by Karen Bates
(last updated March 27, 2017)
On chilly days, there's nothing quite like relaxing in front of a warm, crackling fire. Many people like to use their fireplaces as a source of heat during the winter to save money on utility costs, and having a fire in the fireplace can bring a feeling of coziness to your home.
Although warming up with a nice fire in your home can be a good way to help you save money on heating costs, a fireplace is not without its own costs. Every so often, you must take steps to maintain the fireplace and chimney area so that you can avoid potentially dangerous situations. Build-up left in the fireplace can become hazardous if left uncleaned, so you must consider fireplace maintenance if you plan to use the fireplace in your home.
You can go ahead and clean the fireplace by yourself if you like. Many people dislike this chore, but you can save money over hiring a professional company to do it for you. Before cleaning your fireplace, be sure that you have all of the needed cleaning supplied available. These items may include a vacuum, scrub brush, broom, cleaner, and tarp to name a few. It is also important to take proper safety precautions before beginning the task. Since you'll be dealing with soot and other contaminants, wear a safety mask, goggles, and gloves during the cleaning process.
Begin by removing large pieces of debris from the fireplace and discarding them. Vacuum up what remains with your attachment, preferably using a shop-vac that can handle tough jobs. Protect the flooring in front of the fireplace by spreading out a tarp or newspapers before you get into the deep-cleaning part of this task. The next step is to scrub out the fireplace thoroughly. You can use a cleaner made specifically for the fireplace, or create a mixture of water and bleach to help you clean. When done, use a wet rag to rinse away cleaner and any remaining soot.
Many people prefer to hire a professional to take care of fireplace cleaning because it is a job that can be difficult and tedious. By hiring a fireplace cleaner to do the work for you, you can be assured that the job will be done correctly with the best possible tools by trained technicians. Although it will mean spending more money than if you did the work yourself, it can save you time and effort.
Professional fireplace cleaners can take care of the cleaning for you as well as other services. Some companies can inspect the fireplace and chimney for you and make sure it is safe. They may also be able to repair a damaged fireplace or chimney.
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