The Scoop on Fireplaces, Part IV

In our final installment on fireplace maintenance and safety, here are some tips:

  • Have a cap installed at the top of the chimney to keep it from becoming blocked by birds or debris.
  • Use clean-burning wood. Hardwoods like oak burn cleaner than softwoods like pine. Dried wood burns cleaner than green.
  • Follow directions when using manufactured fire logs. Use one at a time. Don’t crack or break manufactured logs. This will release energy at a high rate, resulting in a shorter burn time. Fire logs create less creosote than wood.
  • Make a fire that fits the fireplace. If it’s too big or too hot, it wastes fuel and can crack the chimney.
  • If the fireplace has glass doors, leave them open while burning a fire log to allow air circulation and cleaner burning.
  • Always use a fireplace screen.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and have smoke and monoxide detectors throughout the house.
  • Use kindling to start a fire. Never use flammable liquid.
  • When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace, preferably on a grate.
  • Don’t burn anything but wood in the fireplace.
  • Keep the area around the fireplace and chimney clear of flammables.

These helpful hints brought to you by Integra Inspection Services, LLC.

Our Home Inspections are certified and backed by guarantee.  Whether you’re buying, selling, or maintaining your home, choose Integra for your inspection.  Call 256-542-1049 today for a free quote.

The Scoop on Fireplaces, Part IV 1

Todd Thuss

I am an electrical engineer with 30 years of design experience and was born into a construction family. I have 25 years of hands-on construction and remodeling experience. I am a home inspector, licensed in both AL and TN and enjoy helping people understanding and maintaining their homes.

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