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Dec 21, 2017

Burning Questions – 5 Tips For Effectively Maintaining Your Fireplace

Nothing is so seductive and entrancing as the soft flicker and glow of a fireplace. It sets a mood and creates a dynamic focal point in a room, the way no other single feature can achieve.

Whether you own a natural wood or a gas log fireplace, there are a number of simple strategies which can be employed to keep your homes greatest asset, looking good and functioning optimally for the life of your home.

Inspect

Plan to carry out a standard inspection of your fireplace or gas unit every few months.

Check the outside vent and make sure there is no build up of leaves in or around it. If there is something blocking the ventilation grate, carefully remove it and if there is damage to the vent, repair or replace it.

If the unit has a glass door, ensure it fits snugly. Check the bolts and gaskets are secured tightly and immediately replace or repair any that are not functioning correctly.

Safety

If the fireplace was not installed by a specialist installer, check that it has been built with special heat-resistant materials. The visible sections of a fireplace must consist of non-combustible materials such as stone.
It is for this reason that Richard Ellis Design handcraft our fireplaces from natural stone, such as marble and limestone. Their unique combination of aesthetic beauty and fire resistance make them ideal for fire surrounds.

Another safety measure is a chimney screen. These are usually found capping the top of the chimney to keep out birds and animals as well as for safety, to control embers which might otherwise fly out and present a fire risk.

Cleaning

To clean ash, soot or dirt from a natural stone fireplace surround, begin with a soft cloth (microfibre is ideal) dipped in distilled water. For more stubborn stains try a little baking soda or a specialised cleaner. Never use harsh acidic cleaners like vinegar or lemon juice on marble or similar materials.

Dirt and dust build-up can cause issues even with enclosed or gas fireplaces. This can be particularly observed around wiring within the unit. Dust gently to remove cobwebs and debris.

Clean the glass regularly. Cloudy glass, if left for any length of time, risks becoming permanent, decreasing its aesthetic appeal and obscuring the flames.

Ventilation

Wood burning fireplaces can have a negative impact on the quality of indoor air. Smoke should be going straight up the chimney or flue. Any smoke entering the room means the fire isn’t operating properly. Improper ventilation or a blocked vent can be the cause, creating unpleasant odours.

If fitted with a damper, ensure that it is working efficiently.

Servicing

At the beginning of winter, it is recommended to call a specialist technician in to service and clean a gas unit to ensure that it is running optimally and safely with no carbon monoxide escaping through any orifice. This ‘silent killer’ is a by-product of the heat generation.

To ensure there are no leaks in your unit, a simple maintenance service by a qualified technician can give you peace of mind that you and your family are safe. Just like the servicing of a car, they will ensure that your fireplace operates efficiently for longer and guarantees the safety of the unit.

At Richard Ellis Design, we know fireplaces. Our range of opulent marble and limestone fireplaces are unique masterpieces, handcrafted to last a lifetime.

Our magnificent fireplaces set the tone, style, and theme for a home. They become a centrepiece which draws every eye in a room - imbuing harmony and warmth. Through some simple home cleaning methods and regular servicing, you can extend the life of your fireplace enabling you to enjoy its beauty and ambience for many years to come.

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