Between 2014 and 2018, a chimney or fireplace started three out of 10 house fires. A fireplace is a great place to gather around during the cold winter months and can make your home feel cozy and warm. Still, it is essential that you keep your fireplace and chimney well-maintained to stay safe in your home.
Do you want to learn more about fireplace maintenance steps you should follow as a smart homeowner?
Keep reading this guide for everything you need to know about the different types of fireplaces and how you can extend the longevity of your residential fireplace with proper maintenance.
Inspect Your Chimney
One of the first things you should do when caring for your fireplace is to inspect your chimney. Chimney fires are more common than you may think and your chimney can receive a lot of wear and tear over the years.
First, you can inspect your chimney from the outside. Is there any external damage to the bricks? If you notice that your chimney is leaning or that it has cracks or holes, you may need to get it repaired.
You should also ensure that your chimney cap is in good condition. This prevents wildlife, snow, and rain from getting into your chimney and causing damage. Replacing your chimney cap will ensure that animals do not nest inside your chimney and that the weather doesn’t cause your chimney to expand.
Lastly, you must inspect your chimney for blockages. If you have a blocked flue but continue to use your fireplace, this could lead to carbon monoxide buildup in your home that can potentially be fatal for you and your family.
Some common types of blockages include animal nests, leaves and other debris, and even bits of mortar from your chimney.
Inspect Your Fireplace
Next, you should inspect the inside of your fireplace. Whether you have a wood-burning stove or a gas fireplace, you should inspect the brick inside your fireplace to make sure there is not any serious wear and tear.
While you inspect the inside of your fireplace, you should also check the damper and the smoke chamber. If there is a build-up of soot, you should get your fireplace professionally cleaned.
If you have a gas fireplace, you should ensure that the glass panes are tight and that there are no logs out of place. Similarly, you should inspect the vent of your gas fireplace to ensure that there are no blockages.
Each time you turn on your fireplace, make sure that the flames have a good pattern.
Clean Internal Fireplace Parts
After you inspect your fireplace, you must clean the internal parts of your fireplace. This is an essential part of fireplace maintenance whether you have a gas fireplace or a wood-burning fireplace.
With a gas fireplace, you should remove the glass front to gain access to the interior of the fireplace. Then, you can use a vacuum to remove any debris or buildup on the decorative rocks and logs.
You should also wipe away any dust from around the fireplace. Not only will this keep your fireplace looking clean and tidy, but it will also prevent this dust from igniting.
Keep the Area Around Your Fireplace Clean
It is also important that you keep the area around your fireplace clean. This is especially important if you have a wood-burning fireplace, as burning logs can produce soot, embers, and creosote, which is a dark residue that builds up in your chimney.
Plus, you may have dust and other debris that accumulates near your fireplace. These flammable materials can lead to house fires, so keeping the areas near your fireplace clean and free of debris can keep you safe.
It is always smart to avoid storing things near your fireplace. Make sure there are several feet of space between a fireplace and anything that could be flammable.
Finally, you should consider hiring professional cleaners to take care of your fireplace maintenance. They will come and inspect your fireplace and may be able to spot things that you missed during your initial inspection.
For example, they may be able to spot cracks in your chimney, issues with your chimney cap, or blockages in your chimney that could lead to a fire.
A professional chimney cleaner can also sweep your chimney to remove the buildup of creosote in your chimney and fireplace.
Even if you have a gas fireplace, you should pay a professional company to inspect your gas fireplace at least once a year. A licensed gas provider can inspect the connectors and valves in your fireplace and can test the gas line for issues. This can prevent gas buildup or gas leaks that could be dangerous.
If you want to lower the amount of fireplace maintenance you need to do, you may also want to consider getting an electric fireplace for your home. These are the best fireplaces and do not create the same buildup in your home. This means they will not require professional cleaning.
Visit this site to learn more about the benefits of residential electric fireplaces!
Learn More About the Importance of Fireplace Maintenance Today
Regular home maintenance is a necessary part of homeownership. Finding ways to keep your fireplace clean and maintained can protect your home from damage and will ensure that your fireplace functions smoothly for years to come.
If you want to learn more about fireplace maintenance or other types of home maintenance, we can help! Our website features articles on real estate and homeownership and can help you keep your house organized and safe.
Check out our blogs today for everything you need to know about maintaining your home!