Chimney Contractors: 6 Expert Tips On How To Maintain Natural Stone Fireplaces

Chimney Contractors: 6 Expert Tips On How To Maintain Natural Stone Fireplaces

Natural stone such as fieldstone, marble, granite, and limestone create warm and elegant fireplace surrounds, carved chimneypieces, and mantles. Unfortunately, the stone gets sooty and gritty over time, giving your fireplace a cheap, ugly look.

Do you want to keep your natural stone fireplace looking great? Here are expert tips (given by chimney contractors) you should follow:

Regularly remove soot

Letting soot sit on the fireplace for a long time turns the chimney black. It also puts the chimney at the risk of catching fire. To keep your fireplace in pristine condition, make a habit of regularly cleaning off the soot. The best tool to use in the cleaning is a stiff brush.

When cleaning, use a mask and gloves to protect yourself.

Start with preparing a solution of lukewarm water and natural stone cleanser. You should then dip a paintbrush in the cleaning solution and use it to clean off soot from the chimney surface. After applying the solution on all areas, give it time to interact with the soot then rinse it out with light warm water.

Keep the firebox clean

The best time to clean the firebox is in summer when you aren’t using the chimney. If you have to clean it during the heating season, give the fireplace at least 12 hours to cool.

Before you begin the cleaning, protect the surrounding areas with drop cloths or old sheets. You also should wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy.

After removing the grate and any other remaining log chunks, use a small shovel to scoop out the ashes from the fireplace. If there are any remaining ashes, use a vacuum to remove them.

Once you are done, use a semi-abrasive sponge dipped in mild cleaning detergent to thoroughly wipe down the surfaces of the firebox.

When cleaning, avoid any soap solution as it leaves a residue that dulls the fireplace. You also should stay away from acidic, alkaline, and ammonia-based cleaning agents as they have been shown to damage the stone fireplace and cause mildew.

Remove the stains

Nothing cheapens a natural stone chimney like a stain. During the cleaning, keep your eyes out for any stains. If present, remove them immediately. To do it, make a solution of one-fourth cup of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and half a gallon of water.

After applying the solution, give it at least 15 minutes to interact with the stain, then rinse it with water and dry it with an old towel.

TSP is harmful to the skin; therefore, always wear gloves to protect your skin. Also, wear a mask to protect yourself from hazardous fume inhalation.

Apply a stone sealer

Stone sealers prevent excess soot and grime from adhering to and penetrating the natural stone. Stone sealers come in a wide range of strengths ideal for different types of stones.

If you aren’t sure about the right type of sealer to go for, ask an expert chimney technician to help you out. While a sealer prevents soot, fluids, and other materials from penetrating deep into the stone, it wears out after time. This means you have to keep on reapplying it to keep your fireplace protected.

Remove sealer scratches

Due to poor installation or using harsh/abrasive cleaning products, the sealer can wear out. For you to keep your fireplace looking great, get rid of the scratches as soon as they happen. A great option is using polishing stone. Carefully apply the stone on the affected areas, and you will remove the scratches.

Undertake regular inspections and repair

It’s common for your fireplace to develop problems. For example, it might start smoking. You also might begin finding it hard to light a fire. For you to keep your fireplace in great shape, regularly inspect it and fix any issues that might be there.

If you have the skills, go ahead and inspect and repair it but for ideal results, let an expert chimney cleaning services Columbia MD professional do it for you.

When hiring the professional, ensure he/she is certified and experienced to do the work. The last thing you want is someone who will cause more problems than were there. Since you will be spending a substantial amount of time with the contractor, you don’t want someone with a dull personality. Get someone who is fun to be with.

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