Most people usually surf the internet for some home maintenance tips so that they can keep their houses neat, clean, tidy, and well maintained. But, if you have a fireplace at your home you also need to take proper care of it if you want it to last longer. In many of the homes, the designation of being the most important focal point has been grabbed by fireplaces. This is because people are madly in love with the crackling of woods and the brightness from the fire which lights the entire room. It is quite an amazing view with dim lights, peace, a drink, some snacks, and your loved ones. In this article, I am going to share some of the best tested and proven maintenance tips which will assist you in the maintenance of your home fireplace so that it continues to provide you comfort and brighten up your house for years to come.
Cleaning the Interior Part
There is no doubt in the fact that a wood-burning fireplace adds ambiance and an aesthetic look to the space where it is situated. But at the same time, you also need to know that when the wood burns, quite a large number of by-products are released which have to be compulsorily removed in the first place to keep your chimney in a good condition. Cleaning the interiors of a fireplace has dual benefits adding aesthetics as well as efficiently providing you with the warmth and heat to help you feel cozy and nice. Also, the ashes produced act as an excellent source of nutrients for your plants. So all the remains that you collect after cleaning can be sprinkled on your plants. But, make sure that you wear a dust mask during the whole process of cleaning.
Install Alarms for Carbon Monoxide and Smoke
Although fireplaces are quite enjoyable places for warmth inside your house, it may also cause serious health hazards. A well and scientifically installed fireplace doesn’t act as a potential source of danger from Carbon Monoxide but when your chimney or vent system is clogged, you are likely to face the issue of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. The gas is very deadly and people can’t even detect it as it is odorless and colorless.
Another risk of having a fireplace at home is smoke. In normal circumstances, the smoke is released into the chimney but in case it is blocked due to foreign particles or dirt, then the smoke will find its way into your house. Therefore, for the safety and well-being of your family, it is important that you install a smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
Remove Soot and Creosote
When the wood burns many different types of particles are produced and one of them is a flammable black or brown residue which settles on the inner walls of the chimney called creosote. It is generally produced when the wood which you use is not properly dried or stored. This serves as the main reason for chimney obstruction or even fires.
Similarly, soot is also a by-product of burning wood. You need to remove both the soot and creosote very professionally to avoid accidental fires.
Regularly Check the Chimney and the Cap
In order to have an efficient and effective fireplace, you need to have a well- functioning chimney as well. Any kind of cracks, dents, or even rusts can, later on, pose bigger problems. Therefore, do not forget to check the chimney from time to time, whether it is masonry or metal one. In order to keep water, birds, or other materials out, the chimney also has a cap made up of stone and a metal slab. There is also a screen that acts as a spark arrestor. Check the cap and screen and also replace them if needed.
Use the Right Type of Wood
Homeowners with a fireplace should know that not all woods are created the same. The best suited for a fireplace is the seasoned wood which has been dried properly with about less than 20% moisture like birch, maple, and oaks. Never ever use softwoods like cedar and pine. Whatever wood you use, make sure that it has been dried for about 6-12 months. Hardwoods are also amazing as they have the capability to produce more heat for a longer period of time and also produce less creosote. Therefore, you are always recommended to use hardwoods over softwoods for your fireplace.
Testing Before Using
Before using a fireplace, make sure that you test its functioning by just burning some pieces of wood. Make sure that the smoke goes through the chimney. And if you notice that it enters the room, you need to do some troubleshooting and fix the problem before you load up lots of wood. Some of the reasons behind this can be either an obstruction in the duct of the chimney or soot and creosote might have accumulated, damper closed, or if the wood is wet.
Hire a Professional
Hire a certified chimney sweep to inspect the entire thing at least once a year or more frequently if you notice any signs of trouble like soot or creosote buildup. While some small issues can be easily detected and resolved, you will need the help of a knowledgeable person for some hidden big issues. Therefore you better stay on the safer side for the benefit of your family members.
In every house, there can be no better addition than a wood-burning chimney. Chimneys are capable enough to add all the more beauty, ambiance, style, and warmth. It is of utmost importance to maintain your fireplace and keep it in the best possible condition so that it works effectively. A well-maintained fireplace performs the important task of adding value to your house tremendously, saving a bunch of your money and time as well as leaving your family members awestruck and amazed. After going through the complete article I hope you have enriched your knowledge regarding the tips and tricks that you can apply for your fireplace maintenance. Now, it’s time to get going and start by cleaning it first of all.
A fireplace can definitely add to the appeal of your already beautiful house, but it also brings with it tons of responsibility for you to maintain it well. This is to ensure that it works in an efficient manner and doesn’t pose a threat to the safety of your loved ones.