How to Maintain the Fireplace in Your New Home
Fireplaces are not difficult to use, but they do need proper maintenance in order to be functional and safe. Regular maintenance can prevent a home safety hazards such as a house fire. If you're a new homeowner with a new fireplace, here's what you need to know in order to use your fireplace safely.
Keep It Clean
Fireplaces need to be kept clean. Wood burning fireplaces in particular need to have the ashes removed from the bottom of the fireplace periodically. Remember that hot coals can stay hot for hours after a fire goes out, so wait a full 24 hours after burning before trying to remove the ashes. Use a shovel and an ash bucket, just in case some hot coals remain.
Chimneys need to be cleaned annually, even if the fireplace is used only occasionally. Hire a professional fireplace contractor to have the chimney cleaned. Most fireplace contractors will inspect the chimney at the same time they have it cleaned.
Burn Seasoned Wood
Seasoned wood is wood that has been properly dried for at least six months. It's easy to burn and creates a hot, relatively un-smoky flame. By contrast, unseasoned firewood contains a lot of moisture and is difficult to burn. It also creates a lot of smoke and can cause creosote buildup in the chimney. Burning unseasoned wood, therefore, is bad for the chimney. Homeowners who want to take care of their fireplace should burn only seasoned wood.
Never Leave a Fire Unattended
An unattended fire is a recipe for disaster. Fires should never be allowed to burn unattended. Gas fires are easy to turn on and off, and should always be turned off when people leave the room. Homeowners who have a wood-burning fireplace cannot turn their fire off and on whenever they want. Therefore, the fire must be allowed to burn down naturally. To encourage the fire to burn down, the homeowner can use a poker to separate the logs. This often causes the fire to go out quickly.
Use a Reputable Fireplace Repair Service
Harbor Town homeowners who want to take care of their fireplace and also take care of their home should use a reputable fireplace repair service. A good fireplace repair service will clean the fireplace, make repair recommendations when repairs are warranted, and will also make repairs properly when the time comes.