Maintaining Your Outdoor Fireplace During Summer Months

February 16, 2015 Outdoor Living, Outdoor Safety
An outdoor fireplace is a great addition to any outdoor living space. It adSONY DSCds warmth, ambiance and can be a great place to hang a TV in your outdoor space. While a fireplace is nice and cozy it does require regular maintenance to function correctly and burn safely during cooler months. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your outdoor fireplace is ready to perform in the cool weather for many years.

Inspection

Your outdoor fireplace should be inspected at least annually by a professional chimney sweep to  ensure it is clean and safe for you and your family. A regular inspection will alert you to potential problems before they become serious. Your chimney sweep will let you know when you are in need of professional cleaning.

IMG_0484Cleaning

A clean fireplace is a safe fireplace. Not only does a clean fireplace look best, it also functions best. It’s tempting just to leave ashes and leftover wood in the fireplace between fires but it’s best to remove the chunks and sweep the ashes once the fire is completely extinguished and cooled. Having a set of tools specifically used for fireplaces will speed this process along. Never use a vacuum cleaner, even a shop vac, to clean ashes as embers can stay hot for days and can reignite inside your vacuum.

Burn

While most people can start a fire it is essential for the health of your fireplace to build the right kind of fire. Hardwoods are best for burning in your fireplace. They burn hotter, longer and cleaner. Learn to build efficient, clean burning fires. A fire that is inefficient is very smokey and makes the firebox and chimney dirty with flammable materials like soot and creosote.

Monitor

Between professional inspections it is important for you to regularly monitor the condition of your outdoor fireplace. Soot and creosote can build up inside the firebox and chimney and can make the fireplace very unsafe. If you don’t know how to recognize these build ups ask you chimney sweep to show you what to look for. If you notice a build up of soot and creosote in your fireplace have it cleaned before you build a fire in it again.
We love our outdoor fireplaces and we know you do too. Make sure you maintain your fireplace during the summer to ensure a safe, cozy experience come fall!

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