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Proper Ash Removal

Enjoying cozy and warm fires in your wood-burning fireplace or stove comes with a few responsibilities, including cleaning up ashes after fires. This maintenance task requires a bit of safety awareness to prevent the occurrence of an accidental fire. Since safety is a top priority for Atlas Chimney, we would like to tell you more about proper ash removal. It is important to keep up with regular routine chimney and fireplace maintenance to be able to safely and efficiently burn wood fires. Following these suggestions can help you take care of this essential housekeeping task.

Wait until the ashes have cooled completely.

chimney filled with ashes

Patience is a virtue when you must remove ashes from your fireplace. You should wait for at least 24 hours before attempting this task. You never know when hot embers could be lurking within a pile of ashes.

Get the right tools together.

To properly dispose of ashes, you will need a metal container with a lid, gloves, and a fireplace shovel. It is crucial that your metal container have a lid to keep the ashes inside in case the container gets knocked over after it has been stored.

Scoop the ashes into the metal container with the fireplace shovel.

Once your ashes have cooled completely, Good Housekeeping recommends that you sprinkle damp tea leaves or coffee grounds on top to cover up any stale smell. Then, simply scoop up the ashes with the shovel and place them in your metal container. You will want to leave behind a layer of one inch of the ashes as this layer will help you build and maintain fires. A layer of ashes insulates and protects your firebox.

Store the metal container safely.

The best place to keep your container of ashes is outside of your home. You will want to put the container on a non-combustible surface, such as concrete or brick, to reduce fire hazards. If any of the ashes inside the container are still hot, that heat can ignite a fire if the container is placed on a wooden or other combustible surface.

If you have a wet/dry vacuum with a disposable bag, you can use it to vacuum up the ashes; however, you should wait at least four days after the fire has been extinguished to use this method of removing ashes.

Need more fireplace maintenance tips? Contact us at Atlas Chimney to find out the best ways of taking care of your fireplace.

Get Your Chimney Swept for the Holidays

If you mostly use your fireplace during the holiday season, you should schedule an appointment for a professional chimney sweeping and inspection before the holidays begin. Many fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend having chimneys professionally swept and inspected annually before you light the first fire of the year. This maintenance service is essential to be sure every part of your fireplace and chimney system are working effectively and safely. During the holidays, you do not need to worry about chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks, and Atlas Chimney will clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney to find any potential problems and hazards.

Why is it so important to have my chimney cleaned and inspected every year?

Get Your Chimney Swept for the Holidays - Austin TX - Atlas ChimneyThe main reason your chimney needs to be swept regularly is to have all of the accumulated creosote removed from the inside of your chimney. Creosote forms naturally as a result of the combustion process of burning wood. Creosote can vary in color and texture, but no matter if it is black or brown or hard and shiny, flaky and brittle, or sticky and gummy, this natural compound is extremely flammable. The number one cause of chimney fires, creosote ignites easily if the internal flue temperature reaches a high enough point. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will guarantee the removal of every deposit of creosote from your chimney when cleaning your chimney.

Your chimney should also be inspected every year to be sure there is no damage that could make your fireplace unsafe to use. If we find any damage during our inspection, we will make recommendations for repairs that are necessary for the safety of your fireplace and chimney. We also look for any debris, such as bird or animal nests and leaves, that could be blocking the flue. When your flue is blocked, carbon monoxide can be forced back into your home, which is a very dangerous situation.

What can I expect from a chimney sweeping and inspection from Atlas Chimney?

Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will begin by covering the area around your fireplace with tarps to protect your home from getting dirty during the sweeping process. We also set up special vacuums to keep any soot and dust from getting into your home at all. We will loosen up the dirt and accumulations of creosote from the walls of your chimney and then vacuum up all of the residue. We will then inspect the accessible areas of the inside and outside of your chimney to look for damage and blockages. You will receive a written report of the findings of our inspection.

Get your fireplace ready for the holidays. Contact us at 512-CHIMNEY (512-244-6639) to make an appointment to get your chimney swept and inspected today.

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