How to Clean and Repair Fireplace Mortar?
Keeping your fireplace mortar clean and in good working order can help extend the life of the appliance, reduce maintenance costs, and keep you from having to call a professional for repairs. The key to this process is to follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual for annual maintenance.
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First, ensure that all of the fireplace components are completely cool and off. This includes the gas valve and all of the logs and decorative items that sit in the burner area. Turn the pilot light off and check the gas line for any blockage or leaks, and if you have a natural gas log fireplace, clean the venting holes at the top of each log.
Next, disassemble all of the fireplace parts to expose the inside and outside, and remove the grate and glass doors or screens for easier cleaning. A vacuum cleaner hose attachment with a brush head can be used to clear dust, cobwebs, and debris from the interior and outer parts of the fireplace.
Once the ash, soot, and creosote are cleaned off of the surface, use a strong chemical solution to get at the deeper stains that won’t come off with normal scrubbing. This can be a pre-made chemical cleaner such as a solution of 6 tablespoons of Trisodium Phosphate, 1 cup of bleach, and a gallon of water.
One important thing to remember when using this type of cleaning solution is to wear gloves. This will protect your hands from the chemicals, which are very strong.
Another important thing to note is that you should never spray any chemicals on a glass fireplace door or partition because it can cause the glass to become permanently etched. This is especially true if you are using a corrosive chemical to clean it.
The most obvious way to clean the fireplace mortar is to use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub away the grime. You can also purchase a special cleaner at your local hardware store that will do the job. However, you should do this only after you’ve thoroughly cleaned the other components of your fireplace.