The fireplace is meant to keep the house warm and you should enjoy the warmth coming from it. Unfortunately, the comfort that comes with having a fireplace can be dampened by the presence of unsightly soot discoloration of bricks and stones.
Over time, soot accumulates and thickens on the masonry until there are black stains on and/or around the fireplace. Many homeowners live with the stains for years as they feel they are defenseless and can’t get rid of them.
Is your home plagued by soot stains? You don’t have to suffer with them as chimney sweep experts have come up with ways of getting rid of them.
What creates soot buildup?
The primary causes of soot buildup are poorly constructed and maintained venting systems. Burning certain types of candles and blowing them out instead of snuffing them has also been found to cause the problem. Other causes of the problem include:
Chimney liners, chimneys, and pipes that connect the different appliances to the chimney flue
Failure of cleaning and poorly maintaining the venting system: This prevents smoke, fumes, and particulates from getting out of the house.
Obstruction of the venting system: The most common causes of chimney obstruction are: birds, debris, snakes, squirrels, nests, raccoons, and other animals that are caught up in the venting system.
Poorly installed heating appliances: When the heating appliances are of the wrong size and poorly installed, you stand to have the soot problem.
Burning petroleum candles: Petroleum candles have lead wicks that cause serious soot buildup. The awful scents worsen the situation.
How to remove soot and smoke residues
When you are fed up with the soot stains, there are a number of ways you can use to get rid of the stains. You should note that the process of removing the soot requires you to get in contact with a lot of soot that can irritate your skin and lungs.
Do you suffer from any allergic reactions? If you do, you should consider hiring a chimney professional to help you with the work instead of doing it by yourself. If you are ready to brave the dirt, you need to be fully protected. This calls for you to wear a face mask, gloves, and protective eyewear.
Just as there are many ways of killing a snake, there are equally many ways of getting rid of the soot:
Formula 1: You need to create a thick mixture containing soap or detergent, hot water, pumice, and ammonia. Apply the mixture to the stained areas and let it dry. Once dry, rub it off using a scrub brush.
Formula 2: Here you need to mix an ounce of table salt, an ounce of soap, and enough water to a creamy mixture. Using a piece of cloth, rub the mixture onto the stained masonry. You should allow the mixture to dry for at least 10 minutes then scrub it with a stiff brush.
Formula 3: This formula is a little complicated and requires a lot from your side. You should start with finding a bar of naphtha soap and shave it into a pot. You should then add three quarts of water and place it on the heat. After the soap has melted, turn off the heat source and allow the mixture to cool.
You should then add one pound of pumice and a cup of ammonia. Mix the ingredients thoroughly then apply them on the stained surface. Leave the surface for at least an hour then use a stiff brush to rub it off.
Can you prevent soot stains from forming?
The good news is that you can prevent the stains from coming about. Some of the strategies you can use to make it possible include:
Avoid burning paraffin wax candles: Instead, burn soy and beeswax candles. These burn clearer and are renewable resources. The candles also have fewer chemical additives. Chimney experts also recommend non-cored candle wicks made from natural plant fibers.
Take good care of your heating appliances: The soot stains result when you leave the soot to accumulate for a long time. This means that when you regularly hire chimney cleaning services Columbia MD, they will get rid of the soot before it builds up thus reducing the chances of stains forming.