As long as your fireplace is burning, there is ash being produced. Overtime your fireplace will become filled with ashes that can smother your hot coals, crowd your fire, and even cause a mess in your hearth. If you burn firewood all year, you’ll produce bucketfuls of ash, and they should be properly and safely disposed of.
Removing the Ashes
Do not remove ashes from the fireplace while there are hot coals. This can cause accidental burns or fires. To remove the ashes, you’ll need tools designed to do the job safely. You’ll need a bucket with a strong handle, as well as a long-handled shovel and poker to rearrange the logs as necessary. Purchasing leather gloves can also prevent burns to the wrists and arms.
Storing Vs. Disposal
You can absolutely dispose of your ashes safely after they cool, but there are many great reasons to save the ashes you remove from the fireplace! Many homeowners use ashes in their gardens to deter insects and slugs. Ashes can also be added to the soil to change the acidity for specific plants, such as tomatoes. Ashes were historically used by pioneers to make soap, and still used today for this reason. Adding water to ashes creates lye, which is an essential ingredient in traditional soap. Your ashes are also great for spreading on icy walkways in the winter.
Ashes are best stored in a metal container with a lid. A metal trash can with a lid or similar container is a great way to prevent accidental fires. It’s important that the container is a safe distance away from the house and other combustibles, and that the lid is always replaced when ashes are added. Once the ashes are cooled, they can be dumped into compost, spread across the yard, or used in the garden or for other things.
The Ash Dump
Many masonry fireplace and chimney systems have an ash dump beneath the fireplace. If you have a trapdoor in the back of your fireplace, the ashes are shoveled into this space and left to cool here. It is a space constructed to contain high temperatures and holds a large volume of ashes. When the ash dump becomes full, it’s time to call a professional.
Standard Chimney Sweeps
When you schedule a chimney sweep with a professional, your ash dump will be cleaned and all ashes removed. This service is important for proper and safe chimney function, because a clean chimney is more efficient. Cleaning the ash dump is important as well, so that it is simple to dispose of your ashes regularly.
Schedule an appointment with Brickliners so that soot, creosote, debris, and ashes will be cleaned from the entire system and your chimney and fireplace will work properly for the rest of the season. Make sure you use the system properly to make sure your fires aren’t producing extra byproducts and you’re optimizing your fuel and heat.
Call an expert at Brickliners at 802-872-0123 today.