Are you a new homeowner with a fireplace? If so, you probably have a lot to learn about fireplace maintenance and care. Fireplaces need regular maintenance or they can become a hazard. Working with a reputable fireplace contractor and following the tips below, you can maintain your fireplace for years to come.
Get Annual Inspections and Cleanings
Fireplaces need annual inspections. Cracks in lining or mortar, deterioration of the bricks in the chimney, bird nests in the flue and other problems can turn any fireplace from a beautiful focal point to a danger to everyone in the household.
Homeowners must have their fireplace inspected by a professional at least once per year. A good fireplace contractor can tell homeowners about whether they need to have their fireplace cleaned. If a cleaning is necessary, it's important to have it done before using the fireplace again.
Burn Seasoned Firewood
Seasoned firewood is firewood that has been drying for at least six months in the right conditions. Seasoned firewood burns hot and bright with very little smoke.
Green firewood is firewood that has not been properly seasoned. It produces a cooler flame and more smoke, which can lead to a build up of creosote in the chimney. Burning seasoned firewood is better for the chimney and leads to less chimney damage over time.
Maintain Your Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are important in any house, but they're doubly important in a house with a fireplace. Maintaining smoke detectors can prevent house fires. Homeowners with a fireplace should keep a working smoke detector near any fireplace. The smoke detector batteries needs to be checked regularly to ensure they're operational. Batteries should be replaced at least once per year.
Keep Flammable Objects Away
Flammable objects should not be placed on the hearth or on the mantel near the fireplace. Flammable objects can catch fire if a spark should land on them. All flammable objects should be kept several feet away from the hearth to prevent fires. When a fire is burning in the fireplace, the screen should be kept closed over the fire, as the screen can help prevent sparks from flying out of the fireplace.
Work With a Fireplace Contractor
If you're a homeowner with a fireplace, work with a reputable fireplace contractor to ensure that your fireplace is properly inspected and cleaned, if a cleaning is necessary. Taking care of your fireplace can increase the value of your home.