Warm Up to Winter with This Fireplace Primer
Autumn’s falling temperatures leave many individuals feeling frosty this time of year, but there’s a bright side certain to warm even the most frigid demeanors. Once it gets cold outside, it’s time to turn up the heat indoors with a fireplace. There’s something about cozying up by the fire on a wintery night that gives not only warmth, but also excitement, enjoyment, and comfort.
Whether for quality time with the family or a romantic evening with the one you love, it’s where you want to be during this special season. But before a fireplace can warm our homes and hearts, we must make sure it’s clean, clear, and in good working order. Here’s what you need to know to get it ready.
Inspect and Sweep
Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned every year before fire-burning season. It’s an important process, so call in a certified chimney inspector or chimney cleaning professional. He or she will examine the chimney for cracks and other signs of structural damage and remove obstructions like branches, leaves, animals, and nests. These appointments also usually include a chimney sweep to eliminate dangerous soot and creosote accumulation, which could lead to a chimney fire if not removed.
Get up on the housetop quick, quick, quick and cut away overhanging tree limbs. Branches in the vicinity of the chimney present an obvious fire hazard and can also obstruct the escaping draft. While you’re on the roof, inspect the chimney cap and make any necessary repairs or replacement. A screened cap prevents leaves, bats, squirrels, and other debris from clogging the flue. But don’t worry, it won’t keep Santa from making his way down the chimney.
The next step in getting your fireplace ready is removing the remains of last year’s winter memories.
Start by sweeping old ashes out of the firebox, but not before making sure they are completely cold. Coals can stay hot for several days after a fire, and messing with them when they are still burning could lead to another fire. Dump the ashes outside and put them to good use in compost piles or garden beds. Next, use a non-flammable cleaning solution to remove soot and grime from the fireguard or fireplace doors.
You can never be too careful when it comes to fireplace safety. More than 22,000 chimney fires damage American homes each year, according to a study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. By taking proper safety precautions, you can help prevent your home from being one of those unfortunate ones. Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test each alarm. Have fire extinguishers nearby and train your family in proper usage techniques. Keep fire safety contact numbers near the phone and make sure everyone knows how and when to suppress a fire and when and where to evacuate.
If you’ve always dreamed of having a fireplace in your home, Excel Fencing & Decking can make those wishes come true. Our experienced construction professionals can have your family warming by the fire before you can say brrrrr. Give us a call today for a free quote!