Just like any other part of the house, fireplaces need regular inspection and maintenance, even if the masonry service is top-notch. Cleaning your fireplace ensures that it’s functioning properly and guarantees safety on those long winter nights when you have friends over.
Why are Annual Inspections Needed?
Maintaining and cleaning your fireplace or outdoor fire pit is a must if you want to avoid hazards that can be quite disastrous. These can range from home fires to the spreading of carbon monoxide (a toxic gas). Fireplaces are the number one source of fires at the home as there are a lot of flammable objects lying around the house. They can obstruct the house’s ventilation if something is blocked in the chimney, resulting in choking and poor air quality in the home.
An annual inspection is needed to ensure that the fireplace is working properly. Although most people may overlook this, it’s one of the most important parts of maintaining a fireplace, especially if you’re using a gas fireplace. Gas fireplaces burn clean and don’t leave a lot of residues, giving the illusion that there’s no need for cleaning. However, that’s not true. Furthermore, gas burners can become clogged over time resulting in poor flame quality.
While it’s true that gas fireplaces are the most efficient one of the lot, negligence can make any proper functioning appliance incompetent. This is one of the main reasons why an annual inspection is necessary for your fireplace and chimney. Regular inspection and maintenance ensures that you’re ready for the winter season and your mind is also at peace.
Signs That Your Fireplace Needs an Inspection
Several signs that your fireplace may show indicate that it’s time for an inspection. These include:
Debris and other gunk can accumulate on the sides, especially if you’re using ceramic and faux logs. They can get between cracks of mortar joined and tiles if they’re in bad condition. Any residue should be cleaned inside and out so that the fireplace can function properly.
Cracks in the Framework
It’s important to note that, should there be cracks or a sign of chipping on the main structure of the fireplace, an inspection is needed. Chipped or cracked glass or tiles are a safety hazard and can impede the fireplace’s functionality.
For chipping and cracks, the technician may suggest a repair or replacement, depending on the condition.
Blockage in the Chimney
The chimney is exposed to the elements of nature; over time, birds can build nests on tops, which causes ventilation problems. Reduced airflow due to obstructions may not be noticeable at first, especially if you have a gas fireplace as it burns clean, but it will affect ventilation over time.
Ventilation issues also trap moisture which causes cracks, failed functionality, and eventually, the chimney deteriorates. The air moving between these cracks leads to blockage of the ventilation system and accumulation of carbon monoxide, which can expose your family to poisoning.
The chimney must be inspected before the winter season so that no poisonous fumes can enter your house.
How Does the Inspection Take Place?
The inspection is carried out by a trained technician who has experience cleaning and maintaining fireplaces. They will first look at the exterior, making sure that the sides are not chipped. The outer glass is inspected for cracks and dirt while the structure is examined. If the framework has a lot of fractures, it could mean that the fireplace will not hold and would need to be replaced.
The interior gas ignition and log set are also checked to ensure that they’re working properly and there are no signs of deterioration. For a closer inspection, they might remove the fireplace’s exterior and examine it from the inside, checking the valves and other connections. All the valves are thoroughly cleaned during this examination, and the heat output is checked to make sure that everything is in order.
The technician will also make sure that you have carbon monoxide detectors at your home that can detect the poisonous gas in case of any blockage. They will also inform you’re about any repairs that you may need in the near future.
The ideal time to clean up a fireplace is during the spring or summer so that there’s no hurry and the cleaning solutions don’t interfere with the humidity.
If you’re looking for an inspection, repair, or replacement of your fireplace, Stone Solutions Maine is here for you in Saco. With 26 years of experience under their belt, our technicians specialize in functionality, quality, and customer satisfaction. Give us a call today for the best masonry services, whether it’s outdoor fireplaces or stone veneers. Our installations will last you a lifetime so that you can make memories with your friends and families.