Here at Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver, we wholeheartedly recommend that you don’t ignore your fireplace this summer! We understand the natural tendency during these warmer months to forget about the things you aren’t using – like your fireplace. However, by putting in a little bit of effort during the summer, you will save yourself from a lot more work and headaches in the fall when it comes time to light up and gather around the fire once again.
Chimney Cleaning and Maintenance
Summer is an excellent time to schedule a chimney cleaning and inspection appointment. Not only do you get your pick of appointment times because the sweeps aren’t as busy, but if a problem is found during the inspection, you have plenty of time to get it taken care of without having to worry about a cold snap rolling in before your fireplace is ready to use. Knowing that your fireplace has been cleaned and inspected gives you peace of mind throughout the summer and avoids that last-minute rush as the temperature starts to drop and you remember that you haven’t yet prepared your fireplace.
Close it Down
If your fireplace was frequently used during the winter, the damper may still be open. However, you’ll want to keep the damper closed throughout the summer months so cool air from your AC unit doesn’t escape through your chimney. You’ll be thanking yourself when it comes time to pay the energy bill.
Clean out and Wash the Firebox
Along with getting the chimney cleaned, you’ll want to take care of the firebox. It’s not a good idea to leave your firebox full of ashes and soot all summer. Rather, once the ashes have cooled and you will not be using your fireplace anymore for the year, thoroughly clean out all the ash and soot. Start with a shovel to get out the majority and then you can switch to a vacuum cleaner.
Once all the ash is out, you can use a cleaning solution with water to wash it out completely. Be sure to select a cleaning solution that is not flammable! Even if you wash your firebox at the start of summer, residue could be left and cause a problem when you light it up again in the fall.
Take Care of Odds and Ends
Take advantage of this time to clean up important odds and ends like oiling the hinges or cleaning the glass on a gas fireplace. All these details are so much easier to manage before it has sat dirty all summer when you’re not feeling pressured by cooling temperatures. Plus, you get the added benefit of a shiny fireplace for the summer months. Also complete a visual inspection inside and out for signs of cracks or damage in your bricks, mortar or other structural elements. Again, it will be easier to get fireplace and chimney repairs taken care of during summer instead of waiting until the temperatures drop.
If you take our advice and don’t ignore your fireplace this summer, we promise that you will have greater peace of mind in knowing that it’s safe and ready to use. Here at Chimney Sweeps of America, we know that fire safety is crucial and ensuring that your chimney is maintained and inspected every year is an important part of keeping your family protected. We always work hard to ensure that your fireplace is in tip top shape so you get to enjoy this feature in absolute comfort.