Before you start using your fireplace this winter, there are a few things you should do to prepare it. These tips will help you get your fireplace ready for use and prevent problems.

1. Prepare Your Fireplace for Use: Clean the Fireplace

One of the most important things you can do to prepare your fireplace for use is to clean the firebox. Cleaning will remove built-up soot, ash, and old logs and help prevent future problems.

If you don’t clean the firebox, it can cause a number of issues. The build-up of soot and ash can have a corrosive effect on the inside of the fireplace. Ash will also be blown into your home if a draft comes down the chimney. Accumulated ash may cause more smoke because it makes it challenging to get a good fire going. So make sure you take some time to clean the firebox before using your fireplace this winter.

2. Inspect the Flue to Prepare Your Fireplace for Use

The flue carries smoke and fumes up and out of the house. Inspect the chimney every winter to verify its good working condition. Look for cracks in the bricks and mortar or damage to the chimney. If you notice problems, have them repaired before using the fireplace.

3. Use the Right Kind of Firewood

Not all types of wood are suitable for use in a fireplace. You should only use dry, seasoned hardwood. This type of wood will burn more slowly and produce less smoke. Softwood, like pine, contributes to more creosote and soot in the chimney.

4. Install a Chimney Cap

A chimney cap is a metal cover that goes over the top of the chimney. It keeps animals and debris out of the flue. The cap also helps to prevent sparks from escaping and igniting the roof or nearby trees.

5. Have the Fireplace and Chimney Inspected

It’s a good idea to have your fireplace inspected by a professional once a year. A professional will know how to identify problems and ensure everything is in good working order. They will also be able to make repairs if issues are found.

Following these tips, you can prepare your fireplace for use and make sure it is safe. When the temperatures drop, you and your family will enjoy a safe and cozy fire.

Guardian Home Inspection Services offers inspections to homebuyers and sellers in Michigan. Contact us to request our services.