Fireplace tips for new homeowners

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Having a fireplace in your home is a wonderful experience. You can cozy up to it during cold evenings and enjoy the crackle of the fire while reading a book. You could even use it to roast marshmallows and have a mini picnic right in the middle of your home! However, it is also true that, if you are not used to taking care of a fireplace, it can be pretty difficult to plan for everything you need to prepare and keep in mind for it to work properly. So, we have put together fireplace tips for new homeowners to help you get into the swing of things!

Check your firebox

The first step is making sure your firebox is in good condition. The firebox is the part of your fireplace which contains the fire. So, it is imperative that there are no issues with it. Your main task would be checking that there are no cracks in the brick or sagging of the wall. Crumbling of the mortar keeping the bricks together can also be an issue. Do not discount the importance of this! If a fireplace with a faulty firebox is used, you run the risk of the fire spreading to the rest of your house. While you are doing this, you should also make sure your fireplace screen is in good condition. Its role is to stop sparks and embers from escaping the firebox and starting a fire. If your fireplace did not come with a screen or it is damaged, you should get a high-quality fireplace screen immediately.

Get a chimney cap

When you first move in, whether you are planning to use your fireplace or not, you should check if there is a chimney cap installed. If your house doesn’t have one, or if it is old and damaged, the moving crew from SOS Moving recommends you get one installed as soon as possible. Helping people move for years, they have seen many homes with damaged chimney caps, which can put the entire house in danger. A chimney cap is important since it stops debris from falling down your chimney and, more importantly, stops rainwater from getting into your home. Without it, you would have to deal with moisture and potential mold during the months you are not actively using your chimney.

Consider getting a fireplace insert

A traditional fireplace provides a truly beautiful and quaint atmosphere. However, there are some realities of using it that are unavoidable:

1. Its efficiency at heating up a room and keeping it warm is abysmal compared to how much firewood you would use.

2. Even with a fire screen, you occasionally get ash and embers on your floor, and smoke can be an issue.

3. It can be quite hard to keep a fire going.

Fireplace inserts are a modern solution for all of these. They are installed inside your fireplace and resemble a furnace or a stove: a metal box with a glass front. The fire in them can be fed using wood, gas, propane, pellets, or coal. Alternatively, you can get an electric fireplace insert, which functions as a heater with a display screen that can be set to show whatever kind of fire you like.

Do a deterioration check for your chimney

Another one of the important fireplace tips for new homeowners before you start using your fireplace is doing a chimney inspection. It is recommended that you do it when you move in. You will be looking out for damage to the flue tiles, signs of condensation, water damage, and uneven tiles. If your chimney already has a liner, you want to check if it has been properly constructed. On the other hand, if it doesn’t have one, it is highly recommended that you install it. During this process, consider keeping your furniture temporarily in storage since this type of renovation can be a messy business, and you will want to keep your belongings out of the way. If you choose to keep your furniture in the house while work is ongoing, remember to cover it properly.

Get the necessary equipment

It is very important to have all the equipment you need if you are set on owning a traditional fireplace. A complete iron toolset consists of a poker, shovel, tongs, and brush. They are needed in order to tend to the fire, as well as clean the firebox properly without risk of hurting yourself. In addition, you might want to get a firewood log rack. Having it makes it easy and simple for you to organize and keep the fuel you will need to keep your fireplace burning bright. Remember: tools do not need to be fancy or very expensive. They need to be high quality and built to last.

Properly maintain your chimney and fireplace

If you want your fireplace to help you keep warm this coming winter, maintenance is key. Even once you’ve done the inspections and necessary renovations, as well as acquired the needed tools, you should periodically check your fireplace and chimney. This is doubly important if it rains or you have been using your fireplace. If you neglect the soot that accumulates after every use, it will eventually accrue enough to catch on fire. This can cause significant damage even to the integrity of your walls. For the same reason, you should take care to clean your chimney as well. It does not require quite as much attention as the fireplace. However, we still recommend cleaning it every two or so months during periods of frequent use.

Final Words

This marks the ending of our fireplace tips for new homeowners. We hope you have found what we had to share with you informative and helpful. And that you are at least somewhat better prepared to tackle the task of maintaining your fireplace. Just remember to do occasional inspections, and we are sure you will be just fine!