Fireplace maintenance is extremely important in ensuring the safety of not only your home but more importantly its occupants. It is not a job that simply requires cleaning up the ashes and keeping it fuelled. When it comes to your chimney and fireplace there are a number of strict dos and don’ts for keeping it safe and efficient. Here we have created a comprehensive list of what you should be doing to ensure you are kept warm and without problems this winter.
One of the biggest mistakes people often make when it comes to chimney and fireplace maintenance is starting to look into it during the winter. It is very easy to forget about it when you aren’t
using it for most of the year but in the warmer months are when you should be getting it in working order. It is much easier to clean, sweep and administer checks in warmer temperatures and ideally when it isn’t raining or snowing. If you get this job done before the winter you won’t have to worry about staying warm when the temperature drops.
If you are aware that you should start providing maintenance in the summer but feel that you don’t know where to start you shouldn’t hesitate to call in a professional. Whilst you can carry out basic checks such as looking for any obvious chimney blockages with a torch you will need a chimney sweep to administer more thorough checks. They will be able to clear away any soot and creosote build-up in the flue as well as check for any structural problems that could cause damage to your property or the efficiency of the fireplace.
Keeping your fireplace inside your home is just as important as the inside of the flue. Having any soot, ash or other material around the fireplace can present a fire hazard. The best way to prevent this is to regularly clear out your firebox and keep the surrounding area clean and clear.
Carbon monoxide detectors are a must for most homes but more so if you own a working fireplace. If your fireplace and flue are not properly maintained for efficient combustion then you are at risk of carbon monoxide being produced. CO2 is a colourless and odourless gas that I extremely difficult to detect and as a result every year in the UK on average, 50 people die from poisoning. Fitting a detector and regularly checking that it is in working order can not only alert you to potential problems with your flue but also and more importantly save lives.
A lot of people think you can just throw anything onto a fireplace and let it burn but this can be extremely dangerous. You must be aware of what type of fire you have in your home and especially what it is built to burn. If you have a wood burning fire, for example, you should only burn dry logs to stop any condensation forming into tar in the flue. By burning other materials such as plastic, rubber, anything with toxic elements can put your flue at risk of being damaged and also cause you to become very ill.
By adhering to these rules you should be able to keep your fireplace and flue in working order year after year without any problem. This will help you and others stay safe, ensure your home is not at risk of fire or structural damage and as a result will increase your home’s value.
Get in touch with SootyandSweeps today for a free advice and quote