Your fireplace is a focal point in your home—a place for people to gather, enjoy warmth and conversation, and relax in front of a cozy fire. You’ll be able to enjoy your fireplace in safety for years to come if you maintain it properly, and this checklist will help you get started:
- Keep it clean:
Probably the most basic maintenance tip, it still bears saying because it is essential to the integrity and safety of your fireplace, not to mention its appearance. Be sure to clean the inside of your fireplace regularly, as a buildup of soot, dust, or dirt is not only unsightly, but could also lead to a blockage or some other issue that would compromise your fireplace’s ability to function as safely and effectively as it should.
- Regularly remove creosote buildup.
Creosote is a byproduct of wood burning, especially if you are burning green or soft wood. Besides the fact that breathing it in over time can be unhealthy, the buildup in your chimney can be a fire hazard. When you notice this black, sooty buildup, be sure to clean it right away with a chimney brush, and wear a dust mask while you are working to avoid breathing it in.
- Regularly inspect the stovepipe and chimney.
You should conduct a frequent inspection of the stovepipe and chimney to check for internal buildup as well as external damage like loose mortar or bricks in masonry chimneys. Don’t forget to pay attention to the chimney cap—the piece that keeps birds, small animals, and debris from entering your home through the chimney. If a blockage forms here it could cause a host of problems that could be dangerous and lead to costly repairs. Be sure to enlist the help of a professional here, as climbing onto your roof can be very dangerous without the proper training and equipment.
- Get your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned at least once a year.
Even the most diligent care on the part of a homeowner cannot compare to the job that a professional chimneysweep can do. Professionals have the training and equipment to safely clean every part of your fireplace and chimney, ensuring not only a more attractive look, but better functionality.
- Burn the right kind of wood.
The kind of wood you burn in your fireplace can make a huge difference in the quality of the fire and amount of creosote buildup you experience. Hard woods that are seasoned are ideal for fireplaces, as they burn hotter and longer. Green, soft woods have more moisture and sap; they burn out quickly, produce more smoke and creosote, and have a greater likelihood of generating sparks that can fly out and cause a fire hazard in the home.
The experts at JerseyFirewood™ are ready to help you with all your firewood questions and needs. Give them a call today to discuss what type of wood will work best for you, and you’ll be on your way to many more years of safely enjoying your fireplace.