Prepare Your Fireplace Before the Temperatures Drop

During the colder months of the year, the fireplace helps you stay warm and keeps the house cozy. To be safe and ready to use, a fireplace requires maintenance and care before building the first fire of the season. Here are a few important things to do in order to prepare your fireplace,

Test the Fireplace

Test the fireplace ahead of time to make sure that it’s safe to use. Light just a few pieces of wood instead of building a blazing fire. Make sure the smoke doesn’t enter the room; it should be released through the chimney. Smoke might enter the room if the chimney needs to be cleaned or if there’s a buildup of creosote. Hire a professional to fix any issues and get the fireplace in working order.

Prepare Your Fireplace by Stocking Up on the Right Wood

Certain types of wood, like pine, aren’t ideal for burning in a fireplace. They contribute to a build-up of creosote in the chimney which can catch fire. When you prepare your fireplace, choose a dense type of hardwood like oak or maple. Be sure to split the wood and store it in a dry place for at least six months before using it.

Inspect the Damper

Prepare your fireplace by inspecting the damper to ensure that it opens and closes properly. If the damper malfunctions, it can allow smoke into the home, which is hazardous to residents and affects indoor air quality. If you’re unfamiliar with the different parts of the fireplace, hire a professional to inspect it so you know that everything is functioning correctly.

Examine the Fireplace for Damage

When the fireplace isn’t used throughout the year, damage can be caused by environmental elements. Hire a professional to inspect the structure for any damage, including loose bricks, cracks, and missing mortar. The chimney liners also need to be examined to determine if the material has deteriorated.

Add a Screen to Prepare Your Fireplace

You can prepare your fireplace by adding a screen that prevents embers from escaping the fireplace box. Use a screen with a mesh or glass material to prevent embers from sparking into the room.

Prepare your fireplace for the colder months so you can safely enjoy a fire this winter. Keep the chill away each time you build a fire and reduce your energy usage in the process.

Robertson Home Inspection provides home inspection services to the Piedmont-Triad area of North Carolina. Contact us to request an appointment.