When winter season’s waiting in the wings, it is high time that you start preparing for the cold and the harsh months ahead. A fireplace can help you reduce your expenses on natural gas by reducing the fuel bills, on the whole.
Image- Wooden fireplace
But honestly, don’t just go ahead and light your fire before knowing whether the fireplace is clean and safe for use or not.
Now, in here, we have highlighted a few progressive steps to preparing your fireplace for the upcoming winters. Go through all of them as closely as possible, and make sure you don’t miss out on any at the time of your cleaning work.
STEP 1: Check and clean the firebox
- If you failed to empty out the ashes and the burnt logs from last season, now is an excellent idea to do so.
- Spread out some old newspaper on the floor. Get a shovel and a bucket, and start shoveling ashes into the bucket without any further ado. You may consider spraying a bit of water first to avoid any cloud of dust.
- Inspect for issues as soon as the cleaning’s done and dusted from your end. If you think your firebox needs some professional repair, contact a professional without any further ado.
STEP 2: Inspect the damper and the flue
- Just so you know, the flue allows the smoke to travel through the chimney. The damper, on the other hand, is the opening that you can use to adjust the temperature and air flow of your fire.
- The first thing that you need to do in this step is to check whether the damper’s opening and closing perfectly or not. Also, ensure that the damper’s free of ashes and debris.
- A blocked damper MUST be cleaned at all possible cost. You may use a hard brush for this purpose of yours. If the task seems way too difficult from your point of view, contact a professional without any further ado.
- If you suspect a blocked flue, unblocking it is an absolute must for you considering the value of safety associated with the same. A professional chimney sweep can again come in helpful for this purpose of yours.
STEP 3: Check on the chimney
Image- Discharge of fireplace smoke from a brick and mortar household chimney
As far as your chimney is concerned, you must thoroughly check for the following things, in particular:
- There’s no buildup of debris or bird nest on the chimney cap.
- There is no presence of tree limbs near the chimney.
- The chimney is in a fine condition. There’s no missing bricks or mortar.
- The crown of the chimney is beveled thereby helping in air flow.
- The flue liner is visible enough.
- The chimney is in a straight vertical position (like it should) and is not leaning in any manner whatsoever.
- The flashing of your roof is tight against the chimney.
In case you find any issue with any of the points mentioned above, get in touch with a professional chimney sweeper without any further ado. The quicker you are, the better it is.
STEP 4: Maintaining gas fireplace (if any)
Image- Gas fireplace
Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, require lesser maintenance than the conventional ones highlighted above. But they still do require an annual inspection to ensure everything’s in a fine working condition. So here are the steps for your reference:
- The first thing that you should do is to inspect the glass closely. Is there a crack? A cracked glass is dangerous and needs to be replaced ASAP.
- Check for clogged log holes. You can unclog these holes with the help of a needle (if any).
- Look for black marks on your fireplace vent. If you find any, it’s time you clean the ceramic logs without any further delay.
So that basically sums up the topic for now. Hope the procedures mentioned above come in helpful for your purpose. Happy cleaning!