A fireplace can be a source of warmth and comfort on cold winter nights, but it will need regular maintenance to remain efficient and safe in the long run. Your fireplace should be thoroughly cleaned before the burning season starts to ensure that there are no bird or animal nests in the chimney. It should then be checked regularly during the burning season so that you can remove creosote build-up before it becomes a problem.
BE VERY CAREFUL if you choose to work up on your roof. Use a secure ladder and suitable shoes for a good grip. If you are not completely comfortable working on the roof, hire a cleaning service.
We are providing these general instructions as a guideline for customers who wish to try a home improvement project. If you are not confident that you will be able to execute this project, please do not attempt to do so. Consult your local building codes as required, and get additional advice from the experts at your local Kent store. Remember, always work safely!
- If you choose to clean the chimney yourself, first open the damper all the way.
- Tape a sheet of plastic over the fireplace opening so that dust will not spread through the house.
- You can also prevent the spread of dust by placing the hose of a heavy duty Shop-Vac under the plastic and turning it on while you sweep.
- Move any furniture away from the opening so that you have room to work, and to keep it away from any dirt or debris.
- Assemble a chimney brush and sweep-out the inside of the chimney. This can be done either upward from inside the house, downward from the roof or a combination of the two. Chimney brushes are available in a range of sizes and shapes, to fit round, square or rectangular chimney systems. Browse our selection here.
- With a wire or poly brush, remove any built-up soot from inside the fireplace.
- Specialized fireplace cleaners are available for scrubbing the firebox and removing smoke stains from brick. Use a normal scrub brush to prevent scratches on the brick.
- Clean and lubricate the fireplace enclosure (screen) with a cleaner/degreaser.
- If you have a wood stove, scrape and brush the firebox clean weekly. Inspect the stove pipe and flue monthly and clean them out with a chimney brush annually.
- It’s recommended that the door gasket be changed once a season to ensure that you always have a good seal. If you think the door gasket isn’t sealing properly at any point, try shutting a coupon-sized piece of paper in the door. If you can pull the paper out easily, it’s definitely time to replace the gasket.