Fireplaces make a home. They liven up a living room and settling down an evening. We use our fireplaces for warmth, comfort, and atmosphere, which is why we all have to ensure their care. Your wood-burning fireplace needs just as much care as your furnace to keep your home safe and your fire blazing.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that US fire departments responded to an average of 350,000 home structure fires annually within a five-year period. The Willard AC family never wants to see your family put at risk or your home damaged. Fireplace maintenance and safety not only keeps your home comfortable but also keeps your loved ones safe.

Here are Willard’s top tips for maintaining wood-burning fireplaces.


  1. Remove the buildup.

As you use your fireplace, the dust and soot from the smoke collect on the interior walls. Many of the home fires we mentioned earlier started from excess creosote caked on the walls of fireplaces. Hire your local chimney cleaner before using your fireplace. Additionally, cleaning your fireplace will prevent toxic airborne particles from permeating your home.


  1. Repair any damage to the flue.

The flue lining is responsible for helping smoke travel up and out of your home. If there are any breakages, wild animals, or excess soot around your flue, you will need to have a professional examine it. Without a properly functioning flue, fireplace smoke has nowhere to go except your living room. Smoke is not something anyone should breathe, so get a handle on your flue quickly.


  1. Check the masonry for cracks.

Your chimney is meant to withstand the usual bouts of weather, i.e., rain, snow, and wind, but anything more serious can damage it. Any slight deterioration of the mortar or brick puts the chimney at risk. An expert ventilation team will identify weak points and make quick work of any repairs.


  1. Install a chimney cap.

Chimney caps will save you a world of trouble. Small animals love to make their homes in small, well-protected places. Unfortunately for homeowners, those places often include chimney flues. Caps come with wire meshes that allow smoke to escape while preventing animals from making a new home.


  1. Remove the ashes.

Perhaps the biggest eyesore of a fireplace is the collection of ashes at the bottom of the firebox. You can make a bigger, safer fire once the ashes are cleaned out. You can use a brush and dustpan to sweep the ashes into a bin. Distribute the ashes in the woods for an environmentally safe disposal.


  1. Avoid damage to personal belongings.

Whether it’s rugs, chairs, or ornamental candle holders, anything flammable should be moved away from a fireplace. Even if there isn’t a full-on, blazing fire in there, embers still pop and spark. You can also decrease the chance of a rogue fire with a fireplace guard.


  1. Schedule fireplace maintenance and safety inspection.

If you use your fireplace at all, you should schedule an inspection to ensure nothing is out of the ordinary. Fireplace inspectors at Willard take a detailed look at every one of the components in your chimney and firebox. Annual maintenance is the number one way to prevent house fires.

With the help of Willard AC, you’ll be able to cozy up in front of the fire real soon.

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