It’s about to be Fall in a month! Heaters across Massachusetts will be kicking on for the season, and fireplaces will be sparking to life. Along with the rest of your cold-weather essentials, fireplaces should be prepped and ready for the season. Here are four easy steps to prepare your fireplace for Fall weather:
Remove Ashes & Debris
The first step is to clean out any old ash and take any other debris out of the fireplace. Remove the log grate and completely clean it as well. This isn’t something you’re going to want to do, but it will help you to start the season with a beautiful, clean space.
Search the fireplace for any loose or cracked firebrick and repairs it as needed. To fix them, scrape out the loose mortar with a scoring tool and clean it with a brush or vacuum. After that, brush water into the joints and onto the surrounding brick faces (mortar doesn’t adhere well to dry brick).
Check Flue & Chimney
Check your flue and chimney and remove any obstructions – fallen sticks, leaves, etc. It is recommended that you have a chimney inspection every year by a certified chimney sweep to determine if there is a large amount of creosote buildup (a flammable residue made up of smoke, wood particles, and other organic bi-product). If a significant layer has accumulated (1/8 inch or more), it should be removed to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.
Remove Excess Moisture
Set a small fire (i.e., one Duraflame log) to help dry out and remove any excess moisture, which can make firebrick crack, creosote to form, and other damaging side effects. If you think that your fireplace has a high moisture level or burning a fire in a brand new fireplace, follow these steps to dry it out more thoroughly:
- Get two logs and burn 1/3 of the first log
- Wait 2-4 days and then burn the rest of the first log
- Wait another 2-4 days and burn the whole second log
- Wait another few days, and the fireplace will be ready for regular wood-burning use
After all of these steps, you’ll be all set to enjoy your fireplace the season long. Make sure you use seasoned, dry wood (wood that has been cut and dry for around 6-12 months) for burning and continue to clear out the ash regularly. The smart idea is to clean when the ash reaches the bottom of the grate.
Contact New England Hearth & Home
New England Hearth & Home can help you get ready for Fall. Whether you are looking to get a new fireplace installed, or need help getting your existing one ready for the season, we can be here for you! Give us a call at 781-562-0771 for more information.