3 Things You Need to Know about Maintaining Your Fireplace
Fireplaces can be sources of beauty in the home, but they can also be sources of home safety hazards if they're not maintained. If you're a new homeowner, or if you're just new to owning a home with a fireplace, there's a lot you need to know. These tips can help.
Fireplaces Need to Be Cleaned and Inspected About Once Per Year
Fireplaces need to be cleaned and inspected about once every year. During the cleaning process, the fireplace inspector will use a vacuum to remove soot from the chimney. While inspecting the fireplace, the professional will look for cracks, deterioration around the mortar and other problems that could lead to potential chimney fires.
Even if you only use your fireplace about once every year, you should still have it inspected before lighting a fire after a season of allowing your fireplace to sit. Birds can build nests in fireplaces, and that's likely to happen at a time of year when the fireplace is not in use. Getting an inspection before using it during the new burning season can help you ensure that your fireplace is safe.
You Should Only Burn Seasoned Wood in Your Fireplace
Seasoned wood is properly dried and easy to burn. It produces a hot flame and little smoke. By contrast, green wood (wood that has not been properly seasoned) produces a greasy, cooler flame and a lot of smoke. Burning green wood can contribute to a buildup of creosote in your fireplace, which in turn can cause a fire in your chimney.
Seasoned firewood is available for sale from reputable firewood dealers. Be cautious when purchasing firewood from unknown sources, especially if the firewood is unusually inexpensive.
Never Leave Your Fireplace Burning Unattended
Fireplaces are usually very safe, but a spark from your fireplace that lands in the wrong location could lead to a fire. You can protect your home by staying in the room when the fire is burning. If a fire from a thrown spark should occur while you are there, you can easily put the fire out or call for help before the fire begins to spread. If you are not there, the fire could easily spread to other parts of your house.
Contact Your Fireplace Professional
Have the fireplace in your Mount Vernon home regularly inspected by a fireplace professional. Your fireplace professional can help you decide if your fireplace is safe to use at the beginning of the colder seasons of the year.