New Year's Resolutions for Fireplace Maintenance

New Year's resolutions for fireplace maintenance

The start of a new year new brings new resolve. Weight loss, stopping smoking and cutting back on caffeine are all popular goals. While improving health is always an excellent objective, turning your attention to your home is another one. Especially when it comes to winter warmth and safety. This year, add some New Year's resolutions for fireplace maintenance to your home care checklist.

Keep the Unit Clean

Only use hard woods for wood burning fireplaces. Maple, oak and birch are all safe to burn. Soft woods such as cedar or spruce can cause creosote buildup. Creosote  is a substance similar to tar that forms from unburned wood fire gasses. Creosote buildup is a leading cause of fireplace house fires and the easiest to prevent.

A clean gas log unit is the best way to prevent chimney fires. Vent-free gas logs should be cleaned at least every three months when the fireplace is in use. Have a professional inspect the heating system once a year. Check both the chimney sweep and cap. Chimney caps keep small animals such as birds and squirrels from getting stuck.

Check Often for Debris

Wood burning fireplaces have a tremendous ash buildup with regular use. Not only does this ash make the hearth dirty, it can clog the flue. A clogged flue leads to smoke entering a room instead of exiting through the chimney. Check the fireplace weekly for ash buildup and clean as needed. Don't put off cleaning out ash and soot: the longer it sits, the more risks it poses.

The burner and control unit are magnets for dust, pet hair and dirt in gas fireplaces. Inspect these components weekly. Ensure that the air inlet holes remain clear of lint and dirt. Blocked air holes result in soot that is both messy and hazardous. For vented gas log systems, gently brush off any excess soot.

Polish the Hearth

A well-kept hearth is as important as the rest of the fireplace. It's also fairly easy to clean. If your fireplace has a brick hearth, purchase some brick cleaner at a fireplace supply store. Gently brush away excess soot with a broom before cleaning. Wear a medical mask if you have a respiratory condition. Slate hearths can be washed and dried as normal.  Add a coat of lemon oil once a month for extra shine. A clean fireplace looks and works better.

Don't Try This at Home

Don't be tempted to do all the work yourself. Keeping a fireplace in peak condition means climbing on the roof to check things from top to bottom. It also requires the right tools for the job. Cleaning a fireplace might seem easy, but there are risks for an untrained homeowner.

New Year's resolutions for fireplace maintenance should be kept with assistance from an expert. Only an experienced professional can tackle fireplace maintenance safely. Our certified team members provide prompt service and repair solutions. Your fireplace will be clean and safe to use in no time. Contact Emberside for help today.