There’s nothing quite as cozy as a cup of hot cocoa in front of a warm hearth to ease the chill of a Minnesota winter night. But if your favorite winter pastime is sitting around the fireplace night after night, your brick can get pretty dirty after a while. Just like anything else in your home, your masonry requires occasional maintenance to stay looking and working as it should. Because masonry is porous, cleaning your fireplace can prove challenging without the right tools for the job.

In this post from our masonry contractors at The Construction Group, we’re sharing tips for masonry fireplace maintenance to keep your hearth looking beautiful year after year. To schedule your professional masonry services, give us a call today.

1.   Clean the ashes.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your fireplace ashes, allowing them to build up. Once your ashes reach about two inches in depth, it’s time to clean them out. You should also clear out your fireplace ashes when you’ve stopped using your fireplace for the year in early spring.

Always make sure your fireplace is completely cool before cleaning. To clean your fireplace ashes, use a flat fireplace shovel, scooping the ashes into a bucket so you can easily dispose of them. Once the fireplace is clear, use a shop vac or a vacuum attachment to remove any remaining loose soot and debris.

2.   Remove the soot.

Before getting started, place a waterproof drop cloth on the floor near your fireplace. Use a spray bottle filled with water to saturate your masonry and loosen up the soot. Next, spray on the cleaner of your choice. Opt first for a mild cleaner like a gentle dishwashing liquid diluted in water.

If that doesn’t work and your bricks are less than 20 years old, try using something more acidic like distilled white vinegar. For older bricks, it’s best to let a professional handle a more intense cleaning. Some homeowners also claim gentle foaming bathroom cleaners work well, but be sure not to use bleach on your bricks. Use a wire brush to clean the fireplace soot, scrubbing in a circular motion.

3.   Schedule professional fireplace maintenance services.

Once a year, you should hire a professional masonry contractor to clean your fireplace and inspect it. They’ll be able to check your masonry inside and out, getting rid of any safety hazards that could start a house fire down the road.

Call Our Minnesota Masonry Contractors

Has it been a while since you had your fireplace inspected or professionally cleaned? Call our masonry contractors at The Construction Group. Give us a call at 651-731-5857 or connect with us online to schedule your fireplace maintenance services.