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Winter Home Maintenance Tips: Fireplace and Chimney

Ah alas the holiday season is over. Many of us spent the season cozied up by our fireplace, spending quality time with our family, and watching Home Alone for the millionth time! While all that was nice, eventually we had to put away the holiday decorations and clean out the house for the new year. Although it’s a tedious task, it’s super important to make sure that cleaning out your fireplace and chimney is on that list. Here are some tips on how you can maintain your fireplace and chimney during the winter:

 

1) Clean ash build up

During the winter months it’s hard to remind yourself to keep on top of ash build up in your fireplace. You don’t want to wait for the ash levels to be too high before you clean it. Not only will your cozy fire stop igniting the same light, but also you can store all that ash for composting purposes in the summer! Make sure to leave an inch of ash to build a good fire.

2) Clean the fireplace hearth

There is usually a lot of soot that starts to form on the hearth of the fireplace causing it to stain it with black marks. You should usually do this every six weeks if you plan on using your fireplace regularly. If you have a concrete hearth you should use oxygen bleach, and if you have a slate hearth you should use water and hydrogen peroxide. If your hearth is made out of brick, you can use water, a scrub brush and a special brick cleaner.

3) Clean the glass doors

Similar to the hearth, soot tends to form on the glass cover of the fireplace over time. If there are thick layers of soot on your glass, it’s best to use a razor blade, and if it’s a thin layer simply use soap and water.

Pro Tip: To clean the soot off the razor blade spray some WD-40 to slide all the gunk off

4) Clean the chimney caps

You can never be too careful even with chimney caps, to make sure any hazardous material doesn’t fall into your chimney. Although this step isn’t required as often, it’s important to check your roof to help reduce risk

 

For more information on fireplace and chimney maintenance during the winter, check out this HGTV article

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