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maintaining a fireplace

The leaves are changing, and the temperature is dropping. As we transition into the fall season, here are some things you’ll need to do to ensure your fireplace is safe to use.

Clean Out Your Fireplace

With a wood-burning fireplace, you should get your chimney swept once a year, prior to the first use of the fall season. Without the specialized equipment of a professional, this task is difficult to complete.

A professional chimney sweep will inspect your fireplace for cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar as well as clean for soot and debris. They will also check your chimney liner and make sure you have a properly installed cap.

Use the Proper Wood

Soot and creosote buildup is minimized in your chimney when you use seasoned or manufactured fireplace logs. Manufactured logs burn hotter than regular logs and could distort a metal chimney. If you choose to use natural wood, use something sense like oak that has been stored in a dry place.

Build an Effective Fire

A good fire burns smoke up the chimney which helps make sure the sparks and embers stay within the fireplace itself. You will want to ensure your fireplace logs are stacked on the metal grate as far back as they can be. Also, you should use kindling to start the fire. Before you light the fire, open the damper and keep it open.

Don’t Burn Just Any Wood

Certain types of wood make more creosote. To avoid these potentially toxic fumes, burn seasoned wood or manufactured logs.

There are several warning signs of a fire within your chimney and fireplace. A few of those warning signs are a “sizzle” sound, loud cracking and popping noises, dense smoke, and a hot smell.

Don’t Overload Your Fireplace

Roaring fires may be beautiful, but they are not as safe as a controlled burn. Just a few logs at once is recommended. A fire that burns too hot can crack your chimney.

Know What’s Around Your Fireplace

The décor surrounding your fireplace can also be a fire hazard. You should make sure you use a guard to protect your family, pets, and home from sparks shooting out of the fireplace. Keeping a fire extinguisher nearby is highly recommended.

Pittsburgh’s Premier Retailer of Fireplaces

For more than 35 years, Ed’s Woodshed, located in Bridgeville, PA, has been selling and installing the industry’s best hearth products in Pittsburgh homes and the surrounding areas. As a premier retailer and full-service provider, we offer everything from framing to drywall to stonework to chimney maintenance. If you are looking for full-service assistance with your fireplace or fireplace insert this summer, call Ed’s Woodshed today at 412-257-0492 to speak to an expert.

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