Cleaning Your Fireplace

So cold weather has finally arrived. That means you can now curl up with a warm cup of java in front of your fireplace for a little R&R. Before you do though, there are a few tasks you’ll need to complete to ensure that your fireplace is in good working order. For a wood burning fireplace that means something entirely different than for a gas fireplace.

First and foremost, ask yourself what type of wood you’re burning. Properly seasoned wood that has been stored dry is the best and safest choice. Why? Dirty wood can escalate the potential for the buildup of a chemical called creosote that is often a primary cause of chimney fires.

If you’re burning good wood, now you can get down to business – and get dirty. If you haven’t cleaned the ashes from last season, grab a bag, and a small spade. You’ll need to shovel the ashes into the bag and throw them away. Whatever ashes are left can be vacuumed up.

If you have any buildup of smoke or soot that’s evident around the frame of your fireplace, you’ll need to grab some gloves, a good stiff brush and some masonry cleaner. Typically, build up is caused by a clogged flue, or maybe you forgot to open the damper once or twice. Oops!

Last but not least, if you use your fireplace regularly each year, having a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean it each year is money well spent. The reality is that soot and creosote can build up quickly and easily – and both are culprits for chimney fires. In addition, a good chimney sweep will find potential cracks in your chimney wall are a danger to you and your home.

What about gas fireplaces? The good news is that gas fireplaces are much lower maintenance than wood-burning fireplaces. However, it’s still important to have them regularly cleaned and inspected. You can clean the glass doors with a good household glass cleaner and use a hand vacuum to clean up any trash or debris around your heat exchanger (if your model has one). In addition, having a professional check your pilot light every other year is a good practice.


Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Go Green Will Be Closed on Monday, September 4th for Labor Day. Emergency Services Are available for Members Only.