Tips On What To Do With Your Fireplace In Summer
It is assumed by many who own a home with a fireplace that it is basically closed down once the cold winter months have passed. However, that need not be the case. The fireplace is the center of attention when it’s being used and there is no reason why it can’t be the center of attention when it isn’t in use.
Usually, homeowners place their furniture in such a way that the fireplace is the focus. So it’s truly a waste of potential it is ignored during the offseason –- spring, summer, and fall. Properly accessorized, the fireplace can add accent to the décor of a living room or den regardless of whether there are flames burning in it.
Before sprucing up the appearance of your fireplace, you should have it cleaned first.
Cleaning The Fireplace & Chimney
After burning a fire in it regularly during the winter, the fireplace and the chimney have soot and creosote built up on the surface. The spring or early summer is a good time to make an appointment with a chimney sweep for a regular cleaning and inspection. The inspection of the fireplace is important because it gives an opportunity to knowledgeable and skilled chimney sweeps to look for any leaks that can lead to moisture that could result in damage to the structure of the chimney.
Of course, if you feel energetic, then you can clean the fireplace yourself. Be sure to rid the hearth of any ashes with a fireplace shovel and a vacuum. Check for stains on the face and back wall of the fireplace. If you find some, use a cleaning solution to eradicate the dirt and grime. Get counsel from a chimney sweep concerning the proper cleaning solution to use.
Tips to follow when performing the cleaning process include:
- Not using a flammable liquid to clean the brick or stone surfaces. Such a solution could cause a fire hazard. Select a solution that is nonflammable, yet strong enough to clean brick and stone.
- Don’t use bleach. It can cause the surface to fade. If there is a little bleach in the cleaning solution that you decide to use, be cautious and use the substance sparingly. Many suggest that you first test the solution you expect to use on a discreet location of the fireplace, then wait for about 24 hours to see if there is a negative reaction. If things are okay, then go ahead and use that solution in cleaning the entire fireplace.
- It is advised that you create a cleaning solution that is part cleaning substance and part water. If streaking occurs, use more water.
- Make sure that the surface of the fireplace is cold, not hot or warm before attempting to clean it.
- Remove ashes and debris from the firebox before cleaning the fireplace face.
There are ways to decorate the fireplace so that you can experience the enjoyment of a fire without one. For example, you can place lit candles or an ornate candelabrum in the fireplace. Other ideas include:
- Putting greenery or blooming plants in the inner hearth or on the mantel
- Fill the firebox with firewood cut the same length with the ends facing the room.
- Strategically place artwork in the inner hearth.
- Purchase a fireplace cover that blends well with the front of the fireplace and that gives the illusion that the space is walled off.
- Place books on the mantel giving it a bookshelf appearance.
- Add a mirror above the fireplace mantel to create a sense of lightness. Take advantage of the streaming sunlight coming through the windows of the room.
If you live in Mercer County New Jersey, then contact the Mercer County Chimney Service to clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney during the spring or summer months. Why not set up a yearly appointment with the company so that you have the peace of mind that your fireplace and chimney will be cleaned at the same time every year. The staff of Mercer County Chimney Service can call and remind you that a cleaning and inspection is scheduled and a knowledgeable team of technicians will be dispatched to your home to perform the work.
The technicians will use high-powered brushes to scrub the soot off the chimney walls and any stains they discover in the fireplace. They will also check for moisture in the chimney that could result in damage and remove that moisture. They will also repair any damage they find to the bricks or components of the chimney and fireplace.
Call Mercer County Chimney Service at (609) 802-5288 or visit the company’s website for more information.