Fireplaces are nice to have because they provide warmth on cold days and they make the atmosphere in a house nice, cozy and relaxing. However if a fireplace is not properly maintained it can become a dangerous item in any house.
Here are a few things that we recommend everyone has done so that they can have a fireplace that can be used properly and safely:
- A fireplace needs to be inspected yearly to make sure that there are no cracked bricks, buildup of creosote and that there is no blockage in the chimney. If any of these are found, they should be taken care of immediately before the fireplace is used.
- The proper bricks need to be used in a fireplace and fire bricks can handle more heat than regular bricks. If a fireplace is built using regular bricks, then we recommend having the mortar chiseled out and replaced with high temperature cement.
- The fireplace should be cleaned out every week so that there is not a buildup of ashes. It is important that no ashes get scattered into a room, because they can stay hot for at least three days after burning.
- The damper should be inspected a few times a year to ensure that it is in the correct position. If the positioning is wrong it could cause an abundance of smoke to fill the house instead of being pulled up through the chimney.
- We recommend having the chimney cleaned every year by a professional. This will help prevent creosote from building up too much. A lot of creosote buildup can cause chimney fires.
- While it is important to keep the inside and outside of a fireplace clean, we always tell people not to use abrasive cleaners. These cleaners contain harmful chemicals that are flammable and can cause a fire or explosion inside the house or chimney.
Safety should always come first when it comes to fireplaces. By following the tips above, everyone should be able to enjoy their fireplaces in a safe and responsible way. Maintaining a safety routine with your fireplace allows you to use it year-round without the worry of chimney fire looming overhead.
The chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA Certified, and we participate in continued education throughout the year so that we’re always up to speed on the latest changes in our field. We’re located in Drexel Hill and provide all types of chimney services to homeowners and commercial property owners in the surrounding areas and along the Main Line. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 if you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for a consultation, a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, or dryer vent cleaning.