5 Essential Areas to Cover During Fireplace Maintenance

With winter officially just around the corner, there are few more inviting thoughts than curling up in front of a crackling fire in your fireplace.

fireplace-maintenance-tips

However, like many other items in your home, your fireplace needs ongoing maintenance. So, before you “fire” it up for the season, here are a few quick pointers on some necessary steps.

1. Have a Chimney Sweep Inspect the Chimney Once a Year

professional-chimney-cleaningThe National Fire Protection Association recommends that a chimney is cleaned and inspected on an annual basis. This can help identify any potential leaks, cracks or other deficiencies that need attention before they turn into bigger problems.

This will also help reduce deposits that accumulate. It’s important to do this, even if you don’t use your fireplace a whole lot. That’s because animals have a habit of building nests in chimneys.

2. Clean the firebox once a week during winter months.

Once you’ve got that fireplace up and running, make sure to clear the firebox (the area around where the fire burns) at least once a week, or when the ashes are three inches deep- whichever comes first. Leaving those ashes lying around can be both messy and hazardous.

3. Clean the Slate Hearth with Lemon Oil

clean-slate-hearthSlate is a commonly used material in fireplace surrounds, and it requires some special cleaning.

Lemon oil is good because it is effective and doesn’t streak. Remove any debris with a damp cloth. Once the area is dry, apply a small amount on a cloth.

4. Open a window when using the fireplace.

Opening a window can help circulate clean air, especially if your fire is very smoky. It’s also an extra safety precaution against carbon monoxide. Always make sure that the chimney flue is open to reduce the risk, and have a carbon monoxide detector installed on each floor.open-window-when-fireplace-is-burning

5. Consider Installing a Chimney Cap

It’s not a bad idea to install a chimney cap as well, as it serves many purposes. It keeps the elements out, reducing the damage done by moisture. It can also prevent other debris from entering the chimney, like branches and leaves. It can also catch sparks and embers before they escape and pose a danger.

Another useful function of a chimney cap is to keep pesky animals out.

We’re pleased to be able to help you with all of your gas log fireplace's needs in Marin, CA. Call Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air today at (831) 219-8644.