Everyone loves a roaring fireplace. As the flames dance, they mesmerize us. While a fireplace is surely beautiful, it also needs to be properly maintained. So, here are five easy ways to properly care for a fireplace without taking too much time away from actually enjoying it.
Start with the end
Putting out your fire properly is of the utmost importance. Never leave the house until the fire is completely out. Use the poker to spread out any remaining hot embers so they will cool faster. Leave the damper open until the ashes have cooled, because a closed damper could heat up the embers again, causing them to re-ignite and initiate a build-up of carbon monoxide in your home.
Take nothing for granted
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are critical to the safety of everyone in a home with a fireplace. If your alarms run on batteries, check them regularly during the winter season. One smoke detector should be on each level of your home and outside each bedroom. A carbon monoxide detector should ideally be in a hallway, near the bedrooms. Do you know what carbon monoxide looks like and smells like? Simply put, no you can’t as it’s invisible and has no odor. Proper detectors are essential and you’ll enjoy your fireplace more with peace of mind.
Let the fire captivate – not the decorations around it
Some fireplaces have too many “tchotchkes” around. There should be at least three feet of space between your fireplace and anything that can burn. That includes flammable materials like furniture, blankets, pet beds, pillows, or any comfy stuff people like to use as they cuddle close to the fire. Small knick-knacks above the fireplace are also not advisable. Heat rises. If your little carved frog, ice-skater figurine, or sentimental lucky doll catches fire, this little item can quickly become the cause of big trouble.
Go from DIY to PRO
Your chimney should be swept properly. Don’t take this personally, but even if you like to do things on your own, a professional chimney sweep is the best and safest way to go. An experienced chimney sweep can safely eliminate ash and creosote, a flammable chemical that adheres to the sides of chimneys and could lead to chimney fires. You should also get a professional inspection to make sure everything else is in order. A yearly professional sweep and inspection will make your fireplace a safer experience.
Feed it well
Use seasoned wood because it burns more thoroughly than newly cut “green wood.” Seasoned wood is cut and dried for 6 to 12 months, registering less than 20 percent moisture with a meter. Split wood burns better than whole logs because it dries more thoroughly. Seasoned wood also produces less soot and creosote than “green wood.” If you decide to choose seasoned wood, it is suggested to go with hardwood, like ash and maple instead of softer wood like pine or poplar. The harder the wood, the hotter it burns, and the more heat it gives.
If these tips have inspired you to upgrade the look of your fireplace, find your local design consultant at https://www.granitetransformations.com/locations/ Let the professionals at Granite and Trend Transformations design a beautiful fireplace for your home.