Maintaining a Wood-Burning Fireplace

holiday fire hazardsNothing is more romantic during winter or Valentine’s Day than the prospect of sitting in front of a roaring wood fireplace with a person you love.  While starting a fire can be a daunting proposition in its own right, the need to have a properly maintained fireplace will make your special times complete rather than a potential disaster.

One of the main issues that a fireplace can have is that restricted airflow from creosote buildup and nesting animals can create smoking from the chimney.  It is hard to enjoy your fire when you are afraid your home might burn down.  Luckily there is some simple maintenance that can be done to improve the performance of your wood-burning fireplace.

Watch The Buildup

The first thing that can be done would be to inspect the fireplace for creosote buildup.  What is creosote?  It is a black substance that builds up in the chimney if wood doesn’t totally burn.  Creosote becomes an issue in that it is a fire hazard due to flammability.  You want to clean away creosote as soon as possible.  A trained professional can do this check quickly, efficiently and remove any buildup.  Another kind of buildup that can hamper fireplace performance is soot which is also flammable and should be removed.

Burn Hardwoods

If you are planning on a fire, it is always best to burn hardwoods like maple and oak in your fireplace as these don’t buildup creosote as quickly.  Hardwoods burn for long periods and create hot fires.  Pine and other softwoods have more sap and resin leading to quicker buildup of creosote and soot and a potential chimney fire.

You can also consider installing a steel liner that will contain embers and heat despite high temperatures.  Glass-doors and a fan will further contain the embers and heat and push the heat from the fire into the immediate room.  Be sure to clean the fireplace of old ashes regularly.

Annual Inspections

The best fireplace maintenance would be to make sure that your fireplace is inspected annually.  Inspection can identify any potential issues before they become hazards.  These inspections can be done by certified contractors who can perform the checks and any maintenance cleanings that may be necessary.  This will make sure that your fireplace will perform well, and any potential sparks will only be between you and your loved one.


Call Water Damage Zone today (877) 520-1923  your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips. You can also visit our sister company for further information on restoration services at Best American Builders.

We specialize in the following services:

  • 24/7 Emergency Response, Water Extraction, Water Damage
  • Direct Billing to Insurance, Locally Owned and Operated
  • Water Cleanup, Water Dry outs, Visual Mold Inspections, Sewage Damage Cleanup
  • Sterilizing & Odor Removal, Licensed & Bonded #963976, Reputable Los Angeles based company
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Water Damage Zone, Inc.
Corporate Office
15115 Califa St. Ste. C
Van Nuys, CA 91411

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