In the winter, you may use your fireplace everyday to keep your home cozy and warm. When you are lighting a daily fire, you should be removing the ashes every other week or so. Although the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends leaving a one-inch layer of ashes to insulate the firebox, you do need to follow a regular ash removal routine to keep them from building up on the grate, which can cause it to prematurely wear out. Knowing how to properly and safely dispose fireplace ashes is very important. All Seasons Chimney wants to share with you some tips on removing ashes from your fireplace and your home this winter.
Allow sufficient cooling time before starting this task.
Never remove fireplace ashes right after extinguishing a fire because of the dangers of smoldering ashes. A good rule of thumb is to wait for at least 36 hours after you have put out your last fire.
Have the right tools for ash removal.
Even though you have waited long enough to safely begin this task, you may still encounter hot ashes in the firebox. This is why it is so important to have a metal bucket with a fitted lid, a metal shovel, and gloves to safely remove the ashes. You may also want to wear a breathing mask, especially if you have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues.
Scoop the ashes into the bucket, close the lid tightly, and place the bucket outside.
You will want to make sure the lid is securely closed once you have placed the ashes inside the bucket. This prevents the ashes from spilling out if the bucket gets knocked over as well as to completely put out any still-smoldering ashes. Take the bucket outside your home and place it on a non-combustible surface like concrete or brick. Smoldering ashes can generate enough heat to possibly spark a fire on a combustible surface like wood. After a few days outside, you can dump the bucket of ashes into your outside trash can. You can also save the ashes to use in your garden in the spring.
Following these steps will allow you to stay safe when disposing of fireplace ash this winter. Contact us at All Seasons Chimney for any of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.