As summer approaches, it’s good to know what to do with and how to take care of your fireplace. You probably don’t use your fireplace during the summer – unless there’s a super cold night! – but it’s still a good time to give it some needed attention and prepare it for the cooler weather.
Schedule Your Annual Fireplace & Chimney Inspection
It’s always a good idea to have a certified technician inspect your fireplace, as well as its chimney at least once a year. This can help you catch any small problems early on, before they turn into big, costly repairs.
While a basic inspection is important, it’s especially crucial to have a more thorough inspection done if you’ve had a chimney fire in the past or if there’s known damage to the masonry.
Have Your Chimney Cleaned
Did you know that wood-burning fireplaces and inserts can leave behind dangerous creosote in your flue after each use? Unfortunately, creosote is responsible for a large number of chimney fires every year. That’s why it’s important to hire a professional to clean your chimney. You need someone who has the right tools and experience to clean your chimney thoroughly.
Aside from creosote, a professional can also remove any blockages that might hinder the proper flow of smoke, including animal nests or debris like leaves, twigs, and dust. Don’t take chances with your family’s safety – make sure your chimney is cleaned by a professional every year.
Get Your Gas Fireplace Serviced
Gas fireplaces might not have the same issues with soot and creosote as their wood-burning counterparts, but they still require annual attention. A professional technician can perform various tasks during the service visit, such as checking for obstructions in the vent system, inspecting the burners, pilot light, ports, thermocouple, glass doors, and other components for damage, and replacing any worn or damaged parts to ensure safe and proper operation.
It’s also important to note that burning gas can produce highly toxic carbon monoxide (CO), which can be deadly to both humans and animals. Since CO is invisible and odourless, it’s impossible to detect without specialized equipment. That’s why during gas fireplace service and inspection, your technician will make sure there are no issues in the system that could potentially cause CO to back up into your home. It’s also why you need to have a carbon monoxide detector and test it regularly.
Clean Your Firebox
Finally, with winter now over, it’s the perfect time to give your fireplace a deep cleaning! While you may already remove ashes and wood chips regularly, a thorough cleaning in the summer can help keep your fireplace in tip-top shape.
To get started, make sure to wear a breathing mask (like painters use) to protect yourself. Next, use a scoop to remove any remaining debris, and then give the firebox a good vacuuming. After that, it’s time to wash all surfaces with a sponge dipped in a detergent solution like dish soap. Don’t forget to wipe everything down with a clean, wet rag for a sparkling finish. For glass fireplace doors, make sure to use a cleaner that’s recommended by the manufacturer.
If you notice any smoke or soot stains on your mantel or brick/rock surround, soapy water and a sponge should do the trick. For more porous surfaces, you might need a strong scrub brush to get into all the nooks and crannies.
Team Harding for Your Fireplace Inspection & Maintenance
By taking these steps, you can keep your fireplace looking and functioning at its best all year long! Putting the effort in during the summer will ensure that your fireplace is ready to go the moment the cold hits. Team Harding can handle all your fireplace maintenance and inspection needs. We can even provide advice on how to upgrade or modernize your fireplace for the next season.
Take care of your home and your fireplace.
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Team Harding has been Ottawa’s leading home comfort specialist since 1994. We are a family-owned and operated local business and all of our installers and technicians are fully licensed.