Ongoing & Preventative Maintenance

Wood Burning Fireplaces

Most of the following may sound like common sense, but it never hurts to have a checklist to run through each year just to make sure everything is in good, working order.

  • Have the chimney inspected by a certified inspector each year. Not all states have licensing requirements, but two 'certifications' that you can look for are "NFI Certified" and "CSIA Certified" when choosing an inspector or servicing company.
  • "How often should I have my chimney swept?"  That depends on how often you use it and what types of fuel you're burning. This is a great question and can be most accurately answered after having your chimney inspected. Click Here to read more about this very important issue.
     
  • Make sure that the chimney cap on top of the fireplace is secure and that there aren't any holes in the wire mesh. This mesh serves as a "spark arrestor" which prevents sparks or burning embers from reaching your or your neighbor's roof.
  • Confirm that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are the closest to the fireplace are in good, working condition. 
  • Closely inspect the bottom and sides of the firebox for any cracks in the mortar between firebricks on in the concrete if it's a smooth concrete floor. Special "fire rated" mortar, or "refractory grade" concrete is required for any repairs done inside the firebox.

Gas Burning Fireplaces

While simpler and cleaner than wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces have issues all of their own. It is highly recommended that you use only a licensed plumber in your state to make any actual repairs to your gas fireplace's supply system.

Below are a few items that would normally be inspected on a gas fireplace by a certified technician:

 

  • Adjust the millivolt output.
  • Clean and adjust the logs and/or embers.
  • Clean the fan and air circulation passages.
  • Clean any glass doors or panels.
  • Check the batteries in the carbon dioxide detector.
  • Ensure that the exhaust vents are unobstructed.
     

If you are going to use a fireplace, it is important that you take the time to properly maintain it. It can make a difference in your safety. 

Contact Heidi Winston of Winston Realty Group for all of your real estate needs. For more information or to schedule a showing, visit www.winstonrealtygroup.com or email Heidi@WinstonRealtyGroup.com. Once you work with us, you'll be glad we're your real estate professionals.

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