The fireplace is often called the "heart of the home." It is a place that families gather around to keep warm, tell stories, and enjoy special occasions together. Of course, to keep a fireplace going, wood is needed. This creates a lot of byproducts that can cause issues if left unchecked. Therefore, to keep everyone healthy, safe and happy, here are tips to know when to have your fireplace serviced:
Check for Creosote
When wood burns in your fireplace, the smoke rises into the chimney, and out of your home through the roof. However, when wood is not completely burned, it can emit a lot of smoke. This smoke carries tar vapors in it that can condense within the flue (chimney) and stay there. Eventually, this gunk can build up and cause disastrous fires. To test for creosote buildup, you can tape a small piece of tissue to the opening of the fireplace and watch its direction.
If the direction is upward, then you are good to go. If the draft is downward (out of the chimney), then you need to open a door or window and reverse the draft. Then, using safety googles, a dust mask, flashlight, and poker, look up into the flue. Scrape around the side of the smoke chamber and gauge the thickness of the black / grey dust that you see built up. If it is paper thin, you are probably not in danger of a fire. However, if it is thicker than that, then you should schedule a service appointment with a fireplace professional soon.
Perform Regular Maintenance
The best way to keep your fireplace burning clean and long is to make sure that you clean with each use. Some simple scraping of the sides can go a long way. In addition, make sure you have good oxygen flow to the fire. The creosote is usually less prominent when a good air flow is established, as the wood burns cleaner and leaves behind less smoke and tar.
Get it Serviced Yearly
At least once a year, you should schedule a service call with your trusted fireplace professional. Not only can they do the work that involves getting dirty, but they can bring potential issues to your attention or make recommendations about best practices when using your fireplace.
The fireplaces is a special area. The home is truly made brighter and warmer when the family can be together around an age-old tradition. Keep your fireplace is great shape by following the advice above and enjoy the warmth.
Contact a service like B C Fireplace Service Inc to learn more.