Keep Your Wood-Burning Fireplace Ready For Those Chilly Nights

Construction & Contractors Blog

Nothing is better on a cool evening than the warmth and smell of a wood fire in the fireplace. Your fireplace needs only a little attention to keep it safe and ready to use. These tips will make sure that it's always ready to take the chill out of the air and create a relaxing mood for you and your family.

Select Hardwoods for Your Fire

Popular hardwoods such as oak, maple and birch burn longer and hotter than the softer woods like pine. Hotter fires in the fireplace create less soot in the chimney. They also reduce the creosote buildup which is a major cause of chimney fires. The hardwoods also have less sap which makes the wood easier to handle and store. Hardwoods are more expensive that the softwoods, but you'll save on chimney cleaning and repair costs.

Periodic Chimney Cleanings

A yearly checkup by a chimney repair and cleaning service is a good idea if you use your fireplace regularly. Wipe out the firebox after every few fires and look for signs of creosote. This appears as a harder version of soot and sticks to the sides of the chimney. If you find creosote deposits, get in touch with a chimney service like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service right away. They'll remove the buildup before a fire has a chance to start within the chimney itself.

Monitor the Exterior of Your Chimney

Look for any crumbling bricks or mortar in the chimney stack. You may even see an entire section of the chimney shifted on the bricks below it. This can be due to minor earthquake activity or high winds shaking the chimney. For simple mortar issues, a tuckpointing service can patch it up. When larger sections are involved, the chimney may have to be rebuilt from the damaged area up to the top.

The chimney should be topped with a cap, a metal cover with open sides. This allows smoke and heat to escape but prevents birds and other critters from getting into the chimney. If it has been knocked off or shifted, have a chimney company replace it.

Protect the Room and Hearth

An open fire blazing in the fireplace is spectacular, but also dangerous. Sparks and pieces of burning wood can fly out onto your carpet or wood floor. Decorative touches sitting on the hearth just outside of the fireplace can be damaged. Use a double-mesh or glass fireplace screen to prevent scorching mishaps. You'll still benefit from the warmth and appearance of the fireplace while keeping the room safe.

Maintenance of your fireplace is not a big task, compared to the enjoyment you get from it. Use the right wood, keep it clean and protect your room to get years of service from your home's fireplace.


23 January 2015

Swim into Summer

If you’re looking for a fun way to improve your home and boost your property values, you may want to consider adding a pool to your backyard this summer. You’d be surprised how big a difference this simple addition can make to your home and for your property values. A new pool is a big project however, so you’ll have to do some research before putting one in. I created this blog to help you with that research. Check out different pool construction options, as well as maintenance tips and the accessories that you have to have this summer.