Basics of Ash Removal

by | Feb 28, 2014 | Fireplace Maintenance

Warm weather, honey-do lists, and spring-cleaning are all fast approaching as we finally escape the frigid winter temperatures and make our way toward the summer sun.  People will start cleaning their homes from top to bottom, and the chimney should not be excluded. Many people often wonder what parts they need to clean and what parts are included in the chimney sweep and inspection.  To make an appointment for your annual chimney maintenance call the professionals at Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service!

Should it stay or go?

Properly Removing Ashes - Raleigh NC - Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service

Many homeowners are shocked to learn that only in some circumstances should ash that accumulates be removed from the fireplace or wood stove.  The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests that you leave about an inch in the bottom of the unit during the burning season.  This will help keep your fire hot and burning for a longer period of time because it will add more heat to the fuel.  You should closely monitor how much ash you are leaving in the firebox.  If you allow too much to build up and it comes into contact with the grate, it can burn out too early.

If you have a fireplace that burns from front to back, you should remove the ash from the inside of the door.  This will allow you to create a spot to move the hot coals up front from the back of the unit.  Also, leaving a small layer of ash on the floor will form a small level of protection.  However, if these are left for too long past the end of the burning season the acids and any available moisture will begin to cause rust or deterioration to a metal or a masonry fireplace.

How do you remove the ash properly?

There are many ways ash can be removed including:

  • Metal fireplace shovels and metal dust pan
  • Wet/dry vacuums

You should not begin to remove the ash until after four days of not burning a fire.  This allows the unit to have time to burn down.  To remove the ash scoop them into a metal or clay pot and discard them far from the home.  To finish, use an equal part water and vinegar mixture on glass surfaces of the chimney to remove any ash residue. Give the CSIA certified pros at Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service a call today at 919-747-1859 to learn more about the proper way to dispose of ashes.

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