A wood-burning fireplace makes the bitter Indianapolis a little easier to tolerate. There is nothing quite like snuggling up in front of your fireplace and soaking up a bit of the warmth. However, fireplaces do require cleaning and maintenance to ensure their optimal performance. A by-product of burning wood is wood ashes, and these can accumulate in your fireplace. As long as you properly remove wood ashes, they will not cause you or your fireplace any harm. In this post, we explain the best way to remove wood ashes. 

When Should I Remove Wood Ash?

Any time you burn wood, you will get wood ash. The amount of ash generated depends on the type of wood and the temperature you burn it at. You may be tempted to remove the ash after every time you build a fire, but it is actually ideal to maintain a 1-inch layer of ash on the floor of your firebox. This layer of ash nestle the hot coals and add more heat to the fuel, making it easier to build and maintain a fire. Eventually, you will need to remove the ash. If the layer of ash becomes too thick and smells or is in the way of fire building, it is definitely time to remove it. Generally, ash should be removed as often as is necessary to maintain the 1-inch layer, and all ash should be removed at the end of the wood-burning season. 

How to Remove Ash 

When done properly, removing ash is a safe and simple process. Follow the protocol below to ensure proper ash removal. 

  1. Wait at least 72 hours after your last fire so that the ash is fully cooled.
  2. Use a fire shovel to scoop up the ashes.
  3. Place the ashes in a bag and dispose of them in the trash. 
  4. Store and use as a lawn and garden fertilizer, in your compost piles to maintain neutral acidity, or on your icy driveway to provide traction.
  5. Push the ashes through the metal plate in the floor of the firebox if your fireplace has an ash dump. 

Removing ash is a simple, effective way to keep your fireplace healthy. For help with other fireplace and chimney maintenance and repairs, choose Brick + Ember Outfitters of Indianapolis. We are ready to help you with your chimney, masonry or fireplace. Request your appointment today by visiting our website, calling 317-500-1250, or emailing OFFICE@BRICKANDEMBER.COM