How to Maintain Your Wood-Burning Fireplace

There is nothing like sitting in front of a real fireplace with your favorite beverage as the snow falls outside.

There’s the crackling sound and an almost hypnotic glow.

While a gas or electric fireplace has that ease of use to them, a wood-burning fireplace does not.

But there is nothing quite like it.

The biggest problem with running a fireplace goes well beyond having to have enough fuel or the fire.

There’s the messy cleanup if you don’t buy the fake paper logs.

So here are some tips to follow when you are wondering how to maintain your wood-burning fireplace:



With each use your fireplace will have ash, soot and creosote that will build up over time if you do not take care of it.

This will create a fire hazard. It also can create dark stains around the mantel and can cause fine ash to spread through your house.

So, what to do?

The first thing you should remember is that your fireplace should be cleaned once a week. If you don’t use it that much, bi-monthly will be good.

So, you are wondering if this is a dirty job?

And that answer is yes.

So, you will need a drop cloth, dust mask, goggles, rubber gloves a small bucket, hand broom and shovel.

Scoop out the debris from the fireplace. Then use the broom or shop vacuum to remove the dust.

Create a mixing solution with a gallon of warm water and 1 cup bleach. Pour that into a spray bottle and use a stiff brush to get the areas clean as you can. Use clean water to rinse and then let dry.

Don’t forget to clean the fireplace doors. Use some water and a towel for this.

The ash can be used to help flowers grow.



Since you are moving into your new home, make sure to get an inspection of the fireplace before you light your first fire.

There is no telling if your chimney needs cleaning without help from an expert.

Also, make sure to install a smoke alarm if you don’t already have them.

Make sure things like carpet and curtains are far enough away if any fire pops with an ember flying to nearby areas.



Make sure you have some dry logs and tinder to start your new fire. Place the split logs into the fireplace and the newspaper or tinder near that. Light the tinder.

If the smoke starts to fill the room, check to see that the damper is open. The smoke needs a place to go.

If this is the first time this season you will build a fire, make sure to have someone look at the chimney. There could be build up that needs to be cleaned out like soot.

Once you get the fire started, keep some split logs nearby to keep it going.

Remember you don’t want to go to bed and have this fire still going.

You also can try Duraflame — this is the simple way to get a fire going. They take the guesswork out of the process.



So, you have to be wondering when you should call a professional to help.

If you are new to this, you should start by calling a chimney sweep to see what condition your fireplace is in.

When soot builds up to about 1/8-inch then its time.

But you will spend some money. The cost of a professional is about $200 for inspection and cleaning.

But that’s money well spent for peace of mind.



Trust North Bay Moving & Storage for all your moving needs. Give us a call at 415-479-5515 or fill out the online form to get started.

Are you moving soon to Washington state? Check out the guide to moving to Spokane, WA from our friends at A2B Moving & Storage!