There’s nothing quite like a warm fireplace to keep you comfortable during the cold winter months. Your fireplace requires annual maintenance before it is safe to light a fire. Follow the guide below to get your fireplace ready for use this winter.

Inspect and Repair Your Fireplace

Before you light your first fire of the season, there may be damage that needs repairs. Inspect the chimney for any debris or damage. Check for birds, bird nests, and rodents before starting any fires.

It’s possible to clean the chimney yourself, but hiring a professional chimney technician is best. Cracks or loose bricks that are not repaired could cause fire hazards. Homeowners should not try to fix any damages with regular mortar. Instead, hire a professional to make any chimney repairs.

Get Your Fireplace Ready

Preparing the inside of your home is vital to keep your family safe. Place a metal screen or glass guard in front of your fireplace to prevent any rolling logs or sparks from starting a fire. Fences also block children and pets from the flames.
Store logs, fuel, and anything flammable safely away from the fireplace. Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly.

Check the Chimney Cap

Check that your chimney cover is in good condition to prepare your fireplace for winter. A proper chimney cap has wire mesh sides to keep out rain, small animals, and debris. If needed, replace a missing cap or repair a damaged one.

Prepare Your Fireplace Damper

Inspect the fireplace damper for any debris that may prevent it from opening and closing easily. Before using your fireplace, check that the damper allows airflow through the chimney.

Clean the Blower

If you have a gas-burning fireplace, check to see if the fireplace blower is equipped with a filter. Consistent use of your fireplace may cause dust build-up in the blower blades. The dust results in premature wear on the bearings and insulation on the motor. It’s essential to clean out the filter to get your fireplace ready for use.

Hire a Professional to Get Your Gas Fireplace Ready

Cleaning your gas fireplace is an essential step to take before safely lighting a fire. Call a qualified service technician to inspect and service your fireplace. A full service will include cleaning the airways in the pilot and main burners.

Properly maintaining your fireplace can prevent burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, and exposure to fumes. Before the cold weather begins, follow these safety tips to prepare your fireplace for use this winter.

Homeworx Services Inc. offers home inspections in Northern Virginia. Contact us to schedule an appointment.