Winter Warmth 101: How to Prep Your Fireplace For Winter

Your fireplace can be a central part of your winter comfort. Many people have electric fireplaces which require no major maintenance other than cleaning the glass and dusting it off, while others have a gas fireplace which requires an inspection by a fireplace specialist every 1-2 years. Although less common than it was 20 years ago, some people even have wood fireplaces. To help you have a safe and enjoyable winter, we have compiled a list of how to prep your fireplace for the cozy winter season!

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Inspect the Chimney

Start by checking the chimney for any obstructions like bird nests or debris. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, consider hiring a professional chimney sweep. Inspect the chimney cap to ensure it’s in good condition and replace it if needed to prevent animals and debris from entering. Some signs that you need a new chimney cap are that there is water accumulation in the firebox, your cap was blown off, or there is a lot of rust on it. Chimney caps are usually around $75 to $1,000 depending on the size and the material of it. 

Clean the Chimney and Firebox

If you use your fireplace frequently, it’s important to have the chimney cleaned annually because creosote buildup can lead to chimney fires. You can hire a professional chimney sweep for this task. If done professionally, which is recommended, the average price is around $250. In the firebox, remove ashes and debris from the firebox. Wear a mask and gloves for protection. Dispose of ashes in a metal container and store them away from combustible materials.

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Check for Leaks

Inspect the fireplace and chimney for any signs of water leaks. Water can damage the chimney structure and lead to deterioration. Seal any cracks or gaps with appropriate materials. Signs of water leaks include water in the firebox, dampness on the interior walls of your home and chimney liner damage. Materials to seal leaks include chimney brick sealer for a little over $100 or Flex Seal products for around $20.

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What You May Want Done By a Professional  

Although all of these steps are recommended to be done by a professional, they can be done by yourself with the proper knowledge and tools. Here are some more areas that require professional inspection:

Inspect the Damper: Ensure that the damper opens and closes properly. The damper is what closes off the airflow from your fireplace, up your chimney. A well-functioning damper helps control the airflow and improves the efficiency of your fireplace. 

Check for Drafts: Inspect the fireplace for drafts. You can do this by lighting a match and watching the smoke. If the smoke is drawn into the chimney, you have a good draft. If not, you may need to address the issue by consulting a professional.

Inspect the Firebrick and Mortar: Check the firebrick lining for any cracks or damage. Also, inspect the mortar between the bricks. The mortar is the sand that keeps the bricks together. If you notice it crumbling away, you can buy mortar made of magnesium silicate which can stand up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. These repairs are encouraged to be done by a professional. 

Are you looking to enter the market this winter? Give us a call today! One of the experienced real estate agents at Zoocasa will be more than happy to help you through the exciting home-buying process!

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The post Winter Warmth 101: How to Prep Your Fireplace For Winter appeared first on Zoocasa Blog .

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