Ideas for your Fireplace in Summertime
A fireplace is usually the focal point of a room, no matter the season. There are things you can do to make it a harmonizing part of the room, even when winter is over. Decorate your hearth but first give it a good scrubbing and have the fireplace and chimney inspected.
Fireplaces, with the many striking kinds of mantles, are always nice features in a home. Besides placing an ornate fire screen in front of the open hearth in summer, you can decorate it in countless possible ways that are aesthetically pleasing. Look through magazines for ideas, match a decorative hearth design to your existing décor, or try one of these ideas:
· Enliven the mantelpiece with botanicals in clear glass containers.
· Place a candelabrum in the firebox and surround it with additional candles of various sizes.
· Fill the hearth with books creatively arranged.
· Tie a bundle of birch twigs together and place it in the fireplace. Birch wood has great visual appeal, with the white and textured bark.
· To add more light and create a sense of more space in the room, fit a mirror into the fireplace.
Of course, before decorating your fireplace, it’s important to give it a good cleaning. You can hire a professional chimney sweep to do the job. After all, cleaning a hearth is a grimy and sometimes a sweaty task. For do-it-yourselfers who want to tackle cleaning the fireplace yourself, these are the basic steps:
1. The ashes in the hearth should be cold before you begin.
2. Use a fireplace shovel to remove all of the ashes.
3. Vacuum the hearth.
4. Wear rubber gloves as you use a sponge and a mixture of water and all-purpose household cleaner to wash the outer hearth and fireplace face. If the brick is especially old, such as 50 years plus, you should probably only vacuum the outer hearth. Otherwise, you could cause the mortar and brick to crumble.
5. If you’re tackling an especially grimy job, remove as much smoky deposit as you can and then clean using Fels-Naptha soap. Put 4 ounces of the special cleaner into a quart of hot water and heat it on the stove until the soap dissolves. Remove it from the heat, let it cool, and then mix ½ pound of powdered pumice and ½ cup of household ammonia. Apply the soap mixture with a paint brush. Leave the coating on for a half hour to an hour. Then scrub the area with a scrub brush and warm water. Finally, rinse with a sponge and plenty of water.
Professional Fireplace & Chimney Inspection
You will need a professional chimney sweep for this step. Just because you don’t need your chimney now doesn’t mean you don’t need to get ready for next winter. It’s a great idea to have your chimney and fireplace inspected in spring or summer in case there is a need for major repairs. Homeowners frequently have problems such as moisture in the chimney system caused by damaged flashing, and repair is needed. The sooner you know about any damage, the less expensive repair is likely to be; plus you’ll have plenty of time to get problems fixed before winter rolls back around.
Another good reason to schedule an appointment with a chimney sweep is to get the creosote buildup removed from the chimney lining. If you have much of a buildup, it could create sour smells in the house during warm weather.
With a little thought and planning, you could enjoy your fireplace every bit as much in summer as you do in winter. Why not give us a call today for a cleaning and inspection?
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004
Office 770-255-1300 / Toll Free 877-697-9337