Keep the fire burning bright by protecting your stone
"The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful." Everyone remembers the first time they heard Dean Martin sing these words in his iconic, velvety baritone.
Truly, there's nothing better than gathering around the fireplace on a winter's night, with a little bit of hot cocoa and a warm blanket, while the snow falls outside. When you think of winter, it's probably one of the images that first comes to mind. And there's good reason: Fireplaces are one of the best ways to heat a chilly home.
"The major portion of the heat obtained from a brick masonry fireplace is radiant heat from the fire and the re-radiated heat from the massive brick masonry," says a Brick Industry Association report from 2001.
"The masonry mass gradually warms from the fire and continues to provide heat to the building long after the fire is extinguished."
A fireplace isn't simply a way to warm up when the mercury drops, however. It can also make for a striking style feature that really ties your living room together. And using natural stone to create your fireplace is a great way to enhance its appearance, giving your home a touch of old-world elegance.
Choosing the right stone for your fireplace
Picking the right natural stone from the numerous options out there is no easy task. The material you choose will depend on the look, feel and style of your home, the way it's been furnished and the color scheme you've used for your interior. You don't want to use any old stone for your fireplace – you want it to tie in with its wider design.
The types of stone at your disposal can vary from something as light as limestone to a dense stone like slate. Limestone or granite can be cut and arranged to make a unique, stacked look, perfect for creating a rustic, log cabin flavor, for example.
Meanwhile, marble can be used to form an opulent looking mantle, while granite is equally useful for creating a classy exterior for your fireplace. Another option is using a slab of bluestone to make the hearth.
And while it's not a natural stone, brick is a classic choice of material for a fireplace, absorbing the heat from the fire and sending it back out again. You could even go with concrete for a more sleek modern look. The possibilities are endless.
Keeping your fireplace stain-free
As stylish as using stone for a fireplace undoubtedly is, it also leaves it vulnerable to stains. Fire, as well as the resulting smoke and soot, can leave unsightly marks on what was once a pristine surface. This is why you have to be vigilant when it comes to cleaning your natural stone, making sure that you don't let stains build up over a long period of use.
You can use Dry-Treat's Oxy-Klenza™ to remove such stains and keep your fireplace looking good throughout the winter months. Oxy-Klenza™ is a strong, alkaline-based cleaner which helps make light work of the kind of dried-in, tough stains that would normally leave you scrubbing for hours. It's a multi-purpose cleaner that specializes in breaking down organic stains and soiling.
Best of all, it's safe for use on masonry, concrete and natural stone, so whatever material you've chosen for your particular fireplace, you can be sure stain removal won't take long, and your fireplace will be looking spick and span all over again.
All it takes is two scoops of Oxy-Klenza™ into a gallon of warm water, and you've got enough material to clean around 80 square feet of a surface – well more than enough for your typical fireplace!