Maintaining your fireplace during Summer
Summer is The Perfect Time For Fireplace Maintenance
The warm temperatures of summer have arrived which means that the majority of fireplaces will now be lying dormant until the winter months are here again. If you’re the sort of person who forgets about your fireplace during the summer then you could be making a big mistake because it is during this time, when your fireplace is lying unused, that is the perfect time for some essential maintenance.
There’s nothing more welcoming than pulling up in a driveway and seeing smoke pummelling from the chimney and walking into a house to see a roaring fire burning. This is why it can be quite difficult to perform any kind of maintenance through the winter as the fire is always in high demand. The summer therefore offers the perfect window of opportunity. If you have a day free – obviously not when the weather outside is glorious – then it’s a good time to get your fireplace clean.
Clean the chimney
As well as cleaning the fireplace and the hearth, it’s essential to clean out the chimney every once in a while too – it’s probably a good idea to clean the chimney before other areas of your fireplace though.
As beautiful as real fireplaces are, they can also be pretty dangerous and they become even more dangerous if they’re not maintained properly. Whether you have a real, open fire or a fuel burning stove – whether it’s gas, wood or coal burning – a working chimney is essential. If you use your fire regularly then it’s still a good idea to check it each year to make sure it doesn’t need any serious maintenance work – even if it doesn’t need anything doing, it’s a good excuse to clean it. If you’re reopening a chimney that hasn’t been used for a while or you’re going to be using your fire for the first time in a long while, then it’s a good idea to get it checked by a professional.
Ensure your chimney is in good, working condition
If your chimney has been blocked off or capped in any way then you’ll have to consult with a builder about reconstructing it before you’ll be able to use it safely. Even if it hasn’t been blocked off then you should still have it inspected because depending on its age and condition, a new flue lining might be necessary. You might not think that it’s overly important for your chimney to fit in with current requirements, however if it doesn’t and it’s not up to scratch then it won’t remove the smoke from the fire as it should do and will therefore either fill your home with smoke or, in extreme circumstances, could even cause a chimney fire, which would be devastating for your home.
Give your fireplace a good clean
After having the chimney swept and checked it’s a good idea to give your fireplace a good clean because dirt and grime build up over the years whether the fireplace is being used or not. In order to keep it clean and safe when it’s in use, it’s important to stack or insert the fuel correctly so that it doesn’t end up all over the hearth and floor. You shouldn’t use anything other than fire lighters to help start a fire either because other accelerants can lead to the fire becoming uncontrollable and dangerous – especially if you have children and pets around. A lot of burns in the home are because people don’t treat their fire properly; you should always use the correct tools to stoke and add new fuel to your fire and you should also be wary when there are little or no flames because this does not mean that the fire is cool. In fact it usually means the exact opposite, so in order to keep people safe around the fire then a fireguard is essential.
Carefully consider which fireplace to choose
When it comes to choosing a fireplace there is a huge amount of choice that you should be aware of and although they can, like most other things, be dangerous, if you treat them properly then you’ll be able to have one as a permanent feature in your home no matter how many children or pets are running around. When it comes to choosing a fireplace it’s important to assess what fits best with your budget and circumstances, open fireplaces are a great asset to any home but can be costly. Fuel burning stoves on the other hand are generally smaller and cheaper – although this is not always the case – and are much easier to maintain. You should also bear in mind that a good fireplace can add significant value to your home so it’s always worth considering investing in the higher end of your budget as it is likely to pay off later on.
Jenny Cadman spent ages deciding what the best fireplace for her home and family would be and then found the perfect fuel burning stove at www.castfireplaces.co.uk which is easy to maintain and keep safe.
(Picture featured: Lytton arched Cast Iron Fireplace with the Bartello Limestone Mantel on a Granite Hearth with Solid fuel burning option)