Unlike most high-tech heaters or air conditioners, a modern fireplace creates the best ambiance and coziness in your home. However, it can pose safety risks if left unmaintained. There are about 54,000 home structure fires annually in fireplaces, chimneys, or chimney connectors. Keep your fireplace functioning safely and clean by implementing these maintenance tips.
Gas Fire Maintenance
A ventless gas fireplace requires less upkeep because it doesn’t have a mess of soot and ash. However, the faux rocks and logs inside your gas fireplace can become worn, cracked, or discolored. If you notice any signs of damage, replace these parts immediately.
Ensure a licensed gas service provider inspects your unit at least once a year. The expert can check for gas leaks, clean the fireplace, ensure it’s venting properly, and spot any other potential safety issues.
Wood Burning Stove Maintenance
Start by removing all the internal parts, like the grate, and vacuuming the debris and ash inside the appliance with an ash vacuum cleaner. You should avoid using a normal vacuum cleaner as it might bow the ash particle around rather than getting rid of them.
Next, wipe the inside of the stove with a scrapper or brush to remove more stubborn soot or debris, and use the vacuum cleaner to clear this away. Clean the grate and its parts using a wire brush and check for any damage that needs to be fixed. Finally, put all the cleaned parts in place properly and lightly oil the door hinges and mechanisms.
Electric Fireplace Maintenance
Electric fireplaces require virtually no ventilation to operate because there is no possibility of any soot, creosote, or ash polluting your firebox’s interior. This makes maintaining your electric fireplace easy. You must remove dust using a clean, dry cloth to wipe down the interior. Remember to dust any media, like logs and glass, inside your electric fireplace. Besides occasionally changing a couple of light bulbs, an electric fireplace requires less and more simple maintenance. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the radiating warmth.
Fireplace Surround Maintenance
Dust, soot, dirt, and creosote accumulate in the tiny pits present on the surfaces of most natural stone fireplaces, including marble and granite. The right fireplace surround maintenance can help keep its beauty intact and ensure it remains attractive and shiny for years to come. Keep reading to discover how to maintain yours.
Marble Surrounds Maintenance
Use a damp, clean cloth to remove marks on the marble. For more stubborn stains or marks, use a dedicated marble cleaner to remove any unsightly stains without damaging the surface. You can also use a dry duster to buff the marble for a more stunning shiny surface.
Wooden Surrounds Maintenance
The low maintenance features of wooden fireplace surround mean they only need regular dusting to remain in prime condition. Wood surrounds with a wax finish might suffer from scuffs and marks over time, so you’ll have to reapply a top coat of wood wax to restore its epic look. When applying a polish or wax to your wood surrounds, test it on a small area to ensure you don’t damage its finish.
Use a flashlight and look inside the chimney flue. Watch for any cracked brick, chipped, or missing bricks and mortar. Suppose you notice that the interior is covered in a thick, tar-like substance that shows a lot of creosote accumulating in the flue. In such a case, always consult an expert to help remove it.
In time, your chimney can also become blocked by debris like twigs, leaves, dirt, etc. It can also get covered in creosote deposits which might restrict proper airflow. This will make lighting a fire difficult and prevent smoke from escaping properly. So, keep the chimney cup clean by checking debris, particularly after strong winds or storms.
It’s also worth installing a cap on your chimney if it doesn’t have one. This can cost a hundred dollars, but it’ll prevent snow, debris, and rain from falling into your fireplace. It’ll also keep birds from nesting on your chimney and protect your roof from embers and sparks.
Fireplace Maintenance Tips: Final Thoughts
The fireplace adds beauty to your home and cozy, convivial living space during the cold winter. And with regular maintenance, you can be sure that it’ll keep you safe, warm, and snug for many years. Implement these maintenance tips to keep your fireplace clean, safe, and functioning for years.