Summertime is here, and although you are not using your fireplace, it should be maintained and kept clean for the winter months. There are many ways to take care of a fireplace to ensure that it is ready for when winter comes again. Maintaining a fireplace in your house is a key part of fire safety and is an important step to take during the warmer months to prepare for winter.
A lack of proper maintenance can lead to potential issues with the fireplace when you start using it again. Check out the following practices to follow to make sure your fireplace is protected and maintained for later use.
- The summertime is a good time to make sure the chimney is cleaned. Schedule a chimney inspection, clean up, and sweep during the summer. If problems are discovered, you can have the chimney repaired ahead of wintertime. Make sure the fireplace is completely cleaned and checked. This can help to remove creosote and soot. Debris and creosote can cause issues if left in the fireplace to build up and accumulate. Other inspection areas can include the chimney cap, chimney flue, and surfaces for issues such as rust.
- It is important to make sure that air conditioning stays within the house and does not have the ability to leave through the chimney. The damper should be closed so that air conditioning is kept in the house and a draft does not result.
- The cold ashes left in the fireplace should be cleaned first, and you should make sure the fireplace is cold. The firebox is one part that should be checked first. There can be debris, such as soot, remaining from using the fireplace during the colder months. A shovel can be used to clean these ashes and other remnants. A vacuum cleaner can be used to clean any excess debris. Once the vacuum is used, the fireplace should be washed. Fireplaces can be washed with a fairly even mixture of cleaning solution and water.
- The door hinges can be oiled while you are cleaning the fireplace to ensure the doors are maintained and moving as they should be. The venting system can also be cleaned.
- While cleaning the fireplace, make sure to avoid using flammable cleaning solutions. Some of the solution has the potential to stay within the fireplace and cause issues when you are using the fireplace again during the winter.
- Gas fireplaces should also be maintained throughout the year. The glass should be cleaned. Before cleaning it, make sure the gas valve is not on and make sure the glass has been cooled down. Dirt should be cleaned out as well. Gas fireplaces should also be inspected for proper maintenance. Areas to check include the venting system, hot air vents, logs, and valves.
- A chimney and fireplace inspection should be conducted at least on a yearly basis. Having the chimney and fireplace cleaned and maintained, such as during the summer months when it is easier to get on the roof and when you are not using the fireplace, can ensure better usage during the colder seasons.
By cleaning a fireplace during the warmer months, you can maintain it and ensure that it is ready for use in the winter. The late summer or early fall present a good time period to clean the fireplace and to have it inspected. Cleaning and maintaining a fireplace can help to ensure fire safety.
Fire and Life Safety America is available to provide a variety of industries with fire safety assistance. Industries include hospitality, healthcare, and retail. FLSA can provide services including fire services for fire sprinklers and other systems such as fire pumps and fire alarms.