Staging a house fireplace is one of the most overlooked gems in selling your home. A clean firebox and spotless screen or glass sells a home. Often, the fireplace and chimney are centerpieces of a large den or living room. If the fireplace screen, glass door or wood stove are dirty, the buyer may assume the chimney and chimney cap are also not well maintained.
The second most important part of the fireplace is the bricks of the chimney or the flue pipe of the wood stove. Over time, the bricks can build up soot from the fumes of the fireplace. Use a highly diluted bleach and water solution to scrub the bricks. Pay attention to the mortar of the fireplace and chimney. The often white mortar will turn dark over time.
This difference in color between the upper and lower areas of the chimney and fireplace are noticeable. A buyer or prospect looking at the home will make a judgement, good or bad, as to the maintenance of the overall house based on the dirt of the fireplace.
Use binoculars to view the chimney from outside of the house. Is the chimney cap clean and in place? Is there any dark spots of soot or mold on the chimney? Can the flashing be seen and is it in place?
Most home inspectors do not do a thorough inspection of fireplaces. Therefore, many are not qualified to make a judgement about the safety and efficiency of wood stoves and fireplaces with chimneys.
A custom fireplace mantel is surprising inexpensive to design and install. Live edge wood is transformed into a beautiful mantel. Read how in this step by step process to create a unique custom fireplace mantel. If you are not comfortable taking on this project, reach out to Clear Chimney’s mantel experts for help.
Here are the following steps to begin:
Find a local wood provider of live edge logs. These folks will take huge logs of various types and cut them to your exact specifications. We like any type of Oak and Cedar logs. It is important to tell them you are building a mantel and want a “live edge” on the wood. They will keep the outside bark during the cutting process.
Our original piece of raw live edge wood for the mantel
Ask local tree cutting companies or wood supplies for a local cutter to supply raw wood cut to your specs.
Once you have the wood needed in the correct sizes, it is time to prepare the wood with color and a protection. The next step involves sanding. Be sure to have an area that can take the dust for easy clean up. Also, use a mask when sanding. The particles fly in the air during sanding.
Sand the entire wood on all sides. Use a “tacky cloth” that picks up the tiny particles from the wood before they are sealed in.
We recommend the colors you want are tested first. We usually do it on the back side. You can also use a scrap of wood but be sure it is from the same provider. Colors vary a lot on different grains and woods.
Allowing oxygen in the wood stack is why it’s critical to remove fireplace ash quickly. Days or weeks of burning wood will produce a lot of ash in the fireplace.
We remove fireplace ash quickly to allow the most efficient burning possible. The more efficient a burn, the less a Knoxville chimney sweep company will have to remove creosote.
One of the best gifts we received recently was an ash bucket shown in the picture. This is a great way of scooping out ash. It has a lid and a large scoop made for the fireplace. Even our wood stove cleaned up nicely.
What do you do with the fireplace ash removed?
The best use of chimney ash removed from stoves or the chimney is in the garden. The left over nutrients from burned wood is a great source of phosphorus. Vegetable gardens as well as ornamental gardens will LOVE the added ash. You do not need a large amount. Mix it up in the soil or compost you use for the landscaping.
There is no need to dump the ash into a trash can and fill up the landfill. This is a naturally occurring compound that trees, plants and vegetables love. Spread the ash far and wide in your yard.