As for every item you have in your home, you need to take good care of your fireplace too, by regularly cleaning and maintaining it, if you want it to keep its beauty and functionality for a longer period of time. The first day the wood burning fireplace is brought into your house, it must be checked by a chimney professional to make sure it is in operational condition and does not need any repairing.
The fireplace chimney is one of the elements that needs the most cleaning and care. The metal part must be checked for dented or rusted metal or missing screws at the joints, and the chimney cap that protects the fireplace from rain, birds, animals and debris that may enter it through the chimney, must always be kept in good condition, or replaced if damaged.
Creosote is another thing we should always check for. This hard, dark, and crust like flammable substance is produced during an incomplete combustion of wood, and if it accumulates it can cause serious chimney fire, thus it must be regularly cleaned. To minimize the possibilities of accumulating creosote we can burn dry hardwoods which have low level of moisture, and increase the air supply so they would burn more completely. Together with the creosote, the soot, another dark flammable deposit, must also be removed regularly, or as recommended, when it reaches depth of 1/8 inch.
If there’s a lot of smoke when the fireplace is being used, and the chimney is cleaned, we should make sure the damper is open. If this doesn’t stop the smoke, then it is a sign that the wood inside the fireplace is not burning completely, or that maybe the chimney isn’t cleaned well. It is best to contact a professional cleaner in such situation.
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