Everyone enjoys sitting around the warm glow of a fire. However, most of us could do without looking at the masonry stains that can occur with frequent fireplace usage. Over the years soot, caused by smoke and salts from your masonry, can create black and white stains that accumulate to the point that you may not even be able to see your original brickwork. Cleaning your masonry may seem like an impossible task, but we here at Leonard and Sons can help!

Salt and Mineral Stains

White stains on your fireplace masonry are caused by a process called Efflorescence, also known as leeching. Efflorescence occurs when water soaks through the joints of your masonry, dissolving salts and minerals and redepositing them on your brickwork. If these stains are not removed periodically, they can deteriorate your brickwork. Although these white stains can be remedied easily by dissolving the salt stains with water and some scrubbing, they are also an indication that there is water leaking into your fireplace.

The best way to permanently eliminate white stains from your masonry is to stop the source of water leakage into your chimney system. There may be a few reasons your chimney is leaking. Issues could include holes and cracks in the masonry, a missing chimney cap, a leaking flue or liner, or a damaged chimney flashing, to name a few. A Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep, like the one’s a Leonard and Sons, should be able to determine the cause of your chimney leakage and put a stop to efflorescence.

Soot Stains

Black fireplace stains are generally caused by soot, a byproduct of burning fuel. If you have a wood fireplace, soot is created when your wood isn’t burning at a high enough temperature to combust completely. Low-temperature burns are usually caused by problems with airflow or improperly seasoned wood. If you have a gas fireplace, soot stains can also occur. Although burning gas can produce some soot, problems with soot buildup in gas fireplaces are usually caused by dust and dirt burning on the gas burners, or improperly placed ceramic logs. Although you can minimize soot from forming by using proper fuel burning techniques, soot stains are inevitable.

At Leonard and Sons, we can handle soot stains for you. We use an environmentally friendly product called Paint “N” Peel fireplace cleaner to remove even the toughest of smoke and soot stains. We love Paint “N” Peel because it is a cheap and effective way to clean fireplace stains. Also, since it doesn’t require any toxic chemicals, it’s safe for the environment and your home.

If you are sick and tired of looking at a dirty fireplace, we can help you! Give Leonard and Sons a call at 847-658-7659 or schedule an appointment online today to have one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps come over and bring new life to your fireplace.