Most people think they can just leave the fireplace as is during the summertime without any maintenance, but a little TLC can go a long way to ensure your fireplace is in prime condition for those cold winter nights.
Hard wood storage
It’s always a good idea to have a nice amount of wood stored away for the upcoming winter. We recommend going for wood such as oak that’s hard and dense, perfect for that long burning fire that you want. It’s a good idea to get the wood half a year before use and to store in a nice and dry place. A nice log rack keeps your stored wood off the ground, to help it keep it dry away from dampness and bugs that can rot your wood.
Stock a bit more wood than you would normally use in the season, as you can have an unexpectedly cold winter. Of course any excess wood can be used for the season after.
Install a chimney screen
If you haven’t already done so, we recommend installing a screen on the top of your chimney. These can prevent birds coming into your chimneys to build a nest or any other small rodents. It’s never fun to have birds chirping inside your fireplace!
As recommended by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), we beleive that your chimney should swept every year, when it’s not being used. Chimneys can build up large amounts of soot and also debris that can clog up your chimney. If you want the optimum fire running during winter, it should definately be on the to-do list. This is best left to the professionals to do, and you’ll find the certified sweepers at http://www.csia.org/ . Just use the search function on the website to find the nearest.
Check for damage
Another important aspect of maintenance is it inspect get your chimney and fireplace inspected regularly. You can hire a professional to do this for you, or if you’re capable yourself check the chimney and fireplace for cracks and any other damage. Leaving cracks, even if they’re small to begin with can lead to a very expensive repair bill if you don’t regularly inspect your fireplace.