What better way to keep cosy than sitting around a warm, natural wood burning fire in the winter. There is nothing quite like the comfort a traditional fireplace brings but keeping them properly maintained can be a challenge. It is important to keep them in excellent working order to avoid any issues, these fireplace maintenance tips can help.
Inspect the Flue
Before you start to set the fire, open the damper and have a look inside. Grab a flashlight and shine it up the flue to see if there is anything blocking the chimney. If you notice anything inside the chimney, it is best to contact a professional to examine the structure. If you require skilled chimney sweeps in Hampshire, there are several companies in the area who can visit your home and thoroughly clean your chimney.
On many occasions, the chimney sweep technician will find nests and animals blocking your chimney if it hasn’t been used for a long period. Animals tend to stay in the flue because it provides a warm and sheltered environment. If you’ve any large trees around your home, fallen leaves can sometimes get lodged in your chimney, they’ll need to be removed before you can use your fireplace.
Clean the Fireplace
Take some time to thoroughly clean the fireplace and remove any debris left inside, if you haven’t used the unit for a few months, there’ll be a build-up of ash and dirt. If you don’t carefully clean this area you could have problems when you start to light fires. It is important to keep the air clean inside your home when you use your fireplace, if you neglect to maintain the area, you risk polluting your home with dangerous compounds like carbon monoxide.
Manufactured Logs & Seasoned Wood
What you throw in your fire is important, you shouldn’t burn anything other than seasoned wood, manufactured logs and plain, non-glossy or coloured paper. Many people burn material in their fireplace which produces numerous toxins, without knowing they are putting the occupants of their home at risk from toxic compounds. Here are some of the main items you should avoid putting in your fireplace:
- Coloured or glossy paper
It is important to have your chimney and all its compounds thoroughly checked by a professional at least once a year. There are several checks you can perform yourself without the aid of a chimney sweep, but some are better left to the right personnel. For example, it is safer to have a skilled chimney sweep access your rooftop and examine your chimney top. They’ve the right equipment for the job and climbing out on your roof could put you in unnecessary danger.
To ensure your fireplace and the surrounding structures are safe to use, it is important to properly maintain them. Inspect the flue before you start setting a fire and if you notice anything call a professional to have a look. Remember to book an annual inspection every year to guarantee your chimney is in good working order.