There is something interesting about outdoor fireplaces because they add finesse and a rustic charm to any home or a garden. It takes you back to colonial days of sitting outside in the garden or patio, with friends and family and enjoying a nice cool evening. Some individuals would double the fireplace for cooking or for barbecuing. Of course, though some classic designs have retained their charm, many more contemporary designs have been introduced in the market. Nevertheless, it is vital to maintain a wooden fireplace with a lot of care, as they may also be prone to the environmental damage. Here are some easy tips to ensure that your outdoor fireplaces are maintained in a good shape for years to come.
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Cleaning and Inspection of the Chimney:
- The first thing that one should keep in mind would be to clean it on a regular basis. If the fireplace is too big for you to handle the cleaning, then it is best to hire a professional to do the job. Sweeping the chimney is recommended at least twice a year. In some cases, creosote tends to build up on the walls and it is best to get rid of this in at the earliest.
- Another vital aspect would be to ensure that you are regularly inspecting the chimney. You also need to remember that any kind of fireplace or wooden chimney would be prone to accumulation of creosote or kind of a dark colored substance, which accumulates with time. This is a flammable deposit and if you don’t check for it during the functioning of the fireplace, then this could result in a fire hazard. So make sure that the wood burns properly in order to avoid this risk.
Get rid of a clogged fireplace, with the help of professionals:
- When professionals are called for inspection of the fireplace, they charge you for sweeping and maintenance. But in between, it is best for you to have a look at the same, even during off seasons. You should also see that the chimney cap remains has open sides and would help to keep out the debris along with rain, animals, birds, etc. This cap should also be checked for tears. Else an animal might find way into the outdoor fireplaces.
- Soot build-up is another problem that a person may experience with outdoor wooden fireplaces. What happens is that like creosote, the soot is also a flammable deposit. Though it is not as hard as the latter, it is easier to clean. So use a mop or long broom to clean the same.
Types of Wood that you must use to get the Best Results:
- In order to avoid such build ups, it is advised to use either oaks, maple or birch hardwoods for your outdoor fireplaces. The reasons for the same would include that these kinds of woods burn much easily. They also burn for a very long time and keep you warm. Since there is less of pitch here along with sap, there is less mess as well. It is true that these will cost you a bit more than softer wood but the benefits are also more.
- Keep a watch for smoke inside the fireplaces. It often means that there is something wrong inside the chimney area or the walls. So when you are using the outdoor fireplaces, keep a tab on this.
For a safer experience, you can use stainless steel or other metals around the fireplace. This will create a nice design and add to the ambience of the same. You can install these around older chimneys as well.
Hope you get all above mentioned effective ways to maintain outdoor fireplaces made of wood.