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Proper Ash Removal

Proper Ash Removal

To keep your fireplace working properly, you must take care of it by performing a few routine maintenance tasks, and keeping the firebox clean is one of these tasks. When you are using your fireplace on a regular basis during the winter, you will need to remove ashes from the firebox every week or two. This task can pose a few safety issues, including accidental fires, so knowing how to dispose of ashes properly is very important. We place safety as our top priority at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, and we would like to share with you the best way of removing ashes from your firebox. Following these steps will allow you to safely remove ashes without any fire hazards.Ash Removal Best Practices - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

Assemble your tools.

You will need a metal ash bucket that has a lid, an ash shovel, fire resistant gloves, and a face mask if you are concerned about inhaling ashes.

Allow the ashes to cool down.

We recommend waiting at least 24 hours after the fire has been extinguished before attempting to remove ashes. Sometimes, even 24 hours is not long enough to wait as ashes can burn slowly and smolder. This is why it is so important to know the proper procedure for removing ashes.

Scoop the ashes into the metal bucket.

Open up the fireplace screen and/or doors, and place your bucket in front of the firebox opening. Use your ash shovel to scoop up the ashes and place them in the bucket. If you come across any live embers, push them to the back of the firebox and cover them with a thin layer of ashes. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) actually recommends that you leave a one-inch layer of ashes on the firebox floor to help you build and maintain fires. This thin layer of ash can also protect the floor of your firebox.

Place the lid tightly on the bucket and store it outside of your home.

It is very important that you ensure that the lid fits tightly and completely seals the ashes inside the bucket. This will keep the ashes from spilling out if the bucket is knocked over by wind or something else accidentally. Additionally, there could be live embers or smoldering ashes within the bucket, and without a lid sealing the bucket, oxygen could reach those hot ashes to ignite a fire. It is also important to store this bucket outside on a non-combustible surface such as brick or concrete and away from dried leaves and firewood. If there are live embers or hot ashes inside the bucket, the heat could ignite anything combustible nearby.

Wait at least three days to throw your ashes away.

While you can always pour a bit of water inside the bucket to put out any live embers, it is best to wait three days before you place the ashes in your trash. If you have a garden, you can also sprinkle the ashes over your garden beds as well as work the ashes into your compost pile.

For more safety tips on maintaining your fireplace, contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps. We are more than happy to provide you with the best ways to safely enjoy your fireplace.

Home Builders Are Not Always Chimney and Fireplace Experts

Chimney Certified Builders - Weststar Chimney - San Diego CAAre you planning to build a new home with a fireplace and chimney? Or maybe you are thinking about adding a new fireplace to your existing house? Weststar Chimney Sweeps would like to tell you why you should hire a chimney company to construct the fireplace and chimney instead of a home building company. With so many different safety codes and standards that are involved in constructing a chimney, it is an excellent decision to go with chimney experts who have been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). To receive this certification, chimney technicians have to undergo extensive training on all of the different building codes that are required in the construction of a fireplace and chimney system, so you are guaranteed that all of the safety standards will be followed. To help you understand why you should choose a chimney company like us to build your new chimney and fireplace, we would like to tell you the two most important reasons why this choice is so important.

We understand exactly what a chimney is supposed to do.

Weststar Chimney Sweeps knows that you need your chimney to be able to vent all of the byproducts of combustion away from your home. We also understand that this process needs to happen without any damage being caused to your house. The CSIA offers a course on chimney physics that has taught us the best ways to ensure your chimney functions correctly. We also take into consideration that different kinds of heating appliances need to be matched to specific types of chimneys. We can match your particular heating appliance exactly to the right size and kind of chimney.

We have been trained on all of the applicable building codes and requirements for chimneys and fireplaces.

Our chimney technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps have been educated and trained to follow these codes, which are based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211 for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances. Weststar Chimney Sweeps lines every masonry chimney we build with a liner that matches your heating appliance. We ensure all clearances from combustible materials are met to prevent your house from being ignited on fire due to the extremely high temperatures produced by the fireplace. We also follow the 3-2-10 rule that means chimneys must be three feet higher than the roof penetration on the shortest side, and the very top of the chimney must extend two feet above any portion of the building structure within 10 feet.

If you are planning on building a new home or on adding a new fireplace to your house, contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps. We will be proud to build you an efficient and safe fireplace and chimney system.

Upgrade the Look of Your Home with a Set of Gas Logs

Upgrade the Look of Your Home with a Set of Gas Logs

If your old masonry fireplace does not function as well as it did in the past, you may be considering a way to update the area with a new heating appliance. Weststar Chimney Sweeps recommends installing a set of gas logs to provide your home with a new focal point. Not only will you be updating the look, but you will also be upgrading to heating your home more economically and efficiently. To tell you more about gas logs, we would like to share some of the benefits you will enjoy by upgrading to this type of gas-fueled heating appliance.

Upgrade to Gas Logs - San Diego CA

Newer gas logs look much more realistic.

You may find yourself having a hard time distinguishing a fire from a modern set of gas logs from a wood-burning flame. With ceramic logs that rest on top of a grate just like a set of wooden logs do, a set of gas logs can produce a beautiful and realistic fire. The gas is distributed through glowing “embers” in a layer of sand under the grate. Used with a fire-screen placed in front of the gas logs, the gas fire closely resembles a fire from wood and also provides warmth to the room.

A set of gas logs is simple and convenient to operate.

You will never find yourself struggling to ignite a fire from a set of gas logs. Depending on the model, you just flip a switch, press a button, or use a remote control device to start up your flame. You will also never have to worry about doing the chores involved with burning wood. No more bringing firewood in from outside. No more adding logs to keep the fire burning. No more waiting for the embers to completely burn out. No more sweeping up ashes after the fire is over. You can truly relax in front of a fire from a set of gas logs.

Using a set of gas logs is better for the environment than burning wood.

Burning wood releases polluting emissions that can be harmful to the environment. According to the Los Angeles Times, many places across the country can only burn wood on certain days due to restrictions to reduce the amount of emissions. Some communities are even mandating gas-operated fireplaces in new construction.

Considering upgrading your heating appliance? Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps to find out how a set of gas logs may be exactly what you need.