Even though a fireplace is rarely used throughout the summer, it needs to be thoroughly maintained to make sure the area is prepared for the fall. As the leading provider of masonry and brick pointing in Medford, NJ, and the surrounding area, we’ve listed some essential summer maintenance tips for homes and businesses across New Jersey:
Clean the Fireplace Area
Remove all of the ashes that have collected in the firebox, making sure that they have cooled down before you begin. Use a vacuum cleaner or a shovel and bucket to efficiently remove the ashes. Once the ashes are removed, clean the fireplace with cleaning solution and water.
Try to make sure that the cleaning products you use are not flammable as some remnants may stay inside the fireplace and could lead to fire once the area is back in use. Remember to clean the fireplace doors, removing all soot and creosote that has gathered.
Close the Damper
If you use a wood-burning fireplace, make sure that the damper is closed off when the fire is not in use. The purpose of a damper is to seal off the air flow between the chimney and the home. When dampers fail to seal correctly, it creates a similar effect to having a window open all the time.
Energy costs can increase significantly when summer AC and winter heat are continually escaping through the chimney. However, if you have a gas fireplace, we recommend that you leave the damper open at all times, this will prevent a buildup of gas within your home if the gas leaks.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning
Chimney cleaning is not necessary all the time, especially throughout winter. Cleaning is typically required when fireplaces burn logs and are used moderately. Creosote is deposited into the flue each time there is a fire in the area. However, creosote can be highly flammable, and it could cause a severe fire.
Large buildups of creosote can cause obstructions that hinder the draft. Rather than traveling up and leaving the house via the chimney, toxic fumes can enter the home, due to this blockage.