Chimneys
As far as cleaning solutions are concerned, professional workers usually use a mixture of water and trisodium phosphate, which can be very dangerous to handle, if you don’t have gloves and a mask.
If you want to make your own chimney cleaner, which is safe to use and will remove soot easily, then try a mix of vinegar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. This is going to break down the soot and make it easier to clean the walls of the chimney. You can, then, use a brush to scrape off soot from the walls.
Call In The Professionals
This isn’t specifically a tip or hack, but if your chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a long time, then it’s probably best that you don’t do it by yourself, because you might not be able to clean it properly. It’s a good idea to call in a chimney cleaning expert who will get the job done fast and efficiently.
They have special tools and brushes which go very deep into the chimney and it cleans all of the soot and dirt perfectly. They will also clean up the fireplace and you won’t even need to move a muscle. It will cost you more, yes, but the chimney is going to be much cleaner. If your chimney not been cleaned since last winter, then you can’t do it by yourself and you need professional workers to clean the chimney out, which will enable it to perform very well in the coming months.
They can also check for problems in the chimney and change things right then and there. This tip is great if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to clean your chimney.
There you have it! Chimneys are a huge pain to clean, but since you’re getting this thing out of the way, it’s going to pay you off in the colder months. To make things easier, let chimney sweep services Bowie clean your fireplace and chimney.