Fireplaces need proper care in order to remain safe to use. If you're a new Copperfield homeowner with a fireplace, there are several things you should know about the care and maintenance of your fireplace. The following tips will help you take care of your chimney and fireplace.
Service Your Fireplace Once Per Year
Fireplaces need to be serviced at least once annually, even if they're rarely used. Small cracks that develop in the flu, deterioration that occurs in the chimney, and even bird nests can make a fireplace unsafe to use. Servicing fireplaces can help catch these problems before they lead to chimney fires, house fires and other problems.
Most homeowners get their fireplace cleaned out and serviced at the same time. The technician will clean the chimney while simultaneously inspecting it for any issues. If the chimney needs repair, the fireplace contractor makes recommendations.
Know the Signs of a Problem
Homeowners who know what signs of a problem to watch for can get fireplace help as soon as it needs repair. For example, it could have:
- Cracks in the mortar or loss of mortar around the bricks
- Strange odors coming from the chimney
- Lack of service in several years
Homeowners who notice problems or who go a long time in between services should not use their fireplace until they're sure it's safe, as this can create a home safety hazard. The only way to be sure of the safety of the fireplace is to have it inspected by an experienced, knowledgeable professional.
Clean Your Wood Burning Fireplace Regularly
Wood-burning fireplaces will develop a layer of ash in the bottom of the fireplace. Cleaning out the ash periodically will help promote air flow under the logs. The fireplace does not need to be cleaned of ash every time the fireplace is used, but it does need to be cleaned out fairly frequently.
Ash also absorbs moisture and can trap moisture against the iron grating in the fireplace, which can cause it to rust. The best way to protect the iron grating in the fireplace is to clean out the ash on a regular basis so it does not build up too high around the legs of the grate.
Burn the Right Wood
Seasoned wood burns cleanly, but green wood does not. Green wood can lead to a buildup of creosote in the chimney. Homeowners who want to take care of their chimney can burn properly seasoned wood from a reputable wood dealer.
Contact a Fireplace Repair Person
If you're a homeowner with a new fireplace, call a professional to have your fireplace inspected. Your fireplace contractor can help you determine whether your fireplace is in good condition and is ready to be used.