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Woodburning Fireplaces & Cleaning

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As the last indoor fire of the season approaches, many homeowners are rightly beginning to think about cleaning the fireplace. Wood burning fireplaces release gases that condense as soot and later-stage creosote, so the chimney probably looks just as bad. It needs a thorough cleaning, too, but by a CSIA certified chimney sweep, who can also inspect it.

Cleaning the Fireplace - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps MI

Just the Fireplace?

The firebox itself can be cleaned by do-it-yourselfers who do not mind getting dirty, although certified sweeps should check their work. Responsible for the whole system, chimney sweeps generally work through the entire system to make sure it is in safe working condition. That is the way to also approach cleaning the fireplace, so if you are determined to do it yourself, wait for the sweep to finish first.

After all, his inspection might reveal that the flue is improperly sized for the fireplace and you need a different fire box. It would be a shame to spend time and energy doing a really dirty job that was pointless given new work in the fireplace. If you are new to wood-burning fireplaces and their cleaning, our advice is to start with a check of your system by a certified sweep.

You can ask as many questions as you want; there is no charge for answers and there is much to learn. Once you are sure that you have a fireplace worth cleaning, you will probably stick with professional care because of the chimney’s importance to safety. Even if you do not, you will start with a clean system and be better prepared to do the fireplace and flue again in the fall.

Cleaning Is Not Inspecting

Wood burning fireplaces are wonderful, but they produce combustibles that cannot be allowed to remain in chimneys. Special brushes and solvents and a lot of elbow grease can remove them, but they cannot report the condition of your liner and mortar. Take advantage of the experience and knowledge a certified chimney sweep offers before deciding whether or not to clean the fireplace yourself in the future.