You might not be feeling the cold yet—but you will soon. And the best time to prepare your fireplace for winter is before cold strikes. Then, when the temperature drops, you’ll be ready for a nice, cozy fire.
Proper prepping is crucial for your safety. Done right, your fireplace is a source of warmth and joy through the long, cold winter. Done wrong? Fire hazard.
Here’s a step-by-step to-do list to optimize your winter fireplace.
Find a Chimney Sweep
This sounds old-fashioned, but chimney sweeps are still relevant! Hiring a professional is the best way to clear out all that old soot and debris. The average person lacks the equipment and know-how to take care of this themselves. The National Fire Protection Association recommends an annual professional cleaning.
Check for Damage
While you’ve been enjoying spring and summer, your chimney structure might have been quietly deteriorating. It’s time to get out there and check for cracks, loose bricks or missing mortar. Do you see any water damage? Is the chimney still securely attached to your house? Check your damper to make sure it smoothly opens and closes. Peek into the exhaust pipes, which are tempting nesting spots and hidey holes for birds and rodents. If you see anything you can’t fix yourself, call a pro.
Inspect the Gaskets
Check the gaskets around the glass door and ash dump. If these aren’t properly sealed, your fire might get too much oxygen, putting your family in a dangerous situation.
Clean Your Blower
Some fireplaces have blowers, and these need a thorough cleaning to prevent buildup.
Cap Your Chimney
Remember those birds and rodents that like to get into the inner workings of your chimney? Proper capping keeps them out. If your cap is missing or damaged, replace it now.
Time to Check Alarms
It’s easy to forget to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, but these gadgets save lives. Make sure the batteries are fresh and the devices are in working order.
Remove Debris around Fireplace
Are you one of those people who store magazines in your fireplace during summer? Here’s a gentle reminder to move them into the magazine rack for winter. Check the area in front of the hearth and be sure you haven’t stored any flammables close by during the warm season.
Ah! Living the good life with a safe fire in our beautiful Brentwood.
Now that you’ve got your fireplace ready for winter, how does your mantel look? If it’s time to upgrade to something more attractive, call your friends at Old World Stoneworks. We are standing by, ready to help you achieve the fireplace and mantel of your dreams.