There isn’t anything better than the ambiance created by a warm, glowing, wood fire in your fireplace. However, after the flames have subsided, what do you do with all the ash left in your fireplace? Properly disposing of your ash is not only a way to ensure a clean, nice looking fireplace, but it is also a safety issue as well.
Let your ash cool
The first thing you want to do after your fire is out, is to let the ashes cool. Although your fire is out, hot embers and ash may still be in your ash pile. If you try to clean out your ashes while it is still hot, you may expose yourself and your home to these hot ashes and embers.
Removing the ash
You will want to use metal tools to clean out your ashes. This is because, even though you let your ashes cool, the still may be warm enough to start some combustible materials on fire. With a face mask on to prevent inhaling ash, and gloves to protect your hands, take a metal ash shovel and scoop your ashes into a metal ash bucket. Once you have filled your bucket, douse the ashes with water and store the bucket away from any combustibles for several days. Once you are absolutely sure that your ashes are cold, then you can dispose of them. It is extremely important that your ashes are cold since improperly disposed of ashes have been known to start house and forest fires.
Once you are sure your ashes are cold, you can dispose of them. You can do this by putting ashes in a bag and placing them in the trash. However, there are other uses for your fireplace ash that you may not be aware of. Although ash can be used to make soaps, metal cleaners, and ice melt, one of the most common ways that ash is recycled is as a soil nutrient. You can simply sprinkle ash on your lawn about a month before you fertilize it. Wood ash contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. All these are nutrients needed for healthy plant growth. You can also add ash to your compost pile to further enrich your compost. Ash has a higher pH than most soils, so it can also give plants growing in acidic soils a much-needed pH boost. However, if you live in an area that has alkaline soils you may want to avoid using ash as a soil nutrient.
If you have any questions regarding the proper disposal of ashes or want to know where to find proper ash disposal tools, please call Leonard & Sons at 847-658-7659, or if you are in need of any other chimney services set up an appointment with one of our chimney technicians today.