Colder weather is right around the corner, and that means it's almost fireplace season! Our real estate agents love seeing the glimmer in homebuyers' eyes when they start thinking about relaxing by their new fireplace on chilly evenings. But, before you light that first fall fire, you'll want to check your chimney.
Now is the perfect time to review some important fireplace safety tips. These simple steps will help keep you and your family safe from the potential dangers that come with fireplace use.
- Check Your Fireplace Damper
Your damper is a critical part of your fireplace. Keeping it closed when you're not using it will help prevent cold drafts from coming into your home. This will improve your energy efficiency. When you're using your fireplace, it's critical to make sure your dampers are open. Otherwise, you'll end up with a house full of smoke and dangerous carbon monoxide. Before you start using your fireplace for the season, check that the damper works as it should.
- Inspect and Clean Your Fireplace
Many of the beautiful Akron homes for sale have fireplaces in them. If you've just moved in, you might not think you need to do fireplace maintenance right away. However, it's better to be safe than sorry. Each year, it's important to inspect your fireplace, give it a thorough cleaning, and check your chimney to make sure there aren't any obstructions. If you find that there's a thick layer of creosote built up on the fireplace walls, you'll need to scrape it off. Otherwise, it could create a fire hazard.
- Waterproof Your Chimney
Moisture and elements can weaken the structural integrity of your chimney. This can cause mold and damage your fireplace. Adding a water sealant to the outside of your chimney will help keep moisture out so it can't break down the mortar and bricks. You may also want to consider adding a chase cover, which will reduce the amount of moisture that can come in through your chimney. If you have one made of galvanized steel, consider replacing it with one made of copper, stainless steel, or aluminum. This will help prevent rust. Masonry chimneys can benefit from having a crown, which works similarly to a chase cover.
- Decide if You Need a Chimney Sweep
If you've been looking at North Canton homes for sale, you'll want to find a local chimney sweep to help with your fireplace maintenance. You can tell your chimney needs to be cleaned if the liner has 1/8 of an inch of soot or more. If you don't want to worry about measuring soot, just plan to have your chimney professionally cleaned about once every 50 burns. When purchasing a home with a chimney, you may want to find out when it was last professionally cleaned.
- Schedule an Annual Inspection
Maintaining and inspecting your chimney is important, but it's not enough. At least once a year, you'll want to have a professional come out and give it a thorough inspection. It's not always easy for the average person to find potential problems, so taking this step will help ensure your fireplace — and your home — stay safe.
If you've been looking for your dream home in Stark or Summit County, the agents at DeHoff Realtors are here to help! Contact us today, and you could be sitting by the fireplace in your new home before winter is over!