Winter is fast approaching, and right now, you are probably using your fireplace more than ever. If you haven’t yet, and you plan to use it soon, today is the perfect time to do some cleaning and maintenance to ensure that you’ll get that fire roaring in the hearth. This fixture is usually what will keep your home warm and comfortable during the cold months, which is why you want to make sure that it’s working optimally.
In this article, we will share six practical tips on how to maintain your fireplace:
Have Your Chimney Cleaned
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, know that this will generate more heat and smoke, causing a build-up of creosote in the fireplace flue and accelerating a chimney fire. For this reason, having your chimneys cleaned regularly at least once a year is crucial. With an expert chimney cleaner’s help, they will clean it from top to bottom to ensure it’s working fully so that the fire can be controlled effectively.
Fix Gaps In The Brick Mortar
The extreme heat that your fireplace produces will typically expand and contract the materials within. As a result, it’s natural for bits of mortar on the refractory firebricks to loosen and fall. However, this doesn’t mean you should let it be because the fire can get through the gaps and burn the structural elements of your home. This is why you must fix the mortar gaps located within the firebox using a mineral-based filler called fireplace mortar and a putty knife.
The flashings that run between the chimney and your roof deflects water from getting inside your house. However, flashing can be torn away or folded back from birds, squirrels or falling limbs. Before you light up your fireplace, inspect your flashing and make sure that it’s intact. Otherwise, have it repaired by a professional before snow falls!
Use The Right Firewood
If you want to make the most out of your fireplace, remember that you need to use the right firewood. Otherwise, your fireplace will get dirty easily, leading to more frequent cleaning. Know that softwoods are affordable, but they burn faster and are more difficult to clean up due to the fine ash they leave behind. Instead, hardwoods like maple, oak, and birch have a more consistent and hotter burn that will reduce less effort on your end.
Clean Fireplace Bricks
No matter what you do, keep in mind that smoke will always find its way out of the firebox. Depending on how blackened the bricks are, you can clean these with mild, moderate, or strong methods. At the same time, you need to choose which cleaning method to use depending on the amount of dirt your bricks have.
Replace Fireplace Screen
If you notice embers or sparks getting to your living area, then it’s a strong indicator that you need a new fireplace screen. In case that this is not happening to you, remember that you still have the option to replace your screen if you’re craving a new look for your fireplace. Consider a glass fireplace screen to prevent smoke from escaping the firebox!
When winter rolls around, all you want to do is be warm and cozy. This is why you need to ensure that your fireplace is maintained correctly so that you get to use it with no issues at all through the cold months. If you notice any damage or cracks in your fireplace, it is best to contact professionals right away to fix them.
Have your fireplace maintained by the top provider of Toronto masonry services. Red Robin Masonry delivers excellent service and quality that you deserve from specialists in the industry. Get in touch with us today for a quote!