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Care and Maintenance

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Following are some useful tips in order to keep your fireplace in it's best condition. Should you find that more extensive and professional help is needed then please don't hesitate to contact us as we carry out full onsite restoration to all types of fires.

Following are some useful tips in order to keep your fireplace in it's best condition. Should you find that more extensive and professional help is needed then please don't hesitate to contact us as we carry out full onsite restoration to all types of fires.

Marble & Limestone Surrounds

If your marble surround is already in good condition then all that should be needed to maintain it is a regular light dusting. For the removal of light surface dirt, a weak solution of water and washing up liquid is often best, but it is very important that solution be applied on a very slightly damp cloth and not a soaking wet one. The soaking of marble can lead to staining. As marble is a porous material it is important to soak up any spills as soon as possible dabbing it with paper towel to absorb the fluid and thus avoid spreading any stain. On old marble fires it is not uncommon to see bad staining that is largely caused by soot gathering behind panels that have at some point got damp thus absorbing the stain through to the surface. In most cases our specialists can remove or greatly improve these and other stains by using specially formulated poultices that absorb into the marble and as they dry out they draw the stain with it. Even when marble is sealed any prolonged exposure to red wine and other acidic substances can break down the sealant and cause staining. Please contact us for further details.

The use of coasters on the mantel shelf will help prevent rust staining from metal ornaments and other forms of stains. If your marble has a shine to the surface that seems to be dulling down in areas then the application of a marble wax using a white cotton cloth and buffing it to a shine will soon bring back it's beauty. As a word of caution, if your marble is stained then the appliction of any products including some waxes can make the stains appear darker.

Wooden Surrounds

Most surrounds supplied by Original Styles will have either a oil or wax finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood. Regularly dust over the wood and avoid water and other spills. If sticky deposits are on the surface then a very slightly damp (almost dry) mild soap solution on a cloth can be used to remove it. You may then need to reapply a coat of oil or wax. If you have water ring marks then use a fine grade wire wool over the area and then apply a coat of the same oil or wax and polish to a shine. From time to time it is advisable to reapply a further coat of oil or wax so as to avoid the finish looking dull. When applying the wax it is best to use a bees wax and apply it with a cotton cloth, polishing it to a shine once dry and removing any excess wax. Avoid using spray on waxes as these are solvent based and end up removing the bees wax. Avoid placing hot cups or tealight candles directly on the wooden surface, always use a coaster to avoid damage. Also refrain from putting lit candles on a lower secondary shelf if the surround has one so as to avoid burn/smoulder markings.

Black Cast Iron Surrounds, Inserts, Baskets and Registers

Cast iron fireplaces were protected using a iron paste that was applied and then buffed up to give a shine that's appearance is much the same as the carbon that you get from a pencil (silver/black). This helps to make detail stand out as the light hits the raised surfaces leaving other areas slightly darker. Often all that is needed is a dusting over this surface with a shoe brush. Even on small areas where rust stains from cups have appeared, it is often possible to rub over a bigger area with the brush spreading the particles of the iron paste over the rust marks. This works because the particles are like the carbon from a pencil in that they can be transfered from one surface to another even when fully dry. Around the fire where the flames are you will find that the iron paste burns off, the best thing to use on these areas is a high temperature stove paint. Liberon iron paste mixed to a creamy consistency with White spirit can be reapplied to any needed areas and once fully dry it can be buffed to a shine. If your fireplace is coated with other forms of paint you will find that much of the detail is hidden. Original Styles offer a full onsite restoration service to strip the paint so as to bring back the detail. Please contact us for more details.

Polished Cast Iron Surrounds, Inserts, Baskets & Registers

Polished cast iron is protected by a thin coat of oil that soaks into the very slightly porous surface of the iron. This coat of oil can protect the fireplace for many years without the need to reapply more providing the room the fire is in is not prone to damp or condensation. However, it is wise to regularly dust over the iron and to then apply a light spray of WD40 oil over it and wipe off any excess. This will help ensure that it maintains the same shine and that it does not start to dull down. Contact with water is to be avoided as it will cause rust and the only cleaning product to be used is WD40 or another similar oil. Any spills should be dried imediately and then WD40 applied. On small areas of rust it is often possible to remove them using a very fine grade wire wool. Reapply WD40 to protect the area. Original styles offers a full restoration service where we can re- polish your fireplace in situte and at the same time contain any mess. For more details please contact us.

Hearths

If the hearth is polished granite, marble or glazed tiles, then all that should be needed is a regular dusting. For any sticky substances that need removing use a solution of warm water and washing up liquid and if possible avoid using any form of abrassive cloth so as not to scratch. Slate hearths come in a honed (smooth) finish and a riven (textured/ rippled) finish. Regular dusting and vacuuming of slate hearths is advisable as it helps prevent bits of grit scratching the slate. Slate can be cleaned with a warm soap solution applied with a none abrassive cloth or sponge and then dried. WD40 oil is then used to bring out the natural colour of the slate and to protect and keep it clean. Limestone hearths need regular cleaning and even more so when fitted with a wood or coal burning fire. When the limestone is fully clean and dry, a suitable stone sealer should be applied. It is advissable to reapply coats of the sealer at least once a year or more. When cleaning the limestone refer to the the section above under 'marble & limestone surrounds'. Having the chimney swept and a rain cap fitted (this does not obstruct smoke removal from the chimney) will help prevent wet soot staining the hearth. Where possible avoid standing on hearths so as to avoid cracks and scratching.

Original Styles can repair cracks, chips and scratches to hearths. Please contact us for further details. For any points that are not here mentioned that you may have a query about, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

 

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