Wood Fireplace Maintenance Tips
“Come on, cold weather, come to papa so we can get the ol’ fireplace crankin’ again!”
Okay, so maybe you don’t get THAT excited about the onset of winter, but a nice wood burning fire sure helps to warm things up and add a nice glow for all to enjoy.
Still, if you’re like most people, your wood fireplace has laid dormant for several months and could stand a little freshening up. You know, just like you would if you’re coming off just a few hours of sleep.
As such, Correct Temp is pleased to present the following fireplace maintenance tips to help you enjoy it to the max, and with maximum safety as well.
Inspect the chimney. Whether you do it yourself or hire a chimney sweep, the brick chimney is subject to ongoing wear and tear and should be carefully inspected at least once a year. Specifically, you’re looking for tilted bricks or those even with hairline cracks – those will only get bigger. If your chimney extends through the attic, check on its condition there, too.
Check or install a chimney cap. While nowadays they’re commonplace, not everyone’s chimney “wears” a custom-fit cap. If you don’t have one, it’s a great way to bar pesky little critters from setting up shop. It also helps keep rain and snow out that otherwise could freeze up inside the chimney and cause internal damage. If yours already is capped, simply ensure it’s in good shape and securely attached.
Inspect the flue. Open the clean-out door and use a small mirror and flashlight to check on conditions inside the flue. Look for cracks, separations, holes, and soot build-up. Once again, this might be a job better left to a professional.
Look for leaks and stains. Faulty flashing around the chimney or a damaged flue liner could be giving water and melted snow entry into your home. That, in turn, can bring about mold and structural problems.
Inspect fire and carbon monoxide alarms. Before you start lighting your fireplace, make sure to test your fire and carbon monoxide alarms. If they aren’t working, replace the batteries.
Schedule annual maintenance. While there’s a good deal you can do on your own to maintain your fireplace, there’s no substitute for annual maintenance performed by a licensed chimney sweep – especially before the start of the winter season.
Yes, a wood fireplace can add a certain amount of warmth to the area around it, but it’s no substitute for your home heating system – unless, of course, you live in a one-room log cabin. If not, then late fall/early winter is the perfect time to have your system professionally cleaned and inspected – and we’re just the company to ensure the job is done properly. Has it been a year or longer since your furnace or boiler was last inspected? If so, contact Correct Temp today.