Maintenance tips for your wood-burning fireplace

JANUARY 14, 2018

Before you start up your wood-burning fireplace, check all connectors and screws, determine if the chimney is open, replace any corroded elements and fireproof the surrounding area near the fire.

As the temperature drops and we find ourselves craving more time indoors, a fireplace brings warmth to your home and comforts your loved ones. For your wood-burning fireplace (rather than a natural gas fireplace) to work at its best, it needs to be cleaned and maintained on an ongoing basis. Neglecting it for too long can lead to issues including excessive smoke or even damage to your property. However, if appropriate care is applied, your wood-burning fireplace could be the centre of your home for many years, without putting you or your family at risk. We’ve put together our top recommended tips that could help keep your fireplace in working order and help ensure safety for all members in the home.

Ensure that all connections are secure

One of the most important things to do is to check all the pipes that lead the heat/smoke away from the house and pay special attention to all connecting segments. One loose screw is enough to cause leakage and small problems can quickly turn into large issues. Once you locate any damaged spots or poorly fitted connectors, you should replace them before you start using your fireplace. Call a professional to do an assessment if any of the connections seem to be loose.

Touch the wall to see if it heats up

The chimney is designed to serve as a safety valve that helps eliminate excessive heat, but if it’s blocked, it won’t be able to serve that function. The elevated temperature of the wall directly above the fireplace is one indicator that the chimney is not working properly. To check on your own, you can simply touch the wall with the palm of your hand to determine whether it’s unusually hot, but professional assistance is recommended to clear out the clogged chimney.

Notice the corrosion early

Metal parts and pipes could be affected by corrosion even if you can’t see any rust on the surface. It’s good practice to do an annual inspection, looking for suspicious bulges or tiny dots of darker colour that could indicate damage. Any corroded parts should be replaced immediately to limit the damage as it could affect the normal operation of your fireplace.

Put a spark guard in front of your fireplace

Wood-burning fireplaces often emit sparks that can potentially cause issues to the surrounding areas if not well-maintained. A screen between the open flame and the rest of the room will help ensure that logs won’t be able to damage your floor or household items, allowing you to enjoy cozy nights by the fire, stress-free