Ah Springtime! A Brief Guide to Seasonal Fireplace Maintenance

A bright living room with lots of natural lighting and white couches and a grey brick fireplace.

Spring means different things to different people. For some, it means the flowers are blooming and it’s time to air up the ol’ bicycle tires just in case. For others, like your neighbors, it means passive aggressively tossing fallen branches back into your yard so they can mow. But hey, half of the tree was over their fence, right? It’s so selfish. We like to think of it as sharing our kindling. They just have to let it dry out, but some people have no patience. At The Fireplace and More Store we know of one more important piece to spring preparations as a homeowner. You gotta do that seasonal fireplace maintenance.


While offseason fireplace care is going to be a little different depending on the type of fireplace, here are some considerations that apply to many systems.

Starting From the Top

Just like dusting furniture, always start high so that falling particulates don’t undo all the work you’ve already done. It’s best to start outside and on the roof. Much of this could be handled by a professional chimney cleaner. 


  • Examine the chimney cap for signs of deterioration or damage


  • Look for cracks, missing grout, and any signs that the chimney has lost some of its structural integrity


  • Check the flashing and seals for leakage


  • Lay protective covering on the area outside the fireplace below to keep particles from making a mess in the house 


  • Clean the inside of the chimney, removing creosote and any foreign matter using a wire brush and cleaner


  • Cover the cap to keep critters and debris out of your flue

Restoring the Inside

Just as the soot and its flammable properties are dangerous, so are the ones in the firebox. Reducing risk of uncontrolled burning is the primary reason to clean the inside of the fireplace. Sealing it up for the offseason is also a crucial part of your seasonal fireplace maintenance.


  • Vacuum the ash and soot out of the bottom of the firebox


  • Continue to remove the creosote and soot from the top and sides of the firebox using a wire brush, baking soda and water or a cleaning product. For stubborn stains, try vinegar and water.


  • Rinse the sides and floor of the fireplace and let them air dry


  • Close the damper to keep air from escaping up the flue


  • Polish the inside of any windows on the front of the fireplace


  • Turn off the pilot light for gas systems


The Final Touches

While mainly for aesthetic purposes, cleaning the outside of the fireplace is an important part of the process. Soot can be flammable and the overall enjoyment of the system improves when it’s not a hazard to the cleanliness of the home. 


  • Scrub the surface with a brush and vinegar water or cleaning product


  • Wash the outside of the windows (not with ammonia)

 

  • Polish with lemon water if desired


  • Fix any leaks or structural damage


  • Remove stains and soot from the mantel and hearth


If this seems overwhelming or if you have better things to do this spring than seasonal fireplace maintenance, like tossing sticks back into your neighbor’s yard, contact The Fireplace and More Store and we’ll make sure you get a thorough inspection. Your safety is our top priority!


While you’re here, check out our impressive selection of excellent fireplace products. We have high quality inserts and stoves, as well as wood burning, pellet, electric, gas and outdoor fireplaces from top notch companies like Monesson, Heat & Glo, Outdoor Lifestyles, Quadra-Fire, SimpliFire, and Fireside. Whatever your fireplace need or dream may be, The Fireplace and More Store is ready!

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2009 Stephens Blvd.
Joplin, MO 64804

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