With colder temperatures quickly descending upon us in Maryland, it’s that time of the year to build our first fire of the season. But there are some things that need to be done in preparation for that first fire. Inspecting your fireplace for any signs of damage is an important part of fireplace maintenance.
Obvious cracks in your fireplace masonry work are a big red flag that something isn’t right. Cracks and damage shouldn’t be taken lightly as they can compromise the integrity of your fireplace. If you notice a crack (or cracks) or flaking in the mortar between bricks, contact a Howard County fireplace professional to prevent more damage to the fireplace or a potentially dangerous situation.
Another often overlooked part of the fireplace is the chimney. Without a properly working chimney, your fireplace is nothing but a huge hazard to your home. When checking the chimney keep an eye out for rust. Finding rust in any part of the chimney including the flue warrants a call to a fireplace repair company. Not only can the chimney potentially not work properly, it also may be a sign that water is getting in places it shouldn’t be able to.
There is another thing to watch regarding the chimney. If you notice smoke backing up into the home during a fire, you need to contact a professional. Oftentimes debris will accumulate in the chimney and block the airway. A chimney that does not properly remove smoke from the home is very dangerous and could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which can be deadly.
Anytime you find water in your fireplace you have a problem, and it should be looked at by a professional. Water should not be present in your fireplace box for any reason, so it could be a sign of damage to the box or the chimney.
And finally, pay close attention to the smell of your fireplace. A smokey smell is normal of course, but unusually foul or strong smells can be a sign of a problem. Occasionally it could mean that an animal has made its home in your chimney. It could mean that you have creosote build up in the chimney, which can pose a fire hazard, or ventilation hazard.
If you also noticed water or moisture in your fireplace and notice an unusual smell make sure to have it inspected as quickly as possible as it could be growing mold which is hazardous.
If you are excited for that first fire of the season, but haven’t had your fireplace inspected by a professional in quite some time, give us at Fireside Stone & Patio a call today. Our professional team can inspect your fireplace, putting your mind at ease. And if we find a problem during the inspection our fireplace repair service can have you back in action in no time.