How to Dispose of Fireplace Ash & Soot

cleaning out fireplace ash and soot to keep hearth and home safe from smoke buildup with safety tips and proper disposal throw away

How & Where to Properly Dispose Ash from Wood-Burning Fireplaces

While wood-burning fireplaces can add warmth and ambiance to your home, they also require routine cleaning and maintenance to keep them running like new for years to come. Part of keeping your fireplace in top condition is regularly clearing out the ash and residue left from burning logs. If this ash builds up, it can cause smoke to fill your home and release harmful toxins into the air. As important as cleaning out this ash, it is equally important to dispose of it to avoid any potential hazards properly. In this blog, we will discuss how often and where you should dispose of fireplace ash to keep your home safe and your fireplace functioning at its best.

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Importance of Routine Cleaning & Maintenance for Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Although wood-burning can improve the ambiance and value of your home, the key to taking advantage of these benefits is to keep your hearth in good working condition. This includes annual inspections, timely repairs for any damages, and routine cleaning. As your logs burn, they are reduced to piles and specks of soot. Over time, these soot particles can build up and block airflow through your fireplace. This eventually leads to smoke being directed into your home rather than through the chimney. Ash is also a harmful toxin for humans and pets to inhale. Cleaning out the ash regularly is essential to protect your loved ones and keep your home smoke-free.

How Often Should You Clean Out Fireplace Ash?

You should clean out any remaining soot and residue whenever you use your wood-burning fireplace. This will keep the debris from building up and creating potential hazards. In addition, it is recommended to perform a thorough deep clean of the entire hearth once a week. This includes wiping down the glass doors, replacing rotted or worn-down logs, and vacuuming the surrounding area.

Where Should You Throw Away Fireplace Soot & Ash?

Due to the harmful toxins that ash and soot can release into the air, it is essential to dispose of them properly. If you are quick to place them into your everyday trash, they may still be able to get into the air. Before throwing them away, wait until the ash is cool to the touch. Then, transfer it into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. This will prevent any remaining ash from being dispersed into your home or neighborhood. Once contained, you can safely dispose of the container in your outdoor or garage trash bin.

Do Professional Fireplace Companies Clean Out Ash During Annual Inspections?

At New England Hearth & Home, we not only provide top-notch fireplace installations and repairs, but we also offer annual inspections and routine maintenance to keep your home safe. During our inspection, our skilled technicians will not only check for any potential damages but also clean out any debris and ash that may have built up in your fireplace. Many homeowners quickly clean out the main ashtray, leaving soot and debris in other hard-to-reach areas. Our professional services ensure that your fireplace is completely clean and in top condition for you to enjoy.

Contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA for Wood-Burning Fireplace Installations, Repairs, Cleanings, & Inspections

If you are considering adding a new fireplace to your home or need your current wood-burning hearth repaired, cleaned, or inspected, we are here to help. Based in Canton, Massachusetts, we offer our services to homeowners throughout the area, keeping their homes warm, safe, and efficient. To learn more about our variety of professional fireplace services and make a service request, fill out our online form or call us at 781-562-0771.

Safety Tips for Hanging Stockings from Fireplaces

christmas stockings hanging from fireplace in winter for holiday festive decor season safely from fireplace to prevent fires and keep home safe with safety tips

Fireplace Safety: Tips for Hanging Christmas Stockings & Decorations

As the holidays are right around the corner, many homeowners are beginning to decorate their homes to match the season’s festive spirit. While the tree is often the main centerpiece, tinsel, lights, and stockings are also staple pieces for many households. Christmas stockings hanging above the fireplace have become a tradition, but as they can be made of flammable material, it is important to follow safety precautions. In this blog, we will discuss the best tips for hanging Christmas stockings and decorations from your fireplace to help prevent fires and keep your home safe.

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Is It Safe to Hang Christmas Stockings from the Fireplace?

Seeing stockings hanging above the fireplace is a classic image of the holiday season. Illumined by the warm glow of the fire, it is a classic scene many of us have grown up with. However, it is important to know that hanging stockings from the fireplace can pose a serious fire hazard if not done properly. As most stockings are made of flammable materials like cotton or polyester, they can easily catch fire if they come into direct contact with the flames. Hanging stockings from your fireplace can be safe when done with caution, and the right safety measures are put in place.

Can You Hang Stockings from Brick Fireplace Mantles?

If your fireplace mantle is made of bricks and mortar, nailing or screwing hooks into it can weaken the structure and cause bricks to become loose. Opting for adhesive hooks or velcro strips that can easily be removed without any damage is recommended.

