It’s summer, no need to think about your chimney, right? Wrong! Summer is the perfect time to address your fireplace or wood stove chimney to ensure that everything is in working order come fall. Summer is when chimney cleaning companies are not as busy, and can work you into their schedules more easily. You also can give attention to areas in and around your fireplace or wood stove while not needing to be lighting a fire. Don’t neglect your fireplace or wood stove this summer, embrace maintaining it and making it more beautiful come fall and winter.
Hire a Chimney Sweep
Get your chimney cleaning done in the summer, when you aren’t lighting fires as often. Aside from just cleaning, a chimney sweep can inspect your chimney and flue lining to make sure that everything is in order. Creosote that builds up inside your chimney can catch on fire and creates the possibility of a house fire. Get your chimney inspected and cleaned this summer, and rest assured that your chimney is good to go in the cold weather. If you are here in Frederick, Chimney Care Plus would love to handle all of your chimney cleaning!
Cleaning Your Fireplace
A professional chimney sweep can also clean your fireplace and get rid of the soot that has accumulated through many fires. Cleaning the hearth is a very messy job, and if you want to avoid the black streaks, you can leave this job to the professionals. If you are going to tackle your own fireplace, make sure that the ashes are cool before starting-very important! This is easy in the summer when you haven’t burned a fire in many days or weeks. You need to remove all of the ashes using first a fireplace shovel and then a vacuum. Wearing rubber gloves is the best way to tackle the next step, which is cleaning the face and outer hearth. You can use a solution of water and all-purpose cleaner, but avoid cleaning bricks with any water as they are prone to crumbling. Just a vacuuming will suffice the inside of the box. Scrubbing the outside and the hearth can give new life to your fireplace. If you are feeling especially industrious, summer is a great time to do any painting or tiling of the fireplace area. Changing out the color of the brick, or the style of the tile is a great way to give a whole new look to your fireplace.
Cleaning Your Wood Stove
As with your fireplace, summer is a great time to clean not just your chimney, but also your wood stove. A wood stove will have the same ashes that need to be removed, and it is an equally messy job. Hire a pro if you would rather not tackle this! The wood stove pipe can build up the same creosote as a fireplace chimney, so hiring a professional is your best option this summer. If you have a wood stove with a glass window on the door, you know that this glass can darken with a seemingly impenetrable substance. If you have been scrubbing and trying various cleaner with no success, try charcoal! Yes, an old piece of partially burned wood from your own wood stove can be dampened and rubbed on the blackened glass to get rid of residue and restore your window. Having your wood stove window clean and clear will look great all summer and, come winter, your clear window will beautifully show off a cozy, crackling fire. If your window is clean and shiny, move on the the body of your wood stove. To restore that deep black shine of a new wood stove, you can wipe down the surface with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Then, use a stove paste to bring back the shine and rich color; when you next light a fire, this polish will harden and provide a protective coating on your wood stove.
Decorating for Summer
Once the weather warms up, and you are no longer curling up to a cozy fire, your wood stove or fireplace might seem like an uninspired addition to the room. Decorate this area to add interest in the summer months! The (now clean!) inside of your fireplace can be a great place to place a decorative tied bundle of sticks or logs, and using a wood like light colored birch gives great contrast to the dark interior. You could also arrange logs with the cut ends facing out; while impractical for burning, this looks great and fills an empty fireplace. On a wood stove that won’t be burning for a few months, you could place a plant or a beautiful arrangement of flowers. Another option in the summer is to rearrange your furniture so that a chair or sofa back is facing the fireplace or stove. This gives new interest and design to your room in the months that you don’t need a fire. There are so many options when it comes to decorating your wood stove or fireplace, and highlighting these areas even in the summertime.
So this summer, make your fireplace or wood stove a priority, and call us to help you out with the cleaning and maintenance. Summer is a great time to give a little extra love to your wood stove or fireplace to ensure it is in peak condition come winter. Count on Chimney Care Plus if you need chimney cleaning services. We provide service throughout Western Maryland, including Frederick, Mt. Airy, Hagerstown, Myersville, and the surrounding areas.