A fireplace makes the room cheery and warm and is a good backup for heating your home if the power goes out. Whether you have moved into a rental house that has a fireplace or your newly purchased home does, you want to make sure the fireplace is maintained and cleaned properly so you can use it safely. Here are some recommendations to help you keep your fireplace in good working order and safely maintained.
Clean Out the Interior
As a first and relatively easy maintenance task, plan to clean out the ashes from inside your fireplace when they build up. If you use your fireplace on a regular basis, check the ashes and remove them when they become deeper than an inch or two.
Make sure the fireplace has cooled and scoop the ashes from the inside with a fireplace shovel. If you have a fireplace tool set, this will include a fireplace shovel along with tongs, a poker, and a brush, so you will have access to the necessary tools to clean out the ashes. Dispose of the ashes in your garden compost or the trash. Use a vacuum with a filter to pull up the remaining ashes from your fireplace. Plan on completing this thoroughly at the end of the winter season so your fireplace remains clean all summer long until you need it again in the fall.
Clean Out Soot and Creosote
An essential part of your fireplace maintenance should include a professional chimney cleaning at least once a year. When you burn wood inside your fireplace it sends dangerous chemicals up through the chimney in the wood smoke, which deposits soot and creosote inside the interior of your chimney. These residues are quite flammable and you will need to clean off their buildup to prevent a house fire from occurring.
Your fireplace and chimney professional will be able to clean out the interior of your chimney's flue and remove the dangerous build-up. They will also inspect the chimney and the vent piping for any problems including signs of animal infestations. Ensuring your chimney has an intact chimney cap and a protective covering will keep out birds, mice, raccoons, and other animals that can make a home in your chimney while it is not being used. These professionals will be able to get up on your roof to safely clean, inspect, and complete any necessary maintenance for your fireplace.
To learn more, contact a fireplace maintenance professional near you.