In the UK most who own a fireplace only use it for a few months each year. As the weather gets warmer the fireplace becomes an after thought as the warmer weather means our central heating and coal or wood burning fire aren’t required to heat our homes.
Whilst most people are guilty of the thinking that through the summer months the fire becomes ‘out of sight out of mind’, even though it is unused, there are things you need to do to make sure the stove is safe to use when autumn time rolls around again.
Open fireplaces that burn solid fuel need to have their grates and fireboxes cleaned thoroughly before they are left for the summer. Vacuum or use a dustpan to sweep all the ashes up and be sure to remove any creosote or soot built up on the walls or firebricks lining the firebox and lower parts of the chimney you can access.
Use a torch and handheld mirror to clear away the soot from the hard to reach areas and always wear gloves and a face mask when carrying out this work to help protect your skin and lungs from any ash dust or soot. Investing in safety glasses is also important to protect your eyes.
Check the firebricks for cracks and signs of damage. Small cracks can easily be repaired with fire cement and are best dealt with quickly, so they don’t develop into a much more serious problem. More significant damage can mean you will need to replace the entire fire brick, which is a more expensive and time-consuming option.
Plug gaps between the fireback and fire surround with fireproof rope or string to allow for the natural expansion and contraction between the two surfaces.
Properly cleaning and maintaining your fireplace in the downtime months will mean you won’t encounter any problems when it comes to relighting your fires. For coal merchants in Stockport contact Pearson Fuels today.