Regular maintenance is an essential part of having a fireplace. Fireplaces are responsible for as much as 25,000 house fires every year. Fireplace maintenance helps keep your family safe by preventing fires. Since you probably won’t use your fireplace much this spring, it’s the perfect time to perform some essential fireplace maintenance.
Creosote is a chemical that builds-up over time in the chimneys of wood burning fireplaces. Creosote is extremely dangerous as it is highly combustible. Creosote build-up is the leading cause of chimney fires. This is why you should have your chimney swept every year by a professional. It’s typically easier and less expensive to hire a chimney sweep during the spring. It’s also a good idea to check your chimney for cracks, loose bricks and missing mortar and inspect your flue liners.
In addition to having your chimney swept and inspected, you will need to clean the area around the top of your chimney once a year. Debris can gather around the top of your chimney and can easily ignite from hot air rising from your fireplace. Also, you will want to check that branches aren’t growing too close to your chimney. While on the roof, have someone open and close the damper. Make sure that it is closing all the way, or else you could be spending too much on your heating and cooling costs. If your chimney isn’t already protected by a spark arrester, now is the time to invest in one. This maintenance should be done in the spring, when the roof is less likely to be wet and slippery.
To complete your spring fireplace maintenance you will want to protect the inside of your home. Make sure that you have a hearth rug and a fire screen to help prevent sparks from starting a house fire. Clean your firebox thoroughly so that your fireplace will be ready when you need it.
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