All About Fireplace Maintenance
Regular maintenance is key to keeping your fireplace in good condition, especially during the cold winter months. If you don’t clean your fireplace regularly, you could end up with more serious chimney problems that are difficult to fix. Both gas- and wood-burning fireplaces need to be maintained regularly, but the process is fairly simple once you get the hang of it. Here’s what you’ll need to do to keep your fireplace in good condition.
Traditional wood-burning fireplaces are going to require more frequent maintenance than gas fireplaces. You will need to clean your fireplace and the surrounding area after each fire to prevent buildup. After each fire, you’ll need to wait about 12 hours for everything to cool, and then you’ll be able to sweep away any remaining ash and debris.
Fireplace owners will also need to be mindful of creosote buildup. Creosote is a byproduct of wood-burning fires that can result in respiratory issues and even become a fire hazard. You can remove small amounts of creosote on your own, but larger amounts will need to be removed by a professional. There are commercially-available chimney cleaning products that you can use to remove small amounts of creosote, including liquids, powders, and even special cleaning logs.
You will also need to be mindful of the type of wood you are burning. Wood that is too new or too wet will result in more smoke and more creosote buildup. It’s important to make sure your wood is fully dry and seasoned to ensure an even burn.
Many homeowners opt for gas fireplaces specifically because they require less maintenance. However, that doesn’t mean you can neglect your gas fireplace completely. Dust and debris can still build up in a gas-burning fireplace, which can eventually cause damage to your chimney.
In most cases, you’ll be able to remove dust from the inside of your fireplace with a microfiber cloth and a handheld vacuum. If you have a glass insert, you’ll need to get a special cleaner that is designed for fireplaces.
It’s also important to check your fireplace for other problems regularly. Things like rust, peeling paint, or strange smells may not seem too dangerous right now, but they can lead to serious safety issues if they go unaddressed.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your fireplace on your own is important, but you’ll also need to make sure you’re scheduling regular professional maintenance. Ideally, you’ll want to make an appointment with a professional chimney sweep during the summer, when you’re not using your fireplace regularly. A chimney professional will remove creosote buildup that you cannot remove yourself, and they will also look for any other chimney problems that need to be addressed. Scheduling this maintenance during the summer will give you time to make any necessary repairs.
Keeping up with your fireplace maintenance is the best way to avoid serious issues in the future. Chimney Solutions offers chimney maintenance and repair services throughout the Atlanta area. Give us a call at 770-874-6504 or contact us online to schedule an appointment!