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Keep Your Fireplace Well Maintained

Keep Your Fireplace Well Maintained - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MichiganThe hearth and fireplace are often the focal points of our homes. Throughout the year, family and friends gather together around a roaring fire in order to spend time together and create memories that will last a lifetime. However, these special times can be cut short if your fireplace is not well maintained.

Proactive fireplace maintenance is the best way to ensure that your fireplace system remains safe to use for years to come. The following maintenance tips can help you keep your fireplace in the best condition possible – as well as help you determine when you need professional services.

Tips for fireplace maintenance

Just like brushing and flossing can help prevent cavities, conducting regular maintenance and upkeep at home can help keep your chimney and fireplace system in better condition. These three fireplace maintenance tips are great ways to help keep your fireplace burning safely and efficiently in between professional chimney sweepings.

1. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Installing working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors make operating any fuel-burning appliance safer. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be placed on each level of the home, as well as outside of sleeping areas. Test batteries every six months to ensure that alarms are still working; smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced as needed or at least every 10 years in order to comply with modern safety standards.

2. Start a test fire

Before jumping in with your first fire of the season, burn a few pieces of test wood. Doing this can expose any drafting problems before you have a hearth full of wood – and a room covered in soot. Light several small pieces of seasoned firewood from the top down; smoke should draft vertically up the chimney. If soot or smoke blow back into your home, immediately begin troubleshooting; creosote buildup, debris in the chimney, or a partially closed damper can all lead to drafting problems.

3. Burn seasoned firewood

All wood is not created equal; burning the wrong kind of firewood can negatively impact fireplace efficiency and performance. Most fireplace professionals recommend burning seasoned hardwoods such as maple and oak. Seasoned firewood has been allowed to dry to remove excess moisture. This allows the wood to burn more efficiently, at a higher temperature, and create less creosote.

When to call a professional

While there are a number of ways homeowners can take care of their fireplace and chimney systems on their own, professional services are often needed in order to ensure your hearth is receiving the best quality care.

“Safety is the best reason to have a professional chimney sweep inspect, clean, and test any fireplace when you move into a home,” said Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the Chimney Safety Institute of America. “While it is possible for homeowners to clean and maintain their own fireplaces and chimneys, it’s unlikely that they possess the requisite knowledge or experience to spot all potential problems during an inspection.”

Whether its regular preventative maintenance such as a chimney sweeping and inspection or more specialized services such as masonry repairs or new fireplace installation, a certified chimney sweep can safely and correctly get the job done right – the first time.

No matter what condition your chimney is in, maintenance is an important part of helping it last for years to come. Contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today to schedule your fireplace maintenance services!