It’s getting chilly out there, which means it’s time to gather around the fire! As we enter indoor fireplace season, it’s important to remember fireplace safety practices. Part of that safety involves completing regular maintenance tasks, which vary depending on the type of fireplace you have.

Wood Fireplace Maintenance

Check the damper.

After not being used for several months, there could be debris that affects the damper from opening and closing properly. In Minnesota, your damper needs to be inspected one year after installation and then every four years after.

Clean out the ashes.

It’s recommended to keep about a one-inch layer of ash in the fireplace, but when it gets higher than that, it needs to be cleaned out. Remember to wait at least a day for the ashes to cool completely.

Check for creosote buildup.

Over time and use of the fireplace, creosote starts to build up. If the creosote is flaky, it’s at a stage one, which means it can just be cleaned out with a chimney brush. However, if you neglect to check for creosote buildup, it can turn into a sticky, oily material, and a chimney sweep will need to use professional-grade chemicals to remove it.

Inspect and clean the chimney.

Once a year, you need to have someone come out to inspect the chimney and sweep it. Make sure to have this done before starting your first fire of the season to prevent a chimney fire due to soot and creosote.

Gas Fireplace Maintenance

Get an annual inspection.

Before turning on that gas fireplace this season, have a technician inspect and clean the ventilation system to make sure it’s operating correctly and is free of debris.

Clean the fireplace.

Although there’s less maintenance needed than a wood fireplace, a gas one still needs to be cleaned to prevent the buildup of dust and dirt.

Keep an eye out for issues.

If you see any cracked paint or peeling wallpaper around the gas fireplace, it’s a sign that something is wrong in the ventilation system.

Whether you have a wood or gas fireplace, keeping up with maintenance and inspections is a way to keep you and your family safe. If you’re thinking about adding a fireplace to your home, contact us or stop by our showroom to view our products. Brekke Fireplace Shoppe has been providing top-notch fire features to homeowners around Rochester since 1964.