For someone who does not like dirt or dust, a fireplace may not seem like an ideal piece for your living room. Many think that when a fireplace has dirt or ashes in the bottom that it needs to be immediately removed, but this may not be the case. Your local chimney professionals can answer these questions and also administer your annual chimney sweep and inspection. Call Total Chimney Care for all of your chimney needs.
Should you leave the ashes or should you remove them?
Many homeowners are shocked to learn that you are supposed to leave a thin layer of ash in the bottom of your fireplace during burning season. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests this amount be about an inch. This is done to help build and maintain your fire by supplying extra heat. However, you must be very careful in monitoring the ash level because too much can allow pieces to come into contact with the grate, causing it to burn out prematurely.
However, if you have a stove that burns from the front to the back you will need to have the ash in the inside of the door removed. This gives you a spot to move the hot coals from the back to. A small layer of ash will also protect the overall floor of a firebox. At the end of the season you do need to remove all of the ashes. When the acids contained in ash begin to reach parts of the fireplace they can begin to cause rust and deterioration.
How do you remove ash from inside of your firebox?
There are many ways you can remove ash – always using a glove, a fireplace shovel, and a wet/dry vacuum. This process should be done four or more days after the last fire so they are completely cooled down and safe. You should always place the old ash in a metal or clay container and discard far away from your home. You can remove ash and soot from glass parts of the fireplace with an equal part water and vinegar base. Using a spray bottle, cover the area and gently wipe away with a paper towel.