Sitting by the warmth of your fireplace with friends and family is one of the best ways to spend a winter evening, but if you haven’t used your fireplace in months, it may be in need of some maintenance. Here’s how to get your fireplace ready for those chilly evenings.
You should sweep your chimney or hire a chimney sweep to service your fireplace once a year before winter. Allowing creosote and debris to build up in your chimney over several years can cause dangerous house fires.
If you want to do it yourself, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Plastic drop cloth
- Painter’s tape
- A dust mask
- Sealed safety goggles
- A sturdy ladder
- Chimney brush
Step One: Protect Yourself
Step Two: Protect Your Floor and Furniture
Spread a plastic drop cloth on the floor around your fireplace. Then, remove any ash from the firebox and open the damper. To protect your furniture, seal the front of the fireplace with plastic sheeting. Be sure to cover all the edges with painter’s tape to prevent any ash from escaping.
Step Three: Sweep Away
Step Four: Allow the Dust to Settle
Before removing the plastic sheeting, allow the dust to settle into the fireplace. Then, peel back the sheeting and reach through the opening. Use the chimney brush to sweep up the chimney. Replace the plastic sheeting and allow the dust to settle again before cleaning up.