If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably had your furnace on at least once or twice by now. Fall is formally here and winter is, ready or not, right around the corner. Preparing your fireplace for fall usage is an important step you need to take before the season is in full swing. Here are the six pieces to that process.
There are many components to your chimney. Each of them needs to be inspected before you use your fireplace for the first time. For starters, look up: is your cap still in place? If it’s missing, this will need to be replaced right away. Next, check for any obvious cracks, spalling, or missing bricks with your masonry. Finally, look for stains. Any kind of discoloration can be indicative of water damage, which should be professionally inspected if discovered.
Do you have trees near your chimney? Be sure to have them trimmed before starting your first fire this season. Preparing your fireplace for fall includes minimizing the risk of a house fire. Also, rake up any leaves and remove weeds along the chimney’s base. While a minor step, these can lead to unexpected moisture collection and potential structural issues down the road.
Your damper plays a vital role in keeping cold air out when your fireplace is not in use while letting smoke and fumes out when you are using the system. Double-check to make sure you can open and close your damper with ease before lighting your first fire.
Preparing your fireplace for fall also includes general maintenance, such as removing ash from the firebox and wiping down the walls. In addition, be sure to clean any glass fixtures while you’re at it.
Preparing your fireplace for fall usage isn’t just for wood-burning fireplace homeowners. It also applies to those who own a gas fireplace. Let’s look at them individually. For our wood-burning Chimney Solutions customers, you should first pick your firewood. It needs to be relatively dense and aged — not freshly cut “green” or softer woods. In fact, it’s always a good idea to cut your firewood six months before usage, so what you cut today will be ready by mid-spring. Finally, be sure to split it into six-inch sections and stack it split-side down. For our gas-burning customers, your blower will need to be cleaned before you turn it on for the first time. This will remove dust build-up that can seriously clog your lines. In addition, be sure to double-check your batteries in any remote controls to ensure your remote works properly.
While several of these steps can easily be performed by yourself, a CSIA-certified fireplace technician can look for additional trouble spots within your chimney system. These range from a need for additional waterproofing to structural concerns and more. Each of our Chimney Solutions team members is ready to help however we can. Contact us today to get started! We Service the Greater Atlanta GA and Chattanooga TN areas
Greater Atlanta Area – 770-255-1300
Chattanooga TN – 423-551-9912