In early America, the fireplace was usually a necessity. It was often the hub of a home. It usually provided heat, offered a place to cook and served as the nucleus for family gatherings. Fireplaces have changed a lot since the 1600s and 1700s, but they tend to still be a source of warmth and comfort in a home. Occasionally, you may need to seek out fireplace repairs in West Michigan to ensure your hearth remains a place of safety.
Before you light your first fire of the season, it is wise to take some steps to make sure everything is in good working order. Start out by examining the firebox for gaps, cracks or signs of wear. If you notice the lining has deteriorated to the point that the steel body underneath is now visible, it is probably time for some repairs. Excessive heat inside the fireplace may cause permanent damage if the issue is not resolved.
Smoke stains on the walls or ceiling could be a sign of a gap between the hearth and the firebox or a problem with the chimney or damper. It is a good idea to have the chimney and damper checked periodically. It is also wise to keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case of any emergencies.
Chimney maintenance is fairly essential to operating your fireplace safely. The five most common potential issues include creosote, brickwork problems, blockage and flue cracks. Creosote is the dark brown to black tar mixed with the fine carbon powder that is soot. When wood is burned, this creosote and soot mixture goes up the chimney with the smoke. It is flammable and can cause chimney fires. It can also clog the chimney preventing proper ventilation. When you have your chimney cleaned, it is advised that you make sure the professionals you hire also remove any creosote from the flue lining.
It is usually a good practice to have your chimney inspected annually for any blockages or other issues. Inspectors should ensure the flue lining is intact as a routine matter. A damaged lining could lead to a house fire. Occasionally, the mortar needs to be replaced in the brickwork to help keep moisture out. It is also advisable to keep the chimney cap and crown in good condition. These items may help further protect against moisture.
Your home’s fireplace adds character, warmth and aesthetics to your home. Fireplace repairs in West Michigan can help keep your hearth safe and cozy for years to come.