As you may have noticed, we are rapidly approaching the time when all good parties with a fireplace start to consider its use. Yes, it’s getting cold out and not much gives your home that warm and snug quality like a beautifully burning fire in your fireplace. Having a lovely fire to brighten up your home does take a little maintenance to ensure that the fire urns bright, lively and where it belongs – in the fireplace.
This year, before you stoke up that first fore, we recommend that you take a few steps to be sure it burns safely and brings your family the beauty and benefits of this lovely part of your home.
Many people forget that the ashes have to be cleaned out of the fireplace itself and the clean-out door at the base of the flue where the excess ashes go. Your clean-out door is usually in the basement or outside the house. Always use a shovel to do this. Many fireplace accessories come with a shovel that will do the job well.
Once you’ve cleaned it out, take a hand mirror and examine the inside of the flue to see if there are any cracks, holes or a build-up of soot. Yes, if you see any of this you should call a professional. Do not try to fix it yourself.
Check around your fireplace for any damp spots or stains. These can indicate a damaged chimney near the roof line or a liner that is damaged. Again, call a chimney professional if you see evidence of a problem. No Dick van Dyke will not clean it out, you’ll have to get someone else. Since we want to make sure you use a qualified and reputable service we would be remiss if we didn't recommend ourselves.
Go outside and check to make sure that no birds have made a nest in your chimney. If you don’t have a chimney cap, and you see a nest, this might be the time to get one installed. While you’re out there, check the chimney to be sure no bricks are missing or loose and that it is standing straight and tall.
As for your fireplace, before you light a fire, make sure your damper opens and closes easily and doesn’t have a heavy soot buildup. If it does, call the chimney sweep. The damper is important. If it isn’t in proper working order smoke and/or carbon monoxide can enter your home. Nothing can ruin a fine family dinner like smoke billowing out of your fireplace.
Enjoy The Holiday Season Safely,
Always Affordable Chimney, Inc.