If you use your fireplace regularly, it’s imperative to be aware of the many safety issues surrounding this part of your home. While it’s ideal for warming up and adding a pleasant glow to your living space, it can prove hazardous if it’s not well maintained over the years. Here’s what you need to know about protecting your masonry and using your fireplace properly.
Light a fire properly.
Consider the quality of your fires. Do you notice a lot of smoke? It’s possible that you aren’t lighting it properly. This is completely normal, as it takes some practice to master. Be sure that the flue is open and preheated before you begin. Position a log grate at the base, so that the fire has some open space underneath to breathe. Also, make sure to place the logs toward the back of the fireplace to prevent them from moving forward as you light the fire.
Schedule regular inspections.
You should have a chimney sweep inspect the fireplace and chimney at least once a year. Make sure to schedule any chimney repairs in advance of the cold weather seasons, as this will likely be the period in which your fireplace will get the most use. If you have an old fireplace or burn fires frequently, you may also require masonry cleaning or tuckpointing to repair any damage that could affect the unit’s integrity. Since mortar has a relatively limited life expectancy, replacing it is vital to protect the chimney’s functionality, safeguarding it from water damage, potential mold, or rot.
Leave the fire unattended.
While it may seem safe to pop out of the room for just a moment, it’s always best to be cautious if there’s a fire burning. Never leave the fire unattended, or simply avoid lighting one at all if you plan to go out shortly. It’s just as important to make sure that the ashes are completely cool before you dispose of them.
Leave anything combustible nearby.
Whether you have a masonry or factory-designed fireplace, know that it always poses a potential safety hazard. Since heat rises, it’s not difficult for temperatures to reach combustible stage if you aren’t careful. Protect your loved ones and your belongings by installing a fireplace screen, and make sure the area is completely free of clutter.
Since 1985, the experts at Smith & Sons Tuckpointing LLC have served homeowners and businesses in greater St. Louis area. Based in Clayton, MO, the licensed and insured company specializes in tuckpointing, restoring the condition of your masonry and making your fireplace safe to use. They also handle chimney repairs, masonry cleaning, and even foundation waterproofing to improve your home’s overall stability. Visit the website for information, or call them at (314) 752-7705 to schedule an appointment.