25 Days till Christmas: How to Prep a FirePlace

The cold season is coming and I hope you are preparing yourselves. If you have a Fireplace you have to make sure that it’s clean, so I did my research and found a list of some helpful tips.

1. Hire a Chimney Sweep

Chimney sweepers from the film Mary Poppins
PHOTO BY THE EVERETT COLLECTION

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys be swept at least once a year at the beginning of the winter to remove soot and debris. Find a certified sweep in your area via the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

2. Check for Damage

Chimney sweeper inspecting chimney
PHOTO BY ALLISON DINNER

In addition to cleaning, a chimney sweep should inspect the chimney structure for cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar. Chimney liners should also be checked for cracking or deterioration.

3. Cap the Chimney

A man on a ladder repairing a chimney
PHOTO BY KINDRA CLINEFF

A cap fitted with wire-mesh sides covers the top of the chimney and keeps rain, birds, squirrels, and debris from entering. Replace or repair a cap that’s missing or damaged.

4. Burn Seasoned Hardwoods

Fire wood under storage tarp
PHOTO BY WENDELL T. WEBBER

Choose dense wood, such as oak, that’s been split and stored in a high and dry place for at least six months. Green wood and resinous softwoods like pine produce more creosote, a flammable by-product of combustion that can build up in the chimney.

5. Don’t Overload

Wood-burning fire
PHOTO BY P. GIAM/ISTOCK

Small fires generate less smoke, thus less creosote buildup. Also, a fire that’s too large or too hot can crack the chimney.

6. Build It Right

Fireplace with metal gate

Place logs at the rear of the fireplace on a metal grate. Use kindling, rather than flammable liquids, to start the fire.

7. Use a Spark Guard

Spark guard
PHOTO BY KOLIN SMITH

Prevent errant embers from shooting out of the firebox with a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors. A guard in front of an open flame is especially important when the room is unoccupied.

Courtesy of https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/how-to-prep-your-fireplace-cold-season

I hope you are enjoying my Christmas celebration? There is plenty more coming.
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