Preparing Your Fireplace This Fall
There is so much more to starting your fireplace than just lighting it up when you’re ready. Proper preparation for fall, especially if your fireplace has not been used in months is not only suggested but absolutely necessary. Here’s how to get started.
Clean and Inspect Your Firebox
The firebox holds the burning wood during a fire. Remove any leftover ash by sweeping or vacuuming it away, (the easiest and cleanest way). Ash should be cleaned once it is more than an inch deep.
Make sure there are no cracks or any other signs of damage. If you do notice cracks and loose bricks that need repair, it’s best to call a professional to use the proper materials. Ordinary mortar and brick will not be able to hold up under the intense heat.
Check for Obstructions
Look for tree limbs or leaves! This is crucial when it comes to avoiding chimney fires. Summer storms can deposit debris and trash into the chimney. Animals also love to make nests in unused chimneys.
Many people light up their fireplaces without checking the chimney only to experience toxic smoke filling their homes.
Inspect the rest of your fireplace and chimney
Parts of the chimney that are often neglected are the damper, chimney crown, and chimney cap. The damper needs to be checked to ensure that it can open and close without any issues. Rust is often the cause of a malfunctioning damper. The chimney cap should be checked to make sure that there are no cracks and that it is attached properly. If it has mesh surrounding it, check for gaps and holes. The mesh keeps critters out of the chimney. Examine the chimney crown to make sure there are no cracks that will succumb to winter snow and sleet.
Taking the time to prepare your fireplace and chimney for fall can improve the efficiency of your chimney, improve the air quality in your home, and more importantly help avoid chimney fires. There are more than 25,000 chimney fires each year causing millions of dollars in property damage. The sad thing is many of these cases were preventable.
A yearly chimney inspection and chimney cleaning are recommended, even if you have visually inspected your chimney. A professional will be able to look for signs of water damage and any other signs that your chimney liner, cap, or crown may be compromised.
Contact a Professional
We understand that taking care of a chimney can be a dirty and intimidating job, thankfully it’s not one that you have to do alone.
We have experienced technicians that can clean your chimney, do an inspection with state-of-the-art equipment and handle all of your chimney repairs. Whether you have a leaky chimney, broken liner, or smokey fireplace we can do it all. If your fireplace has had it and you are in need of a new model gas fireplace or complete chimney rebuild, we can handle that too.
Give us a call at 262-763-3522 or fill out our online form to get a free estimate.