Top Safety Tips for Hanging Christmas Stockings from Fireplace

When you are ready to hang your Christmas stockings from the fireplace, it is important to follow all safety precautions to avoid any accidents. Some of the best tips for hanging stockings and preventing accidental fires are:

Hang the Stocking At Least 3 Feet Above the Fireplace

As you start to measure and map out where you would like to hang your stockings, keeping a safe distance from the flames is key. It is recommended to hang stockings at least 3 feet above the fireplace to reduce the risk of them catching fire. If any sparks or burning soot were to fly through the air, the distance could make a huge difference in preventing a potential fire.

Avoid Overloading Your Stockings

Although it may be tempting to fill your stockings to the top with gifts, it is important to avoid overloading them. Too much weight can cause the stocking to sag and potentially fall into the fireplace. As you fill your stockings, make sure to distribute the weight evenly and avoid placing heavy objects on one side.

Use Non-Flammable Hooks or Strips

As mentioned earlier, nails and traditional metal hooks can pose a serious fire hazard when hung above the fireplace. Instead, opt for non-flammable adhesive hooks or strips that are specifically designed to hold stockings and decorations in place without causing any damage.

Spray New Stockings with Fire-Resistant Protectant

New stockings are the most prone to catching fire, as their fibers are not yet worn and flammable materials may have been used during manufacturing. To reduce this risk, invest in a fire-resistant protectant spray that will help prevent the stockings from catching fire in case of any accidents. Before choosing to do this, make sure to read all labels to ensure the product is safe.

Never Leave a Fireplace Unattended When In-Use

If your fireplace is in use, there should always be someone keeping a watchful eye. Even if you do not have any decorations hanging, it is important never to leave a fire unattended. In case of an emergency, having someone present can make all the difference.

Contact New England Hearth & Home to Schedule a Fireplace Installation, Cleaning, Repair, or Inspection in or Near Canton, MA

At New England Hearth & Home, we are dedicated to helping homeowners enjoy a warm and cozy holiday season while ensuring their safety. Hanging stockings from the fireplace can be a fun and festive tradition, but it is important to prioritize safety first. If you have any questions or concerns about fireplace safety, our staff can provide you with the best advice and services. Based in Canton, MA, we offer fireplace installation, cleaning, repair, and inspection services to all homes in the surrounding areas. To learn more about our services, service areas, and how to schedule a service request, fill out our online form or call us at 781-562-0771.

Spring Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Awning

homeowner outside on their deck cleaning their retractable awning before the Spring and warm months

Get Your Awning Spring Cleaned in 5 Easy Steps

Spring is finally here! After the long, cold Winter months, many homeowners are looking forward to getting the most out of the warm weather by spending time on their decks and patios. To enjoy the weather without worrying about the harsh rays of the sun, awnings provide an affordable and efficient solution. After being closed up all Winter, though, awnings can accumulate a lot of dust and dirt. In this blog, you’ll learn the best steps and products for cleaning your awning before the start of the season.

Benefits of Installing a Retractable Awning on a Porch or Deck

Before we jump into the steps for cleaning awnings, let’s talk about why you should consider installing one on your deck or porch. Retractable awnings are popular for many reasons, but here are just a few of the main benefits:

Protect Yourself from UV Rays

By offering shade and protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, retractable awnings are a great way to enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about sunburns or skin damage.

Lower Energy Costs

Retractable awnings can also help you save money on energy bills. The shade they provide can help keep your home cool during the hot Summer months, which may result in less need to use air conditioning.

Prevent Fading on Outdoor Furniture

The Sun can pose a threat to more than just your skin. It’s also a major cause of fading on outdoor furniture, such as couches, tables, and deck railings. Installing a retractable awning can provide an extra layer of protection from UV rays and help maintain the color of your outdoor furniture.

Catch Falling Leaves, Rain, & Airborne Debris

Awnings also act as a barrier that can prevent rain, snow, and wind from entering your deck or patio. They also catch debris, such as leaves and branches, before they make their way into your home.

5 Steps To Clean Awnings This Spring

To be able to enjoy the benefits of an awning, you first need to make sure that it’s clean. To help you with this task, here are five steps for cleaning awnings this Spring:

1. Purchase the Proper Cleaners

Most awnings are made of fabric, so you’ll need a cleaning solution that is designed for fabric and won’t cause any damage. Look for products that are designed to be gentle on fabrics and won’t leave any residue. Some good options are Simple Green® All-Purpose Cleaner, 303 Fabric Guard®, and Star Brite® Mildew Stain Remover.

2. Gather Ladders & Other Supplies

You’ll also need to gather supplies, such as a ladder and a soft brush. The ladder will help you reach the higher parts of the awning, and the brush will make it easier to scrub away stubborn dirt or debris.

3. Prepare the Awning for Cleaning

Before you start cleaning the awning, it’s best to take some time to prepare. Make sure that all of the cords and fasteners are secured so that they don’t move during the cleaning process.

