Getting your fireplace ready for use protects indoor air quality and prevents house fires. If you enjoy having indoor fires, prepare your fireplace for use this winter.

Prepare Your Fireplace with a Cleaning

Over time, creosote builds up in the chimney and increases the risk of a chimney fire. This is why it’s essential to clean up and clear out your fireplace. Contact a chimney sweep to get the job done professionally. A professional chimney sweep has the necessary skills and equipment to clean out your fireplace and chimney and make your home safer.

Check for Cracks, Damages, and Debris

Part of making sure your chimney is ready for fires is checking for cracks, damages, and debris. Thoroughly inspect the chimney’s mortar and bricks for any signs of cracks or loose joints. If you find any damage, contact a masonry specialist right away. Failure to do so may result in a serious fire hazard.

Ordinary mortar cannot withstand high temperatures, so don’t attempt to repair damaged firebricks yourself. Also, check for any debris that might obstruct the damper’s opening and closing to prepare your fireplace. Have the interior and exterior of the chimney inspected by a specialist annually.

Install a Spark Barrier to Prepare Your Fireplace

All fireplaces should have a fire screen to prevent sparks and embers from escaping into the room. Along with damaging your belongings, flying sparks may cause burns, so invest in a screen or doors to keep the area around your fireplace safe.

Install a Chimney Cap

A chimney cap helps prevent leaves, debris, birds, and other pests from entering the chimney. If your chimney does not have a cover or a chimney cap, install one. Make sure the cover is equipped with a protective screen. If you already have a chimney cap, make sure it is clean, securely placed, and in good working condition.

Prepare your Fireplace by Collecting Firewood

With the arrival of winter, it is essential to have enough firewood for the whole season. To prepare your fireplace for use, stock up on high-quality hardwood like oak or maple. Make sure the wood has been seasoned and dried out for at least 6 months.

Service and Maintain Your Gas Fireplace

If you have a gas fireplace, have a qualified technician service it before use. The technician will check that the airways are clean and replace any damaged components. Also, replace the batteries in all remote transmitters and receivers.

Safety First

Installing a smoke and carbon monoxide detector near your fireplace is vital for your safety. Keep at least 10 feet of distance from the fireplace to prevent false alarms. Before you prepare your fireplace for this winter, test all detectors. Also, make sure you have good airflow circulation before lighting any fires. Restricted airflow can prevent smoke fumes from properly exiting the chimney and the smoke will end up in your home instead.

Spending time around the fireplace during winter is something most families look forward to all year. Practice the above tips for a safe and cozy winter season.

Legacy Property Inspections offers home inspection services to Southeast Georgia. Contact us to schedule an appointment.