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How to Maintain Your Fireplace

As the temperatures dip and the days get shorter, it’s time to head indoors to enjoy the warmth, comfort, and ambience of your fireplace. But that’s only a good idea if it’s been properly prepared for another season’s worth of active duty.

Follow these proven effective maintenance tips to ensure yourself a positive and safe experience.

  1. Inspect Chimney Exterior – Visually inspect the chimney from the outside. Look for cracked or chipped bricks and masonry joints. If you have a factory-built metal chimney, check for loose sections, signs of corrosion, or stains. Does your chimney run through your attic? Don’t forget to look there, too.

  1. Inspect Chimney Cap – If you don’t have a chimney cap, have one installed to reduce damage caused by water and to prevent wildlife from entering. Also, choose a cap with a screen mesh to shield your roof from sparks and embers. If there is a cap, make sure it’s securely attached and shows no signs of damage.

  1. Check for Leaks – Head indoors and check the area around your chimney for signs of water intrusion. Faulty flashing around the chimney at the roof line or a damaged flue liner can allow rainwater and snowmelt to enter. If you notice water stains or dampness, contact a chimney professional right away.

  1. Check the Flue – Next, grab a flashlight and small mirror and head to the basement or outdoors and locate the clean-out door from the base of the flue. Use the light and mirror to look up the flue to locate any soot buildup, holes, cracks, or separations that might exist. Or, hire a chimney pro to do it for you.

  1. Inspect the Fireplace – Make sure the damper opens and closes easily, look inside the smoke chamber and check for soot buildup. Also, check the brickwork and fireplace surround for wear and damage.

More than that, you should have your fireplace and chimney professionally inspected and cleaned once a year for added safety and efficiency.  The same goes for your furnace, but that’s a job for GBT Heating & Cooling. Annual maintenance leads to fewer repairs, longer equipment life, added safety, and reduced energy costs. Call today to schedule this highly useful service.


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