This is a sponsored guest post.
Having a nice room in the basement that you can actually use and feel comfortable in is a huge addition to your home. You can use the basement as a fun room, an office, a teenager’s recreation room, a library or a home movie theater – it’s up to you. And nothing says “comfort” like a nice, cozy fireplace.
If you already have a renovation plan in place, you must know that the basement requires special conditions, materials and maintenance operations. Because it is a dark and humid place, mold can become a problem if you don’t have proper ventilation and isolation.
When you add a basement fireplace to the mix, it gets even trickier regarding safety and health rules. Tight and awkward spaces also need to be taken into consideration whenever adding such an important feature to the building.
Choosing the Type of Fireplace to Add to the Basement
As we said before, adding a fireplace to a room in your basement raises more challenges than the rest of the house. Choosing the type of fireplace you will use is a huge factor in all the other decisions you will make. That’s because a wood burning classic fireplace will behave differently than a prefabricated or a gas one.
Prefabricated fireplaces are ideal for the basement because they only need a vent to blow the air outside. That also gives it versatility, as you can mount it even if you don’t have a chimney. There are different sizes you can choose from, depending on how much space you have available. Not to mention, the prices are quite decent when compared to masonry wood burning fireplaces, for example. Amongst the other advantages of prefab fireplaces is that they are easy to clean and don’t make a mess. And you will dodge carrying heavy loads of wood down the basement stairs, which is a big plus.
Gas log fireplaces are the next best choice for a regular basement. You will enjoy a more rustic, authentic feel than with the prefab option, but without having to go through all the hassle required for a wood burning one.
The classic fireplace we like to dream of is most often the wood burning one, complete with crackling sounds, toasty smell and the dance of real flames. But it is also the most difficult one to maintain and mount. It requires proper ventilation and exhaust. Otherwise, smoke and carbon dioxide can get into the room and linger there, making the air toxic in the worst cases. It can also lead to fires caused by build-up, which is why proper maintenance is a must.
How to Clean and Care for Your Basement Chimney
Start by removing the ash from the fireplace with a shovel or a special tray incorporated in the fireplace. Always make sure you are discarding completely cooled ash and not ignited coal in the trash bin. You can finish off the interior of the fireplace with a vacuum cleaner.
You can then move on to the flue of the fireplace and clean it thoroughly with a wire brush and a special cleaning substance. Use a simple vinegar solution for the windows, if your fireplace has them.
Next, clean the wire mesh that most flues have on the other end.
Call the Professionals
Besides the regular, ordinary cleaning you should do yourself, there is also the tougher stuff that only professional chimney sweepers can do. Call them to set an appointment and decide together the frequency of the cleanings, based on how often you use the fireplace and what you are burning in it.