A well-maintained fireplace is a safe fireplace. Here are some fireplace maintenance tips from the experts at Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Pensacola, FL, and Destin, FL.
Your maintenance activities will depend in part on the type of fireplace you use. Wood-burning fireplaces have special requirements, including maintaining and cleaning the chimney. Gas fireplaces are a little easier to take care of.
Over time, wood fires take their toll on fireplaces and chimneys in a variety of ways. Maintenance involves keeping them clean and watching for signs of water and structural damage.
It’s a good idea to periodically clean out your firebox. This means removing ash and wood chips and then giving it a thorough vacuuming. You can wipe down the surfaces as well as the area surrounding the fireplace to remove soot, smoke stains and creosote.
Your chimney flue needs to be cleaned by a licensed chimney sweep, preferably once a year. CSIA-certified chimney sweeps use specialized tools and equipment to remove stubborn creosote buildups from the chimney’s interior. Creosote is highly flammable and is the cause of most chimney fires each year.
Chimney sweeps also remove outside debris from trees or small animals. Debris buildup will narrow the flue and cause the fireplace to draft inefficiently.
Once or twice a year, take a close look at all areas and parts of your chimney/fireplace system. Report any cracking, decaying, leaks and other issues to your chimney technician.
The homeowner’s primary maintenance task for a gas fireplace is general cleaning. Use a fireplace-approved cleaning solution to clean the glass doors, and wipe down the entire inside of the firebox.
You can use a vacuum to remove dust and debris that has accumulated on or around your gas logs, rocks or other decorative materials. While doing this, be on the lookout for signs of cracking or chipping, and let your fireplace tech know about it.
During the course of using your gas fireplace, always be alert to the smell of leaking gas. If you believe your fireplace has a gas leak, stop using it and schedule a fireplace inspection by a trained gas technician.
Your fireplace should be properly inspected once a year. Wood fireplace inspections include a thorough chimney inspection that can cover various areas and components, including:
Other, more-involved inspections may be necessary if damage is known or suspected.
Gas fireplace inspections focus on the gas lines and connections, the burner, the logs or rocks and other components common to these types of appliances.
If it’s been more than a year since your gas or wood fireplace was inspected, now is a good time to schedule this service. Doodlebuggers works year-round in the Pensacola and Destin areas to help homeowners keep their fireplaces safe and operating at peak efficiency.
Put our experience to work for you by calling (850) 332-3372 in Pensacola or (850) 279-5400 in Destin. You also can get in touch through our simple contact form.