5 Steps to Basic Fireplace Maintenance
The late fall and winter seasons are the perfect time to gather family and friends inside to enjoy the warmth of your hearth- and the warmth of each other’s company. In addition to a few extra steps, like storing firewood outside and trimming tree branches away from your chimney, these tips are highly recommended to make sure that your fireplace is safe and fun for your family to enjoy.
1 - Clean out the Firebox Regularly
As a safety measure (but also as a way of keeping the area around the fireplace cleaner) make sure that you remove the ashes from inside the firebox on a regular basis (weekly is ideal). If you use your fireplace often, you’ll need to clean it often as well (once the ash reaches three inches deep or so).
2 - Chimney Cap
Even though a chimney cap is a tiny installation, many homeowners wonder if it is necessary. Rest assured, for a small piece of equipment; a chimney cap does a huge job, preventing loads of potential damage.
Animals will sense warmth in the winter coming from your chimney, making it an excellent nesting spot. These nests can cause dangerous build-up below when fires are burning. It’s also a real barrier for flying embers, which could easily spark low-lying branches.
3 - Keep your Hearth Clean
With soot and other debris a constant presence with your fireplace, it is important to maintain the hearth, to keep it looking good and to prevent damage. Clean the soot off with a wet cloth. After the surface has dried, shine it up with a small amount of lemon oil. It makes it glow and seals it as well.
4 - Clean the Chimney
Every year, call in the chimney sweep to do a full cleaning of your chimney, and it’s components to make sure everything is in working order. Build-up and residue can cause smoke and be hazardous. The chimney sweep will make sure the damper and flue are not damaged as well. They also check for leaks and cracks in the structure. Even if you don’t use your chimney often, get it cleaned and checked.
5 - Crack the Window
Don’t let a smoky fire deter you from using your fireplace. A simple solution is that there is insufficient air in the room itself. Letting a little air in from outside can create the cross-ventilation needed to reduce the smoke. The extra oxygen can help the fire burn brightly as well.
Christian Brothers Plumbing in Glendale, AZ always have time to share home maintenance tips with our clients. Give us a call today at 623-499-9794 to learn more.