4. Apply Cleaning Solution

Once you have everything ready to go, you can start applying the cleaning solution. You can spray or pour the solution directly onto the awning, but make sure to use gentle pressure so that you don’t damage the fabric. Depending on the cleaner you are using, it is important to read all directions to allow for the proper time to pass before you start scrubbing.

5. Rinse & Dry

After the cleaning solution has had a chance to work its magic, it’s time to rinse off the awning. You can use a hose or bucket of water, but make sure that you get rid of all of the suds. Once rinsed, open up the awning and let it dry completely before storing or using it again.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Porch Awning

When cleaning an awning, it’s important to know what mistakes you should avoid. Most importantly, never use bleach or other harsh chemicals on the fabric, as this can cause discoloration or damage. Additionally, make sure to always read the manufacturer’s instructions before use and avoid using too much pressure when scrubbing. Lastly, never leave the awning open while it is wet as this can cause damage to the fabric or frame.

Contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA for Professional Awning Installations & Maintenance Services

If you’re interested in getting a new awning installed on your porch or deck, or if your current awning is in need of repair, contact the experts at New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA. Our team will help fit your home with the perfect awning, and we offer repair and maintenance services to keep your awning looking its best. To learn more, visit our website or give us a call today at 781-562-0771.

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How to Get Your Gas Fireplace Ready for Spring

professional fireplace expert cleaning out and inspecting a gas fireplace to prepare the appliance for the spring and summer warm months

Prepare Your Gas Fireplace for Warmer Weather With These Spring Maintenance Tips

The weather is finally starting to warm up and it’s time to start thinking about how you can prepare your gas fireplace for the months of not being used. Although a gas fireplace is designed to be used year-round, many homeowners choose to wait until it gets colder again before lighting their fireplace. If you plan to do this, then you need to make sure that your gas fireplace is properly maintained before the long months of inactivity. In this blog, we will share with you some important tips for spring maintenance of your gas fireplace.

Importance of Preparing Your Gas Fireplace for Spring & Summer

As the temperatures continue to rise, many homeowners no longer are looking for a way to stay warm. Gas fireplaces become less and less necessary as the weather gets warmer, but it is essential to take the proper steps before leaving it idle for months. By skipping out on the proper maintenance, you are running the risk of needing more expensive repairs in the future. Additionally, if your fireplace is not properly maintained for the months of inactivity, you could be facing issues when it does come time to turn your fireplace back on.

Do You Need to Shut Off Your Gas Fireplace for the Spring & Summer?

The answer to this question depends on your individual situation. Some manufacturers recommend that homeowners shut off their gas fireplaces when they are not being used, and if it is not being used for an extended period of time. This will help keep your gas fireplace running in top shape, and ensure that it won’t need any expensive repairs in the future. If you are unsure about shutting yours off, contact your manufacturer for more information.

How to Prepare to Shut Off Your Gas Fireplace in the Spring

If you decide to shut off your gas fireplace for the warmer months, there are a few steps that you will need to follow.

Turn Off the Gas

The first step is to turn off the gas that powers your fireplace. This will help ensure that no gas leaks are occurring while it is not being used. You will also be able to conserve energy by not using up any gas while your fireplace is off.

Clean the Entire Fireplace & All Components

As you have been using your fireplace throughout the Winter, soot and debris may have accumulated on your fireplace and its components. Before shutting off the gas for the warm seasons, you should clean all parts of your fireplace to ensure that it is free of dirt and debris.

Schedule a Professional Cleaning or Inspection

A professional eye can catch any areas that need attention before you shut off your gas fireplace. Scheduling a professional cleaning and inspection will also help protect against future repairs, as any issues can be addressed before the long months of inactivity.

Don’t Forget to Remove Any Remaining Ashes

Before shutting down your gas fireplace for the warmer months, you should make sure to remove any ashes from the fireplace. This will help keep your fireplace clean and free of debris before it is not used for a long time.

Properly Secure the Fireplace

To ensure that your fireplace is completely shut off and that no gas is leaking, make sure to properly secure the fireplace. This can include closing flue dampers, turning off the control valve, and making sure the pilot light is off.

Routine Cleaning & Maintenance Will Still Be Needed for Gas Fireplaces Without Regular Use

Even if you are not planning on igniting your fireplace for months, you should still make sure to do regular maintenance and cleaning. This includes checking the gas lines and components, as well as cleaning the hearth. Doing these routine checks will help ensure that your gas fireplace is in proper working order when the colder months come back around.

Contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA for Professional Gas Fireplace Servicing, Cleaning, & Inspections

At New England Hearth & Home, we are equipped to properly clean and inspect your gas fireplace to make sure it is in proper working order. We will check all components of your gas fireplace, ensuring that no repairs are needed before the colder months come back around. We specialize in servicing the top brands in gas fireplaces, so you can rest assured that your fireplace is in good hands. To learn more, and to schedule your annual cleaning or inspection, visit our website or give us a call today at 781-562-0771.

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