Getting your fireplace ready for winter is an important part of ensuring your home is safe. You can cozy up next to a warm fire on a cold evening, but you need to make sure it’s not a fire hazard, or you’re not going to fill your house with smoke. Our team at Careful Cleaners offers fireplace cleaning services, but we can also help walk you through the process. Read our guide below, where we highlight some of the steps you need to take to make your fireplace ready for winter.
Clear clutter from the area
Parts of your home that don’t get used often can turn into a catch-all quickly. Mail, books, bags, and other items can accumulate on the fireplace after months of not being used, which will all immediately turn into a fire hazard when you light your fireplace. Be sure to clean the area in front of your fireplace to ensure there’s nothing that can be set ablaze with so much as a spark.
If you used your fireplace last winter, there’s a good chance there are leftover ashes. You sometimes don’t know when it’s the last time you’re going to use your fireplace for the season, so the ashes will get left in there. This, of course, is fine, but it’s you should clean them out before your next fire to ensure they’re not getting blown around as heat moves throughout the fireplace.
Check the chimney cap
Most fireplaces have a chimney cap to prevent birds, pests, and leaves from falling down inside. A damaged or misplaced chimney cap can be dangerous for the area surrounding your chimney. Cracked mortar, loose bricks, and damaged wire mesh are all things to look for when examining your chimney cap.
Trim trees near the chimney
Trees will spend the long days during summer growing upward and outward. Branches that you trimmed away from your home last year have since grown out toward your chimney once again. Examine the area around your chimney to ensure there aren’t any trees that pose a danger for your home and that of your neighbors should bits of ash float up to the top of your chimney.
Check the damper
The damper is the mechanism in your chimney that controls the flow of smoke. It’s most common for them to be limited to an open or closed position. However, some allow the user to adjust smoke to flow faster or slower up the chimney. Before you ever set a fire in your fireplace, make sure the damper is not only open but will also stay open. A damper can sometimes flop closed if the mechanism in place to hold it open is worn out or damaged.
Test batteries in your smoke alarms
Should something go wrong with your fireplace, you’re going to want smoke alarms working in your home. It can be anything from smoldering ashes that combust and start a new fire or the damper has shut without you knowing while you’re in another room in the house. Your smoke alarms will be what saves you and your family from smoke inhalation or a house fire.
Hire a professional
It’s no problem if you’re at all uncomfortable working through the list we’ve provided. It can be lengthy and challenging if you’re not familiar with the processes. Hire a professional fireplace cleaning service to do the heavy lifting for you. Our team at careful cleaners will have your fireplace ready to go by the time it cools down, and you want to sit by a nice, warm fire. Give us a call at 604-720-6603 or send a message to book a service.