How to Maintain a Fireplace
10 Nov

How to Maintain a Fireplace

  • By: Doug MAUSHARDT
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There is nothing quite like a cool night in Southern California. After a hard day’s work you pick up some snacks and grab a glass of wine. Then slip into your favorite chair in front of the fireplace. With all the nice weather you may question if you will use a fireplace. After all, can you use a fireplace in California? Southern California fireplaces are great to have, but before you strike a match, you will want to make sure you are ready for the season. Here’s a look at what you should do before starting a fire in your fireplace.


There is not that much upkeep to a gas fireplace, but if you have not cleaned the glass in awhile, now is the time. One of the first things you will notice if the glass needs to be cleaned is that it will become hazy. To clean the glass, first turn off the fireplace and make sure it has cooled over several hours. Look up online or in an owner’s manual on how to remove the glass front. If you have a pilot light, you might want to turn that off if it’s near the glass.

Once the glass is removed, clean both sides with a soft cloth. Also, pick up some cleaner for a fireplace. (Do not use a standard window cleaner.) If you turned off your pilot light, make sure to relight that, or have a professional do relight your pilot light! Make sure you put the glass back where it was to begin with, and get ready to relax!


There is nothing like a real wood-burning fireplace, but know that the upkeep of this sort of fireplace is a bit more in-depth than it’s gas counterpart. Each time you use your wood-burning fireplace there will be a buildup of ash, soot and creosote. If this is the first time you will use the fireplace this year, now is the time to clean it.

So, what do you need?

A few items you will need are a drop cloth, dust mask, goggles, rubber gloves, a small bucket, hand broom and shovel.

The first thing you need to do is scoop out debris from the fireplace. This will be messy. Then use a shop vacuum or broom to remove the rest.

To clean the area, you will need to create a mixing solution with a gallon of water and 1 cup of bleach. Once you get that done, pour the solution into a spray bottle and use a stiff brush to clean. Let the area dry.

Don’t forget to clean the fireplace doors. Use a soft towel and some water for this. Make sure to get a glass cleaner specifically for a fireplace.


While you should be cleaning your fireplace each week, you will need to hire a chimney sweep to check things out once a year. Check out what’s online and select a San Diego chimney sweep service, like San Diego Chimney Sweeps or Kleen Sweep in San Diego.

You should definitely call a top chimney sweep in Southern California if you’ve never used one before. They will walk you through maintaining your fireplace. The cost of a professional is about $200, and that’s money well spent!


Before you even think about a fireplace, make sure your carpet and curtains are far enough away from the hearth. Also, install a smoke detector in the same room if you don’t already have one. You also might want to consider using Duraflame if you are new to cleaning a wood-burning fireplace.


If you are moving to or from the San Diego area, give McCarthy Transfer a call at 619-596-2594 or go online at get your free moving quote!


Are you moving soon and don’t know what questions to ask potential moving companies? Here are five questions to ask your moving company, from our friends at North Bay Moving & Storage.

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