Nothing beats snuggling up in front of a fire in the cold winter months. When it comes to saving money on house heating, nothing beats a fireplace, particularly one that burns wood. But before you start a fire to keep warm this winter, check that your chimney has been properly cleaned and maintained so that it is safe and in good working order.
You should learn about safety precautions for fireplace preparation and usage before it becomes too chilly outside. So, inspect the hearth and chimney thoroughly to ensure you’re safe and keeping warm this winter.
- Plan an inspection:
You should have your chimney examined and cleaned every year or at least once every two. Creosote is an oily and extremely combustible residue of wood burning, and after a thorough cleaning, your fireplace will be much safer.
By using a professional chimney sweep, you can be certain that the interior of your chimney will be thoroughly cleaned and free of soot and debris. Whether you have a large, classic chimney for an open fire or a chimney for a new wood burner, a Seattle chimney sweep can examine your chimney for damage and keep your property clean and safe.
- Check for damage:
Inspect the firebricks within the fireplace for cracks and loose joints, and look for damage to the brickwork on the outside. In the wood-burning appliance, replace any brick lining that is damaged or degraded. Cracks in the lining are not a problem, but if the steel body is exposed due to deterioration of the brick lining, the heat from the fire might result in long-term damage.
During this time, you should check to see that your chimney is connected to your home correctly and securely. Additionally, look for water damage, which might be detrimental to the whole property.
- Inspect gasket material and damper:
Make sure to take care of the ash dump, the glass door, and the gasket sealing the door. It is crucial to check these components and swap them out as required. If they aren’t functioning correctly, your fire may get too much oxygen and become overheated.
A plate or valve called a damper controls how much air flows through your chimney. Before utilizing the fireplace, you should ensure it is in good working order.
- Store your wood:
Don’t forget to gather a large supply of wood on hand while preparing a chimney for the winter. Make sure the logs are precisely chopped to fit into your stove or fireplace if you aren’t buying pre-cut logs from a source and are instead chopping your firewood. Ash, oak, and beech are high-grade hardwood species that burn cleanly and with a brilliant flame for the longest periods.
Keep away from softwoods like pine, fir, and cypress because they burn too rapidly and emit more smoke. Instead, try to get local wood if you don’t intend to chop your own or don’t have the room to keep it for six months to a year.
- Clean your fireplace:
After having your chimney professionally cleaned, now is the perfect time to thoroughly clean your fireplace or stove so it is spotless and ready for your first fire of the season. Following are some cleaning suggestions:
To remove soot and filth, clean the bricks, stone, or tiles that surround your fireplace.
Remove old ash and soot by giving your stove or fireplace a good sweep.
Your fireplace accessories should be cleaned to be crisp and ready to use.
To see the flame on your wood burner, clean the glass.
- Remove Tree Limbs:
Removing any overhanging tree branches that may be leaning on the chimney should be done while you inspect the chimney cap outdoors. Tree limbs not only pose a fire risk, but they may also obstruct the chimney’s correct airflow and harm the cap.
After your chimney has been cleaned, your fireplace has been cleaned, and your logs have been collected, adding a few last ornamental and cozy finishing touches may improve the ambiance. Making imaginative use of display in this area will make the environment surrounding your fire more appealing and unique.
Ensure your fireplace is maintained properly, then spend the whole winter season cuddling up by the fire.