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Have A Wood Burning Fireplace? Then Here Are Some Cleaning Tips To Keep In Mind

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A wood-burning fireplace is by far the dirtiest fireplace there is. With the comfort and coziness of real wood burning comes soot, smoke, dirt, dust, debris -- even critters! Plus, it also requires constant maintenance throughout the winter -- removing ashes and adding new wood. However, when it is clean the rewards for having a wood stove far out weigh the maintenance factors.  So to help out our fellow wood fireplace lovers we will share with you all on how to prepare and clean your wood-burning fireplace.

  •  Give the exterior and interior a good once-over. Take note of any damage and missing or broken parts. Look outside at the exterior of your chimney. Any cracks will need to be repaired.
  • Check the flu for leaves, birds nests and other critters.
  •  Assess how much cleaning is needed. If you have layers of ash that are one or more inches thick, you're in for a dirty job. Cleaning a wood-burning fireplace is a messy task, so old clothing and rubber gloves are necessary. Place a protective drop cloth in front of the fireplace to protect your floors and carpeting from soot. Also, make sure to grab a shovel if your ash bed is high.
  • Remove the layers of ash and debris using a vacuum cleaner. Put it all into a trash bag and place aside.
  •  Scrub the fireplace. Using a scrub brush and a bucket full of soapy water, scrub the inside walls and floor of the fireplace.
  •  Don't scrub too hard on older brick. Doing this might cause it to crumble.
  •  Clean fireplace accessories. Screens, fireplace tools and log beds also get dirty and need to be cleaned. You can clean glass screens with a household glass cleaner. Mesh screens can be vacuumed. Tools can be cleaned inside or outdoors; give them a once-over with the scrub brush and soapy water, then spray them off with a hose. If you clean the tools inside, rinse each tool with water in your utility sink or using the spray nozzle in your kitchen sink.
Following these simple steps will ensure a nice and clean wood stove that everyone in the family can enjoy. Now, all you have to do is wait for the cold weather so you can curl up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate! Also feel free to contact us if you have any questions about fireplace accessories or fireplace maintenance.

Add Safety And Style To Your Home With A Hearth Rug

Joseph Coupal - Monday, October 25, 2010

It's cold outside and getting into the warmth of the home is first on the list. Once in the door the next stop is in front of the fireplace where the rugs are at the hearth. These rugs keep our feet off the cold floor and protect our homes as a first line of defense from errant sparks and embers. Beauty and safety are possible with a rug in front of the hearth.

Safety: While it is important to keep our homes warm we want to be safe also. The primary line of defense for an open fireplace is a screen and hearth rugs that are fire resistant. This is important on so many levels. The fireplace screen will help to knock down the majority of flying embers and a fire resistant rug will reduce damage to the floor and possible fires. Hearth rugs of fiberglass are very easy to find and are one of the safest types to use. The rug actually melts and does not burn.

Fireplace Decor:
Safety is first, but you can have a hearth fireplace rug that matches a present room decor or set the tone for a change. Hearth rugs do come in a couple different styles. Half circle hearth rugs for a close fit to the front of the hearth brick area or a braided oval shape. The oval has been a staple for decades. Often in older times they were made as a rag rug. However, unless made of wool, these are not fire resistant. Wool is another style of hearth rug. While considered fire resistant they protect by not breaking into flame. The wool will smother the ember. This will leave a char spot on the rug but it can be worked out and is still far better than a fire in the house.

Hearth rugs are a great addition to any home with a fireplace. Not only will they protect your home from being damaged but they can add elegance to your home as well.

Fireplace Screens And Their Importance

Joseph Coupal - Monday, August 30, 2010

Our blog generally has a lot of different safety tips or information about stoves and chimneys. You can never be too careful with fire, although the fire is in a controlled environment with our fireplaces or chimneys, accidents can happen. In this blog we'd like to share with you some great information about fireplace screens. They are an essential and important fundamental part to any lovely fireplace you have inserted in your home.
Screens around fireplaces and wood stoves do more then just protect your carpet from flying sparks - they protect people - especially children - from serious burns. Whenever you are burning in your fireplace or wood stove it is very important to have a screen in place. Most screens are very lightweight. This makes it easy for them to be moved when required so that you can load wood into your stove. It also means that if they fall over on a child they will not be harmed. The sound of a screen falling over will scare the child and alert the parent to check on things.
Screens aren't just for the safety of children they are also important for adults as well. It is far too easy to brush up against a hot stove and get a burn. This is especially true when you have company visiting who may not be used to a wood stove.
A proper screen may also assist in preventing flammable materials from coming in close proximity to your wood stove. Once again children have a tendency to throw balls and dolls and all manner of things in all directions. A screen will prevent these objects from coming in contact with your stove. Thus saving your home from an accidental fire and also the child's toy, which could end up being a tragedy for people with children.
A screen does not need to be large and intrusive. Many are very decorative and ornate. The consequences of not having a screen are severe enough that nobody should consider burning a wood stove without one. So consider any of our attractive fireplace screens for a safe and beautiful new addition to your home.

Chimney and Fireplace Awareness

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Some people neglect their fireplace or chimney and figure it cleans itself and nothing bad could ever happen. However, this kind of behavior can end up costing you more than you would pay to have it professionally cleaned. If you can't remember the last time you cleaned your chimney it might be good to contact Fireplace Showcase to schedule an inspection. Here are some tips on how to prevent chimney disaster.
Unseasoned wood is actually a cause for concern. It takes longer to dry out and produce a solid, crackling fire but there are also serious repercussions to using this type of wood. The extra smoke and lower temperatures, associated with unseasoned wood, also means greater and faster creosote build-up.
Another factor with creosote build-up is the temperature of your chimney flue: the colder the flue, the greater the build-up. Creosote is created when the smoke from a fire condenses. For this reason, most of this by product is created at the beginning of a fire. People who use their fireplace a lot, but for shorter periods of time, may be at the greatest risk for the worst types of chimney fires.
Fires can start in chimneys but many fires also start outside the chimney. Due to rotted wood in your attic, which could be from from roof leaks or poor ventilation, have an ignition temperature equal to or lower than a piece of paper. If this wood is touching the outside of your chimney, the fire can actually start outside your chimney and quickly spread throughout your home.

 So do be careful and make sure you are aware and take care of your chimney.

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