As one of the top Niagara Falls fireplace stores and service centers, we spend a lot of time helping people get the most from their fireplaces. A great fireplace should provide many years of heat and comfort, but it does require a bit of care and maintenance for best results.
If you’ve recently purchased a fireplace, or you’re thinking about investing in one, here are some must-do maintenance tips to keep in mind.
The Most Important Home Fireplace Care Tips
- Know your woods
Not every wood is the same, and it’s best to avoid the cheapest woods. These tend to be softwood, which burns at lower temperatures while producing a lot of smoke and creosote (tar soot). These woods won’t give you the heat or light you want, while quickly dirtying your fireplace.
Instead, go with hardwoods such as oak, birch, or ash. They cost a bit more, but they’re far more enjoyable to burn, and they’re easier on your fireplace as well.
- Periodically clean your fireplace bricks
The bricks in your fireplace will become dirty over time. Even the best woods will produce some creosote and/or soot, which will coat your bricks. This harms their look, and the longer the creosote is allowed to cake on, the harder it will be to clean off.
Minor cleaning can be done with basic warm water and mild soap, possibly with a little table salt thrown in as an abrasive. Ammonia can also be safely used for dirtier bricks.
If it’s too much work to do on your own, or you want your entire chimney cleaned, it’s probably best to call for professional chimney sweeping services. This also ensures your chimney is clear and reduces the chances of smoke or fire escaping the fireplace.
- Replace damaged fireplace screens quickly
The fireplace screen is a necessary part of your fireplace because it prevents burning embers or ashes from escaping the fireplace. However, it will wear out over time. It will start developing larger holes in the screen, which could potentially allow these fire hazards to land on the floor.
If you notice your screen has become damaged, don’t wait to replace it. A damaged fireplace screen is a genuine fire hazard.
- Watch for gaps in older fireplace bricks
Over time – and we’re talking 10+ years – the mortar on the bricks in your fireplace may begin to fail. This creates gaps in the bricks and allows smoke to escape from the fireplace or chimney. This could potentially expose your home’s structural elements to fire!
Small gaps can be patched with fireplace mortar and is potentially a DIY job. However, if several bricks are loose or there are big gaps, call for professional repairs.
Stamford Fireplaces is your all-in-one Niagara Falls fireplace store and repair service! If you’re in the area and have any type of fireplace issue, we have over 40 years of experience! Click here to contact us and discuss your needs.