As a homeowner, you have responsibility for maintaining your wood-burning fireplace. While scheduling your annual inspection and cleaning is a necessary step for good chimney health, you will want to ensure you are keeping up with regular weekly and monthly tasks, as well. One of these is cleaning the ash and soot out of the bottom of your fireplace.
Many do not realize the importance of taking proper steps when removing the ash from their fireplace. The fact is that the coals and embers in your ash can stay live and dangerous for days. This means that improper storage and removal could easily lead to a house fire, putting your home and family in harm’s way.
Proper Steps To Take
So, what is the right way to remove ash? Follow these guidelines to stay as safe as possible.
- Use a metal scoop to remove the ashes from the fireplace.
- Store ashes in metal container. The bottom of the container should be a bit raised from the ground to ensure no hot coals come into contact with potentially flammable material.
- Ensure your metal container has a handle, so that your hands do not risk getting burned. This could lead to potential injury. It could also cause you to drop the bucket, spreading live embers throughout your home.
- Invest in a tight-fitting lid. Your storage container should be completely sealed off to ensure that no air circulation can enter, thus triggering a new fire to start up. Your coals and embers should have no access to oxygen until they are completely put out.
- Once filled, place the container on a non-flammable surface, such as concrete, brick, or stone. Also, store your ashes away from your home. These extra precautions could make all the difference in keeping your home and family protected throughout these cold months.
Leaving Some Behind
If you have heard that it is smart to leave some ash behind, then you have heard correctly! While too thick a layer of ash can be harmful to your brickwork and hearth accessories, leaving a thin layer behind will help protect your fireplace floor from the intense heat your fires produce.
On top of this, extra ash in the bottom can help ignite new fires the next time you use your fireplace. If you have any hot coals leftover, they work great at getting things kickstarted. If you are looking for quicker and longer-lasting fires, then leaving some ash behind is the way to do it!
For more tips on fireplace maintenance and safety, check out Wells & Sons Chimney Service today. Browse our website or give us call so that we can set you up right this holiday season. Our CSIA-certified staff knows it all when it comes to your chimney and fireplace. We’ve helped thousands of customers throughout Allentown, Exton, Pottstown, Phoenixville, and the surrounding Montgomery, Chester, and Berks counties. Call today – (610) 473-6000!